I had the best weekend I’ve had in a long time. Maybe ever. Is that possible? One sunny day and one rainy day. Friday night we made tacos using tortillas made from this really great recipe (cut into 32 sections instead of 16 for street taco size), which turned out really well and reheated easily for snacking through the weekend (also we discovered sour cream in a tube). I had early morning coffee on the balcony with my younger son and went for a run in the lovely Saturday sunshine with my older son, which was so so awesome (and miserable because of course I rather hate running), and went on a mother-son double date with my younger son and his friend who is the son of my friend. I went to yoga in the rain and I heard from my friend who is deployed which made me really happy since it seems he is safe and has time for all kinds of tomfoolery and then we made dosas with a delightful butternut squash filling (oh my gosh so good) and watched some surprising things happen in the World Series. We worked on these essays and goofed and laughed and felt frustrated. I didn’t answer the phone.
I don’t know. A whole lot of nothing that left me really satisfied–good meals, funny jokes, the boys beside me and happy and healthy. Indictments to look forward to. I’m writing this here so I can come back to it when I need it. Because of course I will need it. Because next weekend is my get-to-writing weekend, and I’ll be haunting around looking for the right words and wearing very tall thick socks. Because the indictments might come to nothing and perhaps nothing will change.
I’m at the end of filling my journal, a brown leather bound book the boys got me for New Years. I pretty much only use this kind of journal, and already have another one waiting to be filled.I began writing in this journal the day before When the World Breaks Open came out, and the end of the journal is filled with thoughts and ideas about this next collection, Sand Body. Finishing a journal is one of my favorite/least favorite things. It’s like I’m cutting off a conversation. Often I carry both the old one and the new one with me for a few weeks. It’s so dumb, because I hardly ever look back at the old pages unless I’m in a gathering mode, which never just strikes me when I’m out and about.
Saturday evening I had a conversation with a writer friend (also the mother friend) about the question of “why” that plagues us when we sit to write. Why should I write this? Why does anyone care? Well they don’t. We write to figure out the Why–or rather the What– what did I learn. And then maybe a Why emerges. But either way we write. The fact that you have paper and pen is the only Why you can bother with when you first start writing anything.
I’ve been rereading Mary Oliver’s The Leaf and the Cloud (also potentially a contributing factor to my overall feeling of settled wonder/satisfaction). Here’s the greatest love poem ever, from that book. I read it to the boys at lunch yesterday and they nodded, which either means they really get it or they weren’t listening at all.
Because there is no substitute for vigorous and exact
description, I would like to say how
your eyes, at twilight reflect, at the same
time, the beauty of the world, and its crimes
If you are in a garden, I will dress myself in leaves.
If you are in the sea I will slide into that
smooth blue nest, I will talk fish, I will adore salt.
But if you are sad, I will not dress myself in desolation.
I will present myself with all the laughters I can muster.
And if you are angry I will come, calm and steady, with
some small and easy story.
Promises, promises, promises! The tongue jabbers, the heart
strives, fails, strives again. The world is perfect.
Love, however, is an opera, a history, a long walk, that
includes falling and rising, falling and rising, while
the heart stays as sweet as a peach, as radiant and
grateful as the deep-leaved hills.
Ah. Right? “If you are…I will…” that’s your prompt. Or you know. Whatever. Just write something. Why? Because I said so.