|One of a bajillion signs that my husband takes pictures of while out wandering the world|
Before I say anymore, I want to beware what my husband calls the "I'm having a great time, F*ck you" postcard, wherein a writer/friend waxes poetic about a heaven-on-earth experience they are having, without any real regard for the reader, or any grounding in the fact that they will one day be embarrassed by their exuberance, and remember it only as a drunken moment. I also want to say, however, that drunken moments can be pretty fantastic! And it might be possible to write about delight in pure, un-expositionist ways.
I do believe that this sort of writing inspires others to seek out that which truly delights them. So I am writing to give you a bug. I have turned on the computer this morning to say two things. Let's see if I can keep it to that. I have no faith in this intention but here goes:
1. My brother-in-law is part of an AMAZING idea/event/happening in Madison, WI (the only other town my husband and I talk about moving to on a consistent basis besides the sleepy city of Greensboro, NC, where we would surely grow inches of happy fat around our middles, a true feat for my six-foot-five husband).
I am already talking about other things besides No. 1 & 2. Shoot.
Here's what I am trying to say: My brother-in-law, hereafter known as Trent Miller The Artist, or TMTA, organized this event. It might have even been his idea. And I cannot stop thinking about it. There are, admittedly, a million things that can go wrong with this event taking place all day in an empty library as it transitions for a renovation, but TMTA is embracing the energy of the original idea and running with it. And I wake up every day thinking about this event. Which means two things: I should probably be flying to Madison to attend the event (although I am not, at this time, because I am reconvening with my kirtan friends to cut a few more songs for our cd), and, when we stand in our true power, and embrace the edges of life, and move forward in the face of fear, we are expanding the energy of the universe. One person's soul-expansion is a victory for us all.
2. (I arrived! Hooray.) I read a blog post by Leonie Dawson this morning about giving away all of her books. If you have known me for more than a month, you have probably heard me discuss the volume of books that my husband owns, and my errant desire to call a dump truck to the house one day to cart them all away.
I know, I know. It is not quite a pure desire. I mean, it IS a pure desire. Believe me, I have desperately wanted to do this, to have more breathing room in our house, many times. But it is not quite a pure intention. I am looking for an easy solution, rather than facing the task of sorting favorite books from the extraneous ones that we gleefully, recklessly acquired for 25 cents at library sales over the years.
Anyhoo, I am at my parent's GORGEOUS home this weekend, and looking around at a. the boudoir-like red lamp shades in their living room, b. the proliferation of ceramic bunnies that would blow the mind of even the staunchest teaspoon collector in spinster history, c. the remarkable carved wood furniture all about. And I am seeing it all (finally) with eyes of love.
I have spent a number of years moving about the country, and as such, have not had the ability to take much with me. When Tim and I moved to Colorado from North Carolina after graduate school, we filled half of our traveling trailer with boxes of books. We left behind a great old file cabinet that may or may not be from World War II. We left behind my favorite bookshelf, given to me by a friend who now lives in Portland, OR, whom I hardly speak with because of schedule differences and mileage distance, but who lives in every grain of the shelf's painted red wood, and who speaks to me and hugs me every time I pass it.
I guess what I am trying to say is complicated, and also, I want to wrap it up. So here: there are stories in objects, and I miss populating my home with the objects I love and their stories. I don't care anymore about perfectly clearing out a house. Dust bunnies mate behind the stacks of Tim's books back at home, and I no longer feel rage about this. Instead, I feel cozy. I feel like I am home. Home is sometimes comically abundant, and a little pig-styish right now, especially since the re-wire job that left forgotten bundles of junk mail misplaced, and laundry in foreign corners. I am okay with that.
I recently found a picture of me sorting through books during grad school. I was trying to thin things out. It was the time for that then, as I was swimming through books, ideas, teachings every day. My spirit felt a little soggy, which is one of the reasons we moved to the arid West.
I wish I had that picture to show you right now, but it is on another computer (we have 16, don't you?). I love the photo because a. I am wearing running clothes but haven't yet gone running, b. I am sitting before my favorite red shelf, and c. I am surrounded by books, swimming through them, deciding which ones still speak to me, and what ideas, authors, and visions are meant for someone else.
I used to have a rule about shopping, that whenever I brought something new into the house, I had to give something away. It feels shrewish even typing about that rule now. As a household, I think we're in an accumulation phase. A very modest, thrift-store themed, Fed-Ex-salaried accumulation phase. I know we are in a transition, too.
Running out the door to work recently, I noticed that my closet looks increasingly like my mother's. Not necessarily in its objects, but in its composition. Or rather, its windswept ways. I used to feel some tender horror in the face of all my mother's shoes comingling in a soupy pile at the bottom of her closet. (If you don't hear from me in a week, it is because my mother has killed me for writing publically about her closet.) My closet is starting to look a lot like this: scarves growing one to the next like a stack of tail-eating snakes, heels stuck into snow boots stuck into suitcases stuck into our wine rack, raincoat wedged between wedding outfit, next to my cardigan for work. It's a little chaotic, but more than that, it's fun. When I dress in the morning, it's like opening up a genie's bottle: What the hell can I make happen out of this mess today?
That is all. I leave you to get back to your busy, chaotic, splendid lives. To myself make something of the day. Or not. I might make this for dinner, for my dad. If I do, I will take a picture for you that I won't be able to find later, and I will tell you all about it someday.
With tendeness, with love,