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March 1. March on. Tonight 100 words seems way way way long. I am bone tired and weary. Weary of the bone-tired blues. You? Shocks me that I have no idea what color you would like. I am so tired I do not remember your preferences. I do not recall your choices. I do not know what you would will. I like the blue one, the orange one, and the green one, though the yellow would do. When it comes to blown glass drinking cups I desire green. A chair, midnight blue. A plate, rust or orange. Hold on.
Arrived on the cusp of spring break and can feel the grace-giving spaciousness of undefined time, warm weather, and gentle banter. Kids leaning on me for these moments I know will not last, and my steadfast hub nearer than he will have been in weeks--nearer, of course, because I will be nearer too. The ease of distance catches me unaware and comes with an alacrity of which I really do need to beware. Our life together is far too beauty-filled, rare, lovely to pass by at a distance. I will let go and let all come closer.
I didn't show up like I said I would. Instead I showed up just late enough to miss you.
The point is to say the obvious with such subtlety and rare nuance that the transparent turns filtered and layered to even the in attentive eye.
I cannot remember the other thought or two I had hoped to record and communicate. And I missed my chance to say them to you anyway. When we left one another the obvious thing I might have said is "You go your way. We'll have to wait and see if I go mine."
Moments of this blessed day: affection at dawn before and after coffee; waffles and bacon; a picture of vibrantly-colored seahorses, a gift from my daughter; a walk with my mother-in-law, able-bodied steps I try to not take for granted; a manicure and hand/foot massage from a pregnant woman who will give birth any day; Papa George's delectable chicken salad with salsa and chips lunch; an afternoon at the pool with cool breezes and healthy kids; conversations with Hub about bathrooms, family, friends, and beach visits; cosmos easing the grading; and 100 words. Thank you, Life.
A Monday at the beach makes you tolerable, I guess. The day's beauty and quiet make up for the annoying droning of your voice and the unnecessarily close proximity of your circumference. I wish I didn't have to turn you in, but I do. Mid-term assessments are due, and it doesn't seem to matter if I don't have a clue what to do with you. As we pass by a number of people all dolled up to appeal to others similar in need, I recognize that I am, sadly, no different than all those that annoy me, including you.
All iI did online yesterday between 4:00 and 6:00 pm somehow disappeared into the Bermuda Triangle of cyberspace, leaving 100 beautiful words lost forever along with a much nicer email to our piano teacher than the one I later sent. Disappointing. The 100 words were filled with gratitude that has now faded into deep disappointment. Sadly. Much anticipated affection occluded by television and sleep. Eager fingers sabotaged by dopamine, and stressed adults stunted once again by fatigue. Disappointment gets in the way too much. I miss the gratitude of earlier today, or I guess that was actually yesterday.
Expectations suck the life out of otherwise vibrant moments. Instances of tantalizing toe wiggling eclipsed by anticipated but missed lovemaking. Autonomous alacrity traded in for judgmental dependence on another's urges. Aaarrrrgggghhh!!!! Makes me wonder if it's better not to want or plan or hope and to instead just take what comes. No expectations, but also completely out of control. Yet, isn't that what I had hoped for anyway? Escape. Yes, but I wanted it to feel good. Instead, unexpected anger overwhelms me. Stomach tremblings triumph. Negative thoughts spawn, and I marvel at the deep valley to which I have plunged.
Back home. Hhhmmmm. Vacation was nice: undefined time, days shaped by detailed, long-lasting meals, no alarm clocks, and naps. Home is nice because there is routine that keeps time for us, so to speak, so we waste less of it. Oh, I don't know! Home is dear home. Vacation is always better, unless one just values the ordinary, the homey, the comfortable. Let's face it: a tight schedule, which our family certainly has, sucks away the hours, but leaves relished minutes and stolen moments that out shine some of the sparklier parts of vacation. A fine life, delicate balance.
Oh, I don't feel like writing, which is a bit of a bummer because I haven't felt that way in a long time. ABCs, here we go. A-frames. Butter. Cheese. Dogs. Eggs. Farms. Gouda. Home. Ice cream. Jams. Kaluha. Love. Movies. Nuts. Ovals. Popcorm. Queering. Rocks. Soup. Turtles. Umbrella. Volume. Windows. Xylophone. Yarn. Zebras. Apples. Bras. Cream. Drama. Envelopes. Frames. Glasses. Hips. Igloos. Jumprope. Kites. Lamps. Music. Nods. Opium. Pencils. Quacks. Ramp. Syrup. Tamborine. Underwear. Vroom. Watch. Xerox. Yearnings. Zumba. Aluminum. Brooms. Candles. Doors. Eyes. Fans. Gum. Hoopla. Iron. Julips. Kleenex. Luminary. Mama. Neighbor. Obelisk. Plan. Quandry. Risk. Survival.
