Monday, February 28, 2011

Remember This, Part II


Everything is hurrying, hurrying here around me, even as it is the quietest and most peaceful late afternoon, already five-thirty but the chickens are nowhere near going to bed and two months ago, they'd have been tucked up by now and the sun would be setting.

Spring and I am not ready for it! How absurd to say that. One is always ready for spring but this year, it's coming so fast and early and it only serves to remind me of how fast life itself is spinning itself around me, Jesus, and how fast I am spinning through it, life itself.

Yesterday, Michelle, our Shelby, told me that one of her friends had seen the play and thought I was hot and he asked if I was maybe around forty-five and listen- YOU TOO will reach the age and point where someone thinking you are forty-five will be the grandest compliment you'll get all year, hang on, it's coming darlin's.

Wasn't it just a few days ago when I said that the Japanese Magnolia was sending out its fuzzy buds and here- today- this:

My god. How did that happen? I love that little tree. The people who lived here before me planted it and I wonder if they even remember and here I am, every spring, seeing it bigger and more beautiful and reaping the beauty they sowed.

The Bradford Pears are a cloud of white, they do not fruit a real fruit but their spring blossoms are frothy petticoats, their autumn leaves have an orange and yellow pattern of the Virgin of Guadalupe on them and how can you not love that?

Okay, okay, the Bradford Pears and the Japanese Magnolias are the early bloomers and I comfort myself with the fact that there is more to come and then I find this already happening in the grass everywhere:

The white violets and I've seen a few purple ones, too, and Owen and I ate some of them today and they were good. I promise you they were, but they were not as tasty as the sour flowers which we both sampled as well:

And that boy, that boy. How he is growing and changing and today we were out on the side porch and he took the pillow from the swing and laid it on the ground and patted it and laid his head on it and called me to lay down with my head on it too and we looked up to see the mermaid flying above us, the sky, the leaves, the mighty branches of the oak and he put his arm around my head and hugged me to him and listen- that's enough. That is enough. I can't tell him to stop growing but my heart can't take much more.
If I could share a one-hundredth of the love I have for him with the world, it would be a better place and I am not even kidding you. Call me cliched and call me a grandmother but I don't care. It's the simple, ever-loving truth.

I ask him, "Owen would you like some noodles?" and he says, "Uh-huh," and I make them and he eats about a pound of them with tomato and basil sauce on them and wants moah, moah, moah. "Eat a yogurt," I tell him. "Enough pasta, boy," and he does. With his own spoon, he eats it. I watch him do everything and I can see the way his brain is working and how he works things out in this world we live in. I see that he can hold two eggs in one hand and I hear how he says, "Niiice" when we find them in the nest. There was another tiny snake in there today, another oak snake, and when I took it out on its bed of hay with the pitchfork and showed it to the boy, he wanted to touch it and how do I teach him that snakes are not always bad or to be feared but that some are and so we must be wary?
Ah-lah.

When we bought this house seven years ago, I had no idea that I was buying the grandmother house. I was still in my forties. Barely but still, and had no idea that a grandchild would be coming so soon. I must have had innate wisdom in my belly. I must have had knowledge in my bones. He loves the chickens more than life itself and he is their master:

When he is told in school that chickens are really dinosaurs, he will know it already.


And he will know the ways of the lizard on the walls and he will NOT be afraid of snakes.


The lizards are everywhere and that is another sign of spring. They will be puffing their throats out, ruby-colored, and doing push-ups to attract mates and when we let the chickens out in the morning, Elvis tries to top every hen and I say to Owen, "Look, Elvis is dancing," and he is, he truly is.

It's all happening too fast. I feel like I am a hundred, no, two hundred, no, ten million years old today. My feet hurt, my knees hurt, my back is a knotted rope of muscle and wire from the walking, the bending, the digging, the lifting, the carrying, the caring, the worrying, the pulling and tugging of life towards me, always, and oh yes, sometimes, the pushing of it away- when it is too much- but never if that involves love. No. Never.
Not any more. Not like I used to, out of fear. Out of habit.

But the dogwoods- they haven't started blooming. I consoled myself with that today. We have THAT to look forward to, a moment to take it all in before that glory announces itself and then, with the camera in my hand, I looked up to see this:


No way.
But yes.

And the wisteria- every hour more buds appear-

and no, I am not exaggerating. Every hour.

My heart cannot hold all of this. It simply cannot. Too fast. Too soon.

At least the trillium blooms slowly

and you know what? Twenty years ago I would not even have noticed. I swear. I wouldn't have. And now, it mesmerizes me.

All day the doves have been cooing. Are they love coos? I don't know but Owen imitated them perfectly. Tone and note. He has it. He came and got me to tell me there was a bird in Bop's bathroom and there was. A wren, looking for a nesting place. We opened the door to the outside and let it fly out as it would. But do you see what I am saying? The boy, seventeen months old, could tell me that there was a bird in Bop's bathroom.

Too fast, too fast, too fast.

But the tung tree- it is still bare. It's delicate peach-colored blossoms have not yet begun to show at all and the azaleas are holding their buds tightly to their chests and so, okay, there is still so much to look forward to but I know, I know how quickly these perfect days of sky and blossom and growth and temperatures will pass on into summer with its baking heat when we imprison ourselves in our air-conditioned spaces.

Shhh, shhh, shhh.

Stop it. I need to be mindful and I am. I am capturing it as it all is right this second and that is all I need to do. To be mindful of it all, from Owen's arms around me to the sweet flower of the tea olive, to my husband's smooth skin, his walk, his smile, his heart. This is it. This is my life, even if I feel so old, even if I know how fast it all goes and how fast we go with it.

Even as I knew to buy this house for grandchildren yet to be even dreamed of, even as I knew to fall in love with this man I love so much, even as I knew through the darkest hours to hang on, I know that this is true- there is no stopping time. And whether I am ready for whatever comes, whether spring or joy or sorrow, it will all come in its time.

And I hold on and I keep my eyes wide open and I hold it all close to me as I lay on a pillow with that boy beside me, his arm hugging my head close, our eyes on the sky above. I am trying not to miss a thing, either through blindness or inattention and Owen is my guru in this, my teacher, my sensei, my guide as he slows me down to look at the dirt, to look up at the sky, to pause in wonder at the smallest flower, the biggest tree, the widest sky, the incomprehensible possibility of love.

Naps Are Nice

Mr. Owen has been here since six this morning and we've already fed chickens and patted goats and read books and had smoothie and oatmeal and traveled the yard and run the porches and now he's laying down for a nap.
I had to call Lily at work to verify a new thing Owen is saying which I thought was "nice" but wasn't sure. She said that yep, that's what he's saying. He says it all stretched out, "Niiiice," which is funny because he says it about everything he likes. Lily says he learned it from her because when he hits, she takes his hand and strokes her face with it and says it. "Niiiice."
Oatmeal is nice and so is feeding chickens. So sayeth Owen.
And he's right.
And Lily is an awesome mama.

Well. Monday morning. A week ahead where I don't have but one rehearsal and then we get to perform three times more, twice on Saturday! and make 'em laugh and make 'em cry and I think I need to call the woman who dyed my hair to get a bit more red put in. My mother is right- it's more brown now than it is red and hell, if I'm gonna be a redhead, I want to be a REDHEAD!
Funny that I can make an appointment to get my hair done but calling the dentist for a cleaning just seems impossible.

Harumph.

