Wednesday, September 17, 2014

preheat

It was too hot a night for it, but I did it anyway: turning the knob on the oven, lighting the stove, oil slicked on the bottom of a pan. Set the table for two. Sweated. Sat down: double ice waters, a quick kiss, then dinner.

I am so tired, and I don't want to move. A dog named Charlie barks from behind a closed bedroom door. I lick peanut butter off a knife. I read articles about sad women who write, who want to understand writing, who want to be heard, who want to die.

Things that are close in my mind: my great-aunt Dorothy, my great-aunt Norm, here is a photograph:

"I don't know much, but I know I love you" is apparently a line from a song, but I didn't know that when I said it.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Spring Mornings in California: An Exhibition


I receive phone calls from people in other countries, or across town. You wouldn't believe everything I receive, and daily.

When I write, things either work or they don't. Except that's too neat and probably a lie. Things become less clear and more, harder to take and more beautiful. Some say it's soft, like vanilla and cinnamon, but to me it's more like hands sometimes steady and sometimes trembling.

The impact upon realizing something I wanted was not mine to have in the moment is a feeling you would be forgiven for thinking I'd be used to by now. But it came like a shock all over again. And I had to excuse myself. I forget all I do have in the face of one thing I don't, and frequently. It's not something I'm proud of.

I keep writing fragments of poems, thinking my feelings on the matter at hand (whatever that happens to be) can be corralled. It's precision, a math equation, where to put the colons and dashes and line breaks. I take a significant amount of pleasure in the minute tweaking of words and punctuation.

I want to tell you how giddy I get from being alive. I never could have predicted how happy I could be, and consistently. All the things I love best are in my life, and then some. I walk to cafes and play records and visit museums and audition at movie studios and in tiny theaters and get recognized for being on television and write poetry and children’s stories and collaborate with friends on projects that are meaningful to me and go for walks and meet new people and explore new places and have good conversations and laugh lots and lots. I'm leaving out so much; I couldn't possibly include everything. I dance and eat cake, I get hugs from strangers, I love everything that is mine and some things that aren’t and I can’t remember the last time I truly hated anything. I don’t mean I get everything I want, only that, at the same time, I have everything I could ever want.

I don't know what's going to happen next, but something is, and I get to be around for it. And that's stunning.

Friday, April 04, 2014

hypothetically speaking

1 Say you’re making a playlist, and the first song you choose is The Beatles, “I’ve Just Seen a Face.” What do you choose to follow that? Can anything follow that?

 2 Say that you know what will make you smarter, and wittier, and you actively reject that in favor of getting your hands dirty, as they say. What will happen?

 3 Say you want something and you don’t do anything about it. Perhaps you’re overwhelmed by the feeling of not knowing how to do it, or, you really don’t know how to do it. What then?

 4 Say you actually go up to a person you barely know, look them in the eye, and say, “I want to get to know you.” Without any of the usual fumbling you-seem-like-a-cool-persons or hey-that-thing-we-talked-about-once-let’s-talk-about-it-more. If you just say something that plainly, that honestly. What follows, what will happen, what then?

Saturday, March 29, 2014

I used to be melancholy.
It was very pretty.
Hair up, tangled curly but elegant, like a Jane Austen heroine waking up from a fitful romantic sleep somewhere in the English countryside.
I wore thin t-shirts when I was feeling thin and baggy t-shirts when I was not. The best feeling was to wear a baggy t-shirt while feeling thin but this hardly ever occurred to me, to do something because it might feel good.
I did not paint my nails because the people I knew who painted their nails were happy and also satisfied with worldly things. I was neither, I'd determined.
I wanted an angular face, I wanted to know how to put on makeup. I thought, there are so many basic things, and nobody took the time to explain them to me.
I had a lot of ideas about a lot of things.
(I still do.)
(I expect this is universal.)
Things that haven't changed: I still take nearly everything too seriously.
I'm getting better.
I laugh more. I move more.
Things begin to flow.
It's hard work, and good work: to live a creative life, and to meanwhile love it.