Way Out Quest

TBB bought peaches to take on the drive to SCC. (I was surprised that even the Wal-Mart in Macon and the Target in Atlanta had California peaches, but this country gets more homogeneous everyday)

Dr. J wanted to help, so she cut them up and put them in a plastic bag for the car.

I watched with interest. I know peaches; around here there has to always be fruit available, pears and peaches and grapes and bananas and grapefruit, lots of fruit.

Here, though, the most important thing about fruit is letting it ripen. Most fruit comes from the maxi-mart prepared for travel, not for eating. So that means you need, for example, four pears from each shopping trip, maybe 12 or 16 pears at different stages of ripeness.

When I saw that plastic bag of almost crunchy peaches, I understood that’s what I had been learning here: how to wait for peaches to ripen. That’s not something TBB or Dr. J have time for in their lives right now.

One thing I know is that if I have something to do, somewhere to be, I have less time to be conscious, specifically, less time to be self-conscious. It’s fun to have a bit of a quest, because that drive insulates you from being present in context.

Of course, though, the flip side of this is the challenge of life in an industrialized and hyper-speed world, a life where there is no time to consider, no time to let things ripen.

My favourite sermons are the ones that take a small choice and then go deep with that choice, digging down into the connections, ramifications and nuances of the choices we make. If we take the time to go deep when we are together, then we have more capacity to make informed choices in the heat of the moment.

Steven Covey reminds us that freedom only exists in the moment between stimulus and response, that moment when we can either react with habits or respond with consideration. It’s taking the time to rehearse and understand our options when the heat is not on that lets us get better and faster during hot times.

I cross the lines of fast & slow, of emotion & thought, by being both an analyst and a performer. I can observe and I can be in battle, all parts of me. My observations are better because I have the snap of a performer, and my performance is better because I have the consideration of an analyst.

Clearly, though, my next challenge is to be more out there, be more performative, find a quest. Heck, today I saw something I wanted but couldn’t afford and thought, “Heck, I’d go back to selling if I can do it like this,” pretty in my black tights and Folie eyeliner.

To do that, I have to do what TBB has been willing to do, that is to become the neighborhood tranny. I can give you lots of reasons why that should be safer in a beach community in the south, rather than a suburban tract in a conservative county of NY, but the point is that working it makes it work. It’s about following the quest and making relationships along the way, working with others and spreading the net of connection wider and deeper.

People don’t just come into your world in one leap, they need to discover it, to discover me, as Kate has said.

To be a woman, one is not only allowed to value different things, but encouraged to care about things such as matching sheet sets, floral room freshener and nail polish. It’s that externalization of care that shapes a life, that allows us to go after what we desire, in smart or simple ways.

Yes, it occurs to me that ripe peaches are one thing, but without enjoying them, juice dripping down your chin, without sharing them, feeding each other the sweetest morsels, well, they are just closer to rotting.

I need a quest, a search that might be my way out of here.

But now, I have to clean the house, make dinner, and get ready to do the suitcase full of pee-soaked laundry that I will carry in from the car.