Sunday, May 24, 2009

aîe aîe aîe

It’s all so delicate, this little balancing act we are all carrying out. There is always another decision to be made, every moment of the day. This or that. When I am cutting back the vigne it’s the sarments, either this shoot or that one, it’s a complex decision but one with finite choices. Outside the vigne, it’s a different, less circumscribed set of options that I am constantly presented with. This outside world demands a more dynamic sensibility. It’s a sensibility which I find not always at the ready. In fact it’s the first question that is constantly confronting me. Can I muster up a sensibility dynamic enough to partake of the day, or will the day just happen. To do it or not to do it, that is the question.

Nike proffered their answer with the ‘Just do it’ campaign which swept across the globe like a totalitarian dream. It erased all questioning, but always left me wondering. They made it seem like not doing it was somehow effaced from possibility. I guess sometimes it is, but sometimes not. Like the Slow Family folk in Texas say, sometimes we’re better off not doing it.

Which might bring to mind ‘Just say No’. That was another force fed question stopping ad campaign that ran simultaneously with the ‘Just do it’ bombardment. The problem is both appeared as complete truths. Neither made any acknowledgment of the need for a dynamic balance of opposites. That’s the delicate question. It evidently isn’t anything new. Perhaps my problem is that I am just a product of my generations mass marketed catch phrases. It’s just that I can’t figure out which one fits where.

It’s all so banal, but I continue non the less. You see we are talking about ‘I’ right now, and we both know there is nothing of greater concern than that. It’s what’s forcing me to go on. I need it’s push on a constant basis. At times I am stunned by a sensibility that could best be described as lackadaisical. I feel like a flàneur who is too tired to walk, there is something about it that just doesn’t sit right.

What will set it straight, show the way? How to make order from the days random events. Maybe the I-ching, prayers, the tarot, meditation. Perhaps just waiting until something happens. On verra, but in the meantime I think I’ll simply follow the advice of the bored cop in front of the crime scene and 'just keep it moving'.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Return, again

Now I am back on the place du marché. Poufff. The disappearing night is always a bit more fatiguing than the thirty hour day but I arrived in good spirits.It’s hard not to when the first thing that greets you is the soft blue Mediterranean glistening in the sun. We swung way out over the sea and came into the little airport from that direction. The landing strip runs right to the shore of the water. There is a moment just before touchdown when we get so low it’s as though we are in a boat. Then a jolt and I am back.

Terra-firma. At least that’s what they say. For me it often feels less stable than that. In any case it is dry land, and I step out onto it. Oh le soleil. Mmm ma chére. Yes back home, almost. When I do get there.everyone asks me what I did. My first response is ‘nothing’. But on reflection we are always doing something. What did I do?

I saw a cardinal build it’s nest, and drop one, two, three eggs into it. I trimmed trees, and made fires. I sat in summer weather looking out at winter foliage. I painted ceilings and paddled canoes. I saw fresh babies and great grandmothers. Uncles and sisters and brothers and cousins, aunts and nephews, nieces and others. My mother, some friends, romans and countrymen.

I flew to Chicago. It’s almost home there too. Actors, artists, working class bores, watch the closing doors. Shiny town. Sunny days and late nights, big buildings and a great lake that seemed to go on without end, just like the feelings it engendered. Mmm ma chére etait la aussi. We ate, drank and made merry. Then did it again. Five sweet days. It’s all just so much luck.

It’s a shower of good fortune that has turned into a downpour and I am soaking wet. Everywhere I am feels like home, it’s just that the people keep changing. It makes for complex feelings, this insisting impermanence that confronts me at every turn. When recognized, and acknowledged, it gives a rich flavor to each moment. But sometimes I forget, and become attached to particular moments, and then the change leaves a lingering sadness. Nothing stays the same, but that’s hard to remember.

So now I have to switch gears again, up or down I really can’t say. Little town France is a long way from big city USA. After a quick weekend with the kids, I wake to find myself alone. I need to make rendezvous of all sorts, lawyers and doctors, social workers and driving instructors, farmers and friends. Even a lucky life has it’s dark moments. I just have to keep believing it will all get sorted out, and that the fortune will continue to fall beneficially.