The dry days, the snowy days, the falling ice signs set out conscientiously along the sidewalks in front of high rises.
And then the day in March when ice finally comes dropping down in clear fragile panes that pop when they hit the pavement.
good morning, sunshine. good morning, friday-chris-home-and-sleeping-in-mandatory-furlough-day. good morning, art play table with all your project scatterings and possibility. good morning, break in overcast skies. good morning, salty laps to swim in cool blue water. good morning, library books and library audio book cds to listen to. good morning, train bells and traffic out my window. good morning, benign rumblings of metal wheels on metal tracks, larger world-deep rumblings yet distant, if threatening to radiate in widening concentric circles outward across the paths of untold lives. good morning, breeze-blown commuter pedestrians. good morning, guy locking up pink-handlebarred bike and guy zipping down the roadway with tight trousers on bright neon yellow bike. good morning, spring-calling birds perched and flying through park trees. good morning, spent grasses of last year and budding branches. good morning, pollen-fuzzy catkins and shamrock blossoms.
lotta silence in this little corner of the webs, I know.
when the navelly head grows too fraught, as it tends to do in turbulent periodic bouts, otherwise verbal volubility sinks into great morasses of (invisibly thrashing) silence. so this spring has been– and winter before that, and fall before that– a long season underground. some kind of transitional time, creative soil lying fallow and percolating, psychic skies overcast with dark and gruesome (self-generated) cloud cover, blusters howling, life huddled and hunkered down, all a-shiver. in the midst of which the outer world’s floral hoopla and verdant explosion of leaf only serve as insult to the injury of inner drought.
so a coupla weekends back I was poking around an andersonville thrift store while chris got his hair cut, picking up this and that in the perpetual search for, most likely, some existential explanation not to be found in chipped dishware and secondhand bloomers, when lo and behold there on a shelf sat a little red boxed set of audio cassettes for The Artists’ Way.
and it just so happens my vintage car stereo has a cassette tape player– so I’ve been listening to julia cameron during my drives to and from work– and in place of that too-frequent vortex spin of “what am I doing with my life? god, I hate this traffic/the cacophany of signage/the fleets of hermetically sealed strollers/other drivers/the rampant urban dinge”, have been submersing myself instead in sweetly spoken, at times sung, suggestions of hope and possibility. and I’ve picked back up the book itself and begun reading and doing it once again (this’ll be the third time through), beginning with Week 1.
and when I incline to self-flagellation over not being further along some self-realized and productive creative path, the artists’ way reminds me that the road of creative work is a spiral one– naturally so, like whorled seashells and fibonacci’s mystic sequence and musical octaves– and so I circle back over and again addressing familiar themes and slumps and challenges, and it’s all okay– as long as I am writing writing writing those pages every morning I am in motion, and motion is life.
yesterday was in the low 80s here in chicago, and last night we slept with the windows open, breezes pushing dreams around, snagging them in giant-size tree branch shadows playing across the grey-white wall. this morning the apartment is full of songbirds’ trills and clucks, the occasional crow calling out in passing reminding me of iowa, and chris’s rhythmic sleeping breaths. we’ve had the flu here this week– hours and hours of bone-deep aches and oceans of fever sweats. the sky inland from the lake is a low slate promising spring storms to wash away the grit of winter. the neighbor hound bellows beautifully down the block at some squirrel or human passer-by. if I keep to sheer description of things in the world out there, perhaps I can circumnavigate that infernal pit of perennial and unanswerable questions, second guesses, equivocations, and self doubt. birds and weather are kinder.