“It’s almost 8 o’clock!” my husband says with urgency.
On Friday mornings these words are like a love letter I want to keep forever.
He kicks me out of the house gently, encouraging me sit in the morning with my words and my dreams and a notebook full of ideas.
In this moment of freedom and clarity I am at Starbucks, one subway stop away from home.
I want to write in a memorable, quirky style like Sandra Cisneros, in the thoughtful, direct poetry of Mary Oliver, in the vulnerable, Christ-centered vein of Henri Nouwen.
I want to be faithful to the stories, the words, the message.
My heart fills with a lot of ideas and suggestions, loose paragraphs slipping past like window shops along a busy Korean street. Some of them are deteriorating, some are brand new. Some are trendy, some are something-something holic. Some call attention to themselves with blaring music or synchronized dancing.
Write! My brain instructs my fingers, but they have nothing coherent to say.
I am sitting in Starbucks, by the window, feeling generic like the furniture, sipping a latte and watching the cars go by.
Even the tower cranes outside
dance during ballet.
We watch the construction site from the fourth floor of the cultural center
as giant yellow machines, towers of metal lace, pivot in deliberation.
They rise and swing their limbs high above the expanding edge of the city, where golden rice once grew.
Perhaps the way we see imposing structures says something about us.
Are they a nuisance impeding the skyline?
A bothersome strain to the eye,
pulling us nearsighted instead of up ahead to the mountains?
Or do they force us to see things not yet visible?
My two year old son sits captivated in the stroller, eyes moving left and right, up and down, as if he is connected to the heavy machinery.
Behind us, in the dance room, his sister balances on tippy toes,
holding tightly to the barre.
She giggles on one foot as she stands like a distracted flamingo,
floppy like the ripe rice bent over on its stalk, wobbling as it dangles heavy and helpless right before the harvest.
Can we dance to the rhythms of a pounding construction site,
the vibrating ping of metal on metal?
Or do we mourn the way the wind once swept through the rice field, swaying the stalks in unison like the eager legs of tiny ballerinas.