What was possible?
Some thought everything. Each of us had our plans.
I laugh at my May calendar.
We gazed as the maw of “The Possible” broke into a sardonic grin.
Cracked wide open – its yawning depths, its dark secrets,
all that we’d obscured with our furious white noise.
Blinking, we re-emerge into the day.
Day after day after day,
we pace our narrow paths,
paths that zigzag,
and think – This is a video game!
Threats appear in a heartbeat,
in a breath.
No dreams on these paths today.
The future, a screen gone blank?
But in the silence, the artist rises up in us.
The animals rise up in us.
Birds sing to us. Flowers open as we pass.
Later, we watch the light inch along the desk at which we’ve allowed ourselves
to stop. For a moment
My daily route in Los Angeles takes me past winsome old twenties bungalows and handsome thirties duplexes, Spanish, occasionally Tudor or Tuscan. My neighborhood had been almost frozen in time. Yet one by one the old folks died and the children sold and the developers bought, tore down, then built their streamlined monsters. Always white and sharp-toothed, glassily they erupted from the earth eager to dominate.
Roaring that this turf was changing hands.
The bungalows cowered in their glare.
But now those battlements stand silent and empty; their bully hegemony meaningless now. The signs of their realtors sway in the hot wind.
I also pass a gray, shingled and rambling, old Cape-style cottage probably built in the forties. The garage in back is surrounded with sections of old wooden lattice and a tumble of mossy clay planters and urns. Its roof is tall and peaked; the wall is covered with vine tracks and patches where subsequent paint jobs and long lost shutters left behind traces of original colors. It is a place that has known life, has weathered it and stood its ground, remained cherished in a relaxed sort of way. I always choose to walk by this garage. It’s not the house, with its profusion of flowering bushes, ivy up to the roof, and little white shutters. It’s this garage, a living memorial to simpler times, to the reasonableness of letting things age, to letting something just be enough.
But here we are at the brink of a new age. Not the one we’d aspired to. Not the one that was never possible anyway. But the one we were making by default in the dark, in our denial, as the buck got passed down the line, again and again down the line.
Now that buck stops cold. Now the artist in all of us rises up and, fist to air, proclaims
“I relinquish what was never mine. I now accept what may rightfully be mine and I shall celebrate it.” This is an alchemical wedding, in fact a re-marriage. Humans, through art and understanding and massively hard work, begin bonding again to the Earth and all the creatures upon it. New and more meaningful paths will be revealed and there will be jubilation once more.
Moving beyond the pontifical now, check out my highly amusing list of Daffodil names, edited down from the 3000 or so in my vintage, Royal Horticultural Society’s Classified List and International Register of Daffodil names:)
Playful, lyrical, and edgy, HER ARGUMENT is one part memoir, 10 parts inspiration and exploration. Essays on Art, Style, Identity, Philosophy, Singlehood, Aging, and The Good Life are wound together with humor and insight. Her Argument builds a provocative case for the values of self-inquiry, authenticity, and deep appreciation for the marvel of existence.
Available at Amazon here, and at select bookstores in the future.