I am done trying to figure out how to fit into to the world. Today I begin fitting the world into me. I am not lost. I felt lost. Now I am here in this place at this time, and the world must join me here and explain itself or not. I will be a patient observer of all its modalities and listener of its languages. But, I will no longer be morphing my shape to fit into some imaginary puzzle space in a vast array of jigsaw squiggles. I am me and I will know me by how the world fits me. I love who I love, but have no power over anyone but myself and sometimes not even that. How can I fit myself in if I cannot arrange the other pieces. I give up trying to arrange things from now on I am an observer of my borders as the world laps in and out and through me. The world will find a way to fit me in or fit into me. Either way I will be here making my way through my life as the fog lifts a few feet in front me and closes in behind.
For the last month and a half I have been cranking out written answers to questions in kinesiology, physical therapy, and early childhood education. I am in school online and so must talk through my keyboard. It is a challenge to not get overly creative with my writing and fly off into the ether of my imagination. I must stay grounded in order to complete the assignments. So grounded I am.
I am learning a lot about how joints, muscles and bones work. I am learning how much I know about teaching young children. I am learning how to live without creating original work, which, up until recently, has been my engine for moving through my life. Now I am driven by the need for a future and survival. I am hoping at some point to bring them together into one life purpose. I am now opening up my mind to more creative pursuits because I seem to have at least a tenuous grasp of the academic and pragmatic aspects of my life. My relationships remain hopelessly muddled. I am not sure if I will ever sort out how to get past my slow processing and anxieties to relate to anyone authentically in real time. That is my goal. To be creative, functional, and have authentic real time relationships, it is like building a puzzle with living pieces that keep moving around. I must learn how to tie the pieces of my internal reality to the world and people and somehow not feel like I am being drawn and quartered. I am the puzzle and I am a part of the puzzle. I create the puzzle I inhabit. I must lose the fear of my own life in order to truly put it all together. This all also reminds me of the complexity of joints and how they work or don’t work. If one aspect is out of alignment, it causes stress on the rest of the joint. My life is a joint in which most of the parts are out of alignment. The muscles pull at the wrong angles. The bones are grinding and popping and ligaments stretched.
Anxiety and fear are the cause of my imbalances and the barriers to smoothly moving in the world. I must find a calm space in the midst of this chaos of competing desires and fear-feeding predictions of bleak and lonely times ahead, find the eye of the storm and my pieces into place so that I can move out in the world dancing instead of limping. I will be a leaf on the wind watch me float and glide.
Pieces of my date book journal experiment of last summer.
I have no idea how to write in this small space, but I am sure something will occur to me.
I talked with a man today about riding the bus in Mexico. He had the same experience.
He loves wine, fishing and catching his own food.
The pressure of miles of air stacked to the edge of space pushes my body into the mattress. To rise I must lift all of that atmosphere, bear the weight on my shoulders, feet and top of my head.
It had something to do with a flow of long brown hair being the same as a pitcher of dark red juice and the words of a swindling silver-tongued rogue.
Many electric chandeliers are sparking blue at the power button but refuse to light. She sits alone in the bar booth as I pass. I order a Squirt but find it is too expensive.
Is opportunity too expensive?
Death Changes Plans
Once again we are traveling quickly and without any regard to what we want. Ken is dying, and we must travel, no sleepy days by the creek or languid walks along the beach, just moving our bodies to a different place.
Ken died. We were ready to go. Now we are in our limbo lives waiting for the next phone call. I am trying to sort out what is important. What difference does it make to plan? Life goes along anyway how it will and ends when no one is ready.
Mary and I drove down to Camano Island and walked along a rocky beach. If you were a geologist you could study that beach for a lifetime. What would we discover if every square mile of the earth were studied like that?
J. came over yesterday. We picked him up on our way back into town. He cooked good steaks on the grill.
I always feel weird calling work. Today I called and told Heather I would be coming to work today since we did not go to California. Charlie and I walked 7 miles around and over and back over Alabama hill. I decided that whatever I do now has to feel like a vacation.
Two Way Strands
I woke to the sound of dog claws clicking down the stairs, and got up to let Charlie out, Dvorak’s New World Symphony playing in my head, a passage that reminds me of waves or ocean travel.
Lately, I am randomly receiving glimpses of past feelings along with images and sounds, but none of these seem useful or provide any meaning to my present.
Every movement leaves a part of me some place I existed, like attaching web strands to every point as I move.
Summer Storm and Aftermath
Thunder bloomed, light and sound combined into a spreading vine among a turmoil of cloud, fading and flashing newly, the breath of a storm moving south over the hills.
I walked all the way to the falls and back over the overpass, the city laid out and bay glimmering in summer light, a muggy day after yesterday’s rain.
