A Random Image

I would just like to preface this by telling you all that I received very many quality bottles of wine as holiday treats. Of course I’m thankful, because if a specific cousin got me even one more gigantic tin (“The tins are so useful after the popcorn is gone, aren’t they??” is what she has always queried. My brain has –each and every time– wanted my mouth to move on impulse in these situations and grin back, “Why yes, I put them over my head and bang furiously until the spoon breaks.”) of popcorn –even the splurgey three-variety kind– I was going to behave like a big-ole-spoiled-and-lacking-in-humility-or-simple-gratitude jackass. Sure, the birds in my backyard think the week between Christmas and New Year’s is just fanfuckingtabulous because they get to feast on what is billed as gourmet popped kernels, but I’m stuck with one more thing to stuff with other things so that I can justify not discarding it altogether. HOW FAIR IS THAT?? Not to mention the fact that I’ve always held the quiet fear that the caramel bits of corn may cause some grievous illness in birds causing me one day to get a knock at the patio door. Which, of course, I’ll answer cautiously only to find a pissed-off cadre of dainty little airfowl who will challenge the notion that raising children is like being slowly pecked to death by (INSERT NAME OF CHOSEN FOWL HERE).

Have you guys ever heard that saying? It never fails to make me laugh, but somewhere on the inside I get a little uneasy because I have an extremely vivid way of thinking and then there I am envisioning that actually happening. The hearty laughter then turns to a nervous sort of titter as the big WHAT IF?? looms large in my consciousness.

You know, I’m always saying that I live by a ‘no regrets’ sort of philosophy, but lately I’ve come to know that the balancing-out of that (there is a balancing-out to every element of life that ever was and will be, how terribly cool and horribly macabre is that shiz, huh?) is a hearty sense of WHAT IF in just about every arena of my existence. Sounds pretty incongruent, yeah?

I’ve let sink the knowledge that life in general is one big point-counterpoint that we all have to weave our (largely-unequipped, lurching) ways through. Sure, I could get all maudlin about that shit, but I choose for the most part to recognize its overall magnificence.

When I was in the neighborhood of two years old, my father was getting rid of an eight-foot-tall bookcase that stood in our living room. Now children, Once Upon A Time furniture was made of solid wood (I! Know! Right?!) and this bookcase was seated squarely in that Onceupona. That thing was heavy, so my father was sawing it into pieces to more easily get it out the door on his own. For some reason, despite the demolition going on, a picture of my cousin Lonnie was seated way up yonder on it.

Lonnie was my older cousin who had, until he shipped out for Vietnam, come over three or four nights a week to read me a bedtime story. He was one of my mother and father’s very favorite nephews; Lonnie was a promising rags-to-riches success story in the making and I believe they sensed that and tried to mentor him to the best of their abilities.

After he left, I mourned greatly for him; my mother attempted to remedy this by pulling down his picture from its home on the bookcase and allowing me to kiss it, saying goodnight to Lonnie on a nightly basis.

Here now, the bookcase disposal: Mid-task, my father left the room to get a glass of tea. Thus began my longish and storied career of making impetuous and life-changing decisions: I took a mind to retrieve Lonnie’s picture myself, so as to cradle it in the bold midday. I want to say that I aimed to catalog the exact green of his eyes, stoically seated under the bill of his dress uniform’s cover. Maybe he was somewhere thinking of home and I somehow was nudged by that. Whatever the impetus, the situation started with me climbing that bookcase and ended up with a sizable chunk of it pinning me to the floor with my right leg at a grotesquely unnatural angle to the rest of me.

This resulted in a complexly-broken leg, weeks of traction, a body cast, my having to be trained to walk and use a toilet all over again. Re-learning to walk is a distinct art I’ve approached twice now in my life, sweet reader, and I’m suddenly startled that I am ferociously proud of my having done so effectively.

I have one vivid memory of that time (though there are lots of spin-off stories, to be sure…I know because my mother tells the tales grimly and delightedly in turns) which I’ll maybe share in the future, because it is so late and this is already so alphabet-heavy. I caught myself wondering earlier, though, at how that situation has maybe affected me in the long-term. How did it shape me, being two-and-a-half, splayed-legged, lower extremities being hung mid-air for weeks on end so that I would not end up dislocating a hip or unable to run and chase and jump? Am I somebody whose screaming desires to not be pinned down source from being encased in a body tomb of plaster at so formative a time in one’s growth experience? My propensity toward a towering formation of mental chutes and ladders, ideas overlapping and intertwining and jostling and never slowing the fuck down, is that a result of such stillness at what should have been such an active time in my life? How much of this, of who I am at this minute, results from what surely must have been a fearful and massively frustrated toddler?

