return to Love

from Gasworks Park

The Seattle sun strikes hot today and it cannot feel like the first day of autumn.    My skin just beneath sweating, the water between myself and downtown a rocking body.  The boats cut slowly, minimal wakes.  I only smell dirt, warmed concrete, my own scent rising. I return to H.C. and love, because I have to return.

Z. is leaving again.  A month.  He was supposed to have months. Plural. And today, I was on a bus swaying with heat. Sweat and perfume and the hum of electric motors.  And my phone, buzzing.  I looked, debated for a moment.  Buses are loud, conversations bleed over into adjacent seats.  Hesitated.  Then answered, and felt the days rush into my body, colliding into each other.  A month.  After the disconnect, held my hand to my lips as if to stave off something.

And so I have to return to H.C., look into her pages to explain my own.  If I can understand her abstract Love then I can define my own.  I can explain why I must hold my hands to my lips for a body both (not lost) and (not mine).

I have known love, and I have been at the other side, looking towards the buildings blurred with the humidity of after-love.  H.C. writes about the destructive force of love, the destructivecreative force of it.  –Defeat me. Pillage me. If there is a house, a room, a safe in my city that I have not turned over to you, whose keys I haven’t provided, if you find one single door I might have forgotten inadvertently deep inside my soul, smash it open. The need to give and be given, to take and be taken.

Grey shades of it, the limits of what I am willing to give.  No. I am still too faint, too dim. I do not have enough strength yet to start dying again. Because that’s it, isn’t it?  Love a death, a destruction of boundaries—I give you my body for your body and I take your body for my body. But how can anyone survive this?  I can’t, not yet.

I say body, and I mean more.  I seem to return to certain words.  Body and edge, for example.  My iceberg words, I mean whole oceans and only say: body. I mean—pneumea. Lifebreath.  My edges.

I think I give easily, to a point.  Here here here.  It seems: entire.

But it isn’t.  I keep a seed, the turtle shell to stand on.  Because who can do it and return?

All this to circle back, and say: Z., even before leaving, please please return.  Not to me, as I lay no claim, but all the same.

(All italic text from Hélène Cixous, The Book of Promethea)


Where we are is a matter of record


I woke up after a night of much dancing and revelry thinking about the King cello.  I’d never heard of it before last night, but my friend C. is doing a lot of research into it.  The instrument has survived years of revolution, turmoil and mishandling to find its home in South Dakota.  It’s shipped to Italy every year to be played, and I’m sure that the current owners take out millions in insurance and keep careful track of its movements until it is safe in it’s home again.

When C. was telling me the story of the cello (which is much more interesting than I am making it, and I can’t wait to read the work she’s doing on it) it made me think of the Sarajevo Haggadah.  I’ve been listening to NPR on my bus commute, and To The Best of Our Knowledge had a segment on libraries.  They talked to Geraldine Brooks about her book The People of the Book, which traces the Sarajevo Haggadah.  This book lasted through the Spanish Inquisition, the Holocaust, the bombing of the Bosnian Library…. like the cello, it was passed hand to hand and has lasted.  I don’t know much about the bombing of Sarajevo, beyond what I remember hearing from the news when I was little.  I feel like I should have known about the library and the librarians that risked their lives for the books.  A human chain helped to save ten percent of the collection, and I found myself wondering what I would risk my life for.  For a book? I hope so.

Both of the Sarajevo Haggadah and the King cello, though we know where they are now, had years of simply vanishing.  No one knows where they were, how they got there, and they barely seem to know why they resurfaced.  This is where C. and Geraldine Brooks enter, creating a story for the blank space.

So of course, I’m feeling the need to return to ether.  I thought I’d taken the project as far as I could, but I keep finding spaces that are empty, but not.  The missing information that can be created, the emptiness filled with shimmering lumniferous words.

It feels nice to be back.

Autumn Crocus

DSCN3177I don’t think these are really called crocuses, they look too large and the season is all wrong.  They remind me of the bright shock of spring though, and what a wonderful way of entering into fall.

There are so many things that make me happy these days.  Yummy meals cooked for friends, a wonderful find at the Goodwill, poetry readings and beginning to craft again and realizing that I have been writing, just not re-typing.  So I have work again, proper work, music to listen to, and a glowing cow. What’s not to love about Seattle right now?  DSCN3171DSCN3178