I just re-read some of Rhune, the Easter chapter, and fell into writing a stream of consciousness:
There’s a blend of lovely things–longing, restlessness, hope–that were manifesting in my real life at that time I wrote Chapter Two of Rhune: ‘A really good woman.‘ I think that I captured what it can really feel like to go through your hum-drum routine in DC… feel trapped and want to get right the Hell out… and then, at home, at some point (if you’re an artist and you’re lucky), you can rescind back into your pearlized shell and begin painting the walls with new colors. Here, is that romance I wanted so badly, but never got–alive, possible… let’s have lots of heartbreaking sex in all kinds of beautiful ways, all over the page, you. Let’s not wait at all… and now, my work-life is not so boring. Then, let’s make up silly people who float around and don’t understand. They wouldn’t anyway… but let them be innocent. Let them stuff their mouths with sloppy, pink apples that leave paint smears on their cheeks and stick in their teeth like something you sweep stubby childlike fingers through, inside Charlie’s Chocolate Factory.
Let’s undo the tie, or unstrap the work shoes, lay-out all over the floor and just dream about the most meaningful parts of life, the best, the best–running through the field, rolling down the hill, standing by the silver lake and having her wind blow your tears away and promise you better, and then while walking away, you sing your story-songs, and they do all make sense, they do feel better…
The hills have your eyes,
and they know of your wrong,
So please, little sister,
And then, the other one, her wind always carries best when your voice rises that one weirdest, feminist song only you know, about the Willshe, and then begging the delicate flame to ‘teach me and change my name, come to me in this place…’
Later, you do try going to church again and what do they do? They light a flame for you…
Fuck every day. Fuck routine. Again, lay out on the floor, dream it, dare to speak out about it. Write that down. That is what you write down.
The wolves talk. The sky laughs out loud at how stupid you both are. The world turns–it gives up one long, blubbering fart, whatever. People dance while they wait on a bus and it isn’t weird. Isn’t it beautiful? The time I took a long walk with horses in Rock Creek Park and pretended the people weren’t there. The time I got lost in Rome and only survived by my rosary and the kindness of strangers… The time I gave up on rosaries forever and found God in a park in Andalucia, and saw Spaniards practicing bull fights with no bull, and the time that I sat down lonely in the park and a strange man asked me whether I was hungry, and I knew that, depressed or no, I had to pull myself together, whether I was black and alone in this country or not, just be on vacation and try to smile…
The time I went down the waterslide as a girl and almost drowned. The time I went up in the Washington Monument and really, finally understood that it had no windows. The time I walked into Amazonia, and a sting ray swam up, splashing, happy, and genuinely greeted me, with joy that dogs don’t have, with joy that people don’t have, whom any of us might see every day…
The time that someone pointed out the sloth to me. The time I saw a young girl pet an amazonian river catfish, and its happy whiskers licked her tennis shoe. The time the turtles very-slowly-tried-to-kill-us-by-chewing-our-tennis-shoes. We had finally figured that out. The time I played “Lion says” with the children, and their joy made me the happiest I’d been in a very long time. The time I couldn’t see that everything was okay, that it was alright to be in love at the wrong time and in the wrong way and with a complete stranger, and so I went home and panicked. For days.
And then, all those Lonely Island music videos got stuck in my head, one after the other, and I couldn’t stop laughing at the thought of T-Pain singing at mighty Poseidon to ‘look at meeee.’ Laughing. For days.
The time I wanted to die because my laptop broke and I couldn’t write and things were hard enough, but then I scraped savings together, but my father had also been trying to grant my birthday wish, and so I ended up with two computers…
The time I couldn’t sleep because I missed you so much.
That time I accidentally asked a mannequin for directions. The time I got stuck in a revolving glass door, on a lunch date. The time the three of us stood in line, for over an hour, for internationally acclaimed beef noodle soup that we didn’t even get to eat. But, we did get to talk A LOT about roller derby. And, I got to elegantly sip “fizzy water.”
The time I begged the creek to have mercy on my beating heart. The time I threw rocks into the water and screamed out how horrible it all was–this was three years ago, and then three years after that, the water fell on me and I cried with relief that I finally felt grounded. Employed.
The time I closed the first Terry Goodkind novel and knew I was no longer artistically alone. The time someone I barely knew from work touched my heart, by encouraging me to enter a writing contest, handing me the very newspaper they’d saved. The time Sherman Alexie made me want to tear the curtains down from my windows. The time I spoke to the dream catcher, knowing better. The time I was afraid to just say “hello” to the Codetalkers when they looked so lonely. The time I wandered around the Air and Space Museum making lots of notes, getting noticed by security guards–while I pointed through the air, observed open spaces between exhibits, turned around myself two and three times, trying to imagine a fictional fight scene between characters coming home from the National Powwow and racist tourist teenagers. Later, Sherman Alexie’s Indian Killer made me rethink ever writing it…
The time I spied at a pair of robins mating outside my window because it was so weird. The time the robin stood right on the windowledge and stared in at me taking a nap because he needed revenge.
The three-some, the mourningdove damsel and her two beaus who have been in a strange relationship–really–these last five or more years… flying from tree to tree, fighting over her in the alley. They don’t give up.
The time I sat down and posed paperclips in the dirt, took pictures, with nothing else better to do. But oh! It felt like the best thing of all to do!
The time I dreamed that my dead cat purred at me and really didn’t want me to feel depressed anymore. Remember the purr… she meant that.
That time I found my old toys and played horses, a little while ago… one last time…
The time I found a webcomic about kids living in the Egyptian afterlife and it was so good and so brilliantly clever, researched, strange, ebullient–I wished I could pay this person to keep making their art. I would have done anything… I barely managed to write one decent fangirl letter in the end. Thank God for them.
The time my friend called me and told me she wanted me to take after her, in her spot, and that–yes, she believed that I could do it. That time the other women leaned in, listened at the table and really believed in me too. Gave me extra time to get the writing done because they believed in me this much.
That time they asked us to count our thoughts and I sat there having wild sexual fantasies instead. And didn’t really feel sorry. They were so, so good.
And the time… the time I tried to remember everything special, weird, and meaningful that had ever happened over my 28 years of life… and just almost got there. Thankfully, I could never get it all. That would be horrible, if I could finally catch it.
This is why I write. So that we can always remember how good it feels to be alive. I’m not sure why others do it, but this is why I do. I hope you felt really good, reading this. And that does fit the resurrection theme, I believe.
I hope you do come home sometime, take off your work clothes, lay-out on the floor, and try to remember absolutely everything that has made your life so fucking awesome. Laugh by yourself at it. Never give up on yourself when you do know all of these tiny, and secret, powerful thingies.
I love you, Puja.