Get comfortable being uncomfortable—the motto of those who are familiar with the ups and downs of life on planet Earth. Two poles, one axis. How to wrap ourselves around this duality-driven nature of things is a question. The equator seems to know the answer—stay centered and be flexible to expand and contract. The ocean seems to have a clue—go with the ebb and the flow. For everything a cycle, a pulse. Wax on, wax off, as the moon might say if the moon could suddenly speak, though what language it would choose to speak in would leave the rest of us still to wonder.
And, where is Mercury, the great giver of communication and electronic frequencies, headed off to now? A little vacation on the other side of the sun. Left to our own devices to sort things out, we are. Yoda it up. Oh, to let our thoughts, scrambled and brambled as they might be, spill upon the pages of our lives. To say and wonder who judges the words. To listen and hear the rumbling of chaos through the universe in its exact order. To hope to sort through the rubble of pride and vanity, the brick and mortar of self-delusion and yet without which we’d cease to exist altogether. Paradox on top of paradox—all to be revealed to the looking ones.
A radio tuned into the space between the channels, wondering, what’s all the fuzz about? How about a homemade antenna? Where is that rabbit anyway? Easter has come and gone again. If only Jane were here. Everything she writes brings a smile to my face.
So I look into the sky, telescope searching for that tiny speck of a planet, wondering if it’s true. The microwave apparently believed and left us to wonder how and where to recycle it. The first DVD player shuddered then died. The second sputters so off goes the switch before the garage is filled with cascading, degrading electronics. The phone signal is never good so it’s hard to tell if it’s privy, but a text message came last night from a number unknown saying, “We got here just fine.” Safe to assume they did then, I guess … wherever they are … whoever they are. Someone is waiting to hear the good news. Now they’ll be wondering, too, just differently.
The computer has eyes and ears now. We argued about how to start today. I picked up a pen and we called it a draw. Didn’t even have to show it the garage door. Who knows what tomorrow will bring? A laptop they sold me, then scientists told me, “Don’t hold that thing on your lap or you’ll die!” They do all this looking me right in the eye. What kind of fools do they think we are? Split the difference and make it a tabletop.
Clouds rolling in make it harder to see our little planet Mr. Mercury. Mercury, Hermes, we’ll give it some Thot. My guess is the grass is no greener over there and, like the cat, he’ll come back around, if for no other reason than to get more attention. Till then, this fog will have to keep me company. Eventually, it will break too.
This Mercury Retrograde cycle – or “Earth Minus Mercury” as I’ve come to call it – began like a row boat on a stormy sea, so I took a cue from Natalie Goldberg’s chapter “Nervously Sipping Wine” from her book Writing Down the Bones, and just let the pen follow my wandering (staggering and stuttering) mind for a half an hour or so. The best part was the realization that we do not have to make sense – sense finds its own way. We do not have to write Moby Dick or War and Peace – we can just write. So humbling in such a sweet way …
What’s next? Look for my future blog post – “What Do Black Holes Have in Common with Writing?”
For a more comprehensive look at how to improve and refine your writing skills and technique, please visit my Classes page and join me for my Writing Basics webinar. I also offer Saturday morning online group writing sessions.
© Jennifer Sweete, April 2016