Simone and Pearl and the Power Cosmic! part 2

4 May

It’s a study of two faces: one man responding to two daughters in two decidedly different ways. With Simone it was chamber music a la Bach, Vivaldi, Mozart, and Schubert. With Pearl it’s indie folk/rock a la The Low Anthem, M. Ward, Josh Ritter, and Ryan Adams.  I can’t explain it. I’ve been listening to Helplessness Blues by the Fleet Foxes and The Avett Brothers, when Simone lets me.

Pearl is four weeks old. She’s reserved, attentive, and often calm despite Simone’s loving tortures. Pearl’s positively serene with her odd-colored eyes like a skinny baby Buddha. (“Do you think she’s blind?” Beth asks. “Um, no,” I say.) She radiates a deep calming placidity. When she isn’t wailing, squirming or crying at 3 in the morning.

I performed a type of baptism with Simone—I touched her forehead with olive oil and kissed her heart—but Pearl so far has only received my Gnostic utterances while bouncing her around through unfiltered moonlight.

The first book I read Simone was (groan) The Corrections. Pearl’s first book was The Secret Of Evil, Bolano’s latest posthumous book of stories.

When Simone was born, my anxieties ballooned. I felt stalked by dark things. Calamity lurked around every corner. My thoughts pinwheeled through diseases, accidents, misfortunes. Kidnappers, street toughs, nuclear Armageddon and even an alien invasion percolated through my subconscious. (Even as a child, I’ve often daydreamed about the funerals of my loved ones; I know it’s strange. I find myself writing obituaries for my family and friends. I often feel violence inside, some tarry gunk in my soul or stomach.) I spent my twenties convinced I would be knifed in an elevator, or strangled in a movie theatre with a wire garrote. Or crow-barred in the teeth walking home at night. This isn’t hyperbole.

With Pearl, and I have to say this cautiously, some—ahem, there’s no easy way to express this—essential inner darkness appears to have dissipated. I feel lighter. Touched by decency and kindness. Freed from a stormy inner malevolence I’ve hidden from, well, everyone.

I always thought that writing—all art, really—came from a dark place. We’ll see if I were right.

I’ve got essays/pieces on a whole smorgasbord of things, so please stay tuned.

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2 Responses to “Simone and Pearl and the Power Cosmic! part 2”

  1. Lauren May 4, 2012 at 12:18 am #

    I felt that way about Holly, too. Something about those second girls.

  2. FCM May 11, 2012 at 8:53 pm #

    Interesting parental perspective on your two kids. Does the Blog’s name now change?

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