It has been almost a year since I’ve published. I got a very bad reaction to “In The Zone” and it quashed my public free-thinking for a while. But I’m home again and off the couch, so to speak. I’m learning to slosh from side to side, each step in the river causing a reaction. My life will be long so I don’t have to be downhearted that I haven’t accomplished more along the way.
I am moving into the high zone with Bette Midler playing on the stereo, feeling reconnected to my husband as if our love was fresh and new. I can feel it and be safe. He knows it and feels it too. The security of our love has saved me. Yet mine can’t free him from the obsession over the abuse that made him so insecure. He is so wise and good and wonderful.
I told him I don’t need that other stuff if he can’t give it for the rest of our lives, although he is the one who first touched my soul with his loving. His kisses, in the coat room of Mo’ Better Blues could have made me slide down his throat from the inside out, my puss going first.
Bette sings to our sexuality. She admits “Bie mir bist du shein” (Yiddish for “To me you are beautiful”) that you are grand. Yet they are drawing swasztikas on the temples in California and are saying “kill the Jews” out loud and reporting it on Fox News as a natural result of people being angry with the US and thus with Israel. So easy to blame the Jews for the war in the middle east and the liberal bent of this country.
Men with their cancerous prostates and their limp or unsatisfied dicks who go off again and again to war, trying to keep the women weak. If only they didn’t beat us down we would be the goddesses they need to become the men they should be. Men who want peace and equality.
We were meant to be a team, not adversaries, not the little woman, sheltered from the fray. We are the goddesses and we are here to save the the planet from the destruction by the limp dick that shoots the automatic into the crowd never having been loved. It is in our power but we have believed them for so long that we may never own it in time to rise up. What games will Hilly have to play to get the vote? Why won’t women trust her? She is the brightest and the best.
It makes me sick how sisters berate each other to get the eye of the best dick in the fraternity not knowing that he’s as frightened as she. Help him to be as great as he can be. Our entire lives, the whole world, is built on FEAR and instead of congregating and keeping warm and sharing ideas, the aggressors started to fight and make factions and get more money and strength.
It hasn’t worked. It doesn’t work. Time for a new paradigm.
There is a new Mcmansion going up in the hood, taking up the entire square footage of its lot, blocking the long time ocean view of some of their neighbors, but that’s their right. It is grey blocks, sky now showing through huge, as yet paned, windows. The pouring of the concrete for a third floor deck is happening today. The Haitian in a Safari hat is hauling, one by two, the pipes of metal, that look like lolly columns, off the truck. They are to hold the deck up while it dries. On the island we cut long bamboo poles to hold up the wood that holds the wet concrete ton.
I say “Sa Passe?” to him. Most Haitians answer, “Na Buille!” “I’m not burning.” (And they don’t mean from the sun.) He just lets out a huge guffaw.
In Dominica there is no zoning. There are the towns, the rest is left up to the people who live there. In Maine on my ten acres the deed says I can do anything with the caveat, I cannot have have oil rigs! The sale of our largest guesthouse in Dominica is almost complete, sold to a family with four children The parents, unmarried, are going to live together for the first time and need a big house. I hope he is not a car mechanic and we will have junks all over the road waiting for repair. I don’t think they are going to drill for oil. Maybe when the children are grown they will open a bar or a shop or a nightclub with rooms upstairs for the couples who might want an overnight.
Being in the zone, all is copacetic. I am moving smooth with yogic breath steady and nothing is going wrong. In the zone you can do anything you want because you trust yourself and know your choices are right for you. It is the place for success but also one of rules that must be followed, as a guided missile system that will reach its target.
The neighbor is building their fat house on all their property. No room for a flower it seems, no free space to surround and buffer. The are legally zoned and yet so not in the zone of spacial relationships. It reminds me of the Fat House sculpture by Erwin Wurms, He had the aesthetic to put his out in a big field. For ocean view, the poorer folks squash together. The rich have Mar a Lago’s
Getting into the zone used to be a safe bet that you would get perks, a liquor license from the Irish in Boston, protection from the family in New York or Providence, better profits in the high end business zone. One could live in the slums and still be in the zone, if you were a political organizer in the sixties. What a perfect cover for your middle class roots and working class heart, to live in the inner city. . . .
to be continued
I took my walk early yesterday just as the sun was peeking out. I had been dressed, bra-less, in a T-shirt and shorts for several hours, writing, doing yoga, folding yesterday’s laundry. Mornings are so exquisitely empty. I wake up early, excited for the day.
