Passover, flyover, rollover.
Over and over, until you die from it.
❌ Content warning… E.T. is mentioned seven times in this post. Eight if you count this warning.
I did a thing yesterday and didn’t die from it and my reward was to wake up and spend another day marveling at the mysteries of the Universe… one memory at a time.
What does a mind think about when it’s been freed from anxiety and stomach trauma caused by public speaking?
E.T. and glow in the dark paint of course.
A memory from my childhood popped into my head this morning when I first woke up and was still in that warm comfy, under-the-weighted-blanket place knowing I didn’t have to get up for at least 20 minutes. It was about a paint by numbers craft set I had when I was like 10 or 11.
The image was a portrait, waist up, of E.T. and there were a total of 7 paint colors in tiny plastic cups with little pop-off lids. Brown, black, red, yellow, blue and the pièce de ré·sis·tance—a glow-in-the-dark creamy off-white that was supposed to be for the parts of E.T. that would glow.
I’m pretty sure I didn’t follow the numbers and, like a true poet, painted the 10X20 cardboard canvas as I pleased. This resulted in the whole outline of E.T. being finished with the glow paint. Because, let’s face it, that paint was the coolest thing about the project.
After that, I kept E.T. in the back of my closet for a couple of years. Not because I was ashamed of it, or because it turned out bad. It was because the inside of my closet was the darkest, safest place in the house. And every time I was in there, I could hold it up to the light to re-energize the paint and then sit in the dark and admire my art.
This wasn’t a metaphor when I started writing but just like many thoughts and writings, what develops becomes connected and before you know it, I’m not talking about a memory anymore… I’m writing about where I’m at in life RIGHT NOW. Or where I’m headed with a little more resolve than yesterday.
I decided a few weeks ago (more like months) that I was ready to say “peace out” to the in-person business of poetry. I’m ready to go back into the safe space of my home and enjoy my art in the privacy and comfort that exists there.
It’s very freeing. That feeling of knowing I can say “no” and keep doing what I love the way I want to do it and not have to answer to anyone or throw up before a public appearance or worry endlessly about making a mistake or revealing I’m a fraud.
I’m so over playing by other people’s rules and painting by their mother-effing pre-determined numbers. Not gonna do it. I’m going back in the closet to hang out with my E.T.
My life is not a joke. And this is not a punchline. If I’ve only got a short time left, then I want to make the most of it and do things that make me happy.
When I told my husband about the memory I had when I woke up, he was naturally curious about what ever happened to E.T.
I don’t remember, actually, but knowing where I was (and how old I was) when I last had it, it probably burned up in the metaphorical fire of my middle school years. My mom probably got rid of it in one of our many moves. Just like the rest of my childhood.
That’s it… My mostly private, but completely public announcement that I’m done with “appearances” in the name of poetry. Jury is still out on all that publishing nonsense though.
Peace and love until next time,