Lourdes Mint's Mid-Life Miracle

Real-time memoir of the coming year (5/20/14 – 15) and the achievement of a life-long dream

Archive for the month “December, 2014”

At 48, Some

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At 48, I know some of what will likely or not be,

Have seen letters on the wall, considered words they might form,

But some of that ink’s fresh enough to smudge, budge …

Like me.

I found a pond full of fish, today, in what I thought was a mirage,

Thought, all this time … because of yesterday’s chatter.

She’s had my ear too long, that Past.

Some of what she says: it’s just wrong.

Tomorrow called today, again, said I’ve had my wings on backwards.

“All this time, but fix them quick … we’ll be together soon.”

I’ve stayed here much too long, says Future,

Only some of whose calls I take.

But here’s a moment I know I can trust, see,

Like the strange mouths of these — SO MANY fish,

Opening/closing ’round the present I’ve made of old bread.

Something in me knows: they’ve been here all this time.

Something in me knows: I can catch some with my hands.

(Note: I turned 48 yesterday. It was not exactly a GREAT day, which you might not suspect from my FB post. Today is better. My husband suggested the words “strange mouths” (re: the fish that I wanted in the last stanza). He also recommended I rethink the original ending: “Some fish on our plates tonight would be good.” (“Maybe you don’t want to give a present to these fish and then eat them.”) But I do. Still, I agreed that something subtler may work better. Here’s how I wrapped it up while he made us lunch. Hope you like!)  

Awake* — A Little Old but Never Tired

One finds me in the kitchen with cheese toast and eXspresso blend. artdocumentary

I’d be more warm and content in bed, spooning with my friend.
This scene’s familiar, same time … and same channel again:
I’ve left the arms and warmth for the company of my pen.

It feels different from the time before — this time I think I’m OK.
For a change, it’s not deprivation that’s got me up and awake,
Though I know I’m no good and happy’s not my forte.
And I haven’t felt like this in so long, I’d like to think … , but I hate to say:

You don’t want it tomorrow, if you’ve got it today.
Tomorrow never happens anyway — that’s what it is.

If you know me at all, you know I’m at home and at ease with my pain,
These exciting giddy moments, well, they’re hell to explain.
And I know that at any second the whole situation might up and change.
Are you telling me loves songs are only good after love’s estranged?

In the morning, he might leave for good without a goodbye.
And when heartache rears her ugly head, well I’ll look her in the eye,
And I’ll kiss her on the mouth. You know I’ll hold my head up high,
Bless her outweighed pain this time and I’m proud that she did not pass me by.

You don’t want it tomorrow, if you’ve got it today.
Tomorrow never happens anyway — that’s what it is, that’s what it is, that’s what it is.

If these words (*so dear to my heart, but which I’m not 100% sure about) do anything for you, check out the singer-songwriter behind them: Benjamin Smoke, of Cabbagetown in Atlanta, Georgia. This video for the song features footage from the exquisite documentary (directed by Peter Sillen and Jem Cohen), covering ten years of Smoke’s various incarnations and a remarkable life cut short by disease and addiction.

Cannot recommend the (whole) film enough. If you come away from it feeling sad (or worse), sorry, but I’d say you’ve missed the marvel and miracle that were this man’s talent, spirit, and character. The main thing I came away with was AWE for his lack of bitterness, especially given his situation, and sheer adoration for his music and his astonishing capacity for looking heartache (and himself and life and all of it) “in the eye” and being willing and able to share what he saw so beautifully and powerfully.

Also, and I always come back to this: even though beautiful ideas are … beautiful, a million of them don’t come close to: even one beautiful thing DONE/completed and dispatched to wherever it needs to go to best keep doing, or even one (non-harmful) deed whose aim is beauty, truth, good — or even any of those plain, mundane, easy-to-miss steps (or mis-steps) and choices that make such accomplishments possible.

Here, here for the Doers! (And for me, having realized that being busy-busy-busy-BUSY doesn’t make me one of them.) Slowly but pretty surely, I am joining you.

