I met a woman yesterday who told me, with pride, that she finally convinced her husband to "convert" to Buddhism. Not only that, but he is looking forward to seeing his first Buddha shrine during their visit to Thailand. P.S. I should visit her blog.
If only belief were as easy as that - like washing dishes and talking about the weather. If only a shrine were erected, in any country, to any prophet, that people could actually go to and see.
My face is changing. I've got crows-feet around my eyes from smiling too damn much and creases in my forehead from frowning too damn much.
If you were to read these lines, like a palm reader, they would reveal a great trapeze artist. I perform emotional acrobatics. Flips, somersaults, etc. - usually without a net (when we're together). When you're with me we move so fast I can no longer tell who's catching and who's being caught. Probably me.
Valentine's Day, for me, is not about heart-shaped candy and kisses, but bravery, pain, loss and personal transcendence. It marks the eight-year anniversary of my leaving home.
Eight years ago tomorrow my mother walked into an empty bedroom expecting to find me there. It took her a while to understand what she saw. I hadn't left a note. I had even "patched things up" before I left. I didn't want them to think I ran away from an argument. I had stood on the line separating our crumbled driveway and the black-top of Sherrell Drive before, and decided then. A person who runs away is weak. Leaving requires courage.
You take everything from your parents. You even take the absence of giving. You absorb everything into your child-heart. Mine had grown too full. It wasn't a crime of passion. There was nothing to be gotten back, no revenge, no point to be taken or made. It was sacrificial. People judge you for the sacrifices you make in the name of life. But to argue responsibility for others over responsibility for ones self is to deny every instinct and every decision a person makes in life - none of which are wholly selfless. I turned eighteen. I packed, and I left them. I was still in high school.
We both needed cures last night. Me for restlessness and unspeakable sadness. Erin for alcohol-induced ranting and Coke spillage.
Nowhere is the right place to vent your blues. No venue is blues-accommodating. Bars and coffee houses are practiced at alienating you when you need them most. They don't want your sadness, it spoils the atmosphere. Bars and coffee houses are for romanticists and sexy hipsters; realists aren't allowed. The light they bring is too harsh for those places, even with their dimmed lighting and mood music.
This, at least, seemed to be the case last night. So we went where it made the most sense - Northside Tavern (aka "The Blues Bar"). Except they weren't playing our blues, they were playing middle-class white boy wanna be Elvis Costello blues. It wasn't even danceable. And then there were the alpha male pool hall preppy show-offs we had to contend with, who lurked around our pool table as though they were interested in our game. (I kicked Erin's ass BTW)...(fuck you, I'm not a show-off).
I chain-smoked last night and don't even feel it this morning. Normally I'd sound like Betty Davis.
Oh, and Erin, thanks for leaving your half-eaten piece of cheesecake in my car.
I got my Indian drone box yesterday. It imitates the sound of a Tanpura (an instrument like a sitar). I played my cello with it and it felt oh, so good. Harmonizing is therapeutic, especially when there's no attachment to melody or performance. One note, played with complete concentration and submission can be the most beautiful, expressive thing. When it's your heart spilling out and you know it and choose to let it go anyway. You will it to go.
I can't stop dying. I can't wait to stop dying. Maybe healing. Re-creating. Dis-covery. If I were alive I could make some happiness for myself.
He worries there might be someone else because something changed with me, suddenly but not at all sudden. Something broke that was always. There isn't anyone else but it might be easier for him to accept if there were. People understand the language of better and want. They follow their eyes.