Tuesday, December 1, 2009

I to the Sea

Originally uploaded by skinny.jeans

And so, November has come and gone without so much as a word. (Sorry.)

It is a very peculiar thing when one moves very far away; everything has changed, and so one changes with it. (I am here now, so I may not be there. )

I honestly have not been anywhere but here since I've moved, and last night, looking at BA as we stood on the steps of our house (yes, I have indeed moved again, already), it occurred to me that just six months ago, I was somewhere else entirely-- in my own apartment, circling Golden Gate Park or sitting in the Sutro Bath ruins as the fog rushed in.

I do not mourn it at all. I do not miss the complacent, agreeable weather, even now in this time of winter.

Yes, in Anchorage, we are currently in the dark season; the sun remains always at a distance, never rising up overhead but traveling alongside like a parent teaching her child how to ride a bike. The city is chilled, and I have experienced sub-zero temperatures already, yet it is not harsh as I imagined. The cold makes one feel alive--a flushed face in a white and blue world. A warm place in a dark one.

The past six weeks have been busy, exciting, and so wonderful, watching this change of season that's faster than any I've ever experienced. Between BA, R, my sister, L and the host of other friends I've made here, I've been surrounded by truly good people, and I've done and seen a lot of fun things; a few scattered shows, a weekend trip to Talkeetna, long walks in the waning light of winter, nights with BA, days writing in the kitchen, dinner parties, Thanksgiving with BA's family and L's family with a short skyping to mine--I am nothing but excited for the coming months.

Next week, BA and I will be in New York for the opening of his show in Soho, a conference of mine, and a lot of visits with friends.

It's amazing to me always how much life can change in a year, in a month.

I to the Sea

This is where everything comes back to:
a reflection,
an echo housed in not so safe a place.

as the sea is blue
as the sky,
sponging dry and wet again
as rote lessons of waves.

This is you, buried in my skin,

or my grandmother,
cradling me
in the pool at the Y,
lips the cerulean of crayons,
rivered veins.

Tap on my chest and I'll sing you these blues—
the cornflowers, the aquas, the skies,
clinging to thin skins as tread ponds
or mountain air;

I'll sing to you of shallow water,
the only place we see it all at once:

clouds atop packed earth,

a stillborn,
seal-slick, blue-grey, and heavier than you'd think.

This is you, this part of me weighted as damp denim.

Your cloudy visage plumes
across my surface, colors my depths.

Show me the angry indigo of a flame,
and I'll sing to you of
a coming and going,
a sea mirroring a sky
that holds it all:

my breath, my baby, and
my grandmother's hands,
pink in suds of dish water,
steam curling up in her white hair.

This, after all, is what we're made of:
pulsing crests and ebbing gusts,
bobbing up and down
in a pool
made just for us.

Photo © Ashley Skabar, The port in Anchorage; a special place from which to see the world. Taken with my new Rollei 35, a birthday present.

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