today is the second day of advent, i just realized when my friend sheela sent me an email proclaiming it. advent. again. the dark season of wait. again.
here we are.
this year, i am waiting with my foot propped up. i'm waiting with an anxious hope, mustering up my mustard seed of faith. (come on, light. come on, joy.) for november has been abrupt change and stifle; i've been stopped in my tracks by accidents of gravity, by the looming despair of how to pay the bills, by the question marks of a slow-turning page into the proverbial next chapter. i hear that distant voice announcing confidently, drumroll, please.... and the drum rolls. and rolls. it's rolling like momentum building, and my whole body aches for the release, for the crash of the cymbal and the revelation of what is coming.
everything is possibility. and everything is uncertainty in my little bananie world, and i feel it all so distinctly. this week, i had to sell my father's beloved guitar. for me, this classical gibson is a living relic of a man whose fingers loved to bring music to life. he hid it my whole life between his bed and the faded blue bedroom wall, just below the dusty crucifix. i snuck it out from its brown hard case while he worked sometimes, and sat on his bed with it. played it badly till my fingers ached. i could see myself in the mirror across the room; my reflection so desperately trying to hold such a beautiful instrument with grace. confidence.
when he died, i brought the guitar to nashville with me. i learned to play, and have taken good, good care of it for the past seven years. when i realized that i had to sell it, i felt my soul deflate. what kind of daughter would sell the last living bits of her father? but what kind of father would let his daughter suffer when he can ease the pain? i prayed for a miracle.
when i asked my mother's permission to sell it, she said to me, "i am sure he would want you to do this. what if he bought that guitar so that you could be provided for now?" (this is the same mother who sat on the floor in front of me, on thanksgiving, and massaged my sprained ankle so tenderly i wanted to cry.)
my friend steve is my miracle in the waiting, i think. he's got my father's guitar now. and i know he will play it with the same care as my father did for over forty years. i have not had to let it go into the oblivion of a used guitar store. it's simply living somewhere else for awhile. in the meantime, i am provided for.
where am i going with all of this? i don't know. i think it's something about continuity in these waiting places. like the life of my father is still being lived in and through me. like all these years and time passing and drums rolling are the constant momentum of hope. i don't feel so isolated by time when i think this way. i don't feel so alone.
well, everyone, the clumsiness has struck again. my situation will best be explained by a dramatic interpretation of just about every conversation i've had since friday:
SCENE ONE: bananie approaches her friend, hobbling on aluminum crutches. she winces with agony at the pain of her affliction, but musters a smile, so as to subtly convey her character.
friend: (looking down at bananie's right ankle in splint) hey, what happened to you?
bananie: i fell down.
friend: how did you fall down?
bananie: (shrugs) i was walking, and i fell down.
friend: but how did you fall down?
bananie: i don't know. i just did.
friend: oh. well. shit. that so sucks. is it broken?
bananie: no, it's just a nasty ass sprain. wanna see? it's black and green and purple.
friend: no thanks. hey, can you work?
bananie: no, unfortunately. not for at least a week.
friend: that sucks, can i do anything for you?
bananie: (attempting to walk on crutches and smoke simultaneously) no i'm ok. (winces again, blows a thick, painful plume of smoke)
friend: wow. you are so strong. what character you have. you inspire me. if you can overcome adversity, so can i, bananie. so can i.
yes, so, that's what happened. i am a gimpy girl for awhile, hopped up on hydrocodone. the worst part about it all is that jude is stateside for her birthday and thanksgiving, and my beloved helen and sheela came to town from LA this past weekend as well. i've gotten to spend wonderful time with them regardless of whether or not i've been vertical or horizontal, but i've fought the woe-is-me quite a bit. for example, during our girls' night at marlei's house on saturday, i couldn't access the kitchen due to the baby gate. and i couldn't go on the hike at radnor lake. and i couldn't refill my own wine glass. woe is me. my friend, tony, thinks i should sue the whole world.
so, this is the life for now. no work...which is nice. lots of bed rest and opiates. kevin has been the best celibate husband ever, making sure i have enough gatorade and oreos and pretzels. and he says that i'm only somewhat whiny about the whole thing.
but. this sudden new lifestyle affords the opportunity to be with jude, albeit on crutches. to take baths instead of showers. to stay in bed with dogs curled up around me. friends, i've been forced to sloooow...down. who knew i lived at such a fast pace before friday? perhaps i shall write a play.
ooo, it's time for another pill.