There’s always something to outrun and there’s always something to quit and there’s always something to forget and don’t you tire of this place, this place where your brow knits and your whole face asks a question of nobody that you can particularly identify? The puzzle-look is just there waiting for the person that recognizes it to call out to you, to know it because someone else called it out to them.
My feet and brain are always moving. My heart is always waiting and I don’t remember how to exhale. Back when I used to be a scrapper the exhale came with the thud, the contact, the punch letting it all out and unleashing the glee and, hey: Look who is a functioning human being! Now that we’ve swung on one another and gotten that out of the way, we can get down to brass tacks: Do we pursue this, or do we walk away?
I’m real good at walking away, but I think even if I weren’t it would still be startling to me overall how many people are unwilling to agree to disagree and just let it alone. You get basically two choices, see? There is the whole Love You In Spite Of (with some Because Of in there for balance and also good measure) option and there is that hey we learned something here but we don’t ever have to sit down and have pie together and errbody will be just fine option.
You don’t have to like that you get basically two choices, and you can daydream all damn day long that there is a loophole fashioned all special-like for eedle ole you, but that doesn’t alter the very basic fabric of the universe wherein there is that silly fucking chaotic balance principle thingy to be accounted for. Without some negative energy and some positive energy bothering to go toe-to-toe there wouldn’t be any dang see-sawing going on, it’d just be someone constantly on their butt in the dirt or someone always dangling legs up there in the air.
Static scenery is bullshit. But so is staticky scenery. Both are an interruption in flow. “Movement is life,” one of my mentors was always saying to me, so I’m ever-mindful of my flow.
How do you define spirituality? Do you equate it with religion? Do you recognize it as the vehicle by which someone examines and attempts to better themselves? Do you view it as an excuse? A fool’s escape? A place to heap scorn and small behavior toward another human being who dares to state what they believe, no matter how calmly (notice I did not say ‘placidly’) they try to do so?
Do you expect respect for your opinions and thoughts and for those things that move your heart? Oh, and: Is the volume at which you mete it out, this respect-thing, commensurate to the meticulously-adjusted level at which your expectations for it are set? I mean, I figure you’re –at minimum– clever enough for the working-out of your own soul; it would be really fucking special if you gave me and others the same sort of credit.
A few weeks ago, I was invited to the wedding of one of my best friends. I planned to (and did!) wear an orangey-red dress and unbelievably red lipstick and smartass black pumps with corset lacing up the three inches of heel (and the other two inches behind the curve of my foot). I tell you this because such a duded-up ladysuit requires some for real savage hair. Also, it was going to be roughly hotter than four hells and I suddenly find myself with a sheet of blonde mess down my back after more than a year of no-haircut tomfoolery*. So updo, right? Nobody wants to be the sweaty bitch in the awesome red dress.
(please remind me at some point to do a post explaining how, when people who love you want to gather and celebrate –with great goodwill and furious amounts of drinking– your marital union, baking said people attired in formalwear out-of-doors is decidedly impolite. rent a fucking hall, for shitsakes. there have been three –THREE!– outdoor weddings this summer and none of them were around a swimming pool and a trash can full of hunch punch.)
So I went to see my cousin’s husband’s sister-in-law, Layla, and showed her two pictures and handed her two black flowers replete with crystally things and sproingy feathers and said, “GO NUTS AND I AM NOT EVEN KIDDING. If this hair is in any way boring you and me can’t drink beer together no more, Layla.” Layla laughs like a hyena when we spend time together and wants to keep me around, so I was confident in my threat. Never make a threat you don’t intend to follow through on, Muffinassedly Ones; that’s just stupid. Lots of that going around these days. But shallow words are another hunk of writing entirely.
Layla looked at the pictures, looked at my head, said, “Hm,” then set her mouth, shoved some bobby pins in it and laid siege upon my locks. Every now and again she’d say, “Hold this piece of hair right here, Jay-utt,” but for the most part we talked about important shit since we are near-family and all. She’s a craftsman, this Layla, and she is of the mind that showing you an unfinished work is doing you a disservice, so when she spun me around at the end for a look-see I was just completely in love with what had been done.
I paid her the fair updo fee (wince) and tipped her five bucks (no wince here, I may hate to pay but I do like to tip) and the rain started. I had no umbrella.
But this is no tragedy-story, no, because my hair held up; it held up like a boss and I drove a couple hours away and got my gussy on and had one large fine time at that party. I was so happy and buzzed when we got back to the hotel that the only things I could find it in me to remove were my fluttery fake lashes and my stellar ‘potentially-a-loose-girl, it’s-hard-to-tell’ pumps.
The next morning, my beautiful hair was still (!) beautiful. “Aces!” says I, “I’m going to get my money’s-worth out of this wedding hair. I’m not unweaving or unpinning a single thing until Monday night!”
The next day after that my beautiful hair still appeared beautiful, but it was beginning to look a little fuzzy around the edges. This got me to thinking about it, this hair. I thought about how it might look serviceable on first inspection, but there were little aggravating curls that had sprung to life, and I was sure that there was a layer of guck beginning to form on my scalp. I thought and thought and thought some more about that hair, and finally I just took it on down and washed it that evening because this hair obviously would not be low-maintenance if it caused me to excessively regard the condition of the terrain underneath it.
And this brings me back to spirituality and the reckoning of our own souls: It’s not enough to just rest in something beautiful. If the substance of the thing is questionable, it will eventually begin to disturb us. We will stir uncomfortably, not able to sit with ourselves and our outdated truths. I don’t know why that can’t be enough; why we can’t let our actions say everything that needs to be known about our hearts. I don’t know why we have to be at odds with disparate beliefs, why we can’t just slap five and sing soul and smile and give the other guy the same room to be.
We’re just so wasteful with one another, and it really fucks me up when I think about it for too long.
*though not on purpose. fifteen months sans haircut. fifteen! months! this shit is killing me.