sparks, upward

It’s good to be back in Tucson; my head and my hands are unfurled, and speaking to each other. My head works in St. Louis, but my hands refuse to listen. Or something like that.

raven in the garden

Props gathered for a photoshoot in the back yard, earlier this year

I saw a raven yesterday, leading me home from the airport, and another (or again, we don’t have a huge number of them here in the city) this morning, gronking above the house. This is unusual, thrilling.

I have had a freezing swim- the pool is now Canadacold, and I must channel the casual bravery of my friend Cynthia Fawcett (who is in fact from Canada and would probably break the ice on a pool to swim in it) to enter it.

In 21 days, I am locked, however briefly, into the swimming-pool eyes of Bryan Ferry. I am not prepared, but also not concerned. I am channelling my inner Carla Bruni, and stalking around in high heels as if it were trivial to stand over six feet and be afraid of nothing on earth. It’s not a stretch for me, I really actually am not afraid of anything.

I think I used to be slightly taller, but also, slightly more fearful, so. Trade-off.

Being here, being alone is intoxicating, but yes of course I miss my lover, my sons, the Other Cats, I miss Gilda Radner and Doriot and Hawaii and fresh peaches and Scott Bartky and my mother, and wish I could be everywhere at once, feel each thing in all places, pet every cat, catch every falling sparrow, kiss Bill morning and night, walk in Paris, swim in warm water, hike in the mountains, have breakfast with a friend, get drunk and dance, chat with a squirrel, drive my car, drive your car, sleep on the beach, ski, walk in the desert, swim naked at night, be alone and hold my children… all at once.

And I wish that I would never say anything badly.

But it doesn’t work that way. And anyway, about longing for what one does not have, as Evan says, it’s best to stop short of pining, which is a time sink.

OMG It's beautiful in Tucson today!  photo by Kate McKinnon

I’m trying to get to know the person I am now, this person with so many questions and no questions, with different sight and blue eyes, who can suddenly recall large mounds of data and who swims in cold pools and can become a pillar of fire but yet is oddly (and not unpleasantly) hollowed out, like a log.

When my senses turned inside out like a Fortuneteller Bangle this summer, it was exciting and reassuring. I didn’t get any closer to the answers about why some true things are true, but over the past few months it has sunk in that maybe some answers are irrelevant, or non-existent.

Detail of a John Lautner house from the film Infinite Spaces: The Architecture of John Lautner

Detail of a John Lautner space from the film Infinite Spaces: The Architecture of John Lautner

While I was skimming my pool that day this summer, the day my mind turned inside out, it was like a drug experience. I remember every second of it. Time slowed down, and old things slipped away.

Words seem small, useless, to talk about it.

I study Da Vinci’s geometric forms again, suspiciously, joyfully, having a better sense now of what he was drawing but not what he was looking at. I think about drawing the shapes I see, but either it’s not that simple, or I need to let go of more before I can see better.

Da Vinci polyhedra
I’m hardly the first person to suddenly see in shapes or systems.

I can feel that even after everything I’ve set down, given away, or stopped doing, that there is still everything to take off.

I am reminded of Eustace, and his dragon-skin, and I know that help is available, if I slow down enough to let it come.

8 thoughts on “sparks, upward

  1. I miss you too, and can hardly contain my excitement at our ALMOST HERE trip. My luggage is in my living room, calling to me: Pssssssst, what will you wear in Oxford to see Commander Ferry? Will you wear high heels or boots, a velvet coat or lace, antique French embroidered gloves from another trip, a vintage rhinestone lariat necklace that hangs down to there…hmmmm.

    • Me, VERY high heels that I can run in. the long velvet cloak, the very short black dress under it, and some fabulous accessory…something easy to spot. Perhaps the tumble of red felt flowers. Dunno yet! You?

  2. I can’t wait to hear about the actual meeting, the suspense is almost as exciting for me as I know it is for you! Okay, probably nowhere near as much but I am excited on your behalf!

    And no, I would not break the ice on a lake to swim. :) Don’t forget, the temperature of the air above the chilled water is a vital component, it needs to be super hot for me even think about getting into cool water!

    • It will be stellar! He’s a very gracious man.

      Anyway, my only goal is quite manageable, which is to be presentable and speak clearly. I’m sending my interview questions/introductions for Love Letters over to his manager ahead of my arrival, so if he wants to chat longer this time we can, but I’d really rather do it in Spring, so I can be completely focused.

      So this is ideally just a nice hello, to connect me in his mind with the person who sent in the book interview.

      Of course, if I somehow freeze like a deer, it will be… suboptimal. I did that once, in Jr. High, and was not impressed with myself.

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