Tuesday, June 26, 2007

a looping spiral with photographic tangents

This post is for Katya. Because I hung up on her. Well, I was on the phone with her when I got another call and I abruptly ended our conversation with the assurance I'd call back. Which I never did. And this just after she complimented my blog.

I dropped my conversation with Katya because my sister Heidi called, and Heidi never calls me. OK, not never--she probably called once or twice in the 1990s. And my sister called because my brother didn't answer his phone, which is something he's been into lately, i.e. not answering. (I'm trying to be supportive of this new rarely-answer policy, but I admit it's disconcerting.) Apparently it's disconcerting for my sister as well, leaving her no option but to call the last person on her list of immediate relatives: me. She needed to vent about Mum, who's getting married next month (need I say more...). So, now I'm sitting here enjoying this fact, not that my mother is getting married, but that my sister's annoyance about Mum getting married prompted her to call me. Oh me oh my oh, it made my day, my week, maybe my month.

I hung up on Katya to talk to Heidi, who called me because my brother is taken with not answering, and because my Mum is creating a ruckus. The last of all these being the only rather hum-drum, what-else-is-new affair. (This is my own little version of the I Know an Old Woman Who Swallowed a Fly song.)

But, as I said, this post is for Katya, because before I hung up on her she said that a new post on my blog is sometimes the most exciting thing to happen in her day. And Katya didn't say this because my blog is riveting, but because living on the high prairie--miles from anything but two empty, onion-domed orthodox churches and an accompanying cemetery--doesn't always make for loads of external excitement. (Dear Katya, forgive me for mentioning this comment here, it was such a nice thing of you to say.) Katya's husband is the priest at the church, she has two young sons and a large house with expansive views of sky and sloping cattle pasture. She is, as those of you who know her can testify, anything but uninteresting. A cultured city girl living bravely in the midst of bleak beauty, she wears elegant clothes, cooks Parisian meals, and writes novels, poetry and short stories that far outstrip the banal reflections of my blog.

And now this unriveting blog post will continue along its rambling trajectory. (Written mostly on the backside of the TicketWeb printout for the Golem show, composed half on a bench in Union Square Park and half on the Metro North train to Crestwood, it carries a haphazard quality that I'm not editing away. I'm posting it for Katya as is.)

So, yes, my life has been beautiful lately. I didn't mention this before, but that's the main point. Things have been really good, in that deep-down way that's impossible to deny. It's not so much that things are changing externally, it's more like my roots found bottom at the same time I realized I've grown six or seven feet taller, well, that is, if I were a tree. You get the picture. And of course, waking up to this reality only shows me how much further I've yet to go. But I'm not worried. Meantime, life is not exactly pleasant. For one, Andy died last Thursday. Andy's the husband of a friend, and he died unexpectedly, much too young, without warning. His funeral was yesterday. And secondly, Rachel is leaving NY this weekend. It seems she showed up in Crestwood just long enough ensure I got a good sense of direction, and her work being done now, off she goes back to the Midwest.

But somehow it's all OK. Heidi called me. Katya likes my blog even though I rarely post. I am blessed with many good friends. I'm growing up. I can weather my brother's new phone reluctance. And Rachel is going with me to my Mum's wedding. So she'll meet not just my sister, but my Dad, Mum, and high school boyfriend. Not to mention the Oregon Coast and the Columbia Gorge. It'll all work out in a graceful parabola, or a rambling trajectory, or a looping spiral with photographic tangents. It's all good, deep down.

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