Sunday, May 16, 2010

Perspective

New Norway, AB (during brother J's volleyball game this Sunday. Gotta love the knobbly knee look)

So I guess I lost a little of my grip on true perspective last week, and got dragged into a whirling vortex of self-pity and confusion and tears and uncertainty.
But then the sun appeared, literally.
And everything turned out alright.

With a wonderful weekend under my belt filled chock to the brim with hot days, trees in bloom, long bike rides to work, beers on the Black Dog patio, eating in biker bars in dusty small towns, I gathered ammunition and energy to face things more clearly.

There is two weeks before I leave for Athens. Tuesday June 1 I am gone. I have never seen a riot before...is it terrible that I am tempted to go and see whats up? No, I don't think so. I got a postcard from A yesterday, and she poetically listed all the highlights of her trip so far, a.k.a. the beautiful, lovely, exciting boys she had met. It was a good postcard. I got in trouble at work today for my skirt being too short. It's the same skirt I wore all last summer, and for the past week, so they must have just worked up the courage to tell me. I wasn't upset, more amused than anything.
When I can embarrass adults, make them slightly awkward, often I laugh inside. They aren't so different than me.

Two weeks... I need to pack them full of memories fit to last for the entire summer. More nights at the Black Dog, more days eating gelato at da Capo, more dates with terribly boring boys, more adventures in the river valley. Then- and only then- can I feel like I have given this city my best shot, and be prepared to move on out.

But to not look ahead, to focus on the present clear eyed and without judgement: it is that cliche fresh cut grass smell, it is the lilac bush in bloom, it is the soles of my feet black from being outside without shoes, it is my skin itching from a mosquito bite and stinging slightly from sunburnt shoulders, it is having dirty dusty windswept hair, it is hot nights that wake you up sticky with sweat.
This is it: to breathe deep lungfuls of air and feel the blood move fast, to be young and vitally alive. To be careless and thoughtful. To be full of passions and apathy. I love this. This is now.

7 comments:

  1. Nice knees.

    They say life is a lot of things. A box of chocolates. A roll of toilet paper. A journey of a thousand miles (or two-thousand, four-hundred and forty, according to the Japanese).

    I think life is like a submarine. Not one of those nuclear jobs that can stay down indefinitely, oh no. One of the old clunky diesels that stays mostly on the surface. It just chugs along, through waters that may be stormy or smooth. Sometimes it has to go down under the ocean, and gases and fumes and toxins build up to lethal levels: the "whirling vortex of self-pity and confusion and tears and uncertainty."

    But then the ballast is jettisoned. The tanks are blown. You shoot to the surface. The sun takes you full in the face, glittering through an explosion of sea-spray. The seagulls wheel and call, and the green waters lap at your hull. You take a great, whooshing breath, expelling all the bad air and sucking in a great gulp of life itself. The danger is past. The storm is over. You can be careless and thoughtful again, full of passions and apathy, just chuggin' forward again.

    Sure, you'll have to dive sometime again, and the toxins will come back, but there'll always be another surfacing, another burst from the deep.

    Sounds like you've gotten a breath of fresh air. You certainly gave me one, reading this. It was like the sound of somebody saying "ahhhhhhhh..." on every planet in the known Universe.

    And your last paragraph is the very DEFINITION of being "alive." Fundamentally, vitally so. I love it.

    The skirt story was quite humorous as well. Sure took 'em awhile to work up the guts, didn't it?

    Good to have you back, Jane.

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  2. Hello my fellow knobby kneed cousin,
    You look well :-)

    That is so funny that you got in trouble for having a skirt that was too short at work. This is the story of my life. I used to wear the same skirt to work, every day and then one day (all of a sudden) one of my managers comes up to me and says that my skirt is too short. I had been wearing the same skirt every day for months and no one had ever said anything about it. She has now made it a habit to pick on my skirt length, and i'm not amused, I'm annoyed. None of my other managers ever say anything about it, just her. Grandma says she's jealous. I think she's just insanely picky??? (the skirt is a MEASILY INCH above my knee, and dress code says max of 2 inches). ERG.

    To think of you voyaging off to Europe without me seems weird. Although it is not your first, or even second trip there, for some reason I feel like it's our thing to do. I hope you enjoy every minute of it. I wish I could get out of here for the summer. I want to go so far away, just for a while. I want freedom, and why oh why does it seem impossible to get away? In any case, I am totally living vicariously through you the entire summer.
    Also, I'm sure you heard that there is no whistler this year. I don't know how I feel. Indifferent? Sad? Accepting? Accepting, mostly, I think. So much has changed, I don't think things could ever go back to the way they were.

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  3. Hay dear blogger!
    How are you? I'm glad that I've visited this blog! She's lovely.

    Please, check mine too & maybe we can follow eachother!
    Love, Cindy.

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  4. Postman, that was perfect. That described it exactly. Like a submarine, that's what life is. You know how it is, as usual, and find the most magical way of putting it. Thanks pal. For someone who doesn't live by the ocean (I don't think??) you sure are good at describing what it feels like to be sailing, or just swimming.

    And I think my knobbly knees are nice too ;)

    Jacq: it runs on our dad's side of the family! danielle doesn't have them like we do! but honestly, i think we are too cute for our own good, and we can wear super short skirts because our imperfect knobbly knees and skinny legs add innocence instead of overt sexuality. in fact, i was arguing with some people at work because i think it's just as inappropriate (if not more so) when girls wear leggings with t-shirts to work. not tunic tops, but t-shirts. besides being an unflattering, small-town trend that is reminiscent of the worst fashion of the 80's, it seems way too casual and more bare than a short skirt. And sometimes girls wear shirts that show off waaaay too much cleavage, and i think that's worse than showing a little leg.


    ok, so maybe i wore the skirt with bare legs instead of tights, but when it's 30 degrees C outside and the cafe has NO AIR-CONDITIONING, JUST CEILING FANS, AND A HUGE KITCHEN AND BAKERY WITH OVENS GOING FULL BLAST, it was impossible not to. i stand by our right to wear short skirts whenever we want to.
    just maybe not at work anymore.
    for a couple of weeks at least.
    and yes, that manager is probably insanely jealous of you. she sounds petty and awful!

    (haha, short-hemline and knobbly-kneed sista's fo LIFE!)

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  5. Yeah, you're correct. I live in the friggin' desert. But I've been swimming (and sailing) a few times. You're a gracious and generous lady, Jane. Keep writing and we'll keep reading.

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  6. I have a philosophy about work : it is never a bad thing to confound the enemy. It keeps them off-balance and you on your toes.

    Besides, they were just probably jealous of your not-knobby knees. Roland

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  7. Hi Roland!
    I like this theory you have... it sounds like I might just have to put it into practice sometime.
    Thanks for reading :)

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