I should have probably washed my hands before this. The dirt and paint on my hands are only partially caked dry. I am typing on the tips of my fingernails. Despite the grime, it feels dainty and polite.
Dear Friend, another list.
1. today i spent the whole day cleaning.
2. a drawer led to a closet which led to laundry, and storage, and heavy lifting, and spiders. which led to 9 p.m., where all the time went.
3. my body screams uncle. the low back especially.
4. but my heart is happy, my mind is still.
5. today i was quiet, very quiet. thinking, i was thinking.
6. what a wonderful day.
7. what a wonderful day.
8. isn’t that right, james?
(this is james, by the way. my latest painting in progress. i named him james.)
what number am i on, 9? yes. he says, yes, you’re very right.
I was getting my hair cut yesterday. I go to a Korean salon in the middle of a supermarket – my hairdresser there is magic. While waiting, I found a book on a bookshelf called, ‘The Sea.’ There were corals. Shipwrecks. Sharks. And then, pinned next to a photo of some exceptionally deep, deep sea creatures, was a quote from Herman Melville’s Moby Dick.
“Hither, and thither, on high, glided the snow-white wings of small, unspeckled birds; these were the gentle thoughts of the feminine air; but to and fro in the deeps, far down in the bottomless blue, rushed mighty leviathans, sword-fish, and sharks; and these were the strong, troubled, murderous thinking of the masculine sea.”
I’ve read this quote over and over, over the past few days. It’s so good. Whenever I read something this good, my heart pounds audibly. I start making hand gestures to myself while repeating it in my mind. But, finding this the other day uncovered other truths, overlapping, speaking all at once. First, I think it’s been a while since I’ve been this thrilled over written words. Second, I don’t know why that is. When did I stop swimming in books that slay me, that made me want to read more, and write? Maybe it’s the projects, the promises, everyone else’s favorite books. My self-imposed study. My lists. The shot. The running. But all I know is that I read this quote and distinctly said to myself, “This is me.” And I felt so wonderful, so alive.