I hate writng this blog today; I hate feeling public and yet want to attempt to affect some sort of change through writing. The two ideas seem oppositional to me. I would love to be a writer who gives solace, or calm, or invigorates readers and yet simultaneously I want to hide in my covers and be small with the kitten.
Today I am starting a cleanse of sorts, a personal spring cleaning and of course last night as my daughter and I ate Thai food and talked on and on, the idea of freedom from cooking and the freighted decisions of food seemed like a glorious extravagance. It really did. And this morning I was even excited to begin my first day without strong coffee brewing on the back burner, the oily pungent aroma announcing to me that it was time to hustle and shake the word tree. And of course the day began anyway, its own rhythms taking me slowly into writng or more taxes until it was time for me to walk and fetch my toddler god-daughter and walk home with her mom, who is pushing me tenaciously to walk with them all the time. And so today in the rain and chilly first day of a fast I walked.
And my goddaughter, usually so pleased to see me, was not to be made happy by hugs or halleluiahs, what she wanted was a full throttled holler all the way home. And so strapped sturdily into the stroller she screamed and wailed and tore at the sky with the anger she possessed because, her dear mum didn’t push the stroller, but rather it was jaunted along by, MEAN OLD WICKI.
Well I immediately demanded that a tee shirt be created when my birthday rolls round, as I think I would wear the hell out of a MEAN OLD WICKI shirt. She cried all the way down the river path stopping only to gain complete composure of herself when I explained that screaming, even if you are screaming please let mama push me, was not the way to get what you want in the world. In fact it was the very seeds of Colonialism, please may I have Africa or Mexico? And this tiny tot could snap to calm and go back into fury as if she had an electronic controller which stopped and started a movie.
Of course after we got home she cried because I was leaving and as I clomped home wet from the inside out I thought how well I know that kind of terrible double-sided anger. I want to push you away and I want you to stay. And I am angry that I am so uncertain or clumsily certain of what I want. Oh we can want fame and quiet, or a racy sex life and the safety of long-term commitments. We want all the ice cream we can hold and for our skinny jeans to fit as well. We want to be home curled with the cat and yet off on an adventure all in the same nano-second. And yet we too grown humans can’t scream and kick our feet clad in joyful purple sneakers. We adults are relegated to the realm of a cocktail to take the edge off, a stiff one, or a long hard run, or a talk with someone who adores us.
I kind of love the hollering approach. In my fantasy our thrashing toddler had a yummy lunch and a brilliant calm nap lulled by the release of screech.
There was no poetry in this walk save the cries to the heavens.
However yesterday I went on my girl date with the luscious Christine who encouraged me to see a show at my old haunt LaMama. It was a piece called La Vie Materielle conceived by Irina Brook, daughter of famed theater wizard Peter Brook. The play was elegantly simple: five women utilized the words and wisdom of Virginia Wolf and Margauerite Duras to vividly illuminate their lives, and certainly mine. The play unfolded all while folding laundry and cooking a wonderfully aromatic potage. Copious amounts of wine were consumed and the music, thoughts and execution were about as close to perfect as any moment in the theater I’ve experienced in quite a while.
I left my calling card and asked if I could help move it to another locale downtown. OH HOW I WOULD LOVE TO DO THAT! Fingers crossed.
But yesterday there was poetry. Christine and I hurried back to TriBeCa from our Sunday Matinee, we moved at her pace, a furious one, and halfway home she asked me what poems I had learned and would I recite them for her. So wending our way through the East Village and China town, I huffed and puffed my poems into the crowded sidewalks overflowing with shoppers, strollers and hawkers. I had never been asked to recite before and it was, yes daunting, but then thrilling too. I love my women friends, I adore that it was a friend who got me to go back into what I consider my own back yard to see a show that was so sweet and wise and really revelatory. It is a tiny iota of what I aspire for my scribblings.