Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Everything is going slow as molasses, but at least I finished the Alan essay, finally--or at least a draft of it. Then, thanks to the glory of email, I sent it out to a couple dozen of my closest friends and family, which leaves me free now to work on the Marie Antoinette play, go to the bank, wash towels and bathmats and confirm airplane flights for Detroit and Massachusetts.

Except that I don't feel like doing any of those things. I don't know what I feel like. At least the house is a fraction warmer than it has been. It's been colder than a witch's tit, as they say back in New England (although back there it actually is, whereas here, when I can see my breath in the parking lot, I start whining and shivering and complaining.) Last night C and I went to bed wearing sweatpants, t-shirts, sweatshirts, wool socks, the works--under an electric blanket. It wasn't a bad night either, except for the cat and the dream about the wooden cell phone with the ring tone of Bing Crosby singing "White Christmas."

Yesterday, as I was driving a friend back from the accupuncturist's, we found ourselves stuck in holiday traffic, trying to get on the bridge. In a car in the next lane over was a Pontiac with a young African American woman in it, grooving to the radio. She couldn't see us, as we were slightly behind her, but we could see her--she was dancing, drumming on the steering wheel, shaking her head, bouncing and wriggling for joy and music, all alone in her car, her private world.

"Oh, I love her!" my friend exclaimed, as we inched forward in traffic, my beautiful friend who is facing a potentially life-threatening diagnosis. "Now that's a happy woman!"

On the drive over, we had talked about happiness, how much of it comes from the body, for both of us, how hard it is to conceive of being happy without being healthy. Yoga, dancing, love-making, eating good food, singing, sleeping well, hiking till you are flushed and sweaty, swimming...I don't know how to be happy apart from these things. Then my friend played me a song she had recently recorded, a cover of John Lennon's "Blackbird," and the car filled up with impassioned sax, and her clear, gorgeous voice singing, "Take these broken wings and learn to fly..."


Carla Zilbersmith said...

thanks for reminding me of that happy woman and for that moment of pure joy in a car with a friend who loves me enough to sit in holiday traffic! THen to read of another person you dutifully drove to acupuncture in your Alan essay. ... You are such a giving person. I hope you have a FRACTION of realization of how much better the world is because you're in it.

Alison said...

Oh, darlin', I'll sit in holiday traffic with you anytime! It's a privilege!