I'm going to take a picture of the flowering trees but the sky is gray today and rain is starting to patter down so not yet. I want it to look GLORIOUS when I take that picture. Right now it would look sort of black-and-white-and-gray and that's not what spring is about. Okay, sometimes it is but around here if you just wait a few hours, it will change into something else.
And we need the rain.
My peas are coming up and Mr. Moon told me this morning that I should plant the potatoes.
Haha! I said and we both laughed because Owen was in my arms and demanding more nice things and planting the potatoes is not going to happen THIS morning.
Maybe later.

After Grandmother has a lie-down too. I hope Owen sleeps for awhile. Bless his little heart.
Yes. A nap sounds niiiiice.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Color Of Biscuits

If you smash up two purple potatoes and add them to the flour/salt/sugar/crisco/baking powder/baking soda/cheese/buttermilk.

Oh yum.

Ain't Nothing Wrong With That

Ah yah and we had the biggest matinee audience in recent history for the Opera House and the audience was ready to laugh. Oh, they were wonderful.
It was a very, very good time.

It's so funny. When I'm in a production that plays in February and March, we start out rehearsals in November with the sun going down at five thirty and the Opera House cold as a tomb and then we end up for the performances backstage going, "God. It is so HOT!" and we sweat through our costumes and those of us who have hot flashes suffer like beasts. I stand there in the wings, waiting to go on and I get the thirst for water and I think, "Ah, shit. I'm about to have another hot flash," and then the stage manager says "Take your places" and there I am, onstage, sweat dripping off my face and I'm saying lines like, "It's too cold for this time of year. I'm going to write a letter."

FAKE BELIEVE!

In this production, we have three new actors who have never been in any of our plays and I just adore and respect all of them but everything I learn about this one girl makes me fall in love more. So tonight after the play I kidnapped her and brought her here to the house and we had martinis with Judy and Kathleen and we showed her the chickens and the house and the goats next door and then her boyfriend showed up to take her home and he's just spent the weekend at a fishing tournament and well, she's one of us.
Isn't it funny how we know kin when we meet them?

So. Here I am, everyone gone home and Mr. Moon still out hunting and he'll be home soon and I have nothing for his supper which is not like me at all.

But Lord. I am tired. And Owen is coming at six a.m. and I can't wait because I miss him so. I might get to cuddle in the bed with him at some point and I know we'll feed chickens and goats and I'll show him the Japanese Magnolia blossoms and that'll be lovely.

Okay. I think the Oscars are on but I'm not sure.

Supper.

I'm thinking biscuits.

What a great Sunday.
I hope you had one too.

Love...Ms. Moon

Thing I Said Last Night That Upon Reflection, Maybe I Shouldn't Have

So after the performance, some of us were sitting around a table downstairs, having our free beverage and I'd drunk an entire half of a beer and some of the believers in our midst were talking about how God must have a sense of humor because we are made in His image and we have a sense of humor and so forth and so on and out of nowhere I said, "Aw, look at y'all being so cute about your perfect imaginary friend."

There was a silent, pregnant pause and everyone scooted a little further away from me at the table and cast their eyes upwards, waiting for the lightening to strike me.

But it didn't and everyone laughed and that is why I love the people at the Opera House.

Postcard From A Sunday

Good morning, good morning, good morning.
La, I'm tired. We got home at midnight last night and I say "we" because Mr. Moon tended bar at the Opera House for the show and let me just say that last night's audience did not drink NEARLY enough and they were a cruel audience, not getting warmed up until the second act and by then I'd lost all focus and was rewriting the play at will, trying to incorporate cue lines for the others in my rambling rewrites and frankly, I was as shocked as the rest of the cast.
It was a strange evening, indeed it was but here I am about to go back down there to set the tables for today's matinee luncheon and then do my hair and make-up there because there's no reason to drive back home and then get back in the car and turn around and drive back for the show.

Again I ask- how do professionals do this?

I suppose they don't set tables before the shows. Maybe.

But it's gray today although the Japanese Magnolia is opening up and there will be pictures soon because the blossoms are the most insane color of purple you'd ever want to see.
Kathleen is back in town and came and did lights last night and talk about tired- her ex-husband is still alive, but not doing well and she spent four days by his side and I don't care how a marriage ends, you don't spend a quarter of a century with someone and not have his end-time hit you hard. Bless her heart. She'll be back at the Opera House to help set tables too, and to pour mimosas as well. Gotta get that audience happy!

After the show, she and Judy and Denise are coming over here and damn, WE ARE GOING TO HAVE A MARTINI! and toast the weekend's work. One more weekend and Steel Magnolias will fold its tent and beauty shop, and the dust of our skin will be left behind to rise up from the cracks between the boards when people take pictures and they will look like the "orbs" that ghost trackers use as proof of hauntings and so yes, we shall always be there, Annelle and M'Lynn and Shelby and Claree and Ouiser and Truvy, just like all the characters who have ever become themselves there.

So good morning. Here I am. Where are you? I hope all is well. I hope the day stretches before you with endless possibility, even if that is just the possibility of doing the crossword, of having a nap, of being content with a Sunday.

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Old Cracker Girl


I am wary of it truly being spring. I do not trust there to be no more frost until the pecans begin to leaf and they are far from that.
But...
I was compelled today to take a few of the porch plants back out and to pull to the front those I had huddled near the porch wall so that I could cover them during freezing weather.
It made me so happy, putting things to rights and trimming off winter's dead. Everything looks a bit sparse and weary but I know what will happen soon. There will be new growth, there will be regrowth. There will be green.
I watered everything and it just felt right.

The chickens who are curious creatures, decided to come and check out the rearranging and watering I was doing and for some reason, there is absolutely nothing to me as charming as a chicken on the front porch. My friend-from-childhood calls me an old Cracker Girl.
He seems amazed at this, and frankly, so am I.

And yet, here I am.

Completely and entirely happy to have my plants back on my porch and to see the chickens exploring there, their wet little tracks on the porch boards in the warm spring air.

I Tell Myself- Remember This



This is what I wrote yesterday:

we go on, knowing full well that some things can be transcended into new creation and some things simply cannot.

Guess what? I believe I was wrong. And let me be the first to admit it.

Last night I got to the Opera House and I was agitated, nervous. I felt as if I'd never done that play before. I knew I knew my lines but I kept looking at my script, fully and truly afraid I was going to read a part in it of which I had no memory. That I would be onstage and be completely at a loss for words. That everyone in the cast would stand staring at me, waiting for me to give my line and I would really have no idea even as to what act we were doing.

But of course the lines in my script were as familiar to me as anything could be. I know those lines. And yet- that nervousness. I also had a feeling of what-the-fuck? Who cares? It's just a play. I'd had an emotional week, I was close to tears. I saw my mother yesterday, completely by accident when I went out to lunch with Hank and Lily and Owen and she didn't recognize me at first and when she did and I said, "Well, my hair is red now," she said, "No it's not. It's brown."
I felt, as I always do with my mother, that I am fourteen years old again, and every time I rub up against her I come away raw in some way and so I must put my hands out to brace myself against the rub.

Not her fault. My own, I know it.

But still. There it is and I felt raw last night as I waited backstage for the stage manager to tell us to take our places and I did stumble over my first few lines- ironically, the ones I know best- but somehow that gave me courage. I could stumble and not fall. I could stumble and make it something better. And suddenly, I fell into Truvy with a BANG.

I did a new bit in the first few minutes. I adjusted my breasts in my bra when I said, "There is no such thing as natural beauty," and the audience got it, laughed, and away we went, me the laugh-whore and I watched everyone around me put more and more into it and when it was all over, we were happier taking our bows than we've ever been, I think. We'd all pushed ourselves past safety and landed on our feet.
When M'Lynn broke down during her speech about her daughter's death we all cried, and then, when the moment of tension-breaking came, we laughed, we reacted truly and genuinely and there was no force, there was only fine flight into characters.

