waiting on the front porch

she just stood there on the front porch waiting for her will to come and get her she was packed she had a suitcase full of noble intentions she had a map and a straight face hell bent on reinvention she was learning about please and huge humilities then one day she looked around her and everything up til then was showing and she wondered how did i get here without even knowing where i was going? ~ani difranco

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Location: montreal, quebec, Canada


Thursday, November 09, 2006

"taste the moment"

"you are never given a wish without the power to make it come true. you may have to work for it, however." ~richard bach

yesterday had one of those sheens over it - the i've-only-got-3-hours-of-sleep-so-i'm-hopelessly-giddy sheens. it was a fun wave to ride. i had my first class and then realized that shakespeare had been cancelled so i all of a sudden had an extra hour and half to myself.

so i decided to get drunk. on books.

i went to the library first - because i had to print out some submissions that i had to edit for my prose workshop, which was the last class of the day.
i've been thinking about and chewing on the poem i started writing last wednesday for a while - the one i'm calling 'the hospital suite'. i'm really excited about it - i'm going to try and do something i've never done before with it, which is write an extremely long (i'm talking pages) poem. i don't have any more submissions for this semester in poetry but i'd like, ideally, to submit it next year.
because it's sort of a dark poem, i thought i'd completely saturate myself in anne sexton.
i love this woman, (i think i've mentioned that before)...but to be honest, i haven't read as much of her as i'd've liked to. i've been dying to meet her for a while, but...life can just get insanely busy.
so, now, in my front hallway, all under the guise of 'doing work/research' (hee!) are 5 sexton books:
  • the awful rowing towards god
  • to bedlam and partway back
  • love poems
  • the death notebooks
  • words for dr. y

all waiting, pretty much, for me to get naked and roll around in them in gratitude. oh, and CONSUME them.

then i went walking. i sat outside and edited the submissions for prose. (it was only slightly spitty, in terms of rain, and i thought to myself - if you want to sit outside, and you actually can, without freezing your tits off, you should. it's november. there aren't too many days left where this will be possible.) i walked to a book store on ste. catherine and i bought basically what i think i am going to call soul cocaine.

i first heard about this book probably a few months ago, through somebody in the blogging community. more and more people read it - and were commenting about it - and i got more than mildly intrigued. but i'm in the creative writing at school - a program just like english, except you have to open your veins up consistently in front of other people - meaning there's a lot of reading. like, a lot. and it's getting to the end of the semester which means there's a lot of reading to the nth degree - so even though the pull of that book has been getting stronger as of late, i kept saying, no, bee. you'll just shoot yourself in the foot. it can be your christmas present. wait a month. well, i couldn't. i bought it and i read it and i'm telling you, i'm only on page 100-something but it is changing. my. life.

if i could ask everyone who may read this to do just one thing for me it would be to go out and find this book and just read the first page. today. but i can't, so the least i can do is tell y'all that if you want me to, once i'm finished i will mail it out. it can be like the slowest book club in the universe. but you owe it to yourself.

"I find the endurance of the Augusteum so reassuring, that this structure has had such an erratic career, yet always adjusted to the wildness of the times. ... I look at the Augusteum, and i think that perhaps my life has not actually been so chaotic, after all. It is only this world that is chaotic, bringing changes to us all that nobody could have anticipated. The Augusteum warns me not to get attached to any obsolete ideas about who I am, what I represent, whom I belong to, or what function I may once have intended to serve. Yesterday I may have been a glorious monument to somebody, true enough - but tomorrow I could be a fireworks depository. Even in the Eternal City, says the silent Augusteum, one must always be prepared for riotous and endless waves of transformation." (page 75).

see? see???

once i bought the book, i slipped back out into the rain. which felt so wonderful on my skin. i took off my jacket - too hot - and walked around. i was thinking i might go to the museum, since all my work was done and i had an hour to myself - but i really wanted to just read the book and i didn't want to be torn between sucking up art and sucking up words. so i was considering what to do when i saw a breakfast place. and let me tell you, breakfast is one of my favourite meals any time of the day. and i just thought, do it.

so i went in, and they sat me at a booth, and i sat there grinning at all the customers and servers alike who looked at me, and i ordered an orange juice and eggs with fresh fruit and a side of sausage, and coffee. and i opened my book and started to read, and the orange juice tasted like the oranges had just been peeled, and the booth was comfortable, and i just settled:

into my body

into my breath

into the experience

and then i looked up at that moment and directly in front of me was this poster on the wall that said, taste the moment.

which is, i think, what i was doing. a more blissful bee you never would have found.

in my prose class, i got a shock and a half. my teacher, whom i love to death, and who has forgiven me for being a brat on many occasions (yesterday, we had to give 'book reports' in class. mine was on the life of pi [sorry, jessie, i didn't like it]. the deal was that it couldn't be a book that we had read before, or any book that might ever be on a course syllabus. and so, of course, yesterday i piped up,

"t! you tricked us! we actually didn't have to read anything for this, did we? because this is an ASSIGNMENT. so we shouldn't have read anything!"

and t just looked at me, his face splitting into a grin, and said, "you're calling me a paradox, aren't you."

and i said, "yes."

and he said, "deal.")

