Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Typing that just made me really uncomfortable. I feel as if I made a very risque confession just then and I am not the type of person that keeps a lot of those locked away; however, I came to a very important realization the other day about what and how I repress emotion and anxiety. More on that later. I pride myself as the type of person that politely refrains from discussing the black stick, knowing that it is what I do and that I should be more "party" and less "business"; the opposite of what one would(should) desire when selecting a new hairstyle. Unless, of course, you can pull it off.
I digress. And will continue to digress, but in another direction.
I have a new sense of wonder.
Every night, Becky asks me to tell her a story. I am not a storyteller unless I have had a couple of glasses of wine, after which I speak with the eloquence of a country music singer. How does one take a single, little grain from her life and grow a story, an epic, an Iliad or a Ulysses? Some authors paint such vivid pictures, artistes in their own right, unlocking the mystery of the human life and putting into words what we (definitely I) wickedly feel and are unable to explain. Creations like this continue to amaze me daily.
What people paint, say, sculpt, sing,
the ways they move, down to the dancing in the eyes, the corners of the mouth,
the myriad sounds of laughter, regret, exhaustion, excitement, sadness that escape impress me.
I find nothing stoic, nothing dead, nothing stagnant in this world-the natural one, at least. I am beginning to reclaim my sense of wonder and I feel my own mortality. I drive down the roads of Iowa, past the Amish, past the alpaca, past the Jews, past the corn, past the mighty Mississippi and I cry. I cry because I have missed so much.
'When I look down I miss the good stuff. When I look up, I just trip over things.'
How much have I lost?
How can I remember everything? How do I archive a life? Only fragments will remain and only speckles will be on my brain. I am not ready to forget the hills of Tennessee, the dew on the grass when I go to the barn at 6am to find a newborn foal, the embrace of family I barely know after playing Mendelssohn for my dead Papaw, my first awkward/hurried/regrettable kiss and the subsequent breakup that leaves me wishing that I wasn't so scared, the yellow lines in the road at midnight and sleeping on the roof under the stars after prom (even if other memories from the night are unbearable). I don't want to forget the times I lied to make others like me more or how the trusty automobile broke down in rural Virginia (because we bragged on it, jinxed it). Let's not forget the hole in my bedroom wall, the first time I heard my mom slip a curseword, playing for hours with my sis.
Please don't let me forget my honeymoon or my cat or any of the good times. Please don't let me forget the moment I discovered that loving someone does not equate to keeping them safe, does not equate to sacrificing my own person, does not equate to being a half-person or a many-person. I can't forget the details of the woman who is here for me now and her muscle over her left eye that quizzically looks at the world and me, the sometimes-knitter, the composer of the soundtrack to a good yearplus of my life.
How can I hold on to all of these memories? This sense of loss is relentless as of late and even as I have new experiences, the void opens before me and envelopes me with grief for the little bits and pieces that evaporate. I don't know why, I don't know why this grief is boiling up, up through my body, throat, arms, radiating to my fingertips.
The final digression.
If I can help someone become proficient enough at an instrument of communication, to express what she never thought she could express, to feel something grow from a little pod in the depths of her stomachbeing- into something exploding from her heart-into something filling the void that we leave as humans-into the ether and into the ears of consciousness...
then I can die a happy person.
A little over a year ago, I scribbled in my ever present black book the following, which my friend Paul glanced at and wanted to read and I let him even though I didn't want him to:
Now I can command myself, no gently allow myself, (or is any sort of permission necessary?) to cry.
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Yesterday morning I ate breakfast out on the porch because it feels, smells like fall and I could hear flute coming from the house down the street. The Count of Monte Cristo is the only book I can read right now; it keeps my mind off of things. My legs were sore from a thirty-mile bike ride and I ate bacon, eggs, and toast while I read about one man’s elaborate plan for the ultimate act of vengeance.
As I sat reading, crumbs of my scrambled eggs sat out in the sun and a yellow-jacket buzzed and hovered. He landed on a little chunk of egg, played with it, perhaps ate it (I don’t know what they are doing with all of those appendages), wrapped his legs around it and took off into the air. The weight rendered him less than graceful, but he ambled away to God only knows where. He came back, minute after minute, to break apart, envelope, and carry off pieces of egg, sometimes flying as far as a nearby leaf before setting off again.
I watched him do this for a long time with the intention of letting him fly away with every single piece, but I had to get up, go inside and worry about something else.