Thursday, June 11, 2009

I'm sitting here at the kitchen table on Vine Street in Berkeley, leaves of the magnolia tree outside the window dancing in the sunlight and bluster from the Bay, sipping reheated coffee and taking my own temperature. I was sad two days ago, just blue and wallowing, how hard it will be to go, I was thinking, how will I do it when I feel like this in Marrakech and Peet's coffee is far, far away, and the comfort of feeling glum amidst the familiar is so not there? And two days before that I'd lain on the bed with Paul, looking at the globe high on a shelf in the corner of the bedroom, feeling the tears run wetly, first hot, then cold down into my ears. We went there -- imagining, what if something happened to Hazel in Morocco? I said to Paul, looking at the one arm of metal that runs from pole to pole on the globe, I don't want my life banded by fear, clamped from pole to pole like that with looping ropes of perpetual imaginings of the very worst. The world would stop spinning and everyone would get off if that's how we filled our days and thoughts. How do you live inside that place?

And then yesterday I was happy. Was it seeing the unfamiliar craze of streets on a map of an unfamiliar city? Or kissing Paul in the kitchen, even though it's the kitchen we are leaving? Or meeting my friend Mary for a glass of wine and the kind of talk that settles and affirms and roots you in the moment? All of those things, surely. 

Today it is talk of boxes -- really, it's all just talk at this point, and that's where the idea of touching all of our things, no doubt multiple times over in the course of the next (gulp) six weeks, makes me blanch. Which is to say nothing of watching Hazel take all of this in with her wide drinking eyes, looking and looking. Of course everyone says, in the way that they do, that children adjust with the greatest grace and speed, but I do not relish the moment-to-moment of un-understood disruption, the piles of boxes growing, the books disappearing from shelves, the rugs and pictures and all the world dismantled piece-meal and in a jagged way, giving way. Will it be as bad as that? She's 22 months today exactly. 

This posting thing is odd -- the writing has a way of appearing ordered, the thoughts arranged just so with a period, and commas, and other marks to regulate speed and clarity. But not so. I'm always stopping to peer over into the abyss between intention and black and white. 

Lots to do. Do I want to read that Paul Bowles novel set in Morocco before we go? There was a silly Sting or Police song that I fell briefly in love with once-upon-a-teenage-time that lifted its lyrics and narrative from that novel, and I'm wondering whether to poison my thoughts with somebody else's exoticizing of this place we are going to experience for ourselves. (Let me do my own damn fantasizing, no?!) Edward Said would certainly have something to say on all of this.