Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Ties That Bind, The Worlds Which Sustain

At one point last night I said, "Worlds are colliding," and yes, they were.
I was at the Opera House where I have been involved in so many productions and where I have spent more than a few hours helping out in the kitchen and passing out plates and bussing tables and pouring water. And a lot of the people with whom I've done these things were there for the concert and so there was that world, my Opera House community and there was also the world of Lon and Lis and people I've met through them in St. Augustine and here, and there were my girls up on the stage and there were also Hank and May and of course Vergil and Mr. Moon and a few of his friends who love the Cicada Ladies and trekked across a few counties to come and see them, and my across-the-street neighbors, and my Liz of the West and also sweet Kati who have been a part of those Cicada Ladies' and their lives for years, and yes, worlds collided.

The only explosion was in my brain, which, when I am going through one of these whatever-it-is-I-am-going-through, feels as if it is made of Play Dough or some other dense, pliable material not suited to the transmission of neuronic messages and so I am slow and when we got home last night I saw that we had not only not locked the back door (to be honest, we don't even know where the keys are) but that we had left the door open, the unlatched screen door the only barrier between my house and worldly goods and the possible nefarious ill intents of the world at large.

No one had touched a thing though, either in malevolence or to wash the dishes, and the dogs were still here, singing their welcoming chorus of "You're home! You're home! We thought you were gone forever!"

You can leave the door open but you can't make them go.

It was a good evening. I'm not going to go through a blow-by-blow of it. I'll just say that there was a lot of talent, a lot of charm, a lot of harmony, a lot of mind-blowing music. And I have to admit that the high point for me (besides Jessie's chicken-bawking mandolin solo on This Old Hen) was when the final song, played by the Aaron O'Roarke Trio, was suddenly and unexpectedly accompanied by four dancing ladies and one dancing man who burst onstage. It was pure joy. Especially, and I have to say this, the sight of Frank Lindamood dancing with great abandon after his set of very, very deep and serious songs about things like the very essence of Biblical good and evil and Beethoven's great and very sad unrequited love and lonely death, was a sort of shit-kicking glory I'm glad I've lived to see.

I mean, really.

Jessie took the stage for their set wearing the dress I got a few months ago at TJ Maxx and lavender tights and no shoes. I looked at Kati and said, "Was that girl raised in a barn?"
The chicken-bawking solo would seem to further that theory. She was so glorious.

Lis brought up the suggestion that perhaps we might want to gather at my house after the concert for a small, uh, gathering, but I was beyond exhausted and was in no way able to even fathom such a thing. Mr. Moon had left right after the concert to head out to Georgia so that he could be in the deer stand at dawn and Jessie and Vergil were tired too and we all came home, no party this time, although it was very hard to leave Lon and Lis there and Lori, too, our dear Lulumarie, who all went home to Lon's sister's house in Monticello instead of bringing them back here but I am a woman who knows my limitations and by god, I had reached them.

So we came home to the open door, to the singing dogs, to the slightly messy kitchen and we set a few clocks back and I've woken up this morning to such mist and fog that it is dripping off the trees and onto the leaves and these are blooming in my yard.

 This dainty camellia, just opened.

Does anyone know what this yellow bloom is? I don't. They were growing here when we moved in and this has been the first year they have really put forth an effort. They are so heavy they are pulling their stalks over and are bending low.

The Sea Foam camellia. And if you look closely, you can see the sullying black dirt of Lloyd on its lower petals. This one I brought with me from my old house and in almost nine years, has grown taller than my head.

And so it is a slow, Sunday morning and Vergil is already up and working and Mr. Moon is safe, as he informed me via text message and Jessie is just up and the the sun is starting to burn away the mist and worlds may have collided last night but this morning they are all back where they belong, each world back in its own place as far as I know and I certainly am, no damage done.

But I have to tell you one more thing. Last night, sitting in the Opera House, I kept looking up at the ceiling which is so high up and admiring the beautiful job that our dear Colin did, scraping and painting it a few years ago, not that long before he died, and I kept thinking about how much he loved Jessie (he loved all women, Colin did, and we all loved him, too) and it tore my heart some to think of much much he would have ADORED seeing her play onstage. Would have been so happy to know that she and Vergil are engaged. I took this picture two years ago at a party we had here for Kathleen's birthday when Jessie and Vergil were just beginning to seriously court. Colin had to come and check out this new man who was plighting his troth for the tall girl he cared for so much.

The damn cancer which would eventually kill him had already taken his eye but never, not for one second, his spirit. Can you tell that Jessie loved him too?

So yes, in the midst of all the worlds colliding last night, I thought of that one person missing, how much he would have loved it. I thought of the time at a rehearsal when Colin grabbed my hand on that stage and said, "Let's dance!" in that British accent he had, and we danced around that stage, that same stage where Jessie and her Cicada Ladies played and danced, where Frank danced in his lace-up work boots last night and for a second, it was as if all the worlds which have come together under that ceiling were present, at hand, right there for the touching and I am not one who believes that the dead spend a great deal of time revisiting their old haunts and don't tell me that Colin WAS there last night because it's not the ghost or shade of him that I would have wanted to be there, but the living, breathing man whom I was so fortunate to know and with whom I acted and laughed, who scraped and painted the ceiling and made props and who tailored his own Levi's and who flew his own plane and who baked his own bread and who built his own house and who loved the women who loved him back.
That one.

