My Ugly

i used to identify with the glamour I can pull up out of my performance joy, as though it was the best part of me. It certainly got the most attention.


Now I think of it more like one of many essential ‘functions’.  A runner learns how to run, or a digger to dig- I’m a musician. so performance is a muscle I learned to identify and then make good use of.  I’m only now beginning to to understand that it’s not the point.


Gandalf uses glamour to great effect (greater in the books) when he absolutely needs to make certain that what he’s saying is heard and understood.  He gets bigger, more dominant, more resonant.  A performance.  But not the point.


There are deeper things in me that are far more essential, valuable, and private.  They include My Ugly which I spar with in deadly contests more often than I care to acknowledge.

I have grown a deep respect for My Ugly over the years.  She has taught me more than anyone else, and is wiser than I will ever be.


I feel like the ocean tonight.  As though the surface of me has nothing to do with who I am- it’s just a reflection of everything else.

humbled and human

I want to write.

There is much change filtering through the waters of late January, and I find myself at odds with the urge to name, record, describe.  The feeling is that if I narrow my focus I will miss something crucial on the periphery of my vision.  Because of this, my urge to articulate today feels like swimming through murky water at a vague shiny thing.

Nevertheless, I want to write.  So I’ll tell about Zoo.

fish2

For the first time ever in years of paying close attention there it was the fish who seemed to notice and respond.

air breather from the murky streams of Malaysia.  Very curious about me...
air breather native to the murky streams of Malaysia. Very curious about me…

I was conscious of the differences between us- the slow grace of his movement through water, me heavy and percussive in the greater gravity of air.  The sheer size and odd shape of him had me fascinated, which must have been mutual – he approached me the way one does a timid creature, cautiously and sideways, until we were mere inches apart.  I could have stayed there for an hour, talking.

FishBighead2

We walked the Zoo for five hours, witnessing the multi-species there, connected by the collection of themselves, busy with being where and who they are, sentient.  As we progressed I found myself meditating most on Human Nature. We are unique in this rich cultural place; we so desperately need to name, classify, study. We need to collect specimens of ‘not-us’ and display them.

Piranha

As visitors, we bang on the glass and yell our demand to be entertained if nothing moves on the other side.  How utterly embarrasing, that behavour.  Why?  Good God, why?

Before I stopped taking pictures this lady came running from far away and sat with us for a long long time.
this lady came running from far away and sat with us for a long long time.

I loved the visit – was overjoyed to play with the Canadian river otter, met eye-to eye with some primates like this baboon and a teenage gorilla that I shall never forget.

But always, at the zoo, I am conflicted by the fact-  of zoo.

Friday morning list, the third

I think the 10' transplanted oak is going to make it.

I realize these lists are a tall order, and openly admit that I’ve only been batting 80% – with the following left unattended:

5. sew something.
6. throw paint at the wall.
8. finish at least one long-awaited, loving letter and send.
9. Draw something

This is a clue that leads to this Friday’s list….

1. Identify this tree (it was supposed to be a rowan). Anybody? Help?

1. see the tree caption, above.
2. check out what I’ve not done from the last 2 lists (did this already), and make time to attend to them (will do).
3. sort out what keeps getting in the way of painting, drawing, sewing, and remove said thing.
4. move one small step closer to attaining one long-term goal.
5. photograph something that I’d not normally be inclined to examine closely.
6. walk for an hour.
7. update the detail task-list and knock off a few more items.
8. listen to one person very closely, and accept every part of their being, no matter what.
9. play cello.
10. wander.