Sunday, June 17, 2007

Sunday Scribbings: Eccentricity

I sat down with nothing to write about. I am outside, once again sitting up to the old wooden table that graces our backyard. Next to me is a coffee cup, a book on writing, and a whole row of potted plants. My favorite is the chocolate mint. Louis runs full speed across the yard with a pine cone in his mouth and water from the kiddie pool spraying out like a burst of broken crystals behind him in the morning sunshine. Pure beauty. Happiness. My wolfie lays lovingly at my feet. This is a good way to start a Sunday morning. It is how I've been starting every day.

To have a lack of blogging topics is extremely unusual for me. Actually, I don't remember the last time that I was at a loss for things to say. I even went so far as to ask V. last night: "What should I blog about?" Gah. What a ridiculous question. Anyway, he was no help. This is what it feels like to swim the surface of contentment. There has been an even-ness to my days brought on by large doses of heat. Life at the garden shop has been truly enjoyable, but working in upper 90 degree heat takes its toll not only on the body, but the brain (is the brain really separate from the body??). I feel my brain cells cooking like all those hot house flowers I keep watered all day long.

Needless to say, I feel a part of my life. And that is worth the physical discomfort. Being outdoors has always had that effect on me--my whole life. Yes, you could say that I'm a bit of an eccentric in that way. In the past I've taken this love to extremes--and I'm willing to do it again in the future. Someday, I'll be the old lady in the woods that lives in the crazy looking shack without running water or electricity. The one with lots of dogs and cats, a ferret, and hopefully a wolf or two. There will be a raven named Edward that comes to my window for food scraps and conversation. I'll have an painting wall outside where I'll hang large canvases and paint strange paintings. When I'm finished with one, maybe I'll leave it hanging there to look at, maybe I'll sell it, or maybe I'll just put them out in the woods (and other unexpected places) for someone else to find and ponder over. The rest of the place will be covered in a mosaic of homemade tiles, crystals, and broken glass. I've already started the collection. ;) I'll wear old flannels from Minnesota paired with sparkly fabrics from India. I'll swim in rivers and lakes. I'll collect herbs and fruits and berries from the woods. I'll sing out loud with the birds and recite Shakespeare to my dogs and take long, long walks with no particular destination. I'll ride a bike with a banana seat rather than drive a car. I'll talk to myself and enjoy the conversation. I'll collect things, pretty things, and line them up on the windowsills. I'll smoosh wild flowers in my journal, strange journals, and I will have lots of them filled with maps and drawings and words. When I die, someone will discover all of this and make a documentary about my life and work. Or maybe not--anyway, this is not the point. My hair will, most often, be messy and standing on end.

I will collect rain water and build a tree house and learn the time table of passing trains. I will have strong muscles and a big heart and I will take care of animals that need my help. In the winter, I will listen to the sound of snow until I learn to understand its language. I will make things for people to help them remember who they are. I will share pots of strong coffee and, when I laugh, I will laugh down deep from the bottom of my belly. I will sing in public and ask people what they dream about. I will learn the rotation of the stars, take naps on the bare ground, and sit on the roof and read books.

This strange life as an old lady is easy for me to imagine (a little too easy?) and, assuming that I outlive my husband (as most women do), I don't doubt that my life will end up an unusual one. My great grandma lived to be 105. I have great faith that I will live to be just as old. I've never said this to anyone before, but I've always felt like my great grandma and I have a lot in common. She was the story teller of the family, the adventurer, the one who found the most contentment in life. And that was her secret to old age: happiness. She was a good role model and I am grateful that she was a part of my life well into adulthood. I've always believed that I would grow to be a very old woman--but I definitely don't want to spend all those extra years playing golf or bridge (or whatever old ladies do), that much I know! But wait a minute....why wait to be an old woman to live an eccentric life? Middle age eccentric? Definately.
"I will not die an unlived life. I will not live in fear of falling or catching fire. I choose to inhabit my days, to allow my living to open me, to make me less afraid, more accessible, to loosen my heart until it becomes a wing, a torch, a promise. I choose to risk my significance; to live so that which comes to me as seed goes to the next as blossom and that which comes to me as blossom, goes on as fruit." ~Dawna Markova
Find more eccentrics here.


martha said...

Hya Jess! Can I come live in your dream??
ps i think I am already the middle aged ecentric.
mucho grando amore!

Ash said...

I am totally in love with this post Jessie...its just SO beautiful!!!

Have a great Sunday!

Anonymous said... wonderfully eccentric you will be!
And I will come and drink cups of strong coffee with you, and admire your strange paintings!
Loved every word of it!!

Anonymous said...

and i will live across the way with my dogs (that will play with your dogs) and a goat named Billy.

Anonymous said...

oops. that was me. ~ruby

Anonymous said...

As long as I can come visit you often...from the city. ;)

Love you xoxo, M

phishez_rule said...

That sounds wonderful. A truly free life. Something everybody aspires to. When you figure out how to get there, let me know.

Anonymous said...

Look who's crying now ... Thanks!

tara dawn said...

A truly beautiful life...I can picture it all...your naturally beautiful spirit reveling in this life of eccentricity. I have to say though, you will have visitors...perhaps there will even be a tribe of us somewhere out there in our blending of solitude and sisterhood. I LOVE this post...amazing writing and the images are simply perfect. And you know Dawna Markova is one of my favorites...such simple words and yet so incredibly true.
Sending love and dreams of our companionship at the age of 105 (ha), td

Marie said...

mmmmmmmm...sweet imaginings and visions of your contentment. Your post radiates such a positive flowing the raven. Yes, why wait?

And the quote, inspired me to do a collage so I may cherish it as my mantra always. Thanks for posting!

deirdre said...

I want to live next door to you and share coffee. What adventures you will have.

Amber said...

Yep, I think you should start now! You are an artist and a writer, so you could totally get away with it. Look at Anne Lamot, an dher crazy dreads. ;)


MAHIMA said...

i love this post!
totally transported me!

Madelyn said...



Made me cry.

(in a good way)

Breathtaking writing - I lived
that life while you were
writing - and I was so moved -
and happy - :)

laundrygirl said...

There is such beauty in what you have said here...