Remedy: “What is coming is, IN TRUTH, returning” (Poem for Mo J. & Others)

Remedy for YOU, Mo J., and Maybe for Others Who Believe (w/ Hope or Fear) that Their Identity Is “a Construct”

Mo J., I should start by saying — reminding you of how often — I listen LONG (and hard) to you. You know I do. And I believe I understand your thoughts and reasoning about the illusion/delusion of personal identity. I read [a good many of the words in] the books you recommended, the Goffman, Foucalt, etc. I Goff-awed at first, but then — truly — got kind of Fouc’ed up about the whole thing, which we discussed. In fact, as you’ll recall, I had what I think might have been my very first panic attack the last time I cracked one of those bad boys and so I took them ALL back to the library, kickin’ and screamin’, a day before they were due (even though I could renew them, “like, forever,” the summer intern told me). I have not looked back.

But I’ve been looking at you, still listening to you (for the most part), still loving you (for the most …) — AND hoping you can find your way back in from the cold (and then tell me how you did it — heh!). page-0-2

THE THING IS, I admit I can’t mount a solid argument against either of their positions… or yours. And something in me does see, does say, well, OK, this could very well be exactly how it is: As a person, one has no definite essence, meaning there’s nothing that makes me uniquely me (or you uniquely you); “who one really is” is only as solid as the words she or he can put together to make the case (and only for a time), as well as restricted AND dictated by powers beyond all of our control. Yeah, I can see that, Mo J. (and maybe others).

And yet, and yet, and yet: NO! I don’t believe you believe it (exactly), just like I don’t (exactly), because something in me ________.  So this poem-ish thing is for you (and sometimes also me). I’m hoping we can set it to music… 🙂

“Pour Yourself Out”

Go ahead and pour yourself out*

Everything, all that makes you you, till you’re sure there can be nothing left

Don’t bother with containers, mops and the like, etc.: any and all just-to-be-on-the-safe-side measures that may occur to you — because, you know, if what you believe is true, then well ….

Forget writing anything down first or putting anything away for safe keeping, not that you would (and again, you really can’t), and tell no one

Tell no one what to do or not do IN THE EVENT that your generic shell (husk?) turns up:

F’wumping about at gatherings, leaving odd messages, curling up in a pile of dead leaves, freshly raked (by someone else) for bagging

(Let that poor thing, that “drone-hive … of phantom purposes,” fend for itself.)

Nothing you do “just in case” will do you like you (don’t?) need to be done right now, anyhow.

I know, I know, but I know you too.

So just pour — start now — in dread or giddy anticipation of finding out/proving that nothing remains, if that suits, or with the intent of ridding yourself of yourself, if that’s where you are (as you sometimes are) these days, BUT GO!

Pour like you mean it, too; this is important:

Out the window of your fast-moving car (or mine — I’m ready!)

Into the ocean at the beginning of low tide or IN the middle of high (whichever is most effective), or

Onto what’s left of your garden so late in the fall … or better: that of a stranger or estranged friend, or best: that of an indiscriminate user (or gifted hobbyist/closet-creator) of pesticides, a deranged killer, a Pampered Chef party-thrower, whichever is most repugnant to “you”

Pour it over a cliff or into a pit or quarry, a trench or ditch (48-hours style), or a rank puddle of super-dubious origin deep inside a cave, where nothing but your light-snubbing brethren can breathe

And then: spit, stomp, say “HUH!,” bang a GONG — whatever feels right, rings true, to your construct

Then wait as the panic or thrill rises, peaks, begins to fall and then

…… And then plateaus as your body braces itself, knowing — as it does in every particle of its every cell — exactly what is coming AND THAT what is coming is, IN TRUTH, returning:

dirty, wet, BAD, sorry, angry, FILLED WITH MISGIVINGS, heartbroken, MISTAKEN, ashamed and shameful, WRONG, and maybe even worse;

but also better than that, DEFINITELY better: uniquely glorious, specifically worthy (to me and maybe others) in several, very singular respects, loved in particular and distinctly loving — and all of it You.

Go ahead. Pour.

* We can discuss the exact mechanics of the “Pouring-yourself-out” process, but I’m guessing it would start with getting rid of all your stuff — starting with your writings, photos, drawings, etc. No problems there, right? We’ll brainstorm over coffee (or wine). It’ll be fun. Call me, Mo J. (and maybe others).

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