Saturday, February 19, 2011

Made Summer Sun

"Keen" is also a noun and an adjective. Here are some "keen" things:

1. I wrote my paper! It's really shitty! But I'm happy!
2. Kinda have a crush on Richard III. Okay, so...he's got the hunchback and he murders some people, but....totally redeemable, right? It's not like he's living in his mother's basement or anything. He's just so much smarter than everyone else. Especially if he's played by Al Pacino. He can woo me over a casket any day.
3. Writing an application essay for an NEH grant. This might be harder than the Shakespeare paper, because I have to talk about how great I am, or the great things I have done. It's not any false sense of modesty when I say I just don't think I'm that great or that I've done anything great. I've done....okay. I feel okay about myself and my work, but there's room for improvement, always. I don't think I'll get an NEH grant on "room for improvement." Big 'ol sigh.
4. The movie "Roxanne" is on. Love Steve Martin in this and in everything. I like the big nose...hmmm, big noses, hunchbacks....what's the deal here?
5. I listen to this group called The Jayhawks and "Smile" is my favorite album, but this song "Broken Harpoon" came on, which is a very slow and kind of sad song that I really don't know the lyrics to. And I started giggling at the connotation of "harpoon" and its being broken....tee hee hee. Never occurred to me before.
6. Still have a bunch of work to do and this is my last weekend off for a long time. Ick city. But almost three terms down now. I sort of dread summers because there's too much time to brood, but maybe I can make something good out of it this time.
7. All kinds of crappy romantic movies on today that I usually hate, but they were good background for the writing of the paper: Legally Blonde, Dirty Dancing, and Titanic. I do like to watch the ship sink.
8. No Pudge brownie mix. MMMMMMMMM. And low calorie. Unless you have three of them a day. Probably not so good. But better than three real brownies. Right? Right?


Saturday, February 12, 2011

Melancholy Baby

KEEN \ˈkēn\ (verb)

1. to make a long and loud cry of sorrow: to lament.
2. to lament, mourn or complain loudly

I love this word and the action. If more of us keened when grieving, we'd probably all feel a lot better. Something about keep grief to oneself makes it fester, infect, poison. Keening regularly--wailing, crying, rocking--would open wounds and let them drain.

Lately I have keened, sometimes unexpectedly. I think it does help, but grief is such a strange entity. I have old and new grief. The old grief surfaces at odd moments, almost like a lost treasure. When it hits, it's more surprising than painful, I think. Sometimes I don't even realize I'm grieving over a particular event or person until it slams into me.  Other grief is newer, fresher, harder, more persistent and tenuous, in part because I can't quite convince myself of the actual loss. I still think I can dive down into the depths and dig and salvage, even though as I do so, I am drowning and gasping. So it is definitely time to let go and to grieve. To keen. Except to do that means letting go completely of a dream, an idea, a longing. I am having trouble with this currently, which is strange to me, because my whole life has been about saying goodbye to people and letting go.

As a military child, I was always saying goodbye. I learned to treasure my library and my toys, which were portable friends. Real live friends were always harder to acquire, and once I got comfortable, I would have to leave them anyway. I think I got pretty good at leaving. And even though I've been stationary (more or less) for the past 16 years, I can generally say goodbye and mean it and move on, although of course I have regrets and sadness. But now...I am having trouble. I don't want to continue to leave people, either physically or emotionally. I want to stick around. I want them to stick around.  I have no one in my life that I knew from elementary school. Or high school. Or college, even. The longest friendships I have only go back around ten years. No one has witnessed my steps; my footprints have barely indented the sand. So I have only my memory of beautiful moments to sustain me--the ones who shared those beautiful memories have long since moved on. This sometimes seems unbearably sad to me.

So I keen. To lament, mourn, or complain loudly.