My only saving grace is the curiosity with which I face life. Without it, I would have drowned in sadness, or taken myself to be mad. Curiosity allows experiences to unfold, and reflection to occur. It is prerequisite to understanding, and precursor to growth. Curiosity with no judgement leads, without fail, to wisdom.
I don’t know why life really brought me to Louisiana – I have stopped trying to engage with it on a cause and effect basis. I just know that whatever is here is welcome, so very welcome.
The whole truth is, I don’t know much at all, outside of what is taking place in every moment. I am not much interested in intellectual explanations, in any case. Right now has enough richness to last both infinity and eternity.
Yes, I don’t know 𝘢𝘣𝘰𝘶𝘵 love or lack. I don’t know where they come from or where they go. I like to imagine they hitch a ride in some brown pelican’s throat pouch, squirming the whole way as it flies east over the Atchafalaya basin toward my house.
What seems to be true is that life is hard for everyone. Everybody’s trying to figure things out, live as best they can.
What do 𝘐 want from life? What could Life want from Life? A little love, a little understanding, some food on the table, good companionship, as many belly-laughs as humanly possible. For me, Life is a fascinating spiritual journey of the most ordinary nature. It requires no great sacrifice, other than the willingness to continuously give up one’s beliefs. If you want a good life, be humble and let go. The rest is just post-script.
It all seems complicated to a complicated mind, I know. Complexity can be beautiful, but the heart is simple. As simple as a soft, warm blanket on a cold, dark night. The body is an extension of the soul, and sometimes the soul needs a nice warm cup of soup. Or gumbo.
Love is difficult to talk about, almost as difficult as talking about God; each person has their own ideas about it, and will defend them to death – theirs or someone else’s.
That’s why I prefer poetry, which says what things are by also saying that they are not what they are. To speak indirectly about important things is much more accurate, even if it’s frustrating for minds who have forgotten the language of their dreams.
You might not believe in the gods of ancient times, but they never stopped believing in you. They’ve always lived in the world vicariously through you, guiding you, misleading you, urging you toward love, jealousy, nobility or war.
I don’t know about the gods of this land. Objectively, I am a foreigner through and through – an outsider, an import. For some I might even be invasive, with my paganistic perspectives and my strange point of view.
But to myself I am Mother, Country, Religion and Home. I have never truly left my Homeland, Louisiana just happened to land in it. And so Louisiana and its people belong to me, and not me to them. Here, I am never a stranger. The bayous and the cypress trees are all included in me and everyone I meet becomes me. That’s why I care.
The air you breathe is the same air I breathe, and your children are my children. And to us all belong the rivers and the sac-au-lait, the bass and the rainbow smelt.
Don’t listen to those who lay claim to the land and exclude you, no matter who they are or how long they have lived here. When you love something you include it, and whatever you include you have a responsibility towards.
And that’s why I write. If we all have a destiny, this is mine. When others wake up in the morning to go to the office, the plant or the construction site, I wake up and reach for my notebook. I engage my curiosity, that saving grace, allow it to flower on paper, bear fruit on the computer screen. I spend my time looking, listening, wondering, asking people of human and more-than-human disposition what their experience of this world is.
And the Cypriot goddess is here too, in my dreams and my vision, alongside my mother, grandmothers and grandfathers extending their loving arms to me from another dimension, reminding me to
“Tell people. Tell them about tenderness, tell them about the wild oregano and the sweet vines of the hills. Tell them about the taste of baked stuffed zucchini blossoms, the beauty of summer’s honeysuckle-afternoons. Tell them that life’s too short for distractions, too sacred for animosities. Tell them you love them and wish them well.”
And that’s why I write. If we all have a destiny, this is mine.
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