Friday, July 24, 2009

Ferris Wheels

Don't give yourself Away

Being a creature of the night I used to believe that the very late night was my favorite time of the day, but anymore I love the mornings. Summer has been moderate this year and while I know it makes my brother insane because he's a creature who almost eats the sun, for me it's been wonderful. I will often leave my bedroom windows open and the window in my studio so I can still hear the animals and birds and yet have the air conditioning suck the humidity out of the air and keep my feet cool. So there I was in bed this morning waking softly to hear the birds. I reached over for my ipod to listen to Joni. Joni was singing Both Sides Now and I was thinking about how many times I've listened to that song and the mix of comfort and sadness she's given me. She doesn't just sing the song she draws the words out so if you know the lyrics you wait for them to pour over you like sunshine each word feeding a bit of your soul:

Rows and flows of angel hair
And ice cream castles in the air
And feather canyons everywhere
I've looked at clouds that way

But now they only block the sun
They rain and snow on everyone
So many things I would have done
But clouds got in my way
I've looked at clouds from both sides now

From up and down, and still somehow
It's cloud illusions I recall
I really don't know clouds at all


I had one earphone in and left my other ear to hear for the different chirps in the trees and looked for a cloud, not one today. I noticed the painting in the corner was moved a little because Fat Fat Leroy Brown, the fattest cat in this whole damn house was looking for a place to hide from Richie, his pounding footprints could scare a circus elephant let alone my tender fat cat. They'd come one after the other to see me in the morning when I am quiet and still, listening to Joni sing to me. I felt like Michael Corleone at his Son's communion party, each taking their turn to come lay beside me and let me love on them, kissing behind their ears and singing to them a little. When one would leave another appears listening to the birds and sometimes launching themselves in the air to the window above my bed to listen to watch for them. Last night before I fell asleep I could hear Richie and Chrissy taking the junk from the garage they had cleaned this week to the curb. They were dragging things because kids are lazy and they were giggling, like lovers do, like friends do and I wanted to hug them both and say, good for you. They laugh like Tricky and I do when it's quiet and I can say any one of 300 phrases that will make him burst out laughing. They laughed like Suzy and I do when we both see something funny or when she sees some nut job talking to himself on a park bench and nudges me to say "this is your last chance to save his soul and love him forever." Later in the morning she will text me to ask if I am feeling ok, as yesterday I felt wonky all day long. She loves me like that. And while I was counting the blessings in my head, Joni was still singing to me:

Moons and Junes and Ferris wheels
The dizzy dancing way you feel
As ev'ry fairy tale comes real
I've looked at love that way

But now it's just another show
You leave 'em laughing when you go
And if you care, don't let them know
Don't give yourself away

I've looked at love from both sides now
From give and take, and still somehow
It's love's illusions I recall
I really don't know love at all


It's loves illusions I recall. The cool gray light of morning was just floating there and I was thinking that if I died tomorrow I would mostly be worried about someone finding my ipod and flipping through it someone who loves me thinking, "what the hell was going on in that head of hers?" They'd wonder why I was listening to Dh Lawrence and know I had probably read Lady Chatterly's Lover, but I never have. Strange. Best Friend texts me from the office, "your mission today if you choose to take it." I was already on her mission and sent her a secret. She responded with "we should all get what we want." Oh hell who am I kidding, I called her last night when I was sure she was sleeping but she was awake and we laughed until I was sleepy. She still fights off sleep to love me. I am so blessed. I'll mention that if i run into him I will give him her number but hesitate like I shouldn't. She responds "don't hesitate hell give him all the numbers." She won't answer them anyway, she's clever like that.

Can you be surrounded in love and sometimes feel a little hint of lonely creep in the edges? When the pastor of my church says "be happy with what you have." I will feel full of shame, my mother would hardly be happy with me, she lived a small life and wanted the same for me. There are days when the world doesn't feel large enough and you think it will be an ordinary day. You go through the motions, find iced coffee, fill an order, white to a customer, hope the post office finds what's missing, keep the TV turned off (keep down the white noise), eat what's right, cheat and look for some mercy. I did that yesterday as I do most days finding joy in the tiny details that make my life what I've created. And then out of nowhere a really fluffy cloud passed by. I almost missed it as it was dark, dust really that gloaming moment of acknowledging the past day and wondering of the next. I had started a few new pieces, clipping away, and there this cloud showed and it wasn't dark or fluffy white, no shade of gray. There was a cloud of purple passion and it just parked itself over my door.

And when the cloud lingered there
I pretended not to notice
until it reached down mixed in summer breeze
and played with my hair
lingering there until it left again

"I am so tired of shades of gray." Sometimes you hope for something and time passes and you think hope is for suckers who sing about ferris wheels. Other times, it parks there and you think, I'm a fan of hope. Hope wins the day. He'll find me later. He'll use the word baby. He'll know I needed the rain not the rain that washes off the dirt but the rain that leaves your hair purple.


Tears and fears and feeling proud
To say "I love you" right out loud
Dreams and schemes and circus crowds
I've looked at life that way

But now old friends are acting strange
They shake their heads, they say I've changed
Well something's lost, but something's gained
In living every day

I've looked at life from both sides now
From win and lose and still somehow
It's life's illusions I recall
I really don't know life at all
I've looked at life from both sides now
From up and down, and still somehow
It's life's illusions I recall
I really don't know life at all


Joni was done. Best Friend was off saving the world for democrats. Richie was stirring he's taking me to the DMV today to change up my license, more proof that summers make you old. The cats are wrestling all over the house sounding like fallen soldiers on the battlefield as they fling their bodies to the ground. Morning is waiting downstairs, a few emails to answer and maybe today I'll find the salad I love with the little peas. If the purple cloud shows up at your door, pour it out, say what you must, it won't be around long, don't hesitate, or you'll wonder.

If you need to find me, I'm at You can find my work at I'm never far.



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