the beginning of November by Rona Keller Via Flickr: I wake to a world covered in fog and spend my days not doing much until it gets dark again. In those hours before the world turns black I have the strong urge to create. I want to capture the last yellow leaves, the first November rain, the cold wind that brushes the outside of our house, how cosy my room feels at this time of the year, but sometimes I just stay in the moment. I try to enjoy it the way it is and wonder why it always feels like something is missing when I don’t take photographs. It’s never just beautiful or just cosy or just warm, it’s always fading and unsettling and cold, too. I curl up in my warm bed and try to let go, but the artist inside me never seems to rest.
i have come unhinged. why do people use that word in a negative manner, as though being unhinged is a sign of declining mental faculties? i think it is a lovely word, a lovely notion - unhinged. who wants to be locked up tight all the time?
and what of the past two weeks? i found my sealegs, met s., and discovered my changeling soul. i have poured my heart into inkblots and pencil scratchings. champagne and watercolors.
two weeks ago, i took a boat to michigan. while i heaved my guts into the toilet, a tune worked its way into my head. a throbbing bassline, in time to the walloping of the waves attacking the boat, and the same words, over and over again: come liars and lovers of mad-minded men. on the return boat ride, i did not throw up. i’d found my sealegs, my lakelegs. i stood out on the deck and looked at the water surrounding me, and it felt like home - that bobbing bluebrown expanse, the cold spray on my cheeks.
a week and a half ago, i met s. who knew such dark beauty lived in wisconsin? we traipsed through witchy stores, drank tea, completed each other’s sentences. she gave me a silver charm bracelet and a piece of a railroad track. she gifted me with a love for opera. (myself and opera, what an improbable combination, but suddenly, inexplicably, it is the right fit. i walk around my house, puttering about with mundanities like making coffee and doing laundry, humming “nessun dorma” all the while.) i wanted to kiss her, but was too afraid. we lay in her bed, but i couldn’t sleep; her small hands on my waist left me trembling. i gazed out the window at the glittering night, and asked the rain what i should do. the rain replied: patience, my love. patience.
a couple days later, maggie was here, delivered by train. we smoked jasmine tobacco from a hookah, and wished our smoke would form words. we were ghosts on a glowing bridge. she lent me a book about the elegbara, eshu’s children. i’ve been called an eshu, before; there is my insatiable wanderlust and my love of storytelling. reading that book was like reading about myself. we tell stories, it said, because we are stories. don’t you forget that.
i took a long walk today; first to the post office, and then to the cemetery to visit the stone lady who makes me feel peaceful, always. her eyes are raised skyward; her hands clasped in prayer. people stared at me as i walked down the street. perhaps my ethereal beauty stunned them. more likely, they simply could not believe how odd i seemed; what with my early-1900s-esque dress (brown with pink flowers), my scuffed boots, the light dust of glitter on my cheeks, and the purple ribbon and raven’s feather in my hair. today was gray and glary, and the air was palpable, almost salty. the clouds were stagnant, refusing to budge, or to rain. there was not even the faintest whisper of a breeze, when i started out. the more i walked, the more the wind picked up, rustling the trees, sending shivers through the grass. by the time i reached the boneyard, the clouds were racing across the sky. i like to think it was my doing. as i rested underneath the gaze of my stone lady, a dragonfly buzzed past, circled around, then settled on my arm. he shimmered like an oil puddle, tickled me with his feet. it seemed so unlikely - a dragonfly in late september.
tonight, everything is synesthetic. sounds have color; tastes have voices. the sirens blaring down 794 are turquoise. maria callas’ arias are magenta edged with gold. the wine i am drinking is a villanelle in my mouth.