Friday, November 03, 2006

Crazy for Love?

I recently received an email invitation from my dear friend, amiga literaria, Ana Castillo, regarding an anthology or project she was doing on "What is the Craziest Thing You've Ever Done for Love?" -- de los mas atrevidos y aventados por amor. Hmmm, me? Crazy *in* love, yes. Crazy sad because of it, the unrequited kind, well, none of your business. But crazy for love? No. My answer bothers me. For two months now I've been scratching at the memory matter banks, way inside the barrel back to junior high school y no. No. I don't know why I should find this so depressing, or surprising, that I don't have a story of sure locura over some gaga or another. No. Suffered. Yup. Plenty y plenty poderes -- thank you very much. But gone loca or did something I would not have done otherwise if not for love? Nope. Who, me? For some man? Nah. Too early suckled on the do-good I'm-not-a-bad-gal look-here-man-I-don't-want-that-junk-outta-you tunes of my mentor Memphis Minnie to be anyone's fool. Not for love or money. Not that I haven't made some colossal mistakes and mistakes of judgement and hung around too long out of blind faith and dogged stubbornness. I would move for love but haven't yet. I've stayed in the same place I didn't like for love. I've left a place to change the dreamscape of a love gone bad which rewinds on repeat in my stupid dreaming otherwise. I wonder if taking someone back after years of infidelity counts as crazy. It seemed plenty rational at the time. Which may be an answer in itself. Me, I tend not to want to be where I'm not welcomed -- in heart or hearth. Takes a lot of glue to make that stick through an age of the exchange of goods and services and where flesh is a trade commodity. And that's a lot of woo and coo, in my book. Why not? You got anything better to do? I owe it, perhaps, to my father (whose birthday was the other day, Dia de los Muertos, Nov. 1, and who passed last year so that's why I'm thinking of it) who never failed to flare the flames of his longtime love -- til death did them part. Nice work if you can get it. And, "what's death/ got to do with it/ do with it?" Yup. Did I say love? Nice news and work coming out of the Reyes-Bermeo household. You can always spot it. At least, I can. All I had to do was take a glance at the first picture of their embrace when Barbara was in NY. They looked like the great cover of her first book, the skeletons embracing -- same posture. And when the world was morning, and here on Turtle Island after the hurricanes hit, in a time of great mourning, I called out for people's stories -- well, not narratives, just winning lines. What line got you, to where you knew it was love. Madame B's line from OB: "You inspire the hell out of me!" Yeah, that might d it for me. How about you? I find people's stories of "when did you know it was the Big L?" kind of soothing, especially at a time of great grief, it's that ole Eros/ Thanatos thang. And how it plays out in real life. The Whole Lotto Love as I secretly call it when I muse. The buy-your-ticket-now and what-the-heck of it. And how telling it is when there is no story. El clavo. Y las olas del mar. Anyway. No stories of crazy deeds and dos for love from this writer. Not much beyond listening to "I'm Crazy" and "Tu. Solo Tu" over and over again, ad nauseum. And trying to hoe the fields of an unfaithful love, of dreaming through the droughts of trust. And, maybe the craziest, considering the do-it-again. For what's more crazy than taking that risk? As Jack Gilbert once said at a reading, "Why love, it's terrifying! Anything can happen" and I think of a casual friend's horror one summer, the blood and the hearts. It happens. Risk.

Would you risk it all? Then, would you tell?

Now, I think I'll listen to my Neruda cd: "este es my destino ... o, destino de escombros. . . . A! Mas allá de todo! Mas allá de todo!" except for the shuffle god's who always, somehow, switch me back to Ruben Blades: "Sin tu cariño no hay nada más . . . No hay poesia ni alegria/ cuando no estás. . . ". And the dance. Yeah. (sigh) Any dancers? Or is it all Plato's cave and the conquistador's mode? The Captain's Verses. Were I a tiger I would not eat you. As Susan Tedeschi comes on to pitch: "Security. I need some security." And it's the postmodern age all over again. As a jet-lagged Dougie Maclean sings from Edinburgh: "But this love will carry... I know this love will carry me." Yup.


Blogger Jessica Smith said...

i would risk it all. it's love. what else is there?

but perhaps there are loves other than romantic. you would likely risk a lot for your son. putting your body through pregnancy and delivery and nursing is already a pretty strange thing, really, to do for love (of the child, who isn't even a child yet). morphing your whole body for love.

3/11/06 14:38  

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