Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Hack Canyon, Arizona

A piece of me was left here about a year ago. Here, in this place of no people. No sound. Here, in this heat and solitude. Here, in a place where God managed to slam His spirit up against mine as he pushed the clouds and the sky at me. The savage beauty changed me, cut through me like heat lightening, melted me like silica. My heart felt transparent. Yet I gasp even now for more, more, more begging God to surround me again with this brutal openness, this beauty that makes me remember what it is to yearn.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Bed Lump

Last night I did not sleep well. I slept the sleep of one missing a bed lump.

When I was a child, and frightened, my Mom used to climb into my bed and just stay there until I fell asleep. She was my bed lump -- the night time companion who comforts by their mere presence as a breathing and friendly body on the other side of the bed. Bed lumps are beings for whom we have affection, and in whose presence we feel safe and trusting. Bed lumps need not express anything, say anything, do anything. Their divine mission is to simply be the warm mound in the blankets near us, the touchstone, that which grounds us merely by assuring us through their regular night-time breathing that they are there and we are not alone.

Generally I enjoy being single, or in my case, divorced. I like the easy sway of days in which I do not have to report my whereabouts. I like the quiet. I even love it. It has been a bit of time that I have been without even a bed lump, which has not caused me an instant of fretting.

But last night as I stretched out in the darkness, my body seemed by memory to curl into "spoon shape", but there was no one there to spoon. Yet all the impulses were there.

How odd it is that our bodies recall company even when our minds are not focused there.

I am not sure what, if anything, I am going to do about this. One cannot invite someone over to be a bed lump. There is all this other "stuff" that goes with it, as the role cannot help but expand into deeper zones. Soon along comes the Venus and Mars stuff.

I may need to get a dog.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Failed Suicide Attempt

I read a poem recently in which the poet proclaims:
"...Today I'm the target that everyone missed..."

I had lunch with a friend. We talked a bit about depression, as I seem to be in the stultifying grips of one. He told me a story from his youth about his one and only suicide attempt. Preferring a gentle choice, my friend decided that he would plug up the exhaust pipe on his beloved garaged car, start the engine, roll up the windows and listen to his favorite depressing music as he slept his way out of this life. There was a problem, though. The radio kept playing commercials, and it was irritating him. So, out of the car he springs; out of the garage he runs. He heads with grim determination for the house. He gathers up a tape or two for the cassette player and walks stoically back to the garage for his commercial-free death only to discover that someone has stolen his car.

We laughed and laughed.

He never did get his car back, but there we sat, 30 years later eating Moroccan food and laughing.

Oh Lord, I want to think that events like that theft are entirely heaven-sent -- that somehow God scooped down and sent my friend off in hunt for cassettes so that He could find a local car thief and send him on a Mission of Divine Mercy. Quickly, quickly says God to the thief -- if we do not save him there will be no one to give her a lovely Pucci scarf for her 56th birthday over Moroccan food in Greenwich Village.

I want to think that God intervened to save my friend, but if I walk that line of thought I have to look at my memories of other people who are dead. Did God decide not to save them? To let some of them die horrible deaths? I cannot begin to imagine a God so cruel, so abusive.

I am left with the nagging sense that life and death are fairly random. Who gets to live and who gets to die is, I believe, a function of privilege, circumstance and accident. God is with us no matter what happens, but what happens seems often to be the result of flipped coins.

I suppose the truth is that every day that we have is a failed suicide attempt. A dodged bullet. A stroke of amazing good fortune. A heck of an accident.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Floating in the Ether

I recently attended the funeral of my last living close blood relative. I have one cousin I have not seen for 45 years, and one in parts unknown, but that is pretty much it. I am divorced and have no children. I find myself in the unique position of being entirely alone. I am blessed with friends, and I do not discount that, but it is something to be relation-less. I am not sure what , but something. Recently it struck me that I now have no one who knows my story from beginning to end. No parents, no siblings, no aunts, no uncles. My story is now exclusively my own from end to end. It and I seem to be floating free, unmoored, unattached. At some point that may feel invigorating, although at present I cannot imagine that. It strikes me that part of the value of family is that they carry, accurately or not, our full story. They are our personal historians, and we theirs. I have begun a blog to tell my story to the ether that now fills the place where the sense of having blood relatives used to be.
Site Feed