I remember she did a Tarot card reading for me and it was then I first considered the notion of destiny, that I had one, it seemed awful grand and cinematic, big story with plots and characters, adventures and such. This was something I had never believed back in mundane midwest, oh that was for movie stars and famous folks, not for the likes of me!
Dazzled by the notion of my Grand Destiny, yes, I felt it like some psychic breeze ruffling my consciousness! Every now and then, I'd meet someone or something would happen and I'd know it was Destiny, something I could not change, but over time I realized it could be shaped and responded to with heart and spirit.
And now of course, oh all I can do is laugh and sigh, oh Destiny, yes, accumulation of all my mad choices, and the smallest events were the real pivot, not the grand dramas. Endless possibilities collapse into the narrow path, and regrets seem as foolish as pride, in the wonder of completion.
Waxing and waning, my interest was always captured by new moon, full moon, but that has changed. I no longer resonate to full or empty but now consider the fragments, slivers, crescents and quarters, tonight a sideways slender smile glowing silver bright in the dark night sky.
Yeah, I hear their big booming steps as they walk by and their big fat booming voices rhapsodizing of spring, "oh look, the grass is coming up, oh I love that bright spring green!" as they tramp around destroying everything in their clumsy paths!
How could they know the agony of the struggle, as I, small, with no great strength, push through mud and dirt, pulled by light of sustenance, of promised nourishment, pushing through solid unyielding ground, such painful miracle, pushing upward, blindly, not knowing where I will emerge, and then just a bit, a tiny bit of breakthrough, mere beginning of agonies of movement, only to hear their foolish booming voices saying how sweet I look, as they coo in utter ignorance over the hard birth of spring.
Oh it was a strange night at the bars, back in the day, oh that dress, how could a pile of cloth create such an experience?
It was sleeveless, black lace over flesh-colored silk, low cut in front and back, they dared me to wear it, and I remember the feeling when I looked at myself in the mirror, it was skin tight and it looked like I was naked underneath the delicate pattern of lace, uplifted breasts so white and exposed against the black decolletage, oh mama! Made up like crazed harlot, a fringe of false eyelashes, ruby red lips, butterfly blue and green eyeshadow, rosy rouge, stiletto heels with black silk stockings, sparkling rhinestone necklace and earrings, elbow length black gloves, and we all gaily stuffed ourselves in a yellow cab, off to the midwest waterfront dive bar.
I walked in the joint and it was immediate, the hungry attention, everyone there eating me up with their eyes, I felt a jolt of power that was not particularly pleasant, didn't know what to do with it, yet it made me even more present to the room, and I felt the growing crowd circling me, watching me, lusting for me, to touch me, maybe even tear me apart in curiosity and desire.
And the energy kept feeding upon itself, their attention, my alarm, looping back and forth, I didn't have to say a word or do a thing, it was better not to say anything, do anything, just be the floating sex goddess, walking by, even my friends who knew me well were captured by this energy, not of my own making alone, no it was created by the whole group, it was intoxicating and disturbing and it was only afterwards I thought about it, thought, oh that's how they felt, those movie queens, sex symbols, they must have felt this way at first and then gotten used to the power, learned how to wield it, perhaps made Marilyn Monroe mistakes and were burned and destroyed by it, ah, what a feeling.
All the clues are scattered Like puzzle pieces flung by Great gusty winds. And there is no guide Save the common golden cord, The knowing that resides within. Through all bewilderment it abides, The knowing, even within mad and ever changing puzzles. There is indeed a picture formed, already complete, needing no further search. It is a riddle, a question, An ever moving tide, That finally meets the shore.
Living in the big farm house, it was a holiday or some special occasion, ma cooking up a storm in warm kitchen and I go outside with my 3 brothers, big drifts of snow in the woods across the country road, there's an open clearing there, too, and I get myself all wet and messy hurling myself into clean white powder in ecstacies of cold discomfort, don't even recall what the boys did, I was covered in snow, moving madly to some inner rhythm, knowing warmth and good food awaited me, like small animal in mindless happiness, the white snow, my brothers near in case of monster attack, ma and my sisters in the kitchen, no chores for me, just snow and movement, spaciousness of time, oh joy.
A melody winds through my heart, and does not stop. Though love has not appeared in quotidian form, it is here, oh it is in my heart, and once given cannot be returned. That is the way of love.
My love is a foolish thing, And my love is very wise, A risk and a gamble, tossed and turned every which way I taste all the emotions, sweet and bitter, light and dark, and it is all love, ah. That is the way of love.
