The Blessing of Grace, Child
I have been convinced my grandmother, Grace, was a Buddhist or a Sufi, perhaps a woman on "the path".† She did not have what has been placed generously before me-- spiritual guides.† I suppose itís presumption to say "I do and she did not", yet her blackened hair, distended belly, whorish red lips--her life was portrayed with exclamations.†† All this screams she was not like other women.† She was colourful and full of depth and lived among the temporal.† She was just unaware of "why?".
Her mind paved paths that others just did not see.
R. and I are spooned into one another.† We have been cupping in and out of lovemaking for two days.† We have begun to drone sentences of our lives together in a dance of share revealing the intimate people involved in the physical passion tussling.††† I pull his arm close to my face and smell the dark hairs on his forearms.† Occasionally he reacts with a mirror move except I feel his face bury into my chestnut hair and his full sweep of inhale draws more than my scent--he inhales my spirit.††
I love R's. voice and his happy laughter , when he releases it--swallows my head whole and† I crawl in with it not wanting to remain headless.†† I think at times it would be enough to translate into a relationship of length.† He is older and his body is older.†† There is not a man of youth and vigor to be captured by, but a man of stories and a fleshed out soul who knows what brings him pleasure and he conducts his life accordingly.†† I like his literary feel in my path.† I cannot step over him.† I must allow us to fuse and flow through one another on the path to our salvation.†† He has countless times told me it is the act of sexuality that is his chosen road to enlightenment and after the two days twined I am glad I can be a church and sanctuary to him.† I unfold and accept his offerings and our scriptures and mantras are prolific and sound like "holy, holy, holy"--when we are just climaxing "f-ck, f-ck, f-ck".
Intimacy leads to the verbal writing of our life histories on one another.† He† takes the expanse of my lean back and begins his tale.†† I feel his fingers writing details† of his childhood and mother and his scurrilous barrister father--"man of the high seas."
The Buddhists create shrines to their ancestors.†† R. is fascinated with his ancestry and has traced it past Mississippi and the Virginias.† His strange connection with me is his grandmother was born in Eden, Texas.† I am from Texas and R somehow thinks we are kindred spirits because of this.
"You remind me of one of my Texas cousins," he says.
I ask, "Do you screw your cousins?"††††
I have taken a pilgrimage to Eden in search of Cain or perhaps solely as a day trip to escape real battery in a real marriage gone distasteful.† There is a prison in Eden so I suppose Cain is tucked away in one of the facilities.† Abel is a memory now and Adam and Eve probably never send their "other son" care packages.† Now, in Eden, there is a wonderful nook of a bookstore in the square--probably contains a Bible and a copy of Herman Hesse's† Demian.† When I committed my pilgrimage I just stood on the corner and noticed the flow of wind from east to west.† I was made aware recently through forays into good reading that the earth rolls from west to east--and I somehow think this is the natural progression of a man's mind from the materialism of western thought to the flow of the eastern mind.†† It is where any mind of any intellect eventually returns --to the philosophies of the east.†† Mankind's middle east ancestry eventually overtakes us all.