Anxiety simmered just below the surface of my day. I took the couch I had dismantled to the dump and went to work. I could not shake the feeling of dread. Out in the world the chances for mistakes multiply. I felt vulnerable. I made some mistakes, but none that altered my life much.
Villain in the System (a dream song to the English Beat’s Mirror in the Bathroom)
I went into town several times looking for Andrea and Angela, but they are always back at the farm.
Angela says,“Most heroes are not very heroic because they are everybody who stays through the hard winter. The ones who stick to what they know is right.”
A girl of 9 or 10 years sat alone during the reception waiting for her parents by the alter, a white satin drape of cloth with some large white flowers and lit candles on the floor in front of the curtains at the edge of the stage. A man rose to speak about his family. At first, She thought it was her father but changed her mind. I picked her up and held her as she cried. After a while, as I carried her around she began to smile and talk with people about her mother and father.
Mary and I at the sporting goods store returned large exercise balls still inflated even with gaping slashes. From there we could see the sharks coming up on the beach.
At the bottom of the device which was to fit on D.’s torso was a flesh attachment that had to do with the renal function.
We watched from the house as the girls moved around the fire. Smoke filled the room so we could only see the shadowy shapes of dangerous creatures slipping in with the magic.
A Curt Cobain rock opera about mundane life: a 3 cd set with discs that looked life 45 rpm vinyl records.
What was left?
In the madness of his skin and rags, he stretched out over the rocks and slept. When the warm sunlight pulled him back to life, he could hear water flowing down from the mountain. Feeling his way, he found the stream. He stripped off the hanging shreds of cloth and waded out into the life of a person he yet to become.
I led a group of 3 down a long hill and onto roof of a sunken house. We began sliding down the slippery moss covered wooden shakes. The others managed scramble back to the grassy hillside. I lay flat and tried to stop sliding, and just as I reached the edge I woke.
The sadness tree, about two feet high and made of blue and green plastic straws, increases the sadness until you don’t need it any more.
Balancing Life and Words
Reading and writing take me out of the world. I must struggle back into my life. But, if I don’t write, I lose track of who I am and where I am headed. Where is the balancing point? There must be music and art as well.
I have decided to take a more social trail in life. I will arrive early and stay late, not run away into music and drink. So many of my favorite writers are dead or old. Will I only read forgotten tombs of the ancient world falling into the dark swiftly?
It is all about anxiety and being locked in my skull.
After I came back from the staff meeting Mary asked if I was going to get more hours.
“Maybe you need to find another job. We need more money.”
I don’t know what job she is talking about. I have all the jobs I can find.
Point of View
A woman ran past the ethnographer babbling to herself about the unfairness of men. A group of men pursuing her yelled at him to stop her.
“She’s gone mad,” they said.
“Why do you say that?” The ethnographer asked.
“She killed a goat.”
“But you killed many goats last week.”
“Yes, but she is a woman.”
The End of July
I walked around the lake behind a woman whose steady grace moved just on the edge of one too many bends ahead.
I am operating in closed mode as I am feeling very prickly and anxious. I am trying to plan something and carry out the plans already in motion.
Braided Leather Belt
Belted braid beer belly Jelly jar
Incandescent light bulb hub cap slab
Mud blood bedbug meat slug
Slag bag big box hardware sign
sapling thrasher smashing slasher
lush mush bushwhacker blush
cornhusker busker bin
Let them in cotton gin
Let’s begin again
Spring Triangle Down at the Lake
Red plastic tackle box closed to the sun
Fishers stand in the shade
Of new leaves
1. He picks her up and carries her south toward London, running like superman as the whole of England’s fields spread out before them. The other two had more modest skills like cleaning up liquids without getting wet.
2. Everyone in the lobby stands so still.
“The veterans are our only wanderers,” the nurse informs me as I check in. Later a clatter in the corner wakes me.
“Whose that!” I shout.
Her back is to me. I see a red sweater and long black hair.
“Who is that!”
She turns, and arms moving like pinwheels beside her pale face, she speeds from the room.
I am the head of a family in which everyone is running for president. I am trying to lead them in ways of wisdom.
“In the next few minutes there will be a wasp trapped in a spider’s web,” I announce. “We must free it.”
Suddenly the air is filled with wasps all around us, but none are trapped.
“Oh well, we must not kill anything for the next few days,” I say.
My son Jordan jumps up and gesticulates wildly shouting, “There are some who are not able to accept calmly the restrictions of responsibility and become angry.”
“But calm reflection will enlighten you more,” I reply.
“I am not angry,” he says sitting quietly down.
I am never clear on where I am headed, just vaguely moving toward a dim light. Light breezes intercept my progress and shift my route, or sometimes I am swatted away staggering in a completely different direction. I expect these diversions every now and then.
A movement of horizons
How could I bring the sky down to my bed?
Nights awake staring into
the wall surrounding the universe.
But what is on the other side?
I built walls that could not contain
Oblivion’s eternal reach.