Day 4 (from September 2008 Southeast Writer’s Regimen)
#1 a letter
I know you have your own situations and issues, but it’s so frustrating, because I don’t feel like you ever gave me a chance. That wall you have built around yourself is so high. You are so defensive and possessive and concerned about getting all that might be coming to you. I feel like you pigeon-holed me as “the enemy” from Day One.
What will happen to you when your parents die? Will you stay? Will you go? Will I ever have a clue about what really makes you tick, and whether your primer mover is hate, greed or fear? Your Christian faith is truly a mystery to me, because it seems utterly angry, lacking in kindness except perhaps toward abstract strangers; fearful, hostile and bullying.
Yours has been a self-fulfilling prophecy.
I do see the wounded child within, but don’t know how to speak to her.
#2 Simple mundane task
I am flipping the heavy pillowtop mattress on the bed we call The Cloud. My IPod is in my ear and I am listening to Sarah Chang playing her extraordinary violin from the Sweet Sorrow album. The sheets are a faded butter yellow. I snap them above the mattress. They billow and fall, fresh air motes settling in on them as I tuck and fold, turning back the covers and smoothing out wrinkles. They are cool, evanescent. They smell of yellow roses in a formal garden, but no thorns are here, only the soft pulled cotton. they are orderly, serene, a most welcome sinecure for a sometimes (lately) anxious woman.
Riff Word: Fern
When I say “fern bar,” that labels me as a child of the 70s or maybe 80s. After a controlled burn at Longleaf, colonies of ferns we had never seen before emerged, yellow green, fresh, insistent. I had a hanging fern. It blew away during Hurricane Ivan. I planted an autumn fern down in the streambed. It has thrived there. I have never owned a Bird’s Nest Fern, but find them to be lovely.