"Those were hard things for me to come by, and I offer them to you for what they may be worth." - Toby Wolff



Saturday, July 7, 2012

Note To Self



Wake as if you have somewhere to be. Curl your hair and paint your face as if you might meet someone famous, or better yet infamous. On second thought, you might meet a nobody who's a somebody and will bump into your grocery cart with their uncurled hair and sheet creased face. You will laugh, knowing she woke with nowhere to be, and she will know you made up a schedule when you had no errand. You might be new best friends.

Say something between the walls of your rooms. It is strange to go five hours without a spoken word. How do you even know your voice still makes sound? How will the couch know that you are still of an opinion? Say to the guitar, "Do you miss my fingers?" It will reply from it's dusty orifice and cobwebbed strings, "What do you think?" You will scowl in reprimand for such a sarcastic and sassy reply. Apologize to the withered plant, your words like a snake charmer coaxing something out of nothing. Realize the plant and the guitar have every right to feel neglected and pissy. Apologize to the guitar also.

Clean up your spaces as if a guest might arrive, a surprise guest, a surprise guest who may be a brother, or a stranger, and each will need the same care and feeding. Where will they sit if you leave your laundry unfolded on the chairs? Play Adagio For Strings, Op 11 because it is long, and you have the time, and it cuts through silence like mourning. Hug the lost parts of you, watch them wandering through the score, alternately sweet and sad. Change the music before a guest is greeted at the door with your wailing.

String together beautiful beads to rid yourself of the collection. A collection is just the accumulation of things that once had homes elsewhere. They grow along your emptiness and feel important. This is how hoarding begins. It begins with emptiness. Wear eight of your bracelets on your wrists and walk through the streets with your gifts brushing against your hips. Seek out recipients as if you are a philanthropist wearing your charitable foundation just above the hands that shake it loose. Know it is not charitable. It is just you not being a hoarder. Perfect motive is elusive.

Say a prayer. Speak it while laying on your back and playing with your curls. Feel small so you know your place. Grow wings because you know you're loved. Grab your shoes. God himself may send you on an errand. Be ready. Round up your purse, your keys, a sweater, and set them next to the screen door while giving thanks for the breeze. It cools. It makes sound between the blinds. It rushes through the room, from south to north, on a mission it seems, having woken with somewhere to be.
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36 comments:

  1. Inspiration. Lovely, lovely.

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  2. I see you.
    We share some of the same thoughts and I understand your specialness.

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  3. Absolutely lovely post, yes I do all this sometimes

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  4. And the most important thing....Drink Tequila alone! I am heartened to hear about your father. That is a battle I've been in way too many times. This mantra/life plan of yours sounds like what I have been doing for the last three years. This morning as I was cleaning and getting angry and questioning why I should clean up a home that was going to be trashed by my soon to be x wife while I move out for three days so she can have a place to be with and spend time with the kids...the only answer that came to me was...put one foot in front of the other, it's the right thing to do...

    Wander

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    1. I'm sorry Chris. Accept and move forward one step at a time. Find your smiles where you can. Funny you saw this as a mantra/life plan. So Optimistic of you! I was just working through the day :) But perhaps I can carry it out further.

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    2. No need to be sorry! Through it all I have been blessed with good people in my life

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  5. This reads like a song of praise, my Annie. I feel you in each word and I see you. My 84 year old Mama gets up every morning and puts on her makeup and fixes her red hair. I envy her optimism.

    (I don't like that so many people are labeled hoarders nowadays. The most wonderful people on earth have libraries & houses overflowing with books. Books are people to me, not things. I collect them and make room for them by getting rid of unnecessary things like clothes, food, beds and jewelry. Books are as necessary as breathing to me. I detest my Kindle...wish I could get my money back!)

