Saturday, December 20, 2008

still, still, still

This morning I had breakfast at Scarlett's new house. She has taken to calling me up and inviting me over in the mornings. She knows I won't eat breakfast unless someone reminds me, and she knows that breakfast is one of the things that anchors me to the earth at times when I would like to float away.

I have not been writing much lately, but it's not because nothing is happening. On the contrary, lots of things are happening, good and bad. I'm just not writing about them right now. For months now -- every since Boing Boing, really -- I've felt like I only had one or two more entries left in me, but then I think of something else I want to say. I can only see ahead of me a little at a time, like driving at night when the headlights only light up the next few yards of road. But that's all you need to keep going.

Anyway, Scarlett feeds me breakfast and then her friend Jason calls to tell us there are twenty harpists playing in the rotunda of the capitol building and we need to get down there right away. So we get on our bikes and go.

The rotunda is full of people and even though everyone is trying to be quiet, any rustle or cough fills up the space with whispers and echoes of whispers. Twenty harps are in a circle in the middle of the rotunda, played by twenty girls of various sizes, wearing twenty red dresses. "Greensleeves" floats up and away to the roof of the building four stories up and people are crowded around all three balconies, listening, trying to be quiet enough.

The music seems to have no beginning and no end, delicate vibratos bleeding into and out of the endless echoes of the space. The smallest harpers are very small, six or seven maybe, and they are very serious. Their hands move like seaweed in a current. I shut my eyes.

Listening to music is never easy for me, requiring a certain kind of concentration I cannot maintain very long. There are too many voices in my head competing for a hearing. With my eyes shut, I try to force myself to follow the notes of this music that washes up and down like small, soft waves rising over my head. The song ends and we all clap and the clapping is so much louder than the music. Another song begins, notes hanging on the air, persisting when they should fade. Like bells. The tune is familiar but I cannot place it and then the words come to me. Still, still, still, I can hear the falling snow.

Honestly, I don't like Christmas music. This song is better than some of the others because you don't hear it as much, not as much, unlike, say, The Little Drummer Boy, which is like a nasty virus. You hear it once at the grocery store and its in your head all day. I'm so glad I'm leaving town tomorrow, getting away from the awful Christmasiness of everything.

And yet, it's pretty. It's a pretty song, and it's being played by little girls with hands like seaweed, and the words are about stillness, which there can never be too much of. I feel something rising like a bubble in my throat and then I lean over and kiss Scarlett on the cheek because it's a beautiful world after all and sometimes you have to kiss someone.


Anonymous said...

It's interesting that Boing Boing, and the influx of new readers, seems to have put a serious dent in your desire/impetus to blog, where I'd be more likely to stop blogging because "No one's really reading it anyway..." (To paraphrase William Hurt in "Big Chill", I have "a small but deeply disturbed following").

When I find a blog I enjoy, I have to remind myself that the blogger doesn't "owe" me anything, least of all regular entries.
So I'll just say, as one of the readers who came to you from Boing Boing, that you're a very talented writer, I always enjoy your entries, and I hope to be following your blog, however often you post, for a long time to come.

Happy Holidays...!

PH said...

Beautiful to be inside a stillness with someone's cheek there to kiss afterward...

Your writing has such flow and exactness--I hope you eat your breakfast tomorrow, and stick around a while. :)

Anonymous said...

Every post you make is a gift of simple elegant clarity. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I think Lux is full of bull. I don't think she is or ever was a stripper. Read her blog carefully, and see what you think. It's all very superficial & stereotypical ... feelings she alludes to but doesn't really describe nothing raw, nothing deep, nothing new, nothing REAL.

She also has a link to a supposed Escort, "Friction" which also seems to me totally fake. I know real escorts and I read real escorts blogs. This one doesn't act, talk, think, or write like a real sex worker in any way. More like some dude writing the way he thinks one would write as he pretends to be one.

Check 'em out Grace - you're smart enough to sense the bullshit soo I think.

davka said...

I love this.

Hands moving like seaweed. Amazing. That is a line I will be forever envious of.

Grace said...

Dear Anonymous who commented on Lux's blog:

Opinion noted, I guess. Obviously, I don't agree. I am often struck with the confidence and nuance of Lux's writing, especially when I remember that she is only 19 or 20. Her blog is probably much more "raw" and "REAL" than anything I would have written at that age.

I had to read your comment twice to be sure you weren't talking about this blog. All the same things have been said about the writing here. It is quite a surreal experience to have a self-appointed expert tell you that your description of your life as you lived it is "inauthentic," but I guess it teaches you to be philosophical about other people's opinions.

I'm not going to claim that because I know sex workers or read sex worker blogs I am some kind of expert on whether or not this particular stipper blog is written by an actual stripper. I can tell you that there is an awareness and subtley to Lux's writing that is quite impressive if it is faked.

Dev said...

Hey Grace, here's wishing you the best for the new year! Have been following your blog for a while now... lovely writing, and I hope your literary ambitions come true in 2009.

Lux said...

Anonymous, you're full of bull.

Thanks for defending me, Grace.

Tom said...

"...little girls with hands like seaweed."

Why am I not writing anything like this? Dammit. And, thank you.

I suppose it's time to write more. Again.