I felt as if we had done a good job and the audience gave us everything we needed as we gave them everything we had. After the performance, so many people said, "You all looked like you were having so much fun."
It was that obvious.
They laughed hard and I swear, I heard someone sobbing during the emotional part. Sobbing out loud.

Ah-yah.

And so I did take what I had thought could not be transcended into new creation and I did exactly that. It was not exactly smooth as silk, perhaps more like nobby silk, the woven kind that gives you a tiny bit of crunch between your fingers as you feel of it. And the two hours passed like a quick dream and I felt that magic and it was so good.

The feeling of satisfaction and subtle amazement is still with me this morning. I am grateful. It rained yesterday and spring progresses. The redbud is redder, the Bradford Pears are more fully bloomed, I can feel the bamboo getting ready to raise it's pointed head in the yard and I can't wait to show Owen how to kick it over. He can say "bamboo" now and also, the sour flowers are starting to bloom- another flower he can eat just as my own children did- winter is being transcended into the new creation of spring and I sit back and am amazed at all of it and especially that my own children can rub up against me and we take nothing away from each other, don't leave each other raw in any way, but come away feeling smoothed like a satisfied cat, and there is another transcendence and I look at the way my grandson feels so comfortable in his own skin and the way he holds his mother and she holds him, like a mother bear and her cub, completely relaxed and at loving ease and he says, "Mama," and I feel as if I have not only transcended something but created alchemy in this world.


Friday, February 25, 2011

Fact Of The Matter

When I'm onstage without my glasses (always) I am completely and totally blind.
I grope around for props, I look at and speak to large, moving blogs of humanoid figures.
You know, that's really probably not the best way to act and it's no wonder I trip all the damn time.

Well, it's all fake-believe and when I'm onstage, the other actors may as well be too.

I think it's somehow comforting. And god knows, I can't see the audience and I KNOW that's comforting, not that I'd look at them if I could but still...

So that's it from me right now. I'm about to fly over to Monticello, trudge up those old steps and keep repeating Colin's mantra, "Can you believe we get to do this AGAIN?!"

Love...Ms. Moon

P.S. Can you believe I know how to roll hair? I don't think I'd done it since high school but apparently it's a skill like bike-riding. One never forgets.

A Friday



Warmer every day and the Bradford pears are popping white blossoms. Another winter we did not cut down any of those trees which block the sun but which I secretly like quite a bit.
I am wearing shorts and a tank top.
I am not kidding you.

A hawk is screaming across the sky and now there are two. I wonder if they are fighting for dominance over the space above my yard. I do not speak Hawk but the birds and chickens do. They look warily up and are quiet.


Time to put on my shoes and walk about my little village. I pass a place where I thought they were tearing down an old church, built in the 1800's but then I saw they were replacing old wood with new and I stopped and talked to a guy on the site and they are making a house of it and that warms my heart. New windows and doors, and yet, the solid old structure, built of the same heart pine as this house.
A thing which gives me hope, for some reason.
And on the window of the falling-in corner store which Mr. Lawrence closed the doors on a while back there is a small sign. "For Sale. $60,000 or best offer."
When I lived in Lloyd thirty years ago there were two stores at that corner, one across the street from the other. One has burned down long ago and this one vacant, ugly, truly, cement block and bars on the windows.
I wonder what will happen.
We need a core of the village. A place where a watchful eye is kept, where information is passed, where a can of soup or a coke can be bought.
The truck stop down the way cannot serve that purpose, nor does it.

Well. I must get moving. The walk and then to town and then back again to go over lines and paint my nails and roll my hair and get ready for tonight when we do Steel Magnolias again. We have done three performances, we have six left to go.
I looked at that little tribute clip to Colin twice last night and I saw the joy on his face and on all of our faces. A year ago.
I know that I should use Colin's joy to fill my own heart with the incredible gift of being able to play up there on that stage but his loss is still too fresh and it serves more as a barrier I must break through and I am sorry for that and Colin would hate it and he'd say, "Pull yourself together, woman!"
I can hear him say it.
But I can't feel his hand in mine when we take our bows and that's the loss of death.
Can't pretty that up any more than you can pretty up a cement block, falling-down building with bars on the window and I can hear the hawk crying across the sky and yet, we go on, knowing full well that some things can be transcended into new creation and some things simply cannot.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

P.S.

Please. If you have like TWO seconds, just click on the links and let me know if they'll play. That's all I ask. Whether or not you actually watch them is up to you. And if you only have time for one, watch the Colin one.
I mean it!

Technology Has Bitten My Ass

All right. Forget the movie of Owen. It ain't happenin'. I am actually going to meet with FC Rabbath tomorrow to try and get educated. If he can't teach me, I need to be put down like the old dog I am.

In the meantime, Fred fixed the link for the tribute to Colin and the Steel Magnolias clip.
They are here:

https://docs.google.com/leaf?id=0B6v9jj1YEnWXMzVkOWFjZjctZWRmNC00MzBlLWE2OWEtNzA0MDY3MDExMjBj&hl=en&authkey=CLvQ0IcH

for Colin and here:

https://docs.google.com/leaf?id=0B6v9jj1YEnWXNGMxYTZmNTktODg4YS00MjRlLTlhZDEtMDNlMmEyNjQ1ODBm&hl=en&authkey=CIyhn6kB

for the clip.

And if they don't work, I give the hell up.

I'm going to bed.

Love...Ms. Moon
video

Ah. What a day. As my friend Sue used to say, "I have the saddies."
Well, when Owen was here, it was wonderful. The depth of emotions I was feeling was powerful and every time I picked him up I kissed him and I sang songs to him and I asked him, "Who loves Owen?" and I went through everyone who loves him, from Mama and Daddy to his other grandmother and great grandmothers and uncles and aunts and his Bop-Bop and Mer-Mer.
He smiled.
God, this boy is loved.

I thought I had posted a clip from Steel Magnolias and a small tribute film to Colin that our dear Marcy's husband, Fred, had made and sent to me but dammit, no, they wouldn't work because of privacy restrictions and this internet thing is complicated for us old fuckers who came of age when transistor radios were the hottest new technology going.

You can laugh at us if you want but let me tell you something- we were born before computers were invented and we remember when it took a block's worth of computers to send a man into space and telephones were heavy black objects that had DIALS and if you were rich, you had two. And if you were not, you had a damn party line.
We're doing the best we can here, us old people, to keep up with technology and it's a miracle if we get anything online.

So. Here I am, hopefully downloading one of my crappy home-made movies on a small machine that could take the place of that block's worth of computers that sent the first man into space. I am not exaggerating, either.

Owen and I made bread together today and we fed chickens, of course, and we swept together.
Brooms are the sort of technology I understand. A handle, a gathered group of bristles.
I also like shovels and mixers and my stove which is gas so I can actually see a flame under my pot.
And diaper pins and my washing machine and my Sony Walkman.
And right now, Mr. Moon is changing the oil in my car and I still have the saddies but tomorrow- well, another day.
And maybe the saddies are nothing but deep, deep emotion and if so, that's okay.

And I will get those clips posted somehow because I am a selfish, selfish woman and I want a tribute to Colin Rolfe on my blog. And oh yeah, a small clip from Steel Magnolias would be nice.

Can I get a witness?
Amen.

Could I get tech support?
That would be nice.

