Saturday, February 14, 2009

Big Love


Friday, February 13, 2009


Yesterday morning I walked out of the house and said, out loud because I've obviously lived in New York too long, "This is a fucking great-looking day."

I'm not sure exactly what I meant by that -- it just popped out. It was a very blustery day, with fat puffy white clouds getting blown around so hard they cast moving shadows on the sidewalk. Dramatic weather. And I live at the top of a long hill, so when I go out my front door I get a big-sky urban panorama -- not something you see just everywhere. I've learned to pay attention to the first things I think when I'm walking down that hill in the morning, having finally pried myself out of my warm safe house and pushed myself forcibly into the world. It's a combination of taking my psychic temperature and reading emotional tea leaves about the day to come -- not always precise, but accurate enough to give me at least the illusion that I have a handle on things.

Seeing big wind blowing like that always makes me wish I had some kind of windmill turbine on my roof and a generator in the basement so I could harness some of it and live a tiny bit more off the grid, give up a little less money into the greedy clutches of Con Edison.

I'm feeling a certain amount of good energy coming from within me as well, and the same urge to harness it -- although that requires a lot less hardware and a lot more attention. The weather inside and out don't always match up, but when they do it does, in fact, make for a fucking great-looking day.

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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Rolling in Ecstasy

My 20s were all about sensation, diving into everything I did headfirst without a whole lot of thought beforehand. I made art and heard bands and took drugs and ran around with boys and read everything I could get my hands on and stayed up all night drinking and talking, and then abruptly flipped all that over halfway through the decade and had a baby. Which was every bit as intense and immersive, just without the bands and drugs and boys.

My 30s were about synthesis, figuring out how to take all that raw input and reconcile it with who I was – and figuring out who that might, in fact, be. A little slower, a little more thoughtful, although not a whole lot.

My 40s are turning out to be about scholarship. I think I’m as much myself as I’m going to be, but at some point I noticed how much there is in the world I don’t know, and fell a little in love with the idea of trying to learn some of it. Part of that is just the realization that I don’t have all the time I used to, and in fact it seems to be contracting on me, speeding up in direct proportion to how much I want to do. Which is a lot. Lately I’ve been waking up in the morning dazzled by the sheer potential, every day, for putting something new in my head, or making something, or connecting with someone. Not to say that I’m necessarily more productive. Just that the universe lately is oddly bright and shiny. Maybe it’s just latent ADD, unmedicated and coming back to bite me on the ass. Maybe I’m moving in on the age my father was when he had the first of his mini-strokes, and I’m getting all Use It Or Lose It.

Whatever the case, these days I’m feeling some kind of imperative to take those hours when I’m not at work, or on the train, or walking the dog, or cooking dinner, or sleeping, and own the hell out of them. Even if I don’t end up with something to show for it. Even if that involves sitting at my table and listening. I want the world to roll in ecstasy at my feet.

(I already have cats doing that.)

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