down came the rain
Altogether, it’s been a strange time to be alive. The storms of the last few years have sent each of us in new directions. No – chaos is not new – but we have a redoubled respect for it, I think. It’s not a universe that cried wolf, it’s a universe that became one. I think about Ethan’s reason for loving New York a lot: the city is a common foe, we’re all in it together. I don’t know if suffering actually unifies. I think compassion does. And ironically the wolf, most vilified in children’s books, belongs with every hair of its animal body to a pack.
Mid-2020 at the height of strangeness, we belonged to each other. We clapped and banged drums for our essential workers, we shared resources, we left care packages on each other’s doorsteps, we muted ourselves on Zoom, we walked a lot, took up hobbies, wrote novels, planted seed, made bread. Sure, folks hoarded toilet paper but people do sad and crazy things out of fear (like elect sex predators to high office).
Have we danced on the edge of a precipice forever? It’s hard to say. Since Leon, my life has simplified and compounded. The rich banality of caring for an infant has both settled and intensified me. Motherhood contains countless opposing truths. I think that’s why mothers are so honest and alive. You’re enrolled full time in trust school; teacher, student, chalkboard, paper airplane, backpack and snack all in one. I feel deluged by what I don’t know and lifted by what I understand - without knowing.
The itsy bitsy spider – now that’s a character I relate to.
the itsy bitsy spider went up the water spout
down came the rain and washed the spider out
out came the sun and dried up all the rain
and the itsy bitsy spider went up the spout again
Though I sing it to Leon 7,000 times a day, I only recently realized the bio-fiction; getting Leon here through the pandemic took some wash-outs, rebirths, a final, glittering climb to the son. I’ve been hiking as often as I can to soak up the saturated green in Los Angeles. It doesn’t last long; the sun will bleach the tender hues before long. But for right now, the wildflowers are out, spinning their dresses. It looks like a giant stammered through– hunks of collapsed foot path – in the park. A common foe or a friend? Or just all of us still here, walking and wondering how to move forward.
Leon’s reminded me, the game is knocking the blocks down. You build something so you can knock it down. That’s the fun – the uh oh. The power to affect change, to try again. I am weary of the hard. I really am. If you want to feel defeated try having an acting career or looking for a two bedroom apartment on the east side of Los Angeles. I don’t recommend it. But damned if all the climbing – the hiking – doesn’t make you feel your life. And the exquisite lives of others and compassion for how we affect, fail, abandon, love and heal each other. For a leonine heart and a virgo rising sign, my whole person throbs to magnetize, to hope, to learn and try harder, to exact. My biggest fantasy being that one sweet day I’ll – somehow – get it all together.
I want so much to be what Leon hoped for – I want for him what I want for myself what I want for everyone – love, acceptance. He doesn’t need me to have it all together, he needs to learn about the world – as it is. And I’m his classroom. Chaos, belonging, wildflowers, giants, capitalism, courage, oppression, art, grief, expression, the tiny tenacious spider – the altogether, the all. That we fall and fall and fall and fall and climb up the spout again.