And since I'm asking- a new novel by Larry McMurtry? One of the good ones? With no incest or mean, drankin' daddies?

Thanks.

Conundrums/Sleeping/Waking








Surrounded by all of this and yet, anxiety is ripping me from stem to stern.
Owen is coming today and yet, I cannot find my housewife heart.

I hate brain chemicals. Or at least the ones I have.

I couldn't get to sleep last night and read for a long time. I am reading a book of fiction, trying to love it. I checked it out of the library on the recommendation of Pat Conroy who spoke of the author, Janis Owens, on NPR and she writes of where I live. For all I know, she may be my neighbor.

Oh, the good ol' Southern stories of religion and incest and drankin' and daddies, and mamas too shamed to protect their babies and violence and men growing up to be hard because they had to and girls growing up to be married and pregnant because that's the way it was and the tender arms of a man holding you tight beside a river offered some sort of peace that seemed like the hand of god when God seemed deaf.

Yeah.

And then I did sleep and dreamed of things that turned the key to let the anxiety out again, to flow like a burst-through drainage ditch of sludge and woke up like this, like this.
Like this.
No wonder I don't like fiction anymore.
I'd rather read about Keith Richards and dope and five-string tunings and the mysterious magic of song-writing and waking up in the bed of a woman/girl and her mama at the door saying, "Y'all want breakfast?"
and that's another sort of Southern story but removed away from me and my life by six degrees, no threat there.

And why the hell has the train STOPPED on its track right behind my house?
Well. Probably to take in the glory of this yard. Oh sure. Right.

Anyway, here's the glory and I'm going to put on my shoes and try to walk off this thrumming of panic, this train stuck on my own track, try to get the wheels greased again, try to find the switch to close the floodgates. None of that shit is real and I know it. But I wonder, I have to wonder- how much true love/steadfastness/spring flowers/sweet hens/proud rooster/sweet grandson/sprouting garden/walking does it take for the goddam wounds that happened in childhood to heal over for good?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Some Faces Of Joy





Look- I have made so many mistakes as a mother. I still do, no doubt. But somehow, it's sort of okay. My kids are wonderful and great and they tolerate me. They tell me things and I tell them things and we laugh and so far, I have not killed them with embarrassment yet, although it could still happen. When someone let me take a left through traffic today, instead of giving them the "thank-you" wave I blew kisses and Jessie just about died.
"Hey," I said, "I'm old and I just don't give a shit any more."

But of course I do. I very much give a shit. And what I mostly give a shit about is living this one life I have in the most joyful way I can.

As I have always said, my children are my greatest teachers.

Amen.

Got Spring?


We do.

That fat fellow is one of the many, many robins in my yard this morning along with the blackbirds which are still here and the cardinals, ditto, and the woodpeckers of all sorts and sizes and doves and wrens and sparrows and finches and right now, at the feeder, there are enough of the blackbirds to bake into a pie and set before the king.

I have planted my peas, a long fence-row of them, and this year, my boy is old enough so that when they grow and make their pods, he'll be able to pick and eat them, right there in the garden, right beside the pansies which he picks and pops into his mouth and eats with relish, not dill, not sweet, but just plain old relish and delight. He gave one out of his hand to Elvis the other day, a yellow one. I think Owen likes the yellow pansies best. He really must like the way they taste because otherwise, he would not eat them. Believe me.

I have already talked to Kathleen this morning. She's at work and will be heading off south this afternoon to say good-bye to her ex-husband who is in a hospice, doing the hard work of dying. Yesterday he was unresponsive all day but has opened his eyes today. Who knows? He may look at Kathleen and ask her if she brought him any fried chicken and live for months but maybe not. And her heart- that woman's heart. She is going down there for him. To give him some peace so that his journey on can go smoothly.

Kathleen is sometimes worried about how she will die. She wants to do it "right" and well. I keep telling her that we die the way we live and so she will do it beautifully because she does everything beautifully and full-hearted.

I hope I will too.
I do.

I don't think there is any one right way to die any more than there is any one right way to live.
We would all like to go quickly and gracefully and with dignity but as with childbirth, and with life itself, we cannot always plan how it will all go. And life, as we all know, can be messy and complicated and there are those of us who would, if we could, get up off our deathbeds and tidy up and straighten the sheets and give the flowers in the room fresh water and make tea for those who are with us and then lay back down and go like an angel, the tea in our loved ones' cups still steaming and sweet with honey, a smile on our faces and then, we'd open our eyes and hand out freshly laundered handkerchiefs and then finally, really go.

Ah yah.

I did not set out to write about death this morning and I'm not depressed at all, or even anxious so much, just contemplative. I wonder what it is about death that we're so damn worried about. Okay, I give you the fact that there may be pain but morphine has been invented and can be used so that's not such a worry. No, it's more the Big Questions of where do we go, and really, will this universe sill carry on without us? How can that be?

Who knows? Not me.

And it is comforting to me to think that I will not care after I die. I'll be dead. Well, that's me. Selfish to the end.

I remember when my friend Sue died and at the wake an old friend of hers said, "She ain't paying rent no more," and that cracked open my consciousness a little bit and comforted me a great deal. Death does have its advantages.

But I am not dead nor dying either one any more than all of us are, but here on this beautiful day with my peas in the ground and a pot of pinto beans already brought to the boil and turned off for later cooking and surrounded on all sides by life of every kind and I have things to do and a walk to take through the woods and then to town and maybe I'll see that boy of my daughter's, that boy who has my heart, who is my payment towards immortality.

The trillium is coming up under the big mama oak out front so bursting with variegated life that it takes my breath,

coming up out of old dirt and last year's leaves, and there is sprouting everywhere.
Some of the sprouting you must look down to see and some you must look up to see but here it is, there is no shortage of it, it has not become gaudy and in your face yet, it is still subtle but if you have the eye to see it and the desire, you will find it.

The dog stretches and does yoga


the chickens scratch in contentment in the yard, all but Shalayla who is on the nest giving me her egg for the day and the hush, hush, hush...

Can you hear it?

Notes pour forth from a bird's small throat and I can hear the wings of the cardinals as they fly in to the feeder and then away, that indescribable sound of thrupping.

It is a very good day to be alive and it wouldn't be a bad day to die, either and I think of all the people whom I do not know who are lying in childbed, giving birth with great effort and joy, I think of those who lie on deathbed, slipping away from us and I am overwhelmed at all I do not know, what I cannot see, but I can feel some of it.

Here I am. There you are.

And as if he could read my mind, the rooster next door crows to remind me that he, too, is here, right here and then Elvis chimes in too, he is here too, watchful over his sister-wives, ever vigilant, and soon the peas will announce their arrival with their dirt-birth of new green and yes, we have spring and it is so good.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I Have Been Lazy Today

Some days I wonder why it is that all it takes is one day, one day of being not-particularly productive to knock me back to feelings of inadequacy, of anxiousness, of a bit of darkness.

I wonder- could this be another evolutionary trick of the genes to wring every drop of work out of us that can be wrung before we die in order to keep the species going with all grandchildren taken care of, all toilets clean, all laundry done, all spring rows planted?

Or am I reaching for straws and am actually inadequate or, worse- just slightly mad?

I do not know.

Bikini Bodies And Alien Governors



So okay, I admit. I check out the Entertainment portion of the Huffington Post daily.
I do.
I go to the home page first and go down the list of all the articles and basically don't read a one of them. Because I suck at world events. Plus, so many of those people in the articles are ugly. Like- ugly-because-they-suck-ugly. Republicans are criticizing Michelle Obama because she wants more mothers to breastfeed? I swear to god, if the Obamas came out in favor of washing your hands after wiping your ass, the Republicans would get in an uproar about it for some reason.
"You can't push your socialist Muslim beliefs on hygiene on THIS country!"

