29 June 2006

Love Is Like War

Love is like war: easy to begin but very hard to stop. - H.L. Mencken

Firstly, *ding, ding, ding* ten points for Cassie! You know, she won the Why I Want Boris/Russian art contest too and has her own book of proletariat art from the Moscow Press (go Boris!) Cassie, you’re a WINNER!

I was so moved by responses to my last entry. They were all so sweet and real. Once, I risked my sense of self, my dignity, my self respect, for what I thought was love. I’m not so sure, in retrospect, that it was love at all that I was risking for. It was perhaps obsession and addiction, but certainly it doesn’t look like love in hindsight. I passed through many years where I risked little – but maybe that’s not entirely true at the core of it. I was thinking last night after pondering responses here that I feel like perhaps I’ve risked nothing, and thus everything.

I don’t think giving things up is the same as risking per se. I have to think about that. I certainly have not felt like I’ve given anything up for love – I haven’t given up my dreams, ambitions, goals, job, potentials – nothing. I feel, maybe, like I wish I would have given up something. I’m not sure why. Not because to me it’s some emblem, some proof – but because in retrospect there were paths I didn’t explore that I think I might have liked too – that required a kind of risk I couldn’t even understand. Once I read a poem called “Turning Thirty” and the author wrote, “Turning thirty is about giving up infinite possibilities.” I didn’t feel that way when I turned thirty. Maybe I’m feeling that way after having turned forty. And that maybe doesn’t have anything to do with love at all.

Zosia wrote that she risked her own independent career for love – being the one to nurture the family. I didn’t. I didn’t risk an independent career. I rose to the top of mine, made my mark, and at the end of the day the accomplishments, however noble, and they have been noble, feel somewhat empty. You know, after all, at the end of the day, what really matters? As I’ve matured (and it’s taken a long time for me to mature,) it seems for me to all come down to the quality of my relationships and not what I can accomplish. All I want to accomplish at my day’s end is a great deal of love – is the cultivation of meaningful relationships and joy and not a list of accomplishments. I don’t know.. this makes me ponder and it makes me wonder.

Anyways… a few updates. It’s likely the bathroom will be nearly done by the week’s end and yes, the week ends tomorrow. The rat infestation continues with a vengeance. I have an exterminator coming out today. I’ve appealed to the folks at the restaurant next store (again) to move their trash from the border of my property – for whatever reason, they don’t seem to want to do this (though they’ve agreed to put out electronic rat traps around the trash.) I’ve come to the realization that the reason they won’t move the trash away from residential borders is because they know it’s a problem and they don’t want to bring the problem any closer to the space that they work and play in. I’ve called vector control and we’ve had a nice long talk. They’re calling the health department and checking into what else might be done. I hate this.

Secret gets her stitches out (hopefully) tomorrow. Hmmm. Back to work with me.

27 June 2006

I Met A Boy Called....

Do you want me to tell you something really subversive? Love is everything it’s cracked up to be. That’s why people are so cynical about it….It really is worth fighting for, being brave for, risking everything for. And the trouble is, if you don’t risk anything, you risk even more. - Erica Jong

Have I mentioned that I love Warren Buffet? I think I might have mentioned that before. And if I haven’t, let me go on record and profess my adoration - I love Warren Buffet! Among my many hopes and dreams is to one day have lunch with Warren Buffet. In that cosmic six degrees of separation thing, if someone can help me out here, I’d be duly indebted.

Despite the fact that I have these little hairclips that I got at some five and ten in a variety of pastel colors – that I’ve not seen worn by another adult other than, recently, in a bad tabloid pic, Anna Nicole Smith, my adoration for Warren Buffet is not like that. It is true platonic love. I love that he doesn’t have a computer on his desk. I love that he reads. I love that he trusts people, importantly the people who work for him. I love his professed relationship to money (that is, he’s not emotionally tied to it.) And most recently I love that on the eve of retirement he gave away thirty-eight BILLION dollars to charitable causes. Sure there must be some tax incentive, but who the hell cares. That’s thirty eight billion. It makes me contemplate a move to Seattle to try for some sweet job giving away Gate’s money. But I like where I live and I’m not really willing to compromise on that. And while I’ve never been all too fond of Bill Gates, I do have a great deal of respect for his decision to step down from Microsoft and dedicate his time to the family foundation.

