Monday, June 29, 2015

June 29: "Inside Out," "Ives" Dip, Poet of the Week, Patricia Lockwood, "He Marries the Stuffed-Owl Exhibit at the Indiana Welcome Center"

So, I just got home from seeing Pixar's Inside Out with my kids.  I found it incredibly moving.  Watching it, with my 14-year-old daughter sitting next to me, I couldn't help but think about the birthday parties we used to throw for her, with her friends all hopped up on Airheads and Twizzlers.  Or her first ballet recital, in her purple tutu, leading her classmates around and telling them where to stand.  Or her first day of kindergarten when she ditched me at her classroom door and never looked back.  If you can't tell by now, I sort of wept like a baby during this movie.

The movie also had me thinking a lot about my sister, who's still in the hospital.  I was sitting in my parents' dining room this evening, looking at my sister's high school graduation picture hanging on the wall.  She looks so happy and hopeful.  There's a lot of Joy in control, very little Sadness. 

My sisters last MRI showed spots in her brain.  The neurologist isn't sure what they are yet.  Then there's her strange eye movements.  Tonight, my other sister told me that the doctors think that may indicate neuroblastoma, a childhood cancer that only affects like one in ten million adults.  Or something like that.  They're going to do another MRI of her lungs.  I guess they think that there may be cancer there, too.  To sum up:  the doctors really don't know what the hell is going on.  They just have many very frightening theories.

I'm not sure what the future holds for my daughter or my sister.  In the movie Inside Out, the character Joy learns that Sadness is an important part of life.  Every joyful memory is shaded by sandess, and every sad memory is shaded by joy.  Joy and Sadness can't exist without each other.  That's the message of tonight's post, compliments of Pixar animation.

The burning question on my mind tonight is:

Is my sister going to be healthy and whole again?

And the answer from the pages of Ives is:

Ives always liked it over there, as it reminded him of happy times when he and his father used to visit Dominguez' house in Staten Island . . . 

Okay, there's a little joy in that answer.  I'll take that and ignore sadness.  For tonight.

Patricia Lockwood is the Poet of the Week.  Her book--Motherland Fatherland Homelandsexuals--was one of my favorite poetry collections of 2014.  Tonight's poem is all about unconditional love.  Weird unconditional love, but still love.

Everybody can use a little unconditional love, including Saint Marty.

He Marries the Stuffed Owl Exhibit
at the Indiana Welcome Center

by:  Patricia Lockwood

He marries her mites and the wires in her wings,
he marries her yellow eyes and black centers,
he marries her near-total head turn, he marries
     the curse of each of her claws, he marries
the information plaque, he marries the owl
that she loved in life and the last thought of him
in the thick of her mind
     just one inch away from the bullet, there
                    he marries the moths
who make holes in the owl, who have eaten the owl
almost all away, he marries the branch of the tree
that she grips, he marries the real-looking moss
and dead leaves, he marries the smell of must
that surrounds her, he marries the strong blue
     stares of children, he marries nasty smudges
of their noses on the glass, he marries the camera
that points at the owl to make sure no one steals her,
so the camera won't object when he breaks the glass
while reciting some vows that he wrote himself,
he screams OWL instead of I'LL and then ALWAYS
and takes hold of the owl and wrenches the owl
away from her branch
                    and he covers her in kisses and the owl
thinks, "More moths," and at the final hungry kiss,
"That must have been the last big bite, there is no more
of me left to eat and thank God," when he marries
the stuffing out of the owl and hoots as the owl flies out
under his arm, they elope into the darkness of Indiana,
Indiana he screams is their new life and WELCOME.
They live in a tree together now, and the children of
Welcome to Indiana say who even more than usual,
and the children of Welcome to Indiana they wonder
where they belong.  Not in Indiana, they say to themselves,
the state of all-consuming love, we cannot belong in Indiana
     as night falls and the moths appear one by one, hungry.

Who's in control of your life?

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