So I get frustrated, very frustrated, when my daughter cannot do things by herself--like when she won't turn on the bathtub faucet by herself, or go to the basement by herself, or go to the bathroom by herself--becasue she is scared. And she is nine. Basically, I get frustrated when she is afraid. That's sad. Fear is irrational, I know. Makes me realize that I am scared most of the time. Perhaps that is true--scared people don't like me, scared people think I am stupid, scared of what people think. Why in the world do I care?
Spring break is over, and I am sad. Rhyme may carry me. It must. Here goes: My daughter is beside me, and for that I am glad. She read that line and snickered, even though earlier we bickered. Don't know how she gets the best of me, but she does. We fight, and we bustle, and we cuddle, and we muddle. Getting so big, she is a beatufiul force. I hardly know how to let all take its course, to let go, to grow, to sow. If I could I would hold her until we both can no longer stay.
I don't have anything I want to say, but that of course is not what I want to say, not it at all.
With Eliot, Stein, Hughes, Smith, et al. coming and going talking of all they think we need to know, do I dare to gripe about what is ripe?
I just have much to learn--to read, and reflect, and communicate. But there isn't time enough. What I need is of coffee spoons to make sense of what I need to do. I suppose, though, I am lucky to keep working, keep trying, keep . . .
I will go, now, and try, in the midst of angry woe,
to structure visions, questions, assignments
to attract multiple voices, fragile still like wet does.
Emotion brings division and recompense none half spent.
I will listen, and listen more, as words drip from high branches
Arms strain and heels lift off as my body stretches,
So the little girl behind has no such cares, no such need for risk-filled dances.
My expectations are beyond my reach, I betcha.
I will speak.
In a week it won't matter.
So I missed yesterday--the first day in a long time. Today, or yesterday that is, was Pi day. My son had peanut butter crust chocolate pie at school in honor of the day. Apple pie a la mode too. I had belly dancing. Nice. Lots of school work distracted me from writing when I got home too, as did my daughter's anxiety over darn state assessments and the fact that internet was out at our house thanks to squirrels chewing the line. I hate how closely associated learning and anxiety sometimes seem to be. Down right sad. No pie.
So we will see if I can write this weekend; I may have to miss Saturday because I will be where there isn't any internet, and perhaps not even phone access. Out in the middle of no where will hopefully feel good. I don't know. We'll see. Right now, getting ready for the trip doesn't feel that freeing. It feels irresponsible, but I'm going to try to let that feel good. I'm noticing lately how much my mood is back and forth, up and down. Let's hope my mountain ranges are beautiful and my valleys lush. I will carry on.
With remarkable women on a weekend getaway, old parts of me come alive anew. I am thankful for friends who will be themselves no matter how uncomfortable to others and no matter how much courage it takes to own the identity. We ate at a local restaurant this evening, and a woman walked in, acknowledged she didn't know us, and therefore, with commitment, sat down with us for what became relished conversation. The restaurant owner did the same--what beautiful engagement. I am blessed to encounter such lovely people in my life. May all women know such love. Sit down.
Nothing but the whole wide world to give. . . Something good this way comes. . . Darling Nikki. . Let's just get naked. . . She's got diamonds on the souls of her feet. . . Rhythm of the Saints. . . some gods ol' Old Corn Liquour. . . My, God! Just give me Heidi Clare! . . . On an old wagon, I will fly away. . . At this point in my life. . . I am just writin', written' the day away, so thankful for it's breath that I cannot take enough in to feel full. I am that open. It is good. You are in the honest field, and I will take you there.
The day was the first in, perhaps, years that I simply cannot remember a single bad thing happening. Gorgeous moments of women on the porch, cookin', sippin', dancin', singin', and restin'. Walks and talks with fuller strides than someone not there could know. In the wide open spaces of the Kansas skies, we moved ourselves and one another beyond the horizon. Full, we flowed straight off that porch and deep into the earth cracks. Each one at some point spoke a truth she and we knew before we got there, but that before we had not known so clearly. Amen.
Argh, I am tired. Ug, I don't want to go to work. Ah, I want to sleep. No, I don't want to go. Nope, don' ask me if I care. Eek, I didn't mean to hurt your feelings. Oh, I hate being so hard on myself. Oh, I want to go to sleep. Crap, I have so much to do. Uh, I feel really bad you are sad. Shucks, I wish I could do something to help. Huh? What did you say? Ug, ug, ug. So much so much, I want to do less. So much so much, I quit.
A fever reminds one that one's head does not usually feel like an appendage. And if it does, it at least feels like the one that lords over all others. Now, however, my head hangs heavy and low even though it remains on top. Every hair waves its hands when I move, and my eyes push weights from side to side. Huge, iron weights. Clunk. Thunk. And the sweats, oh they interrupt rest. Words replace the cries I want to send--as a infant awakened by its own wetness--and at least I can strip off my own clothes. Grace.