Another reason I don't read all the news is because it's depressing and I can't do a damn thing about it. I can't do anything about Egypt or Libya or the earthquake in New Zealand. But you know, I like to stay...vaguely informed. So I read the headlines. And then I click over to the entertainment section.

But I'm going to have to stop that. First off, I have no idea who most of the people are there. I realize now that at this point in my life, I am two generations away from Those Who Rule The Entertainment world. I get those actors confused all the time. I look at the "men" and if I swooned over them it would be some sort of punishable crime in most states. I'm old enough to be their mother's really old sister! (Or grandmother. Let's face it.)
And the Kardashians. You know what? Every other article is about some Kardashian and I know that I could spend ten minutes on Google and find out just who and what these Kardashians are but I just don't care. They seem to like to show their breasts. That's all I know about them. They must not be on Bravo.

Also, the Entertainment section seems to be obsessed with "Bikini Bodies." Some actress is always showing off her "bikini body" by wearing a bikini and frolicking in the water in some distant version of seaside paradise. None of them has an ounce of body fat. In fact, they have NEGATIVE body fat in that I can look at those pictures and can see their bodies eating away at their muscle that very second because they are starving and if there are no calories coming in and no stored fat, the body will eat itself. Some of them do have large breasts but for some reason, I suspect that they are purchased breasts because as a nurse and a woman I know that big breasts are mostly fat and there is no way on this earth that a woman who can't keep a bikini bottom up on her tiny-teeny nonexistent hips has miraculously managed to keep enough fat in her bosom region to fill out the bikini top. No. Not to fill it up, to overflow it and spread it across her chest in such a way as to make one think of entire universes of golden, globular globes.
Something ain't right there.

But whatever. It's my stupid fault for even going to those sites. Padma's Amazing Post-Baby-Bikini-Body.
Okay, look. Padma is a goddess.
Gwyneth's Bikini Body.
Gwyneth is a nut-job who exercises twenty-three hours a day and does regular "cleansing diets."
Demi's Amazing Bikini Body.
Whatever.

So last night I did spend an inordinate amount of time looking at pictures of Nicole Kidman. She swears she hasn't had "work" done but come on people- you can't change noses by thought process alone. And honey- eat a biscuit. With some ham in it. Please. She used to be so gorgeous, that woman. Now she looks like she should be in hospice care. Even her hair, which was so springy and full of life and amazing is thin and sad-looking. Her hair is too thin, people!

Well, obviously I don't really have shit to say today. I just thought I'd do a public service announcement here and point out the fact that we, as a culture, are far too obsessed with thinness but this is hardly earth-shaking news.

I'd also like to give you my favorite part of what I read today in our local paper, The Tallahassee Democrat. Our Alien Bizillionaire Criminal Governor

Do you see how the act of trying to smile is breaking his alien-face?

was touring the headquarters of the Department of Correction and had just given one of his "pep talks" and had opened the floor for questions. Here. I'll just quote the article:

The crowd burst into applause when veteran accounting supervisor Delphine Hill politely but firmly pointed out that state workers have not had a raise in six years and are now being threatened with increased health care costs and reduced benefits. "You said to hold you accountable," Hill said. "What have you required of the wealthiest Floridians to contribute to the state deficit?"
Scott has proposed slashing the state budget by $5 billion, trimming the state work force by 5% and showering corporations with $1.7 billion in tax breaks. The cuts would cost the DOC $82 million and nearly 1,700 positions, if the Legislature goes along with the spending recommendation this spring.
Scott was briefly flummoxed, but quickly regained his poise.
If state government is leaner and more efficient, entrepreneurs will come to Florida and create jobs, Scott said.

Hill said after the encounter that she wasn't satisfied with the Scott's response.
"I didn't hear an answer to my question," she said.

No, Delphine, you did not because he did not answer your question. He opened his mouth and bullshit fell out of it. Bullshit that makes no sense whatsoever and isn't even logical. The richest politicians have been trying to convince us of the "trickle-down" theory since Reagan was in office and it should rightly be called the "pissing-down" theory and it doesn't work.

Okay, okay.

I'm out of here. I've done my job. I've discussed politics, celebrity starvation and plastic surgery, and admitted my time-wasting ways.

I will point out that sometimes on the Entertainment page of the Huffington Post there is a picture of Johnny Depp which makes all that Kardashian shit worthwhile.

I must now go for a walk because I DO have more than an ounce of fat on me and instead of a bikini body I have an overalls body. Which is not a category on the Huffington Post. But then again, they don't talk much about chickens or grandchildren there either. Bless their hearts.

Bless yours too.

Love and kisses from Lloyd...Ms. Moon

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Best Days Of My Life

Owen rockin' the summer look of cloth diaper and monkey sandals while sharing Cheerios in a cup with Pearl.


Man this day. The mist cleared and took off, and the sweet breeze that shooed it on up the road has lingered and is finding its way into my kitchen to tongue the windchimes and make the newspaper fly off the center island.

The blackbirds are intense. They sing, they sing, they sing. They call and respond and they are rusty and cheerful and melodic and simply fine and their voices have been heard in the land for days. When they disappear, which they will, I think the absence of their voices will be immense.

I had the best day with Owen. Don't I always? I had one of those moments of perfect happiness as we walked out to the chicken coop this morning together. Just the sight of him on those sturdy legs making his way to give the chickens their corn, made my heart jump into my throat and then the chickens paraded out and we fed them and then found an egg and we brought it in and he put it in a bowl and there was nothing not perfect about that.

His Bop came home for lunch and we all sat at the table like civilized humans and Owen only wanted the quail and not the delicious salad or the cabbage and purple potatoes I'd made him but he'd already had an apple and a Clementine and it all balances out eventually with kids. It's so funny how his grandfather tries to teach him manners while I just laugh at whatever he does. "Now Owen, sit down and eat your lunch," says Bop while Grandmother says, "You done? Okay." And then I take him out of the high chair and let him go sit at a big person seat the way he wants to and when he begs for more quail, I give it to him.
And so does his Bop, to tell you the truth.

Damn, this baby boy's presence in our life is a gift I never considered we'd have. I don't know why, I just never really thought about it. And let me tell you something- when you fall in love with a guy when you're young and sparkly-eyed and purple-rich-wombed, you usually don't stop to wonder what sort of a grandfather he'll make but finding out, eventually, that he's a great and loving one is like finding a diamond in your pocket.
Another stage of love. One I've never heard discussed much.
So let me be the one...

Ah, this weather. Man, this day.
I bought seeds at the store but hell if I have the energy to get up off my ass and down on my knees to plant them. I think I have Malaise de Spring and yes, I just made that up. I'm drinking a cup of afternoon espresso because it's too late for a nap and too early to go to bed. It's weather like this which reminds me that I'd love to screen in my little side-porch and put a bed out there. Why haven't we done that? What would be better than sleeping outside-ish on these days of perfect temperatures? Who needs more than two walls on days and nights like this for a bedroom?
Well, I suppose we'd wake up in the mornings drenched with dew but I doubt we'd mildew.
I wonder if I would keep having these house dreams if I slept on the porch. The house in my dream last night was so big it looked like a movie set. I kept finding room after room filled with STUFF and I finally just sat on the stairs which Marilyn Monroe could have glided down and put my hands in my head in despair at it all.

