To See and Be Seen.
It screams out at you ~~ in the form of that Jackson Pollack you don't quite "get" at the MOMA, or in the face of the stranger on the street who holds open the door for you and smiles, or the God-awful Rorschach Test of a blob of ink that is actually that letter you never sent to a loved one, or the ink-stained half-written lines of the poem that's caught in your throat but can't find its way to your pen. Look at Me, it screams. And you shout back, NO! Look at Me, dammit ~ I'm the art, the artist, the center of my universe. And you get all tangled up in it and it feels like its choking the life out of you, when really, it's slapping you across the face and shaking you to make sure you're awake enough to realize.....you're living it. Art. Your Life. Capital-Y, Capital-L. Use It or Lose It, Love It or Leave It. Find Art In Everything You See. See Art in Everything You Find.
Somehow I found it today, or it found me. I got all shaken up again, in a good way ~~ like the giddy smile you hear yourself expressing when you shake a snow-globe ~~ and I realized that my eyes are more than just a pair of light-brown irises (though quite lovely, with flecks of gold and green). I remembered my eyesight includes perception, a lens, and a filter ~ I have the ability to see more than is really there, or brighter, or only the most important elements. And I remembered that I should be paying closer attention to what is whizzing past me, whirling around me, and seeping into my soul.
Ai, who the hell knows where that came from. I'm just the messenger, the keyboard is my muse and nemesis all at once ~~ hey, I was on my way to bed when somehow I ended up here, typing words I thought had gone to sleep before me. I have a raging headache but can't decide if it's from the overwhelming, amazing day I had, or the pent-up dying stress floating around me. I drove into San Francisco today for an interview at the District Attorney's office. I know, I know ~~ with my background, I should be at the Public Defender's office, right? Ai, but Kamala Harris is not like any other District Attorney, and the job for which I interviewed would be like no other job I want so much ~ not as Prosecutor, gawd no, but as part of the team she is assembling to head a new division of community outreach/advocacy. Kamala's office has enjoyed some successes in her first six months in office, but the City's homicide rate (53 registered homicides so far this year) has just surpassed that of Oakland's for the first time in a decade, so there is still much to be done in terms of public safety, crime reduction, community empowerment, and coalition building ~~ Kamala's team, and Mayor Newsom, are looking at these issues beyond the perspective of criminal justice. Clearly, it is not enough to try to "lock people up and throw away the key." Bars on your windows don't mean you're safe. Possibly working on this team, well, the excitement and potential and opportunity are like illegal fireworks in my already sensory-overload-laden head and I want more. Cherry Bombs and Roman Candles and Sparklers.
The drive over the Bay Bridge, as always, was amazing. Hot as Hell. Sun Roof Open. Music Blaring. Zipping along, high above the glistening water of the Bay; to my right, an explosive view of the City skyline, and to my left, a view of the fans at PacBell Park, skipping work to catch a Giants game. Trying to find parking South of Market, in the heat, in a cream suit with Goddess Red high heels and a matching don't-f***-with-me red purse. Dodging traffic, across a highway on-ramp even (don't ask), watching the truck driver watch me waiting for the light. God, the crowds of people in front of 850 Bryant ~~ the neon bail bonds signs, cops, attorneys, news trucks.....and me....trying to look like I wear a suit every day and can pull it off. Tim was going to interview me first but we got sidetracked as he walked me through the back corridors of the D.A.'s office ~~ I think it was a test to see if I would get flustered with all the activity and the two "walk-with-me" mini-meetings he had in the hallways. The building is old, built in the 1950's or 1960's, with tiled hallways, which MAKES EVERYTHING SO LOUD. High Heels and Voices and Laughter and Phones Ringing. Gawd the level of activity was mesmerizing. The interview meandered through the halls, into one office and then another and then another person, and coffee across the street, and back to the main building, and a quick hello from the District Attorney herself, whom, you might know, I admire greatly. The interview wasn't the usual "tell me about yourself" blab-a-thon ~~ but more like a brainstorming session with creative, brilliant people on how to achieve the D.A.'s special projects and how to empower communities and how to be a pro-active presence in the City. Damn I want that job.
Two hours later, just as the game was letting out, I stepped out of the building into the dusk, and dusty heat, and cacophony of traffic, and sea of police motorcycles ~~ and realized there was no way I could get on the road to head home to the East Bay. So, I treated myself to a movie and hung out with an unusually high number of other "suits-n-ties" at the Sony Metreon watching Spider Man 2. Was it just my post-job-interview-high or was that movie amazing? :) No, really. Amazing.
So I drove back home and flipped open one of my favorite books, The Book of Embraces by Eduardo Galeano. Maybe you have read the little write-up I posted about the book under my "Favorite Words" section in the Side Bar? No? Well, look left and scroll up....go ahead, I'll wait...............
I flipped the book open to this page I copied for you down below ~~ and you'll see why I wandered over to the keyboard instead of straight-away to bed:
So here I am, scaling massive sand dunes that only I can see. I had let them become quicksand for a minute, nearly drowning in hot-air and tiny granules of nothingness. But I found a new way to climb them today. Special Spidey-Skills, who knows? And when I get to the top of this damn pile of sand, and realize I made a mountain out of a molehill, well, I am going to make sure I see, really see and soak in, whatever it is that explodes before my cinnamon-colored eyes. Et tu, Brutus?