    Thank you for sharing your heart. It's beautiful. I love you!!! xoxo

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    1. It is beautiful! Always listen to Marion :-)

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    2. I love your Mama. Sure would like to meet her next time. Oh...I know you have treasures Marion. Books cannot even been counted as hoard! I must admit I am a little afraid of becoming a hoarder, so right now I err on the other side. I see several people in my life with one narrow pathway through their house and every other square inch piled up like city buildings. It scares me.

      Your list of unnecessary things cracks me up. "If you could take one thing to a desert island"....yadda yadda. But if it was a Kindle...then actually you could take a ton of books with you instead of just one. A Kindle would be considered just one thing. See? I got it all figured out for ya!

      Love your heart too Marion.

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    3. The battery on the Kindle would run down. I'd take a Bible, Shakespeare and Dante's Inferno to a deserted island. Tee-hee... GOTCHA! ;-)

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    4. Shoot! You're totally right. But you only get to take one thing to the island, so one book. Bible, hands down.

      Oh wait, by the time we actually go to an island, there will be solar powered Kindles. Heh heh.

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  6. I know the silence well. It is there again but for different reasons entirely. I have learned to sing and dance in it. But it is as vast as an ocean when it makes its damned presence known. I remind myself there was an emptiness before the silence. Silence makes me forget the truth about emptiness at times and about the facade of sounds there. Of course, I miss parts of what once filled me, but the emptiness sliced me into tiny pieces. The silence has allowed me to hear own voice and recognize its sound. Be well, Annie! xxamy

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    1. It does have a looming presence. I am used to feeling it, but not so good at the navigation. So, I guess I was trying to talk myself into movement instead of stagnation. I have a tendency to hibernate :)

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  7. PS
    Tequila is a liar when you drink it alone. Careful :).

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    1. I rarely drink it. The headache is a kill joy!

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  8. Annie, I read this like Chris did, what advice! What writing!

    I can so clearly feel the changes within you. To me it is an optimism that at the least says prepare to be greeted, welcomed, astonished. It's funny to know none of the details and yet know and identify with new hope. New hope is what this brilliant piece tells me

    I will be back to linger with this post. It touches me deeply and I am happy for you

    Love
    kj

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    1. I don't necessarily feel optimism n(pessimism is my super power!), but I think even within the lack of it, we need to move forward and embrace the day. I suppose that's what I was trying to tell myself. Possibility awaits beyond the door, it is not so frequently found in our self imposed shelter :)

      Thanks KJ. ((Hugs))

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    2. Grrrrrrr! i have no business, but in this case i'm sticking with my interpretation of your current state, or at least when you wrote this.

      a ship in harbor is safe,
      but it doesn't see anything.

      that's the least of it. but jeez annie, i just read this over and i felt optimistic and where else could i have gotten that but from you?

      :^)

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  9. trippy :) quite a rhythm to your words.

    the day i met my now ex brother in law was the day my sister was marrying him, and i walked into their beautiful island house and yes - there was a path. talk about bridesmaid anxiety attack... it took me years to put anything on my walls - i have a bag that i fill to go to goodwill every month, there's always something i can part with, you know?

    and even books, even books i have learned to part with. nowadays i keep only the classics and to justify their departure i sell them back to powell's so that others can have the joy of holding an inexpensive book in their hands rather than buying new or having to go without. share the books - they're meant to be read :)

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    1. I have a horrible memory, so I keep books, because I can re-read and re-read and damn....the ending is always a surprise. Sad, isn't it? Anyways, sharing is good. Marion shares the poetry she finds through her blog. You share your books with new readers. I share my jewelry with anyone who mentions it. A beautiful circle.

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  10. I adore photos of shutters and doors... I'm not sure why... maybe it all has something to do with the significance of 'portals'...

    Arising and deciding to not participate in the day (clean up, make up, etc etc etc...) and we head out, are we still not being proactive in our days?

    I've been a hermit since my trip to Europe... the not feeling well, things that transpired while I was on the trip... the surgery since I've been back home...

    My world is small right now, and I'm quite ok with that...

