Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Linnet's Wings

My favorite online magazine (I'm the poetry editor) is live with its spring issue. We are going to have it available in print as well, and details about that are posted in the zine. This issue has a story I wrote about my Juilliard days. We haven't used our editors' work since the early issues of The Linnet's Wings, but this spring we decided, "what the hey?" I hope some of you read it. No, I hope all of you read it. 8-}

I listened to an NPR broadcast earlier this afternoon. Tiffany Christianson discussed her book, "Sick Girl Speaks," and I found her to be inspiring, indeed. She has lived with cystic fibrosis since she was a baby, and she has worked hard at living life with a disease. She said that she is not her disease, and discussed how she has learned to separate her symptoms from her spirit.

I want to read her book-because I don't do this. When I have angina, and I do, often, I succumb in spirit to the way I feel. It's as if I'm under the influence of something shameful. The constriction of my arteries becomes a constriction of my spirit and depresses me, but this woman who has had two lung transplants and lives with a daunting list of things that have gone wrong, recognizes them as problems with her body, only.

This is good stuff for anyone with chronic physical dysfunction. We may be people who allow our diseases to diminish us deeply, in our souls, if you will. Why do I, and some of you, do this? My coronary arteries are damaged; my "heart" need not be. Worth thinking about, eh?

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

My best day at Ramsey High School

It was April of my senior year, second period, French IV. The intercom interrupted Mrs. Plevin reading Moliere. There was nothing unusual about the annoying blare from the Principal's office, but they called my name, which had never happened before. I was told to call home immediately. I got my pass and raced down to the phone booth on the ground floor. By the time Mom answered my call, I had scared myself silly, but she said right away that she had good news and couldn't wait until I got home to tell me. I'd gotten my acceptance letter from the dance department at Juilliard! I was going to New York City! Oh,God, New Jersey,good-by! Finally!!!

Ahem...sorry for all the exclamation points. Later, after I got suburbia out of my system, and could think rationally about my high school years, I realized they could have been a lot worse. I just needed to get some perspective, you know?

From a Zoetrope discussion about probable scientific revelations regarding soul, spirit, God

Yes, well.

The explanation might be forthcoming, and when the people who are investigating explain these things (soul, spirit, God) to me, I'll listen, and I might even understand. Until then I'm happy enough referring to my mystery as my soul.

After the cop and I walked into my brother's trailer, (caravan in the UK?) and found Ric a day dead, my soul sickened, and it hasn't fully recovered.

I know when I danced on stage or alone in the studio, or when the answer to a choreographic phrase "came" to me, (sometimes it seemed directly from the music) my soul felt good, and somehow, big.

All my life there have been moments when my spirit has been shaken by the creativity of others, thank God.

Most of the time I go on with living without feeling moved much at all. But when something does touch me, it's my soul that's stirred. Science may well explain this someday.

When that happens, I might refer to my soul by it's new name, but I imagine I'll be old by then and I'll do what my 88 year-old father does. When there's a bit of new brilliance, he smiles, his eyebrows lift, he gives it a passing nod, and he lets it slide on by.

Akshually I'm glad this came up, and I'm gladder that I thought about it. I've been bored by my own brain lately. xxoononnie