Sunday, May 25, 2008

5:42 in the morning

Increasingly, I am seeing 5:42 in the morning, and this is not right as I have the summer off and there's no reason to experience this fresh and dewy of a morning. While I am a morning person, I am not excessive about it and am not thrilled to be fighting off these heavy eyelids that yet refuse to sleep.

The one good thing about morning is the quiet whistle of birds. I am a big fan of the morning birds. I hope they will sing me back to sleep before the full on sun drives out the pleasant morning dusk of blue and gray in the sky right now.

This very early morning, I am back in Kalamazoo again as I am every weekend and I am very much sick of this drive out here, though it is only a scant 45 miles - not much in the greater scheme of things. But all this travelling - even this short distance - is making me unsettled. Add wedding plans and an upcoming move to a new state nine hours south of here, and you might see the condition of my heart for what it is: a desperate beating thing that is full of love and worry.

I stole that last line. In a colleague's class some time ago, a TESL student used the expression the mind of love and worry to express the English word anxiety. That phrasing has run through my head often when my heartbeat felt a little too bouncy and my legs a little wobbly.

The mind of love and worry. I guess there are worse conditions, and worry is really an enemy. There is no good reason to worry. I might die before the sun comes up and no amount of worrying will improve that situation. Best to just lay myself down and let the birds do their magic.

Monday, May 12, 2008

J.M. Barrie and Miss Bonnie Parker

All this change, like indigo to blue, like bread to toast, like dusk to black. It cannot be stopped once it is set in motion. I despise it. I read Thoreau too young and have that sucking the marrow out of life phrase shooting bullets through my heart with every passing second. I am Bonnie in the last few minutes of Bonnie and Clyde, feeling the sting of that short life, after all that running. "You best keep runnin', Clyde Barrow."

And that's how I feel. I keep running. When time sits for a moment unfilled, it races ahead of me and so I have to leap after it. Unplanned, unused seconds turn to quicksilver and then I am that much older. I am that much more in need of some facial scrub that will keep me young.

But there is not stopping the getting older. Nor have I escaped the J.M. Barrie curse. I want none of it. I do not want the rat's nest that lives over the head of the adult. It is an angry thing, all that chittering, demanding, squirming, squealing - all that splendor of adulthood. Bills, leases, broken lawn mowers.

Once, my 6-year old niece told me it's easy to fall asleep in the car. This was after I told her I could never fall asleep in the car. Truly, I have never been able. The niece said to me, "It's easy. You just close your eyes." Which is a magical way of living. You just do it, she tells me, and then it's done.

If I could just do it (invocation of Nike unintended), what would I do? Would I teach? Would I have babies? Would I renovate houses? Would I design greeting cards? Would I run marathons? Would I win Scrabble tournaments? Would I write books? Would I paint murals?

With time moving more quickly all the time (I don't care what science says), what is stopping me? That's the trick. Not getting in front of time, but getting in front of myself, or maybe it's deeper inside myself. I have to stop running for that trick. But once I stop running, I'll be dead. I'm pretty sure that's how it works. Cut to Bonnie (played by Faye Dunaway, whose shoe was tied to the brake of the car so that her bullet-riddled body could slump clumsily out of the car without falling completely out of it.) Cut to Bonnie who stopped running.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Eeeh! Eeeh! Eeeh!

I like being encouraged to be a monkey. There should be more monkey occasions in life. I'm convinced.