RICH ROTTED EARTH

may2017eggs 028
The actual eggs in the dove nest

There’s a dove nest in the small, twisted up old cherry tree. Or plum tree, it could be a plum tree. Right now I can’t remember what sort of fruit, if any, it produces anymore. It breaks out in fragile pink blossoms that the bees and wasps make love to for a week or so and then…I can’t remember what little hard fruits gently swell into place and then drop to the long grasses the lawn mower misses. There are two doves, and now, two eggs. White and perfect, in that badly constructed temporary home. The dove astraddle that nest explodes through the tree every time I pass too near. I try not to disturb the two expectant parents; what if they abandon their little trove of future babies? And we have no cats and the two dogs seem supremely indifferent to two nervous doves who’ve chosen such a bad place for their nest. I could ‘use this for a story’. It’s what I do. I use the most mundane, ordinary crap for ‘stories; or use truly harrowing personal abysses for ‘stories’.

But I stop at that truly honest reveal. I am self-censoring. Making it ‘nice’. Shying back from the deep wells of anger and rage within me that never get emptied. Shying back from the deep recesses of love and hope and want that crush me into bloody foam and make me wish for death. Some sort of peace. Any sort of peace. I’m supposed to be a writer and ‘lay my soul bare’ for public consumption. I’m supposed to be a canapé platter for the reading public to nibble at. Instead I’m blithering on about dove eggs and…

I’m not digging into the rich rotted earth of my soul. Oh my. Except it’s what I do. I just don’t actually share what I find. I pretty it up. I add a coating of candy and apologies and sarcastic retreating. I don’t wish to be seen.

Ah, so that leads to, of course, a self-promise to put those delvings in the rich rotted earth of my soul [OMG, how precious…See? I use sarcasm to deflect and blah blah blah. As if my two readers didn’t know that. As if!] Which, will of course, not be kept or kept far better than I will not figure out until much later and so forth and so on. Mushrooms will sprout from the rot. Flowers will unfurl their fragrant petals above the eye-watering fumes of my personal earth. [That’s rather a gross and indecent image there. Yowza!] I will not be afraid.

Ah.

There it is!! FEAR. I am AFRAID of exposing my soft underbelly to the knives of the world. I’m afraid of being gutted, eviscerated, de-intestined. [That’s not a word, but it just bumps off the tongue like a clumsy joyous dancer bumps about a stage during a community theatre’s production of Hamlet! the Musical!. I’m quite sure there is a musical based off of Hamlet. No, I’m not going to google that.] If I let the reading public read my actual take on this, that, the other…or let them know how deeply and awfully I feel, I bleed or I hurt…well, Armageddon time, of course. The whole shebang comes down. Or, worse…I get ignored. Or people go, oh, that’s cute. Or people go, oh, you’re just being a drama queen. Or…yeah. Fear. It’s a bitchkitty. It claws the inside of your face.

Doves! This started off as some innocuous post about doves, their nest and their two fragile white eggs. And went into ‘writer barely freaks out about obvious shit’. Oh look, sarcasm used to deflect. That’s so original! Oh look, sarcasm again!! My rich rotted earth soul sighs and another mushroom growing in that creative compost rolls its spores at me.

There was a line in the television miniseries, Feud, where Joan Crawford confesses to her long-time companion and maid that she doesn’t know who she is when she’s alone. That’s me in a damn broken nutshell. I’m still not sure what face to wear when I’m alone. Which is far too honest to keep writing about so I’ll end there. And go write a short story no one will copy and paste into their barely read literary ‘zine. Rejection of my painful little fumbling words, it just doesn’t seem worth it at all anymore…

 

But the doves, I hope, will continue to foster their eggs and hatch their children.

I can be honest, brutally so. I’ll end this post with words from Connie, from my Care and Feeding of Baby Birds:

I’m out of resilience. Plum out. Nada resilience. I sit down to rewrite my resume to apply for jobs, jobs that already have a thousand applicants apiece, and wonder, why am I doing this again? Why am I bothering? Maybe I should have become a nurse, they always need nurses, they don’t need failed poets. Nobody ever needs a poet. I should probably write this all down in some masturbatory rhyming couplet. They can read it at my funeral. I’ll be cremated, it’s cheaper than a real burial. My mother was cremated because it was cheaper. She would have been fine with the cremation, I’m not being nasty. Poor people have to be practical about costs above all else, cause a single penny can fuck you three ways of sideways nowadays. See? I told you there’d be more cussing. But uh…what’s holding me back– is this picture of my dad finding me. But not so much anymore. Not so much since yesterday…

But I’ve been waiting for the good things to happen for years now. I’ve been patient. I send out resumes, I act nice, I go out of my way for my friends when I can. Is that why I never get anywhere? Cause I wait? Cause I try to be as small as possible, not make any noise? I even write polite poems. About nature and waterfalls. Nothing profound. I’m not profound. At all. I never let myself be. I write pretty, shallow poems to please everyone and they please no one…

I’ll never be a mom. Or a wife. I’ve spent my life in school, working crappy jobs, waiting for the mail, or lately, the emails that don’t get sent. Or the emails that say, sorry, we don’t want your shallow crap, good luck not being a writer, ever. Don’t you wish…rejection letters were honest? That the editors would just say, plainly, once and for all– you can’t write. Try marine biology. Or dead animal removal, I hear they’re always hiring. I would so love to get that rejection letter! I could finally stop wishing, hoping, waiting, dreaming! I could stop all that crap. It would be so nice. I could finally give up and move on, whether it’s nursing school or a razor blade. This being in limbo all the time, waiting for dreams to come true…it’s cruel. Believe in your dreams!! Hang in there, someday it will happen, my friends keep saying. They have houses and lives. They have money in the bank and go on vacations. They have children. A couple even have grandchildren by now. I have…nothing. I have nothing to show. No awards. No college teaching position, just until my book gets published crappola. I didn’t mean to get on this, God. I didn’t mean to get all…maudlin.
Is it peaceful when you die? I think it is. I think…I think it’s when you finally stop waiting. When you can stop being so tired. When you stop trying to save dying baby birds. When you stop sending off submissions and stop expecting great things. When you can just…just let all that shit go at last. Amen. Yet. Yet I don’t want to give up. I’m stronger than this. I’m stronger than this push in my head to kill myself. I’m stronger than this stupid, awful, crippling depression that has lived in me since I was thirteen. I am stronger than this! But not if they die. When they die! I’m still here. That has got to count for something. Baby birds die. Some of them live. And they learn to fly. They don’t care about pleasing anyone…

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