Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Slow the F' Down

Slow the F' Down

Well meaning.
He gives the writer

Slow it down!
Sit outside,
in front of your house.
So to speak.
Just do it.
Find the middle ground.
Stay there.
Write what you see.

Your prose are poetic.

Write as if the world
will not come to an end
if you don't get all
the words out by lunch.

Slow it down.

is going to shut you up.
Not ever again.

Oh, she thinks.
I get it.

Slow the f**k down!
Wear pink.
Hair that kinks.
"Wine by design."
Swim away from that
blank inky cloud
into the pastel sunsets.

Whine by design.

I wrote this poem in 2003. A person really did tell me all these things. "Wine by Design" was my favorite Revlon lip color and nail polish. I was wearing an amazing baby pink sweater. My jeans were the color of a clear morning sky. I was hyper as hell while we had coffee and tried to catch up. I had, indeed, dreamt of a inky blank cloud that appeared over my head while I was swimming in the middle of a lake. My kids were on the shore. All I could do was watch the big, inky black cloud and I felt as if something was terribly wrong. I spent the rest of the dream in a fit, trying to get to the shoreline and my girls.

I was clearly rundown, stressed, out of sorts, burning candles that no longer had ends, let alone use-able middles.

During our lunch this dear man really did say, "Anne, slow the fuck down." And then he proceeded to tell me how sometimes my careening, horse-y, rushed, multi-tasking, gasping for breath with every word nature was endearing, to a point. I, however, had at some point in the last weeks since I'd seen him, passed the endearing point, and he let me know about it. Told me to slow the pace, sit my ass down, and just be and do and write, and quit acting like it was the last moment I had to get shit done.

So I find this piece appropriate prior to my vacating for a bit and heading out into the woods, leaving the contractors behind to work on the house, my daughter's wedding done and past by two weeks, my older daughter well on the way of establishing some new and significant changes in her life, and my younger daughter due home over the weekend. I can take a breath, if I wish, and/or if I remember how.

Several weeks back, prior to my daughter's wedding and the ultra-ramp up of so much going on at once this summer, Mark's brother hung a sign in our garage, attached to the garage door so I'd see it when the door went up. It said, "SLOW DOWN!"

Geez, where had I heard that before.

John said the way I "roar" into the garage he's surprised I haven't taken out the Harley, the riding mower, the dirt bike, Mark's lengthy tool bench and the fridge-freezer, and then gone right out the back wall of the garage, which if you must now ... the house is built into a hill, so I'd be totally dirt plowing down-under by then and come out on the other side of our subdivision.

My response, "John, shut up! Whatever, you ..." and then I'm sure I shot back any number of responses since we've been bantering and teasing each other now for almost five years.

But really, John said, I needed to slow it the fuck down.

And so with old advice, and the same new advice that's what I'm going to try to do. While I worked today, ran the dog to be groomed, ran errands with Carol, spent time with the wee girls, grocery shopped, have more work tonight, packing and some other odd bits so people understand the drill around here when I'm gone, I'll be off by mid-morning, to a place in the woods, LOVELY, DARK AND F'ing Deep!

And I'm taking along all the things on my list, and leaving behind the things I planned to, and while I'm there I'm going to work, write, read, collage art, fish, hike and make fantastic meals from scratch every night but one which we've saved to brave into the small town and "hang out with the locals" and eat racoon meat or whatever it is they do where we are going.

And I'm going to ....

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