It takes a village to raise a child, it takes many communities to create a life of almost unbearable wealth.

It takes worlds.

Last night I was reminded of that and as stumbly and clumsy as I feel out in the world these days, I was so grateful to be reminded of the fact that I do have worlds which sometimes collide and sometimes merely dance together or perhaps, they do both at the same time, it just depends on how you view them, how sweetly the music is played, how deeply the hearts reach out to each other throughout it all.


  1. The yellow flower is: Salvia madrensis Common Names: forsythia sage
    Family: Lamiaceae/Labiatae (mint Family)
    It is amazing this time of year. Yesterday was so wonderful, and of course Colin was spoke of often, and he did love his Jessie!! And last night, with those girls, and that beauty, confident, talented sweet child your baby has grown into, just takes my breath away
    love to all the moons...

  2. Good words this morning, and a bit of a precursor to the wedding that Jessie and Vergil will have, when all those worlds come together to celebrate them.

    You did a great job with those kiddos of yours, MM.

  3. Ah, it frustrates me when someone tells me my mom *was* there when I got married or when my sister married in the Spring. When she was actively dying she sobbed from the deepest part of her soul that she would not get to see her beloved grandchildren grow up. It hurt her most of all that my sister's newborn would have no memory of her at all. No, they are not there to celebrate with us. And even if they are they are like the dark that is just outside of the candle and how they must ache to be in the light with us. It is said that there are no tears in heaven but I don't believe it. I think if there is indeed a heaven there must be tears for the loneliness they must feel for those of us still on the planet.

    I am glad you had such a nice night. Those damn dogs do love you.

    Maybe if I ever become terminally ill I will break into people's homes and do things like do their dishes and clean.

  4. What a glorious evening. You described it in a wonderful way. Thank you for a beautiful sermon today about love and friends and family. Just what I needed after traveling away from my home life the past week.
    Congrats to J and V.
    --Michele R.

  5. You left the door open too, so funny, we did the same once with our front door,wide open to the world and no one came in.

    love this post, beautiful homage and those camelias!


  6. And I think we're another world, out here, that you've embraced. Thank you for leaving your doors open, for letting us in, for spinning the story of your life so honestly and beautifully.

  7. Such a beautiful telling. Family, friends, and good times... there's nothing better.

  8. As you say, glorious. And the telling of it is pure poetry.

  9. Dia De Los Muertos has been on my mind. Thinking of this world and the next. The dead and the living and how the barrier between those worlds sometimes feels so thin and how sometimes the expanse between is painfully wide.
    A lovely post, Mrs. Moon.


  10. Yea, Collin. What a dear. I know you miss him so.

    I see the hurricane lillies are coming up. Nice.

    Sounds like a fun tabulous evening... and tiring, in the good way.

  11. Kathleen- I knew you would know. Yes. Last night was special. I'm sorry I didn't see you at the OH. See you for rehearsals very soon though. The Miller Sisters will do Foley again.

    SJ- Shit. I just do what I can. But they have turned out good, haven't they?

    Birdie- We don't want them around dead, do we? We want them stil alive. Sigh...
    I love your idea of going into people's houses and cleaning while they're gone. Wouldn't that be the most awesome?

    Michele R- Good. I'm glad.

    Deirdre- What are we thinking about so intensely that we leave the door open? I have no idea. Luckily, most people are good.

    Elizabeth- Thank you for finding the path to the open door. Thank you so much.

    Nancy- I know. You're right.

    Stephanie- I have so much to be grateful for.

    Angella- Oh honey. Thank you. So much.

    Denise- I thought of that last night as well. I hoped, even in my complete disbelief, that somehow, Colin was there.

  12. Ms. Fleur- I do miss him. No, not one hurricane lily came up in my yard this year. Dammit.

  13. What a glorious evening. I thought the Cicada Ladies had lifted my soul as high as it could possibly go, then they all came out dancing and lifted it even higher ~ I smile every time I think of it!

  14. It sounds like such a wonderful time. I'm really glad that your daughter was so good and felt so much love.

  15. lulumarie- Oh honey. i was SO glad you could be there.

    Syd- She did. She really, really did. She appreciates all of it. Believe me.

  16. Hello my darling girl. What a lovely remembrance of the magic evening of Saturday. I thought everyone played their hearts out and I'm not sure where you could find a sweeter audience. Delightful to think of Colin too, I feel he really was there with us in all likelihood.

    May I say that you looked simply divine?

    My heart is just too full today for words.

    Hugs and kisses.


    xo xo

  17. Lizzie! I love you. Period. The end.


Tell me, sweeties. Tell me what you think.