don’t hide the madness

I’ve started listening to audio books again as I clean the house, shower, walk dogs, take hikes.  I feel myself filing away all vivid snippets of writing and in perhaps 3 mile long intervals I’ll happen in on a part of the reading that give me goosebumps.  Sometimes, it’s the description.  Mostly what gets me is when the author finds the perfect metaphor, the perfect quote, the perfect run on sentence.  The  one that truly conveys the character, situation, feeling, or underlying piece of consciousness that has been uncovered like a mushroom in the mountains, a shell on a beach.

I long for my own writing to unearth itself again, to slowly pop up like a sapling buried under snow or bloom in December like a Christmas cactus.  I find myself with the same tastes in my mouth the same longing for a vintage penthouse, the same grid of streets ogling my behavior and attitude that says I’ll try anything once, twice, leave town, and try again.  It seems that loneliness or at least isolation starts to breed the best writing where the world is silent and the sense of self both lost and honed in upon.  The slow unraveling of a self only to add that same thread to the bigger story of life.

I am petsitting for three dogs and I find it so pragmatic and interesting the exploration of their personalities and acceptance of those personalities.  One dog is a loner, she likes to sit out on the green grass and only checks in every once in awhile when she will use a guttural, shaky moan in deep groaning pleas to rub her stomach.  Then, there is the other male who seems alpha and loves to bark.  He will play but puts up boundaries when he is done.  Both of the other older dogs twist up the winding stairs to the loft where they sleep slow and silent.  The youngest darts around after having been rescued but rests his chin upon the knee when not threatened by a seated visitor.  He constantly flips through the dog door to check—are we still here together?

I have an epiphany turning on lights, one that flickers just like another light I have at another place I’m staying.  Almost like my fight to not be who I am.  When I was a young writer I thought I knew what I could have never known.  I still fought, though, and worked.  And there was still this flickering self, this flake, that couldn’t decide what I wanted or lacked the courage to keep what I had.  Now, after ups and downs that resemble a beating heart, I’m once again starting over.  This time I will keep curious about my character just like that of the dogs—no judgements just observations.  Sometimes a good laugh at the keen habits of ourselves and others.  I don’t expect too much to be different, just looking at it different this time.  And the next.

“Follow your inner moonlight, don’t hide the madness.”

― Allen Ginsberg, Howl and Other Poems