Mother and daddy will be coming for a long visit in February. They’ve taken a notion to buy a camper and make a wicked loop around This Great Nation Of Ours, maybe even selling their house at the end of the tour and becoming nomads full-time as long as they’re able.* They will visit my older sister Laurie first, starting tomorrow. As they slowly make their way about the country, I will be the second child visited. I am glad for the length of this visit, because momma and I have this exquisite and (what I now know to be) unique relationship that many mothers and daughters just don’t share. Now, more than any other time in my life, I have some very pointed and maybe painful questions to ask her about her perspective on how I got to where I am today.

Late last week I read something so singularly gorgeous that I can’t help but quote it here. I hope its youngly wonderful author doesn’t mind:

Life, I’ve realized, is not about a series of races to the finish line of some achievement. Sooner or later you get tired of running. It’s more a kind of artwork. Like having a giant canvas and an ocean of glue. Your job is to stand there and attach pieces. The funky rock you found at the beach, your first bike, pictures of people and places you love. Up close it’s the biggest mess since the smoke cleared from the Big Bang. But stand a little farther away and it seems pretty. A beautiful swirl of colors on the wall of a pristine white gallery, with sun coming through the window at just the right angle. Done with yours for a while, you can run into the next room and see someone else’s combinations.

The thing is, you have to earn the pieces. They take work, even if that work is entirely pointless right now. Sometimes you just have to let things be. Eventually you’ll know why it was that way. And you’ll have a new piece to glue to the wall. Just keep going. All of a sudden you’ll realize how far you’ve come.

Here’s to you, oh Muffinasses, and the notion that in The Year Of Our Lord, Two-Thousand And Nine, you make a beautiful connection between your world and your precisely magical place in it. Happy New Year, and thank you for continuing to run into the next room to see how my combinations are coming along. Tenfold thanks are due to those of you that hazard to remark on the way that they seize upon your senses.

“Here’s to you and here’s to me,
The best of friends we’ll ever be.
If by chance we disagree, well then

*I heartily support this idea. Old people of America, travel until you become part of its dussssst!

9 worked it out »

  1. bhjesus 1.4.2009

    oddly enough I just thought what’s up with jsuperior and when’s the last time she posted and I’m gonna run by the blog and go bitch at her in facebook and then this was here and it leads one to theorize about the possibility that our minds aren’t in our heads but rather we’re all in one big glop of mind that has incomprehensible connections. Plus you’re a parenthetical master. How are you?

  2. Coelecanth 1.4.2009

    “Up close it’s the biggest mess since the smoke cleared from the Big Bang. But stand a little farther away and it seems pretty. ” Beautifully put, thanks for passing that on. I find that I spend all my time with my nose smashing against the canvas. Ah well, at least the blood adds some colour.

    And a big thankyouse to you as well. May our drippy comments continue to water your verbagge so that we may all feast.

    All the best of everything to you and yours.

  3. Seaweed 1.5.2009

    Oh dear. Now I have some idea how the subject of my recent photos came to be the way he is. I was wondering, because he didn’t show any signs of disease, injury, or anything else. Just dead . . .

    Anyway, a gloriously Happy New Year to You and Yours. I like 9s, so I’m optimistic.

  4. Nina 1.6.2009

    Here’s hoping.


    Go have a listen to “The Toast”. It’s one of my faves.

  5. ramble 1.7.2009

    Oh my gracious! I’ve been quoted by the great and wonderful Jett! I’m so honored. Thank you!

    Oh yes, and happy new year!

  6. that girl 1.8.2009

    Hey girl! Wouldn’t that be fun? Taking off into the sunset? I would eat that shit up w/ a spoon.

    I could soooo be a nomad.

  7. The Llama Dude 1.10.2009

    You, Jett Superior, are undoubtedly THE coolest.

  8. Furniture made out of wood… I hear you. Was moving a desk the other day. Damn near ripped apart in my hands (I’m no Schwarzenegger either) with the sheer exertion of it all.

  9. Captain Dumbass 1.17.2009

    Furniture used to be made of wood!?

    Fuckin’ Ikea.


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