Wednesday, September 3, 2003

wake up, honey

So it's been a long day, ever since I woke up at quarter to and had to lift my body (all the parts grinching together like they do when I don't treat it well) from the mattress on the floor. It was cold in the house, the fall is advancing, and we're not lighting the stove for fear of chimney fires. It's a valid fear given there was one before Robin moved out. I threw back a banana with peanut butter and zoomed down the hill, my knuckles freezing after five minutes.

Work went well, I made lots of pots and was giddy on thoughts of friends and times and memories, that's the way it is at the end of the summer. I got sculpture clay all over me; it left its telltale gritty white slashes on my shoulders, cheeks. My pots on the wheel are now coming out even-rimmed and solid and pretty, and my hand-built pots are coming along, though its hard to compare a coil pot to a wheel-thrown without thinking 'sloppy', but each method has its merits. It's hard to explain how lucky I feel every second at work, even when I'm tired, even when I'm being lazy. I can swear, sing and talk about anything with my boss, I can watch clouds go by on my break, I can make myself a mug out of clay and I can describe raku to you.

How easy we get tied up in trips. Isn't it? How easy it is to let yourself get down because of one thing, one moment. This is what I say other people do wrong, that they don't look enough to the past and to the future, and I yet I do it myself. (Remember from Sarah Cashman, "the time to make up your mind about people is never", and the old maxim, "people in glass houses...", yet still I judge people. I'm only human.)

Anyway. I'm not going to run through the usual list of reasons I'm lucky. (Robin White: "I live in North America and I'm white, I figure I've already won the lottery." And he meant it in the best way.) Instead I will say that I'm lucky because I know I'm lucky.

A while ago I took a Greyhound from San Francisco to Vancouver, experiencing first hand the buzzing feeling of bus stations at one in the morning when they're making you get off the bus and men with three teeth are offering to tickle your feet. And when you get back on and wake up the next morning, you lean your head against the back of the seat you think of all the single mothers and minorities and poor old people who have taken this bus before you, and you think of all the tiny, invisible things in the air that everyone's breathing, and you look out the window at the pesticide-laden fields that feed America. You get off in Vancouver with the clear Canadian sun seeping in through your eyelashes and you get on the bus to Whistler and the first thing you notice is how clean it is. Everyone's young, wearing nice clothes, eating from chip bags and laughing. You cross the Lion's Gate and you think, "My god we're lucky, but what do you do with lucky?"

The other day when it rained and we all had the day off I took a walk. I walked down a dirt road on Cape Breton Island, letting my hair get misty and frizzy, unable to see anything other than trees, mist, road. I thought, "What you do with lucky is appreciate it."

So what I'm saying is. There is poetry everywhere and you aren't as bad off as you think. Same goes to me.

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