Sunday, December 28, 2008

It felt like a pussywillow

This morning I woke up at 8:30 a.m. -- so not me! I'm always up and out the door by five or six every morning. I also had a lump in my throat the size of Sarah Palin's rack. Gun rack, that is -- an enormous, scratchy rack of a throat lump. I've been self-medicating with a variety of remedies, including sriracha hot sauce, honey tea, sudafed, bourbon, my Aunt's completely addictive English toffee, junior mints, popcorn with extra butter, pasilla peppers, rum, nyquil, and the ever-helpful lolling about. There's a cure there somewhere. I know it's just a dumb cold, but there's nothing like a clogged cranium to leave you with an unsettled feeling.

Last December, Portland writer Marc Acito was feeling unsettled -- a midlife crisis, so to speak, not a head cold. Or maybe it was both. He busted out of his funk by deciding that for the next year he would do something "new" every day. The story of his year-long quest was featured in our newspaper this morning. The account of his journey gave me a warm feeling as I lolled about in bed with the paper. It would be fun to do something like that -- a variation of Marc Acito's idea. But I'm not sure what yet. Ideas welcome! I think a writing sort of theme would be good. Or maybe arts & letters. Sex, sensuality, etc., of course, would also be a fun theme.

Here is the account of Acito's experience. I love his description of holding a tarantula.

"The closest he came to not finding a new thing was New Year's Eve 2007. 'Closing in on midnight, we were at a party and I still hadn't found anything new.' Floyd suggested they go streaking, 'which is not really something you want to do in the dead of winter,' Marc says. But, desperate, he did it. It "defied my expectations. I thought it would be painful and embarrassing.' But no one saw them, 'and once you actually get some speed going, you warm up really quickly.' Of course, they kept their shoes on.

"There were other surprises.

'Holding a tarantula 'filled me with dread and fear,' Marc says. "And then they put it on my hand, and it has tiny little cats' feet. It felt like a pussy willow. It was the softest, gentlest experience you could imagine.'"

After a year, Acito is not finished exploring. He said in the article that for the last few days of December and the rest of 2009, he will embark on a similar, yet very different quest.
one new thing a day is craziness. Marc has decided 'to cut back to once a week. This way I can take time to plan it and enjoy the anticipation. And I can include other people.'"


Emerald said...

You know, something about that tarantula description struck me as deeply poignant. It was so beautiful...thank you for posting that.


Kirsten Monroe said...

Thanks Emerald! I thought so too. The description is really cool -- plus, there is such joy in unexpected pleasure. Something that we think of as being grotesque and scary -- a big hairy spider -- having little tiny cat's feet and being silky soft and gentle and beautiful.

Emerald said...

"Something that we think of as being grotesque and scary"

Exactly. That was a huge part of it for me. The beautiful, simple experience of something perhaps automatically taken to be horrifying being "soft" and "gentle." Oh my, it still almost gives me beautiful chills. That is seriously one of the most poignant things I have read in a long time.