Friday, January 25, 2008

Intentional decadence.

I woke up early this morning feeling exhausted, feverish, and generally horrible. I’ve made something of a rule for myself not to blog about the monthly ailments of being female but, my god, in the last couple years, every passing month seems to exaggerate my symptoms to an unreasonable degree. Even my bones hurt. And my brain…what brain? Surely, one must respect the power of hormones. If ever I felt connected to the gravitational rhythms of salt water, it is today. Earth, moon, oceanic rhythms, be damned. It’s funny (not really) how we romanticize such discomfort and pain.

But I digress. Even though I woke up feeling like I’ve been run over by a truck and kept awake for a week, I would prefer to write about the necessity for decadence.

Decadence. I like that word (the pleasurable variety, that is). I like it as much as voluptuous. Or passion. Or like any of the words that round themselves into seductive, shapely sounds. Alone at work, I can whisper these words to the plants. Their tender ears and roots soak in this affectionate vibration and if I pay close enough attention I’m able to envision their leaves growing generously plump. A bromeliad whispers back, “You can make any word sound seductive if you say it a certain way.” We wink at one another before I move on to the cactuses, the ivies, and the succulents. It should surprise no one that succulents are also well-versed in the syllables of sexy sounds.

Oh my god. Do you see? I no longer have control over my mind! In reality, I have not gotten up to talk to any of the plants. They are most likely thirsty and definitely lonely. My ability to space out and follow a train of thoughts into oblivion is spectacular. Turning those thoughts into a sensible string of words, however, is another thing entirely.

Today I feel weepy and wonderful all at the same time. I feel comfortably contained and yet I am reaching. Every thought, every word, sound, color, and texture feels like more than it is. Heavy, feathery. Palpable, ethereal. Possible, impossible. Yearning, full. Life perceived in opposites. Sometimes it’s best to ride these waves without expectation, to just take a step back from oneself and simply observe. Observations should be treated as nothing more than mild amusements.

And so I allow decadence into my life by drinking fine French coffee from a fragile cup patterned in a ribbon of Rococo gold. I set the cup in the morning sun to intensify its shine.

I peek inside the closed petals of a bright yellow tulip and find a white star at its center.

I accept my second art commission of the week and allow myself to dream big, beautiful, colorful art-filled dreams.

I eat a wonderfully warm and comforting lunch without feeling guilty, for which my body thanks me.

I wear my softest sweater and most comfortable jeans. I look out the window and let my thoughts drift into the gray sky of an endless winter.

Today my heart feels both heavy and hopeful. I found out two days ago that my aunt, whom I love dearly, has been diagnosed with a rare form Leukemia and a very serious bone marrow disease. I am scared for her and at the same time feeling every single sacred cell of life in me and around me.

Mostly, I feel like a cup that, too full, is about to spill over.

Days like today require intentional decadence. And these flowers? They are for you. Sometimes, I think, we all need a little extra decadence.



laundrygirl said...

Hugs to you.
Seems that once again we are on the same page.

Amber said...

Love seeing your beautiful face. ;)

" in the last couple years, every passing month seems to exaggerate my symptoms to an unreasonable degree."-- OH MY GOSH. ME TOO!!!! Sucktastic.

You and I so often seem to be on the same wave...My favortie aunt just found out her cancer is back, as well. And in her lemph nodes. Makes me so sad. :( I don't know how my mom is going to deal, either... I will add your aunt to my prayer list, if you will add mine. ;)

ox :)

Ruby Bigonia said...

thank you for sharing those flowers with the world...especially the tullips... my mind has been drifting toward thoughts of spring and images of vibrant daffodils and tullips...the sad part is it's only maine...

:o) Thanks again,

Fiona said...

you are so connected to everything!

I was just writing about how we sit between birth and death and how I'm craving "unadulterated, hedonist, sensual pleasure". And then I read your post!

Kikipotamus said...

Wow, so many people are blogging about hormones over the past 3 days. I'm so blessed that 20 years ago I read a tiny blurb on the sidebar of a magazine article...don't even remember which mag...saying that daily vit E was proven to help 30% of women with chronic PMS. I started taking E daily and haven't looked back. No more hours doubled over on the bed crying, no more wild mood swings. What a miracle.

On another note, I am on the bone unrelated bone marrow donor registry. Wouldn't it be wonderful if I could be your aunt's match? Unfortunately, most donors never get called.

Good for you for indulging in luscious things today.

Melba said...

I am sorry to hear about your aunt. Times like these makes us appreciate art even more.

Having children and now being on Seasonal (which means I only get my period 4 times a year) has really helped me not have the same side effects I use to suffer through once a month.
That cup is so beautiful. and to be surrounded by wonderful!
What is your favorite flower?

Loralee Choate said...

I am so sorry about your aunt. I have been there and it is a very scary place to be in.

Hugs and coffee, sweet Jessie.

Sharon said...

So sorry about your aunt. It is never, ever easy to accept something like that...
Thank you for the flowers and the image of that beautiful cup and saucer. My grandmother had a small collection of four fine porcelain cups and saucers. None matched, but that was the beauty of them. Each could be enjoyed as a rare gift to the eye and touch. I still remember when she let me have some 'coffee' (read more milk than coffee!)one afternoon with her. I got to pick out the cup I wanted to drink from! Think I was about 8 years old, and it made me feel SO special!
Regarding that monthly ordeal...I had to have a hysterectomy when I was 38. Never so glad in all my life!!!

madelyn said...

I will pray for your Aunt dear
Jessie ~ and decadence is exactly
what we are here on this earth for
~ to wrap ourselves in a passionate
pleasing and loving life ~
to nurture our bodies and hearts
and minds so we can send
beauty and peace and joy out into
the world around us...

I love that photo of you ~ it glows
with your warm heart and spirit and
thank you:) for the flowers:)


Anonymous said...

Oh, I am so sorry about your aunt, sweet pea. :( I hope she does well on the treatments.

The flowers are beautiful.

Hopefully coffee (and even lunch?) on Tuesday will help you feel a little better.

Vedrana M. said...

oh, voluptuous...i remember this word form a text about C.Dior and his new look :)
i hope your aunt will be ok, xoxo