Muscat Sally

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So the news of the night was the opening ceremony of The Olympics.  I cried a bit, because why wouldn’t you cry at one of humanity’s greatest feats of emotional, social, architectural, logistical…much less athletic achievement in existence?  Everyone is a part of the Olympics, everyone gets to compete.  Everyone in the world, even the refugees are not left behind, are not without a banner to fly and compete for.  There was bombast, but it did feel very tempered and different to opening ceremonies I’ve seen before.  Perhaps due to the climate change aspect, the green aspect, the sort of chill music.  The samba music somehow sounded muted and calmer than it ought, but that’s just me.

There was, of course, the Parade of Nations which is one of the things that makes the Olympics so damn remarkable.  There are places you forget about when you’ve got the whole of the U.S. orbiting around you taking up all the sound and space.  There’s so much happening in our world, so many visions and experiences and cultures building vision and experience.

And yes, I saw the Tongan flagbearer.  The whole world sat up and took note of that guy. All oiled up and dressed in the clothes of his people, grinning away like a giddy young man who has just realized he’s at the Olympics in front of quadrillions of people and probably not realizing fully that many of them are grinning back.  No, he probably realized exactly that and was somehow not at all intimidated by the moment.

In other worlds, work was uneventful, even, fine, lovely.  I have broken a seal and bought one more thing.  A navy blue dress overlaid with navy blue lace that I tried on and is 40% off and made me look as good as I am wont to look of late.   There are many other things that I’d like to touch, but no. There will be no more buying of things until all the winter/fall stock is in and thankfully, there is a rule that things have to be out on the floor for three weeks before I can buy them at a store discount.  This will require me to be a bit thoughtful again and not not just foam at the mouth over everything that looks fuzzy and cuddly and well-tailored and rust-colored.

One more day of busy, time-absorbing activities and then I am asking for just a little bit of time to myself.  Just a little bit of time to do this thing I want to do – a thing I need a morning for.  And an afternoon.  I can’t just cram it in when I’ve been on my feet for eight hours.


Other thoughts:  I need to buy more fruit.  Bottle in the freezer, please!

My half-sister’s daughter’s birthday was yesterday.  She turned 16. There is something wrong about that, but mostly everything right as she’s a good girl with an artistic spirit and is much loved by all of us.  Like so many people,  wish I knew her better than I do, but I know that she and her brother are level-headed and good-natured and that’s a great deal more than we can expect of most kids these days.

It doesn’t require an act of faith

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So tonight, I watched a woman get nominated to be President of these United States.  Kind of a big deal.  No, it’s a big goddamned deal. Fucking hell.  How many of these have I watched, have I taken for granted that a woman, with all that it means to be a woman, would never be up on that stage.  Not on her own, not without some level of subordination or support.  Not as Hillary Clinton showed up tonight.  I am so glad that we are in a world that doesn’t take that for granted anymore, and hopefully, oh, goodness, I hope that takes a candidate on his or her merit and says fuck all about their gender.

Time is running late.  I am getting through, myself.  Over at my mother’s, in the silence of the downstairs living room.  She and my father have to get up early for treatment tomorrow and so I have to wonder if it was necessary for me to quietly sit here most of the night.  We didn’t have some lengthy conversation.  She still is in good spirits – I don’t know why I feel like I will arrive and see her gray, languishing in a chair, but she was eating taco salad and gave me some

But it was remarkable to sit here with her as the speakers continued and the energy, the

Pastor Barber, shaking the whole moral core of the convention, driving people to look at who and what their choices were.  I loved listening to him.  I love oratory that is thrilling and we had so many enjoyable speeches.  Sparking fire.

Khizr Khan, speaking of his Muslim son who sacrificed himself to save the troops he commanded.  That father standing on that stage holding a copy of the Constitution.  My god.  The whole of his body held stiff and steady by his grief, and the image of his wife supporting him, tracking him with her eyes.  It forces me to think of the hateful rhetoric I’ve heard from people in the past about the patriotism of Muslims.  I’ve heard it in real, real, real life.  People have said these things and I’ve let them say it all the while they preened about their xenophobia, comfortable in it.   It’s monstrous.

….

As for me, I am just here.  Waiting for a message again.  It’s bullshit that I keep saying is benign, but I’m not sure that it is.  I’m not sure that it’s telling me the right story, but I don’t know what story it is telling yet.  I haven’t gotten to the end.

You! Ugh! That’s a whole other story that is what it is.  It shouldn’t eclipse all the other good news of the day.  This thing begun that needs to die, that I would hate to die, that is this stupid craving I prefer to all my other addictions.  It’s the desire to pull focus, to capture an attention, to delight in driving a story to do just that, to feel power in your abilities.  Now, we just wait for what’s next.

Every Sugary Desire

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I am now, apparently, considered known by a few rubberies.

Ahem.

Bullets.

