Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Call And Response

I resist change, improvement, growth, or grace of any kind. It makes me nervous, upset, fucks with my sense of self, my tenous grasp on reality such as it is, and threatens to unmoor me. The way I scare myself is writing and as ways of scaring one's self, it's pretty slow going. You'll never catch me jumping out of a plane, riding on a little boat on the Amazon, or handling a snake. The animals on the Amazon, someone says, butterflies as big as birds. Do I need this?! I can barely endure the evil squirrels that assault me as I make my way to my office. I think of some of the places I have been most myself -- my office at home, classrooms where I'm the student, used bookstores, churches, clothes stores. Make no mistake -- transformations happen in these places. But the spirit resists what it does not know. Humiliation, for instance. Although I am intimately acquainted with this one. Anxiety as well. Outright panic. Sure. Love among the ruins. Most definitely. So I guess I have been changed, even in Half-Price Books.

As a child, I saw gold trees everywhere. They were popular in the eighties, those teeny-tiny trees with gold-plated leaves that tarnished in time. But when they were in their prime, boy did they sparkle! That's what I remember anyway.

Michelle's Spell of the Day
"There's a mystery to writing, and you don't really know where most of it comes from." Neil Diamond

Cocktail Hour
Drinking art book selection: Black Panther: The Revolutionary Art of Emory Douglas by Danny Glover, Kathleen Cleaver, and Amiri Baraka

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Wednesday!


the walking man said...

Then quit reading all those self improvement books and just be love among the ruins if that is where you are most comfortable. I am ruined in many ways and have adapted, you fortunately came by it naturally.

And as for the marauding squirrels, if you weren't such a nut maybe they would leave you alone hahahahahahaha



JAM said...

I love quotes. I'm always interested in seeing your choice for the day, and the Neil Diamond quote was totally out of left field. My parents loved his music and played him a lot on their big ol', piece of furniture-looking, console stereo. Consequently, I'm a hard rock/metal fan with a soft spot for Mr. Diamond. Hearing his music reminds me of my parents at a young, healthy age like almost nothing else can.

But aside from that, you had "the quote of the day" yourself. The way I scare myself is writing and as ways of scaring one's self, it's pretty slow going. You'll never catch me jumping out of a plane, riding on a little boat on the Amazon, or handling a snake. Those lines reached out and grabbed me, because I've thought something similar many, many times, but had never phrased it so well. I have trouble getting people to understand that I'm an adrenaline junkie, only on the inside of me. They can't wrap their heads around the truth of having terrors, adventures, or whatever without doing something physically.

Anyway, your post was a two-fer for me today, both your's and Neil's words.

(Assuming that you were referring to the musician Neil Diamond and not some writer with the same name that I'd not heard of.)

Charles Gramlich said...

That picture looks almost like a still from a CSI Episode, Michelle. You just need to be paler.

Pooh on butterflies as big as birds. what about spiders as big as your hand. I've seen something close here in Louisiana.

eric313 said...

What about spiders as big as a floor tiles with legs like brown yarn?

You hate spiders. I'll sttop talking about loathsome stuff and leave that to you to do at your leisure.

Love among the ruins. How visual and how identifiable. Is that a paraphrase or your line?

The Revenants

When you bury your true love,
it comes back in different forms,
revenants from the hollow vault of
your chest, heaving with each breath
to fill the vacuum with something
marginally more tangible,
like grave cold wind,
the pain lessened by ages and degrees
to where you can love a betrayer,
or kiss
the knife's wicked edge,
pulled from your back
while looking into the eyes
that saw it planted there,
unflinching, relentless intensity,
ever-knowing in that human way
that it must be different--
this time.

The heart's calculus
never quite
adds up.

True to form
the heart
dies many deaths

Before the grave
takes it for keeps
add it all up

one last time
and see the ghost
for yourself

The revenant beckons

eric313 said...

Glad to drop by, haven't read you in days. It makes me happy to see peace here. It so does, and I can't even say how much without crying, and I'm at the college library surounded by peeps.

Ooops. Too late! I'll deal!
take care and peace out.

Cheri said...

I'm fucked up and I love it. Hah!

Pythia3 said...

Michelle, I love the way you know yourself and put it all into words!

But, really, you are too hard on yourself - I guess most of us are - sowers cannot help but reap. You plant the seeds daily and many of them blow back into your own garden as flowers you barely recognize. We seem to only look for the ones we are familiar with.


PS Those squirrels are getting nervy!

Michelle's Spell said...

Hey JAM,

No, you're right -- I mean THE Neil Diamond, Mr. Hot August Night, Mr. Brother Love's Traveling Salvation Show! Love that guy, probably because my dad looked a lot like him. And like you, his music reminds me of my parents, happier times, and all that. Thanks to everyone for all the sweet comments. Love the new picture, Lindy!