Wednesday, January 8, 2014

clean, then not, then clean

I've started the new year out clean, as I try to do. No alcohol, red meat (though a client made me a steak sandwich the other day and I felt obligated to eat it), early to bed, early to rise, a certain amount of physical movement. The holidays settle around my belly, a jolly layer that makes my pants hard to button and frustrates me. I'm not body obsessed by any means but I know where I feel best. Luckily, blessedly, strangely, I lose weight quickly. Cutting out the alcohol isn't big deal either, even though I do really really really enjoy a glass of red wine in the evening with a book. H is still in Canada so the dedication to my cleaning ritual is a little easier. Last night I was in bed just after 9pm and slept deeply until just before 6am. Ahhhh.

While in the Pacific Northwest I read a could of fantasy books that were a wild romp. The characters were funny and compelling, the plots were twisted but not so twisted that I was confused or turned off. The writing was clean and the storyline required a great suspension of disbelief that paid off. But one line, man, one line can really crap it all up. It may have been in a character's voice and in context but there was a line about how a book would have been considered for a national prize if (paraphrasing) some immigrant narrative didn't come out and win the prize instead. Heart. Thud. Belly. Sick. Really? Take your latent racism and suck it.

It reminded me of a conversation I witnessed once. An author who had suffered and overcome a hell of a lot of violence and chaos gave a reading. The work the author read was hard, but gorgeous. After the reading a young man  who came from considerable privilege went up to the author and said something along the lines of "I'm so jealous you have such a great story to tell! I wish I had a story I could tell like that!"  The author was gracious but those of us standing around were pretty dumbstruck.

I know, I'm judging. Not kindly or gracious but there has to be room for rage, frustration then the clearing of it. I don't want to wear rage anymore than I want this fanny pack of fat from the holidays.

The morning outside my window is foggy. I can barely see the palm trees. The sun is a white light in the gray. I have to go to work in a few. Crows are calling out to each other, the fog makes their cries louder. A friend of mine who lived by the zoo once told me that on foggy morning he would be awakened by the calls of howler monkeys. If you haven't heard a howler monkey, click on the link and imagine waking up to that.

I know this song is for kids, but I love it. It makes me cry.

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