Sunday, April 3, 2011

I Am Not Emily Dickinson

It's Sunday and so green. As spring's days and nights lengthen towards the summer, the branches lose their blossoms and are replaced by a new sort of green, absolutely vibrant and fresh and the leaves are so shiny and tender that they reflect the sun back like thousands of shivering mirrors and yet, offer more shade below. A shade which is, in itself, green and still so cool. So heavenly cool.

I think this sort of shady coolness, found only under the branches of trees, was the original inspiration for the great cathedrals and I find nothing wrong with that.
But for me, I can respect and be in awe at the buildings man has wrought in the name of one god or another but I will be most reverent under trees and sky, beside water whether sea or river or pond.

La. I don't know. Maybe I truly AM just agoraphobic and look for any excuse not to travel, not to leave my little zone of comfort right here on this tiny two acres in Lloyd. So what if some of the biggest oak trees I've ever seen live right here in my yard? So what if the trees have new green? So what if my chickens parade by and amuse me and so what if the beans are coming up with angel-wing leaves slowly unfolding?

I don't know. I just don't know.

I have been invited to a tea-party this afternoon at my dear friend Liz's house. Not Lis in Gator Bone, but Liz in Tallahassee. Get this- both Liz's men are named Lon. Seriously. I have a Lon and Liz of the West and a Lon and Lis of the East.
As I have said before, sometimes I do think we create our own reality and that we eventually just run out of ideas.

Anyway, Liz's teas are always wonderful. She and her veddy English mama make scones and real tea and clotted cream and oh, hell, I don't know. Cucumber sandwiches. Lovely, lovely lady food. And the ladies dress up in spring frocks and hats and some totally get into it and wear gloves and every sort of woman is there because Liz knows everyone and everyone loves Liz.

And here I sit.

The idea of putting on a frock, which would require a bra and then driving to town and trying to remember my manners and not say "fuck" in front of Liz's mother and well, actually, Liz says "fuck" in front of her mother all the time so that's not an excuse but still...

I should. I should go.

I'm not going. I want quiet, not chatter, even delightful woman chatter. And it's so quiet here.

Mr. Moon just left to go get a new motor for his boat in West Palm. He'll be gone for three days. I could barely stand for him to leave. It's not that I don't love being by myself. I do. I NEED that, but these days I am loving him so much that every separation reminds me that one day we will be separated forever and hopefully, that won't happen for years and years and years but who knows?

Not me.

And I could have gone with him but I have Owen tomorrow and Tuesday, I have things to do here to get ready for the wedding. I need to keep an eye on Pearl.

Mr. Moon cut his hair before he left and I helped with the back. He's always thinking about growing it out but in his heart-of-hearts, he's of the athlete-warrior class and those guys (with the exception of professional wrestlers and a few renegade football players these days) have short hair. He looks the most natural in it. I stood behind him with the clippers and I was weeping silently. This man. This man is everything to me. He has given me this life, the life that yesterday in a restaurant with Lily and Owen I said of, "These are the best years of my life," and I meant it and I know it to my bones because we are so wealthy in every way and especially the ways that matter- the love ways. And we can still do what we want to do, physically, and yet, we know without doubt that this will not last forever- this physical ability and strength and health.

Both of us know how wealthy we are and we tell each other this all the time.

All the time.

So he got in his truck with that giant boat behind it, trailered up and ready to go get a new engine and I took his picture.

Twenty years ago I would have resented him leaving, resented him spending money on a boat engine, resented this and that and everything else and now, well, whatever makes him happy makes me happy and that's just all there fucking is to it.

To my bones I mean that.


Here I am, holding that tenderness to my heart and the breeze is blowing those disco-ball leaves and the windchimes are swinging and singing and Buddha's smiling in the flowers

and lizards are hiding in the bromeliads

quite sure I cannot see them and lounging on the pack porch taking in sun

and the bromeliads are blooming their dangly space-flower blooms and the chickens are walking behind them

and the caterpillars are using them as hiding places too.

The aloe plants are blooming their desert blooms under the oak trees

and it's so green, so lovely, so quiet.
A cathedral of sorts.

And no, there's nowhere else I'd rather be for this moment. And yes, I miss out on a lot because of that. I miss out on companionship and friendship and festive events and movies and live music and dining-out opportunities and I miss out on travel and adventures.

And maybe I'm going to shrivel up inside, my world becoming no larger than these two acres. Emily Dickinson wrote about her small world and with her poems she made that life be as big and ever-expanding as this universe we call home.

