Monday, March 14, 2011
Sometimes She Do Get Weary
Mary is not merry, no not merry at all.
I don't even have the slightest idea why but then, when have I ever?
Chemicals, my children. I think it is all chemicals.
Or perhaps it is death and perhaps it is falling or perhaps it is spring pushing its cheerful shining face at me everywhere I turn or perhaps it is nothing but knowing how far behind in everything I am: garden, yard, house, laundry. Ninety-six unread items in google reader.
Well, I can't even begin to catch up with that.
You know I can't.
I think part of it was hearing about the death of Kathleen's ex-husband, Larry. Hearing how she sat with him, how his breathing got slower and slower and slower and then he simply did not breathe any more and I have been in that seat beside the bed or on that bed with a friend as the breathing ceased and they say that every death brings back every death and so perhaps, it is true.
It is so profound, death.
It is the other side of birth's coin and just as profound. I read recently, somewhere, that death is like a mind-altering drug and it is. Perhaps after one has experienced that particular drug, all it takes is a tiny taste of it to bend the mind back to that time again.
I do not know.
And I think of Kathleen and how much life has throw at her in the last few years and now here she is with this in her heart, this huge amount of grief and every other thing that death brings to the table when you sit down with it and taste it and well...
I can't even say that I wish I could take it away from her.
She is going through what she has to go through and that's all there is to it.
But back to me-hey! Me here!- because I can't really write what's in anyone's heart but my own. And my heart just feels fucked up.
As lovely a time as we had at the island, I came away feeling once again that it is not, perhaps, my place. There is too much leisure time there for me and I do not do well with so much of that. I don't care what anyone says, it is not good for me to be idle for hours and hours on end. And I do not fish and one can only walk so much...
And then the time with my mother this morning and god BLESS her, she tried so hard to be sweet to me and she was and believe me- I was sweet to her but there is a physical thing which happens when I'm in her presence. I can hear doors slamming and windows falling shut and I am not even me. I am not even there.
I would not do this if I had any control over it because it feels awful. It feels every kind of awful.
But now I am home and look- the wisteria is opening, as I said it would
and the crazy roses which the chickens have tended more than I have are blooming from bud
heads so heavy they tip down on their slender stems.
This tiny violet is surrounded by blue-flag iris which may or may not bloom but it reminds me of walls and protection and hidden beauty
so very simple, so very much there, even if no one ever notices, but I have. A small holy thing, enshrined in spires of green.
My chickens are in the front-porch-and-yard part of their stations of the cross and look at the way the sun shines through Elvis' comb as he stands guard:
I have been thinking of the way my neighbor seems to be obsessed with buying more and more chickens and how she must have a hundred by now and yet, she buys more and they die over there sometimes, they drown, they fall prey to things and here I am, with my one rooster and my five hens and how happy I am with them. How completely and utterly content. Nothing makes me happier than seeing them fat and happy and scratching in the dirt or perching in the porch fern as Miss Daffodil just was. A hundred chickens would not make me twenty times happier.
They would make me frantic.
And why am I sitting here, writing out this gibberish, this garbage when there are plants to water and laundry to fold (oh, the never-ending pile of laundry) and floors that need sweeping and guitars that are surely weeping somewhere, somewhere, not for me.
I don't know any more than I know why I allow myself (do I? is that what I do?) to fold in on myself like a paper doll, over played-with and bent permanently at the waist, head down like the fat roses on the slender stems or why it is that I shut myself down like a tortoise when I am with my mother who really does love me.
I don't know.
I should be out pulling bolted arugula and planting those tomatoes and making a row of spinach and cutting up vegetables and making a soup and cleaning out chicken nests and searching out the tender leaves of the tung tree as proof of their soon-to-be pale, delicate flowers. I should be watering plants and rearranging plants and hauling plants and planting, something, creating, something, something.
And here I am, fumbling and tumbling and whirling again with the certain knowledge that tomorrow will be different- another day and one which will be full of time for it all.
I went to see Owen this afternoon and I played with him for awhile and he was so tired that he was goofy and I was goofy with him and he hugged me so tightly. "Ah-yah," he says. And I say, "Ah-yah, ah-yah," back to him like a prayer chant and sometimes you can put on all of your jewelry, the gold, the diamonds, the silver and the platinum; you can put it on your wrists and around your neck and in your ears and you can still not feel beautiful, you can still not feel the riches you know you are bathed in.
And if that's not sin, I don't know what is.
So. Here I am- do you see all of my glittering stones? Do you feel the true-weight of the precious metals of my life? Do you smell the never-bottled perfume of the tea olive mixed with roses? Do you see the ruby jewel of the sun shining through my rooster's comb? Do you know that I know how much I have?
Do you know that I know what death looks like which has given me less to fear? Do you know that I know what birth feels like which has given me more to live for?
Do I? Do I know?
Yes. And with age has come the knowledge that I will feel it again too. Probably not tonight. The doors are stuck and the windows are painted over but a night's sleep can cure those problems. The tiny carpenters of night will repair the damage and I will once again be fully here and grateful, probably so full of it all that I'll almost burst but tonight, well, I'll hang on and it will be all right and it's time to at least water some plants.
It's time to at least give drink to something which is thirsty. And for tonight, that will be enough.