Spinning

Photo: I'm going to miss my coffee friend while she's away for summer.  Diana F+

My head is spinning over here from the flurry of activity this week.  My project is heading to the printer today--more news on that next week.  Amelia's last day of school is today, so I'm going to do something to celebrate that last bit of freedom for me before summer. The urgency of a hundred little tasks has crowded out my writing time these last days, which is most concerning because so much is happening that I want to document. 

This afternoon I'll visit a quiet coffee shop without my computer, and in my little journal I will try to write down it all.  What I did, in what order, and what's left to do with target dates.  I want to remember these things for projects to come.  Production and design are two of my weakest links for sure.  If the tasks to come have target dates, maybe I won't feel like every single item needs to happen this very second. I just wanted to check in and tell you I'm still alive.  Check back next week for fun news!

Time Slides

Planning a project launch is a little like planning a wedding, or any other event, in that no matter how much work you try to do ahead of time, there is always a flurry of activity to attend to at the end.  I am definitely at the end now, with an exciting new collection coming very soon.  I'm also in the last week of school for my oldest girl, who just got sick last night.  I hope she makes it back to school soon and doesn't miss the end-of-the-year celebration. Time is sliding so quickly.  I'm trying to keep it feeling fun and playful, like when my girls launch down the curly slide at the playground.  It spins, they speed up, the twists and turns leave them feeling disoriented at the bottom--but it's all inside of an experience called, fun.  Even when they're nervous on the first few times down, even when they're scared because they didn't mean to topple mid-journey and wind up head-first at the bottom, they are still clear that they are having fun.

I'm taking this lesson from them today.  Time slides.  It leaves you dizzy and disoriented, it sometimes shoots you down and other times ooches you slower than you hoped.  You can have all kinds of feelings in your chest and your tummy as you ride.  But however it goes, you can always be having fun.

The Seasons Don't Wait

Photo: Diana F+

Sure signs that summer is soon upon us are all around. Sun dresses flowing in a flea market breeze, decked-out kindergarteners celebrating their graduations (ours is today), bell-ringing ice cream carts in the playground. The kindergarten graduation confuses me a little--perhaps because I didn't go to kindergarten, myself--but I'm sure our students will look super cute in their fancy clothes and wrist corsages. In a place where kindergarten is the new first grade, I'm not certain what it is exactly that we're acknowledging or celebrating, but I'm betting they'll have coffee.

As with any season, I don't know how this coming summer will change me or what it will teach me. Or, if it's anything like last year, in what ways it will bring me to my knees. But the seasons don't wait for our invitation or assent to come, they deliver themselves to our doorstep and leave it to us to adjust our garb. They stay until they've had their way with us, and just when we've made our peace with them they pass us into the hands of the next one. It is a good reminder that I am not the sun, that this world revolves around something outside of me. It is good for my companionship with the earth, as she holds me and we spin through the warmth and the cold, the light and the dark, together. It is good, I keep telling myself, and surely it is so.

Perhaps My Filter is Broken

I usually have my finger on the pulse of my own soul. I can tell you at any given moment how I am. What I'm deconstructing or recreating, or what's unraveling or healing me. I can see it, think about it, talk about it, analyze it, share it, even obsess over it. Lately, though, I feel like a blindfold has been slipped over this part of me, and I only get a peek underneath from time to time.

It doesn't feel good to be blind.

Under normal circumstances, I'm hyper-aware of social cues and mores. I can read body language from half a block away, and I know intuitively who wants to be talked to on the subway and who's praying to be left alone. But over and over again in the last month or more I've just stumbled awkwardly through life, certain that I'm understanding others and being understood, only to find messes in my wake. Then I try to clean up the messes, only to make them even worse.

It's a precarious feeling, this creeping suspicion that maybe I don't know what to say and to whom to say it. That perhaps my filter is broken. In my community and on my blog I say some vulnerable things pretty publicly. Not to mention the true stories I tell on stage, which I consider my most private venue. It makes me feel quiet, I guess because I'm growing afraid of saying or doing the wrong thing. Not only am I not prepping a story for tonight's slam in the city, I'm hesitant to even talk to people in line. I have blog posts asking to be written, but I know as soon as I hit "publish", all hell could break loose at the rate I'm going. (I'll probably unpublish this post by noon.)

The words are slowly turning off like a faucet. Now I'm blind and mute. Maybe this is just a result of feeling over-exposed. Maybe it's something that I'll get to the bottom of, or that I'll muddle my way through. Perhaps my courage is on vacation--I don't know. But I think I'll just be with my photos this week, and a few safe friends. I hope the words return soon.

A Shower for One

Diana F+
Sometimes it is good to be alone,
in this strange universe
bounded by four white walls
and a bright plastic globe of a sun.
Here I can undress,
and let my body be soft.
It is not beautiful,
this droopy display of freedom,
but it need only be true.
At least in this place.
The water picks the thoughts
from my tangled head
and runs them down a long journey
to my feet, which are not troubled by them.
The trail of them running over my front
and down my back remind me
that for these few minutes,
I can stop
apologizing
to all the people trying to
make sense of me
without the rest of the story.
I stop dodging verdicts
like "crazy" or "neurotic".
It seems that everything I do is
an apology.
Only this water can take me as I am,
with my crevices and curves.
It won't misunderstand a thing.
I let it wash away all the words
I've been donning
to try to make everything okay.
They aren't doing anything to make
me okay.
I towel off my disappointment that
welcome
is so hard to find in the world.
I try to hold on to this feeling:
disrobed,
true,
clean.