Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Cloisters

Ah…the neverending story…the magic book that opens like big wooden doors to another world, a world of wonder and fantasy…a world beyond and below our world…a world like water, like dreaming, like unending possibilities. Open and full of possibility. Open and full of possibility. Open and full of possibility. Fragrant. Buoyant. Floating on the back of a soft white creature with big eyes, long lashes, whiskers and a smile. I remembered the Cloisters when you were talking. I remembered the cold soft marble, the boxy blocks of stone stacked in the forest in Harlem. I remembered the long winding road around the Cloisters. I remembered the gardens, the courtyards and the unicorn tapestries. I remembered the beam of light reaching up from the top of my head to the source above and I remembered the connection, the long narrow glass cylinder connecting me to you and I remembered warmth. The touch of a hand on my face, fitted in the curve, hand to check, concave and supporting. I remembered being held, head in hand, and the feeling I chase, so near, so here, in your hand.

I was thinking as I drove here, it’s the feeling I chase, not the person, the place or the aspiration. It’s the feeling I chase and I tried to remember the feeling of the feelings I had before the feeling I have now and I got so lost and so scared and I started to cry and I couldn’t stop and my head was heavy and my head hurt and all I could say was, I can’t remember. I can’t remember. And he asked me what was wrong and I couldn’t explain and I can never quite explain it because it is so beyond words, so beyond my grasp, so beyond the hammers, and nails and wood that I could use to build something real and tangible.

There is a dilapidated house nearby. It is black on the inside – not the color, but the feeling – and it needs to be gutted like the smooshed squirrel on Canoga Blvd. and it needs to be squeezed of its contents, purged of its insides, and it needs to be rebuilt and restored and re-imagined on the inside and it needs a new story. It needs a non-falling down, peeling off, bubbling up, crooked story. It needs a smooth hard-wood floor, stainless steel appliances, infinity pool story, and it needs dozens of flowers and flora and other botanical words that I would have to look up in a text book and I need the house, and I need the work and I need to put myself into the hammers and nails and wood and I need to build something and I need to write something and I need to bathe under the Tuscan sun like someone who needed that long before I did and I need to carry stone and I need to uncover fresco and I need to dig out an old bathtub and fill it by hand and slide into it and sink into it and bathe in it until I wrinkle.

My head is lighter now, it’s more open, my spine is taller now, it’s more straight, but my path is still winding and I still have that lost look in my eyes that you pointed out in the picture of me in the mango grove. Will you take my picture? Will you take my picture over and over again while I close my eyes, think blissful thoughts and smile to myself? Will you make me a beautiful floating Buddha in the colored water with garments like jellyfish arms around me? Will you make me famous? Will you immortalize me? Embalm me in some fragrant solution? Will you capture me and contain me like the flowers in the Cloister’s garden?

Underneath the bedrock is cold running water. And under the cold running water is stone. And on the stone is soft fluorescent green moss like pubic hair on the bone. And in the cold dark water, sultry seductive mermaids are swimming, waiting, infusing the water with lines of electricity that run down my legs and into my toes and give me the tingling feeling that I have when I stand on the edge of something tall and look down and I want you to catch me, And I want you to be there, and I want to melt into you like the serpent in the grass and I want our love to be biblical and I want it to be grandiose and I want it to be ridiculous like a Fellini movie. And I want to laugh and I want to cry and I want to throw myself in the dirt and roll around like a child but most of all, I want to give myself to you. I want to bend at the waist, arms outstretched, heart in my hands, eyes lowered and give myself to you, wanting nothing but your acceptance in return.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

At the very edge of the world

At the very edge of the world where the sunlight and the ocean and the horizon fuse into a blinding hot warm wall of light there is a curtain, a veil, and opening, and behind the big blue curtains there is impenetrable blackness, darkness, a void, an eternity, and….

when I am sailing I know God and there are dolphins around me and I scream when they leap like dancers out of the water and I clap as the ocean spray hits my face and I reach, unable to touch them and there is so much beauty, more than I could ever put into words and…

will I be forgiven? Will I be forgiven if I do not put it all into words? If its gone? If I don’t capture it? if I let it go and I do not put it into words, will I be able to forgive myself? Will the world love me if I don’t write about the dolphins and the ocean and the bright light and the way that everything in the world is just a reflection of something so perfect, so passionate, so beautiful beyond words?

