Wednesday, August 2, 2017

whiskey ginger (part II)

I don't think I'm pretty, but I know that I am beautiful.

I thought that adopting a dog would save me, but in reality I think I am saving her.

The divorced woman with the dyed red hair is establishing her independence.

I am familiar with the changing of the seasons, but here the environment changes by the hour. This morning it quickly rose past 80 degrees. This early afternoon it became cool, and cloudy, and pebbles of hail dropped from the sky. Later in the afternoon it thundered and rained. Then it grew sunny again, and Hanna and I took to the trails. There we found a pond, nearly four feet deep and at least 15 wide. It was not there last week and, I suspect, if it stops raining for a few days it will be gone by the weekend. Here, you are forced to understand the constancy of change. Here, you are forced to confront that everything is fleeting.

If you could only see how big the squash and the cauliflower and the arugula have grown. The squash died back twice in the early season, the result of unpredictable mountain frosts, and I firmly believe that me telling them I believe in them, over and over again, is what brought them back to life. You are free to disagree but I know belief manifests miracles. For weeks I have been dining on salads and kale sauteed in coconut milk, walking home every night from the garden with bouquets of greens.

We named her Hanna for the river, Big Suskie, forever one of the places I can call my home.

I do not miss as much as I thought I would, and for that I feel both shame and understanding. I didn't even realize how much I was not myself. I have started pronouncing my name differently when introducing new people into my life.

There is a feather tattooed on my ribs. It is temporary, a test. When I find the right artist--a woman who specializes in watercolor designs, who believes that belief manifests miracles--I will know where I want it and what it will be. So far I am considering my rib cage, my left forearm, and the inside of my left ankle. It will be a great blue heron or Maine meadow lupines or a lodgepole pine or the V with the calla lily I designed when I was 23. Cast your votes.

In BUTI yoga I hesitated to strip down to my sports bra, and then I remembered I'm 30. I don't have time for this shit. I pulled off my shirt and I twisted and sweated in front of women I know and women I don't. I did it again the next time, and the next. In September I will show up to the training in short shorts and a blue-strapped sports bra, and I'll just let 'er rip.

I spent months after the election in a state of abject despair. I had never felt that hopeless or defeated in my life, except for maybe when I was trying to kill myself. Now I am seeing the horror and I am calling its bluff. It will never be as big as I know my love can be. Maybe we only have a few more years but mark my words I'm going to be a force of nature for as long as I'm here.

My family and I played a lot of poker while they were in town. I didn't win very often, but I think my brother appreciated my bravado--bluffing to high heaven and tossing in all my chips--and the merest hint that he might like or appreciate or even respect me is enough for me to have won. I don't know if my siblings will ever Know how much I love them, and I will never stop anyway.

Every night a different doughnut.

Wilson sits at the window staring, alert to each movement and sound. He is braver with Hanna here: staying in the living room when it thunders, walking up to the fan pointed at the wet-drying rug and pressing his nose against the slats, his 50-pound pal right behind him.

On days like today all it takes to shake me out of a bad mood is a clump of bright yellow wildflowers growing up out of the high desert trail.

I am so grateful to get to be alone. Oh it feels good to be back.

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