Last night I went to my friend R’s housewarming/decorating party. It was the first party I’ve been into with mostly women, and for a long while the only person I knew was the hostess. I have a fair degree of social anxiety (as do most people, I think) and I felt, for a while, like I was bludgeoning around with laughter that was too loud and stories that were just a bit off. Again, I think this is a normal fear and I doubt it came across as such. Still, that largeness in a room is what keeps me to my common paths.
At the end of the night I left feeling completely different. The women R knows are an incredible collection. There was another writer, a woman who can sing the same songs I can from the 90s, a woman working in the same industry. Not to mention, strong climbers, funny conversationalists and just, Nice. I left saying, let’s connect and entirely meaning it. When I got home I found my order from MIEL had arrived. Glorious night!
Éireann Lorsung, one of the founders of MIEL, is a poet and artist that I’ve had a crush on for a long time. I was given her book Music For Landing Planes By by Susan Straight and Éireann became someone I watched from afar. She makes beautiful crafty things, has a lovely blog and now runs a press that puts out wonderful work. I highly suggest checking it out. One of the women I talked to last night said that a fiction instructor she had said that no poem is memorable. We both disagreed, even though she hasn’t read much poetry. Éireann’s work sticks with me, and it was great to come home to a project of hers at my doorstep.
Perhaps because I was thinking about all of these things before sleep last night, I awoke with poetry in my head. Specifically, Adrienne Rich’s poem The Eye (from her collection The School Among the Ruins). It’s strange to shower and try to recall lines from one of my favorite pieces. I could remember only snippets (I’ve never been great at memorization) but the tone was there. I think this poem sticks with me because of the ordinariness– hope not as an extreme effort, but through remaining.
I am someone easily waylaid off of my course. Ask me if I want to do something and my answer, in general, is YES! It’s partly social anxiety– the fear that if I say no, the request won’t come back. It’s partly because yes, I honestly want to spend time with You (whoever you are). So much of my summer was rocked around on whims. Do you want to go to Squamish? Yes. Do you want to go to Vantage? Yes. Do you want… Yes. I went on many adventures, I learned many things, but I think I lost some of what I wanted along the way. I wanted a summer reconnecting with myself and my women friends. I wanted Project Bad Ass. I got distracted. Men do that to me. Last night felt (like so much the past few weeks) as if I’m finally back on track. (Thank you, R!) And in the middle of it– my phone flashing. An olive branch. Drinks? A month ago, I would have tapped back an answer. And I might have woken up with a familiar skyline, away from my lovely apartment, away from my books and my poetry. I doubt I would have woken up with a poem in my head.
Last night, I looked, I put my phone down, and I returned to the conversation at hand. And this morning I have coffee in a mug given to me by my best friend, books strewn around my living room, CocoRosie on the stereo, and a file open full of work to send D. so she has more poems to remember. I’m right where I need to be.