Tuesday, August 18, 2009

I think its going to rain today

Bad News

67 Days
Behind the house by the Lake lies the Kankakee River. It's incalculable beauty leaves me unable to speak at times. If you drive through Wilmington to the dam the logs bang up against the cement and the noise is like thunder. When Best Friend and I would drive up the back road through the sunflower fields we'd run across the spaceman, huge, probably 30 feet tall holding a giant rocket. This was good news, time for life to slow down, a new pace to things, a campfire to watch as soon as it got dark and swimming down the channel to the bridge. My father owned a little white cabin down the road and on Fridays I would wander over there and he'd be unpacking and we'd sit by a fire he'd start the moment he arrived and he'd throw a line in the water. He'd always ask me, "Any news?" For years, nothing changed, ever. Not really.
Somewhere sirens are wailing, just not here. Now though the sirens don't seem to quiet down not for 67 days.

I asked my son this morning, "What is the worst news you've ever heard?" He said "When you were sick." I really thought he'd say "THE divorce." I even wondered if it would be his father moving away. Everything, every part of your life can change in one minute, on a dime. God's finger is at the ready waiting to push your little boat under the tide. Believe me about this.

This is the last day of our acquaintance, I don't love you anymore, You should pack your things, bring someone with you, ma'am there is nothing we can do to fix this. Here take this it will make it better, no take it some more. What's the saddest thing you've ever heard? I was hurt, I didn't want to be hurt.
67 days and counting.

I wondered about Anne Sexton today and Woolf and Plath. The strong women, well not so strong. The beautiful women who wrote, who were brave and in the end stumbled. They felt they weren't loved enough, weren't understood and they couldn't take one more bit of bad news. The sky opened, it start to rain and for woolf, she just let herself go in the river after sitting down to write her husband a note that she didn't wish to be his burden. His heartache maybe but not a burden. I understand that. 67 days later I get it.

When I was a child I suffered from eczema on my hands. It itched like crazy and I'd scratch it constantly. It ran in cycles in the winter and the scratching would leave my hands raw and red and sore. My father would beg me not to scratch them to try and let it go but it was almost in every thought the itching. One day he told me he had bad news, bad news mind you and that he was going to put my hands in some medicine and then they'd heal. The medicine was rubbing alcohol. I remember screaming a little and then passing out. They healed and I never scratched them again. Some lessons learned are harder than others. Woolf wouldn't write again after her swim and Sexton after trying to smoke herself to death and trying to kill herself a dozen times Sexton figured it out or found the courage or was just exhausted. Someone broke the bad news and it wasn't her.

Bad news can pass through you like a cold shower the needles running over your skin and you have to hear it a few times. other times, it just leaves you numb and you only have to hear it once because it resounds like a beating drum over and over again without a sound being heard, anywhere. Kennedy is dead, all those dreams with him. Want to see a piece of his head? The news will show it over and over and over again. Don't run and hiding is futile, there's no place to go. I wonder if Jackie counted down the days until she could get dressed again. I wonder and wonder and wonder.

The good news is it's going to rain today. Richie is on his way back to school. Leroy is sleeping in the window after I poured a bucket of love on him. Time fixes everything and tomatoes are in season. Whether I pull the blanket over my head or not the sun will creep up over the yard. Soon the snow will fly over the fence, soon 67 days will be 120 soon. When Richie was little I would think there would there would never be a time he wouldn't be sleeping in the other room when I'd eat dinner without him. Life marches on and so does time.

If I'd known Virginia, I would have taken her down to the river and let her slide her feet into the water and then pulled her back over and over again until she knew I wouldn't let her slip through my hands. She would have written more, something that changed the world even more than she already had and women wouldn't be looking for a room of their own but a whole house.

In honor of those women who forge through sadness to figure the sky a Sexton poem I love, or part of it:

Admonitions to a Special Person

Watch out for power,
for its avalanche can bury you,
snow, snow, snow, smothering your mountain.

Watch out for hate,
it can open its mouth and you'll fling yourself out
to eat off your leg, an instant leper.

Watch out for friends,
because when you betray them,
as you will,
they will bury their heads in the toilet
and flush themselves away.

Watch out for intellect
because it knows so much it knows nothing
and leaves you hanging upside down,
mouthing knowledge as your heart
falls out of your mouth.

Watch out for games, the actor's part,
the speech planned, known, given,
for they will give you away
and you will stand like a naked little boy,
pissing on your own child-bed.

Watch out for love
(unless it is true,
and every part of you says yes including the toes) ,
it will wrap you up like a mummy,
and your scream won't be heard
and none of your running will end.

Love? Be it man. Be it woman.
It must be a wave
you want to glide in on,
give your body to it, give your laugh to it,
give, when the gravelly sand takes you,
your tears to the land. To love another is something
like prayer and can't be planned, you just fall
into its arms because your belief undoes your disbelief.

67 days and counting. I was thinking on that today. That it was just enough time to figure the sky and if I hadn't I wouldn't give myself another moment. Best Friend will tell me take as long as you need, she loves me though. The rest of the world is toe tapping me to figure out some shit and I need to figure it out. Lord have mercy. Just when I am sure God's close by helping me figure out my life I reach out my hand for him and well he's ushering me off to figure it out on my own.Free will and all.

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