Oh well. At least they're interesting dreams. And no one comes to harm. Clutter is hardly life-threatening until it becomes hoarding and it's not THAT bad. So I'm not complaining.

Ah-yah. These may be the best days of my life. Maybe those rooms are the riches of it- this life of mine- and I don't know what to do with all of them.
Overblessed. Overfuckingblessed.
Chickens in the collard greens, grandson giving hugs.
Husband in his huge garage, fixing this or doing that and a kitchen full of food and a garden full of greens and fresh, weeded dirt to plant in if I could just get...off...my...ass.

So anyway, here I am, type-type-typing what I'm feeling out to the world, saying that for this second on this day in this place, there is a sort of perfection and a realization that yes, when I am on my deathbed, it will be days like this that I will remember and be sorrowful not to have again, but so joyful that I had them at all that no promise of heaven could begin to measure up.

Camellias In The Mist





The fog is so thick this morning that it is running off the leaves and roof and dripping on the ground. The cloud settles around me and my skin drinks it in, its winter's thirst slaked.

The mist makes the familiar mysterious.

And now Owen is here and it's time to eat oatmeal and get dressed and feed chickens and answer every question in the world.

And then get changed into real clothes and go feed the chickens.

Lagniappe:

Frying quail from last night.

Good morning, y'all. Good morning.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Wall

I've hit it.
The past three weeks, weeding in the sun all day, martinis, walk-around, quail.
Done.
Double done.
Owen is coming at eight tomorrow morning.
Bed. Oh yes, lord, bed.
Now.
Sleep tight.

How Do The Simple Folk Live?





Well, if there's anything more pleasant than weeding your garden on a warm day in February while your chickens scratch around you, helping you with your project and taking delicate bites off the collards as you work, I don't really know what it is.
Mr. Moon and I worked together, both of us listening to our various books on listening devices but chatting now and then, here and there, as we worked towards each other to meet in the middle for one nice, cleared place for the potatoes to go, perhaps. Mr. Moon and I have different gardening theories and as far as I can tell, despite years and years of doing this, neither one of us really has a flick on the right way to do anything.
If he had his way, he'd get in that garden with the tiller and just turn it all under but to my mind, if you just leave all the weeds in before you till, you're not doing a damn thing but spreading them. Of course, no matter how much I weed, the weeds come back so what the hell?
But I think that mostly I just love to weed.
Anyway, there we were and the chickens came in and started their scratching and nibbling beside us and we agreed that it was amazing how natural it feels to share our world here with the chickens. That we never knew how much we'd love them.
"'Bout time for us to be finding snakes in the hen house," I said, and then sure enough, not an hour later we checked for eggs and there was a little oak snake and Mr. Moon grabbed it up and in trying to figure out where to put it, the little sucker bit him but no big deal. Well, not for Mr. Moon. I would have freaked and thrown the damn snake as far from me as I could have but it's a moot point in that I do not grab snakes. Ever.

But here he is, holding the serpent.



I'd bite something that much bigger than me too, if it grabbed me.

No one died, including the snake but here we go again. Damn snakes just love eggs and I don't mind sharing a few but they are greedy and numerous. Plus, it scares the bejesus out of me, walking in the hen house and reaching for something and realizing I'm about to grasp a snake.

Well, we share our world with a lot of things here. Bugs and weeds and snakes and some of them are beautiful and some of them are ultimately helpful and some of them are just pests and we try not to senselessly destroy any of them. Well, tomato hornworms, perhaps, but "senselessly" doesn't enter into it. I hate those suckers.
They are ugly and they eat my tomato plants. Damn the tomato hornworm! They piss me off! They can mow through a row of tomato plants like Sherman through Atlanta. Or one of those generals. Whatever. You get my drift.
Here's what they look like and no, I did not take that picture.

Well, anyway, it's martini time and then I'm going to cook quail. I have never cooked quail before but yesterday Mr. Moon went out and shot some and brought them home and cleaned them and it is my duty here on earth to cook them and eat them.
Last night when we got home from the Opera House at midnight I asked him what that bag hanging from the wisteria trellis was.
"That's where I put the heads and wings and feet," he said.

Sigh.

I have been looking at quail recipes and they range from the gourmet to the southern-fried and I'm thinking I might just go to the southern-fried end of the situation. I haven't been to the store and I don't have mushrooms or bacon or anything like that. I do, however, have flour and milk and salt and pepper and Crisco and lots of salad greens and nice little tomatoes and some wild and brown rice mix and I believe we can make do with such meager fixings.
Yes. I do believe we shall survive nicely.

But now we're going to do a walk-around the property and check out spring-growth signs and that will be lovely.

It's been a lovely day all the way around. I wouldn't have traded it for anything. And I still have that walk and the quail to look forward to. And this man to share them with.

Oh yeah. I am so fucking rich you can't believe it.
I got it made.
And I know it.

Church Of The Batshit Crazy, Sermon For Today

Sunday morning and no performance until next Friday and I feel slightly crazed after about a million hours of sleep and I just read an article in the paper about a woman who was raped in Tallahassee in 1959 and it was ground-breaking because the rapists actually got convicted and she was black and they were white.

I cried, reading the article. I cried for the girl who 52 years ago was brave enough to sit in court and defend herself against attorneys who said things like, "Who are you going to believe, these four men or that nigger wench?"

I cry again, just writing that. That is such an ugly word and I will not shy away from using it when it is used to show the ignorant hatred of those who used it then, or use it now. No. I will not.
This is the way it was then.

And you know what? It's not just because she was black that she had to go through questioning about her virginity before the rape or how much she struggled against four men with a gun and a knife, it's also because she was a woman.

Those of you who were born after the sixties have no idea what it used to be like, either in terms of race or feminism. White men may still rule the world but back in the really bad old days if you weren't a white man, you really didn't have shit for rights and you didn't really have shit for hopes of getting too far in this country either. That's the ugly way it was.
Of course there were exceptions but the people who made it out of the deeply entrenched traps of gender and race roles were vilified and let's face it- frequently assassinated.

Okay. This could get really long and ugly. It's a beautiful day here. Every day seems more glorious as spring races towards us. It's already over seventy and my garden is calling me. The fire ants want my flesh, the dirt wants my fingers.

But.

I still have tears in my eyes and I'm thinking about a house I lived in as a girl and I was probably about twelve and on the outside, the family in that house looked so good. A mother, a father, a girl, a boy, then a much-wanted baby came along. The father worked at the local community college. The mother stayed home with the children. The girl was a straight-A student, a Girl Scout. She had friends and she ate books like a Sumo wrestler eats his calories. And no one knew what was going on at bedtime in that house, the quiet desperate fear the girl felt, the underlying insanity that never for a second dissipated.

There was one place in that house where the girl felt safe.
It was an added-on basic bathroom in the garage. No frills whatsoever. A toilet, a shower, a sink. Wooden walls.
And a hook-and-eye latch on the thick wood door.

The girl would go in there and lock that latch and read and feel safe. No one could get in there without great effort. Not even her stepfather.

The girl, of course, was me. And recently I was reading a book called The Help by Kathryn Stockett and it's about the women who lived in the south during the sixties, both white women who had maids, always African-American women, and those women themselves, the help, as it were. My mother had a maid who would come in once or twice a week and she needed the help to keep her house up to the standards required in those days. It was a normal thing, it was the way it was. And when I was reading that book, I learned that one of the big issues in those days was having a bathroom for the help that no one but the black maid used. And I thought about that bathroom built onto that garage in Winter Haven and it hit me with great force that that bathroom was probably built for the maid's use, not by us, because we were only renting, but by someone who came before us. And this was a very modest house. Two bedrooms, a bathroom, a kitchen, a living room, a dining area and a sort of pass-through room to the garage where my brother slept.
But still- that bathroom.
No frills.
A toilet. A shower. A sink. Plain, unpainted wooden walls.
A latch that pulled that thick door shut and made a safe, enclosed space for a little girl.

