March was a rain soaked month of disappointment. On top of that, the news was full of the violence of nature and people, while at my house, Mary’s dog Rascal died after a long decline so she was grieving. At my work, my full-time assistant quit to go to a wonderful new job, and I was left with a pieced together staff (wonderful teachers, but it was difficult to coordinate our approach on a daily basis.) The commute and lack of any time to write was wearing on me, and the financial strain on the state was starting to filter down to our center. We heard nothing but bad news about the budget. It was a month where mostly the little day to day things went fine, but the overall picture was gloomy and foreboding. Hard times where just beginning. Much of what I wrote and dreamed in March was colored by this, and reading my journal makes it seem even darker since when I have very little time for writing I mostly write to get rid of my negative thoughts. My happier thoughts were lived and let go like bubbles on the wind.
1) A campaign Ad for a man named Mantle:
“A coin for every cup” a broad brimmed copper chalice chimes as a coin is tossed in. A man in white runs through a dark doorway.
2) Scooting on my back through dust and rocks under metal frames.
I was making beautiful hammers with polished whorled Handles, specific tools for arcane purposes which only I could perform.
I am walking endless mall corridors, a sterile city of tiled hallways, white porcelain drinking fountains ensconced in cleanly arched recesses. Lines at the movie theater spread into the corridor, but mostly the all is deserted. There are closed doors and dark hallways every now and then on either side with signs and symbols above them: Maintenance, Employees Only, stick figures engaged in many different activities. I walk the brightly lit corridor until I wake up.
I have to let it form. I keep getting these feelings of memories, not memories like pictures, but the feeling of what happened, like textures felt with the eyes closed or the temperature of water you are swimming in, a scent on the breeze that surrounds the thought. It is the whole experience, and cannot be put into a picture. I want to dwell in it, just a moment. But the present struggles like restless animal muscles bunching under the skin.
“You can’t go back to that!” It says with its wriggling. “You have to move forward!”
A crowd of ghosts pushes me toward the exit. I want to go back and make sure I know what that feeling was. When I just get a little bit of it, the edge of it, it is so powerful like sweet orange bursting on the tongue.
1) Josey P. Crow shoots at my friend the famous author. We drive cars and run around ruined castle walls situated on a promontory surrounded by a white sea of cloud. Finally I shove my friend behind a wall and take off running, knowing the gunman will follow me. I rush leaping and flying down a long steep flight of steps so thin my feet fit only halfway on them. I looked back up as I reached the sandy path at the bottom to see Josey at the top sighting along the pistol barrel at me. I woke up, my heart thumping.
2) We put giant centipedes on top of each other so they would chew each other up. They stuck together. I they ripped apart as separated them. I could feel the resistance and release as they either tore or released their grip on each other.
My brain will not engage in writing or work for any stretch. I am paralyzed in this middle ground. I feel the places where I am missing in both. I am observing, trying to come up with scenarios that fit. No that’s not it at all. Formulas, perhaps. What if I just attack the wall of death and fate? What choices do we have and what decides for us? War, tsunamis, nuclear power plants, old age, insanity, the yellow raincoat, coyotes, old fat possum in a pine tree, a dying Pomeranian? What are we in all this loose mix of interconnection? What am I? A thought filled animal without fur or claws? A house, a car?
The coyote ran across the freeway, the ghost of the ancient wild. I touched the brake to slow as it passed into the mist clung scrub of the meridian.
I told my class about the coyote crossing the freeway which led to a whole role play and model making project called “Coyote Mountain”. We heard a lot of howling for a couple of weeks. We made props and a landscape for some small plastic coyotes to roam, which morphed into a farm after the chickens came to visit.
I have one day here in a long stretch, and it is filled with Mary’s grief. My life is devoid of desire. I am on automatic, whirring through days that are similar and uninspired. What is there to desire? How do I get to a place where desire makes sense? Where does inspiration come from in such a necessary busyness?
It is all so important that I move and act and be, but I can’t think of what it is to be me anymore. We have to abundance but no time. There are so many tasks to be done, but none of them makes me feel anything but tired. We have huge laundry to get done, shopping and weekly prep.
Some local scene portrayed in all of its detail. Microscopic, not seen by the world at large yet influenced by the huge ideas flowing through the world. A small piece of an immense puzzle that because of the truth of its telling shows where it connects to the rest of the puzzle.
I am not feeling like a piece but some little part off to the side.
1) “When did you think the Rooster God,” he asked after reading one of my poems.
“It was a place like this one,” I said pointing up at the rolling desert dotted with scrub and cactus. “At Desert Center.”
I could remember seeing the rooster in the dazzling sun.
2) My father ran a clinic of some sort for families. He served white and black families. This led to tensions.
A black father thought that high fives with his son were acceptable but not calling him buddy.
“He calls me buddy, too, ” I explained. I really loved that kid.
In the waiting room outside the office, a white mother stood tense by the door arms draped over her daughter protectively while a large boisterous black family sprawled on couches in the center of the room, laughing and talking easily.
Candledolls and Poo, a comic book murder mystery.
“They found the murderer and then lost him when the school caught on fire,” I outlined the plot for my friend.
“No! Katerine wouldn’t write that!?” He protested. “That’s just slurm literature.”