Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Down Under

An old friend of mine tracked me down from high school. She was the foreign exchange student from Australis, wild and fun. Haven't talked to her in 20 yrs. She said we saw each other in London last - ohhh yeah, god, did I see her there? She had just gotten off a cruise ship where she'd been a chef and I was in Europe with my tall lanky ex-boyfriend. We met at a bar/restaurant/cafe and when he went to the bathroom I told her I was in love with two other people, a boy and a girl. I was 25. She was more interested in the boy in the bathroom - what was wrong with this one, the one right under your nose? He was a beautiful boy. I never really wanted the one right under my nose.

So 20 yrs, I had to try and rethink - did she know me before my dead ex-husband? Where was I living, what was I doing? Why did I map my life by my love affairs? While she was trekking around Zimbabwe with no electricity and using words like bloke and safari, I was living in a tiny house on a huge river in Maryland. While she was having a baby in Perth, I was in LA working on horror movies and meeting my husband. Now she's in Canada teaching art and theater to kids at her kids' school, and I'll be teaching playwriting to kids at MY kids' school. Hmm.

I never really organized my life, I better do that, huh. I just sort of followed its crazy path. And now with three kids running around, I just look for moments in the day where I can breathe, and see an ocean of silence. I am lost in it, committed. These are the busy years. I guess up there in Canade, she's breathing in a breath of cold air and doing the same thing.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Chickens are the New Crack

Can't stop buying chickens. They cost like 2 bucks. They fit in your pocket. They're fluffy. If you could coat them in chocolate, I might marry them.

My hands are all torn up from building the chicken house. It was just an old shed out on the corner of the property, cobwebby, hidden by branches, ignored. Nathan and I went in and chop chopped, then Nathan wandered off and it was just me, for the last few weeks, just chopping, shredding my hands, making piles of mean thorny branches, adding sawdust and then, just like in The Secret Garden, my bit of land is so - tranquil. Clean. Serene.

Chickens were laying eggs in there while Moose and I sat on the diving board of the pool and let the sun soak into us for a second today - glorious sun in February, no small feat. And standing in that shed with her, watching the chickens, it's funny how a place that meant nothing is now a place that is someplace, had a purpose. Is full of life. You can stand in it and feel it's worth.

During the day after I serve people food and clean up and play and work, I head out there to just stand and look at the chickens and give them a handful of food or pick up a stray throny branch. Because it's quiet out there, and there's peeping.