  • My hands hurt today, stiff and they just have no interest in typing any further, but the law is the law.  So we are going to fight our way to five hundred words by emptying our brainpan and speaking/writing in the third person.
  • I am keen to write a poem, after I got an email which is from the chapbook competition I entered last year and which mentioned one of their judges this year is Jeffrey McDaniel.  Jeffrey McDaniel is one of my all-time favorite modern poets.  But, as I think I learned through the process of submitting last time, they’re really looking for good spoken word poetry and I don’t think mine bites in the way they’re looking for it to bite.  It should bite harder, leave limbs and minds gangrenous and ripe for amputation.  It should have a power base that glows red-hot.  It should fuck shit up.  To win at that contest, anyway, and mine does other more subtle magics.  So it would need to be new poetry.  And, too,  I think if I were to just sit down right now and try and pull together some lines they would all be about metaphors about Donald Trump’s comb-over and Twitter’s racial and gender politics and right now, there’s not a person in all the known universes who needs that poem to exist.  It’s the poem four or ten back in line from that one that needs to exist so…I am going to have to break the seal.
  • Going to try and watch Stranger Things since people are excited about that.  Not going to watch it while I’m alone in the dark here, though.  I need this brain to function a bit longer.
  • I am completely confused about work.  Like.  Confused.  I don’t know what to do now, but continue as I mentioned yesterday, with this application.  Everything is as was described, and yet, there’s this odd spasm of delusion that snapped in front of my eyes today.   If I back off of this opportunity because I feel, emotionally, for my boss and the situation, and the situation does not improve and the opportunity disappears and I’m fuuu-uucked?  That would be bad.
  • I continue to have really great luck with Lyft drivers.  They’re all considerate, quick, and pleasant people.  Don’t make me talk too much, totally comfortable to talk to for the precisely negligible amount I care to talk.
  • Seeing my mother in the morning.  Will distract her by talking about the RNC and Donald Trump and all manner of inane but true real life happenstances in the political sphere then will run off to the frock shop.
  •   Dinner tonight was pasta, late.  Trying to do something, however small, that feels like it’s a gift to the body.  Trying to be kind and generous in the backwards way that requires saying no and focusing elsewhere rather than capitulating to every sugary desire.
  • It tried to rain for a bit, but that’s done nothing to kill this heat.

 

100 Proof

into-spaceship-earth-1235302 (1)If the meme ain’t facile, we don’t want the meme.

It’s getting to the point where I need a food change.  Where the food that is supposed to get me through is tasting gross and slowing my system.  It’s adding to my stress.  I’ve got a few plans cooking that start on Sunday afternoon, but I don’t know if that should also be one of them.  Maybe it would just be okay to force down a salad.  Fake it until you make it?

As I was pulling into the parking lot, we got a text about the cat.  She had gone missing.  She’s a cat that was found on the railroad tracks, a ball of fur and vinegar who by some good grace was put in our path, we of a cat-loving nature.  I can’t say that she’d have had an easier life with anyone else in charge of her comings and goings.  Chessie, the railroad kitten, was at my parents’ house and my father was the one texting.  Then came the sister’s facebook message.  Okay, I said to myself after reading it, okay.  I don’t know if I meant it, but I said okay.   She’s not my cat, but the idea of her lost out there on the mean streets of idyllic, sunset suburbia isn’t great to have to ponder.

It has been a long day of striving again, of being relieved and then sucker punched, relieved, sucker punched.  I’ve heard about Nice, but only tangentially, only in headlines.  I feel like I’m only capable of processing headlines, even if they’re the most stringent and dangerous part of the news.  A distillation, 100 proof.  And I’ve been so drunk on it lately, bashed about with the ceiling for the floor and the floor for the ceiling with fucking shitty news.  Every generation has its paranoia, every generation peering down on the next thinks it’s the end of civilization as we know it, but the truth of it is that eventually one of them will be right. You can read that a crazy fanatic person filled with hate drove into a crowd of celebrating people and your eyes can slowly close to let the picture come in, fuzzy and without sound effects, only a soundtrack that is just this song.

The song ends and you can open your eyes, feel your own body against the familiar air, the familiar ground, the familiar impulse to live.  Say Okay.  Nobody thinks you mean it.

Tomorrow is my mom’s next appointment.  An appointment where they are to explain options and status and treatment.  Okay, I say, without meaning it at all.  Okay. Let me know.

Not an hour later, the message comes through on all fronts.  The cat’s been found.  Was just hiding from the dog, her enemy and was just biding her time and sleeping.  Was surprised that there was a hubbub and secretly pleased.  She looks at you, a ball of fur and Okay.  She wouldn’t know to be otherwise.

Do have my good wishes.

Apocalpyse Now Right Now

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I owe words now that I feel better, at least physically.  The house is still extraordinarily warm, I am aching for a letter that is not forthcoming, I am sad and yet loving the universe in its brokenness.

I have words, not sure how to spend them all out tonight.

The ongoing struggle and saga that is holding sway around us is on my mind.  I’m absorbing it through Twitter, this horrible endcap on these most recent traumas.  How many wrinkles will make a tear. When does the whole Tower come down? The violence piled upon violence.  The souls in the balance.  The big, goddamned deal that I can only sit by and cling hands to keep from breaking apart in front of me.  And I have the smallest of burdens.  The smallest and largest, the same as everyone, to walk forward with an open heart.

