so it's thursday night and my feet hurt. after four years of being the desk job girl (the one with the bagel-padded ass), i am back on my feet for several hours at a time. oh, the life of a barista in training. i can now make your favorite cold starbucks beverages, as well as brew your coffee: made fresh on the hour. i set the timer myself.
thursday night is very quiet. i've got new candles lit and i'm breathing in the lavender of my new bath salts. patty griffin is singing mad mission: we were drinking like the irish, but we were drinking scotch.
i'm drinking rolling rock.
jude and i rode horses this morning. the new guy at the stables--the one in the "america remembers" tshirt with the eagle crying a single tear above the twin towers bathed in redwhiteandblue--had to find my horse, who was hiding in the woods of the far pasture. but dakota was in a great mood, despite being found, and jude and i rode fast through the near pasture, laughing because we were riding horses fast on a thursday morning. jude with her straw hat on. i enjoyed every moment in the honeysuckled woods.
i suggest pre-barista training horseback rides to everyone.
i also suggest post-barista training nights with patty griffin, lavender bath salts, and rolling rock.
it doesn't get (much) better than this.
a few days ago, nashville woke up and yawned with the morning. stretched her arms, looked around and said, groggily, "oh for goodness sake, it's summer." immediately, the capricious storms and thick humidity of spring disappeared, having been replaced by 80 degrees, sunny skies, and cool, dry breezes which actually bring relief. the night, too, is celebrating with bright-shining stars in cloudless skies. you sit and watch in the sweater you dug out of your closet.
of course, any day now, the reality of a nashville summer will kick in with full force: hothothot days with dripping humidity, and sticky, mosquito-bitten nights. you shoo them away with the sweater you're too lazy to put back in your closet.
it's been a weekend of midsummer's day and the dreams it brings. it's been a weekend of cleaning everything out of my car and starting over with armor all and turtle wax.
and yesterday, i even felt inspired to participate in the most traditional of summer activities: i went and sat by the pool with a book for a couple hours. jude brought the new harry potter and i brought anne lamott's rosie, which i have decided to reread. i drank an icee. i forgot sunblock on my thighs, however.
sparrow called en route to new york. guess where i am, she asked? new york city, i guessed. nope. erie, pa! i laughed, poolside, at the thought of her driving through my hometown, probably thinking to herself, "so this is why anne has turned out the way she has".
the afternoon is heavy with nearly-summer showers; the air is thick and sweet as big globs of rain sporadically smack my windshield. it's sunny now.
so i cut my hair yesterday, a big event for the girl who has been wearing the unemployment haircut (ie just let it grow) for months now. six inches later, i've got hair sitting neatly on my shoulders. there is nothing blond left of it. it's dark. i barely recognize it. au naturale. it was time.
time to start over again in whatever capacity newness is possible. i needed to look in the mirror and be surprised.
and so it's something like a new season here in the middle of june. something like goodbye to spring and winter and fall and a shears-to-the-head hello to summer.
i bought new lipstick too.
17 june 2002 blog entry:
from my journal:
Tuesday, March 20, 2001
Well. I was wordless in florida. And the second I left I found myself feeling the oldest and youngest I have ever been in my life. And I’m not sure if I will ever get my words around the myriad emotions, visions, joys and sorrows I experienced this weekend, but. But. It was good. Uncle Jack is a beautiful old man now with boundless energy. And his ‘oldness’ broke me initially. As did aunt rona’s. but jack was like a boy and rona a mom, and their white hair and wrinkled faces disappeared moments after I arrived. Uncle jack’s blindness has made a lot of the dailies hard for him…and I got to help with the little things. Like programming the keyless entry code to his new car. Or helping him cook dinner on the grill. Or getting the beer. Or changing the blade on his razor. Just like bessie glass’ “consecrated chicken soup” I felt like I got to be a part of the consecrated changing of the razorblade. Uncle jack and I went to mass together, and during the sign of peace, he kissed me on the lips. And when I left them yesterday, aunt rona packed me carrots and grapes, uncle jack slipped me $60, and they stood outside arm in arm and watched me go. And my mind’s eye, that perfect camera, will NEVER forget seeing uncle jack wave to me, smiling like the sailorsuit boy pictures I scavenged from the attic, just smiling and waving, blindly. My uncle.
uncle jack died today. i found out about an hour ago. and all i can do is make phonecalls to the people i love. uncle jack died, i say, then i have to hang up because i can't say anything more. and maybe i'm too raw to write tonight. i probably am. God rest him.
