Tuesday, May 20, 2014
In That Which We Revel
The psychic wind picks up and throws the trash around inside my head. When this mighty, grimy wind blows, I either get really focused and calm in it's center, with a clear view of the sky from within, or I start spinning with it until it throws me down in a cornfield somewhere.
I'm working my ass off. That's the bottom line. I'm trying to do something entrepreneurial and it's really great and very painful. All my creative energy has been pouring into that lately, and while the reviews have been fantastic, it's failing at the box office.
So much of the time I feel exactly right, like I'm on the path. But also, a ton of time, I'm just an unholy cunt. I cannot manage the volume. The incoming is coming in hot, as they say on the racetrack. While at the same time the outpouring is ever so slowly sloughing away all the tender bits.
There are so many needs coming at me so fast, I'm like a sloppy plate spinner. I just keep swiping everything into further motion, keep it from crashing noisily to the ground. I've broken a bunch of plates, too many. But I also keep many of them going, and some days it feels like a miracle.
My team is really good. The family under this roof is doing really well. We yell at each other too much. But we also all pile in bed together and watch movies and swim, and fart around. I like all them noisy plates. That's some good news for my weather forecast. But shit, goddam, they take a lot of energy. Sometimes what they require from me is not available, either because of time, or because of mood, or because of money, and then I feel guilty and incapable and lost.
I'm full of love, but also despair. These two are dance partners. They hold each other tight and spin each other around, sometimes awkwardly, like prom dates and sometimes with great beauty, Ginger and Astair.
Through it all I make furniture with my friend. We have a good time, mostly, when we're not broken from heavy lifting of one kind or another. Our joints ache and we are stiff, while it seems the rest of the world is free to pursue it's own flexibility to it's oily, limberest best. "You have to make time for yourself," they say in chorus. And to them I raise a crooked, gnarled knuckle on a special finger with very little sensation left in it.
I stood in line behind a woman and her kids in a equestrian store today, and watched as her girls kept forgetting things and adding them to the bill. They were buying new bridles and boots and whatever the fuck else, and I watched as the mom handed over her credit card without so much as a twitch when the bill was fourteen hundred dollars. When the daughter added one more something, I nearly beat them to death with the nine dollar crop I was buying for Lily's birthday.
It's May, which means it's time for me to hurt myself with a cake plate. Last year I gouged my cornea in the effort. This year my humiliation came early, in April, in the form of a rapid onset stomach virus that found me shitting into a plastic convention center bag in the passenger seat of our van as we sped down the highway toward home, so acute was it's onset. You can't really say you have a relationship until you've shat in a bag in front of your husband.
People around me are marvelous, and also hurting. There are pockets of hurt in every direction. And in the lining of these pockets, some rich satin; beautiful, worn stuff you can only see when it's been turned inside out.
Things make me cry when I see them on Facebook. They are meant to, and I am only too happy to oblige. "I come from a long line of watering cans," a friend said to me once, and I wanted to take him in my arms.
I'm so happy to be going to my reunion, to the boarding school where so many things began for me, where I really came on-line. The people I will see that weekend, are the same ones who were there when I came into a world that I was made to understood was to be mine. Just as it was theirs. A humor and tenderness tethers us to one another, and I cannot wait to hook onto their line for the night.
In the meantime there is more work, and more hurt, and beauty. Spring asserts itself and we get out of it's way. We make room for new growth by removing the dried, tangled remnants of winter. We plant things out of faith. Faith in nature, I find, never fails to deliver. Green insists on pushing it's way through the openings. Cracks and dirty, forgotten places offer a place to root. Sunshine curls it's beckoning finger. Things unfurl and reach.
My children were born in this month of insistence. A bush out front seems to bloom on the 21st of this month every year, Lily's birthday. I didn't plan it that way, it was here before we were, but I can't help but wonder if it had it's own plan, and was laying in wait. It's a strange, mangled thing, not exactly beautiful, growing lopsided and rangy, but it has this one trick, this brief, violent explosion of color. I cannot deny it this one song.
So onward. Toward the frantic, hedonistic summer in which the pots fill to overflowing, and the pool goes from brown to green, then blue, then green again, all summer long. We dip and leave our wet towels all over everything, forever. Mildew grows like everything else and leaves it's fecund imprint on anything that dares stop moving.
You will know me by the sound of my sewing machine, that rumbles on through the months, issuing it's own growth. You will find me by the sound of my laughter, the trail of my tears, the cracking of my knuckles, and my sailor's curse. I don't know how it all works out. But I will look for you too, in that burst, that crack, that delicate interior. We will see each other there and know one another, nod and sway together until the needle lifts and plays it all over again.