Independence Day, and we had our second harvest of lettuce from the garden. The leaves are so fine and light green like silk. I said to C, "How'd you like to have a dress made out opf this?" he said "Lady Gaga probably already does."
Thich Nhat Hanh says we should celebrate interdependence, not independence. i was raised in a family that valued independence, and given praise for doing things by myself, being a big girl, all that. oldest of four children, it was probably easier for my parents for me to become independent as young as possible. I think I learned a kind of fake independence in order to gain approval. Pretend you are independent. When i was single and dating this was a big deal. Independent women are more attractive. No one wants to be saddled with a clinging codependent vine.
The truth is I have never felt truly independent, although I do much of my work alone. Before Christopher I depended heavily on my friends and family; now I depend on him. Not to do things for me that I can do myself, but to be there. I like to feel people's there-ness. I've heard it said that you should (one should) depend on Spirit to fill those desires and needs for contact in those most intimate places where even a good lover cannot always reach. I've been reading Be love Now by Ram Dass and Meditation for the Love of it by Sally Kempton. Both great books.
Ram Dass depended absolutely on his guru in all things. His guru Neem Karoli Baba led him through the thickets of maya (illusion) to realization of pure love. It was a childlike relationship of absolute dependence. other cultures have very different values on independence than Americans do.
Kempton makes meditation accessible from the inside out. She teaches practical ways to focus the breath in the heart and to follow it through ever more subtle pathways. I am reading her very slowly and trying to practice, though I prefer walking meditation and swimming meditation to sitting meditation. I sit too much anyway, in front of the computer...
So far this has been a movie summer: we watched Hunger which came out in 2008, a stark, poetic look at Ireland's troubles and the martyrdom of Bobby Sands. Then Michael Collins, an over-produced bio-pic which taught us more about Ireland's history, It's funny, I grew up in the Boston area at a time when the Troubles were very prominent in the headlines, yet there is so much I didn't know--and still don't--about the English occupation of Ireland.
Then the past two nights I've been to the movies and seen bridesmaids--which was hilarious and fresh, except for one Apatow-inspired gross-out gag involving food-poisoning in a bridalwear shop--and last night we saw Midnight in Paris which was irresistible. I finally forgave Woody Allen for marrying his stepdaughter, it was that good. We both floated out of that movie on a fantasy-cloud of Paris in the 20s, although as Christopher pointed out, it was a pretty scrubbed and sparkling Paris, minus all the shell-shocked and wounded vets from World War I, the orphans and beggars, the TB and all the rest of it.
I am struggling through the last 15 pages of the last revision of The Recruiter--this time I mean it, I swear. Love Shack is done, done. done,. done, done. It's cooked. Put a fork in it. Somebody publish it. I love the poems in it, I'm proud of them and I am ready to move on. I am ready to move on from The Recruiter as well, I've got another idea for a play beginning to nudge my consciousness and an essay or two that wants to come through...
C was re-reading Richard Brautigan last night and this morning I looked through his book: The Pill vs. The Springhill Mining Disaster. Trout Fishing in America. there's some great poems in there.
And of course the whole point of Midnight in paris is, it's always easy to idealize a bygone era, but there's creative ferment going on here and now. These are the best of times if only we know what to do with them. Emerson said something like that. Emerson also wrote an essay called Self-Reliance. My dad was big on Emerson.