I have people, like all of us, who post asinine things on social media and leave the rest of us hanging, mouth agog, at their what the fuckery.  Do we engage?  Do we say that they are part of the problem – in this case lionizing all cops over the sake of the “idiots” who don’t understand the challenges involved in the profession.  Instantly, even laying it out in my own mind, I have empathy even for this person who I know to have a husband who is a police officer.  What’s striking to me is how this impulse for empathy isn’t where some people go.  They want to reinforce territory markers, reassert power and control, they want to comfort themselves that the others are in the wrong and they are right, they are okay, they are safe.

None of us are safe and I say that from my bed in the hot and looming darkness.  I might wake up tomorrow and end up between some minor laceration of this great, festering wound.  People with no call to be harmed have found themselves there.

Unlikely, but I am going to walk into it, amongst it, through it.  It is going to walk through me.  It’s our culture, it’s our world, it’s the unknowable tomorrow that is someone’s breaking point.

10 officers dead, so many innocent people killed for racially-motivated reasons.  An aggravation in the whole of society that seems like quicksilver in our minds.  We know what it is, but can’t hold it, can’t cast it out, and it poisons us all the while.  A cancer that has to be treated in the whole of the body politic, not just one arm, one fist at a time.  I’d suggest a radical empathy, but wow, I think the radical act is just trying it for myself.  And that feels like so much right now.

Belief that this is happening, that, too.  No hands over eyes, fingers in ears, instead, the racial divide and the suffering is real.  And it’s real because real people are telling me their experience of suffering.  Anything else is nonsense and diminishing the truth for the sake of comfort.

I want to be at least as good as that.

There are other things, but…at least…

285 + words of work on a project for the shop.

 

Beast of Burden

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The smell of rain brings me back.  I’ve had a nervous day since the start with the unbearably tragic news out of Orlando.   I can only be heartened that the tone does feel shifted somehow, if not the final effect, that people are coming to hear the broken record within themselves and that prayers and kind sentiments are only that.  That you want this to change, you change it.  At the legislative level.  You change the core belief that the gun violence is some sort of inexorable reality.  Violence, perhaps, but if we can do something about this one particular brand of it…

There is other news.  Sunday news.   Parts of which I haven’t even processed yet.  My mother’s got to have a test on her liver on Tuesday.  It’s not routine.  Tuesday is also a dental office visit for me and they’ve hurt today.   There’s my sister asking to be repaid for things that I never asked her to repay me for…there’s waiting to be paid again and not being sure when that will happen.  The boss called and wants me to be somewhere I don’t have easy ways to get to first thing tomorrow morning.

The rest of today’s post was written in a letter.

In the corner, Le Tricolor hangs.  The banner dates from the time of the Revolution, though as with so many things here, the absence of light removes crucial details such as wear and age.

It’s going to be alright.

Sharp

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Somewhere, in a far off universe, my dinner and I have met.

(We did.  It was two eggs in a frame, not one-eyed egyptians which is what my grandfather whom I never met used to call them, plus diet snapple, plus, in a minute, probably some water and maybe an orange and some popcorn.  I have a cookie, but it doesn’t sound great.)

Some time, in a location near you, I will have calmed down.

(I did.  I got as busy as I could and I did what I could and I didn’t collapse in the face what I can’t have any say over at the moment.  It wasn’t enough, but it wasn’t rooted in my terribleness.  I am beginning to believe that I am not at all terrible.  I’m really rather delightful, actually.  But I don’t always do the best thing in any given situation and sometimes the circumstances placed upon me don’t allow for me to perform miracles.  I have never yet seen a miracle – though I have seen wondrous and remarkable things – and I don’t need to live in wait for them, to suffer for the lack of them.)

Somehow, without time or space dependent on it, I will respond, reply, restore, react to some of the things being thrown my way.

(But not all of them.  Some things go to the wayside because that’s where they were meant to go.  The rest will get scooped up.  They will be handled. But I don’t have to handle it all now, perfectly, fearlessly.  The Faithful Light will point the way and I will stroll hand in hand with her.  I refuse to go down the road of self-torment.  There is nothing there for me, there is no one there for me, there is no place there for me.  I refuse to wake up morning after morning feeling fried and panicked by failure and imperfection.  Not when I am striving, not when I deserve generous thoughts and soft hands and cold water.)

….

Big thoughts.

The weathercasters all predict a blizzard tomorrow.  Some say this is a big blizzard, some say this is one of those blizzards that doesn’t impact a hair on your head, some say life is risk and you live in a place of snow and ice.  I am ready to work from home, ready to work at work.  Ready to do my damndest.  But tonight, my friends, is mine.  I have worked on the piece I brought home to work on.  I have celebrated Mystery Science Theatre 3000’s kickstarter success and its new host. I’ve read as much news as I could stomach, including opinion pieces that suggest xenophobia and isolation will somehow do anything beyond encourage those we recoil from to see us as enemies, as a faceless, soulless lump that doesn’t individuate, but acts only to preserve itself.

Now, there is no shame or guilt for reading, stretching, drinking, being my own private self for always.  I have a warm nest.  I love it here, quiet enough to hear the saints shuffle, quiet enough to hear the angels tap on the head of a pin.