Just this once.
I am sitting on my front porch. Though it's not quite dusk, the moon is out and is half full, not half empty. Treg, my 8 year-old-neighbor just walked up to my front door to go inside and hang out with my sons. My head is thumping, not the sort of thumping that is a headache, but the sort that is feeling my loud racing drumbeat of a pulse in my body that I can only hear now that I am still and quiet. I have not been still and quiet since 5:45 this morning. And this is a Saturday - my day "off."
On Thursday Night, as I was driving to my hardest bike ride of the week, I spoke out loud:
"I will give myself some time to blog later tonite. Time to write. Time to hear what it is I have to say. I don't feel like I'm listening to me."
I was near tears as I said it, surprising myself with this emotion. I tenderly told myself other things too, like I need to get my eyes checked because I think my vision is changing, and I need to not be quite so hard on myself because I really do have a very full and lovely life just as it is.
I vaguely remember picturing myself outdoors on my front porch in the moonlight using the last few minutes of my day to listen to myself via the medium of written words.
It didn't happen Thursday night. I remember the moment I knew it wasn't going to happen, and I accepted it with a smile. I was in the kitchen after a shower, and I was in my pajamas warming up a piece of blueberry pie that I had made the night before (because oh my gawd, I couldn't get over the need to feel the dough between my fingers and taste the berry juice on my lips) and I thought, "I'm just too tired to write tonite, and that's okay too."
So now it's Saturday, and I didn't know it, but in the free moments of my weekend thus far I have been preparing the porch and its view for myself. Mowing and edging the yard. Trimming the trees. Tearing down, cleaning up and rebuilding the firepit built out of a hodge podge of stones and bricks that had been taken over by weeds. Buying a new hose that actually works. Planting fresh flowers - yellow mums and these purplish pink fiery looking plants that I saw planted outside of one of my schools and then happened to come across in the plant section while getting potting soil. "Donkey Tails," the woman who sold them to me called them. "Yes, donkey tails. I love them. These are art," I told her, and she smiled with me like that idea made her happy too.
I didn't even shower when it was all said and done this evening. I coated myself in a layer of bug spray, got a fresh jar full of ice water and set it on the little pink table I had put on the porch. I sat in the blue chair also placed on the porch earlier today, and I looked up to see my mailbox planter with the yellow mums now bursting out to greet me.
And then I nearly started crying again. The mailbox planter has been about a three month project, tag-teamed between my husband and I once I was fed up with the previous wooden barrel one that had rotted and fallen apart. I really never thought the project would be completed, which I had accepted. But then there it was, just staring at me, and so I walked inside to give him a high-five and tell him how proud I am of it...of us. We did that together. That's a really big deal.
I'm on the porch right now. Writing. Hearing myself and more importantly feeling myself open up, which has been the theme of my life really ever since I watched that Mr. Rogers Documentary. Open, open, open. Maybe this was all foreshadowed at the beginning of this year when I made my last zine about women laughing flowers. Flowers are so good at knowing how to open, open, open.
Just like me.
Open to being so spent you're nearly crying for the chance to sit and hear yourself out, so you can keep going. Open to being so tired that you'd rather sleep than hear yourself out. Open to the slow progression of a mailbox project. Open to the sweaty, dirty labor of minutes here and there (never too many, but always just enough) that make a porch sit with lovely views possible. Open to high-fives and crying and working in a bicycle store on your Saturdays even if you don't ever know the answers to the customers questions, and you only hope you're learning something while you're there that someday maybe will help a different customer. Open to feeling so damn lucky that the moon is half full and my water is cold and the bugs aren't biting me and my laptop battery hasn't died yet and that the boys inside are laughing and I can hear them through the window next to me. Open that the next week holds conversations with three beautiful women. Open to the bunny who comes to visit my front yard at dusk every single night, and how on this night it made me cry to see this bunny because a bunny is also tattooed on my left shoulder. Open to the goddess ashtray I found buried in the bottom of a dusty crate on my back porch as I was sweeping up a dust storm. Open to coughing as you blow the dust off her.
When I was thinking back on Thursday about taking a moment to write on my porch, I started to make it this big thing in my head. I'll do it every night. It'll be how I end the day. I'll have this series of posts and call them something like "From My Porch." But the idea fizzled out quickly. I'm exhausted already I thought. Maybe I'll just do it once. Wouldn't once be wonderful? A real wonder.
This too is what I am opening to. The one off's. The trying something new and not have to have it be a series of events on and on forever, but just for now. Just this once.