Tuesday, January 12, 2010
And I wonder sometimes
and I know I'm unkind
but I need you to turn to
when I am so blind
I need you to turn to
when I lose control
You're my guardian angel
who keeps out the cold
Wonder. I haven't written in awhile been busy busy with family and life stuff and the Christmas bustle that is my job. I miss the time spent just pondering and of course wondering. Best Friend used to tell me "it's good to wonder." and at the time, being a girl who never liked to wonder about anything, who always needed the answers spelled out NOW, it would frustrate me.
These days I feel full of wonder. What direction will I take my life? My business? What will my son do when he finishes school? Is love waiting? Wonder, wonder, wonder.
Webster will tell us that wondering is about thinking and then feeling and the emotion that is surprise by what is strange and exciting. Oh gosh, this is so true. When someone surprises us, takes us by our ear and our heart, tells us something we knew but forgot, romances our soul, we are in wonder. I recently worked up the courage to ask someone. This was difficult, I practiced at the market in my head, mostly because I don't like being anywhere where I am alone in thought. If I know something wonderful (full of wonder) I share it with the Best Friend, "Did you see this movie? Did you hear this song? Want to hear this poem?" and she will rejoice in it's wonder with me, even if its not something that interests her but to celebrate in my joy of it. I didn't share this particular wonder with her or anyone else. It was mine, mine and, well I wondered. I turned in my head, the joy of it, the terror, the idea, the wonder. And I asked in the dark, of course, reminding myself that the brave only die once, really. "Do you ever wonder?" There it was just floating out there, the knowledge that I did wonder more often these days than I have in a long time. Wonder, the pure joy and terror of it. It's complicated.
The winter has been cold and full of snow and ice and I miss Spring and Summer's warm breeze. I even miss the summer bugs singing to me. But there are reasons I want winter lingering awhile.
I haven't worn my very snazzy boots nearly enough yet, have a bunch of new sweaters I haven't worn and a pink one in particular I really really love. I haven't eaten stew yet when I've been out shoveling for awhile, the comfort of the warm food just falling over your insides. I want to kiss the sweetest boy in the world before I see one flower push itself out of the ground and show me its color. The kittens will be big by spring and I love them little. In the Spring I will have to make MAJOR life decisions and I don't mind putting off for awhile, snow or not. I used to panic when it got so dark so early, now I linger in it and wait, Oh the rewards of winter.
When I see a branch covered in ice I think there I am, all exposed to the world, this branch full of some life force, dormant and covered in ice. Wonderful. Nature's beauty showing you the perils and joys of life. I can hear the cracking like peanut brittle and in my bed I am comforted by it like I am comforted by the wind in the summer. I am trying to enjoy winter and Best Friend's recent visit helped. She is so full of joy when it snows that it's hard to be a scrooge about it. She was my special Christmas gift this year. The back deck is always full of a thousand little woodland footprints and I still feed the animals bread every day because the idea of one living creature out in the cold is enough let alone cold and hungry.
And if we allow ourselves the glutenous pleasure of a wonder or two are we being brave or more of a coward? Do people who get what they want in this life skip over the wonder part and when they have the tiniest notion just take what is theirs while those wondering others are just watching? Just when I think that could be the case I think about the guy in California hanging out with his friends at the zoo, late at night, thinking they are oh so clever for sneaking in and smoking a little weed, laughing like mad no doubt and one wonders but not lingering wonder what those lions are like down there. He was eaten in short order while his friends watched in well probably wonder and terror. Yeah, I think I'll linger in thought awhile. I don't even blame him really, I love cats and always wanted to pet a big one.
There was a time when I didn't wonder about love, I just ate it, ate it like there was no tomorrow to think about, like chocolate, screw the consequences, let the chips fall where they may. I could clean up the debris, I was young and fearless. Now, I ask questions, push it through my head, live in wonder for awhile. I test it. I test everything. I live in the moment and live in wonder about the rest. I am fragile in the winter, sometimes I feel like I could crack like ice. Soon the days will get longer again I tell myself. The other day when I was shoveling the drive way with no end, I stopped in that thick gray air that is winter listening to only other people scraping up the snow with their shovels and in the distance a few children giggling. There in that moment I could feel him wrap his arms around me from behind me and whisper "Spring is on it's way, this is all very temporary." It was a good work out and when I came in I rewarded myself with really cold chocolate milk and some time with the kittens. Yes, the Dog had kittens a few weeks ago and they are doing fine, very sweet. I will post photos of them later this week when I do a whole blog about kitten love. I named one Dirty White Boy and I am working on naming the other and it appears I am keeping them unless someone out there thinks they can love a pair of kittens as I dont think I can separate them.
