Monday, February 18, 2008

Shoot for the moon....hit the rain gutter

It is in the spirit of this post's title that I'm writing tonight. I have, for a number of reasons, avoided blogging for the past month or two. Very low on the list but still ranking in among those reasons is the impulse that continues to secure the corners of the frame within which I paint every blotchy, blurry portrait of myself -- the impulse to hit the moon.

When I was 8, hitting the moon meant creating a body-stocking diagram of the blood circulatory system for "be a part of the body day" at school. I wore a trash bag with a big red paper heart taped to the front.

When I was 13, hitting the moon meant going to the junior high formal (whatever) at my new school equipped with countless fly moves (read: Kid n' Play kickstep, Roger Rabbit, Running Man, Cabbage Patch, and that nameless grab-your-heel-jump-over-your-leg move --all in various alternating sequences -- that had to make all of the cool people notice just how much I belonged!), moves I had gleaned from TOO many hours watching Yo! MTV Raps. So,working my three tiered skirt, cropped jacket, silky turtle neck, and black flats with white clip-on bows, I hit the 7th grade cafeteria floor like a house-a-fire. I came home aglow, sweat eroding the shellac from my fully perpendicular x-y axis of bangs and side-wings into my bleary, stinging eyes and tan pantyhose running at every toe (because of the clip from the bow...and, no doubt, my very athletic dancing), fully convinced that the wide swath of space that the other, um, dancers alotted me along the side of the floor signified, for certain, my arrival at the epicenter of cool. In get the idea. (Sadly, as 10 or so years has finally given me the same perspective on my college experience, I am just now realizing, as I type this, that the costume has changed but the character -- and so many of the dance moves -- have remained the same).

Now shooting for the moon means planning a full-scale archeological excavation in our backyard, complete with grid ropes and tools that culminates, instead, in a trip to the rubberized dig exhibit at the Children's Museum's Dinosphere. It means planning a 13 page art-book program-making activity (one page per species) for our outing at the symphony where we will enjoy the fully narrated Carnival of the Animals by Saint-Saenn (I have no idea how to spell that name). After a few sessions of dancing the animal parts around our living room while listening to the CD, I realized that, with the concert so rapidly approaching, our DIY concert programs were not going to happen. Then Sunday came, and everyone looked at me with those "please, no symphony" eyes, and I buckled. We came home and watched ALL of Fiddler on the Roof.

Do you see the pattern?

If only my psychosis were confined to big events like symphonies and circulatory systems, but it seems that the minutae of my life also bob and wilt in font of the searing backlight of my, what would you call them? ambitions? My meal plans, my phone conversations, and, yes, my blog, also wind up like shadows on a sheet after that light hits them. I have about 500 very profound, nay, earth-transforming blog entries that I have dreamed of posting in the past two months.

But I'm writing tonight. I'm out here getting my groove on in front of the whole dance floor, paper heart plastered to my garbage bag and dig tools at the ready.

The thing is, if it weren't for the body stocking, there would have been no heart-on-a-bag. If it weren't for the archeological site, there would have been no dino dig. If it weren't for the paper programs, there would have been no hillarious interpretations of the 13 animals all over our living room (or worse! No fiddler on the roof!). And, if it weren't for Yo! MTV Raps, there would not have been a single day in the 7th grade when I felt remotely cool.

Same goes for our annual Birthday party for Abraham Lincoln (paper hats and beards are better than no hats and beards, and one day I WILL rememorize that Gettysburg address so that I can do a full-blown performance rather than a dramatic reading), our "baking days" (I don't even know where to begin to describe what my kids and I pull out of the oven --- ask my parents; they always have to eat it...and smile), our plan for getting out the door in the morning (my kids manage to get it together....with a LOT of cajoling....but frequently we only get there on time because being late would mean I would have to escort Olivia to the tardy desk at the office, and on so many days, I am not even reasonably clean).

And sentence that follows is excellent example -- I am sitting here working out an insightful yet obscure allusion to Don Quixote, but it keeps slipping through the words I come up with. Do I say something about setting out to build giants but at least walking away with a few windmills. That makes no sense at all. Do I say, "I may chase a lot of windmills, but like the book and the awesome 90s dork-band turned kids' music moguls noted, They Might be Giants, right?" (I'm partial to that one). Or Quixotic or is one to know?

And if I had never tried to write that sentence, then I would never have come up with that paragraph.....okay, very bad example. But I don't think I've marred the point too severely. You see, if I didn't throw my head back, raise my voice and aim for the brightest, highest point I can imagine, I'd never get off the porch. And the rain gutter looks pretty fun from down there (just ask my kids -- I can't count the number of tennis balls, toys, and frisbees they have launched on the roof in hopes of being vaulted up to get them out of the gutters by their dad).

Thanks for not giving up on me!


graceling said...

Any updates on the adoption front?

Anonymous said...


Please don't ever stop shooting for the moon! That is one of the many things I love about you.


graceling said...

Hi Amy! I tagged you on my adoption blog. Head over there to see why I picked you and to find out the rules:)