Sunday, May 05, 2013

Eating Papaya at My Writing Table

Autobiography isn't necessary.  History wants in all the time, like the way I put my great-grandmother's silver spoon in this shot. I wasn't actually eating with it.  I'd first just grabbed a regular one from the regular drawer but then I got into a spirit.  Complications ensuing.   Want to celebrate the moment.  See how the papaya looks on that plate. I love that plate, its merry colors, totem of abundance.  Remember when I bought that plate, its set -- and then --

Oh lord, there comes the first husband, and the dying parents, and that day in Ohio, one of a thousand days of grief, guilt and sorrow.

Back to The Moment, please.  See how beautiful is that silver spoon.  Yes, evidence of bygone elegance, something of loveliness and pleasure after all those other stories, to the contrary.  The why of my persistent desire.

Back to The Moment.  Gentle, ripe papaya  with black seeds on a beautiful plate.  Scooping a mouthful with a silver spoon --

-- how I used to buy papaya at the market in Tonga decades ago -- we all loved it, it was cheap and sweet --  and once one of the other volunteers ate so much the palms of his hands turned orange.

The Moment will not stay put.

Getting up and backing away.  Looking again:  from here, you see a different moment:  things less artful, the cords, a glass of juice, the mug of tea, the phone -- less order now.

And backing away.  And looking again at this corner I've made, readied for what I hoped would happen.  A room I love with a blessed bed.   Love and color and light.

And coming back.  The gentle, ripe papaya with black seeds on a beautiful plate.  Does it need my great grandmother?  Ex-husband?  That guy with the orange palms in long ago Tonga?

Okay, ubiquitous memory, devil and angel and pride and melancholy and muse, I let you in.  And then I come back.

The gentle, ripe papaya with black seeds on a beautiful plate.  The Moment I'm in.


A sunny Sunday morning.  Backdrop of robins and wrens, chattering and eliding, crisscrossed arias from the tops of maples.  Solitude in the house where sunbeams nudge away doldrums.

Almost forgot how to get started.  It is curious how a woman who has always limned herself "writer," would resist this actual moment, the moment of sitting down.  Opening up.  Typing the first words.  Turning inward.

Of course that's it:  the layered mix of risk and self-esteem.  Which will win -- the loneliness that feeds lackadaisical avoidance or the propellers of self-love, belief and hope?

Stay tuned.  This feels good.