Sunday, May 24, 2009

Moved to Tears

Moving is like child birth in so many ways. One of those ways is this: if you haven't done it in the past 5 years, shut up. You have no idea what you're talking about. It sucks. It makes you want to die. Especially if it's your fourth time in less than a year.

And like child birth, there is an immense sense of responsibility and oh-shit-ness when you move in to your new house. There's a lot of "What have we Done!!??" going on.

I've also fallen in love again. I can scarcely believe my good fortune. "They" just let me have this, this beautiful, old, perfect thing?

And then there's the diaper changing: the doors that nolonger fit, the floors that aren't perfectly flat and all that old house stuff. "Oh Honey, it's so cute, look how the floor slopes up here, like our own little Palouse hill. Cooo. Cooo."

And there are thrills I wasn't prepared for like soil that digs like sand. I took one dig and installed a 200 square foot garden on our third day here. And the sunsets. Every damn night! EVERY NIGHT! And 10 neighbor kids ages 3-9. We've been here a week and the garden is in, the clothesline is up (as that is my FAVORITE ALL TIME CHORE... seriously), I've got 20 new flowering plants in, and I just found my clothes box. I'm so happy I could piddle on the floor like a cocker spaniel.

But that night, that Saturday night, driving across 1/2 the vast state of Washington until mid-night, a crisis hit. An Existential Crisis, for which I am so well known. I was happy. Happy. My heart trilling, flying, soaring through the evening, dipping and swooning with my fabulous good fortunes. And then Splat! What is the point of all this happiness? Splat went my heart. Splat on the wind shield in the purple night.

Some soul-CSI eventually uncovered just what happened on the night of May 16, 2009:

Blue's last book from the Rock Island school was on the Titanic. She read aloud to Coyote and I. We sat on the futon, dangled our legs out in front of us, and let our minds wander in and out of the tale. Carefree. And then she reads something like, "The poor were not allowed on deck. So that when the ship began to tilt, many of them could not even find the stairs to the upper deck. Most of the poor died in the hull."

Upon hearing this pointless, painful, heart wrenching detail, the little man in the crows nest of my own psyche began calling loudly, "Existential Crisis dead ahead! Turn Turn Turn!!" The little girl at the helm turned. She cranked. She spun. She turned turned turned. And at first, we thought all was well. But that Crisis, that Existential Crisis, was larger below the surface than anyone had thought. And come Saturday night, the deep gash had become evident. What was the point of all that pain? 1500 people died, that many die perhaps every hour! What is the point of all this death? And the life that came first? And the incessant pain of living, the stupid hopes, the absurd dreams, and then death... anyway. And Yaddah, yaddah, yaddah.

So, my psyche turned up on it's back side and dove down. The band on deck played on.

In Wenatchee I had the tremendous (albeit ultimately pointless) good fortune to be in the confidences of a group of folks ages 53-85. They ALL assured me that there is NO POINT. That life is a random collection of interesting experiences and there's NO GRAND PLAN. There's not supposed to be.

Huh? "Supposed to" some how indicates a grand plan. A prescription. Supposed to make sense or not, I guess it just doesn't? Some seem to say that the point of this life is that after you die you meet the five imbeciles that you killed. But then that just begs the freaking questions already. Some say this is all a test of your soul. But either way HEAVEN ends up being some point (which we can't see from here, so we hope it happens in death) at which this whole thing makes sense. And to me, THAT would be heaven.

But perhaps my elders are right. What I demand from life is nothing that it even can offer. It's like ordering at a restaurant in India:
"I'll have mango lassi."
"We don't have mango lassi today."
"I'll have Palak Paneer."
"We don't have Palak Paneer today."
"What do you have?"
"Everything on the menu, you just ask, I will bring it."
"But I AM ordering off the menu."
"Pick anything, I will bring it."
"Naan."
"We don't have naan today."

What I demand from life is nothing more than what I seem to demand from myself which is total consciousness and intention in every moment.

I've been complaining about not being able to think lately. And I realize that perhaps my standards have jumped the shark, as they say. I expect that as I brush my teeth, I will be fully conscious of the love I am showing for my body and the hope I am displaying in my longevity, long enough gevity to need solid teeth for the next 6 decades. Is that too much to ask?

Yes.

So, here I am, accepting that perhaps not every foot fall upon these golden wood floors, or checked tiles warmed by morning sun, will be carefully undertaken with gratitude for our good fortunes, thanks for the people that layed them, thanks to the elements for their creation and thanks to the termites for dining elsewhere. No, sometimes, I am going to just have to walk across the floor to some sort of destination, without thinking about it.

I gotta say, that for all that mooning about the journey being SO important, I'm all about the destination today. It rocks. And that messed up journey is finally over (can I say that or will the gods strike me down and chain me to a rock for monsters to eat?). We'll call the house Ithaca. It didn't take a full twenty years. Just eight. But we're impatient moderns. Eight years IS twenty. And I want those eight to make sense by morning.

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