Monthly Archives: August 2010

heroine

Thinking about heroines….thinking about a lecture I heard Jean Bolen give at the Jung Center last year. Among the things she said was that a heroine’s journey often begins because she is cast on her own and didn’t expect it. Unchosen circumstances put her on an individualistic path. I was thinking about my path, about the very domestic life I thought I would have. And how I didn’t obtain it though some unwise choices. I tried to tame a tiger. I have a friend on a heroine’s journey right now; she’s adjusting to the death of a long-time partner. But it’s not only a partner’s death that puts on a woman on a path that contains only her. There’s divorce, illness, disease, the death of a child, the death of a dream. There’s some Mary Oliver line….to love what is mortal and let it go. It takes a heroine’s heart to do that. What makes a heroine? Do you know?

looking good

Well, some things about getting older are absolutely fun. I just went to return my neighbor’s garage door opener, and he met me at the door in his boxers and T-shirt. The boxers had bright blue circles on them (and my neighbor is thinner than I thought). He wore a patch over the eye that has a glass eyeball in it to rest it, he told me. I can understand that. Let me add that I walked over braless, in a baggy dress and shirt, sunburned a vivid pink with hair upstyled by a day at the beach. (My husband and I added a tarp to his truck and sat on the beach like trailer trash.) My husband has taken to wearing kerchiefs and soft cap things to protect his balding head. Today he had on a blue cylinder of cloth made by National Geographic (proudly I was told this) that could be pulled over his face like a mask or pushed back and tucked in, as it was. He looked like an Aryan extra on a Pirates of the Caribbean shoot (see Johnny Depp). I no longer wear a bra. Refuse to, though I am–how shall I put this– abundantly endowed. I don’t care what Oprah advises, I’m not doing it anymore. It’s like armor at my age. And may I add (don’t read the rest of this if you’re visually sensitive), one of the girls hangs lower than the other. Last week, I walked out to get the paper, saw a friend I hadn’t seen in awhile and proceeded to talk with her for thirty minutes in an old T-shirt and pajama bottoms as the world drove by on its way to work. As Rhett said to Scarlett (let me know how many of you have no idea what this refers to), “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.”  I don’t. And apparently, others feel the same. That’s fun.

What don’t you give a damn about anymore? I hope there’s something…

bye

Tonight, as I walked home in the dark, I saw a shooting star. A fitting farewell to my artist’s residency in Taos. I begin the drive home to Texas in a day or so. In my mind, I’ve been saying goodbye for days, goodbye to the mountain, goodbye to the cottonwoods and Dutch elms, goodbye to the alfalfa growing in the meadow by the casita I’ve claimed as mine for three months, goodbye to the dark, sturdy dining table that has been my desk, goodbye to the view from the window on my right, goodbye to the hummingbirds that fight over the feeder, goodbye to the other artists and writers who have shared this time, goodbye to the main (and only) drag, goodbye to the stop light everyone has to go through, goodbye to the old pickup trucks that make wide turns and have sun-darkened men at their steering wheels, goodbye to the brilliant night stars, goodbye to the homeless, the runaways, the tourists, the characters who people the streets, goodbye to the spirits that protect the Pueblo.

It’s been lovely. The director of the foundation says he thinks the residency, for its length and location, resonates long after on many levels. I don’t know precisely what I’m taking back, but I know I’ve met a stillness internally and externally that was precious and healing. I’m grateful.

habit

We sat talking tonight….a playwright, two writers, a photographer, and an artist….of our bosses, how cruel they are, what ugly things they say to us. They’re within, these bosses, for we, more or less, work for ourselves. They tell us we don’t do enough, don’t work well enough, fast enough, aren’t going to make it….whatever “it” is. The photographer, the wise one among us, said: you have to learn to ignore those voices. You have to concentrate on the work, on doing the work as best you can. It’s a habit, thinking those harsh thoughts. You must form another habit.