Pennies & Pink Champagne

Poetical Prose and the Pursuit of the Present

I think it is virtuous to put others’ happiness before your own,

but not at the expense of your own.

Impetus for Life

I was waiting at a stoplight one afternoon and turned my gaze out the open window to the young tree rooted in the small margin of grass along the sidewalk. It was a maple; its tasseled buds exuded that young, yellow green of spring. 

Observing that tree, I thought, “What is a tree’s reason for living?” It buds in the spring, stretches its limbs and foliage, stiffens and freezes, sheds its leaves, then remains dormant for most of the year. Certainly, its existence is beneficial for other living things (shelter, food, oxygen, on and on). And I suppose the consciousness of a tree is still undetermined. But I began to think about other living organisms, plants and birds and lichen and such. What is the force that urges life to expand and change and evolve?

I don’t think a tree thinks much about its future, although it holds onto the memory of its past deep under its skin.

If the tree has no intrinsic purpose, then perhaps its purpose comes from the way in which it provides for and interacts with other organisms. If a tree existed in complete isolation from other organisms, then what would be its impetus to grow? Or maybe it cannot help itself. Perhaps the force of its DNA is too strong. Or maybe it doesn’t have consciousness and therefore cannot will itself to die. Unlike humans, who struggle with self-destruction, I don’t think a tree would ever aim its roots away from the soil or stretch its branches over a rocky ledge until it tumbled off its precipice. Even an injured or amputated tree will  continue to grow if it can. Unapologetically.

When life seems pointless or the heartache of experience weighs down on me, looking to the trees reminds me that I’m overthinking it. The chemistry and biology of aliveness are just the reality of this universe. My consciousness is simply a side effect of evolution. All the cells of my body have been recycled from all other living things which have lived as I do now. In every cell of my body there is a truth, spun like some elegant thread from the wool of all time and existence. If the answer to “why” is locked within my DNA, then why do I need to ask that question? Go on living, it’s what our bodies were made to do.

I worry sometimes that my brain has become my enemy, blocking out the voice of my body, overpowering my natural needs and desires, clouding my biological judgement with the strange histories of humankind. And maybe that is our struggle. With a bigger brain comes the challenge of understanding what our bodies are truly for. We rely too heavily on our brains for understanding and interpreting the world. We’ve forgotten how to  let our bodies root down into the soil and slowly stretch and bend in the breeze without worrying about the consequences of existence. 

With Crashing Cymbal

There is a crushed beer can rolling its way down the street, helped along by the breeze. It is heralding the beautiful day. 

From September 2013

I can’t quite explain how heavenly blues dancing is. You hear a song that’s soulful and slow and your body simply takes over. You’re dancing for yourself, but you get to share the moment with another human. It’s give and take, but it’s also selfish self-expression. And it’s as if you’re healing each other by acknowledging an honest expression of the other’s being.

For one song, you become a galaxy held by the gravity of your core. An alive but invisible pulse humming in the space somewhere between your bodies. And there are dozens of these tandem galaxies spinning in this ballroom universe of song and movement.

The Feline Nod

White cat

Pink nose

Set upon the window sill

Sniffing air

Watching rain

Acknowledging the passersby

Happy Friday! I’ll just be over here, doing a one-woman show while I clean my apartment.

Happy Friday! I’ll just be over here, doing a one-woman show while I clean my apartment.

Teacher Appreciation Week is the bomb dot com!!!

Teacher Appreciation Week is the bomb dot com!!!

My clementine looks like an angry, old man.

My clementine looks like an angry, old man.

"I’m looking for a man," she said. "Know any?"

"I’m looking for a man," she said. "Know any?"

Bought Ben a Jayne hat from Comic Con. Had to test it out first, obviously. #firefly

Bought Ben a Jayne hat from Comic Con. Had to test it out first, obviously. #firefly