I was walking through the forest and there was incense, the forest was incense, and the light broke through the canopy of trees and it was as if God himself was standing in a spotlight in the forest and I don’t deserve this. I don’t deserve to see so much beauty and know so much beauty and feel so much beauty and be so alone with it and my heart is breaking…

He falls through the sky with his parachute wide open, his life wide open, his love wide open and his mother calls me and she says its been so long and I haven’t received it. where is it? he doesn’t respond to me and I look for it. I call for it. I ask for it and I tell her I will find it because she deserves it because she’s lost him and he’s gone. And I’m broken and I’m broken and I’m broken…

and then the sun comes out again the sun comes out again and the birds speak to me and I remember them in the Celtic garden and I remember them on my sailboat and I remember the black crow that used to talk to me in college and the flowers – their smell like food, like sex, like wine, I love the smell of flowers and their colors! my God, their colors! God, the artist – I’m so jealous of him in the sky painting the world not a care in the world. My life, my art could never compare to him and I’m jealous….

I’m a jealous person and you don’t know me, don’t know the way I sit and stare. The way I wish I were somebody else and you don’t know regret and why does regret come after the fact, as youth wears off and you look back and you go, what was I thinking?! And how can I look at them, work with them, guide them, knowing that they won’t know until they know and I can’t really teach them because that’s just the way life goes…

Mandalay bay. The sun the sun the sun. I am only happy when I am moving. I am only happy in the sun. I am only happy forgetting who I am, and you said something. You said something during the meditation that stuck with me. Something that makes my hand shake and my soul rattle. You said, gather the parts that are disconnected and lost, disconnected and lost, disconnected and lost. You said gather the parts of you that are disconnected and lost, disconnected and lost, disconnected and lost. And that’s what I want….

I see a ghost in the window. I hear murmurs in the wind. I feel spirits around me. I want to gather the parts of me that are disconnected and lost. Lost, the TV show, what a concept, right? Does anyone really find themselves on the show? Life, what a concept, right? Does anyone really find themselves in life? Slow down. Breathe. Relax. Slow down. Breathe. Relax….

Ya know how I got through my dissertation? With endless relentless day and night, night and day, mantra. I had to draw pictures of myself getting through the dissertation and I had to dream myself through the dissertation and I had to kick and scream through the dissertation and now I face my story, my life story. What is the story I really want to tell? What is the truth in my story? What was lost and disconnected? Where did I find myself in the story? How did the wind and the birds and the boat and the flowers find me in my story?

Once upon a time there was the most beautiful little girl filled with light and love and laughter. She had golden locks and the brightest smile and danced every where she went and I can see her on her roller-skates in her pigtails holding sparklers and I can feel the little stabbing pinches, like bug bites, on my wrist as the fire jumps off the stick and lands on my arm and I can feel the vortex that the little stabbing pain opens in my mind and I can feel myself tumbling like Alice in wonderland down the pain tunnel to the very bottom where I am abandoned like a beached whale on the sand many years later and everything that happened in between is a mystery to me and I am still digging and I am still putting the pieces together and…

Am I supposed to spend the whole remaining length of my life trying to figure out the first 30 years of my life? What about living the life that I have now? When am I supposed to do that? And the inner critic has something to say: you suck at writing. You don’t know how to write. You’re stuck in your head. You don’t have a voice. You have nothing to say, and I listen and I wonder, who invited him here?

And the potted plants sit in turquoise boxes and the twig spins 360 on the spider web and the clouds play hide and seek with the sun and I turn another page and I am here with my reflection, hovering buzzing investigating, like the bee visiting the lilac and I wish writing were like painting because painting is easier and the one image, the last image that I would paint is the dandelion growing up through the crack in the bricks, laying side by side in the ground, growing crooked with her face towards the sun, not quite out of the shadows yet, but hoping to get there.