Archive | Categories

Zoo York Is Not Enough

I had such a lovely break from the city–sunrises by the sea, swanning on tree-laced hammocks, cartwheeling in big fields–and such a bumpy reentry. On the drive back a glass-encased candle–an uncrossing candle, no less–exploded in my car, my phone abruptly went dead and still is not fixed as I type this, and so many serious accidents took place on the highways that the normally 3.5-hour trip took 7 hours. It’s not just that my nerves were shot; it’s that I could feel everyone else’s were shot, too. Finally somewhere in Connecticut I broke down in tears–the messy kind, not the pretty kind– and had to pull to the side of the road. Aloud I said: “Okay, higher spirit. You’ve secured my attention. What do you want me to know?” In response I could not just hear but see the Rilke quote: You must change your life. And here I’d thought I already had, though I guess thus far said change has been inflicted rather than invited.

I know some of what I need to do but if the rest were obvious or easy, I’d have done it long ago. This is, after all, the human experience: We learn by expanding our horizons, by stepping out of our comfort zones, in this case literally. Living so isolated from nature drains me to a degree I only acknowledge on the rare occasions I’m by the ocean or beneath a tree by myself. Yet the craving for unadulterated fields, for the noisiness of birds and wind and crickets, pulses beneath all the decoration of my New York life no matter how I try to drown it out, and it grows stronger in the shadow of dystopia. Even as I zoomed back to the city I no longer love monogamously I still heard the heartsong I breathed in that big air, and how to return to All That now looms as my biggest question though others should take precedence. Being middle-aged, it turns out, teaches us to heed older rhythms and wiser notes than what our tiny brains can measure.

Grace is glad I’m back, anyway. My friend takes my absence so seriously that I could hear her weeping as I climbed the stairs to my apartment. Witches and their familiars should never be parted.

Dream Overkill

I know, I know. Sharing dreams is the ultimate self-indulgence, and yet I continue to do so. I download so much information while I’m sleeping, not only about my life but about my clients and friends, Congress, the cosmos, and kairos. Try keeping a notebook by your bed for writing down your dreams upon waking. You’ll be amazed by what come through, and we need all the wisdom our guides, ancestors, best selves have to offer right now. Also, when transcribed, dreams offer such shifty little prose poems. Here’s last night download–the somnambulist’s equivalent of a literal fork in a literal road.

I’m in a national park-airport rounding the corner from Upstate New York to Japan, a connection that in this dreamworld is easily fused. As I head toward the Tokyo gate, I see Mr. Everybody walking toward me–burly, big-armed, big-bearded. So many Bs. He’s as handsome as ever but something is unfamiliar, less defined about his appearance. I can’t place what. Then he sees me and even in this incredibly random run-in suppresses his surprise. I squeeze his shoulder and slip my arm through his. “Come on,” I say. “You have to admit THIS is kismet.” I actually use the word “kismet,” which I regret even within the dream. In return he uses the same jive turkey line he tossed at me last month: “I experience multiple synchronicities with people, Lisa.” He shrugs off my arm and goes on his merry way. Watching his back disappear into the crowd, I say aloud, “Let this man go.” As I wake, I realize what has changed about his physicality. He isn’t wearing glasses.

Stick a metafork in me. I’m done.

Pics: Shara Hughes (left); René Magritte (left).

Always Forward: ‘Luke Cage’

Sadly, I wake with the sun no matter how late I go to bed, and today am both PMS-ing and hungover from Mothers Day. But even if I weren’t a hot mess, the montage of black men flaunting bullet hole-riddled hoodies while cops watch and Method Man spits Bulletproof Love, his homage to Luke Cage, would make me cry and cry. How am I just now watching this Netflix series? It’s a brilliant articulation of race in America starring Alfre Woodard, Mike Colter, and everyone I loved on the The Wire save String. It upholds the tenacity of the African diaspora as our country’s true superhero saga. And in Season 1’s last sequence, the late Sharon Jones brings it all back home in a shimmery sheath and her eternal big voice. Powerful stuff, powerfully shot on every level.

"All, everything I understand, I understand only because I love."
― Leo Tolstoy