if you want to sing out, sing out, and so i shall (i must)

Sitting here at the bar, reading Walt Whitman, alone.

Am I cool yet?

(No. No, I am not. To be clear: I am sitting at a booth, and I am drinking lemonade. It is sweet and cold, and I clutch at it with my too-long creature-fingers.)

Tomorrow I finish packing up the literal bits of this last life, and I move forward into the next one. And maybe this will also be the week of the new job, of this role that I covet, of all good, safe things.

These are the first notes of a new song, and I can only hum it for you right now, my dear. I am too scared to open my throat fully, I am so scared of what is going to pour forth from me when I finally do become unafraid. For now, my soft underbelly has to remain mine alone. I will expose it to you soon, it is marked on my calendar. Perhaps you will scratch it. I don’t know.

The song will go, I hope:

La la la new, safe, friendly streets to jog

Mmm the promise of the spicy mocha at the coffee shop on the corner

Ooh, baby there are so many free snacks at this new job, and the e-mail said that sometimes there are dogs here ooohhhh

Na na na na the sun is shining, and I will write us out of this mess

Hey hey hey I am worthy of forgiveness

Good-bye

So, I’m reading Walt Whitman at this bar, and here is the line that strikes me today, that pokes at my soft guts in this moment when my mouth tastes like sugar and lemons (just thought you oughta know):

I am larger, better than I thought,
I did not know I held so much goodness.

DAMMIT, UNCLE WALT.

I don’t know yet, but I am beginning to consider. Beginning to consider that this gangly, pudgy corporation of mine might be filled with goodness. That, yes, I make mistakes, and yes, I have hurt people, and yes, thoughts and actions of mine are selfish, are greedy, are unkind… But maybe.

Maybe I am ultimately good. And if I am, well, wow, you sure as hell must be. I hope that idea gives you some comfort, I hope that idea offers you a moment of breath, as clean and good and affirming as you are.

Camerado, I give you my hand!
I give you my love more precious than money,
I give you myself before preaching or law;
Will you give me yourself? will you come travel with me?
Shall we stick by each other as long as we live?

(Once again, Uncle Walt, you are killing me here.)

But, like, you know… shall we?

I am comforted lately by the idea of the multiverse. I am given peace by the vision of another universe where there is another sort of song playing, and I think perhaps we are dancing to it. (I have given you my hand, after all.)

This poem I’m obsessing over today is Whitman’s “Song of the Open Road.” And I think I have done well these last few weeks as a weary traveler. I have lived life from my BB-8 suitcase, I have tipped my hat politely as I have wandered from port to port. But my shoulders are trapped up around my ears, and I am ready to go home.

I am ready to welcome you into my space, safe and warm and friendly. Maybe I will learn to make pasta.

Because today we are drinking lemonade and reading Walt Whitman and wiping the tears from our stinging eyes. Today it hurts to even hum.

But tomorrow, I think, we begin to warble.

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s