Wednesday, May 05, 2010

I suppose it's that I feel hermitish and alone. Those are almost feelings of comfort to me, or a settling place. When I feel lost especially. I haven't wanted to be plugged in, electronically. I've just wanted to be or feel something that is just beyond how I'm feeling now. Be out. Be in. Be still. Be living. It feels like it might all slip through my fingers. My internal whirlwind has confused me. It's whirlwinded into a silence that I don't get. I'm tired. I'm bored. I want. I don't. I love it all. I'm so tired. I'm trying not to be disappointed. Where's the strength I had when I was a kid?

You don't have to tell me.

How about I tell you what's good? I've been doing that volunteer work at the Upward Bound House. I've taught a few baking classes to the kids and I helped with the Easter Egg Hunt and tomorrow I'll cook and be part of the Cinco de Mayo party. It's been all joy. The whole experience. The baking classes are so sweet. My heart wants to shatter when I look into their little faces. The kids thank me at every turn, raise their hands to impress me with their stories. They hug me and ask me if I'll come back "yesterday." I connect with their child's panic of wanting good things for themselves and their parents. And it kind of kills me. I don't tell them the baking is vegan. They just like to measure and mix stuff. I've had some questions, like the time I used rice milk. "Look! It's white, like milk!" They love to smell ingredients; cinnamon, freshly grated lemon rind, canned pumpkin. I'm never sure they'll like what we make because it's unconventional, contains less sugar, but they stuff whole, warm muffins into their mouths with wide eyes and ask me if they can take one to their mama/brother/grandmother. The students have mainly been little boys though last time I had one little girl who told me long stories about her grandmama's vegetable garden in Atlanta. Her two front teeth were missing and her thin, beaded braids swung and tapped her on the jaw when she spoke. Her name was Dee and they call me Miss D too because my name is hard to remember. Her name is hard too and she said she had six letters in her name and I said I have seven, I know how it is. And we nodded at each other while the boys tried to wet-finger sugar off the table. During the Easter Egg Hunt, I was assigned a four-boy search party. Two sets of brothers; one set aged 9 and 7, the other brothers were just 4 and 3. The tiny brothers held my hands with their teeny doll hands and wouldn't let me go, not even when they saw colorful plastic eggs sitting all alone, ones that the big kids hadn't trampled to yet. I'd have to tell them, "Go get the eggs now." And they shuffle-ran over and picked up the eggs, shook them, dropped them into their brown paper bag. Halfway through the hunt, the four year old looked into his three year old brother's bag. There were only about five eggs in there and without any words or hesitation he reached into his own bag and plopped in three eggs into his little brother's bag. Then my big boys came over and looked into the little boys' bags and without any words or hesitation, they reached into their bags and plopped a few more eggs into each of the little boys' bags. I'm tearing up typing about it because it was all so quiet and natural, instinctual, to share and be fair. I'll love those boys forever, if just in my memory of them, for that. Even, or especially, as transitional kids they understood the power and upliftment of sharing; upliftment as the giver and as the receiver equally, the true balance of community and humankind. There is always enough to go around. Don't believe there is not.

So, I feel good when I'm there.

I feel good when I'm with my own girls too. Man, they are a joy to watch develop and grow, but lord have mercy if it doesn't take every ounce of time and energy. Between them and work, there is little else. When I find free time, I tell myself I should write or read or paint, but my energy is spent. I'm beat. And I try to squash the feelings of guilt and squandering, again. But it's hard. I'm just on a down swing.

You don't have to tell me.
Mainly I just wanted to say hi.