Sunday, August 30, 2009

Can you lose your virginity twice?

The obvious answer is no. Another answer (as I may or may not have understood it) might be that certain folks have acquired the ability to experience things which are novel as novel - every moment being different from every other. Perhaps for these few there is no such thing as a repeat performance. Every time is their first.

My question now is this: could a person experience something as new not out of some achievement of willful presence and remembrance of self, but because they have forgotten themselves so fully that their repeat performance is experienced as a first? And how to tell the difference?

I'm plagued with a sense of my own inability to decipher whether or not I am improving or simply cycling through the latter of these two scenarios over and over again. And I feel strongly that if I don't work my ass off this will be the only story I ever have to tell. Not the story of my life, but the one of my slow death.

I must remember to remember.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

twice I've woken

in bed
from earthquakes
only to realize
it was
my own body

a day in the life

Today I did my sitting, practiced guitar and Chi Kung, worked, updated my website, struggled with my blinds, framed and hung several prints and a few of Paul's drawings. Dave from New Zealand (with the red Moto Guzzi) helped me with my TV and took me out for a bite. I went home, showered and walked out to the pier. A clear night in Venice. The stars are out and the sky is dotted with airplanes on their way to and from LAX.

I like being alone and resist the urge (which I believe is mostly social) to feel as though I'm missing out on something by enjoying my own company instead of someone else's. If it is our desires which veil the truth from us, I'm tired of being shrouded in lust and longing. Tonight I wore a dress in which I can feel everything. There was a breeze off the ocean. It touched me gently. Discipline and curiosity may not be able to do this, but I plan to fill the man-gap with these anyway.

On my way home I was forced to choose between the lesser of two evils: walking down the dark alleyway I live on and where a bum and his shopping-cart full of belongings has taken up residence or take Catamaran and go in the back way. For those of you who don't know I recently vacated a life (and love) on that street. Walking it makes me feel awkward and ghost-like, tonight especially in my white dress.

I shunned the bum, deciding at the same time I need not be ashamed of my incredible ability to move on.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Sunday, August 16, 2009

somebody else's trash

I smoked a cigarette by the water today and thought about what I wrote last night. Everybody comes here to visit the beach. They get oiled up, fight over off-street parking and leave trash everywhere. There are lots of little crabs on the bottom of the canal. Our filthy canal. Should I add my cigarette butt to it? These little niceties are a drop in the bucket. 

If you don't give a shit about your self, why should I? Every decision carries an exact weight and has a quality which acts on the soul either to tear it apart or build it slowly. This I know for sure. Me? I threw mine away. You can do whatever you want with yours. 

Saturday, August 15, 2009

In the past three months I've attended two Guitar Craft courses. One in Seattle the other in Barcelona. There seem to be more opportunities for silence on courses (remember I've only been to two) than off. It arrives and takes hold of the room. Stops my tongue wagging. Reminds me to listen. That I can listen. Even in a room erupting with sound.

I fell into the role of silence nazi with relative ease. During one of the solo performances (given by Patrick) a rude individual at the far end of the table had the audacity to pour themselves a glass of water in the middle of his piece. It was highly audible. Downright loud. I leaned in to see who this person was but stopped short. The performance ended. Conversation ensued. I heard a voice across the room and realized. The person I had been judging was a guest on the course. But not just any guest, a child. Greg had brought his two lovely children to visit. I was ashamed, deeply.

It was hard then not to ask the question. What would happen if we treated each other with the same patience and tenderness we treat children?

It's all too easy to forget this question or to formulate an answer to it that suits our laziness and fear more than our sense of humanity and compassion. I nannied today and witnessed, with complete, unadulterated acceptance and love, a child being themselves. On my way home I thought about how very lucky I am for this experience and was forced to ask my self yet another question. Have I ever loved and accepted, fully, another person without judgment, without expectation, without exception. I've taken stock of all those I hold closest to me and don't think so. No. This is partly because I, along with most children, have been hurt by adults my whole life. But this is not the point.

The point is that I am very, very sorry. I am ashamed to my core. And I'm going to work on that.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

venice 2

It will never again be safe for you to leave the house. You might see me. (I am everywhere.) And if you did, your face would melt off. Or you would turn to stone. Or perhaps you are already stone.

I'm watching a man pick through the feathers of a blue Macaw - who may or may not be watching me back with his black eye. He edges onto the man's shoulder as a big dog nears. The dog (a Great Dane?) still has its balls. The Macaw's name is Rocky. Rocky's owner enjoys, as I do, the reactions of passerby's. I like seeing children reach out to touch the giant bird. They're so brave. He likes pretty women. Rocky is 21. Rocky may bury his owner. Macaws have a rather long life-expectancy. This one will live forever. Like Bunnicula. Or he'll die only to rise up again like a Phoenix. Like my heart in a blaze of fire and fury. You should be there the moment it happens. The fireworks. The color. Everything awash with love. It will be beautiful. When I'm ready and not until then.

Until then I amuse myself with other people's stories and try to fulfill my obligations honorably. I look down on a small patch of sidewalk from a table in a dirty cafe on Washington and pretend I don't see you there.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

the tear

can happen fast. it can happen gradually. it can crack open like a fissure in the earth or be divided over time in layers. it can be like paper. or skin. it can hurt. the tear is sometimes invisible. something may look whole when in fact it is not. this is most people.

invisibility is something I've wished for lately. all the aching parts of me are so obvious. at the market or on the street it's easy. you avoid eye contact, keep to your self and fade into the background. this is impossible with family. with family, as on a goddamn packed flight to Los Angeles, you're bumped into constantly. you're seen. it's unavoidable.

my recent trip to new york completely unseated me. like being knocked off a horse and dragged several yards before losing consciousness. it was my cousin's wedding. it was a beautiful event I had trouble enjoying. the upside of all this business is that I know I'm still alive. I've experienced just about every variation of tearfulness known to me.

for instance

some tears sound like small animals. some hiccup like tired children. some wail. some possess the entire body. turn it inside out. squeeze air from the lungs until there's none left. some hide in the clenched jaw. in the stomach. some moan and rock like a seasick sailor. are captured by the eyelids. soaked like sponges around each crease smoothing them out. the slow but steady trickle. guilty tears. angry tears. tears which break us in half and prevent us from walking or standing up straight. grab hold of the shoulders and shake us violently. pass unseen from eyes to hands. whose marks remain as splashes on paper, spots of snot and blots of wetness on t-shirts or mascara stains on pillowcases. we wear them. we wash and try to iron them out. our faces.