Wednesday, March 01, 2006

About the Weather...

Looking through some of the old journals I have kept over the years this afternoon, and I had to laugh at myself because of how often I start off with a report on the weather. I guess this is just my way of grounding myself and focusing in on my surroundings before I sink into the issues and other thoughts migrating through my mind. During my last writing conference, Natalie lightheartedly teased her own writing in this same way--except hers always begins with food. The aromas, the tastes, the way the butter pooled in the mashed potatoes when he told you he was in love...

Twelve years ago, I started with how the weather was cold but sunny on that March first. Then I launched off into how lost I felt that day in my friends were quiet and my then-boyfriend was distant and moody that day. I wrote about my mother working her second job that night and how I really wanted someone else to be in the house with me, but I was alone. Typical teenage angst--except it really wasn't. My family had already imploded by then and my new hopes were still forming. I was fairly rudderless at the time. I wasn't sure if I was going to accomplish anything with my life. So full of doubt...I wanted to run away to somewhere else, anywhere else without the bitter weather. Instead, I decided I would move out into my first apartment...

Last March first, I was introspective and dreaming. I wrote about my heart that day, observing the four directions and craving warmer weather. I said, "I want to force Spring and Summer like a hot house flower," and I meant it. I was crazy for M. that day, like I am every day. I felt "he may be a better husband than I am wife", I think we're both pretty lucky. He has someone who literally feels her pulse race when he walks into a room...not a bad deal at all--this powerful love I have for him. No matter what transpires in a day, we still end up at night together. I am thankful for our relationship...ten years now.

March first two years back and I--once again--found my way into the vein of weather, heading directly for the heart of childcare matters and school meetings, schedule conflicts and inane concerns.

Then, somehow, the juxtaposition of the two magazines I was reading struck a chord with me and I abandoned my riff on my "troubles" when I lay them down beside those other women around the world were facing that day. I saw the "dress, price upon request, Versace" beside the "truth: I am sorry, he says, but Fahtonah will not reach that point. She is dying." The Anna Nicole Smith and the self-immolated woman...the sky-high heels and skyrocketing rates of women burning to death. In such despair over the violence and abuse they faced after the "fall" of the Taliban--these women wanted to die. You can say that my life as a U.S. citizen means more somehow--but, it doesn't. These women have faces, dreams, and concerns of their own. That day in March, I recognized the world beyond my laundry list of complaints. I wish I could say it happened every day...but that wouldn't be the true story.

This March first, I can tell you that the sky was its typical late-Winter cloudless blue. There was a leak under the sink, a deadline for Natural Family magazine, and a dinner with good friends. The cold breaks all around us, but when I changed the wall calendar (We'Moon on the Wall: 2006) to the new month, my words and my byline appeared beneath an oil painting of a small girl and a surreal world. The words, an excerpt from my poem, Wildflowers, said, "The children will unfurl new growth with everyday--every pulseprint. Think of this when they are knobby and awkward. They are changing. Always." As my old journals is the weather...and so am I.


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