Friday, August 22, 2014

one billion heartbeats...

In the late afternoon I was sitting outside the kitchen, in the space between the kitchen and the office, my feet on the table, the dogs next to me, watching the way the light played against the eucalyptus on the side wall of the house, talking on the phone to a friend I love who was reading poetry, and staring up through the leaves at the sky. It's these moments, the quiet ones, when you're not quite sure what's happening in the world, when you can't tell if you're making good or bad decisions, when it doesn't matter if it's either, that I believe you remember. Not the roller coaster rides, or sailing through storms, but the quiet times staring at the sky, which remind you that your heart is going to beat over a billion times in your lifetime and right now, whatever happens tomorrow, it might quite literally burst.


The New Yorker's beautiful #Ferguson cover:

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

On Married Love by Candida Lycett Green

And then after my slightly cynical bouncing ball theory of marriage, there's this lovely piece by Candida Lycett Green, who died today.

The entire piece is here at her website.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The bouncing ball theory of marriage

Marriage is like rubber. That's what one of the ABC's said this morning.
I was standing by the fig tree in a white dress, not for effect, I tell you, but because I'd chosen a white Mexican dress to go with my white Birkenstocks, so I could continue the Nurse Ratchett vibe I've been working since London, since the man actually pointed out that I looked a little nurse-like in my white, and knowing, as I do, that he is a fan of uniforms, particularly ones with a vaguely Tyrolean flare, I worked it, as one does. So I'm standing in the garden, by the fig tree, which I have to watch like a hawk so that I can get those fat, purple figs before the Laurel Canyon squirrels do, on the phone with A, in white, telling her about my resolution to take the punishment, to feel the fullness of karma beaming down on me. And she says, "Marriage is like rubber. You're used to bouncing back."

And that is exactly what a long marriage feels like. You feel so sure that you are stuck in it for better, for worse, that everything that happens, all the meanness, all the name-calling, just clings to the edges until it bounces back and suddenly, the next day, all is forgotten. Because that's what you have. A rubber ball that bounces along, both jarring and elevated. But in fact, what you really need, is a nice, quiet, river. It flows, it changes, it's clean and fresh and blue and lifegiving and soothing.

New relationships aren't like marriage. People are naked and fragile and tender and kind. People are being brave, baring their souls, while trying, gently to protect themselves. And there is such intense fragility. Little, wispy souls of humans trying so hard to connect. And with no foundation, where do they go, what do they cling to?

"Why do you keep breaking up with this man" said my forthright German yoga friend back in June (or May or one of the times it happened). "It's so like a teenager." And she said this fiercely. Fiercely enough that I was offended. (I mean you don't expect ferocity in a Kundalini class, to be honest.) But now I realize she was right. I just didn't want to hear it. In truth, I had behaved horribly.

Oh that the whole world was wiped clean of misunderstanding and that two people could communicate clearly to each other.

Oh that damage could be swept away quickly. But it isn't. Damage needs to infest. It needs to take hold. It needs to do its worst before it goes.

And so, we wait. We wait, we do our work, we try to do it well, and we try to remember every day to be kind.

Monday, August 18, 2014

The most beautiful face

"do you realize...that everyone you know someday will die...and instead of saying all of your goodbyes...
Let them know you realize that life goes fast
It's hard to make the good things last
You realize the sun doesn't go down
It's just an illusion caused by the world spinning round..."

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Saturday, August 16, 2014

One Plus One

"She felt the sun on her skin, heard birdsong over people talking, revving cars, smelled petrol fumes and hot pastry, and the words echoed through her head, unbidden: this is what happiness feels like. " - JoJo Moyes, One Plus One

(It's true. I am such a sucker for romance!)

La douleur exquise

Hello from a Saturday night at home with the Spotteds, Thistle, a glass of Italian beer and One Plus One, by JoJo Moyes. It's been an odd day of reflection, too hot to do much, so hot in fact that Jelly almost colicked and had a sore tummy all morning (telling signs: trying to roll and standing awkwardly in odd positions) and so reading was the go-to.  It's been a day of pause, of thinking, of realizing that Karma exists in the world, of realizing you have to pay your dues, and that if you've behaved badly towards someone, the pendulum will swing back and and hit you, full on, giving you a black eye. It's been a day of not being in control, of not being able to use charm to win someone over, of the dawning sensation that for the time being I've been beat. And that it's my fault. It's a day (and this isn't so unpleasant) of taking stock, appreciating the good things that I'm surrounded by, and realizing fully, for the first time ever, what one misses when it's gone, all because you didn't trust enough in the bounty of the Universe. You didn't trust enough in goodness and kindess. And so, I'll take it, I'll take the licks, the punches, all of it, because I think it's worth it. And like Jon Snow, nobody knows nothing (but you). No-one can make decisions for you, or tell you who's good for you, or who isn't, or try to tell you why you shouldn't love someone. It's there. It exists. I'll get through it. But there will be no more drama. Not in this lifetime. That's why it's call exquisite pain.

My friend Reza, who is wise, horribly wise, wise even as we were at the Bowl watching Yo-Yo Ma and saying brilliant things to each other like "Woah." Reza says that the reason to be alive is so that you can feel the pain. That's what living is. It's being in it, and bearing it, and staying with it, and knowing that without it, there won't be joy. Or, as Sophie Calle would say, the worse the break-up, the greater the art.

I've royally messed this one up. I'm sure I'll learn from it. I'm sure that there is plan for everything and that destiny has something up her sleeve for me, but he was a particularly good and kind man and I fumbled it like a rookie ball player. Butter fingers all round.

Also, I was zapped with a massive electric shock this morning. I'm hoping it's made me saner :-)

Monday, August 11, 2014

Carpe Diem (beautiful scenes from Robin Williams movies)

This news makes my heart heavy. RIP, Robin Williams.

(h/t @oatespalmer)

Here's a Heart in a Creek, for Kindness

Heart in a Creek, Hansen Dam, 8.10.14

A Sheer Implausibility of bosoms

I'm mad about Los Angeles-based artist, Lisa Borgnes Giramonti, whose blog I've been a fan of for many years. Her pieces are extraordinarily intricate, incredibly wry, yet playful. This piece is embroidered.

"Los Angeles is..." Thread on Linen. 2013. by Lisa Borgnes Giramonti