Friday, May 14, 2010

Sympathizing with Eliza Doolittle

This is an absorbing season, a time for soaking, not spewing. Words pour into me from journal articles, books, magazines. The letters fly off of posters in my classrooms, in the long haunted hallways, and land like freckles on my face. Gradually they accumulate. The words and letters seep into my skin and fill me up.

And words and feelings flow through me during every moment with you--some of them yours, some mine. The line that cuts between you and me is not as sharp as it was once. The edges aren't clean now, but rounded, softened. I can run my fingers along the border, and I do, because sometimes I can't see it there. I need touch to confirm the existence of that boundary. Secure in where I am, I play my fingertips along the edges. . .

I am filling up with ideas and thoughts, sentences, phrases, strings of words, graphs and charts and diagrams, songs, conversations. They stack up, every-which-way. As the piles get higher, they begin to waver. I am afraid to brush by them.

("Words, words, words, I'm so sick of words. I get words all day through, first from him, now from you," sings Eliza in my head.)

So I must sort them all out, use them up. How much will I need to write to set my life to rights? I've got to be right side up. I've got to extract individual moments and sentences, and arrange them sensibly. I need a very large table in a quiet room, without wind to ruffle everything and blow the slips of memory here and there. I need a calm expanse of time with no currents to sweep me away. I'll sit down and put everything in its place. When the pattern emerges, I'll breathe a sigh of relief, seeing the whole. Then the papers won't matter any more. I'll throw open the windows and run out the door, and let the wind carry the words away.

1 comment:

dreamindance said...

Very pretty. You might try getting soaked in the rain; it's oddly calming. It may have just been a one-off event, but the words flowed easier after I took a walk in the pouring rain.