Oh my god, it was so fun– to have that bounce and depth and rhythm. To be three instead of two, which does some kind of magical math equation to the sense of potential and possibility. To be not perfect together. To drink beer (even if mine was only metaphorical). To make plans for more songs just by me singing a verse and then Ben jumping in with the slappiest bass lines.
I swear we were having fun, even though Jon and Ben seem to be laser beaming each other in this photo.
And I can’t wait to add the fourth and final member to join us soon and see what Big Bangs happen in the universe then!
I sat by the lake on the East Bay then lounged. Then became, like the line of water and sky, more and more horizontal; like the rocks, nearly silent; like the water, far more than the calm surface.
(Reader, I mean that I slept, cheek pressed againsty arm, very possibly snoring for any passing tourist to hear, with my belly pressing against sun-warmed pebbles. But I also mean all of that about the merging and communion and deep water ecosystem).
This time of year feels like Summer and not Summer: there’s the desire to do it all… and to be still and quiet and begin to slow down, calibrating already for the drop on temperatures, the blush in the leaves, the ripening of rosehips and apples, the dropping of first blossoms and then seeds.
A blanket in the yard, a wandering cat, sun and breeze, and some messing around on the parlor guitar, trying out different combinations and feeling how they might be the chorus on the new song scrawled on wide ruled paper a handful of pages back.
It dropped me gently back into myself, bridged the day’s ebbs and flows the way sound without words magically does, and it felt so good to participate, to create, not just consume.
After a friendly dinner of locally caught herring and on-sale red potatoes, we put together my bed frame.
There’s a lot of peace in not minding a mattress on the floor (especially when it’s on a cheery rug), but there’s also always a tipping point of stagnation, of well, this is my life that just doesn’t support flow or growth or expansion.
So I asked for help from someone who actually said “I wish this was my full-time job” and wasn’t being sarcastic: there was, I posit, the same satisfaction as putting together a Lego kit (though it increased exponentially once we went to get some power tools, ignoring the explicit instructions not to use them and thus saving ourselves an hour at least).
And not only did I end up with a cuter bedroom (and a hideout for the cat, lone socks, and as-yet-unformed dust bunnies), I got to do a thing that could have felt sad and insecure and sharp and criticized but instead felt safe and steady and a little fun and goofy.
When we were nearly done we took a break and had red wine and chocolate cake, and if you ask me, this is the best thing about being an adult and having to do it all yourself: having someone lovely to do it with.
I ran tonight, after dark and with a Fleet Foxes song on repeat and the flashlight on my phone zigzagging back and forth, because even though I love the woods and have lived in various woods, there’s a little bit of instinctual adrenaline that kicks up when running in the dark.
It feels like a miracle pretty much every time I run and don’t want to stop and walk. Tonight, as the gravel road curved between cultivated red pines and wild spruces and balsams, I thought, I can’t do it.
Then immediately came the question: Do you want to be done now?
And just as immediately: No.
Then there’s no problem, is there?
And there wasn’t, even when the double drain on my low battery made the music and the light quit at the same moment. But I was on my way back and the road was smooth and I do know how to be brave and present in the dark.
And up ahead, sooner, almost, than I wanted, the trees opened, the road widened and I reached my car. Without stopping for fear and doubt.
It’s good for those faithful companions to stretch their legs, too, after all.
There’s a beautiful thing I didn’t (and couldn’t) know when I was younger: relationships can cycle back, just like any big idea or lesson or connection to place. They end, but they can return, resurface, reappear like a perennial plant on a rhythm all of their own that you didn’t know existed.
Death is not always Death.
I talked with a dear, dear, best friend today. We’ve circled and spiraled, ebbed and flowed over the last few years, and I wasn’t surprised that we came back together again, just delighted to feel the alignment of our lives and our loves now. It was a joy to share with her, to hear her familiar and lovely voice, to feel her enthusiasm for the new ways I’m playing and exploring and making art. To hear about her own visions, her kids, her notes from the summer (so many kindred images).
It is a beautiful feeling, generous and trusting to myself and to the Other to know with my body that letting go is not permanent loss, that all of this (life) and its purpose (being present and connection, I think) evolves. It moves. There is not a fixed point within or without or anywhere in sight.
The prodigal kitten has been working through some stuff and away for a week. (I saw her, once, and the former neighbor saw her twice– she was fine, just not ready to come home). I had a feeling today was the day, and when I showed up and called for her she meowed that particular raspy meow she gets when she’s missed me (or just been really out of practice), and we drove home.
It’s not totally unlike the feeling of having two matchas today at work: exciting, and a little out-of-body. But spending the evening sitting on the futon on the deck, petting the Golden Spiral in feline form brought it all back down to a deep, almost inaudible purr.