Saturday, June 02, 2012

Making Conversation

In the past few days I have come up with a new idea for a small business, I've picked every room in the house to revamp and improve, I've had so many ideas for art projects that I am having a hard time keeping them all straight. I don't know what to blame this on. I can only say I blame it on Brooklyn. After living in Brooklyn for 12 years, I think I got accustomed to leaving my small apartment in a spring dress and bag containing whatever I was reading, a notebook, and my camera (before iPhones) and meeting up with the girls for iced coffee in McCarren Park, softball games, big beers at the Turkeys Nest (or my favorite, a G&T to go), and letting the day take us wherever it wanted (even if, at times, we didn't want to go there). 

We never made plans. In fact, we hated making plans on the weekend. If we had plans, we would try and cancel. The goal was simple: stay local, stay open, and stay in touch (in case we had to split up for an hour a two). It all worked out well. For 12 years, I can say that 90% of our spring & summer weekends were a resounding success. 

But now, the city-dizzy weekends go on without me. And I'm in the country left to my own delirious devices. I'm coming up with plans for big creative projects and making new girl dates with new lovely girl friends. But still, the days don't quite unfold with that easy lost haze of Williamsburg when the same 15 or 20 people would meet up at the same 4 bars telling the same stories we all wanted to hear again. Most of the stories we would tell each other, would be about what would happen if we didn't live here? What would happen if we moved? How weird would that be? We would swear we'd never do it. We would promise. We would pinky-swear.

Somehow, I wandered off however. And sometimes, I must admit, it feels like I've wandered way too far from my ladies, from the 10 block radius that we called, "campus," from the late night conversations about art and fame and love fueled by concrete heat and the ever-coming-one-too-many. I miss that sense of possibility. That sense of, "It's all happening right here, right now." But we can't be everywhere at once, even if we desperately want to. 

So, today, I spent three hours chilling with a belt sander for one of the summer things I want to make pretty. And all the while, in my head, the conversation with my best ones, who are still in our little hood of Brooklyn, was continuing. Even if they couldn't hear it. Even if I wasn't talking. The conversation, the wandering the world, the exploration, the getting lost and found, the dream of living a full and awesome life, all of that was still going on and on as I missed them, and sanded, and missed them some more, and sanded. I thought, what we make, we make for each other. And that way, when we are creating, the cooing conversation with the world never stops.

Friday, June 01, 2012

Making Beautiful Things

All through the very merry month of May, I've wanted to create something beautiful. I see something and I want to make it pretty and make it do pretty things. Maybe it's the spring time, or all the brimming love in the air, but I have very much wanted to make awesome tiny things. Some poems have come and the novel is in full rewrite mode and swimming along in its creek bed quite loyally. But I want to paint something, or draw, or fix, or wax, or build, or photograph, or design, or something outside of the written word. I'm not sure why; I don't generally feel this way. Still, the way the moon is mooning and the fireflies are pointing out the darkness, I can't help but feel a twinge of excitement for whatever's going to happen next. We plug away and send the bucket down to the well and sometimes you come up with words, and sometimes you come up with something you can't name, still it's alive and wiggly. 

In the meantime, we welcome June in with a soft rainy day and a black eyed pea chili in the slow cooker. So many things to desire, so many goosebumps to get. It's a new youth coming, or a new age? Whatever it is, it's summer and peach juice, and lynchburg lemonade, and our new picnic table ready for the evenings of swoon and sour cherries. 

Maybe, it's that many of my girlfriends are pregnant this spring, and the desire to give the universe another big soul feels overwhelmingly in the air. But for now, I just want to give it a good book, and some poems, and something beautiful that I can't name yet.  

I miss California, but I am loving our home in the bluegrass too. Local baseball games and outdoor music, pool-side with new friends, and all the possibilities of making things matter enough to remember. 

I want to memorize more poems this season. I want to keep them in my pocket and my mouth. A little poem song for the summer air. What's next? What matters most is what's now: the smell of jalapeños heating up the kitchen, the green and gray of the high grass, the him in the next room, the here of this feeling. 

What was it that Papa said? (Happy Birthday, Walt Whitman!), "Clear and sweet is my soul, and clear and sweet is all that is not my soul."

All this to say, things are brimming up and over between my ears and I want to turn even my bruised up brain into a thing of beauty.