22 August 2007

Where have I been?

I Google-d "good rain" to find an image for this post. It was hot, hot, hot on the Gulf today--as it has been for...a very long time. But in my soul, it rained today. I feel refreshed and interested in life again. Throughout the day I took some of the first long, deep breaths I'd taken in weeks.

I guess it's hard to write when it's hard to breathe.

At least once a day, every day since I last wrote, I thought of writing here. Always there was either nothing to say or more to say than I had words to express.

To write

my heart is breaking
i am numb and empty
i am afraid

To ask

am I depressed?
did I fail?
what comes next?

in a blog.

It is a very strange thing even to contemplate. People are blogging about shoes and pencils and nail polish. Clearly "anything goes" where blogs are concerned. It reminds me of playground days in the fifth and sixth grade. Twice a day the protocol of lines and quiet and assigned tasks would disappear and I would find myself surrounded by the chaos of kids in the throes of reckless abandon. All around me, kids were screaming and chasing each other and kicking balls. Here and there small groups stood, heads together, telling dirty jokes or whispering secrets.

Standing on the sideline or trying to join in, I was self conscious. "What are we supposed to be doing? a voice screamed inside my head.

I'm sure my discomfort was due in part to my deep appreciation of the beauty of order. And in part due to social immaturity resulting from the highly ordered and controlled environment of my childhood home. But as with the reckless abandon in evidence in the blogosphere, the playground scene baffled and embarrassed me.

So, for a couple of weeks now, some kind of perverse politeness in me has demanded restraint.

In New Orleans last weekend, I heard about the horrible murder of a smart, beautiful young woman. She was an African American woman and I think, in retrospect, I identified with her. But it was really too horrible to think about very closely. I suppressed my thoughts and feelings about it and/but for the rest of the weekend, termites of grief slowly, silently, ate away at my soul.

On Sunday, I had good talk with Pallas and Jaimie in the morning and that funny Kathy and Mo film at Jaimie's in the evening; but numbness and sadness (deciding to leave my job and Gulfport) and fear of rejection (job hunting....aargh!!! there's nothing more distasteful in the civilized world) and bafflement (the "news" ...Mississippi ...George Bush...my coworkers... my life) had been slow-cooking in me for weeks.

It was gonna take a lot to bring me back around.

Today felt like my "lot" finally kicked in. What turned the tide? I drove to New Orleans! What is finer than driving into New Orleans? With OZ on the radio and the sun shining and fast traffic.... the skyline and bridge coming into view. I wonder how long before returning to New Orleans doesn't make my heart beat stronger and my hips feel sexier and a grin break out on my face?

And I wonder why I don't respond to the chaos and reckless abandon of New Orleans with bafflement and embarrassment? I think it's because most of the time I can feel NOLA's heart and there is a truth and sincerity to the heartbeat that grounds me. Even the horrible and the stupid and the unjust, it really is gumbo.

I want to go home. I need to go home. The Earth is my home. I want to be in New Orleans.

1 comment:

  1. There you are ...

    How ironic that you have often said to me, "You should be reading my blog," and then when I finally got into the routine, you stopped blogging!

    Good to hear your "voice."

    I know the experience of those transitional spaces you speak of, the strange unrest in need of a balm. Or a bomb? It's hard to know sometimes, isn't it?

    I'm finding great comfort these days in reading A.M. Homes' novel *Music for Torching*. I'm half-way through, and the characters are perfectly ordinary and perfectly crazy at once, sometimes painfully, hilariously so.

    Highly recommended.

    Love ya.


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