Where am I going with this?

I guess I am trying to talk about the way things have changed. I hope. That no longer are there water fountains with signs that say Colored. That women, whether they are white or black, can testify in a rape case without their virginity being brought into question. That slowly over the years, people other than white men can not only count on laws to protect them, they can MAKE those laws. They can enforce them.
That little girls can find other safe places rather than a wooden built-on bathroom behind a garage to go to for protection against an abuser.
That if a black woman is raped by four white men, it is not a world-shaking event for her rapists to be brought to justice.

Don't get me wrong. I don't think the playing field is anywhere near equal yet. Fear is still rampant for women, for people of races other than the white one, for children.

But. Things are changing. We ain't there yet but maybe, some day, we'll get there.
Please god. Let us get there.

It's Sunday. I had a wonderful time last night, playing Truvy in a community theater. My husband, some of my kids, some of my friends were there. This morning is too beautiful to bear. I made pancakes and now I'm going to go work in the dirt. The birds are singing their hearts out and I can only imagine the lovin' and nest-buildin' going on. I know the frogs are waking up in their winter mud beds. The simplest, richest life I can imagine- I am living it.

And all of us should be able to ask for this much. ALL OF US.

A place to live, food to eat, a little chance at doing things we love, freedom from fear for ourselves and our loved ones whether we are white or black or men or women or children. Whether we are gay or straight or bisexual or transgendered. Whether we are Methodist or Baptist or Muslim or atheist. Whether we live in the United States or in Egypt or anywhere on this planet.

So very basic. I haven't even gone into the right to a decent education or health care or any of that which of course is important too.

No. Just the right to live a plain, simple life in the way we see fit without being held back, molested, misused or abused.

The right to set our foot down on this earth and say, "I belong here as much as anyone else and my life is as important as any other person's on this earth."

That's all.

And this morning I give great thanks and great tribute to the people who stood their ground, who were treated as less than equal and who refused to accept that, no matter how impossibly difficult it was.

And I'm also thinking about how we are still presented with situations- all of us!- in which we can keep our mouths shut and get along by going along or we can stand up and speak out and we can call foul and bullshit when it is required.

We can change the world, one tiny word, one tiny step, at a time. Those steps may be so small as to be almost invisible but added up, they are as big as the world which we are trying to change.

I swear it.

I am believing in good this morning and yet, quite awake to the awareness that there is still great wrongness in this world. I will rejoice in the one, I will not close my eyes to the other.

All right. Batshit Crazy sermon over.

I am thinking our hymn today should quite possibly be this:




Shocking then, shocking now.
The truth often is.

Which doesn't mean we should be afraid of it.
Which doesn't mean we should ignore it.
Which doesn't mean we can't speak it.

Amen, y'all.

Happy Sunday.
Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Preparation For A Big Night

A strange thing has happened. In the past few days, my hits have almost doubled. I mean- serious traffic for little Ms. Moon. And I don't understand why.
The funny thing is is that I am not getting any more comments. Okay, maybe a few new commenters but nothing that would reflect so many supposed new readers. And I hardly think my content has gotten any more sparkling, witty, or wise. In fact, I was just unfollowed by someone this week.

If any of you have any clue as to why this bizarre upturn in visits has occurred for me, please let me know. I am intrigued.

I mean, I don't do this for the money or the fame or the glory. I do it for me but I'd sort of like to know if more people are actually coming here or if some glitch in the blogland has occurred. Or my hit-counter. Not that it's going to change a thing here at blessourhearts. You know me. The chickens, the trees, the grandson, the kids, the man, the opera house, the occasional recipe or nice little chat about religion or politics.

Wait! Maybe it's the red hair! Yes! The universe shines more brightly on redheaded women.
Uh. Probably not.

Okay. I cleaned out the hens' nests of chicken shit and gave them fresh hay. I set tables at the Opera House. There was a car wash going on across the street in Monticello. "Car Wash For Jesus!" the signs proclaimed.

Yes. I do live in the south. Why do you ask?

I have also done a tiny bit of gardening and now have approximately eighteen ant bites which are itching like crazy.
Ah. Spring. When the red ants come boiling out of the dirt to attack us, we know the dogwoods and azaleas will be following shortly.

And now for the nap portion of my day. I need to be at the top of my game tonight. Most of my family is coming to see the play. Also some of my dearest friends, including Billy who knows the entire script by heart, I do believe. This might be nerve-wracking. I need to get some rest. And then get up, go over my lines again, poof-up my hair and put on my eyes, my lips, my cheeks and my leopard print hose.

Fucking ant bites.
Spring is coming. My skin wears the proof. But as I always say, If there is anything more satisfying than scratching a good itch, I don't know what it is.
And I mean that in the purest, more humanly dermatological way possible.

Good night.

Too Tired To Sleep

It's as beautiful a morning as you've ever seen here in Lloyd, Florida this morning. I mean, flat-out call Ripley's beautiful. Call Hollywood and tell 'em to send a film crew beautiful. Make your soul jump and shout beautiful.

La-di-dah.

I am so tired.

Last night went fine. It was fine. Fine, fine, fucking fine.

I just felt so flat.

I didn't bring down the house nor did I pull over the set. I only tripped over the step-down place once.

Then when I got home I couldn't sleep. Could not sleep until around three. And woke up in time to do this and get back to the Opera House to set tables. I feel guilty as hell because I should already have my spring garden in. The potatoes and peas and more greens and onions. Should have been done by Valentine's Day.

I'm having house dreams again. In the one I was having this morning, I somehow had a huge house that was still filled with someone else's stuff. People were trying to come in and buy the stuff. I was paying people to come in and help me organize. The "yard" was a huge field surrounding the house and I was overwhelmed at the prospect of making it into what I consider a fine yard. Trees and flowers and a garden. Flat, planted fields. A dry pool. Ugly as homemade sin.

Why am I having house dreams? Moving dreams? I could hardly be more established than I am here, right here. Am I about to die? If so, dear god make it quick and painless and IN MY SLEEP, LET ME GET SOME SLEEP!
Oh yes, let me get some sleep.

Well. Time to go back to Monticello and set tables for tonight's pre-performance dinner. I don't need to eat breakfast because at two a.m. I ate half a strawberry-rhubarb crisp. It worked, too, I fell asleep pretty quick after that. A tiny miracle occurred in that I was so cold and I moved to the guest room because I knew I was keeping Mr. Moon awake and I took the big comforter which he hates anyway and the small dog and when I got in the guest bed I said, "Zeke, please come get under the covers with me," and he did. He snorgled his way down under all of the sheets and quilts and settled down behind my knees. He hasn't done that in forever.

It's a beautiful morning. I'm going to drive to Monticello and honey, I am taking a nap this afternoon. No. Not a nap. A night's sleep Part II.

Truvy is on her feet all night long, dispensing witticisms, doing hair, and hugging her friends. She is tired. She had weird dreams all night.

Here we go. Here we go. Here we go.

Life as we know it, life as we make it up, life on this beautiful day in Lloyd, Florida, whether we are tired or not, flat or not, dream-ridden or not, here we go, dreaming of flat fields where our spring garden should be coming up already.

