Wednesday, May 4, 2011

For You Must Awake

Is it too predictable to say that I feel like Lucy discovering the Wardrobe - a little girl standing beside these looming trees and everyone thinks she's pretending? I mean, really, what is beyond that lamp post?

It's really here. Graduation. I feel like no matter how hard I try to steer away from the cliche phrases and realizations of truly graduating I might as well be humming Vitamin C or reading Dr. Seuss's Oh! The Places You'll Go! But it's still there, in the back of my throat, like swallowing a spoonful of honey and cough syrup at the same time: is it really this bittersweet?

After coming to the heartbreaking conclusion that being an English major = unemployment in this economy and the dying art of articulating language in the written form is actually over; i'm here just in time for the death rattle, the last gasp, last grope, as William says in Almost Famous, "at least i'm here for that."

So, to remedy our broken hearts, my dear friend Allison and I had to cope the only way we know how... Drink in a lot of coffee and sunshine, which birthed our next adventure: Alinea Freelance. We are truly tickled at the idea of being partners in a freelance writing and editing business, and with the cheers and clinking of our Mediterranean Irish coffee glasses, we decided it was all or nothing; we were diving in.

If our lives could be condensed to a symbol, this would be it:

Alinea: from the Latin a linea, referring to the pilcrow (¶) which indicates the start of a new paragraph.

This is it! But even more so, we knew there was something else we needed. Something to cure the common cold along the way. Something to record our successes, failures and fears, something to archive the candid moments and whispered findings along the way, something to push us with gentle "atta girls!" and rekindle our creativity when we attempt to sell our words. So we created Waking on the Wing to play the role of the cookies in the cookie jar; the reinforcement and internalized encouragement; the reflective meditations and mixtures of the heart. We need this.

We are being tossed into it all like a fraction of a dream, something we can hardly grasp or see because of its vastness and unrecognizable face, but we are ready to be free, awake, and sailing along.

Hence, Waking on the Wing.

"Sleeping on the Wing" by Frank O'Hara

Perhaps it is to avoid some great sadness,
as in a Restoration tragedy the hero cries, "Sleep!
O for a long sound sleep and so forget it!"
that one flies, soaring above the shoreless city,
veering upward from the pavement as a pigeon
does when a car honks or a door slams, the door
of dreams, life perpetuated in parti-colored loves
and beautiful lies all in different languages.
Fear drops away too, like the cement, and you
are over the Atlantic. Where is Spain? where is
who? The Civil War was fought to free the slaves,
was it? A sudden down-draught reminds you of gravity
and your position in respect to human love. But
here is where the gods are, speculating, bemused.
Once you are helpless, you are free, can you believe
that? Never to waken to the sad struggle of a face?
to travel always over some impersonal vastness,
to be out of, forever, neither in nor for!

The eyes roll asleep as if turned by the wind
and the lids flutter open slightly like a wing.
The world is an iceberg, so much is invisible!
and was and is, and yet the form, it may be sleeping
too. Those figures etched in the ice of someone
loved who died, you are a sculptor dreaming of space
and speed, your hand alone could have done this.
Curiosity, the passionate hand of desire. Dead,
or sleeping? Is there speed enough? And, swooping,
you relinquish all that you have made your own,
the kingdom of your self sailing, for you must awake
and breathe your warmth in this beloved image
whether it's dead or merely disappearing,
as space is disappearing and your singularity.

Love, Mollie

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