Sunday, June 7, 2015

A Sexy Moment

June 7, 2015

In her book, Thinking About Memoir, Abigail Thomas has a chapter called The Habit of Writing. She says, “A lot of writing consists of waiting around for the aquarium to settle so you can see the fish. Walking around muttering seems to hasten the process. Taking public transportation nowhere helps.”
I don’t have a fish tank, but I do mutter and wander. Often while driving, stories and memories rush through me. No radio, trees flashing by. I lean precariously on the dashboard with a pen and scrap of paper, stenographer of my life, trying to get them down before everything slips away.

The other day I was at the dentist. It was seven o'clock in the morning. I thought that was too early to get my teeth cleaned. The office had the news going which always gets me stirred up. The magazines had pictures of women in bikinis which stirs me too. Why do I want to see Gwyneth Paltrow in a white bikini with leather straps on the side? Doesn't the water make a mess of that leather? I was getting my teeth cleaned and then had to go to school to be with first graders for the day. That stirred me up too. I'm like a good cup of coffee. I get stirred easily which is one of the reasons why I write. 
After the dentist, I wrote this on a scrap of paper.

Lee is my teeth cleaner.
She said, you have a cool life.
She loves red wine.
Her husband gets her a case of Malbec for Christmas every year.
Lee has three kids. 
That's one if the reasons her husband gets her a case of wine. 

Can you tell which one is me?

Some days I don't want to be in school where kids have to stay in a line and find the text evidence in the passage they just read. Do you know what that means? But it's not all bad. There's always some sweet kid who draws me a picture to take home to put on my fridge. Wouldn't it be great if people did that in the workplace? 

Here Bill, drew you this picture. 
Hey Annette, I drew this picture of us! 
Jean, whaddya think of my dog?

Some days I want to be a famous writer giving readings and throwing my head back in a witty laugh. [That is how they spend their days, right?]

Today I'm happy to be in my backyard with my plants and dog and trees swaying over my head. I had a sexy moment where I fixed my John Deere all by myself (the belt was off the looping thing). I took a victory lap around the yard and mowed some grass. I miss my husband who is in Los Angeles. I miss my father who is losing his bearings slowly and sometimes painfully. I miss my mother, dead for a dozen years. These things come over me and I don't feel so good. But then I fix my lawn mower or talk to a friend on the phone or see a Pileated Woodpecker fly over my head and land on the tree near the wood pile. 

Pileated Woodpeckers remind us to embrace our uniqueness. 

Pigs don't fly and famous writers are just like the rest of us, messy beauty and missing and ______. 

Today I will be happy with dog and trees and birds, plants, and daughters close by.

Happy even with my missing.

Mary Oliver got it right when she wrote:

When it’s over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

xo b