Tucked in the cuddle moments between our copulating is the phrase R. whisks out at me--"perhaps it is my father† you should be making love to."† R is aware I love large people with large minds.† R is large and needs no stand-in for his grand persona.† However he continues with his drone about his father and how R Sr.† had been somewhat a rogue on the high seas.†† Swash-buckling proportions it seems--spending a large amount of his life in Japan and the east.†† Probably much like R, f-cking too many women and demanding that his tall person be seen.†† R reveals that once when he was in Hong Kong participating in the bar scene a man approached him and said that he wanted to see this son of THE R. Senior--and that the resemblance was remarkable.† R does have an ancient mariner look to him.† His head bends forward as if all his life he has strained against the force of gale and the rock of the boat.†† R's beard cuts a swath across my expanse of skin and the ocean is very near to all our lovemaking.†† I can climb to the top of the golden hill outside his Eichler home and find the San Francisco Bay waiting. Perhaps R subconsciously settled here in hopes of his father returning via some large freighter skimming the waters below--coming to take possession of his son.††
The Buddhist shrine to the ancestor rests on R's dresser.†† A picture of a woman of the forties era. She is a woman with a clear gaze--a faded woman of elitism and beauty in her fifties--and at the bottom of the picture there is a written gift of verbosity.† It is generic but I read some great love story between the written obvious.† The woman was the wife of some man who became the vice president of the United States.† I have no names to fill in the blanks here.† I wish I had listened more closely to the stories R told me--but the trance of too much s-x cross pollinated with the sweet of hemp-smoked produced† a netherworld where the real plays in the fields of R's path and mine joined to a perversion of the truth.† Perhaps I heard what just sounded romantically large.† R, regardless of the intimacy--and the long intense stares we exchange during our bodies unity--never ventures to tell me he loves me.†† And I do not expect the phrase--but I feel it underneath the rise and fall of the wave of us.†† I want to be his lover and stain his mind like perhaps the woman stained R's fatherís mind.†† I won't leave a picture but amidst the week I pen a poem and leave it on his immaculate study desk.† Nothing in R's glass house is† ill-placed.†† It is a womb and for the week it serves just that purpose.†† Womb of† us.
††††††††††† †R's daughter and her boyfriend arrive on the last night of my stay.† R has not moved the poem from where it lies flat on his desk.†† I want his daughter to read it and know her father is passionate.†† Her father is every bit as large as his ancestor father that roamed the high seas with a Japanese family tucked away on the islands.† Daughters need to know their parents are passionate.†† My own father seems to view passion as a sin--and I view passion as a gift from the g-ds.††
††††††††††† Ancestry is insidious attacking us daily.†† I have a blessing that has followed me all my life.† As R wilts into my loins, I wonder if his father's high adventure whips him forward on top of women--is there something to live up† to here?--or is it just the mutated version of father to son--and procession of ancestral spirit dipping and drawing a continuous line through† the centuries.† I see R's face looking amazingly like the distorted face of some Scottish king when he climaxes--this is no common soul delivering his seed to me.†† There are no common souls.
††††††††††† My ancestry intends to haunt me.† I need not place shrines.†† My mother in a later phone conversation heaps upon me--"you will not be a Grace Child" and the phrase darkens the daylight pinned to the wood floors I am sitting upon.† My mother has just indicted me with the family curse--Grace Child--my father's mother.† I have asked my father repeatedly the story surrounding Grace--he in bitter refrain--lashes--"my, you pick such great heroines to emulate". For me it is nothing of emulation but all of understanding.† I know why she ran.†† Grace just did not know the sanctuary of her own soul--she looked to find peace in the soul of another.† My life is not following the expected path that my parents would wish for their child as Grace's did not follow the traditional Mississippi woman's path.†† The perfect cause for comparison.†††
When my father was an infant, Grace left her son with the fraternal grandparents.†† I have seen the intervening years and I intuit the similarities between Grace and me.†† She was a wanderer, nomadic--but her life was lived in the Mississippi sharecropper lands and new age reasoning and eastern philosophies of "in the flow" were not even known.† She could not put a name to her temporal state of mind.† I have never known enough of her.† She is the family secret.† She was mad.† I should repent for feeling the tight connection to her life splattered with a procession of men.† Was she in search of the eternal truth--the wisdom that would set her free?†† Did she go mad because there was no name for her affliction of separateness?†† I am thankful sometimes for my status of prophet.†† I want men to find the knoll of flesh above my pubic hair their altar.† Grace did not know her own name.† I am guessing she spent her life looking for a sanctuary of grace for her visions--altering her perceptions to fill in the hole she believed others thought she should inhabit.†† "Grace" large enough to accept her division from the masses desiring her to change.
"Grace, child, scares me."
Grace means there must be a foray into the wasteland of excess to feel the monumental cover of the love of g-d.††† I have lived in Texas most of my life and during the heat of August--the hot breath blown from the south lies down flat on me like a blanket fragrant with dying grasses.† In this late state of the blast of summer, the earth refuses to squirm and lies and takes the rape of heat.†† No need to protest, it will come and it will be.††
Grace is non-existent without committed acts needful of acceptance and pardon.††† Grace is positive and warm--and above all, grace listens to the trespasserís excuse and smiles and pardons.
