Not forever

But somehow you are still afloat, buoyed by words and arms and, wherever you can find them, reassurances of an eventual return to normalcy.

So Monique makes you dinner (when, at last, you are able to choke more than applesauce down) and coaxes from you your first laughter in days. Paula reminds you, One foot in front of the other and You're still strong at the core. Erfert offers a ride on her gentle blind horse (which, she says, will clear your mind of anything but the sudden realization that you are, in fact, on a blind horse), tells you that she's been where you are three times over her years and has lived to tell.

Dana, lately returned from a visit to Francesca in Toronto, gives you a KitKat and reminds you, You are here, alive, in front of me. Otis takes you out among the gay boys, buys you a ginger ale (sans whiskey this time), leads you to Walgreens to advise you on your tissue purchase ('No, baby, you need the ones with lotion. Blue box or green? Ooh, or peach?').

Val makes plans to take you to a documentary on a Fundamentalist Christian haunted house. Kris tells you she would banish heartbreak from the world if she could. Your wonderfully crazy design cohort Kumi, knowing only that something this week has made you sad, sends you a still from My Friend Totoro, a wordless reminder: there is so much rain, there is so much rain, but you have an umbrella, and you are not alone.

And when nothing else seems to work, you dig up Sylvia Plath's journal entry from August 22, 1952, and hope she was right:

"You have taken a drink from a wild fountain... 'and all the wells of the valley/will never seem fresh or clear/all for that drink of mountain water/in the feathery green of the year.' Not so, not so, for in parable the wells are sweet in their ripeness, and I will not cry forever, over the young wild spurting fountains--not forever."



He would not stay for me; and who can wonder?
He would not stay for me to stand and gaze.
I shook his hand and tore my heart in sunder
And went with half my life about my days.

(A.E. Housman)


Sweet, Impossible

(I vow that this will be the final entry of the day.)

I'm tired of writing, but am grasping around still for some true solace, for some tangle of words that will calm me for more than 15 minutes running. I think the following, by Li-Young Lee (Poet Most Likely to Express the Things I Can't, but Wish I Could), may do the trick.

From Blossoms
From blossoms comes
this brown paper bag of peaches
we bought from the boy
at the bend in the road where we turned toward
signs painted Peaches.

From laden boughs, from hands
from sweet fellowship in the bins,
comes nectar at the roadside, succulent
peaches we devour, dusty skin and all,
comes the familiar dust of summer, dust we eat.

O, to take what we love inside,
to carry within us an orchard, to eat
not only the skin, but the shade,
not only the sugar, but the days, to hold
the fruit in our hands, adore it, then bite into
the round jubilance of peach.

There are days we live
as if death were nowhere
in the background; from joy
to joy to joy, from wing to wing,
from blossom to blossom to
impossible blossom, to sweet impossible blossom.

You will ache like I ache

Days like this--which, mercifully, are few and far between--have me convinced that Courtney Love's repeated malediction in 'Doll Parts' is directed at me. For extra emphasis, I imagine her delivering those words to me directly, likely accompanied by some sort of open-handed slap, which would leave me rubbing my cheek, trying to choke back tears, and yelling at her, as she stormed away, something about how she should pick on someone her own size, like perhaps Vivendi Universal.

I think the lack of food is getting to me. I most certainly *do not* want to be the girl with the most cake--at least not today--because I know I couldn't keep it down. And Jed would be dismayed were she to learn of the waste of good cake.

Lessons Learned, Pt. 2
The way to pull yourself out of emotional chaos is not by going to see Koyaanisqatsi, even when it's a 35mm print on the big screen, accompanied by a live performance of the score by the Philip Glass Ensemble. It's an incredibly beautiful film, and the score is nothing if not epic, but together they're just heartbreakingly depressing. (Of course, they're meant to be, and thus have fully achieved their aim.) Anyone desiring (or needing to be force-fed) confirmation that the human race is well ensconced in the process of ruining what we've been given need look no farther than this film. While watching it, I could only think, Point taken. Point taken. Point taken.

And I admit that although I rushed out of Symphony Hall last night wishing desperately for levity and comedy, and although I woke up this morning, shaken, with the chants from the score running through my head, I'm glad I saw (and heard) it, if for no other reason than because it provided some much-needed perspective. This is not the worst it gets.


Lessons Learned, Pt. 1

Note to self: You should not, as a matter of policy (and, for fuck's sake, Em, as a matter of remedial common sense), after an evening at the Hush-Hush, where you top off the glasses of wine you consumed at dinner with a pair of Cosmopolitans and where the sight of your friends pairing off on the dance floor while you continue (by choice, it should be noted, given the absence of your desired pair-ee) to dance solo makes you achingly sad, return home, sit yourself down on your futon, and put in a weepy, rambling, likely entirely nonsensical call to your boyfriend (or, more accurately, your boyfriend's voicemail), as chances are entirely too good that whatever it is you're trying to express will come out in a way that, by and large, does not truly reflect the contents of your head and, beyond a certain point, just becomes irretrievably garbled and botched, leaving you attempting, with an increasing (and increasingly futile) desperation, to make any sense whatsoever, a task on which you must soon give up completely, sniffling a string of 'I love you's before you hang up and turn your thoughts to damage control.

In short: no more telephone usage in the wake of multiple cocktails and/or solo dancing in the midst of couples and/or unchecked attempts at emotional analysis while not entirely cogent and/or rampant pining for boyfriend, because you will (there is no may about it) regret it heavily when you wake with a start at 6.30 the following morning.

So I've learned.