One of the great fortunes and misfortunes of any life is that we are stuck with ourselves, for better or for worse, as the old wedding vow goes and despite our attempts to change, we are met in the face of our own perpetual resistance. Unlike with marriage, you cannot divorce yourself, throw yourself's bags on the street, or even take some time apart to "think about how you got here." Today my fortune out of the Chinese Fortune Sticks container reads, You will soon make friends from enemies. This bit of writing on a miniature tongue depressor does not cheer my heart -- I have a few enemies and would like to keep them that way as a constant source of irritation, like sores I can't stop worrying. But if the prediction is true, and they are to become my friends, they will understand me as well as anyone does, particularly the plethora of qualities I try to keep hidden about myself. And I would understand their flaws. One would hope that this quality of knowing would make us more generous with one another, but this seems as likely as winning the big stuffed animal at a carnival game. I know some people do as I see them lugging around gigantic prizes along with their cotton candy. But this person is never me. I am the person with the cotton candy in her hair, on her clothes, the syrup from the grape snow-cone staining my clothes.
One of my favorite pictures is of the Heidelburg Project, a famous outsider art installation located on a cluster of houses in Detroit. The picture features a doll's head sticking up behind a tree trunk. The doll looks so real that people often ask who she is and some people think it's me hiding behind the tree with just my hair and eyes showing. I remember the day I took the photo -- the sun shone down with a vigor not common to the time of year, the grass seemed so green, that color so often associated with envy. The doll's head has been worn down by weather; it has grown hideous from exposure. Such is its lot! No child will drag it back inside the house and love it and so I do.
Michelle's Spell of the Day
"There were people who could start new lives and people who couldn't." Judith Rossner
Drinking music suggestion: Debaser The Pixies
Benedictions and Maledictions
Okay, so the ride is over! The Sopranos ended and for the record, I loved the ending, the fade to black. I know some people wanted a bloodbath, but isn't it far worse to have to live? And Journey never sounded so good!