Friday, February 29, 2008


I’m not, nor have I ever been one of those with perfect handwriting. What pours forth from the ink to the page falls into any category between cursive and chicken scratch. All too often, I myself cannot even diagnose what the word was originally meant to be and find the closest substitute that might make sense if I were indeed sober and awake when I wrote it. But usually I’m not.

There is a sort of filter on thoughts and things lately. The filter that shows me what I could have versus what I do have. Or, maybe, perhaps, that is just my perception on things.

The hot water boils on the stove, gets poured into the mug, then turns into something drinkable. After it cools. Because I have no inclination to scald my tongue on freshly heated water.

Distracted. Again. I do this. A lot.

I believe I was talking about handwriting before the water whistled for me to get up and come retrieve it from the burning coils on the stove. My handwriting or someone who wrote for me, I’m not sure now. All that fetches in my memory right now is the whisps of a note now forgotten, the glimpses of dreams that floated by in the last few hours, and the potential that there really is light at the end of the tunnel.

Of which I wasn’t aware we were in. Huh. Did I miss something here?


It is my mind that is the one guiding this after all.

The basis of what I think I’m trying to say right now is that sometimes things change.

There. Simple enough. Now explain.

That I am an artist who makes large strokes with a paintbrush, large gouges with a sharp knife, who full heartedly jumps into projects, who fully embraces another person in a hug, makes me not the sort of person to pay attention to details. But I do. The things that when you step close to the painting to discover the small dots and lines, blended or standing alone, to give the piece a finished perspective. The things that when you run your fingers over the finished wood, you feel the flow of the cut as well as the flow of the grain, making it seem as if it was already there. The things that include charts and research out the wazoo, the customer perspective, and the bottom line, that show this project is based in this reality. The things that when wrapped in a hug, my fingers instinctively find the tension in the back or neck, in a gentle rubbing to say hello or goodbye, helps release just a little bit of the pain that was being held on to too tightly.

Sometimes finding out that what you see and feel may be something entirely different, well, that’s just cause of alarm. Or for drinking heavily and cursing. Or for screaming in fear and cowering. Or for dancing wildly and spastically, falling down on purpose, and realizing that “Hey, the world looks different from down here.”

Indeed, it does.

So, perhaps this tunnel is not the tunnel of lore, where you walk out of it, or where a train comes at you, or whatever those loring tunnels are.

This tunnel may be one of those that’s more akin to a well, Or the caves in the rocks we climbed as kids, where half the climb was straight down, crawl a bit, then climb straight up. Remembering that now makes me wonder why in the hell we did that, on purpose? I mean, snakes, nettles, scrapes, darkness, spiders, bats, flash storms, all sorts of things, were threats. What were we thinking?

And when did I let myself slide from fearless and adventurous to an adult? Yuck.

The tea cools enough to drink. I transfer the words from notebook to computer and come up with something that sounds like what I might have been trying to say in the wee hours of the morning. I take the last gulp, looking down into the empty, deep mug. Only by turning it sideways does anything fall out. Yet another different perspective.

Anyway. We climbed cautiously we worked in groups, pushing each other up, or pulling each other up. We skittered under boulders, around crevices, sliding along on our butts an awful lot. By the end of summer my jeans had lost all their back pockets to those rocks. And it didn’t matter. We went through, we found more, we crawled and got dirty, we made our way out in time to go eat dinner.

So this tunnel I’ve been in is like looking up out of those rock caves. I’ve forgotten that I am not alone. I need to get a little dirty, scoot off the rock I’ve been perched on, and ask for help climbing out.


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