Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Impressions: death of love

The most inconvenient thing about the death of love is that it happens inside and well, it’s no good having dead things inside. As long as it took to stitch itself to every minute figment of your entrails, that’s how long it stays in there, dead. Highly inconvenient. For one, it takes up vital space—can’t nothing move in while dead love is there and frankly, nothing would want to. I’m not sure the issue is that dead love stinks—though maybe it does. It is likely about the essence of things: the living won’t abide the dead so near. I can’t remember when love died and sometimes, for the sheer magnitude of its life, I can’t help but wish I had a better sense of the moment it did.

In its time, it was soaring. All breath and words caught in trampling time, all resonance and power—the push, the answer, the truth. All that delirium, that acute feeling of transcendence, that “closest to God” nonsense people talk about. How the surrender first came... And most of all, that feeling. He seems to reach inside with his hand, slowly goes in and finds a note, and flicks it—just one note, your precise note, and it reverbs. Today though I stand in the shadow of the valley, I still believe that feeling is the only fucking point. It is as a believer that I wish I was more present in the moment it died. To sit attentive, and make the catalog of me in that death and knowing myself changing. I wish I had that chapter from which to read the others. Maybe I’m wishing for scale? I wish I had listened to the sound of the ringing note fading. Instead, it was completed silence that caught my attention.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A Recipe For Disaster

My son sits in front of his math homework purposely looking like a cow at the slaughterhouse: clueless and unaware. We know that children get scared and frustrated when they don't understand content--you've seen those adorably simplified "Sylvan Learning Center" type commercials: "But Mom, I hate homework!!!"; and Mom's like "We thought Timmy would never learn!". And don't get me wrong, I take all that seriously and am generally supportive. My son does bring an extra ingredient into the mix and that is his high opinion of himself and his inalienable right to fun times all the time. My son is genuinely outraged that displeasure exists in his life at all. He can't believe the audacity of math, how dare you math, come in to my day, and ruin it? Don't you know who I am math? Fuck You math. This is who my son is and I have no illusions about it. And this I shall not tolerate. I throw around my "Boy do you know Obama used to get up at 430 AM to do his homework with his mother???", to no avail. Have you ever seen an incipient eye roll? It's worse than the actual full on eye roll because it barely happens--only just enough to piss you off but not be actionable. After endless variations of stop daydreaming--what are you doing--put down my damn cell phone--pick up your damn pencil before I--, I take the high and mighty approach we mothers can't seem to leave alone. I'm talking about the oft used tone my son derisively describes as "speech giving":

"It is apparent to me how much you refuse to focus. This is not the hard math, this is not even the math that takes a long time. I can see it in your face that you are choosing to not think about it and think about fun things instead."

He barely keeps from smiling. I pretend to not notice and continue to my grand finale:

"My helping you wouldn't do any good if you don't focus. And let me tell you, in math, not focusing is... A Recipe For Disaster." (dramatic pause, glare).

My son's face now matches the gravity of the situation. He is definitely hearing me now, I self-congratulate. He opens his mouth to speak and I await his contrite answer. And this little ******* says to me:

"Yes, but... How do I cook it?"

Thursday, November 06, 2008

November 6 2008 (AM)

It's November 6, 2008. Joe Scarborough is bitching about the liberal media's bias and how Obama is not a saint. My son's grumpy morning routine has hit its high note where he deliberately refuses to tuck in his shirt and says crazy shit like "why does a uniform have to mean my shirt is in? My shirt out is more comfortable. There's no rule about shirts, you're just mean." Everything is as it always is at my house in the morning, except that when Joe bitches about him he says President-Elect Obama.

Ah, sweet delirium, twilight zone of contentment, emotion, sweet love hangover, extreme cross-historical cultural-critical meditative state, straight up INSANITY that is the world today. Obama is president. The New York times has clearly turned to cool and fuzzy articles about having little black kids in the White House: Mahlia wants to redecorate, Sasha is a ham, we're not sure what kind of puppy we're getting, grandma Robinson's moving in, Sidwell Friends school may have alumna Chelsea call the Obamas and pitch, the DC socialites are fearful they may not be cool and hip enough to host the Obamas but gosh darnit, they've all got Beverly whatsherface on speed dial and brand new subscriptions to O magazine and Essence. Get your Stevie Wonder playlist ready on Itunes while you're at it. I feel straight up drunk.