Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Dude, ...Car?

I had a "Dude, where's my car?" moment today. I left work carrying two bags and a  large framed photograph of a gorgeous egret and went up to the 4th floor of the parking garage and on up to the unroofed deck, sun shining, where I had left my car. It was not there. There was this long, unhappy, awkward moment, a little drift into the future, police station, trying to explain, insurance, etc. Then I thought, "Maybe that was yesterday."

It is very strange that tomorrow will suddenly be March. Yes, February is a short month. Yes, it can have wildly variable weather. Often there is a lovely thaw right around my birthday, with warm temperatures and sunshine. Sweater weather, even. A feeling of spring!

Will March come in like a lion or a lamb? We've already had a wind advisory. (See chalkboard poem above!) I am still writing a poem (or more) a day for Lent. The chalked-in date should help me keep track of day, month, year. But, dude, I lost my car.

It was in a ground lot. Back down I went, on the convenient parking-garage elevator, found my car, secured the art, and drove home, stalled for a time by a freight train, pretty common in my little town. We got lots of work done on the tracks and crossing signals, to make way for a bullet train, but it hasn't quite come. Instead, these long freight trains. My excellent plan, were I in transportation power, would be for laborers to build tracks around the town for freight trains and save the in-town tracks and crossings for passenger trains. Jobs for rail workers, peace and convenience for the town, financing from the railroads. The government already paid for the previous work.

I got some of my work-at-home done before family chaos ensued. I don't know yet whether that has been resolved, or ever really can be. I'm sad about the falling apart of everything. And joyful and grateful about all the rest--the ongoing love, the sweet memories. The shiny green Mardi Gras/ St. Patrick's Day beads.

Meanwhile, alas, people are suffering from so many things. Another earthquake! Ongoing pandemic. Political tension, divisiveness. And those wild, private eruptions, where someone somehow thinks murder is the only answer. It isn't. But you have to have some empathy and imagination to find another. And maybe your upbringing prevented that...for a while. But now, hey, aren't you a grownup? Couldn't you take some responsibility? I don't know. I haven't been driven to murderous impulses, but I did lose my car.

Also meanwhile I was reading This Body I Wore, a memoir by poet Diana Goetsch, who previously lived and wrote as Douglas Goetsch. I so admire her transition! I am grateful to have learned so much from her book, and so glad she got to be who she really is! Again, so many of us are suffering, and some of us find a way through to joy, freedom, and light!

Meanwhile, as well, I have elevated Fat Tuesday into February itself, gaining winter's usual 1-3 pounds in one short month. Need to resume walking and swimming soon, so this body I wear won't get too heavy to carry around with me up to the 4th floor of the parking garage...

Saturday, February 25, 2023

Sound Healing

Last night my friend Kim took me out for my birthday. We lay on the floor of a local yoga studio for a sound healing. Pillows, yoga mats, gongs, maybe rain sticks, singing bowls, a thunderstorm. At some point my hands began to dance. At times I thought I might be in a science fiction movie. We had little pillowed eye masks so the sense of hearing would be enhanced. It was actually really loud, and I hope my ears survive. But I think we both got sort of healed! Feeling loose and competent today. Even got my tax organizer filled out!

I had lunch with my folks, and took them some of my poems for a mini-poetry reading afterwards. My mom has been asking about my poems, so I took a batch of recently accepted ones. (When I got home, it was time to approve a proof of one of these, making it a Random Coinciday in the blog!) They read the typescript afterwards. Mom liked them a lot. Dad fell asleep but also liked them intermittently when he woke up. "They're very spare and mature," he said. I sure hope so! This is my Route 66 year! I'm planning to get my kicks! (Well, that doesn't sound very mature.) I have the appropriate bobby pins and Route 66 earrings for it! See the tiny tires?! (You can get some, too, at Ryburn Place when it reopens in March.)

