Friday, April 21, 2006

big ideas

There was an elderly African American woman in tribal dress, shawl, spiral cane, and rainbow clown wig.

This was not even in the city. This was on the farm where I work, where, on the way to work, cutting through my shortcut of mossy lattice trees (a perfect spot to be kissed, I always think when I wander through it; an avenue for kissing) I now have to dodge caterpillars strung on invisible threads, wiggling earrings hell-bent on my face.

It is cloudy again, and I am having big ideas.

I am having big ideas about my poetry book. I am having them about my novel thanks to Allison, Maria, Rita Mae, Suzanne, and Lu. They are raising hard questions, hard questions like: when is she telling this story? Why is she telling it? To whom? I need to know. It's my job. I am sitting here in the Lane room, a beautiful high-ceiling library room with books and blonde tables and lamps and sleepy kids annoyed at my typing. Here I am. I am here all afternoon.

Next to the windows, there's a sign that says: You are welcome to open and close the windows.

I have two big projects now. I feel naked with one. With the other, I feel surrounded, enveloped like a sweater.

There's a lot to do, but for once, I think I know what it is. It's an odd feeling. It's like writing a paper, something I haven't done for years. I procrastinated. I complained. I whined. But nothing beat coming up with the idea, and going after it, digging in. I would stay up all night. I would write and write and write.

I don't want to be a student again. Except maybe of library science. Except maybe of circus arts. But I want to dig. I want to dig, dig, dig, until my arms are sore with thinking, until I tunnel out the other end.

Did I mention the avenue for kissing?