Saturday, February 19, 2011

cabin fever

Reigning changes! has there ever been
a time so quick-moving, cursive--
this is your mind, as you've known it.
these are your questions,
you've heard.

If the rain had come sooner, I'd seen it
the way I saw everything bloom.
In the end there is just one decision:
to love with exquisite precision.

Oh, the beautiful rains. The beautiful, beautiful rains that I love so much when I can cocoon in my peaceful house, listen to Billie Holiday, write letters, drink tea. The beautiful rains that trap me in this tiny prison with a six-year-old climbing the walls and a toddler screeching about his hurt finger...or elbow...or heel...or whichever body part aforementioned six-year-old most lately stepped on.

The morning was a pastiche of me trying to keep the toddler out of the knife drawer, trying to find a square inch of counter space to prepare food, breaking up deafening squabbles over toys or juice or which book to read.

I did get a little more clever toward the afternoon, dreaming up art projects all of us could get into (collaged vision boards: Anainn rips up the magazines, Xir trims and slathers glue, I provide thoughtful artistic guidance like "maybe it would work better to put the glue on the paper instead of on your brother"). And after dinner, while Anainn slept, Xir and I conducted a tournament to see who could fling a rubber band the closest to a valentine we'd pinned to the chair. Somehow, we made it to bedtime with all major arteries unsevered.

As we cuddled in bed reading a chapter of My Side of the Mountain we were startled by a sudden flash---Xir's first lightning sighting. He was beside himself. We turned off all the lights and waited by the window until the next one came: a beautiful arcing streamer of fire across the suddenly colorless sky. I remembered the final couplet of a poem I wrote years ago:

what's the most I could be without being frightening?/I want me to strike you like lightning.

...which reminds me of an unrelated thing that happened to me and upon which I simply must remark although it is entirely tangential.

It turns out, I am still capable of falling in love. The whole enchilada: butterflies and doe eyes and poetry and stomachaches. I had thought that sort of thing was an artifact of teenage hormones, anima/animus projections, time and place and choice. I had forgotten what it could be like, that certainty, that sense of falling not into something, but into place.

My judgement about whom to fall in love with, alas, remains spectacularly abysmal.


  1. This is a spectacularly cool post. Rain, writing and Billie Holiday make me want some cabin fever of my own.

  2. You are my absolute favorite book character. All I needed was a couple of outfit detail descriptions. I can't believe how much that girl in Middle March reminds me of you - except you are the coolest mom, and I can understand your writing. (I used to rip through language like George Elliot's ... when I was SIXTEEN!) Also, congratulations on finding a way to write about the latest character in your life/novel that is totally respectful and honest. Wow.

  3. blue wraparound dress. purple patterned tights. arms filled with roses.

    oh dorothea. how i wish i had heeded your life lessons instead of becoming, myself, a warning to others.