It feels like we are at dawn in the earth’s cycle around the sun. Light is breaking through on the edges of the horizon and creatures are stirring.
The other evening, I was done with work, but not ready to go home (I’ve been this way for a couple of weeks now). Sydney suggested a hike.
While hiking, we both felt the feeling of the earth quickening. By the time we were leaving the woods, the sky was a dark chalky blue and the moon was pale yellow. We talked about the moon and sky, love and relationships, sex and sexuality, creativity and creative process, survival, money, how we are valued and how we value ourselves (the usual for us).
This week I’ve been working too much on things that don’t matter to me.
After Tuesday night’s hike, Wednesday felt flat – too much sitting and protocol, too much work for the amount of hours I am allotted and valued for.
And then I saw that Maggie Estep died. I felt knocked out, blank, cold.
Maggie was a poet, novelist, and spoken word artist. Maggie was someone who was a part of my world when I lived in the East Village – on the periphery, yes – but still part of it. While she was able to express her rage, I was navigating my anger and sexuality quietly (and I still scared the shit out of men). I am grateful for her, for her ability to say things I tended to keep more private.
As I was cycling home, I realized that there are a lot of people who were pivotal in (saving) my life during that time (the 90s) in New York – and so many of those people who were important to my development as a writer and artist and loving human being – I will never see them again.
There I was, pedaling slowly up the mesa, into the sunset, with cars flying past me and tears streaming down my face.
I felt awake, and more alive than I have felt in a long while.
I’m an Emotional Idiot So Get Away from Me
February 13, 2014
2 thoughts on “Born on a Thursday #47 – awake, alive”
RIP Maggie Estep (1963-2014) age 50
“I HAVE TO WRITE because I don’t know what else to do with my mind, how else to make sense of the world and its inhabitants. For whatever reason, I have trained myself, for many years, to do this thing. And when I don’t do this thing, I get crazy. No amount of yoga, bicycle racing, rapacious sex, or buying things can take the place of writing. If I don’t write, I die.”
—Maggie Estep (1963-February 12, 2014) age 50
Last Friday, February 7, she participated in a panel & shared reading at Oblong Books & Music, Rhinebeck, NY (with Sari Botton, Chloe Caldwell, and Dana Kinstler), “Goodbye To All That: Writers on Loving and Leaving New York”
“Until the Women’s Movement, it was commonplace to be told by an editor that he’d like to publish more of my poems, but he’d already published one by a woman that month … this attitude was the rule rather than the exception, until the mid-sixties. Highest compliment was to be told, ‘You write like a man.’ “
—Maxine Kumin (1925-February 6, 2014) age 88,
US Poet Laureate 1981-82. Above statement written 1983.
She died a week ago—just last Thursday
“What has made our nation great, despite its tortuous history steeped in slavery, are those who have persisted in honoring [individual] freedoms, starting with the Constitution and its amendments. It is this striving toward making those freedoms available to every citizen, regardless of race, creed, color, gender or origin, that makes the rest of the insanity tolerable.”
—Wanda Coleman (1946- November 22, 2013) aged 67
“unofficial poet laureate of Los Angeles”
This first Maggie video is the best of these links, but the other links are good, too:
patrick – thank you so much for this. i must respond more deeply than with a thank you, but you know me, sometimes it takes a few days.