I have regrets and I have none, I am happy and I am sad, I rage and I accept, I am a woman with all the follies thereof. And so my heart is full, even as I have given it away. That is the way of love.
Warm blanket on cold feet, the feeling of drowsiness just before you fall asleep, waking up knowing there's no work, the day is yours, ah, luxury. Cool breeze on a hot day, flock of birds on the wing in sunshine against blue blue sky, hot chocolate made the old fashioned way and not from a packet, ah, luxury. First moment of awakening, before cares and worries of life descend upon the consciousness, ah, luxury. To eat a taco without any of the insides falling out, well maybe not luxury, but certainly a fine thing.
She wore a winter white jacket, all puffed with down or a synthetic thereof, soft white fur around the hood, the jacket was short and she wore a white sweater underneath it, looked so clean and fresh, pristine like new fallen snow. And then there was the couple standing next to me on the train, a study in brown, his jacket was a fine corduroy, also all puffed with some insulation, hers was shiny satiny chocolate, she wore a black beret, they leaned in to each other, embracing, as the train moved and I saw her lay her head upon his shoulder. Cold days in Auld Manhattoe, the sun shining brightly, no snow, but oh so cold.
So cold in Auld Manhattoe, can see your breath coming out in plumes of white, seats on subway that normally hold six now hold five due to puffy down coats and jackets. After ascending the subway stairs I walk through three gallerias to 52nd Street, each one distinctive and lovely in their own way but mostly they cut the wind, jaywalk across the streams of cars separating the gallerias, then through heavy revolving doors, aah, warmth! And I noticed that at the 57th Street subway station, by the tracks where there's always leaks and streams of water from rainy days, there were large icicles hanging down from the ceiling, rendering the place mysterious and cavelike.
I walked about, found a spot by a stream, if I recall correctly, it was nice outside, oh, so long ago, memory is hazy with only a few clear recollections, yes I think it was nice and the grass was green, had a bit of solitude. Wracked my brain, oh thirteen poems for thirteen years and each one to be written in honor of a family member.
And I had done this for all her four sons, written 13 poems to be recited by me in candle-lighting ceremony, 13 poems in a style not my own, yet my own words and thoughts, and yes, they would praise me, oh what a talent you have! My, my, isn't that wonderful! And I would smile and thank them, and no, I didn't mind doing it, why not do it, what else did I have to offer from my strange and silly life?
And I wrote by the stream, I think it was a nice sunny day, and I recall doing that, being in solitude and writing 13 poems and I did a poem each for various virtues and qualities, honor, love, courage, all that. Oh and yes, for the great event itself I wore a blue and white dress with full skirt, diagonal stripes of sky blue and white, I loved that dress, with white high heels and my hair was dark and long.
And it wasn't my style, nothing I'd ever write for myself, from my own inspiration, no it wasn't my style at all, but she said I had to do this, wouldn't be fair not to do it for all of them, so I wrote 13 poems and recited them aloud in my blue and white dress, to the flickering of candles, as 13 different honored relatives lit each one, in the temple, where he underwent ancient manhood rite of passage.
Oh I saw the lonely ones, sad ones, Uh huh. Oh I felt the deepest love of the heart, Uh huh. Oh I felt the awful pain of loneliness, Uh huh. And the beauty of the morning, Uh huh. And the grace of twilight, Uh huh. And the terror of the night, Uh huh. It all goes round and round, Ever changing, ever changing, Yet within the eternity of change, Even of the heart, mind, body,
Even within that spinning wheel, There is a place, Uh huh. A place of peace, Uh huh. A still small voice, Uh huh. In all the pain, and all the joy, all the living and dying, Uh huh.
I asked him, what's up, and he told me many things. About treasure, yes, finding treasure and what to do, keep it, hide it in a hole somewhere, like mad pirate who'll need a stash by and by, or perhaps not, perhaps spread it around like Robin Hood, oh and somehow though both are bandits, I liked the notion of spreading it around, and he told me this was something people rarely do, and then oh, the blessings, for after all, he said, to bless means to help. So a big treasure, the diamond and ruby and gold kind, oh the wonders of beholding and oh the temptation to fall under the bewitching spell of all that sparkle and gleam, nothing prettier than treasure, after all.
And then to be wild and give it all away, spread it around like that, and what would happen next, I asked him? He gravely told me I would then encounter the path less traveled, indeed, one ruled by no convention or social acceptance, sounded spooky! Without possession or position, yet encompassing all of life, navigating the shoals of love always with an eye to the stars, the sun and the moon, oh he told me many things, the life of the outsider illuminated by his answer to my simple question.