Lying On The Floor
It used to be that I listened to music. Music…lots of music…lots and lots and lots of music. An entire wall is devoted to CD’s, tapes and vinyl platters, and I’ve listened to every note contained within that enormous mass hundreds, if not thousands, of times. Music shaped my values and beliefs. Music gave form and word to my emotions. Music filled my head, my heart and my gut with beautiful, powerful, sometimes euphoric, sensations. I don’t listen to music any more.
I can’t seem to hear it. I can't feel it.
I’ve written about this upsetting development before (more than a year ago, in fact). At first I was panicked, then intrigued, then hopeful, then patiently waiting...and, now?
I feel as if robbed.
The music disappeared when she did. Neither returned. She was music, she was song (still is, I presume); and music brings back memories. I can’t, and dare not, listen to music…
I used to dream erotic dreams while lying on the floor. I used to dream of both making love and lovemaking, in all of their amazing dimensions. I won’t allow my heart to dream those dreams again. They would only serve to remind me that…my music died.
So I lie on the floor and think about lying on the floor.
Why do adults, typically, eschew sitting, lying, or playing on floors? When we were little, that’s all we did. The floor was our playground, our domain, our entire world. The chairs and sofas served adults; they only proved of interest if there was a lap waiting for us there. I remember squirming in chairs when company was gathered, simply itching to clamber down and play. The floor was where we felt most comfortable, was it not?
When do we pick ourselves up from the floor? In my case, I spent a great deal of time sitting, lying and making love on floors in my college years. Kept at it sporadically during the heydays of my career. I never gave it much thought (then), but I realize today that there came a time when I rarely descended to the floor. I can’t quite remember when that positional-metamorphosis started, nor when it become the norm. It was a gradual process, but eventually there came the days, the years, the decades, when I sat in chairs, mostly…office chairs, usually. I’d move from chairs to couch to bed, but rarely to the floor…unless it was late…and I could let music envelop and flow through me.
I should have spent far more of my time playing on the floor through frigid winter days and rainy spring mornings, regardless of the lines and the gray on my face and head; despite the aches in the fingers and the joints. Get up from the floor and you leave your childhood, and your innocence, behind.
I need to spend more time lying on the floor. Maybe, just maybe, the music might return.
* * *
Where Children Live
By Naomi Shihab Nye
Homes where children live exude a pleasant rumpledness,
like a bed made by a child, or a yard littered with balloons.
To be a child again one would need to shed details
till the heart found itself dressed in the coat with a hood.
Now the heart has taken on gloves and mufflers,
the heart never goes outside to find something to “do.”
And the house takes on a new face, dignified.
No lost shoes blooming under bushes.
No chipped trucks in the drive.
Grown-ups like swings, leafy plants, slow-motion back and forth.
While the yard of a child is strewn with the corpses
of bottle-rockets and whistles,
anything whizzing and spectacular, brilliantly short-lived.
Trees in children’s yards speak in clearer tongues.
Ants have more hope. Squirrels dance as well as hide.
The fence has a reason to be there, so children can go in and out.
Even when the children are at school, the yards glow
with the leftovers of their affection,
the roots of the tiniest grasses curl toward one another
like secret smiles.