So, today, come 1:50, I’ll be sitting (in between two very dear girlfriends) at a little Manhattan theater with a sneaked-in bottle of Caffeine Free Diet Coke and a bucket of popcorn the size of the Empire State Building, watching the long awaited Sex and the City movie. Yes, it’s true: I’m a total (moved to New York ’cause I wanna be a writer) cliché, but I sweat this stuff.
I’ve watched every single episode–have watched on Christmas, my birthday; when I’m sad, happy, need to be writing, grading, working out; was watching, obliviously, on the morning of September 11; want, right now actually, not to be posting but instead to be sitting eating a Fudgsicle and watching some more.
Anyway, even though I already know the ending, I couldn’t be happier. The thing is: Carrie has to marry Big. The entire show (if dissected from Episode 1 to infinitum for, say, “writing research”) is a narrative arc of their love story. I’m glad I have pregnancy to blame, because I have a feeling it’s going to be one of those weddings where I ball uncontrollably.
Okay, that’s it. I’ll try to spare you the popculture references from here on out…though I did hear that Jamie Lynn and Casey are expecting a girl. I bet when she grows up she’ll wanna watch Sex and the City too!
There are some mornings when I want nothing more than a Mary Oliver poem…
by Mary Oliver
Today again I am hardly myself.
It happens over and over.
It is heaven-sent.
It flows through me
like the blue wave.
Green leaves – you may believe this or not –
have once or twice
emerged from the tips of my fingers
deep in the woods,
in the reckless seizure of spring.
Though, of course, I also know that other song,
the sweet passion of one-ness.
Just yesterday I watched an ant crossing a path, through the
tumbled pine needles she toiled.
And I thought: she will never live another life but this one.
And I thought: if she lives her life with all her strength
is she not wonderful and wise?
And I continued this up the miraculous pyramid of everything
until I came to myself.
And still, even in these northern woods, on these hills of sand,
I have flown from the other window of myself
to become white heron, blue whale,
red fox, hedgehog.
Oh, sometimes already my body has felt like the body of a flower!
Sometimes already my heart is a red parrot, perched
among strange, dark trees, flapping and screaming.
My spoon as big as a springtime moon, I sit at this old table, my cereal so cold and able, and I think, oh, if only the sink were empty, the dishes done, oh then, I think, there would be sun. In the background, some singer croons, love will come, she tells me, soon. Outside, I look, it’s far from noon(!!!), but there on the horizon–at its very start–what first appears to be a stray balloon is, in fact, a big fat heart!
This afternoon, I walked
along the Oregon coast
until my legs grew tired;
saw blue herons, daisies, bald eagles;
sat on a bleached-out tree
to a baby that’s not even born
while the seals beached on the sand.
When the rain blew in–
as it does–
I sang louder,
not knowing what gets heard,
what stays, what settles
into heart and bone and–after all
those long months–finally, becomes.
“The secrets that sweep me away” writes Cynthia Ozick, “are generally secrets of inheritance: how the pear seed becomes a pear tree, for instance, rather than a polar bear.”
I was reminded of this yesterday when after having sat rain-soaked in an admitting room for an hour and a half, fearing that C. would miss the whole thing because of a meeting, I was finally led back to the ultrasound room.
“This will be warm,” the technician said and squeezed cold gel onto my belly. She pressed. The screen looked as empty as an unmade bed. “Hmm, fibroid.”
“Is that bad?”
“It’s fine,” and pressed again. Then, finally: the baby. Two arms, two legs, a tiny profile, doing flips. It wasn’t a plum or a lilac bush or a polar bear, it was, indeed a baby.
“Is that the head?” C. asked, and he stood there holding my hand as we marveled at what is and what will be.
Sam Samman died on May 18, 2008.
May he rest in peace…
I like to think the sun’s so soft in heaven
that there’s no need for hats.