“Beg mercy, beg darkness for obscurity— We do not comprehend the awe, it comprehends us—” ~ Dan Beachy-Quick, from “Heroisms, 4, 5”
My black face fades,
hiding inside the black granite.
I said I wouldn’t,
dammit: No tears.
I’m stone. I’m flesh.
My clouded reflection eyes me
like a bird of prey, the profile of night
slanted against morning. I turn
this way–the stone lets me go.
I turn that way–I’m inside
the Vietnam Veterans Memorial
again, depending on the light
to make a difference.
I go down the 58,022 names,
half-expecting to find
my own in letters like smoke.
I touch the name Andrew Johnson;
I see the booby trap’s white flash.
Names shimmer on a woman’s blouse
but when she walks away
the names stay on the wall.
Brushstrokes flash, a red bird’s
wings cutting across my stare.
The sky. A plane in the sky.
A white vet’s image floats
closer to me, then his pale eyes
look through mine. I’m a window.
He’s lost his right arm
inside the stone. In the black mirror
a woman’s trying to erase names:
No, she’s brushing a boy’s hair.
“. . . must I polish Madness daily, rub nacre into a world
We must climb inside the world to live. A sand-grain in the mind tells us to survive.” ~Dan Beachy-Quick, from “Sonnet”
Saturday, late afternoon. Sunny, beautiful, 70°.
Well, I just lost my post, everything. And I was almost finished. I’m not sure if I’m going to try to recreate, or just chuck it all and go crawl into a hole and hide. Let’s just see where this takes us, shall we?
I had planned to post yesterday, but once I gathered my quotes, my heart just wasn’t into it. Truthfully, I was a bit sad yesterday, more than a bit. It could have had something to do with getting a text from Corey in the morning from . . . Antigua. I could have had something to do with him being there, surrounded by blue seas and white sands, and me being here, surrounded by little league parents screaming at their children in the park next door.
Hmm . . . but today’s foul mood? Squarely on the shoulders of our cell provider.
Eamonn awoke me this morning to tell me that we had no service, which, for him, is akin to the end of the world as he is completely unable to communicate with his friends on a face-to-face basis. I mean, that’s so old-fashioned. I rolled over and woke up a short time later with yet another migraine, the remnants of which are still haunting me—dizziness and light sensitivity.
“Everything is imprinted forever with what it once was.” ~ Jeanette Winterson, from The Stone Gods
I spent some time with Alexis at my mother’s house, cataloging what she has put over there so that she can update her registries at Target and Babies r Us. One thing is for certain: She doesn’t need any more small Onesies, bibs, or blankets.
Alexis has been having some bad days lately. It’s that pregnant woman syndrome of I’m big and awkward, and there’s never enough time. Actually, I think that she might deliver a bit early if she’s anything like me. I was early with all four of my babies. I just hope that she can make it into mid-June, at least.
Taking care of the puppy is proving to be a full-time job (not saying a word about that), and no amount of puppy adorableness can compensate for the work. She was telling me about her latest meltdown, in which she just kept saying, “I’m so tired,” and Mike tried to make her feel better. My daughter is very much like I was at her age in that she’s obsessive about cleaning and having things orderly and in their proper places (interesting how that goes away with the years). But because of her OCD, she creates work for herself, and then feels overwhelmed when there is too much to do.
I know that she’s also stressed over the whole house-hunting thing. They haven’t started to look, and they want to, but should they do it now or wait? I remember when I was pregnant with Alexis I took her father all over Northern Virginia, so convinced I was that we needed to buy a house before I gave birth. Of course, we did not have the funds to do so, and we didn’t, but it was that pressing need to have a good place to bring the new baby home to, some place that was ours.
We were fortunate, though, in that we lived in a spacious townhouse in Alexandria with three bedrooms, a big kitchen, and a fenced yard. She and Mike live in a small, one-bedroom apartment. I can relate to how she is feeling.
“9. Introducing Decimals
A dream, like trying to remember, breaks open words for other, hidden meanings.” ~ Rosmarie Waldrop, from The Ambition of Ghosts: I. Remembering into Sleep
So Corey texted me to let me know that the phones are back on. As I’ve said, I could live without them, but at the moment I probably need them to work as my phone number is on the invitation for RSVPs. Alexis pointed out that it would probably not be the best idea to have my mother take the calls as she would just turn around and call me anytime someone called her, and chances are good that my mother would keep the person on the phone forever drilling them for information.
RSVP: répondez, s’il vous plaît. Texted. I always find it curious how words and phrases make it into the lexicon, and most people never give the origins a second thought. Me? I’m a purist when it comes to language, so I’m having a bit of a tough time with certain new words. Friend as a verb, for instance. It’s that whole turning nouns into verbs thing (like text to texted) that really drives me crazy. I still do not recognize impact as a verb.
I know. Language is a fluid thing. It evolves constantly. It’s just that when it evolves to bastardize existing words that I shudder.
Anyway, back to the phone bill. Our cell carrier got enough money out of us to run a small, third-world country for a week. No exaggeration. It’s that huge bill from Lithuania. Bigger than when we used our cell phones when we went away on our first cruise. Apparently they were not willing to work with us, so essentially, the bills are screwed once again. I hope that eldest son enjoys that very expensive piece of technology with which he cannot live . . .
So very tired of this.
“Some people remind me of sharp dazzling diamonds. Valuable but lifeless and loveless. Others, of the simplest field flowers, with hearts full of dew and with all the tints of celestial beauty reflected in their modest petals.” ~ Anaïs Nin
About my big plans for a Sonic milkshake? Never happened.
Right after I finished my post, I was overcome with a serious bout of nausea, which kept me in the bathroom on and off for an hour. Haven’t had that happen in quite a while. I was literally so sick that I had to ask Eamonn to pick up Brett from his class, which, thankfully, he did.
Now, unfortunately, my stomach (brain?) is associating Sonic milkshakes with throwing up, so I don’t know when or if I’ll ever be able to have one again.
I remember when I worked at Dillard’s, I would often have a milkshake from Johnny Rocket’s for lunch. Just a milkshake. I worked it off in a few hours of running around the floor and up and down the stairs. And since I don’t have that level of physical activity in my life any more, it’s probably a good thing that I didn’t have a milkshake for dinner, or at least, that’s what I’m telling myself.
Tillie is trying to crawl into my lap to get my attention, so I think that I’ll finish now and go read more of book four in the Game of Thrones series after playing a rousing game of stick. My life is so filled with fleeting wonders of excitement that I can scarcely contain my enthusiasm.
More later. Peace.
Music by Mindy Gledhill, “Anchor”
Cylinder sacks of water filling the oceans,
endless bullets of water,
skins full of water rolling and tumbling
as we came together.
As though light broke us apart.
As though light came with the rubble of words,
though we die among the husks of remembering.
It is as we knew it would be
in the echoes of endless terminals,
in the slow scaled guises of ourselves
when we came together in the envelopes of ourselves,
the bare shadow, the breath of words invisible;
as slight errors repeating themselves;
as degradation passes like madness through a crowd.