Have I mentioned I love Warren Buffet? Okay, I love my Argentinean plumber/electrician too. And my American rocker foreman. And his girlfriend’s father. And his friend the carpenter. And I adored the Portugal v. Netherlands match the other day (wasn’t that just like a school yard brawl!?!) And frankly, anyone who didn’t just fall smitten with the soul, spirit, sportsmanship of Ghana this morning in the Brazil v. Ghana match just wasn’t paying attention.

And I love the twins who are turning four next week. They pull me into their magic and forget who I am. I really love them. And of course, Secret Agent Dog. And there’s Ed too (does it mean something that he falls this low on the list, below Warren Buffet and the Ghana National team? Let’s just say this list isn’t in order of priority…for now… so we don’t have to explain things.. heh. Kidding.)

I love Cassie and LB and Mom.. and Hell’s Angels. (Okay.. I don’t actually love Hell’s Angels at all, but ten points to anyone who can name the reference.. here’s another hint: He’s got golden chains on his leather jacket and on the back are written the names…)

I have a question for my gentle readers… what, if anything, have you risked for love?

26 June 2006

Romance Is Dead

Live to the point of tears. - Albert Camus

I’ve kept an 8x11, brown, hand addressed envelope to my old neighbor, in San Francisco, from a certain Lee Baker since the year 2000. My neighbor was lovers with a Lee Baker and they’d ended their relationship badly earlier on. This neighbor had long since moved away. I’d vaguely remembered the affair. The brown envelope was mistakenly delivered to me. In hopes of tracking down the neighbor, I’ve held onto the letter going on six years now – unopened – until today.

Somehow I thought it might be strangely romantic – that perhaps one day I’d figure out a way to deliver the letter and something old and painful might be resolved and forgiven – until today. A few times each year I look through the phone book, contact one or another mutual friend, try old email addresses and wait hopeful for a reply – until today.

Today I needed an 8 by 11 envelope to mail a few magazines to Ed’s brother – magazines I’d said I’d send on several months back but for lack of an envelope they’ve sat on the floor in my study. I spied the letter from Lee Baker and set forth on another journey to find this long lost friend of mine. The journey ended today. I didn’t find him, but I needed the envelope. I carefully, ever so carefully lifted the corners and the old glue relented with a suspicious ease. It’s like letting go and opening up is easier once time passes. I slowly slid the letter out of the envelope – a typed cover letter accompanied the twelve stapled pages.

Whether or not this Lee Baker was the Lee Baker is somewhat dubious. This Lee Baker explains that he retrieved my friends street address by doing an internet search for Jewish-sounding (??) names. It was a ramblings of a total lunatic – some bipolar Jesus freak of sorts – a magnificent essay which culminates in a reprint of a newspaper clipping of a successful in-vitro fertilization, showing that man has finally emulated the virgin birth first pioneered by God. How it only took a mere 2000 years to catch up. We’ll all be happy to note with the advent of fertility clinics and advances in science to help couples having trouble conceiving, we’ve obfuscated the need for God and religion. We’ve finally replaced God with science. (It’s about time, eh?)

Never again will I sit wondering at the 8 by 11 brown, hand-addressed envelope. I liked it better how it was in my mind. Pandora’s box and all that rot. I’ve loosed evil on the world by opening that one and let slip all the romantic mystery of the unknown. It’s very sad now that the deed is done.

((My toes are metallic copper.))

19 June 2006

The Savaging of the Butterfly Bush

I could describe the day yesterday, the beach, the blood, the puke, the paw. I could tell tales of the tragedy, the vet, the sutures. But why mince words on the mundane when I could remember the errant rat (did I say RAT?!?) gnawing it's way through the screen window to get out at 5 a.m., or the Fellini-esque dog that the rat happened on in the yard outside the bedroom window. And how the rat and the dog caused a stoned pup to rouse and pee herself, on the bed and a day that started with more laundry in the wee hours of the morning.. the key term being wee. Or perhaps, just then as we're ringing out the pee and decide to remove the bandages on the good leg when we reveal a forgotten catheter sticking out of the vein. The Zuzu-McGiver trick of cutting up tampons to put on the bleed. The unwillingness to eat or drink. Then the willingness. Then the urgency to unswallow like a bolumic on a mission.

