The end of a productive day, I come here and listen to Peter Gabriel and his song, “My Body is a Cage.”
It isn’t really. So far I am ambulatory – a term that seems a contradiction, a term that reminds me of the flammable / inflammable question I used to have as a young girl … which is it again, I’d ask my parents, which is which?
My mind is another matter. My “beautiful mind” as a former lover used to call it.
Finally, I am at work in my bunkie – a Wit’s End kind of place, with my desk facing the wall with no window, with the shelves and shelves lined with books and journals and portfolios of notes and writings and papers and artwork in various stages of “done-ness.”
There’s been a shift for me in the last several days. I can enter and remain in this newly renovated, 13′ x 15′ detached building that shelters on an inlet of the canal, without breaking down and crying, without needing to leave and postpone the sheer overwhelm of it all. The bunkie holds nearly all of the writing and concepts for my artwork since I returned to it in 1996, holds all of the research and notes for both minor and major projects.
I enter and find the me of whom Gabriel might well be singing: “I’m standing on a stage / Of fear and self-doubt . . . I’m living in an age / Whose name I don’t know . . . We take what we are given / Just because you’ve forgotten / Doesn’t mean you’re forgiven / I’m living in an age / That screams my name at night / But when I get to the doorway / There’s no one in sight . . . ”
And so, for a while now I’ve entered and stayed, beginning, one sheet, one minute at a time, to sort through this massive amount of paper. Today, however, was particularly sobering for me, coming across the funeral service mementos of two friends who died last year. After the tears, I wondered again what to do with these pieces of paper. And while I decided the decision could wait until another day, my mood had shifted to one of grim determination; it seemed like all the joy and lightness of all the countless gifts I am surrounded by had vanished.
Now, I was a woman on a cruel and dangerous mission …
Until I unearthed the following. One word, just one word, was all it took.
It started out with a honest, surprised guffaw and gradually erupted into a full-out, rolling belly laugh. Just me (and my Bunkie Munkie Max) and one word.
I love you.
Keep on rockin’ Fox.