23 August 2011

3 pinned

i can't pin you down, oline. i just can't pin you down. when a biographer told me this a few weeks ago, it was alarming. the message i took from it being that my writing suffers because my personality is too oblique. because i'm a lady of contradictions- and, by extension, contradictory projects- and, therefore, cannot be easily classified.

i didn't know what to do with this and have been mulling it for the last few weeks. trying to figure out how to overhaul my whole self and my work so that i might more easily fall in line and more easily meet with success. the futility of this process has led to the conclusion that i am, in fact, biographically anti-establishment and working outside the mainstream. a novel idea in which tremendous liberty can be found.

i went to newport again and, having gone, i'm still not sure i know why i did.

i'm sitting on yet another low-to-the-ground couch in yusha's sun room. he isn't feeling well. the pauses are  long but i'm getting better at this. i've learned to wait, to be patient, to put my whole self in and listen. so we sit in the thick silence as he searches for the words.

he's been working on his tan, sunning at the beach every afternoon. his blue eyes shine bright in the golden brown of his face. i observe his facial features as they arrange themselves in preparation for the communication of a thought.

during one of these pauses, my mind darts back to what the biographer had said. i cannot be pinned down. i will fail, inevitably, because i cannot be pinned down.

we've been deep into an analysis of jfk's foreign policy in the middle east when yusha coughs and, apropos of nothing, he says: you know, caroline, i'm presbyterian but i go to the episcopal church... and i teach islam at the school and i'm a christian but most days i think the muslims have got it all right... i'm a conservative and i love obama... my friends tell me i make no sense... but i make sense enough for me so i don't pay them much mind. 

having said this, he levels a steady gaze in my direction. it's as if he knows what i have been thinking and is willing the bad thoughts away. he holds the gaze a few seconds, shoots me a flirtatious wink and looks away.

i'm struck upon leaving that i may never see him again. this hits me in that moment as absolutely the saddest thing.


The Whiffer said...

Un-pindownable, un-pigeonholeable, unpredictable = unstoppable and unusual and in this case underestimated.
I don't say this to be supportive, I say it because I know it, because it's true - your writing is so many very good things that it's un-pindownable and this is, hand on heart, what keeps me reading.
Please please never be pindownable and thank you so very much for not being.
Formulas and boxes have their place, and that place doesn't house instinct, imagination or truth. I know where I'd rather live.

The Whiffer said...

Yes, here I am again, clumsing (I know that's not a word btw) on my iPhone when I'm supposed to be asleep.
What I'm trying to say is what you took as a tremendous insult is a tremendous compliment, regardless of how it was meant. Dismounting high horse now, much to the relief of my thumbs.

oline said...

oh, blah. lovely. and clumsing is now totally a word :)