Last Saturday after I printed the script-in-progress, I climbed into a cocoon of pleasantries. I consider my home-nested wild birds and nudge the bird feeder — they peck each other out of order, eat alongside the chipmunk, the doves, and the squirrel in the backyard. I lounged on the front porch behind dark sunglasses and SPF-50 sunscreen as the sun in Santa Fe, New Mexico is merciless all year long. I was listening to Ray Baretto's instrumental salsa music and tapping my boots on the wooden planks.
Later that night I drank up gal pal Gloria’s laughter at Geronimo Restaurant when Sam Shepard sat next to me, and she nudged me to talk, talk talk. “Say hi to him, you’ve talked before,” she said. I had to whisper, “Writers hate to talk when they are drinking and writing, so shut up and drink your martini.”
I rose to morning air so fresh it numbed my tongue, my nose and eyes, and inside my San Francisco kimono, draping over my arms, I could see blossoms of shadows just crawling up the adobe walls and roofs. Lounging in lilac oil, soaps and salts in my claw foot tub and listening to Nancy Wilson is a deepening pleasure in winter when my feet only feel warm under steaming, hot water. After green chili chicken stew, I flipped on Lady Gangster. I snuggled the pleasantry of a warm bed and heat rising through the vents.
If you write down the pleasantries
surrounding your life
Your blessings rise up and
keep you tight.
The sweet peace may vanish the next day, or be intercepted by the news, a wreck in the street, an unexpected phone call. The crossroads of everyday life comes and goes. Between all of these uncontrollable incidents we are writing our stories.
Stories that some day will be told in conversation, or written in journals and books. The essence of our changing lives is worth telling.
Remember your pleasantries, and the ones that swim through your days: smiles and laughter, pats on the backs, jokes and tales. We all have clutter of mind, but we have the power to sift out the deranged deviations. I have come to believe the only will I want is the power to be a real good sifter.