It’s mild today, but the bridge was sure to be slick with ice, so we kept to the trail west […]
For some reason I just had a thought about my mother telling me she used to rehearse for her mother’s death. That’s a pretty messed-up way to go through life, isn’t it?
I think I inherited that practice. I rehearse for the worse. I don’t trust my resilience. Although in this case, it means that I’ve started a new one: a new play.
But I'm learning now to give up the resistance to the outside world. Learning to accept the hardness of stones, the sharpness of frozen rain hitting the bridge of my nose, and the slickness of the lichen that sprawls over the mountain's granite (though it all too often lands me on my very unappreciative ass). Learning to accept the cold feet & the hot belly, or the cold belly & the hot feet, when I'm in the sleeping bag with a rubber flask that's filled with water we boiled on the Primus - knowing halfway through the night, it'll be cold "as a witch's teat" and I'll have to toss it out.
I guess the root of all acceptance is appreciation. I am learning to appreciate nature (and being out in it) on it's own erotic terms.
I also have a fear of being too personal. It's like showing up in a dress that is just a smidgen too short and crosses some line no one explicitly told you about. Everyone lifts an eyebrow, and then looks away. Be honest, but don't be too honest. Earnestness makes everyone feel awkward.
I'm reading Gregory Orr's Poetry as Survival. He talks about the terrifying vulnerability of the self, and he describes the personal lyric as the self encountering its existential crises.
You know, I'm just going to give into this. To the fear. To the existential crises. To the who-gives-a-damn about propriety and position. To the friggin´earnestness.
What I truly miss is letter writing. And I miss the long email exchanges of the mid-90s, when my children were small and napping nearby - I could dig deep, take my time to think things through, but still be in conversation with a real person. Both my boys have left home. They are napping in foreign countries these days. So I'm asking myself, why is it I feel rushed now?