I'm not Emily. I am not a poet or a builder of cathedrals or a lady-in-a-frock. Today, at least. I am not (and I am not proud of this) a person who says YES to life whenever it sends an invitation.

I wish I were sometimes.

And then sometimes I wonder how I could hold any more than I already have, right here.

Especially on a day like today when the green is completely different than it was yesterday and is completely different than it will be tomorrow. I am set here as witness as the light in that green changes from hour to hour, from minute to minute and I notice it, I study it, I bask in its subtle designs, its movement across the yard and trees and flowers.

This planet is already moving so swiftly through time and space that I can barely hold on.
But hold on I will, right here and this is my church today, as it is every day, at the center of what is, for me, my world. I hold on tight and sometimes, no matter how tightly I grasp at it, I feel as if I am being flung into the sky and one day I will be.

Pure energy, pure light, pure rush of something neither lost nor gained and until then, I am so very content to stay here in the light and energy of it all as it rushes on around me, as it travels to who-knows-where, while I stay here.


  1. of course you're not emily dickenson- if you were emily dickenson, you'd be dead and this conversation would be a whole lot stranger....

    be well-


  2. But you ARE a poet and a builder of cathedrals.
    You are.

  3. I think you are just amazing, Ms. Moon. And I love this blog!

  4. Mrs. A- VERY good point, my dear!

    Lisa- Cathedrals of bamboo and banana, perhaps. Love you, sweet woman.

    Nicol- Well, that makes me happy too. You're a precious.

  5. I hate to contradict you, Mary, but you are indeed a poet and a beautiful philosopher as well.....that is profound stuff up there. Furthermore, it makes me feel good whenever I read you words so you might also be considered a healer.

    As for not wanting to leave your little bit of heaven.....I am with you on that! I don't even have one acre much less two, but I have to force myself to leave it for any reason. I sometimes think I am agoraphobic too, but I really do not "fear the marketplace"'s just so much nicer at home.

  6. -fabulous-

    i nod my head a lot as i read these words. i skip so many pleasant events! thank you for writing about life.

    -thee indextronaute

  7. Sigh.

    I suppose the pleasant events aren't worth it if it takes too much to get to them. Though, I do find myself, the less I go, the harder it is to go. It's easy to atrophy.

    But that's not the point I was going to make.

    My aunt Sue hated to go out, to drive, to deal with life too much. I don't think there's any doubt that she was agorophobic. She loved to sit in the beautiful home she'd made, create beautiful things, watch the world on her computer, on the news, research.

    At her funeral, my sister stood up and said how she'd once asked my mother why Sue was such a recluse(my sister is not a mistress of tact).

    But apparently my mother's answer was that her sister was Hestia, goddess of the hearth and home, and that what she was made to do was to make a beautiful home and be mother in it, that that was her role and her comfort. And it was such a perfect answer.

  8. Such incredibly beautiful words. And your love for your husband is so pure and so true. I love that.

    I am popping over from Angella's blog to say hello. I see your comments over there frequently and I finally decided to say hello!

    Thank you for sharing such a gorgeous picture of your cathedral. Mine is here at the beach. Waves rolling by, pelicans floating on air, and the perfume which wafts by on the breeze. For me, God is here.


  9. i loved this long browsing post through your thoughts and feelings. it was like...a sermon :) without the 'preachin' :)

  10. Lo- That's it! I love my home! There is so much here I love to do- why should I leave it? Thank-you, honey. Thank-you.

    Ms. Indextronaute- Parking! Bras! Clean clothes! Shaving legs! Arrgghhh!

    Jo- I love, love, love that. Hestia. Perhaps we all here are Hestias or her handmaidens. That makes me feel better.
    Your mother was wise.

    Debra W- I am so glad you've come by to visit. I know what you mean about the water and until I moved here, under these ancient trees, it was ALL about the water. Now, I have another place where I feel in awe and am reminded of my tiny time here on earth. Thanks so much for coming by. Please visit again. You are much welcome.

    Maggie May- My sermons could be summed up in: Plant something, water something, love something, cook something. Sleep well.

  11. You're in a very blessed space, in every way.

  12. I was already composing a comment in my mind that you have created a world here on your blog that is necessary for me to read each day and that you have even created your Mr. Moon enough so that I think I know him and love him and then I scrolled down and you claimed that you are not Emily Dickinson, but I'm not so sure. You might BE a sort of Emily Dickinson, Mary Moon. Really.

