Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Growing Out

Growing one's hair out is a state of mind. For the last three years I've been growing my hair out from a scalp-close pixie, waiting like a fool for the ship called Long Luxuriant Mane to come in, hoping against the odds. I have fine thin hair, the kind ads on tv ask about in voice-overs that are always melancholy: Do you have fine thin hair?

Would bobby pins make it bearable? Handband? No. What about a rhinestone clip? Finally, this morning, I said fuck it.

The wan, mouse-brown inches fell to the floor and with them the months. That hair must hold the evidence the pain clinic, the ice packs, the medicines, and the life that I once imagined would be mine. It feels good to be rid of it. I'm not a pixie anymore, I'll never be a Godiva; what's real right now is, as the gurus say, "being present, being vulnerable." So I've got a bob that bares the neck.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Beginner's Mind

I've started meditating. Hold the snickers, friends, I know that I've started many things only to give them up. (See: knitting, the no sugar diet, daily exercise, and making adorable flowers out of felt.)

My mother asks, "Notice anything different yet, honey?"
I say, "Mom, I'm trying to divorce myself from outcomes."
"Oh."

So far, the only thing I've noticed is that meditation is to be looking in on one's mind as if peering over a wall to watch the neighbors who are always fighting. Look at them fighting! What an bunch of assholes! You think to yourself: She ought to leave him, except you're experiencing yourself. This is all going on in your mind.

You're instructed to let these thoughts pass like clouds. Well I friggin' can't. I'm lassoing clouds, attached to every memory, anticipating the future, planning, plotting, rubbing my hands together, mwahahaha, and completely out of touch with what I am supposed to be in touch: the present moment.

Breathing. Oh, yeah. That.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Nutritive Poetry

Reading poetry seems like the practice of goofballs and the overly literary until you need it. There will be a time when you need it.

I sipped occasionally at the cup of poetry, spilling at will when I would find someone eating a piece of fruit. I would say, "Do I dare to eat a peach?" And I would laugh inwardly, knowingly, smugly.

Poetry isn't a tea biscuit to me anymore. It's meat. It's the point. Where else to find the words for the emotions you did not know you had? I get in there, climb into poems, with my ladder propped against the apple tree. Yehuda Amichai wrote "You mustn't show weakness and you've got to have a tan" and I think, oh my god. Exactly. This is looking for parking in the parking lot in the NW Baltimore suburbs. How did Amichai know?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Salmon Stream of Consciousness

Salmon, the color, is awesome, it's shaka, which is Hawaiian slang for awesome. If I were to decide these things, chakra colors, it'd be the color for the belly or hara, the Japanese martial art term for the seat of the gut.

My gut will later on be filled with cake. Today is my birthday.

Cake is one of those things that is great to anticipate. Like getting together with old friends. You anticipate what you might talk about, the ground you might cover, the connection. I think about the quality of the icing. Whipped cream is so rich yet so light. There's physics here, as there is with friends who have known you a long time, and still.

The gut is trust. When my gut said "this endodontist is not a good endodontist" I should not have overridden that with my grey matter and stayed in the chair for the root canal. Now I have TMJ. You learn these things as you go. When your gut says "get up out of that chair," you should get up. The gut takes in the Elvis sculpture in the endodontist's waiting room and makes the necessary connections.

Salmon also is my favorite fish, lightly grilled, with lemon.

One day we all will return to the stream, I think. The sun will set like in a poem, glowing orange, all belly. Like in the poem Lycidas, and we will have new pasture. Until then, cake.