No... why waste a spectacular morning on tales such as this, when you could simply enjoy the savaging and ravaging of the butterfly bush.

17 June 2006

More Later

I’ve been busy. No. That’s not it. Too many plans, people, things. I need my time alone – but not too much. I’m looking for that good in-between. I’m feeling crowded. I get pretty agro when I feel crowded. I like the time I spend weeding the garden, pruning, working the soil. Get down in the dirt with me. There’s plenty of room down here in the dirt.

So today I’ve extracted a quiet day (so far) off the loom of them. Somehow the alarm failed to go off at 7 am, so I rolled off the bed at 7:11, not as pleasantly as I’d have preferred. Pulled on my sweat pants and FBI glow-in-the-dark T-shirt (at the aiport Kiosk store in Washington Dulles, United terminal, near gate C17), brushed my teeth, rolled up my yoga sticky matt and out the door to meet Kaye, the neighbor lady. We do yoga together on Saturday mornings. Actually, it’s her routine, I just encroached myself into it. She’s been welcoming. We ladies stretch together.

After an hour or so of contorting, pushing, pulling my body every which way till Tuesday, I stopped at the coffee roaster enroute home for a nice cup of organic Mexican Jose (aka Joe.) After I’m all slippery and loosed up, the caffeine goes down smoother, surer. While I waited for Ed to more fully awake, I continued fertilizing the lawn – there still more to go, but enough for the morning.

And then we hopped on the mountain bikes and road the ten miles to Larkspur. Ed went out drinking (bad man – I hate it when he drinks, he promised he’d stop, dog house and all that rot) and took a taxi home from The City – leaving the truck at the ferry building. However annoying that is, it’s better than irresponsibly driving drunk I suppose. And admittedly, it was a beautiful morning for a ride – a light breeze, still early enough to escape the heat of the day. We had to stop at the Pet Food Cottage to pick up the Honey Bee’s chow before turning back home.

Swooping into the cottage, we off loaded the dog food and bike, did a quick change of clothes, scooped up Ms. Secret Agent Cookie and road the bikes up to LB’s house to watch the US v. Italy World Cup match. And what a stellar showing by the US. (LB says, “we must believe.” I say, “believe what, that Italy is going to kick their ass?” She says, “no, that they’ll win.” “Hmmmm… The World Cup, or just this match?” I ask. “Let’s just start with the match,” she says.) But really, coming up with a draw when the US is two men down is about the same as Italy losing, really. They should feel shame.

We’d intended to go to the beach today, but we’re bagging on the idea. It’s 2:30 in the afternoon, there’s more gardening to do and yet I feel like I’ve done enough today.

As much as I do, I don’t want sustainability and environmental issues to be the it girl of this era. I’ve been thinking about this quite abit. I’m in a hot spot, again, of a movement. But this time I’m dabbling around on the fringe and not wanting to jump in. Or I do, but not holding hands with a crowd. If I wrote about that, that would be an entry.

Of course, I think Hedgehoggy would want to hear about what’s on my feet to make it real. Right now, there is Rhythm and Blues polish on my toes – just an exciting electric blue making them glow like crazy. And then there are the rather mundane white cotton socks. My shorts are army green and my tank top is mottled black with bleach streaks from when it went in the wrong load. The royal we (that’s me and Ed) are reading the Horse and his Boy or the Boy and his Horse (whatever-the-hell-it’s-called) – the third in the Narnia series (the first being my favorite thus far.) There’s a box of stewed tomatoes in the middle of the living room floor – for the life of me I don’t know why.

Oh yeah, we went to a monster yard sale in between things this morning. I found nothing to buy, yet like a seedy back-alley character the neighbor man showed me his etchings lamps and gave us three, for free. They’re sweet and lovely. I think many of the neighbor’s raise their brow in pity and wonder at our lack of furniture. I took the lamps but they’re table lamps and we have no tables.

The other day it rained, a few scattered sprinkles, during a walk on the mountain. This is nearly unheard of in this part of the world, in June. It made me happy. I loved, loved, loved it. I loved it as much as Fondue and riding my bike along the canal on a breezy Saturday morning. Things that make me happy: In addition to those things… wood ducks, wild native grasses, the twins.

More later.