Sometimes the pace of my schedule laps me. It's not necessarily an oppressive schedule; the actual things-to-do are pretty joyful with the regular obligatories (work, chores, blahblah), but it is a lot. And when extra things are thrown atop the pile, I spin sometimes. Aside from trying to fundraise, basketball season has started for the girls and work has been really busy; lists and lists of parts to find and meetings to increase biz, etc. etc. I get a handle -- research, call, meet, advise, negotiate, quote -- and a score of new emails with lists of parts to find come again, stating they are my new priority. I have no time to write, or even think much outside of keeping up, and I'm spinning, yo. I do not like when I blink and it's Friday. I have lost complete track of Monday until now. I know a ton of shit happened, but it's fuzzy. I haven't been sleeping much either and when I lie there digging for the root of the awakedness, I instead go through the itinerary of the next day, week, month. Something's bound to slip through the cracks, I think. That agitates me.
But there are stand-still moments of solace, a block of five minutes that I remember so clearly over the blur of five days put together. One of these blocks happened yesterday when I drove with only Mina to Maya's basketball game. It was a bit before dusk, about an hour before the Purkinje shift. I have loved those words, Purkinje Shift, since 10th grade physiology. To this day, I say it in my mind almost every day at dusk; Purkinje shift, which is when your eyes adjust from light to dark. It's hardest to see during the Purkinje shift; colors wash out and the lines of reality blur as cones and rods do-si-do. Mina and I were driving through the Laguna Canyon, a perfect swerve of road lined in velvety green ferns and palms. The spring mustard plants were over four feet and they bunched along the road in brilliant full-bloom patches. The hills of Laguna encased the road intimately. On the stereo I was blasting a song by Croatian singer Darko Rundek. The music was bass-y, simple, sexy. I had it on loudly and much of my tension released as I drove and listened. I looked back at Mina and she was leafing through a hard-bound Dr. Seuss collection the size of a pizza box. She had the same expression on her face as I: Calmed, content, soothed by the music and the luscious canyon. Time then stopped, or slowed significantly and I tried to str-str-stretch it. Maya and I can kibitz and gossip until words are withered and tired, but with Mina, we can be together and alone at the same time, pefectly happy. We can share and appreciate the movement of surroundings and the moment without words. Maya and I are tethered by constant interaction. Mina and I are often connected by no verbal interaction at all. She looked up at me from her book and smiled. I said, "Baby, do you like the music?" She said, "Ma-mi . . ." Which is her universal answer for I Love It So Much Words Reduce How I Feel. I wished the canyon road was the length of forever.
The Darko Rundek track is on a world music CD I received as a contribution gift from my beloved lefty radio station. I'm finding that the entire CD instantly relaxes me. This morning I blasted Oliver Mtukudzi from Zimbabwe and there is something about popular African music that excites me. The plucking and the sing-song melodies and the pep-in-the-step beats; the nasally, touching vocals. I dunno. I'm happy listening to it. When I went with Crossroads Africa -- that mini peace corps project thing I did in the Caribbean when I was 16 -- before we flew off to our tiny Leeward island, we stayed in the international dorms at Columbia University. It was 1984 and I had just seen Beat Street. I wanted to go to a DJ house party just like in the movies. I wanted to hit the Roxy. No one was up for the adventure, and instead we walked around Columbia along the Hudson River where we ran into fishermen who had caught eels off the river's edge. We went back to the dorm lounge and met a student from Senegal. He was all elbows and jaw line, short-bald cut and round sharp eyes. He said a Senegalese party was jumping off in one of the meeting rooms if we wanted to check it out. I said, Sure! But the others went back to our shared rooms instead. At the party, lines of people were dancing to the happy plucking music and the sing-song melodies. Some people were singing. Women in tight silk dresses, floor length and brilliant, swung their hips to the ground. Their matching origami head scarves did not even move. And I jumped in line and stepped like they stepped. I eavesdropped on conversations that were spoken in a gorgeous staccato French and I swayed along, standing out. I didn't care. The music filled something even if I didn't belong. I left the party earlier than I had wanted because the Sharp Jawed Boy was getting frisky, trying to hold my hand and getting too close to my face.
So, it's Friday now . . .right? I just got handed two huge lists of parts to find and I'm staring at them blankly. My heart is sinking as I stare. I can't wait to be in my car listening to my new CD again.
Thanks so much to those of you that have pushed the Help Send Maya to the Junior Olympics button (ahem, down on the left margin). Maya lights up every time I tell her someone has pushed the button. She's thrilled with the reality of all of this. The bracelets are a bit hit, and boy, you should see Maya hustling them at school and the AfterSchoolProgram. Even Mina pushed one to her teacher.
I should've brought my CD into work. Maybe I'll go get it now.
This Week In Livable Streets
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