I want to relax into my brilliance . . . said by a friend
I am sitting outside in my front lawn, pen in hand, and FuFu, our white cat is sprawled long beside me, and we are facing the September sun and the warm breeze, and the rustle of maples and oaks and aspens. And now, less than a block away, the school bus is screeching to a halt, and its doors have just flung themselves open and the kids are leaping out onto the street. School is over for the day and I can’t make a fist.
I’d like to call myself to order, to march back into that classroom in my mind. “I have some good ideas,” I yell out to my inner teacher who is nowhere to be found. I really do. I have an essay about India waiting to be pounded into a Taj Mahal extra-ordinaire. I have a poem inside about my father, the way he piled the brush ino a huge mound on the beach at low tide, and threw the match onto the boughs of balsam as we, his children, watched the flames shoot high into the sky. And I would write this poem down if I could find my inner flame. I have stories inside and bits of wisdom and a song about an owl. They are all in there just floating around like pieces of seaweed in a calm cove.
Two nights ago, I dreamed that I was floating, floating down the Ganges, the cold clear Ganges of the Himalayan foothills. And the river was pulling me along and it was easy floating like this, filled with the chants of the ages and the colors of saris and the scent of sandalwood mingling with rich Indian spices. And when I tipped my head back into the buoyant mother of all rivers, I was held up and I saw a mountain eagle above me and the fuchsia blossoms of a giant rhododendron hanging over the river’s banks and there was nothing I needed to do, nothing I needed to prove, and I was heading in the right direction, downstream toward all that I wanted. And when I woke up, I was filled with the huge taste of my dream and a continent of contentment.
Sometimes it’s enough to pick up your feet and drift for a while. Who needs a polished essay, a paternal bonfire of a poem, a neat and tidy story, a song about an owl? Who needs a classroom in your mind when the mums and the sunflowers are in their autumn glory and the leaves in Ishpeming are the most crimson you have ever seen?