I love the hope of my fraternal grandmother's name--Grace Child.† In my own name I have owned and borrowed names via birth and marriage.† My first two given names I have experimented with all my life and I have finally woven the first and middle into a tapestry of one word--and the last name is losing any stronghold--it will drop eventually.†† If my name had been Grace Child eventually I would have created a version---"grace, child"† and perhaps it would have been the sign to all my checks.† My grandmother's name was a philosophy of life.† I wonder if my father understands the reasons of why his mother left him as an infant.† I† wonder if he hears her name and in light of my father's calling into the liturgical lifestyle--realizes the magnitude of this family's fallen woman and the covering of her name--"grace, child"?††
Grace is nothing we ask for and everything we get in life--covering all aspects of our human and spiritual beings.††† I venture again to ask my father of his mother, Grace, as he sits on my "patchouli house" front porch and desires to tell me he thinks I am living a wrong lifestyle.† Of course,† I never venture to tell my parents I have spent a whole week f-cking the political son of a scurrilous sea captain--and I suppose R would never share with his daughter or business associate that he screwed a "universal waif", grand-daughter of "grace, child".†† The playing field appears equal and justice in the universe is that I get to lie on top of a golden mountain overlooking the San Francisco Bay and skyline--and collect totem buzzard feathers on the path downward from my spiritual trek.††† Who would understand the reasoning for the union anyhow--I just seem to believe it was "grace, child" for two misfit souls looking for a womb of comfort amidst awry marriages, miscalculated chances, parents and ancestry that is inbred and impudent in it's demands on two people that actually give a damn if change in the system occurs.†† Mismatched for a distinct reason.
So I monologue about Solomon to my father--and for the first time--perhaps it was the prompting of the good f-ck from R that inspired this new-found voice of sureness as I lean into my father with a philosophy that outclasses his.†† In phone conversation† I call R, "Solomon" and he likes that because he† f-cks about as many women.†† My father says he dislikes Solomon and I am not surprised at this confession.†† My father of Biblical truth picks out who is culturally acceptable and adopts them as his padres of validation.†† I keep reading new philosophies, inheriting new friends, listening to new silences and divorcing all old precepts that do not fit--this day.†† I will die a heretic.†† Walt Whitman wrote,† "Do I contradict myself?† Very well then, I contradict myself, (I am large, I contain multitudes)."††† I know for sure--for "grace, child"-- that the twine of long limbs that at first glance appear mismatched--was match--is match.†† "Grace, Child" is all about redemption--about every moment needed in unison to† preserve the Whole.
††††††††††††††††††† About every moment needed in unison to preserve the whole.
††††††††††††††††††† About every moment needed in unison to preserve the whole.
My father says Grace would sometimes hitch-hike from one location to another.††† I laugh remembering the big deal it was to my person to hitch-hike once from Lake Tahoe to San Francisco--I view it now as the desire to rest in the supply and grace of the universe for personal provision.†† "Grace, Child"† was striking out on the path--she just had no name and no directional guide for the end result.†† My parents have intimated Grace failed---this to me is more telling than the wandering search of my grandmother ancestor.†† "Grace, child never fails."†††
"Grace is always proportionate to the strength of the depth of need."
And I note, when August heat has assaulted every ounce of my scantily clad tall physique, I go and turn on the chill of shower water---strip,† and only the bare of real flesh--is.†† I let the dribble and rush pelt my skin--it is the individual force of grace--it is a good f-ck when† your body screams for intimacy--it is a book that is placed so divinely in your hands--it is ten chocolate-covered coffee beans placed succinctly into your wind jacket and when you climb to the top of the golden hill-- you adore eating them and lying and watching a bird of prey soar --† 7,8,9 minutes before it flaps once in it's continuous circular fly above you--it is Henry Miller words--covering every inch of white page before you in search of the devil--it is love unexpected--and groping and surenessÖ."grace, child" is nothing you ask for and everything you get.
© 2001 annah childs
From annah childs, in lieu of a bio: