20 June 2005

Out Of Reach

It’s strange. When I leave home, almost instantly, I become inspired. It’s as though the spectrum of pain and discomfort it takes for the artist within to be stirred is as benign as walking the jet way. It’s always been this way. Leaving home, familiar things, removing the distraction (and comfort) of most days moves something. I wax poetic and the world expands - ideas, dreams, sounds and images flood in a montage of mixed media. Of course it’s easy, a cop out of sorts, like being brave in a bubble. Somehow, returning home, all those ideas become like a dream I vaguely remember, spend all day trying to recall, and yet it never surfaces – a profound truth, the answer, the meaning of everything, allusively out of reach.

At home, perhaps, it’s this blinding love of things that gets in the way. Love, this ravenous monster – passion devouring passion. It’s a good time to reflect on these things, with greater time to further reflect and indulge around the corner.

17 June 2005

Bad Hair Day

You can safely assume that you’ve created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do. - Anne Lamott

To every heart love must come, but like a refugee. - L. Cohen

Puck is going to slap my hands. If you feel you can’t resist cutting your own hair, he’s said, time and again, just call me. I didn’t call him. It was in my eyes. It was just bothering me. In Berlin, one year, I took out a pen knife and sawed off my bangs. It was a tragedy – it looked absolutely terrible. Yesterday I was more careful. I used a scissors and a razorblade to soften the blunt edges. Jeez. He’s gonna be mad. But he’s only working Sundays and Mondays now and I leave for DC on Sunday morning, early and don’t return until late Tuesday night. I surely would have done something more drastic if left to my own devices in DC with hairs dangling in my eyes while I’m trying to focus and take notes at the meeting. I have to look at it like damage control. If he gives me that sideways look and sighs heavily, I’ll pretend I don’t know what he’s talking about. No, I didn’t cut my hair. You’ve always told me to call first. I wouldn’t do that.

Today is the day – or at least one of the days. It’s the staff meeting where preliminary proposals will be debuted and discussed for their feasibility and viability - proposals for staff reductions and down sizing.

It would indeed by a tragedy if the history of the human race proved to be nothing more noble than the story of an ape playing with a box of matches on a petrol dump. - David Ormsby-Gore

I already know what the proposals are. As I alluded to yesterday, they’re not enough to convince me. I’ve been told more surgical tactics are yet to be employed – and those are the ones I’m raising my eyebrow skeptically and waiting for. We shall see. We shall see.

Secret is particularly needy today. While the entire house and yard are at her disposal, all fifty pounds of her has climbed up on my study chair, shoved herself behind me, curled into a bean shape and her sleepy head is draped over the arm rest. She’s so adorable when she makes herself bean-shaped, despite the inconvenience I can’t bring myself to disturb her. Besides, she’ll spent the lion’s share of the day alone.

And if I merely make room, rightly, love will come.. albeit like a refugee. I need to muster being through this day rightly and make room for the unknown, infinite possibilities and the future. It’s not really about who is right it’s just about the way it’s gonna be. Bad hair day or not…

16 June 2005

A Happy Cell

It’s raining. It’s June and it’s raining. How weird is that!? The first two years here the rains stopped in May and we didn’t see a drop again until November. Last year there were sprinkles one day in July. But today, well, this is a real rain and it’s supposed to continue for the next day or two. It feels like one of those surrealistic moments when someone says, oh yeah, when pigs fly! and you find yourself ducking as hoofs nearly scrape the top of your head in a rush of wind. There was a tsunami warning yesterday. Okay.. so rain in June is just plain weird – but a tsunami warning!?! Like I say, watch your head.

A week off of work and while there has been progress made on the kitchen, it’s slow going. I’m in the throws of the first phase of spackling and then the sanding will recommence. We’re going on six months now and I have been determined that we’ll begin moving in this month. It’s been the plan all along that once the kitchen is done we’ll move in. The work in the bathroom is a longer-term effort and the mudroom can be done once we’re in. So it’s like we’re running and the camera is moving away, ahead of us, making it look like we’re staying in one place. (And suddenly I’m standing in the balcony at the back of the church, in front of a row of glass windows, and I stretch out my arms like a crucifix and begin rattling my fists against the glass in the middle of the ceremony. “Elaine!” I yell in anguish. “Elaine! Elaine!”)

01 June 2005

Hell's Kitchen

Where are we going and what am I doing in this hand basket?

I have commenced into the kitchen, the final room before the move (okay, I might do the mud room before the move too, but compared to everything that has come before that feels like a menial task, a throw away, a wink and a nod…) It’s my third day in the kitchen. I’m a bit stunned at how hard the work is and how slow going. My body aches and I’ve paint dust in every orifice and pore, between each strand of hair, in my ears and even in my dreams. The random orbital sander rocks, but I’m convinced it’s not paint but some kind of cement on the walls. Three days and I’m not even half way done with the sanding… and it’s not a big kitchen.

In the rooms we’ve painted, despite getting top of the line Benjamin Moore paint (despite paying an arm and a leg and a kidney and a portion of my liver for the paint), it chips off. It’s been infuriating. In the kitchen, however, a jackhammer wouldn’t take that old paint off. I hit a cupboard with a hammer and it dented the wood, not the paint. What the hell is in that stuff?

It was so hot and dusty and dirty. I sat in the shower for a half hour drinking a Corona with lime when I was done for the day. Then off to the waterfall at Elliot with the Honey Bee. She’s getting more dog-like and I fear it’s a result of neglect. Oh yes, she has her walk in the morning and we still do a monster hike every evening – but near every other moment I’m working in the front cottage while she’s making due on her lonesome. I miss her and she’s becoming a real dog when I’m not looking.

The town gardener and other keepers are readying the town for the annual parade and festival this weekend. They’re prettying up the paint on the streets, a brand-spanking new 15 MPH in the alley, and setting up a stage in the park in the middle of town for this or that feature of the festivities. Everyone’s buzzing with excitement and anticipation, myself included, for the fun to begin. We have our habit, our perch, where we’ll nestle with Ms. Secret and friends and take pictures and chat with neighbors and watch the parade. And then, well, back to the kitchen.