POST #10 Sequoia Silk
Sorry to take so long to post again, but a painful back kept me out of it.
But here I am again.
This time, a poem about shedding skin to allow inspiration in.
Then, another excerpt from the Cantab Tango novel.
And finally, my favorite photographer, Anne Abrams.
POEM OF THE WEEK:
Silk and Gold
A scab makes it's own scab
when injury hopes only for injury
and silk chooses to hide them both.
Wounds cry out for reasons
when none seem to exist.
We all know pain, but while
compassion is a one-handed
option for the wounded,
it's a no-handed option
for people who love
silk more than skin.
If gold is cold on skin
it denies its own pain, so
it earns nothing and
it learns nothing.
Only painted skin imagines purity
when imperfections beg for mercy.
Hope and imagination are medicine
for pains in the back and of the head,
but they invite scorn from eyes that fear
to see imagination fall free from heaven.
It falls free from heaven. Falls free.
----------- Cantab Tango Excerpt of the week:
. . . . . . . . . . . . .
“Carrie used to love that breeze like it was chocolate,” I say.
Satch gives me an odd smile. I give him a sheepish look like I'm sorry to say that C-word again. I am.
“And maybe show me to an OA meeting, señor?”
“Yes,” I say. “I can tell folks how I killed the family I loved.”
Satch finds that Tony's espresso does soothe like a chocolate breeze without saying the word. And it wakes us enough to walk to a meeting together afterwards.
Tony mentions a plan to record a Booker's Dance demo, but we defer it until later. That song almost becomes a trigger for me to chase an endless line of chocolate breezes, but I don't say that out loud. Instead I find I think only of Atisha during the meeting instead of the topic, Step Six. Atisha.
Just after I speak I feel a buzz in my shirt pocket from Atisha's return call. A higher power acts in mysterious ways that can screw you up—in a good way.
I let it screw me up. I step onto the street and call back. She answers.
“I'm such an idiot for ever being with you,” she says.
I nod, but I don't speak.
“You know how much that fucked me up?”
I hold the phone at arm's length. Her silence scares me.
“I can imagine,” I say.
“But you don't get to imagine! I get to tell you how.”
A sponsor once told me to speak what you need to speak as briefly as possible, then shut the fuck up and listen to whatever they have to say. Whatever. Shut up and listen. Whatever she says—just fucking listen. I close my eyes. Well, this feels like laying down on a highway all over again, but I do listen.
Surprisingly, what she says is slightly less painful than what I've already told myself about myself.
“You're right, Atisha. I'm sorry.”
“Well, is that all you've got to say for yourself?”
“No. I mean yes. I have no defense. I . . . you got hurt.”
We take turns taking a breath. I'm exhausted. I find some stairs to sit on.
“If this was the right time for it, I'd say I miss you.”
She doesn't answer that.
Not the right time.
“I hate you,” she says.
Definitely not the right time.
“I also hate the timing of my fates,” she says.
I have no way to respond to that. So I don't.
“I'm coming to Cambridge this summer. Two weeks from now.”
The timing of fates kicks me in the balls.
I start to cry. I have no idea why.
“I have to present at a conference, teach a summer class. Harvard. My department head got it for me . . . ah . . . . are you crying?”
Sponsors say don't lie, but I do. Lead guitarists should never cry.
“Pull yourself together, you wuss. But call me back.”
She hangs up.
Satchmo's arm lays across my shoulder. I've melted. I've completely melted. She's right. I am a coward. But Satchmo's OK with it.
He steers me home, hands me a Greek salad, asks what I want.
“I want to be comfortably numb,” I say.
Pink Floyd music appears in my ears, but it doesn't work any better than a whole barrel of cotton candy.
“No thanks—this music is only for slashing wrists,” I say.
When life throws irony in your face, don't wash.
After the song I hand Satch my phone. He looks at the photo there.
“Atisha, then,” he says. “Cute. Eyes like a bunny.”
He holds the phone near my face—looks back and forth to her picture.
“Not my type. Wouldn't think she was yours, white boy.”
“It's just her heart, you know—not because she's . . . but . . . when she puts you on her wave length,” I say.
My hands form two walls alongside my eyes.
“Her wave length . . . .”
He nods and smiles.
“Leonard Cohen,” he says. “I see. 'The river answers.' That same island girl you mentioned in your story, then? Love to meet her sometime.”
Likely meet her never. I stifle a sob.
“Be careful of what you want,” I say. “You might. She’s your new drummer’s sister—and she’s going to be doing your clothes and make-up and she's got her own kind of beat. And she’s going to beat me down soon—and you get to watch it, man. Pick me up after I fall. Fall down hard.”
He laughs. Too soon, Satchmo. Too soon.
“There’s a song for us,” he says. “Pick Me Up When I Fall—by Jack and Satch. Let’s work on that one right now, yes?”
“It’s either that or fall down on twenty pizzas.”
He tosses me a guitar.
Key of G minor.
----------- FAVORITE PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE WEEK:
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