change · compassion · forgiveness · fortitude · life · maturity · poetry · progress · recovery · San Francisco

Poetic Noise.

I was all set to write a blog about 7 years. How really when
someone is 6 years old, they’re beginning their 7th year of life.
How I’ve been here in the SF Bay Area 6 years to the day, and so I begin my 7th year in
the Bay. And how, further, and don’t quote me, that our cells are said to regenerate every 7 years – all of them – so that I am now beginning a set of 7. Any and all cells that I had in my body when I arrived in San Francisco
have absolutely been purged and regrown, replaced.
I think about this, and intended to write about all the
things that have changed in these 6 full years. About where I am not as I begin
my 7th – about how I feel it’s completely cosmically appropriate
that I stand ready to graduate from a Master’s program and contemplate a return
to the East Coast, and even maybe a career.
I wanted to list things like getting my teeth fixed, a
several-year process that I started here, after 10 years of having a few molars pulled
in high school but never replaced, which made me self conscious in photos,
though few others noticed (I certainly do now, as I smile entirely with every
ounce of my cheeks).
I was going to write about my return to art. About taking up the pencil after several years’ neglect and the first tentative and
judgmental sketches which I shoved away for another few years before warming up
and into myself – culminating in selling a painting last year – me?! of all people.
The last 6 years witnessed a return to the stage, auditions,
head shots, community plays. Two acting classes, and two performance poetry
classes, and some modeling to further my return to being present in my skin.
They also signaled a return to writing, the scribbled in
margins and the back of notebook hobby of mine. Who knew that beginning to post
my poems as Facebook notes for several years would morph into what it is now –
reading in public, (almost) owning my mantle of poet. 
I got a cat, for chrissake. Something I was loathe to do –
my first pet-able animal I’ve ever owned, and having her hasn’t make me a crazy cat
lady… so I’m told.
I put up curtains, set root in San Francisco, didn’t run
away, cut and run, shrink or hide. I’ve emerged slowly, shyly, tentatively,
reluctantly and painfully for sure.
I took guitar lessons and voice lessons. Which I dropped,
but the piano creeps in these days, sending crescendos of joy into my marrow.
For years, while I’ve been here, whenever someone told me
that they were in school full-time, I looked at them as though they were a
movie star, a little starry eyed and goofy and admiring, and said (I remember
so clearly), I envy people who do that – go to school fulltime. And now I’m one
of them. I forget that I really asked for this. I asked for it often and
deeply.
As each of the cells on this corporeal form have dived their
swan song into the ether, I have changed. People sometimes use the term inwardly
rearranged
– how literal it is here.
Yes, I intended to write my blog about that – about the
nature and surprise of continuing to beat a heart consistently for 7 years.
But I read my email before I came to write this, and there’s
some poetic noise in the interwebs about some highly public class tension that
occurred last night in the direction of a classmate, and I’m just sort of sad
about it.
We are all human. We are all trying to be free from
suffering and doing the best we can. 
How we act and react — teacher, student, classmate … parent, co-worker, acquaintance, dude who cut me off on the highway — is simply and ultimately the best we can offer for that day. We may not like it or approve – we may reprove ourselves for how we acted or reacted or neglected to act – but we also get to reflect and change what isn’t working for us, whether that’s our perspective or action. 
So mixed with the awe and gratitude I feel for not being the sloppy,
grubbing, manic splash of a young woman I was when I arrived in San Francisco 6
years ago today, I also feel a melancholy compassion for last night’s wounded artist (who
for all I know, may not be), and for the reality that we are all somewhere in the process of this perpetual
self-renewal.
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