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Party Of One

The clean time. The all-too-short time in Portland, Oregon when the air is cold and crisp, and the wind blows all of fall's dust away. The last leaves whirled away a week ago, and the trees reach their bare wands into the sky, which is much bigger now. The sky at this time of year is made of the most beautiful colors you can imagine. The softest pinks, blushes and peachy apricots, lilacs and periwinkles - it's a magical, delicious palette, at dusk and at sunrise, which are only hours apart. To me, the darkness of winter is friendly, a place of respite from the raging human world. The nine month summer we experience here now since climate change is a relentless burn, and people react badly to heat and sunshine. They rev up their own noise - pumping out their stereos with open windows, tons and tons of construction, yard work, loud sales and car washes, loud bike events, loud concerts, loud EVERYTHING. I hate it. 

Winter is nature's time to rest, and mine. The crows are dancing on those buoyant evening winds, and I watch them fly - a hundred strong - from the great walnut tree a block away, to the top of the new condos. They are beautiful, they are apart - they have nothing to do with the ridiculous humans below, and I long to join them. I content myself with standing out in the yard and letting that cold wind whip my hair, clearing my head of the dust of the city, and making me forget I'm one of those ridiculous humans. 

I am alone right now. And I am loving it, although it's a strange time to be sure. Stranger maybe than any time in my life, and completely unexpectedly so. My husband Greg had to go California suddenly - for a month. It's just me and the cat and the dog for xmas. And Faye and Chalky and I are having a very nice holiday so far. They are extremely good company! We hang around the tree together, we have good snacks together, and we cozy up with movies. It's very relaxing, and the house is extremely serene and beautiful. It is a time of hibernation. I like to imagine my house is a den, one that is decorated and cozy, and deep in the middle of winter I have tiny parties in it. 

Yesterday, it was a party of one. I decided to have a party, all by myself, at 4pm, which is of course how I roll these days. "Early Bird Special" should be my nick name. So, I dug out that warm case of beer in the basement, and stuck a couple of IPAs in the freezer to chill as fast as possible, and I dressed for the occasion. I mean, you got to feel it, you can't be having a holiday beverage and rocking out in your pajamas, how lame. 

So, I put on my most bitchin' holiday outfit ie: the one that went best with the super-loud rock and roll and got that party started. And it was a BLAST. Let me tell you, when you've had a hell of a week, and everyone is gone, and you've spent the better part of the last year in bed with pain, and it's xmas, and the sky is SO BEAUTIFUL - it's time to drink some beers and rock out. It's medicinal. 

So medicinal in fact, that I've decided I am going to do this every month. It is positively therapeutic. I managed to make my personal pop-up party last for two whole hours, and during that time I played the BEST music, SO loud - Black Sabbath, the Beastie Boys, Slant 6, ELO, the Wipers, Bob Dylan, every single song was incredible, because they are great artists of course - and so worth listening to. Especially at top volume. 

I realized that listening to this music on something other than my computer or headphones, and looking out at the world, dancing around (carefully), is a whole different experience - a different process for your brain. We (I) spend our days looking at facebook, at the horrible news, our phones - everything is so focused down into such a small world - the screen, the likes, the comments - and it's great and everything, I mean I am on facebook CONSTANTLY and for me it's a great way to socialize, being stuck at home most of the time, but sometimes we gotta LOOK UP. And listen and dance and see and think about great art!!! And let the thoughts that come into your mind while you're doing it, have free rein...the things I thought while I danced alone to the Beastie Boys while watching the crows fly in the caramel-colored twilight, were celestial. I mean, they were in touch with the inner me - the happy, floating, dancing, Beastie-Boys-appreciating me....the one who is flying with the crows, who loves the trees, and the whipping's like the angel inside you. A personal party of one taps into the angel inside you. Now that, is cool!

These kinds of moments are just so important to have, while you're still living. And who knows how long that may be? At 51 years old I am definitely aware of my own mortality - although I didn't know I would be quite this aware, so soon. But people die at 51. And far before that age - John Lennon only lived to be 40 years old! Robert Christie died at 35. I am eleven years older than John Lennon, and 16 years older than Robert was, and I have to enjoy every minute of whatever life I have left. I have to make the art, listen to the music, dance (gently), think the big thoughts, and tell my friends I love them. 

The thing that got me going was a poem. A poem I read yesterday for the first time, while following the amazing funeral events in France for rocker icon Johnny Hallyday. His children chose the poem to be read at his funeral. It is now my creed. 

Song of the Snails on Their Way to a Funeral - by Jacques Prevert

Two snails were going to the funeral of a dead leaf.
Their shells were shrouded in black,
and they had wrapped crepe around their horns.
They set out in the evening,
one glorious autumn evening. 
Alas, when they arrived
it was already spring.
The leaves who once were dead
had all sprung to life again.
The two snails were very disappointed.
But then the sun, the sun said to them,
“Take the time to sit awhile.
Take a glass of beer
if your heart tells you to.
Take, if you like, the bus to Paris.
It leaves this evening.
You’ll see the sights.
But don’t use up your time with mourning.
I tell you, it darkens the white of your eye
and makes you ugly.
Stories of coffins aren’t very pretty.
Take back your colours,
the colours of life.”
Then all the animals,
the trees and the plants
began to sing at the tops of their lungs.
It was the true and living song,
the song of summer.
And they all began to drink
and to clink their glasses.
It was a glorious evening,
a glorious summer evening,
and the two snails went back home.
They were moved,
and very happy.
They had had a lot to drink
and they staggered a little bit,
but the moon in the sky watched over them.

xoxoxo So friends, I love you! I drank the beer and danced the dance, and loved the colors of our beautiful world, and I wish the same for you! Happy Winter!!! xoxoxo 


Stephilius said…
Wonderful! While I'd have to have a very different "play list", I totally get this. And that poem! xo

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