I’ve been going through old journals and files lately, gleaning inspiration for current projects and making more space, physically and mentally. Here are a few excerpts from four years ago, when I used to practice “morning pages” from Julia Cameron’s Artist’s Way.
I like the order of a made bed and folded pajamas, but I like even more the morning muss of sheet tangle, blankets still formed like our absent shapes. I like the drained coffee cup on the table in the lamplight, the cat watching a moth bump along the ceiling. I like the books lying on their faces on the dresser and the foot of the bed, surrendered at the threshold of sleep. If I stay here too long, I lose parts of myself to something leaving– this rift between night and day. I make the bed roughly while you make notes, print documents, an eye on the clock. Don’t get caught, get crushed: between sun and earth, the world’s churning gears spinning together. We are spinning around the sun, the moon around us, locked in our self-absorbed, busy little systems, while the whole while we are actually drifting in space, touring the universe, never in the same place, no return. No center, no axis.
Blossoms swim in the wind. The air swells with rain, like soaked hair. There’s the side path along the river I never took. In the post office, a birthday card with bird jokes, watercolor parakeets. Gilded letters: For your Retirement. Card after card under the category, “Woman to Woman,” but no “Man to Man.” There’s the black and white sound of the roller coaster down the hill.
You old alphabet moon. Twenty six was my number when I was younger. Now I stretch to thirty four, thirty six. Gaps in the month, like letters, teeth in my mouth. No words for the missing. The year tightens like a belt, know-nothing. The moon keeps singing. For her there are never any seats missing from the circle. I feel myself loosed, slipping, a star dropped and cracked on the rim of sea.
What do I remember? I grew up at the beach. Long days swimming, never wanting to leave. At dusk I used to lie on the wave’s back, cool lapping at my neck, quiet. The center of the sea drew the waves in, away from the sand, while families packed up sandwiches and shovels and children, with puckered fingers.