Ringworm. Great. Really? What did I touch? Who touched me? Was the gesture or the affection worth it? Is it still on some clothing in our house? Was it on the pillow or the rag I used last weekend? Was it on you? Who? Where? When? How? Why? Was it on a stray cat to whom I showed brief affection? Or, is it on the dog I caress every day? Was it on the dance floor, on that beautiful shimmy, simmy floor? Hhmm. Don't know, so won't know. Hopefully I can cream it away. Wash it away. Keep it away.
I will not put myself down. I know I have done my best, and I will be at peace with that. I will not apologize for being imperfect. Everyone is. Beautifully, humanly flawed, I am thankful for my life. The pain I feel should be for the lack of kindness and support I give myself rather than the lack of compassion and grace others show me. I, too, am made in the image of love. I will not put myself down. I will not put myself down. I will not put myself down. I will not put myself down. Peace.
Oh my, to hold a grudge is a terrible thing, a challenging thIng, a limiting thing, a diminishing thing, a mean thing, but I suppose an understandable thing. Yet, that in part is what makes it such an unforgiving thing, an awful thing. It simply takes too much time, wastes too much time, costs too much energy, to be worthwhile. It makes one feel too bad. I . . . I simply cannot do it anymore. I don't know what I am going to do, but I may have to find another job. Anyone else say that, no biggie. Me? A land mind.
A new assignment means new growth, new mistakes, new problems, new accomplishments. Yes, but I am tired of measuring my life in assignments. Sick of it. Tired of complaining--my own and orhers'--tired of trying, and hoping, and trying, and hoping. How pathetic to be tired of trying, but I am. Burned out. Exhausted. Disheartened. Yes, disheartened. I suppose that is the saddest part of it. Without a heart for it, I don"t know if my mind will work well enough. Stress makes me unhappy and, and, stupid. Can I cut myself some slack? Will that relieve me?
So I meant a land mine a few days ago--in reference to what it would feel like for me to change jobs again. As I read, re-read, and reconsider my efforts I am reminded how so much of my work right now has to do with scrutinizing awareness of effort, development, mistakes, revisions, and improvements. This is the part of my work that I begrudge. Taking one's self seriously is positive, but too seriously is devastating. I have to find a mental and emotional balance between those two. How? I don't know, don't know, don't know, don't know.
So many would be astounded by your combined abilities. As a class, you had not tried Twisted Warrior I, but as I told you all to drill your big toes into the earth with the gaze of your eyes, you did. You twisted with strength and security. And balanced. Well, well done. I think I needed that more than all of you. I needed to turn our focus to a bodily experience that stopped you in your tracks and made you realize the wisdom of your body that blows your mind. Your body is smarter than your mind. Let go.
. . . so it surprises me that I am not keeping track of the words that go on the screen, or the aspects of life recorded. It surprises me that I keep the committment to push them out, to prune them afterwards, to leave them. Unafraid.
T. S. Eliot and Robert Frost joined our Modern Lit class today and the lives of its students. Consequently, they even join my life more fully too. Time for indecisions and revisions, for coffeespoons, for swinging birches, and stopping in the woods these poets carve out for me. I am thankful for their angsts.
Up down up down up down up ssssssshhhhhh shsh ah ah sh zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz zzzzzzzzzzz balance up down up down up down up ssssssshhhhhhhhshshshshsh sh sh sh sh zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz balance aaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh yyyyyyaaaaaaawwwwwwwwwnnnnnnn up down up down aaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh in out in out in out sssssshhhhhhhhh zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz balance breathe in breathe out breathe in breathe out breathe in breathe out breathe in breathe out zzzzzzz zzzzzzz zzzzzzz shsh shsh shshshshsh ssssshhhhhhhh down up down up down up down breathe in breathe out breathe in breathe out. Silence. Aaahhhh. Breathe in breathe out breathe in breathe out. Prevent stress. And be true to you. .
I started writing poetry tonight and feel like I could write forever, like I do not want a day of my life to pass without writing a poem, or at least working on one. Creativity feels good, and I start to realize that I need to figure out how to get more creativity into my life and into my students' and family's life. What a wonderful gift it is to be able to create connections, explore possibilties, looking for harmony, dissonance, solo, and duets, ensembles, and choruses, colorful blends, and dance steps that astound, moving emotionally as well as physically.
You called asking about the Kindle cord--the Kindle your father gave you and I borrowed. I have no idea where the cord is, and admitting that to you somehow broke me unexpectedly. I cried, slowly at first and then with steady rhythm. I cried because I finally admitted to myself that I've lost way much more than that cord. I've lost so much more that I really don't know what is gone, but whatever it is or was dances around me, bouncing like beads after they slip off a string I was holding, but let go of without knowing.
My life is two words I need my friends to speak; my loved ones can signify it with silence. They know I distrust words anyway.
We do not need to name that which we create without words. What we make with our hands we make with our hands; what we speak with our mouths, in words, has to be written to be even close to tangible.
And even then, we make in words what we cannot speak with mouths.
We cannot even move our mouths to shape the whole truth with bodies that feel.
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