teen spirit

Unfortunately, I myself am consumed with Teen Spirit at the moment. Not an optimal state. Or is it?

As a child, I was horrified by the materialistic priorities and unscientific mindsets of most of the adults I could see around me. I promised myself in a fierce blood oath that I would never be some kind of spongy fixed idea, spreading slowly like a stain, endlessly Acquiring.

NOT ME, I shouted at the summer sky, as a small, thin stream of blood ran down my chest.

I knew that while I was, unacceptably, under the rule of a man who voted for Nixon and Reagan, I had on my side the gentle revolutionary teachings of a mother who respected my privacy and voted for McGovern and Carter, and who had every wall filled with books. I couldn’t imagine why she chose a man with so many fixed ideas, when she knew, from reading all of those delicious books, that the world was stuffed with action, with passion, with sense, with thrill, with people who did not spread like stains.

At 11 years old, I was a captive, eating canned peas and frozen halibut, and the world was Happening outside my door. The men who would be my true loves, men who loved books and art and who would never vote for Ronald Reagan, no matter what, were, unbeknownst to me, already at university.

Things tore at my soul at that time; I kept hoping that one day, I would calm down.

Horse is tender and solicitous.

I am still wearing my Helmut Newtony back brace, and my back still hurts. It’s possible, perhaps even probable, that it’s really everything else, just seeping out through the cracks.

It’s a strange moment and place in my work (which involves thousands of people) to feel alone, or with the surging longing of a child; but in the delicate, limnal spaces between worlds; one must go by feel alone.

I am looking at everything I have; all of the work I have done, choosing carefully; it won’t all fit, you see, and I have to set some of it down.

That’s the process.


5 thoughts on “teen spirit

    • I feel terrible for people with chronic pain. what a distraction! I’m very fortunate and usually feel pretty great. This is an opportunity to be careful and grateful, those are to be cherished as well…

  1. Your parents sound like mine – my mother was demonstrative and artistic and my father is staunch Presbyterian right wing Scottish, stiff upper lip at all times. It wasn’t until after my mother died that we realized she gave him the right to be silly, loving and happy, but never ever in public.
    Re your poor back: My husband was a great and wise horseman and his belief was that if a horse had a strain or inflammation, you treated the pain first, before the damage. He said that a body in pain can’t heal itself. When I have my periodic bouts of on-the-floor sciatica, that belief gives me permission to hit the strongest pain killers I can get for a week before I go back to the body as a temple thing. It seems to help me get over it a lot faster than most folks. And I’m (subjectively) old!

  2. You do have a lot going on right now and yes, seeping out through the cracks is one way of putting it….take care and be well.

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