Monday, March 23, 2009

One Hand Loves the Other

Title from "Unison" by Bjork

Here's the plan. I will write on this blog as my writing practice. I have often sort of informally thought of this blog that way, but never actually committed to it that way. I think it's a good idea to give it this structure, and you all seem to like it. Works out well.

So what is there to say today? I got tired enough this last weekend to wear out my own words. I caught myself changing the order of words, or saying the wrong thing entirely. Punched beyond punchy, my tired mind made mincemeat of the most basic conversations. Exhaustion wearing the robes of Miriam. My hair curled and skirts unfurled, most thought I had just had too much to drink, even with no alcohol present. Giddy joy of Natalie combined with many-miled Wisconsin between me and the week before, all of this filled me until there was no more room for thoughts, for feelings, for feelings about thoughts.

My hand scrubbed over each other, looking for hangnails, tensing at the texture of dryness. Cold, shaky, worn. Some strange new skin condition that kicked in a month ago reaching a fever pitch of tender points on my palms. Is this the beginning of when my body tries to tell me how I am hurting? I thought that was over. Listen to the pores, listen to the heart as it beats out my needs: Alone. Alone. Alone. Give me some time Alone.

This morning, all slates wiped clean. I woke after 12 hours of dead sleep to two cats on my chest and a rainy March sun creeping its way into my eyelids under my facemask. The pure bliss of a rested mind. I thought immediately of a conversation with a student this last weekend, when she ventured that perhaps there were few women of color at the writing conference we were attending because of Maslow's hierarchy of needs. If you are poor and oppressed, you don't have the cash or concern for this "level" of need. I reflected on my own personal of the week before - working hard to keep the money coming in, traveling too much, stressed and also over-stimulated, even in a good way, or with good content. Add on to that kids, possibly being an only parent, not enough money, or if the money is there, not enough time, or if both are there, not wanting to go somewhere where she might be one of the only ones. The sun shines in and she has to get up to work, not go talk about writing beyond work and into joy.

I am grateful for that weak sun, like a tea trying to take me from sleep to wake. I am grateful for the time, no matter how skewed into overwork it gets sometimes. I am grateful for the work. And facing major car bills, overdue credit cards, payment due for higher spiritual and writing retreats, I still know I have a liberty, a wake up in bed with some space liberty, a Dylan would never leave me liberty, for now. Funny how facing impermanence with such certainly gives me some comfort. Rested up now I realize that while all those things are real, and therefore I can have gratitude toward them, their not being wholly real doesn't worry me. Only when I am well-rested can that even approach the truth.

One hand rubs the other and for now, they can type and be assured. We exist. We exist enough to effect change, to range over the keyboard and pluck words from air. No longer jerking the strings of despair, the playing returns. The learning recommences. Digesting fences, comprehension, distended guts and retention. Joy dispensed. Recompensed with sleep. "We love one another!" my hands leap.

Let's go enjoy even this rainy weather.

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