(photo by Lisa Schaffer of an installation done my Angela Miles)
The temperature last night dropped 25 degrees since the afternoon. The whir of multiple window fans shifted as I turned them off into a muted hissing of locusts. Bob Dylan has a great song about locusts in which he’s talking about escaping some stifling scene to head out into the Dakota hills with a lover and the chorus reaches an exalted crescendo and he wails, in a rich nasally voice, “And the loooooooocusts saaaaaang, and they were siiiiiiingin’ for meeeeeee!”
It really feels lately like the locusts are singing for me. Maybe I’m just regaining energy that’s been zapped for quite awhile, but the blurry almost full moon and me tonight, well, we’re rendezvousing in high-style.
Yesterday I sold sundries and sundresses at a “Punk Rock Flea Market” at a table with a friend. We were charging way on the cheap so we could just get rid of it all; we were delighting in the idea of it leaving us. The beauty of this is that there were plenty of takers. Just as I am moving into a different time others are hitting their prime in the era of flea market gluttony. Young girls in their teens and twenties held small bills in their sweaty palms looking for flashy feathers to strut their stuff. I too was once this way. Decorum is truly part of being young. Not that decorum disappears as you get older but it’s less pinned on your lapel and more running in your blood and your blood usually knows what works by a certain point and rejects things that don’t fit as it does with the wrong blood type. We no longer are looking for a purse in the shape of a goldfish to wear to a party so we can talk about the goldfish purse.
I think this process is all natural though, the goldfish and the lack of goldfish. And I know that after this flea market today all I feel like doing is getting rid of more of this stuff. I don’t even have that much stuff, but I’ve always dreamed of having a single dress in my closet, a pair of pants, my guitar, my voice, and my stories. Oh yeah, and a record player. Maybe some band-aids for paper cuts. Oh, the list gets longer. I am definitely amazed though by how much so many hold on to, or work for, or feel they need. I think I had to figure it out fast that so much could be eliminated to allow for me to have a lifestyle where I could center it around something so lucid and quixotic as songs. And now the treasures I find and do want to keep are much more backed with a story like money used to be backed by gold.
I figured out the exact temperature drop while riding on the back of a scooter last night with my friend when we passed a digital bank clock. Being on a moped has the effect of making old things new. Restless in this newfound climate we left our respective houses to moped down to South Philly for a gin drink I had had at this bar once with muddled honeydew and candied thyme sprigs. We nightdreamed of being city planners and turning everything into park respites and turning abandoned old gas station garages into patio perfect Italian coffee klatches.
A renaissance of personal proportions is happening and I’m sending out wishes that others are feeling the same. I also think that realizing this renaissance existing in each other is crucial. Spend some time sitting with someone and listening, be his or her balm but also stoke that matchstick. If you need to, list the times in your life that you felt the most at peace on paper and by god reinvite some form of that back on in to your heart. I’m saying all this just as much for you as I am for me. I know that everything will go better if I can make peace with seasons and know that it will drop 25 degrees in a quick sashay of a breeze. Or it won’t. I should know that I may find that lost CD in another case at some point. Or I may not. I know that a cared for notion is a seed for devotion.
I finished out this day two of the renaissance sidewalk chalkin’ with my nephews. We drew arrows to their shrubs on the stairs with the word “Bush” and then arrows into the house with the word “Busches”, group therapy I suppose for all the confusion we’ve faced. My one nephew drew a double-necked guitar not realizing that they existed beyond his imagination. “Oh they’re real” I said and debated whether to back it up with Google image fact or let him continue to draw his mythical beasts. Regardless, the renaissance definitely will involve double-neck guitars.