white picket fences

December 18, 2004

stairwell accompaniment:Guster-Goldfly (blog title inspiration CD)

We go to the Art Institute a few times a month. On cold, rainy afternoons we wander over the marble floors and under the intricate ceilings. Sometimes in silent reverence, and other times we play the name-it game and assign these well-known (some obscure) paintings titles of our own. And each time, each piece of art has a different name on my tongue- they look very different as life changes me, changes us. Often the blue is vibrant and the red is striking. And the texture speaks for itself-always.

And he hates when his shoes squeak. The rain-soaked soles on the well-polished floor. He often walks flat-footed and shoeless. Wandering through the epic art with bare feet. And I wonder if the cold, hard ground under him causes his title names to change.

It’s been a while since I’ve felt as free to be me as I am today. Unaffected by the opinion of others- living my life. (Can I say “unaffected” and admittedly feel the smile spread over my body when he greets me with a kiss on the cheek-always.) I say that I’m not worried about living alone, feeling, being alone but it’s so true that I can feel so lonely at the most unexpected times. Unexpected even to me. The older I become, the more I am concerned about how ill-equipped I am to offer myself to a relationship. (I say I am in a committed relationship with my God and I consistently turn my back-evidence enough?) A few young years ago I was convinced that I could conquer the world if I just had someone to stand beside me- maybe slightly ahead of me and holding my hand. Today I know that I am damaged, scarred, unintelligent, clumsy, quirky-that I am just me and being just me is better as long I am sure of who I am becoming (who I am becoming like). Why must I have a carefully constructed plan -blueprint- for my life to feel like I’m headed somewhere worthwhile? My plan isn’t the answer. Most of the time (I’m convinced) my plan gets in the way. Don’t seek comfort in a plan.

I think about ice skating downtown by the river and walking across the bridge to get there. I think about the way the snow flakes race toward my headlights and I feel like I’m flying. And the how I wonder what’s going on in your head when I don’t know my own. I think about graffiti and the big city- riding the underground. I think about younger years and wonder-why? And I think about belaying. I think about laying on the trampoline and looking at the stars. And long hours in the darkroom. I think about my sunroof and holding my hands up in the breeze– Look, no hands! And I think about what it takes.

So I’m on again. I wonder if I hold my breath long enough- if you’ll eventually be gone. Close my eyes tight and imagine life without you. Open them again and in the light- the bright daylight and blue sky- you’re still there.

I need a sunburn.

I need to dance in the riptide.

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