Thursday August 14, 2014

Learning how to live can take your whole life, if you let it. There’s a lot to it. First you have to find that space you can feel, but that no anatomist will ever name. Then you have to trust it.

Get to know it. Understand what it feels like: when it is full; when it is empty; when it is resonant. When it buzzes with dissonance. When it thrums with fear. When it rings hollow. When it is contentedly silent.

Most of us live as flowers -subject to nature. Grow, blossom, allure, seed, fade. Death is staved off only by going to seed. Yes, only.

There are stories. Of course there are stories! (And there always will be) We have so many stories now: exponentially multiplying; ever shortening, from epics      to viruses. But stories lose their names, and their mothers, after the first breath.

Thus, it is seeds. Or this one life. Nature whistles nonchalantly while each of us chooses; just another carnival shill. No one’s willing to reveal, it’s a sucker’s game either way. So there’s only one thing to do: if you have a choice, make it.

Sunday-Monday

That hour between  midnight and one AM always seems like a bridge to me. Today flinched to yesterday…technically.  But  your still-coursing heart, still -dancing limbs, still-open eyes, and mind that can reach back to breakfast belie a new day’s beginning.

In the smaller cities it is a silent hour. The practical are asleep. Those who know better are moving toward that state, but in no hurry. The naive, the willful, and the devil-may-care are damning the torpedoes.

I know better. But tonight, arrogant from a midday nap, sated on the molho of a fine day, and a sweet, rich night, I am willful: caught somewhere between adamant and supplicant that  Monday will falter. Maybe twist an ankle and have to postpone its appearance?

I would bring you soup, Monday, if you were  laid up for a while, and placate your fears. Sunday is a workhorse! She can carry your load. Now, just rest. Put your feet up. You deserve it. Don’t fret now. We can bear a week without you.

La Vie En Rose

I’m home again.

From another thing.

Ninth night in a row, more or less.

That’s the way it’s supposed to be. That’s what we think it is. Success. Celebrity.

Things. That do. That fête. Soirée. Nightly. Hourly, if possible. Good things on endless repeat.

And so I have succeeded. And so I am famous. In a world that is tiny, but splendid. Populated with my hand-picked crème de la crème.

Ooh la la. C’est si bon.

Vraiment, c’est si bon.

And,

when my life fills  like this –quickly as jammed gutters in the rain– I grow paradoxically thirsty for my old shyness, those wallflower blues. I stand aside from myself and wonder at my knee-jerk community making , my determined niceties.

Dazzled by the glamour, I worry, “Am I still good? Right? True?” In the quiets that come after, the worry deepens: do good, right, and true even matter?

Or perhaps I am just now noticing that life moves a little too fast for me, and I am disappointed.

Tonight,

I have another thing.

C’est si bon. La vie en rose.

Good

As an introvert, a shy person, and the daughter of a woman I used to call “Worst Case Scenario Mom” (for the apocalyptically negative outcomes she would weave over the most mundane of activities), I have spent most of my life not feeling very good anywhere.

But just recently, I have begun to notice that these days I always feel good at home.

Good like: you actually outran ‘it’ in a very serious game of schoolyard tag. That synchronized all-at-once knowing of soul, body, and mind that you are beyond-a-shadow-of-a-doubt safe, because your fingers are contacting ‘base’ as ‘its’ hand tags nothing but the air where you used to be.

Good like: gut-level certainty that the probability of a positive outcome is greater than the probability of a negative outcome.

Feel, as in emanating from your innards out to your awareness;                        thrumming some thread only poets can identify;                                                      trusting in your bones before your brain even knows what’s happening.

I. Feel. Good. Somewhere. Finally.

It’s like water when you need it, the sweetest thing you will ever taste.

The 7 o’clocks

For my body there is something about 3:30 pm. Pretty much in any context, in any time zone, 3:30 pm is the time when I need a snack, a run, a nap, a ‘quickie,’ or possibly all of the above. No matter which diversion is actually available, the only sure thing is that it is nigh impossible for me to keep physically doing whatever I have been doing leading up to 3:30.

My mind seems to have a related issue with 7 pm to 7:30. It is less the competing needs and more the competing desires. 7:30 pm is exactly enough time for me to really stretch out a bit and put some real time in on a creative project before bed. It’s about as late as I would naturally eat a full dinner. It’s the right moment to wrap up some short things and leave time to read a book before bed; or flip slowly, unfocused through a cookbook until some recipe catches your eye; or fold laundry while listening to music or watching tv. 7:30 is a great time to start a really satisfying idle, or take the next infinitesimal step toward making your dreams come true. Good options one and all.

So any night that I am blessed with an unsubscribed 7:30, I fill some of the time with indecision. Except tonight, when I am fooling myself prose-ing about it.

The Night Before You Leave Again

Barely home from work and errands. Hungry to the point of shaking. Left the bag of necessary items in the car -of course. Back on with the shoes. It’s a short trip to the car, but the weather tonight takes me all the way to November. My mind is ecstatic and pinballing off of: all the new today; all the new to come; ideas, and to-dos, and still not dones; the way my soul is dragging its psychoemotional feet, now shod in culturally misappropriated Doc Martens, trying to stay where I was; my daily question to myself, the metric I have to pass – did I do one thing to move forward on each one of my goals today?

I’m jumpy. I’m joyful. I’m jealous. Of a friend who’s going all in on NYC to try to make it there. In spite of the passing of Maya Angelou who is such a great reminder to go ahead and be amazing.  I want to settle but there is so much I want to do – the immediate needs, the long-term wants, the spontaneous desires along the way.

Perhaps I’m concerned that all of that will be crushed by the constant ‘Must Be Appropriate!’  spotlight and klaxon of my impending work trip, and I’m trying to get it all out before the dress clothes go on. Maybe I’m a little bit nervous that no one has given me any idea what my responsibilities are on this junket. Or maybe my happy little heart is just determined to beam out and try to fill others. Best course of action seems to be roll merrily along.