So much is going right, I almost don’t want to mention it.
I thought about this this morning as I was writing my morning pages because I was was writing the words “I love my work, I love my house, I love this man, I love my dog, I love my son, I love my friends, I love this earth, I love my life…”
These things are not listed in order of importance, by the way. My mind is allowed to be more chaotic than that, especially in the first clutches of caffeine, as I am looking out the window into my garden, where the ruby Magnoia that I named after my great aunt Mabel is blooming most obscenely. Excuse me, but that shade of pink is just plain aroused. It is aroused and shameless and profuse, as I would like my own happiness to be able to be.
It’s funny, though. Mabel almost didn’t make it. The magnolia that is. Great Aunt Mabel did make it to a wise old age, and died just before I married my wasband, and it was thereafter revealed that upon my birth, she had bought me a gift of ten shares in her local bank in Dixon, California. I was called by the executor of her will, who informed me that said shares had split eight times and were now worth about 50 grand.
Hello, down payment.
Thank you, Great Aunt Mabel! Allow me to plant a garden and name this shameless, lasciviously pink magnolia tree after you.
But I planted the tree in the wrong, wrong place. I was inexperienced and I planted it in a wet, shady spot and then it was going way sideways, like brown spots and yellow leaves…but the nursery ladies helped me. “Move that plant into the sun and raise it up!” they said. So we built a raised bed out of pieces of our broken up sidewalk, and I moved the little four-foot tree to its new home. It had a big ole split in its trunk, like a wound from being too wet and sad, and I went out and sang to it every day for weeks after the transplant. I sang to the tune of Amazing Grace, but I changed the words. “Amazing Mabel, my sweet little tree, how lovely and complex! I love you so, you’ll thrive and grow…” You get the idea. The words were spontaneous. A little different every day. The wound closed. I swear the singing helped. I swear the love and celebration helped.
So why did I feel like I was tempting fate this morning by being so happy? Why, after I wrote my morning pages, was I thinking about weird anti-happiness superstitions like the evil eye, which you attract by telling people how happy/ blessed/ fortunate you are? Why did I stop typing just now to knock on wood?
I don’t know. I don’t know. Maybe it has something to do with time? My sweetheart told me this weekend that he notices fear entering him when he is outside of now, imagining what’s going to happen in the future, usually. This morning, we talked on the phone in the middle of the day, right after I got off the phone with my client, when I was feeling really thrilled and pleased about the project. He was very happy for me, I could hear the smile in his voice as he said “You have it all figured out, don’t you?” and I said, “I feel like I do! And I know that this feeling may not be with me long, so I figure I’ll revel in it while it lasts.”
Right? I mean, shouldn’t we revel when we are blooming so fucking brightly? My Aunt Mabel did. She was so good at being happy. She had bright bright orange hair, and wore flowered cigarette pants and tangerine tops with matching wedge sandals and always had a cocktail or a cigarette (it looked elegant on her, like Audrey Hepburn) or something pretty in her hands… little ceramic animals or crustless sandwiches. She was glamorous and happy and willing to show it all the time, it seemed.
Amazing Mabel, how sweet you are, how beautiful and alive…
Later today, this man sent me a playlist of soul songs that starts with Signed, Sealed and Delivered by Stevie Wonder and ends with At Last by Etta James. I feel like I am 14 and my boyfriend is slipping me a mixed tape in between classes, just so full of innocent joy. And also like I am doing the work that harvests all the gifts of my life, like I have found the need that requires the best I’ve got, or the spot in the garden where I can finally thrive, which is such a very grown up feeling in a such a very good way.
And if all of this makes me aroused and shameless and vividly pink with happiness, isn’t it sort of my job to show it? So that anyone sitting in the window, drinking her slow, strong, sweet cup of coffee can take it in, let that happiness enter her like a song and sing it back to the world?