I had such a magnificent week. A beautiful phone call from Marnie on Monday, and time with a friend, with great food and even presents for me [unexpected!]. Story hour at the library with Oliver on Tuesday, and an extraordinary meeting of my poetry group in my house Tuesday night, just extraordinary. A conversation with a friend who trusted me with her heart on Wednesday. A wonderful morning on Thursday, splashing in water with Oliver and then going to see Mad Max (squee!!!). And yesterday a superabundance of gifts: coffee with my wonderful friend Nancy, who gave me a way to think about something that made 1,000 puzzle pieces fall into place, followed by brunch with my dear friend Karyn, who gave me a dozen gorgeous eggs from her chickens and lots of great conversation and connection and sharing, a fortuitous meeting of a beautiful girl I’ve been wanting to meet for so long, a nice chat with Katie followed by a call from Dixie that left me beaming followed by FaceTime with Marc. Just magnificent in every way, my week. I don’t have very much work and that’s scaring me as I watch my little checking account dwindle to near dust, but everything else was amazing. Blue skies and sunny days, peace and quiet, and joy. Lucky, lucky, lucky me.
Thursday, when I was driving up to Katie’s house, the radio station was playing non-stop music from 1977, which happens to be the year I graduated from high school. That means the music of that immediate period is deeply integrated into me, and thick with memory. I was loving the songs, one after another, and then The Commodores’ Easy (Like a Sunday Morning) came on, and I felt a circle close in my life.
The day I graduated from high school, in Wichita Falls, Texas, I walked off the stage, got in my car, and drove to Austin. I moved that day. A few days later, a very early June day in 1977, I was driving on Burnet Road, a beautiful sunny day with blue skies, overjoyed with being out of Wichita Falls and back in Austin, which held some kind of sense of home to me. My car windows were rolled down and the radio was playing, and that song came on. Of course — I think it was #1 at the time. And it just caught my emotional moment so beautifully, it held everything I felt at that moment in my life. [And that fantastic OOH! (at 2:45 in the video below, if you don’t remember)]:
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(oh my goodness, that beautiful big Afro, that fantastic suit….)
And so there I was Thursday, 38 years later, driving in Austin on a beautiful sunny day in very early June — maybe even the same day, I don’t remember that specifically — my car windows down, and listening to the radio, and Easy came on. In that moment I felt a circle close, then to now. It was such a powerful moment, heavy with the feelings from 1977 and now, and my understanding of everything that had happened in between. (Also: I am so thrilled to be 56 and not 18.)
It left me wondering about circles closing all around, all throughout our lives, and we aren’t aware of them. If they are marked in some very clear way, if we mark them ourselves in a noticing way, perhaps we catch them. But how many are closing? One a day? Probably not. How many are happy comings-together, and how many are sad? Maybe I’m the only one who thinks like this, I don’t know, but I love to feel the circles come together. It’s why Oliver and my future grandchildren will call me Pete, to close that circle of love — from Big Daddy calling me that, to grandchildren calling me that. Simply moving back to Austin when my life fell apart in November 2012 closed a circle, or at least it felt that way. I don’t think I’ll ever live anywhere else but Austin, but my life has definitely taught me that I have no idea what’s over the top of the hill, around a curve, and I should never say never.
Thinking about circles closing around me reminded me of my insight about bubbles from last September, which is still one of my favorite things I’ve ever thought of. What is it with circles? Such a deep and ancient metaphor, and myth, and there it is in the world everywhere, and it comes up out of my experience of things again and again. I love that. Circles, yeah. Right on. (I am trying to bring this phrase back, right on, so if you could help me out by sprinkling it into your conversation on occasion that would be great. Use it in place of yes! Use it when there’s not really something to say, when you’d usually just kind of nod. Say it like the funky dudes from the 70s: “Right onnnnn…….” or say it however you wish. “Right on!”)
My wonderful week slides right into a wonderful weekend — I’m going to a festival of literary arts and cartooning today, and tomorrow I get to babysit my wonderful little Oliver while his mommy and daddy celebrate their 7th wedding anniversary. And we’re having blue skies, no rain, and 90 degrees. Life can be so so good, and sometimes easy (like a Sunday morning). Enjoy your weekend, whatever you are doing. Right on.