Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Year End

It's been a long one and over too quickly at the same time. Much has happened that I skipped because love needs me to for now or because I was too busy. Importantly, I failed to record my parents' 50th anniversary, which I attended in Fresno, and the trip to get there, which took me through Santa Barbara and visits with many of the friends and fellow writers about whom I've written previously in this forum--my hosts George and Amy and Chryss and, since it was Amy's birthday and she had a party, a cavalcade of Santa Barbara's elite (well, they're elite to me). There was an all too brief side trip to visit Chris and Nadya in Lompoc to deliver my tiny book. Then on to Fresno, a warm and lovely trip, topped off by my surprise arrival to the celebration that my sister Kelly organized magnificently, and which included many family members, cousins and uncles and aunts, including my brother Todd and his family, and even one old high school buddy, Mark Driscoll--some of whom I hadn't seen in years. Mom and Dad were radiant as I've ever seen them, even youthful. Then the next afternoon, I drank another bottle of wine and conversed with Peter Everwine (I wish everyone this new year the gift of a fine bottle shared with an imminently wise friend), and then briefly visited Charles Hanzlicek and his wife Diane and talked about life and politics and their war of election signs with their neighbor. In many ways, this trip was both time travel and another coat of laquer over the grain.

Time is weird. It passes largely outside of us, around us, because in this moment we feel largely the same, fizzing away in our acuities and abstractions, ebb as flow, so when we re-arrive into a bubble of familiarity many years later, its passing is writ in wrinkles and frailty on others and to them, I suppose, on me. But for me (and, yes, you), now is always now, and I feel much as I did back in school, a kid with a new piece of chalk or worried about Daisy Wallace and would she be all right after the fire that took so much from her. It never leaves, the senses of possibility and concern. Certainty and uncertainty swirl, and the un becomes one like Schrodinger's cat and you open the trunk and, looking right at it, you still aren't sure if it's dead or just sleeping. Yearning mediates each moment still, if not as uncontrollably, and loss accumulates irrepressibly, and to what end is always the wrong question to ask anyway. There's never an end. There's just stopping, and there's just going until you do. So, go.