Thursday, May 14, 2009

Emotional Highs

I was driving back from SC yesterday, listening to new music, after an emotional couple of days at work out of town. The light was low - that rare illumination immediately after a late spring sunset, when the sun is gone, but the reflection from clouds is still casting a warm glow over everything. I was overwhelmed with a feeling of time slowing, the moment suspended, as the trees and hills slowly rolled by on each side. This was one of those moments when I felt completely present, when the emotions were all aligned and the inner voices stilled. They're rare for me. I'm usually a dervish of ideas, music, images, intentions, readings of others around me, and struggles with whatever I'm currently suppressing or postponing. Time normally roars past like a storm, sandblasting memories and scouring my past so only isolated images are left.

And during that moment of stillness and wholeness I realized how hungry I am for moments like that. I was reconnected to a chain of them flowing back into my past, like the intermittent peaks of other mountains, in a long line into the distance, in the clear light above the racing storm clouds that obscure everything below. I recalled the long savoring of melancholy and artistic awe during many afternoons in college, either in the studio or in the poetry stacks. I remember afternoon breaks in the deserted cafeteria at Wachovia, looking west into the late afternoon sun from the ninth floor, writing a poetic setting of Jorinda and Joringle. I reviewed moments when I was suddenly still like a huge ear or a huge eye waiting quietly, and some event would happen and joy would spring up like a torch in my soul and set every part of me ablaze. I thought of many times lying awake holding Dearest, feeling that if I contained one more atom of joy I would explode into hot white particles of angelic song and divine laughter.

Like the highest peaks, though, we can't stay there long, and an hour further on my drive the light had changed, I was tired, and my hands ached from hours of steering and from weeks of keyboard tasks. I was content, comfortable, happy with what I have ahead of me, interested in my life and my work, pleasantly spent. Invested in the right things.

When I got home I carried my luggage into the garage, and noticed all the space. I wondered what car was missing, then froze as I realized the car was right there on the other side. Oldest had cleaned up the entire garage, and had swept. It looked terrific. It had been one of many neglected chores that weigh me down. I was grinning and grateful as I entered the house. He did it particularly for me, and I got that message.

Today while I replaced the attic fan motor, a job that has taken two weeks of gradual work and careful study to get the right parts, to loosen fasteners that stubbornly refused to turn, and considering the wiring options, Youngest took advantage of the clear garage floor to disassemble another motor, from an old electric weed trimmer. He always carefully wears eye protection for these jobs, and resorts less to the balpene than he did when he was younger. Though he's only ten, some of his tools, chosen in many cases on trips with me to home improvement stores and lumber yards, are better than mine, and he uses them with care and precision. Today we discussed the electrical field magnets, and the interesting springs he discovered in their assemblies. There is always something interesting going on in this house. In a few moments I will work with Daughter to hang venetian blinds in her windows.

The abstract at the top of this post is just play on the way to something else - I have no idea what, yet, though I think it will be human. It was fun to lose control of this piece, then regain it again... only to bury it partially under something else.

Life is very rich right now. And layered. Like baklava or lasagna.

I'm hungry - I wonder what I'm making for dinner tonight.

Blinds first...

Whirl, whirl, whirl. Wheeeeee!

8 comments:

Summer Kinard said...

I so needed to read this tonight, as I struggle to embrace more of that joy you so aptly describe as an atom away from angel song and divine laughter. I should have guessed the writing would be warming when I thought I saw laughter, dance, and someone pouring tea in the abstract. Thanks for posting!

linda said...

this is a lovely post, the imagery magical and yes, i really needed to read it...

thank you...

and that looks like a bar maid up there ... that may be MY mood...

Lisa said...

Wow! I'm so glad I read this before going to bed tonight.

I am now officially a baseball widow. This is not a bad thing because it gives me time with Garbo. Tonight she was telling me about art club and I mentioned that I'd forgotten to show her your latest works. We ended up scrolling slowly through your gallery, looking at each picture, opening many of them and talking about them.

We stayed on Glee 1 for a long time and started to make up a story to go with it.

After a while, she got fidgety on my lap and said that now she wanted to do some art. So we did. We sat out of the deck and she painted and drew and I FINALLY started sketching out some illustrations for a story I've been thinking about.

It was a wonderful evening with my baby. Thank you for inspiring us tonight.

Genie Sea said...

This post was like an exercise in meditation. I feel relaxed and rejuvenated at the same time. Your children are marvelous. But that is no surprise given who their parents are :)

Karen A said...

Yeah. You're alright.

Michelle said...

my Cd cover arrived yesterday! I love it. Thank you again Steve.

It's nice when you get a day full of good stuff isn't it :)

June Saville said...

Steve
If I could just apply a tiny sprinkle of salt, I could eat both you and your wonderful piece of writing. Not forgetting the baklava.

Dearest may have something to say about all of that however.

June in Oz

Steve Emery said...

Summer - you are welcome. I go to your blog for warmth and inspiration many evenings. And some light (into my oxen brain) about God. I pictured someone playing with a baby... might be where you picture the teapot.

Linda - You are so welcome. And a barmaid... I think your mood might be more interesting than mine this evening...

Lisa - Dearest told me about your blog post about the art evening with Garbo. What a lovely surprise. And it led to an entire post on my blog...

Genie - Thanks!!!

Karen A - Sure am. Hope you are too!

Michelle - I'm glad you got it! And yes, it is!

June in Oz - Thanks for dropping by! And thanks for the lovely words - especially coming from a professional writer.