Tuesday, May 23, 2006

new definition

I haven't written much here lately. Not for lack for thoughts. These thoughts are different. These thoughts make me want to keep a journal, the spiral-bound kind with a ripped cover and a water stain. I just learned two of my oldest friends, a canter and a junior high English teacher, still keep journals. I love to think of them pouring out in the middle of the night, in that handwriting I know well. What a lucky journal, to hear those things, to keep them safe.

My journal has always been public. If not this, then the poems. If not the poems, then my face, which gives me away.

Ali, don’t give me that face, my friend said last night across the dinner table. I didn't know which face it was. I tried to read it in her eyes. I tried to harden my features. I fell in on myself like butter. Jeff lit the menu on fire with the candle by accident.

I used to wish I were less smiley. I used to wish I couldn't be read. It’s no use. They used to line up backstage during The Christmas Carol to watch my expressions while Scrooge sang(I played the Ghost of Christmas Past).

I am learning a new definition of loving. Love isn’t wanting to hide yourself away and hide the person you love and be secret and alone and insular. Love is loving the whole world, loving one person so much, everything around you suddenly gets better, brighter, bearable, lovely. You want to share the world with them. You want to run out into it. I thought it was a parrot I saw this afternoon, flitting across the road as I drove home from the post office, one of the famous San Francisco parrots, lost perhaps, in the wrong neighborhood. Only it wasn't. It was a finch or a sparrow, a regular brown bird, small, ordinary, dirty, plain--only it carried in its beak a florescent green streamer, so long and curled and bright, it looked like a plume.

A small piece of brightness can make a finch a parrot.

I don’t know whether I am the bird, or you are the bird. Maybe we can trade off. But the world has gotten a whole lot brighter. I want to run out into it.