I am watching the long drips fall from the eaves. I can't find the pattern, except the location of the drips doesn't vary. Heather is making her morning coffee in the kitchen. Through the frame of the window and the eave I can peek out into the world. The leaves are gone from the apple tree in our neighbor's yard, and you can see the entire structure of the half timbered tree house. It looks like a green tudor supposrted by a knobby, wooden corona. If this was a Chesterton novel, the address would be the Apple Tree on Market St. I met that neighboress yesterday for the first time. Brit was surveying her immaculate front yard. We commiserated about how plants have the audacity to grow and make messes. She confessed she was overwhelmed. I was dragging three huge branches from the Robin's Vice Berry Bush (which were covered in razor sharp thorns, as my scratched up legs can attest) to their doom in the Brazen Branciforte. I asked her about the pianist I heard practicing occasionally. She smiled,
"He is working on it," she said, "that is my husband Bruce"
It occurs to me that the occupant of the green tudor is gone. (where do children go?) I saw him once, with black clothes, a goth girlfriend and a little white beater car.
I laid in bed a long time this morning, listening to the rain fall. The unruly contents of my ever-growing closet of anxieties woke me up at the exact moment my alarm clock would have, had it been on. I think I have mostly shut the door, but I can hear them, breathing on the other side. I take roll, mostly they are promises that I am not sure I have the resources to keep (cambodia, APE, my birthday), work concerns (do the teachers know there is no art today?) scattered with a few Big Issues (the food in my belly and the gas in my car are all commodities brought to me by the exploitation of weaker people) and a gut wrenching gaggle of guilt geese. I tried to pray, and I read some Psalms. I finished the last chapter of the Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver, which just added fuel to my American Citizen Guilt. I read an article about Sumerian picture writing. I read the frist chapter of IVP's book on racial reconciliation (more, more American Citizen guilt!).
My anxieties like to burst out of the closet right before I am truly awake. They prey upon my vulnerable consciousness, all prone and formerly cozy in its bed. I even felt bad about not writing much in the blog this weekend (how solpsistic!). I cooked up a plan to write the entries out in long-hand, scan them on my non-existent scanner and post them on my non-existent website, and link it to the blog. Just so I could write (to pour, to cleanse) without having to get out of my bed, and stare at a blinking monitor.
I am struggling, but I am not exactly sure with what.
The long drops from the eaves are falling with less regularity. I never noticed the cypress before. It is very green behind Bruce and Brit's white house. Green and green and white and green and red and green. The wounds on the freshly pruned apple tree hover like angry orange circles, while the lichen adds more green to the spared apple limbs. Drops of rain glisten like jewels in the fingers of the branches.
I am not having a crisis. I think this is normal.
If I look around the monitor, I can see a citrus, heavy with yellow-orange fruit. I can see another tree, not a leaf in sight, but covered with a snowy riot of blossoms. "Winter isn't over, take your flowers back," I want to scream, "before the winds come and take them for you."
What if I had children to worry about? I'd have to add a warehouse to the Closet. I found out yesterday that my mother still asks Cara about my "drinking problem." I wish I could wave my hand and take her anxieties away.
I see a bird on the fence. She has tiny black legs and a little brown body. I can't tell the make. The Market Mockingbird is back, I heard his tell-tale car-alarm song before the sun was up this morning. The neighbors complain about him. His insolence and bravura inspire me. Four AM would be an unbearably lonely hour without his cheerful, car-thief-inspired ditty.
Its officially Monday. The Hour of Business started 45 minutes ago. I have No Excuses to continue to day dream about monsters and talking to the trees.
That was the phone. It was one of my collegues. I get to put a monster down, the one that was wondering whether or not I did the right thing in cancelling my classes because I have a meeting. The meeting is happening, at 1 PM, in the fair town of San Hoe. The day has shape, and structure now.