Blue Moons & Butterflies
December 17, 2022
Honestly, I've given up searching for answers. OK, maybe not, but that's a goal, not a guideline. The answer, inevitably, is, 'because, reasons'. So many reasons. For the most part, I've temporarily nailed the door shut on the past while I focus on a maybe sorta blank slate.
A blank canvas and 128 colors, an empty page and a pen, a 3-pack of 36 unexposed exposures and my mother's Cannon AE-1, six miles of meadow and a pony with a rocking horse canter. Unclimbed trees, an unexplored marsh, cresting the dune line, full moons and fireflies, day old chicks, new fencing, fresh paint, the smell of gasoline, double-dug soil, ozone on concrete, crabgrass in August, canvas packing mats, the inside of a Cessna 182 and the unexpected stillness of terminal velocity. A spin on a red brick floor...
It's hard to write these days. Too many ghosts, so I sent the ghosts away. Now there is just silence. Silence in a vacuum and not much grows in the dark and that canvas stays blank and the page unanswered while I hold the door shut with my back. It's not working. Something's not right. Something could be different.
Light gets in through the cracks (thank you, Mr. Cohen).
My brother tells me a story about a woman we both know, me only a little from way back. He says she's sitting in the desert wrapped tight in her grief but she's decided to cast off the past and reinvent herself. She's going to be a butterfly, he says. She's going to be whatever she decides she wants to be, the past be damned and all that.
A good idea, in theory.
But the question of the canvas remains unanswered, and the page is blank, and I haven't seen a dance floor since 2017, and past be damned, it's near impossible to be inspired in a dark room.
I heard a song this morning, posted by my kid from a bar where he's working sound and there's a woman covering some Nancy Griffith and I don't understand until I do.
He remembers too.
It's probably about the picking and choosing, this reinvention busines.
Well, I choose that bit. I choose a 16x11 foot living room in a stone cottage in 1995 before I left for good. It's dawn, or maybe before, and I'm getting grounded for the day and Nanci's the soundtrack of the moment and my children hear this in their early morning dreams and after I'm gone their father plays the CD into the ground and he remembers which suggests...