There was a strange sense of relief and accomplishment sending off the latest wine piece to the good local newspaper magazine. The piece was my most 'blasphemous' yet, it almost seemed, and yet too, it was a fair piece, and one, I thought, with truth. The piece had come together through whatever mysterious means there are for such things, and in a period of recuperation I didn't have much energy to raise questions or redo. I had said what I wanted to say, given the moment, given the time, given the mood. I felt liberated, and that is empowering.
I feel strange when I wake up the day of submission. "This piece, I don't know..." I think. "How can I get it done today?" And I look at it, acknowledge that it's as done as it's going to be, tweak a few things, check the word count again, and again, make a proof-read run-through, always missing a thing or two, and knowing basically that the piece is whole. Whether or not they will use it, one piece has led to the next and that has led to the most recent, leaving me again to see that I am stating what I want to say.
A piece about wine touches on my politics, my sense of the earth as a living thing to be treated with our personal individual respect, something corporations these days seem to have a hard time doing, being monsters of profit spending money to rig the system in their favor. The night of sending the latest off I eat a rotisserie chicken and watch Thom Hartman's TV show The Big Picture, a segment on Reagan destroying the Middle Class, the fruition of all that. I am a wage earner. I've not seen an increase in wages since I started out here in Washington, D.C. back in 1988. I didn't have money to go out to dinner then, and I do not now.
But I had to appreciate my own effort to develop as a person, to protect myself, to care for myself, to do what is right for me. And so had I found a sort of small tail-wind reading the Gospels, Alan Watts, pondering Dostoevsky. Buddhism was fine, but as a wise friend put it, kind of like trying to build a bridge piling on bottomless sand, no bedrock, nothing concrete, as good as it was for the mind.
What had I needed for the small turn-around that allowed me to reimagine my work, my self? Could it have been the surgery, even though they dragged me back in three days afterward, surgery on a Wednesday, me pulling a busy Saturday night behind the bar, closing the place. I was allowed a break, a new frame of reference that the current routine never seemed to allow, defining me as it did, imposing an iron rule on my life, as I suppose jobs tend to do.