As the Jam gears up

It's a bit odd to be sitting here right now. Big Spring Jam is quickly gearing up—Huntsville's annual music festival is less than half a block away from where I'm sitting right now. I've been listening to Michael McDonald do his soundcheck. There's a surreal quality to all this.

Sean has arrived. We spent a good while pestering each other today while I was ostensibly working.

Here's an oddity for you: last night (although it was posted at two after midnight) I commented about things I remember, and things I've wondered about seeing. I mentioned Sperry's daughter, Allison. I hadn't heard from Sperry since Allison was born a few months ago—and today I got a picture of Allie in my email from her today. What odd timing. Allison's beautiful; I can see both Curt and Sperry in her.But if I tried to write to Sperry right now, I don't know what I'd say. I never really believed what some people had said to me, about trying to bridge the gap when your friends have children and you don't. But it's true. I don't know how many times I've opened up an email, typed in her address, and stared at a blank screen. I'd love to know how she's doing, but in a way I feel like I'm intruding.

Does it make any more sense to you than it does to me? I hope so.

That's odd. I just realized something. Rereading what I've written in the past week or so, I realized that the tone I'm taking with domesticat has changed. It's still definitely a daily journal; I hesitate to call it just a weblog because of the length of my entries. But I'm no longer writing it just for myself; I'm writing for an audience.

I sometimes forget that, though. I forget that some of my friends have this site bookmarked and read what I say here. Because writing here has the confessional quality of writing in a paper journal. I think about my words, sometimes even choosing them carefully, and when I finish an entry and file it away, there's the same sense of completion that paper journal-writing provides.

I know that several of you can attest to the fact that more and more often these days you have to say to me, "Yes, Amy, I read that on domesticat. Don't tell me the whole story; start where you left off on there."

Is it a cheater's way of expressing emotions? Sometimes I think so. I've said things in this journal—especially about my family—that I'd never, ever say to someone face to face. Perhaps it's my way of saying things without having to screw up the courage to face another human and blurt out the painful truth. There's something about the impersonal, blank stare of a computer monitor that makes it so much easier for me to spill out everything that I'm thinking.

I have trouble picturing my friends reading domesticat. I can see your faces, I can hear your comments, but somehow it never fails to surprise me that you take time out of your day to come here and see what's happening in my world. Probably that's because I don't think my life is terribly interesting, but then again you don't think yours is terribly interesting either, and that's the first thing I ask you about when I talk to you.

I like knowing about what you see. I like hearing about your perceptions, because they're so different from my own. It's easy to get in a rut of thinking the same way about the people and places that pass through your consciousness every day. The numbness of the workweek and the grind of daily adult life are almost seductive in their ability to ensnare all of us.

When I last read George Herbert's Dune I was struck by a passage that I don't think many other people noticed. During the Water Of Life ceremony, Jessica reached out to the Reverend Mother, taking the Reverend Mother's memories into her own consciousness.

Suddenly she was beset with the greatest of contradictions; the external appearance of the elderly Reverend Mother, and the internal image that the Reverend Mother had of herself: a lively sixteen-year-old with dark, dancing eyes.

The line that struck me most: " 'Yes, that is how I really am,' she said."

I thought of this last night while driving home in the rain. I caught a glimpse of myself in the rearview mirror and for a split second I wondered who that person was. She doesn't look anything like the image I have of myself in my mind. Perhaps that's why I have trouble remembering my chronological age; the years since sixteen have been a blur.

I remember the distant slowness of life up until that point, and have trouble understanding how time since then has flown so quickly. Wasn't it yesterday we were meeting every Tuesday at my old job to make sure the company was prepared for the Y2K bug? Suddenly it is September, flash-forward, flash-back, flash-forward again. Is it time for my birthday again? Have we been in the house a year already? How is it that the year has flashed by in a series of biweekly paychecks and housecleanings?

I think perhaps it's always going to be this way, time freely flowing around me as I stand still in the midst of this river, feeling it whip through my soul, unable to halt the flow and look around me in stillness.

Think physics. If you try to pinpoint exactly where you are in the maelstrom, you lose yourself in the motion.

Tonight: lamb curry, amaretto bread pudding, and friends over at my house. I'm learning to forgive the messy house and enjoy the company. Ciao.