Friday, February 18, 2011

This Boy

The sun was too bright today for this picture and cast shadows that were too dark but here you have it- Owen hugging a doll.
He hugged me a lot today too.
He is a loving boy.
He got over my hair color and cut in about three seconds but all day today he kept pointing to my nails saying, "boo-boo." I finally got the polish out and polished one of his tiny man-nails to show him what it was.
Now he thinks he has a boo-boo.
But it doesn't hurt and he likes it.

Commit Art, Change Your Life




Today is Yoko Ono's birthday and how do I know this? No, I am not the Uber-Ono fan, although I do adore her. How can you not adore someone who looks like this and who is seventy-eight years old?

No. I know because my son gave me such a wonderful calender for Christmas and instead of silly things like National Give Your Mailman A Greeting Card Day, he noted dates that he knew were important to me. Thus:


Ah, Hank. Thank-you.

Anyway, good morning and hello and I have been up since too early because the refrigerator repair guy called at sevenfuckingthirty to tell me he was on his way out.
Our ice maker had some issues.
Ooh boy.
So now it's fixed and I've watered the indoor plants and made the bed and started laundry (bless our appliances- how I love them) and here I am, writing this and I suppose it was a good thing that he woke me up and made me shove myself out of bed.
I was mostly lying there thinking about how much my hand was bothering me anyway.
So.
Owen is coming in an hour or so and he'll be here to play with until three-thirty and then I'll run around and try to get myself together for tonight's performance and let me say that last night went quite well. It did.
Those Altrusa ladies are aces when it comes to audiences and they WANT us to do well, I can tell, and they want to have a good time and so they do and therefore, we do too.
We made 'em laugh, we made 'em cry.
There were a few glitches but we smoothed over them and I doubt anyone really noticed. And I almost knocked over the set when I entered with a box and hit the walls but what are you going to do except be more careful next time? I dropped things, things fell over. Whatever. Truvy is clumsy, I guess. Her shop is cluttered and so it would be, don't you think?

Before we took our places, Jack gave us all a pep talk and then Judy, who is the stage manager, gave us another and came around and said, "Gimme five" to each and every one of us and when she got to Caleb, he pulled a ten dollar bill out of his pocket and handed it to her and said, "Here's ten," which cracked us all up and you know why I do these plays, don't you?
It's because it's such a damn joy to get to play with people, to learn to trust them, to have them trust you, to share jokes and worries and although our last few productions have been somewhat fraught with serious real life events, in the end the show goes on and for those few hours, what we're doing onstage is real life, somehow. Some way.

I swear. Since I've been at the opera house, one woman had to drop out of a role due to breast cancer, one got cancer in his eye and then he died, one got diagnosed with cancer, two people (the lovers) left their spouses and moved in together, elderly parents have died...
You know.
Life and death stuff.
Love and loss stuff.
Struggle and smile stuff.

We carry on.

I've met people I never would have met and I've fallen in love with them. For real. I met Kathleen at the Opera House. Just think- she would have been living in Jefferson County, this woman who inspires and delights me, who has taught me so much including how to make soap- and I never would have known her if we hadn't both been in Casablanca together. That woman saved my life at one point and what would have happened without the world of fake-believe to bring us together?

And let's face it- I certainly wouldn't have ever dyed my hair red if it wasn't for the Opera House.

Okay. I've lost my focus. No, I never had one.

Happy birthday, Yoko Ono. You keep on doing what you do, looking beautiful and pinching the butt-cheek of the world, sticking your tongue in the mouth-cheek of the serious, telling us that peace can be given a chance.

And let's all remember that art isn't frivolous or unnecessary or without complete and utter importance in our lives. That whether we make art alone or with others, it changes lives.

I don't know much but I do know that.

Hank's calender tells me it's a full moon tonight so in the words of another artist, Howl.

Feed your chickens, feed yourself. As The Dishwasher and The Woman On The Verge say, "Commit art."

Happy Friday, y'all.
Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, February 17, 2011

I Feel Like A Drag Queen

I look like one too.

Well, here I go, off to play Truvy for PAYING CUSTOMERS!
The Altrusia Ladies who do good deeds and drink wine always get our first performance.
They are a lovely audience and a joy to play for. (They gather for wine beforehand and leave us tasty lady-food for after the show.)

Thank god.

Did you see I painted my nails?

Jesus.

Here I go, poofy hair and all.

I'll report in later.

Fantasy Land

What Anthony Bourdain would look like holding my rooster, Elvis, except that Elvis is a much better-looking rooster.




My boyfriend was in Tallahassee last night. He may be there still, waking up and drinking coffee and planning his day. I wouldn't know. The son-of-a-bitch never calls.

My boyfriend is Anthony Bourdain, in case you don't know. He, not unlike my husband, is tall and lanky, but completely UNLIKE my husband, he is famous and cooks. Or, can cook. He also has a TV show and travels all over the world and used to be a junky and sometimes he's even on Top Chef as a judge.
What is it about me and former junkies?

He was in Tallahassee last night to do a...lecture?...talk? Whatever. He was one of the people in this year's lecture series that FSU presents annually. I used to go to things like that.

Sigh.

There was even a rumor that he was going to drop in to the Mockingbird Cafe where my daughter works. He knows someone who knows someone who works there or something.
I advised my daughter that if he did, she should go back to his hotel with him and have wild sex.
That's the sort of mother I am.
Yep.

"Oh, Mom," she said. "He's married."

That's the sort of daughter she is.
Yep.

That's the good thing about fantasy boyfriends, though. You can say anything because you ain't gonna do anything. Part of the fantabulous glory of life, right?

A friend of mine had gotten a ticket to see him and a few weeks ago she offered it to me because she is a jewel, a love, a darling woman and she knows how much I love him.
I turned it down because Kathleen was supposedly getting chemo yesterday and besides that, I knew it was the only night this week that I wasn't going to be involved in Steel Magnolias and I knew I was going to be exhausted.

And of course it turned out that Kathleen did not get chemo and I spent my entire day cleaning my house and picking flowers (~tra-la-la-la~) and as I sat down last night to my delicious supper of leftover meatloaf and tiny boiled potatoes I turned on the TV and there was Anthony on Top Chef and I smiled at him and he snarked back at me and I was completely and utterly content with that, knowing that I had had the perfect day for me and that I had even washed my microfiber mop head and I hadn't worn a bra all day and that if he HAD called and asked himself out to my house for some of my delicious strawberry-rhubarb crisp I would have begged off.

Sorry, Anthony. Maybe next time you're in town, okay? If I'm not busy washing rugs and mop heads. And feel like changing out of my overalls.

Oh wait. He's a fantasy boyfriend. This means that he'd love me in my overalls, right?

Well. I actually have to go to Tallahassee today and maybe I'll run into Anthony at the library. That would be cool, right?

And I just talked to May who is on her way to work. I told her that if he comes in for lunch to tell him to call her mother, dammit.

I mean, I'm pretty busy today and have a performance tonight but maybe we could meet and pound a few shots of icy vodka. I'd wear my black velvet overalls for Anthony. He'd reach across the table and take my hand and look into my eyes and he'd say, "Hey babe. You and me."
And I'd say, "Sorry, dude. I'm married and my library books are overdue."
Then I'd do one more shot, stand up and kiss the top of his cute head and he'd sit there, watching my black-velvet covered butt as I twitched it on out of the place to get into my car with Owen's car seat in it, my thirty cloth grocery bags, my clip-on old lady sunglasses.

One perfect tear would form in his eye and he'd reach for the bottle and sigh.

Yes. That is exactly how it would be.