18 june 2003
anniversaries are echoes.
my life is snapshots right now; small moments serving as reminders that i am actually here.
moments like saturday, when i spent all day in my pajamas and the whole afternoon on the phone as it rained. i talked until my phone died. and then jude and i bowled in matching flourescent pink and yellow shoes. we shared a beer. i beat her the first game. she beat me the second. we left it at a tie. shook hands and drove over to marlei's for an evening porch sit. it didn't take long for us to find our way to the backyard, however, where marlei has a fantastic trampoline, big enough for three grown women. in the dark, after a day of rain, we jumped like giggly girls and i could not stay on my feet. my whole body was soaking wet after about 30 seconds.
there are moments like every day with christian anymore. we dance to the be good tanyas' song, it's not happening a lot these days, and he spins and spins until he falls on his back and stares at the ceiling with spinning blue eyeballs. he giggles. i giggle. we do it again.
other musical moments like friday, when damien rice performed on letterman, a month after jenna and julie and i saw him play in nashville; 6 months after having seen him play on my last night in belfast. his songs are memories.
and then there are odd moments like last week, when i found myself saying that i would take a job at starbucks. yes. starbucks. i am now gainfully employed, and enter the world of barista-training on monday.
these, friends, are my days, my snapshots, and i desperately need a haircut.
i can't see out the window anymore. the rain is coming down like sheets, loud and steady. small branches are falling. the trees are swaying. nature is having her way with brentwood.
i watched the storm come in, though. sat on the front porch with a cigarette and watched the sky turn from blue to orange to grey to black. felt the temperature drop on my bare shoulders. the storm will pass quickly, i know, and then i'll be out the door to meet jude for a beer at jackson's. and so i took the moment as it came and just watched it all come up on me.
my father taught me to do this.
he used to make me sit on the porch with him as a little girl, and watch the storms roll in off the lake. we would watch and keep dry, sitting still on the rusty old glider that no longer glided; him with a winston between his fingers, me palming an apple and sipping on his ginger ale. these storms aren't so scary, my memories say. see? you're not alone here. you're sitting with your daddy and he smiles wider with each thunderbolt.
and even now, as i'm writing this, the storm is passing over me, heading to franklin. someone has turned on the lights outside. i can see out the window again.
somehow, monday has turned into friday, and i don't remember time passing. the flu or something like it got a hold of me on monday night, and i have been in bed much of the week, reading etty or talking on the phone or sleeping. but i have survived and can even eat honeycombs now. so. i am on the mend.
last night, marlei and i went to the bi-weekly taize service at scaritt-bennett. a small gathering with karen at the piano, we brought our heavy loads. for me, the sole purpose of going was to walk the labyrinth--quickly, deliberately--for the sake of laying down all the things i'm afraid of these days. because when you carry too much of your own fear, you are bound to get the flu. but i found myself bringing hearts too; hearts other than mine. and so i walked the canvas labyrinth with a slower step, remembering the suffering around me. and i walked out of its center with a lighter step. it simply felt good to purposefully walk a path, to say "i am walking forward." my current path might look more like rosie thomas lyrics right now: no destination but plenty of vision in mind, but my faith is a vision-focused one at present: i am trying to believe in the reality of vision--and that there is plenty of it.
mostly, i'm trying not to worry so much. it takes a damn toll on one's belly. trouble not your hearts, we sang. be not afraid. i am spending this friday remembering the words i sang as my own last night. and i'm looking out my window now, entranced by the innocuous rainfall. no storms today. just rain gracing the trees, quietly and steadily. gillian welch is providing the soundtrack to the moment.
nearly 8 am at the moment, but i've actually been awake for over an hour. there is so much writing to be done still, but the sun is peeking through the sleepy morning sky, rubbing its eyes. so, bringing a cup of coffee and etty, i joined it on the deck for a few minutes with cold toes. and i stared awhile across the yard, considering the things that make my heart feel big and alive. smiled.
and now, rubbing my own eyes, i'm finishing my lukewarm dregs of caffeine, adjusting my posture accordingly, and am ready for the business of the day.