Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Internal Tigers

The troubled expression on this woman's face captures something of the odd anxiety I've been feeling lately, even when basically joyful and calm. I think it's because I sense the troubles around me even when my own lucky life continues untroubled. For instance, our former mayor died on Monday, Carol Reitan, and this was a shock and a sorrow. (I had just read about her entire public life, researching a script I wrote for an event coming up in June, where she will be honored as a History Maker by our local history museum, and was so looking forward to seeing her at the event. And now, suddenly, she is history.) On Sunday, as I spent a pleasant Mother's Day with my kids and my mom, my pastor's younger brother died at 47 from a massive heart attack, leaving a wife and two young sons. And, oh, the Nigerian girls!

I don't ignore this vague internal woe, because I've learned from experience to be attentive to it and let it be, but I try not to get weighed down by it, a stone on the chest while floating downstream.

Today's poet at Escape Into Life, Lauren Gordon, and accompanying artist, Brianna Angelakis, are helping me with this at the moment. Gordon's poem "A Short Marriage" contains these lines:

We ignored our internal tigers,
left with no other choice.
And bleakness
which settles into your gums,
makes your teeth shiver.

Brrr. It's been raining a lot, good for the hollyhocks and spiderwort just coming up or coming into bloom, good for the bleeding heart and the pending iris and clematis.

And things'll get sunny again...soon.


seana graham said...

Yes, I think a collective unease is part of the times, whether our personal lives seem to be going well or not. So, though we're having a beautiful spring in Santa Cruz, we're pretty much all here that this is accompanied by an historic drought.

I go to a discussion group every Monday and sometimes the discussion becomes a downward spiral into the end of civilization as we know it. People tend to like to harangue each other on climate change, even though everyone feels the same way. Last week, though, after a particularly despairing ramble, one of the leaders started talking about Prometheus. He said that Prmometheus is thought of as bringing us technology, but his real gift from the gods was what actually kept them from deciding to destroy the human race. What was the gift, he asked. No one knew.

Blind hope, he said. And I really appreciated that.

Kathleen said...

Thanks, Seana. I understand blind hope.

Collagemama said...

When you can start your lap swimming routine you will feel better. Hang in there.

Kathleen said...

You are so right! And I love you for knowing me so well!

Jim Solon said...

What images, and what writing they call to mind; the Madwoman is Bertha from Jane Eyre, and who is floating downstream but Ophelia?

Kathleen said...

Thanks for your comment, Jim! Yes, her artistic statement says she does respond to literature often in her paintings!!