Our daughter April and Granddaughter Yashi were here for ten days at Christmas and we spent most of one day going through old photos… what fun we were having, how good we looked (and why didn’t we know it at the time?), what an exciting life we had lived in so many places— Oregon, the Bay Area, New York, outside Brill-near-Aylesbury, London, the Dordogne in France, Italy, India, Hawaii. And did we enjoy it enough? Did we know when it was happening how good it all was? It’s true in some photos we are not celebrating. We were recording times of high-drama and intensity as well. But even the hard times look good to us now.
But on December 20th I’m not feeling well. It’s too familiar, the nausea, ground not solid under my feet, pre-fluish feeling that often happens before an earthquake strikes. Oh no, not a tsunami before we open our Christmas presents! But then, on the 21st, it’s completely gone. Something has changed. Really changed. It’s so slight, such a small slick thing, but everything is different. I am different. I am here in a new way and I don’t exactly know what shifted, but it feels good, very good.
“I haven’t ever bought into the Mayan calendar thing,” I say, attempting to explain to April what has changed. She reminds me that we were in a cult in England that predicted the end of the world in 2012. Well, yes, we were, but even then I thought the idea was dumb. But this isn’t dumb and nothing has ended, except it’s all different. Well, good. Finally, I think. And about time. I’ve been waiting for this to happen for years. But how to explain this subtle, but undeniably real new reality?
As Anne Bonney comments to Calico Jack Rackham about their shared life of piracy: “The life is good, but there’s no future in it.” Jack replies— “There’s no future in nothing by my way of thinking, for when it’s here we’re in it, same as now.” I agree with Jack. We no longer have a future to worry about. We’re here in it, same as now… and now is just fine.
My apologies for the long space between blogs. I’ve been transforming Bare Breasts and Cannon Balls, my story of the two 18th century women pirates, Anne Bonney and Mary Read, into a screenplay with the collaboration of the formidably talented writer and editor, Lana Griffin, may she be honored and praised.