Sometimes I just have to get out of the house for fresh air to have a walking meditation. Ham sa, I am that. Ideas and stories come whole into my brain. The one two one two feet in front of the other feeds my head with the movement.
I am walking bra-less and remembering the days when I was twenty-something and the girls were round and perky. Although I could always hold a pencil under them, now I can hold a cucumber without any trouble. As Maya Angelou says, “They are having a race to my waist.” My right one is winning. So why, as an old crone (see blog for burning) can’t I go au naturel and not cause a kerfuffle on the street. But I see that every man to a one has noticed that the girls are a little bit more jouncy today. Even the stiff men, who barely even nod though I’ve seen them for years, risk a glance.
I guess that’s the end of the experiment. I will still have to head home early from gatherings just to let the girls out and rub my shoulders to ease the indentation from the bra strap. My women friends who are small breasted have no sympathy for me. I understand. But to me, the nipple is the key, to nurturing the young, to pleasing the lovers and truth be told my left one hits the jackpot every time. She’s definitely in cahoots with something down there. Remember when they said that, as if vagina clitoris were a bad words. As if all the other sweet descriptions and the ugly ones too were not enough.
I taught my three year old daughter the correct words. They even had that plastic pelvis complete with fetus and vagina in her nursery school room. She would tell her cousin, whose mother was pregnant, “The baby is in aunty’s uterus. Can you say that–uterus?”
Perhaps the spiral of his/herstory will bring us to a new enlightenment and sex and its moving parts will not cause such a hullabalou but be taken in stride. That’s just how we like to roll, Sir.
It is my year. I was born on two/fourteen and all my life, for good or sad, that has been the day. The first party that my mother made for me I cried when all the little kids and their parents sang Happy Birthday to me around our dining room table. It was too focused and I didn’t like it.
Over the years people would say, “Oh how nice, such a great day.” And I would have my pat answer, “Not some of the years,” (When I was a lonely single mother.) But that is really not the truth because my children or my women friends or sisters or my favorite auntie would always have something for me.
One year in graduate school I had dinner with one of my professors (on whom I had a terrific crush). He often stayed overnight in town instead of driving back to Harvard after his evening class. We made no mention of the holiday but during the dinner conversation I told him it was my birthday. He said “Happy Birthday” and that was that.
Now on FB I get so many good wishes and I have a birthday week or month depending on how many of my friends want to spend some time with me. This year, it so happens, that my day, two/fourteen, aligns with the year “two fourteen” and the stars, it seems. Good things have begun to happen since the New Year, although I lost my driver’s license at the casino last night, but not my shirt!
(Mislaid this post in the net so I edited this last part to reflect changed time.)
For the day itself, I enjoyed those morning calls when my children try to see who is first. It was my oldest. Close friends and family chimed in during the day. I drove two hours ( ugh, the Boat Show in South Beach) to see an exhibit at The Museum of Erotica in Miami then to a writing class and home, exhausted while everyone else, I imagine, was treating their new or old or hopeful to some love.
My adored and adoring husband is still in Dominica and on Friday he dances at Fort Young, socializing and drinking with friends buying ribs and black pudding for next day’s lunch.
February is now over and that’s usually the end of celebrating and buying birthday presents for myself. Since its my year, I am in a quandary about how long to keep this up. Then I take a deep breath. Ham Sa. As long as it lasts.
Voila Duba Day
I have been ignoring the world of Burning Man, collecting emails for a future read, commenting on camp mates accomplishments and new profile pictures, but mostly flat-lining with my burner family. A concept became clear. You can’t go home again. The truth brought right to my tent flap. In 2011, the summer beyond my sixty-fifth birthday I went for the first time to Burning Man at Black Rock City, Nevada. I went with a woman from NYC who was my former writing teacher and now good friend. She had been a burner several times prior and hooked us up with a group of dancers who had a smooth dance floor and a wonderful cook who fed all fifty of us three solids a day. We helped prep the meals and got to know our camp mates. We volunteered to organize the generator for the dance music. We took the garbage out to our composting pond to dry and rot in the desert sun. (Then we carried it out of the desert.) Everyone was open and loving, curious and welcoming. There were private showers at our camp. The disgusting smelly, dirty strip of portalets was far enough away not to sully our air.
