Adventures in Livingness
A sunrise of prosperity and a sunset on hardship.
In my home there is one large staircase window that faces east. Each morning before I descend the stairs I stop at the landing, to watch the day begin. The sun must rise past an assortment of tree limbs and trunks, and up over the hillside of the mountains. By the time I’ve had my coffee, the sun has risen above the obstructions. I am now jerked awake, like a slight nudge a parent might give you, ‘Come on–wake up! You have school.” The sunlight guides me through the morning, and argues with my disagreement of the days activity.
The moment the café took effect, I want to begin writing, but shameless sunlight in my eyes and the dance of the birds are tempting me to step outdoors. When you live in seasonal climate, days and nights lure you outside, like old lovers that you must see again. The gradual awakening unfolds layers of thoughts, beginning with the anxiety of the times. The impending hardship oozes out like a bad smell. Some mornings I cannot look at the newspaper, the headlines read like promotional movie advertisements, banks bankrupt, homes foreclosing, woman commits suicide, the shocking prick of national disasters is a surgical awakening.
There is no time to waste, no money to squander, it is a time of reduction and refusal. How can I not spend money today.
This is what brings me to the sunrise of prosperity, I have to keep studying the illumination of light, and I’ll move forward, and diffuse the chaos.
As the interruption of minor mishaps knock on my door, my head turns away from it. I’ve learned to erase the panic, and do what I have to do, and that is write.
Last week, while I was upstairs, prone on the sofa, figuring out a transition between two men, whom I love, someone came to the door, knocking, ringing the bell fiercely, oh what is that. I open the door,
“ Are you all right? I’m from the security company, your alarm isn’t connected. We came to check on you.”
I stood there with a dumber than dumb expression, and assured him I wasn’t held captive or about to throw myself out the window. When I returned to the desk, I kept seeing his expression, he really didn’t believe me. I turned the alarm off when Rudy left for San Diego. Real estate agents our showing our house because it’s up for lease. My mind is a closet of mafia memoir notes, and I can’t remember to close the refrigerator door.
Later in the day, if I haven’t ventured outdoors, I take a walk around the plaza, and muse over the herds of tourists, and search their expressions for interior moods. I don’t see panic and anxiety, I see relief; couples are rigid from ice and chill, and they shuffle in boots, directionless, gaping at the churches and adobe arches, they shoot photographs, standing in the middle of the street. Vacation is bliss in the middle of discontent.
When I return to my desk, it is time to print the days work. This is always a ritual of great expectation, filled with disappointments, surprise, and sometimes a whiff of elation. The sun has made it’s journey to the other side of the house, the back porch is like starched light, it burns the eyes and flesh, like hardship, the immediate effect is callous. There I sit and review the pages. The transition worked; the crawl from uncertainty to confidence broke through. Now is the time to slouch in the chair, close my eyes, and rewind a few scenes back.
Hardship is like the sun, unmerciful when it is met face to face, and transforming when we are protected. That translates to less spending and more creating.
While I am lounging in this beautifully historic old home, one track of time keeps appearing in my images. It is a time when space was limited, finances on a string as long as my finger, and uncertainty a nightmare that became a lullaby. It is that time again, nothing at all unfamiliar With the same resources I had then, all is well, the sunset can go down, and I can laugh because the adventure has risen above the circumstances.