Our world has had an intense last few years…possibly decades. Hell, for some, it has been intense through all of history. Things are intense, and the intensity affects different people in different ways and some are obviously a lot more affected than others. In that sense – and in a lot of other senses…I can’t help but feel a bit selfish in my contentment.
And I have grown selfish with my time. Which is not to say that I’m wasting it as much as keeping it all to myself, and feeling vaguely resentful of any perceived infringements on it. If only all social engagements could take place in my garden! Or while I’m folding laundry or doing dishes or doing some other practical task so I may spend my alone time dreaming, thinking and dancing!
And though I am content, I wonder how much longer I can allow myself to be content and static and still with myself before I force myself to participate more externally. When does contentment become complacency?
If I’ve learned anything in my life, it’s that nothing is more difficult than overcoming that initial inertia that keeps me doing what I am comfortable doing and discourages me from letting go of the familiar. I have my schedules and routines with predictable chaos worked in as part of the plan. I am not isolated. I am not in need of rescue. I am not vulnerable or struggling, though some might say I’m always on the verge of struggling and that might mean I am vulnerable.
In my defense (I tell my own self in my own head…and then type it up here to share with whoever happens to read it) (In case anyone thinks I’m trying to give THEM any pointers on how to live a life, let’s be clear this is me talking about my life and my life alone, and it does not necessarily extrapolate out to all lives or even any other lives but my own.) And, really – any resemblance to anyone living or dead who may or may not be writing and/or reading this is strictly coincidental.
Because, in my defense, perhaps I need contentment for a bit. Perhaps all of these various techniques of organizing my time and my space and my finances are the groundwork I am laying now for a time of more outward participation later. Perhaps I am squirreling away all the (precious precious) solitude I can for now in order to build more energy for less solitudinous times ahead.
For now, approaching the season of reflection and projection…I’ll allow myself more time for reflection. I trust that I’ll know when it’s time to project. So long as I don’t measure my success too much by contentment and instead, at least occasionally, by risk – I feel like I’ll be ok.
In other news –
Things are growing and blooming and progressing and regressing. Three of the baby chicks have started laying. I guess I can’t call them baby chicks anymore. Their first eggs were the most adorable tiny little oblongish ping-pong-ball-sized concoctions you have ever ever seen. I’m very proud of them, and vaguely proud of myself having raised some living things into adulthood. And only two of them died in the process!
Though I am still getting the hang of this gardening thing…some of my beds seem to suffer from attracting too much attention from birds and fallen leaves. My plan is to construct a hoop or even just a square structure over them using pvc pipe and draping bird netting over them.
Other gardens are plagued by snails! I’m so mad about what they did to my beautiful collards OF COURSE before I was able to harvest the first tender leaves. I’m so thankful they grow and grow and grow and all the damage is replaceable. But still! JERKS. I’m probably going to plant more collards out of spite! And I’m being extra vigilant about those fuckers from now on. They do an incredible amount of damage in very little time.
Following are transcriptions of journal entries from this time of year in previous years…
The chill air bit through her jacket with jagged, fanged teeth. Ragged as the breath it pushed out of her lungs. She looked up at the endlessly silver sky. Silver sky. Silver air in her lungs. Silvered edges of this photographic image in her memory lifted from the silvering chemical bath and hung on the line with a hundred other black and white images. She touched them, one by one. In this one, she laughed. In that one, she was lonely. In her favorite photos, the self-portraits anyway, she was a minor character. Off focus, with a sharp image of a tree or a bird or a flower in front of or behind her or the sky. Always either grey or white in these monochromatic prints. With clouds of various contrast floating by.
In New Orleans post-Katrina 2005
Stayed up late talking at various bars & ended up at a place called the Buddha Belly, which was a bar/burger joint/laundry. Men walked in and out eyeing us all hopefully. I smiled at all of them, but was not scouting so could afford to be pleasant. Bars are strange.
At one point, a pair of armed military folks walked in, in full fatigues, guns in front and hugely visible. It freaked me out a bit, but K said she’s thankful for their presence. That the police would be out of control if it was not for these folks.
The military base nearby plays Reveille @5 minutes to 8 in the AM. I think in the PM, too. Perhaps a call to meals.
Rule 17 – DON’T BE A HERO! Especially when urine is involved.
an honest subtraction
This severed – several
Severe and sacral
you are always missing
The sinews of
An agricultrual map
The skipping of stones
breathes solid air
into the traipsing lethargy
Dreamed I was in a tornado in my car. Driving and all of a sudden losing control and car twisting sideways – I look down the street to see it coming. It’s twisting black winding towards me. I know there is nothing I can do and so I wait, half closing my eyes. It picks up my car and I am inside. At first I stand, trying to find a more comfortable/safe position. I see light among the darkness and wonder if I am dead.
I come to and the car is smashed flat but I am somehow alive, unharmed.
This is no illusion. Drag me to the hooks. I spurt songs from parched lips. It was bedraggled now bedazzled to exist in harmony wit this freedom. The trees bend solemnly – never breaking. Their roots are like rainbows – searching. Forever there is this dream of waking up and becoming real. And this is why I don’t want you to resign yourself to this particular reality. They flicker and sputter – put out by soliloquoys of truth, trust, prosperity. This is not a hermitage – a duo-tone dream cast out among these rocks of valience. Drowned out amidst the cries of many. There are some doomed, some damned, many dazed to forgive their plight.
I wonder if he is watching over us. I wish to hear more, but can’t bring myself to ask. Instead, I grasp at pieces of a shattered past I have no placement in. It was easier when there was no past. Less awkward, I suppose – less to explain. A history, I suppose it’s called. Mapped out as plain to read as these neptunian stretch marks on my belly. They look like gills. They look like fish belly but red not white. They are many and it is permanent, I’m told. Rings on a tree. I can count that high still it seems so much has passed between the me I am and the then that was. Recapturing kindling – can’t fan any such flame. Rekindling capture. Away – away. Fair warning.
she is his
culminate this fair
Chagrined – she
undo the doing
A tragedy in
on a tombstone
on a tombstone
Alight a light
And if life is suffering
because better suffer
“Do what you want to whenever you want to.” -Elliott Smith
I scraggled my fingers in the dirt in the approximate location of the elephant garlic today and the cloves are still there. It feels like they are sprouting, but I can’t fully tell & don’t want to disturb them. It gives me hope. I think next month I might dig up the rest of the sweet potatoes and put more lettuces & greens in that bed.
Tao of Bird came home from school today & said “Dad’s giving me $7 for the school dance tonight. He told me to ask you for $7 for food and drinks.
I burst into hysterical tears.
Stupid Hope…what good has it ever done me?
Living it up. In an order – to be controlled. An acronym exists for this. It spells out the name of its private god. Osmosis. Ossify into a hardened grin. Gravitating rotisserie. My brain quantifies and absorption. Calcifies on proportion.