Because a life unexamined is lived without intention.
Monday, April 16, 2012
Blinds and Leaves and Curtains of the Soul
Spring has come to my yard. I crave it. The rattle of barren branches in the large trees behind us begins to soften as tender buds blur the stark lines. I mourn a little in the fall as the leaves that shroud my private world drop to expose my kitchen window to curious eyes. Daily the slow creep of green blots out more and more of the sky, hides the neighbor's fences, the red doghouse within. Thank goodness for this blessing as with the increase of temperature, so the decrease in layers of my clothing. Come the humid heat of July and in this ancient assemblage of rafters and lathe that boasts of no artificial cooling--I shall near be naked. Such is summer.
I love the windows here. Huge. They usher in the golden light of morning with arms outstretched, coax the rain-scented breeze to enter, frame the stars like brilliant works of art. Decrepit, they are. Older than my children and likely me, they haven't sealed tight in a decade and clatter a bit when the wind is particularly determined. The wavy glass would make most replace them....I rather like the muted kaleidoscope of color they contain.
I have sheers on all but the front ones. Heavy drapes seem to drag at me, I've never been able to bear them. I need the light, to see the world I'm in. I know that means that in the dark of night with illumination inside, I may be seen. Ah well, the price I pay for sunshine draped across the walls. Sometimes I drive past our old apartment, the first floor of a monumental victorian home, complete with glass sunroom (my previous studio) and eight foot tall cherry pillars that encase a fireplace I believed to only exist in magazines. The crushing thing is now, whatever current tenant abides there, they've chosen to brick in the lovely windows with blinds twisted tight, walling off sun and air. Sealing away the glory of the magnolia tree just outside the kitchen, the azaleas across the way. Every single window is like some clouded cataract of a blind eye. Staring and seeing nothing. Even the sunroom is cloaked in silent opaque panels. How do you breathe in rooms devoid of sky and earth?
The everlasting quest for privacy. Yet here you and I are, sharing deeper things than mere windows reveal.
It's funny as we track our celebrities, investigate our politicians, we've come to accept some invasions of privacy. The recent cellphone hacking has left the bitter tang of blood in our mouths; while in the same moment I cannot help amazement at the mass of tweeted daily minutia, revealing so much about private worlds. Who had lunch with who, where...and damn, I even know what salad dressing they like. We seem to publish ourselves quite boldly here in the virtual world. I wonder how much of this is true disclosure versus distraction. Or worse, delusion. As if 200 people knowing what you had for lunch means you're not about to lose your job...the house...the marriage.
I wonder if privacy helps with pain. Or compounds it. I am very reserved about discussing things that hurt me. Most of the time simply because I love the hurter. Despite all. Isn't that the case most often? The ones we love the deepest, they wield the sharpest knives. Spouses berating each other, children railing at parents, coworker rants, how do they not consider that these previously private matters in our society--privacy which allowed for healing and moving on--once made public....are like acid? They eat away at the very fabric of life, the sustaining parts. While it may feel grand to have eighty 'likes' and "attaboys"....when the storm has passed, you're still there. Your school chum three states away is just buying laundry soap and eggs and has utterly forgotten your situation.
But your partner hasn't.
And yet.....as the tears silently slip down my cheeks, the darkness the only witness...is this better? We're supposed to be wiser with age, more together. I'm not sure I believe that anymore.
Spring is here. I'm so glad the honeysuckle is stealing up the tree outside the dining room. Wrapping tendrils of ivy love about the trunk, spilling delicious blooms into the corner of my world. Soon I won't be able to see the porch next door. And they not me. If I want to sip whiskey and weep till dawn, I can.