Ok so the title fooled you. I didn’t post a Mama’s and Papa’s song but chose instead Led Zepplin because I’m in that kind of mood. Still, its rainy and it’s Monday. So there.
I haven’t been writing much lately, as least not here. Instead, I’ve been testing recipes for pound cake and working on my poetry blog The Camellia Project. I should be working on my book, but I’m too distracted.
Still, I thought I’d pop in, post a song for the day and pop right out again.
It’s raining here in Los Angeles. A rare occurrence, but a welcome one. The light is grey and what people call gloomy, but I like it. The pale grey light reminds me of a woods I once saw in New York, where the sky was just this shade of grey, the trees were covered in ice and snow and the man beside me kept me warm. I have great memories of this shade of grey.
I can see the garden from my bedroom window and the leaves are dappled in raindrops and grey light. There’s a mist hovering and from, the kitchen, the smell of pumpkin spice coffee permeates the air. I’ve been baking. There are cupcakes on the counter cooling and frosting in a bowl. I’ll call my daughter-in-law in a few and she’ll come pick up the cupcakes for Jasmine and Aiden’s classrooms. Rain and grey days put me in a baking mood.
There is music playing in the background as I work. Music that fits the day. Today, for me it’s Queen. Nothing like listening to Queen while baking or anything else for that matter.
This morning in the light rain, I went to Evergreen Cemetery. There is a jogging path around it that I just noticed yesterday morning as Marissa brought me home from a long weekend. It’s been there several years, but I’ve never noticed it because I’m never around there when there are joggers. I wonder who thought it was a good idea to place a jogging path around a cemetery. Did they think it would deter the people of East L.A. and make them stop asking the city for things? Um, hello. These are people from East L.A. They’re not scared of much and from the amount of gente using the path, completely in harmony with the muertitos, I’d say if that was the intention, it failed.
Latinos are comfortable with our dead. Aztec dancers like me, dance with them during Dia de los Muertos. We believe our ancestors, our muertitos are always with us in spirit. So today, I took myself to the jogging path and did some fast walking around the cemetery with my thoughts, the cool rain on my face, the community of East L.A. and the comfortable dead.
Grey isn’t always a gloomy thing.
It’s all right. I’m fine now.
The day after my son left, I was a wreck. Puro llanto, but I’m okay now. Life, for me is back to normal.
I woke up the day after my llanto with swollen eyes and decided I’d spend the day in pajamas and just focus on work. So that’s what I did and it worked. One focused day working on things, a lot of laughter from my fellow organizers at the Cybils and lounging in p.j.’s makes everything better.
Today, I am good. No more swollen and puffy eyes and the pajamas are folded neatly and put away. I’m listening to the rain fall, smiling as I work and listen to some old Black Sabbath. One of my favorite songs is the Black Sabbath ballad It’s Allright with the very cool vocals of Bill Ward. I always listen to it when I need a boost. It reminds me of simpler times, summer and junior high school. The song came out in 1976 I believe and it was one of my favorites then and has endured as a favorite.
It’s amazing how some music can transport you to another time, another place isn’t it? I get those music memories a lot and it’s a lot like a certain recipe or scent work too. I love how certain things trigger a feeling, a memory, a smell or a person. This song always makes me smell Coppertone suntan lotion, feel the sun on my skin, my bare feet on hot concrete, taste the ice cream cones my sister and I used to get from Thrifty’s with our babysitting money. The summer of 1976 was halter tops and maxi dresses, a first kiss, Danny Tyler and a boy from Colorado that came to visit. It was nights spent outside hanging out with friends and starlight mixed with neon, concerts and cruising in cars with older friends who had licenses. It reminds me of sneaking out of our bedroom window and meeting friends to do nothing more than hang out late at night, and a time when my sisters and I were close and spent all our time together. We don’t anymore. We’ve moved away from each other both geographically, intellectually and emotionally.
But it’s all right.
The rain is calming and the hot soup is warming my tummy. Bill Ward is singing in the background and Twitter is blinking on my screen. I’m happy with my life as it is and that’s a good thing.
It’s all right.