I was transported to a phantasmagorical land of kindness and caring, beauty and art, sensuality and inspiration with a “city that never sleeps” atmosphere that was better than my New York at four AM. Best of all was the freedom to be oneself and morph every day into the new self that felt right. To participate in persiflage but also flirt more seriously because everyone, mostly, was on a mission, well at least the young folks, to hook up. The young people do, loose like an ess hook that slips out as easy as pie. They are not like my generation who fell in love through our pussys and our cocks. We were the first generation of free love and although it was given mostly free because “wow this is so cool,” we all became the walking wounded of love, lust, and sex’s traditional machinations of possession and betrayal. Some of these young kids really do know how to hook up and its easy-peasy and correct. No one is your true love because you exchange bodily fluids and have a moment. One has moments with many people and it does not make a life-time of growth and companionship and support. Just listen to the altes bark the same arguments at each other that they’ve been having for fifty years.
I found the freedom to be myself and costume daily. I mentioned to my group, “Queen Elizabeth II must change her outfit five times daily for the benefit of her subjects.” And so some of us were the noblesse oblige as we bicycled laughing through ribbons of sand and got caught up in dust eddies. I didn’t mind the sweat and the sun and learned how to protect myself and when to rest. I showered everyday but reveled in the pigpen aspect of the adventure. (There was a group whose name and gift was “Carcass Wash”. You can imagine.) My husband smiled coyly before I left and told me to have fun and I knew he meant for me to have my freedom. I surprisingly wasn’t into anonymous sex and it made life so much easier, just being friendly with no agenda. Yes I flirted, can’t help it, part of my genetic makeup. I even invited someone to my tent for a nightcap, a fellow pot head.
That week long adventure was transforming for me, for a time. I was kinder in the default world. My motto became “Everyone is doing the best they can.” I still truly believe it. I just may not want to know them as they’re doing that best!
The next year didn’t work and my moods continued their drift. Then 2013 looked possible. I gathered old carnival costumes from Dominica and all the things I didn’t know I’d need the first year. Off we went. My friend had just experienced a loss in her life and I was teetering at the end of a long and enjoyable period of energy. I had two alone and not very self-sufficient days in Oakland, CA and then off in a rental car to Reno and a garage filled with our stored gear. Stocking up on water, toilet paper, getting our Kiwannis bikes put us on the road by noon and we were off like a prom dress to the Man. I kept going straight when I should have turned. The road became gravel. A guy delivering wood to a project in Black Rock City said it was the best route so on we went a safe distance behind him. We were going seventy but he was cooking so we didn’t get his dust up. The road was this close to Pyramid Lake with salt layers growing smaller and smaller into pointed mountains. A few huge grazing farms filled with cattle and horses and a house on the prairie that had no one and nothing for miles and miles and miles. We didn’t stop for rock climbing. The car was jouncing our insides as we smoked our weed and blabbered to catch up on the last two years. We landed west of Gerlach and the twenty minute wait to get through town.
The ticket line was not as much fun as year one but took only about two hours and then we were at camp. The first hello was someone who told us to be quiet, a meeting was happening. (He later apologized.) We were trying to find a place to raise out tents. As it happened the only place was right beside the dance floor. Rocky start and down hill from there. The teeter had a little more teet than ter and I was down. There were seventy people this year. There were fifty my virgin year and at least eight women were in their late fifties, early sixties. By Tuesday I was privately in tears, don’t make me sit down to another meal with seventy chatty people and pretend. In the first group meeting I said that I hoped I would be approached to talk but was feeling very shy which was a revert to very old behavior.
My friend John Dufresne had just published his latest novel NO REGRETS, COYOTE and I read it in my tent, adjusting the flaps for air. I took long naps in the comfort dome and danced my ass off during the sessions. We went around looking at the Temple and the Man and a gorgeous wire sculpture of a woman that was twenty feet high. But I was not. I had withdrawn from my better self and pulled into the retraining cocoon, head down and eyes low. And definitely no more smoke.
My friend was also having a bit of a difficult time and we talked about leaving early. I was game. My tension eased. We were hanging at the back of our tent in the shade, people shifting in and out of the conversation. As it ended there was myself, a thirty something man I knew from two years ago and a lovely twenty year old newcomer here with her boyfriend from Australia. We chatted life, truth and possibility. As we were drifting away he said. “It is so fabulous to have so many different people here: The Nymphet and The Crone.”
Whump. I came as a woman this year. I am practicing being wise and kind and generous. But make no mistake, the woman is me, loud and strong. He called me a crone. It has taken me a year to absorb and know that it is true. The emails for the sale of tickets have started and registration, with your profile, a must. I am Vivid Valentine because my birthday is on Valentine’s Day. I have put in for a single ticket. I can always sell it. I will go for a few days, part of no group, in a station wagon with my own food and water. I will park on the periphery and be who I am.