I'm reading several books simultaneously. Sometimes, it's how I sleep. (See my dad, above.) One of them is Really Good, Actually by Monica Heisey, a comedian, about a divorce. Ah, and we just watched 1) the remake, via mini-series, of Scenes From a Marriage, recommended by my daughter and 2) the original Ingmar Bergman film, which, I just realized was also a television mini-series at first, then had a theatrical release as a longish film. The new one is a wonderfully close adaptation, with cool variations, and also very different, contemporary, with a meta aspect that incorporates Covid & masks. Great acting, all around.

And I am back at the chalkboard. A poem a day in February and maybe all of Lent. We'll see.

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Fat Tuesday

I often forget that Fat Tuesday is actually one of the "eight days a week" of this blog. Now it actually is Fat Tuesday--Mardi Gras--so I have the opportunity to remember! We got a little cake for Valentine's Day and had just finished it up when my husband got another one to celebrate my birthday. We haven't eaten it yet because we had chocolate milkshakes as part of my requested carryout birthday dinner while we watched episodes of The Last of Us, based on a videogame, recommended by our kids. It contains some hungry people and some excellent eating, plus comic conflict over sandwiches. My birthday dinner involved a cheeseburger and fries. I am still full and still awake, and Fat Tuesday has arrived, and I've retrieved shiny Mardi Gras necklaces and hung them from doorknobs, planning to take some to decorate my mom's doorway when I visit tomorrow. Some are green and can stick around for St. Patrick's Day.

My life has a lot of this rolling, get-goofy-things-done quality these days. My tiny chalkboard poems have begun again. Yoga, for various reasons, has once again been set aside, so maybe a poem a day for Lent and a tiny poem a day on the chalkboard will be my new Yoga of Poetry. It's a new deep black chalkboard, as I felt the urge coming on and ordered it...when?! The green chalkboard I used before has been retired, like a basketball star's jersey, as it was the Welcome board for my daughter's wedding and still bears that greeting! In this tiny poem with no punctuation we are both growing older, the poet and the afternoon light.

I re-read A Visit from the Goon Squad, by Jennifer Egan, for a book group and to prepare for reading its sequel.* The goon of Time makes this a Random Coinciday in the blog, too. I loved this book, which feels really pertinent right now--the "pointers" (babies who like songs and point at them) seem like "influencers" on social media--as does The Last of Us, with a pandemic caused not by a virus but by fungi. There were no mushrooms on my cheeseburger.

*The Candy House. Yep, Fat Tuesday!

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Needle-Pricked Brain

I guess I am needing escape into mythic fantasy these days, as I work hard in real life to solve many ongoing problems. So I am reading Circe, by Madeline Miller, a free book that I picked up at church about a witch. Ha! She is confined to her island and is just now, halfway through, meeting Odysseus and showing him her fancy loom, fashioned by Daedalus. (Yes, father of Icarus and maker of wings.) At times, Circe has a "needle-pricked brain," and so do I.

Earlier this month, I read the wonderful collection of writings, edited by Jesmyn Ward, The Fire This Time, inspired by current events as well as James Baldwin, of The Fire Next Time. I had been wanting to read Ward's book for a long time, and there it was on a library display table, so I snatched it up! 

My parents are adjusting to their recent move. Ups and downs. Their new apartment is beautiful, comfy, cozy, and contains their own furniture, paintings, books, family photos, refrigerator magnets, and so on. It was a beautiful move, thanks to the company Beautiful Life. If you need to move, or your parents do, and you live in central Illinois, get in touch with Julie Holliday of Beautiful Life! Also, see if you can get my sister to come help out. She's also a whiz at this! (Ah, I am giving her Circe when I'm done with it!!)

Meanwhile, I had curtain speeches to give and talks to facilitate and documents to edit. I had poems to revise and send out. I got an acceptance, yay! That was good news to report to my mom, who is always thrilled when I get a poem accepted (as am I!). Then there was Valentine's Day. My husband and I celebrated as we celebrate every Tuesday morning: senior shopping at 7 a.m. But this time we got a lovely little chocolate mousse cake. And we are still eating it.