Those of you who wrote to ask about Christmas, well Best Friend was here as well as the kid and friends. It was a week of visiting and good food and shopping. I made my hair red and I think it was the nicest holiday I can remember in a long time. I gave up on the big tree idea and scaled everything down. The day preceding Christmas Eve I treated myself to a spa day. After I had to shop so people could eat here and on the way home sitting in my car at the market I had the most wonderful conversation and for awhile time stood still and I was the luckiest girl in the world. Thank God for traffic and snow storms and love. I finished my shopping late into the night and when I arrived home wanted to rest awhile before I carried everything in. In true form I fell asleep on the sofa and woke at 4am and when I went out to carry everything in the trunk was frozen shut in the ice storm. I spent Christmas Eve, cooking and napping and doing last minute decorating. Pure joy. When Richie went home I hugged him too long, had wet eyes and sent him home with enough food for 30 people. All in all a really good visit.
Why do you do it?
When in the garden, on my knees
digging, planting seeds tucked into a tiny envelope
shared from this hand to another
I found a worm wiggling in it's red glory
and that worm whispered to me
"Why are you here?" I listened closer
drawing it to my ear
"Why are you here getting dirty?" it asked me
"You could buy flowers at the market?"
I laid down in the nearby grass
taking moments from the day
listening to cars in the distance fighting traffic
and layed this tiny worm down on my collarbone
and explained tenderly that I was there
because the ground called to me
and "I am here to spend a few moments with you."
"In the day when things are harried and I feel
hassled and alone, too big and too important
for my own good, I found you and would you please
explain the universe to me under my feet?"
Then later I was in a market of sorts
finding the perfect eggplant that would be my dinner
The crowd was pulsing and I do not suffer
a crowd easily, my heart was racing a bit
I was standing my own in the noise
and there was a man who has touched
a thousand eggplant, who has thumped a hundred melons
and I went to stand by him and watched the crowd
touching the vegetables, running their hands
over their skin and sniffing them
this very private ritual practiced over and over
the people there trusting what this food would nourish them
taking these bounties of nature home to
chop them into tiny pieces and cook them into dishes
that have been cooked over and over again
thousands of times, the smell familiar and inviting
and the man asked me "Why are you here?"
"I know you don't like the crowd, I've seen you cower before"
All I could answer was "I am drawn to this place, this madness
because what I find here nourishes me and the uncomfortable
feeling in my stomach will pass and will soon be replaced
with this eggplant." He smiled giving me a knowing look
and I'd see him again at another time in perhaps a larger crowd
looking for asparagus.
Weeks later in church and there in the pew next to me
a man I'd never seen
He has soft eyes and a knowing smile
I was at ease and I am seldom comforted
by a strange of anything Xenophobia of the highest order
all contained in a quiet scream only dogs can hear
and I heard him whisper to me and the church
fell quiet and dark and we were alone it seemed
but in all reality we are never alone
"Why are you here? Why do you come here?"
"Are you ignorant to the hypocrisy of religion?"
"I thought you a smart girl, are you lost?"
His voice was familiar only because I imagined it in my heart
over and over the deliberate cadence of it
like a slow violin playing almost as though I knew
the next words because they were the words of my heart
over and over, practiced and deliberate but seldom heard
"I am here for this." I answered slowly
"I would do anything, go anywhere to have this time with you, alone."
"Child, we aren't alone, look around there are people waiting for me
and people waiting for you."
I pulled out my own violin and without even a whisper played,
I played a little song of "In my heart I am alone with you."
Nobody noticed the girl in the back row
with her eyes closed playing and playing and playing.
On Sunday when I was done running errands I sat in the driveway with no end. The sun was about to set and I could see the dripping from the end of the icicles hanging off the house each more beautiful than the other. I would later find the slavic dude who told me this wouldn't happen anymore and chew his ass out thoroughly, the gutters still didn't work right or this wouldn't happen. The sun was setting through the trees and I was lingering as I do sending out a little thought to the universe, to God and I called Best Friend to remind her that she should be more open, more willing to get what she wants and to tip her hand a little. She laughed and told me she'll remind me of this conversation when I call her full of heartache when I have put it out there too much and I have no net, the flying Wendella.
I am so taken by nature's beauty sometimes that I try to find the lessons there about how the ice at the lake house will be so hard over the water that you can walk to the back of the lake safely and be God walking on water for a few short days when the days are indeed short. It's all a matter of time for everything is revealed before a truth works its way through the ground, before spring. I forgot to turn the heat up before I went to the studio this morning to share this with you. Dirty White Boy (the tiny white cat) came down to follow me as he does, and he's now sleeping in my hoodie, his little head sticking out the top, breathing deep, lingering as I love to linger. How do I give him away and just wonder if someone will love him as I love him? His tender nature carried me through the end of a long summer. I think he could be mine forever.
Another Christmas gone, another New Year's Eve. When I was a little girl I loved to watch the sands slip through an hour glass, the wonder of time. Now I hold on to every grain of sand and I do love to linger.
You can find my work at www.poetsummer.etsy.com and you can always email me at Summerpoet@msn.com.