Tuesday, March 18, 2014

I'm me but not me.

As Wilde would say, "One should always have something sensational to read ..."

I'm on spring break, doing all things valorous. You know, like blogging.

We moved bedrooms last fall. I am still unpacking my boxes of books and papers. Yesterday I spent some time doing this because I was desperately searching for a book I need to write the thing I'm writing.

I have too many papers - multiple rough drafts of things, invitations to parties that happened 3 years ago, copies of grading rubrics for student papers the writers of which are in grad school now. My recycling bundle will be large this week.

But I also have interesting things - a permission slip I wrote myself to be fabulous, a love note from David, a handmade card from a much younger Z that has multi-colored raindrops crayoned all over it with inkstamped hearts in the middle of each one. And journals. I have decades worth of journals. Mostly, I think, they are full of whining about what I am not accomplishing or what about myself I am most neurotic about at the moment. But yesterday, I blindly opened two of them to unusually significant entries.

A floppy dark green "FlexiComp" book with a phone number jotted upside down in the white label area on the front opened to an entry from almost 20 years ago, July 1994, written the day after David and I first made out. It is racing and raunchy and full of the moment, aware only that something has happened, not yet beginning to imagine what it will lead to.

A lime green cloth-bound sketch book opened to March 14, 2002 - 12 years ago, not quite exactly (and approaching 8 years after that last journal) - an entry written as I approached the first anniversary of Calvin's death. "We're coming up on a year now, which hardly seems possible. Things gradually become easier, more normal, but every day I still grieve and some days I am overwhelmed ... Since the new year began things have felt more settled somehow. The intractability of the situation bears down on us. Bits of life seem normal, yet that old life still feels like it belongs to a different person. I'm me but not me. I'm the mother of a dead child." It goes on to ruminate on other grief and on what comes after. It looks toward writing, and other children, and Calvin's hoped for legacy in the world.

Two moments of profound transition. The witchy part of me thinks this was no accident. (And did I mention I just cut all my hair off?)

Reading: I finally, finally, finally finished Looking for Alaska by John Green, which I began in December. It takes me 3 months to read a damned book I am not reading to teach? This is bad. I liked this book - Well constructed, big-hearted teen fiction with some lovely sentences. What next, and what faster?

Writing: Yes! Happily in the trenches with the new script. A day of discovery and connecting dots.

Dinner: We went out with friends for St. Patrick's day. I drank a Guinness. It was a political statement.

Soundtrack: Very into Portishead today.

Random thing: Another journal I found (also a green composition book, this one stiff backed) was not my own, but my friend Anthony's. He sent it to me because it documents an epic road trip and he thought it might be good inspiration for the book in progress. He gave me his journal. It came in a cardboard mailing envelope with a handwritten note and incredible good will. It's been a long time since he sent it -- I think Anthony has published two books of his own since then! I should gather up the serendipitous magic of today's discoveries and make good on his gift.

Oh! And I found a rough draft of a short story I had forgotten I wrote, and I kind of like it.

Rites of spring.

2 comments:

  1. I love you. You and your witchy witchy ways and cute hair and 90s fierceness that is fierce and beautiful and magic. YOU ARE MAGIC. xxx

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