  13. You know in the very depths of your soul that happiness and peace and love are right where you are.. you don't need to seek it elsewhere.
    Sometimes I feel like that is why al the out there stuff is a bit of an effort. One that I don't always feel like making, even if it ends of blessing me and others.
    Because there is nothing I need that I don't already have and I want to be planted and blooming and feeding it and seeing it always.

    Although.. I yearn for a less suburban property .. so that is different. I have to get out and go for walks or drives to find ponds and trails and quiet .

    I am so happy for you that you are grounded and full of joy and gratitude and that you share it with us and make us better for having known you.

  14. i am your friend coming in from the confines of a weary bed. thank you for lifting me outside this challenging body, this shipwreck of lost dreams.
    yes, to your singing buddha, your disco ball leaves, your full moon love, your holy on fire cherishing of it all.
    i am not sure what life would be without you and the promise of Spring.

  15. It is good that your heart is filled with so much love. I too think about the dwindling number of days that we have left together. No one knows for sure but I know that those days aren't increasing. I hope that Mr. Moon has a good trip.

  16. Yes! to the absence of resentment. What a gorgeous thing, and one of the things I strive for. Because it's never pretty.

  17. Loved the photo of Mr. Moon. He looks SO happy.

    It's okay to just tend your space, man. It's your life.

    Love you.

  18. If I didn't need to work, I could happily bury myself in l my own world here at home. I find nothing wrong with being happy in our own simple space.

    Safe travels to Mr. Moon. I very much understand how hard the separation is, even if it's only a few days.

    I love, love, LOVE the Buddha in the log with the flowers.

  19. That photo of Pearl is a stunner. I would accept the invitation to tea and get all dressed up gloves and all but not go. I'd make the tea and sandwiches just for me. I'm that way though Ive pretty much stopped lying and telling people I'll be there these days ever since my shrink told me that being reclusive was not part of my pathology. Now I just say NO. But I have to say it several times. And in caps.



  20. A- And don't I know it!

    Elizabeth- We are all, somehow, Emily's tending our gardens, large and small, seeking the meaning in each small thing. Aren't we?

    deb- Exactly. And wish that each and every one of us had the place to be planted which makes us happiest. Such a blessing it is.

    rebecca- Oh. If I could only ease your pain. I so wish I could.

    Ms. Fleur- I like it too.

    Syd- He got into some terrible traffic (there had been an accident) and it took him a long time to get there but he did, safely.

    Mwa- And I think the only way out of it is to grow through it.

    Ms. Bastard-Beloved- Oh, how I love you!

    Mel's Way- I love being a homebody. It suits me. I wish you could be too.

    Madame R. King- Really? And does your shrink know this for sure? How odd. "No, you are not a recluse. You just play one on TV."
    I can deal with panties. Bras- not so much.
    Thank-you for liking the picture of Pearl. I have to tell you that my daughter Lily wants a mastiff like crazy. I told her what you said- that you love a mastiff more than Elvis. Her father told her she might as well buy a horse.

  21. mm, i trust my shrink. i kind of have to. also i've been this way since i was like three years old.

  22. heart felt this. And when you wrote:

    But for me, I can respect and be in awe at the buildings man has wrought in the name of one god or another but I will be most reverent under trees and sky, beside water whether sea or river or pond.

    I know that humble feeling of being beneath a canopy of trees, swaying and singing..

    This was beautiful Mary...your love was all over your words and thoughts...oh and when you wrote:

    And we can still do what we want to do, physically, and yet, we know without doubt that this will not last forever- this physical ability and strength and health.

    Well...that hit a chord with a deep reverberation...I don't want to go there yet with every day our parents age I know that my Love and I are aging too. I don't want it to be that way. I look at my kids and they too are aging where I was just yesterday! How can this be? No, no...I vow to hold it back and live it like it is still so far away...

    hugs and hallelujah!

  23. Dear Mary, what a beautiful post. Lo is right about everything. You are a poet and a philosopher.

    I have to force myself to go out. I'd much rather stay in most of the time and I selfishly do too.

    Love, love the pictures of Mr Moon and Pearl and I love you xxx

  24. PS. The log you planted looks gorgeous, especially wiht the Buddha xx

  25. Christina- There comes a time when we realize that the world goes on just fine if our face isn't in the crowd. But your face is so pretty- it makes the crowd that much more beautiful. You still have going-out-times. And I'm glad you like the log. When that branch fell I knew EXACTLY what I wanted to do with it.

  26. I sure missed a lot around here last weekend. What you wrote about flying off into reminded me of a memoir by a European man who as a boy ran away with the gypsies. He talked about having vertigo when he lied down on the ground looking up at the starry sky when they slept outside. He felt he might rise up off the ground.


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