    *huggles* to you, Annie...

    ~shoes~

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    1. Not only photos, but I love the actuals. I've been looking for an old shutter to hang on my wall as a magazine rack.

      You know I don't actually know anything, right? My posts are as much a question to self as anything. I am a hermit too. My world is small because it's all I can handle. I'm sorry you are still not feeling well Professor! Maybe it was the bratwurst?

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    2. I think it was sausage... but that's another story. My head aches from the surgery are just starting to ease... so that's a good sign.

      I saw this beautiful door in Savannah the last time I was there visiting a friend. I wish I had photographed it... it was exquisite.

      For someone who professes to not know anything, you sure know a lot, sweetie.

      :o)

      ~shoes~

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  11. Loved this. So much color and grace given to these moments waiting for more to happen, than is or has for a while. The last paragraph is wonderful, especially the breeze.

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    1. Thank you Anthony. I just got a screen on the front door so now there is a nice cross breeze where it once was stifling! I am grateful.

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  12. Hmmm ... think blogger just ate my comment!!! Grrrr.

    Sometimes Annie we need the shelter of our four walls. We need to re-group ... we need to feel safe. And then comes the time to venture forth and sometimes we prefer to stay home in the "safe zone" we have created for ourselves. I did this for a long time and am still very prone to staying home more often than not.

    Life is about taking emotional risks and no more so than on an emotional level. You taught me that missus!!!! YOU. That is what this piece of writing reminds me of. That and your awesome writing talent itself of course.

    You have a way of capturing depth Annie, and unspoken thoughts that run just beneath the words. Very very cool. xx Jos

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    1. I got 3 comments from you Citrus, two were the same. So not only did Blogger NOT eat your comment, but it multiplied it! You never know with Blogger. Anyway, yes...this piece is a memo to stop hibernating. But it's just so much easier :) I watched this really funny show called "An Idiot Abroad". Have you seen it? English fellow being pulled out of his comfort zone in different cultures. Really funny. I even laughed out loud :)

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  13. annie, i don't know if this matters, it is more about living anymore then writing, isn't it? but this is your strongest piece of writing ever, i do believe. is it not a wonder that it doesn't seem like your strongest piece of living, as well?

    you seem to have just risen from a dunk in the river, clean and ready to move directly into the heart beating life)))

    xo
    erin

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    1. Yes :) But I do not see it as strong living. It is very small. Microscopic existence compared to how I used to view my footprint moving through earth. I feel dirtier than ever. Somehow I think this is right, while knowing that the clean feeling that at times comes through is certainly not of my own washing. I am low, which makes me immeasurably more accessible to the majority. Someday I will have something to say, and I will have earned their ear. Maybe :)

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    2. Yes!

      Yes!

      that's what i thought too! i just could never say it as well as erin!

      !!!!

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  14. you have a "spark" when you decide to "move"...that spark can move others,,reckon?

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    1. Maybe some day. I would like to agree with "reckon?" It makes me fee easy, agreeable, relaxed and southern :)

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  15. i keep wanting to break down these walls i have built around me. my trip i just took was exciting and emotional. you are so right about taking steps, step and step again. We will both find ourselves stepping through those wonderful shutters into the sunlight...

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    1. Moving beyond our four walls is important. We get cemented in our comfort zone. Sometimes I envy those who leap. Sometimes I envy those like myself, whose caution is born of concern on many levels. Sunlight is good. Damn shutters. How often we close them and live in shadow!

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  16. This is one of the most beautiful posts I have ever read, not just by you but by anyone. I'm thinking about printing it out and putting it on the backside of my bedroom door, so it can sing to me during the day. Just...gorgeous. Annie, I adore you.

    And I apologize to plants all day long, as I am the Dexter of house plants.

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  17. This is wonderful... it's nice to know I'm not so alone.

    And - I turned around and put some make-up on before leaving my house this morning.

    Thank You. ;)

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Thank you for listening.