Thursday, April 2, 2009
An easy way to create new messes
[Three Cloves, by Billy Solitario, who can paint huge, breathtaking cloudscapes equally well]
My newest attempt to trick myself into order, thus serenity, is to spend just fifteen minutes a day after breakfast with what I call, for want of a better term, “my inbox.” To give you an idea of the dimensions of this problem, the box is an H&S Citrus box with a drawing of grapefruit on it - in other words, the box once held a whole bunch of grapefruit. (I marvel at how recently I went to a certain church parking lot to pick up boxes of oranges and grapefruit off the back of a truck, sometimes waiting in the rain with the Japanese housewives.) Said box was full of papers. This morning, for instance, I found —
- a newpaper clipping with a picture of a spinnaker in full sail; I thought I’d like to paint it.
- a speech by Sherlock to The Kittens on when it is appropriate to sit in a high place.
- a small post-it note reminding me to write the “cortisone letter” to the transplant unit. In this letter I was planning to detail my horrific experiences with even small doses of steroids, and ask them to develop a non-steroidal protocol for me in case people get tired of giving their kidneys to Natalie Cole, and I happened to get one. But recently I learned that the transplant unit has changed to a non-steroidal protocol for all of us, proving once again that if you put something off long enough, it will not have to be done at all. At the very least, you will die first.
All this about my inbox is perhaps not inspiring, unless it makes you feel better to think that someone who dares to call herself The Dalai Grandma has the same tendency toward entropy that you do. But writing about it represents a sort of breakthrough for me.
I haven't felt I had much to write about since February 9 (date of menacing kidney labs), nothing very optimistic, anyway. But last night my neighbor Cindy told me she had been enjoyed my writing about Art. Wow, yes, there are people who enjoy Art like I do. This means there may also be people who are eternally trying to get organized, and enjoy reading about someone else's fruitless struggles.
I've been ticked off at Buddhism lately, as if it told me I should be contented with a life of pain, fatigue, and serious handicap while awaiting the bollixed-up shipment of my EPO, and the results of my next kidney labs, and the appointment with the vascular surgeon. I think that really isn't what Buddhism says, but it's my default interpretation, and don't you have to be mad at something?
So even if I blame Buddhism, because I’m suffering despite a meditation practice, there are still things to write about. The fun of Art, which has not diminished for me, but grown stronger. (Doesn't the photo make you want to draw garlic? Or cook with it?) The amazing fact that, unable to have a life, I am actually working my inbox, even if all it seems to be accomplishing right now is to create new piles. But hey, that's how you know you're alive. You keep making messes.
Coming up: Can a Poet go paperless?