Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Most Regular Autumn

Well, I hardly expected this to be a journal of despair on death and dying, but we have truly entered the fall. It is all over my mind. I turn 32 in ten days, that's how old my dad was when he died. It is a strange habit of the living to rely too heavily on the information of the lives of the dead. or too little is also often the case. I am thinking about dying. Not suicide, but instead that it will happen some day. Always, in the fall, I think like this. My mother just had some skin cancer removed. This, after having had breast cancer 4 years ago. It was on the anniversary of her mother's death. My whole life needs changing.

I want to talk on the phone right now to one of my old friends living somewhere else in world, but it is later everywhere than here. It leaves me alone, in the middle of the night, calling around to leave messages for sleeping friends. I am being dramatic. I am being for real. I felt terrible (sad, cramps) all day and then I wrote this tiny, two-part piece about stitches on the dead bodies of my father and Oswald. This is Scorpionic; almost there. This is practice for what one says in public.

I heard a cricket in a tree tonight. He was quiet while I went past. I walked up a huge hill and could see the water (I don't even know which!) and the sky was purple and orange. I smelled rose today, out of nowhere, while writing about kissing my father's dead cheek. That is how he smelled. And felt. I always think about who I miss in the autumn. See, it is like this: so chilly.

Meg, you keep asking, and I have found a quote. "In creating, you create the origin that swallows you" --Edmond Jabes

Sure, I'm going down. But like Jayne Cortez said, "and just what the fuck else was she supposed to do?" I kick and scream. I write a blog. I look toward winter and act fluent. Behave verbose.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

My heart went thru its usual breaking as I left Texas. I moved slowly the first day back. I worried whether writing is frivolous. I thought about how far away my family is when I am here. And then I wrote three poems. And then I cried. My grandmother's Virgin Mary is set upon my altar. My chest is weighted with prayer and thankfulness and vertigo. According to Bhanu Kapil, "Vertigo is a symptom of profound attraction. An excess of desire." Yes.

I am back in the Bay after covertly digging a hole at the cemetery in Dallas where my dad, uncle and paw-paw are buried and depositing part of my grandmother's ashes there. We poured water on the ground and used trowels. I loved on my nieces and went thru my grandmother's things. I came home with a suitcase full of pictures. My assignment for Truong Tran's poetry class this week is to look at a family album and write about the pictures and the narrative that they beg to tell. That man reads my mind.

I have pictures of my father as a small baby, complete with infamous dimple. I have pictures of my uncle Mike in the hospital after being knifed; you can see the track marks in his arms. Ghostly hollow of his dark eyes. I am being given a gift. I get to sort through these things. I get to follow it back to deep baby humanity. I get to love and love and love.

I have a bit of homesickness for Boulder as the days get shorter but remain fair in California. I began my period (quite early) the day my grandmother died and I know there is a serious newness to my life right now. Each part of me is beginning something. Each of my "homes" have shifted. I don't know how to anchor.

I will be 32 in one month, the age my father was when he died. My birthday is Halloween, my uncle Mike's was November 1st, and the next is the Day of the Dead. I am mad with numbers lately. I wonder who is pulling these strings.

Tonight I made a thick fried dahl and have crawled into bed. I am listening to songs that have accordions or yodeling in them. It is clear that Fall has arrived: days like cinnamon, nights like clove.