...well, he's a great teacher for a reason. he quit school in grade 10 and went up north for years to drive rigs. (and i mean, north. like north west territories north.) he's lived and published books and he is the most relaxed, affable person on the face of the planet. he's someone i think i want to be friends with for a very long time. i'd love to get drunk with him one of these days. but regardless for how i admire his artistic ethic (and no, i haven't read any of his books yet. i sort of refuse to do that with people while i'm in their class. it gives it a weird dynamic) he is a tough, fair, appraising teacher. i can implicitly trust his advice and his opinion.

yesterday we group-edited these assignments that we turn in on the first monday of every month - they're called first-pagers, and that's what they literally are: the first page of a story. we split into groups and give out 4 copies of our pages and then return next class with comments.

and he liked mine. he called it 'lovely', with a 'nice tone and pace'. i was flabbergasted. i've never got such unequivocal praise from t before, and it meant. a. lot.

my day drizzled to a close from there. i got home with mighty intentions to clean, and did manage to go and buy the cat litter i needed to, but instead - well, i felt like lying on the couch, eating m&m's and reading eat pray love. so that's exactly what i did.

it was a beautiful day. i just sort of let it happen, and that's where it took me.

where will your day lead you? will you let yourself listen to the whispers of the universe? will you share a tasty moment of yours with me? (hint: if you don't feel up to a tasty moment...it's easy to create one. treat yourself to something that you've been wanting but denying yourself. don't let yourself feel guilty for it, in the same way you wouldn't feel guilty for receiving a gift on your birthday. there are constant opportunities to be reborn. consider today your re-birthday.)

...you should also read this post, for an eloquent essay on what i think i've been meditating on a lot lately.


Blogger Sacred Suzie said...

That book "Eat, Pray, Love" came up at my grieving group last night, I don't believe in coincidences so I have ordered it through the library.

Reading about you being in the writing program really takes me back to my literary days at York U and it's so true, it is like bleeding for others!

8:16 a.m.  
Blogger Amber said...

I have this book on my wishlist, because so many people of like mind in the blog world have loved it! Now you! I must get it.


8:34 a.m.  
Blogger ruby said...

i loved eat, pray, love and actually bought a copy for my best friend to read. and we all know how i feel about anne sexton. and we all know how i feel about you. :)

9:17 a.m.  
Blogger b/sistersshoes said...

Bee ~*~ I wish I were with you onn every step. I felt I was as I read this. However, I think you are becoming your own 'best friend' and that is a very healthy & loving thing to be :)

loving you a ton,
xxxxx darlene

12:11 p.m.  
Blogger Hulles said...

Hooray! What a wonderful post. I even learned something -- what women freeze off since they don't have balls.

And as you are writing your long poem, take a tip from Coleridge and don't answer the door. It could be a man from Porlock. I suppose these days the man from Porlock could call you on your cell phone, so don't answer that either while you're writing. XO.

12:33 p.m.  
Blogger Spiky Zora Jones said...

Hey Bee, that is cool so cool. Will you be posting your extened expression of thought? I wiggle with anticipation, bee. It sounds so delicious. What a fab thing to do. baby doll, please share.

2:44 p.m.  
Blogger la vie en rose said...

i loved eat,pray,love! it took me awhile to get through it because it really hit on some of my emotional soft spots. i heard they're making it into a movie staring julia roberts...not sure how i feel about that... i just don't know how they will convey the dept of liz's experiences through a movie...

2:55 p.m.  
Blogger melba said...

Reading your blog makes me smile. You remind me so much of myself. I have no idea how old you are. I know it was just your birthday and that you at in school, but you work too so maybe school is taking longer to finish (I never did). My guess would be 25? Tell me if I am close.

3:50 p.m.  
Anonymous ceanandjen said...

What an overwhelmingly wonderful day you had! There are so many bits and pieces to embrace here; however, the over all picture is a grand one indeed. If I have not said it once, I have said it a million times, and that is that "everything happens for a reason." This was a stream of goodness and insites far beyond the norm. I am so happy for you sweet Bee!


8:05 p.m.  
Blogger kerry said...

bee, i'm so glad you found yourself in a blissful moment. you described your day in such a sensory, detailed way. it made me feel like i could be right there too. i love your pictures in this post, they make it so fun!

8:05 p.m.  
Blogger Deb R said...

Naturally I come home and read this post just after having been to two book stores earlier today. Oh well...another day.

The phrase "soul cocaine" made me smile.

10:59 p.m.  

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