Monday, July 10, 2006

In This Moment

I am:

  1. Bug-bitten, but content: My arms look as though they have broken out in hives. They probably have. I treat them as battle-scars, and I love them – is that wrong? I love the mosquito bites as much as I love the tan-lines on my feet. I've been digging deep X's into each bite. That's what my student told me to do, and I feel closer to innocence when I do it.

  2. Restless: I had gone out all around town this afternoon, and then went around again before supper, on the pretence that I needed something from the grocery store. There are three kids whom I'd love to round up in this neighbourhood to go kite-flying. There's the little girl at the house in the corner, the one who rides her bike in circles in her front yard. There's the eight-year-old boy with whom I played chess last night – I had not laughed as hard as yesterday for what seemed like forever. Then, there's another little girl, the one who demands so little from the world that she makes me want to give her everything.

  3. Homeless: I shocked myself and my friends here when I said that I would be home for the latter part of the summer. I refer to Vancouver as “home” when I'm here, but when I'm there, I can hardly wait to go “home” to Inuvik. What if my home is New York, or Nairobi, or Munich, or Barcelona? Is there a Marco Polo-like game I can play here? If I call out, will the buildings or the landscape answer back? But what if I can't hear them? What if their voices are drowned out by the franticness of my search?

  4. Unproductive: For the life of me, I can't bring myself to get out my French course. (How many times can I say C'est une date fatidique! before I stop feeling clever and find the urge to learn another memorable phrase?) And I am stuck in a rut on page 231 of Alan Hollinghurst's The Line of Beauty. It's been a week since my “daily” trips to the pool. And I'm perfectly all right with that.

  5. Hopeful: Just because I have done hardly anything on my first week of vacation, I am still optimistic that I might begin being useful anytime now. Maybe tonight...maybe tomorrow, or next week. Or maybe not at all. And I'm still perfectly all right with that.

  6. Calm and composed: I've been contemplating dyeing my hair. I've spent hours thinking about it – while Damien Rice, Paloalto, Jem, Feist, Nick Drake, and the like fill the living room with folksy tunes. But I'm pretty sure that I won't do it. I've watched my cat cling onto the screen door, and have been leaving her to figure how to land back on her feet. Does this qualify as emotional growth on my part?

  7. Me: Here's a photo that I took, and it summarizes the “me of the moment.” Every night, I've been waiting for the sun to come through the window and cast its light on the wall. So what? At a certain time of the day, the sun makes a heart on the wall. It didn't turn out so well in the photo, but I like it that way. I know it's there – tilt your computer screen, and see that faint outline that frames the window-frame? It's my secret, my heart.

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