The datura is blooming in the garden. In the morning, I walk out barefoot under the canopy of oak trees and crush the carpet of leaves under my feet and wish I could be completely naked as I approach her majesty, my datura tree, Old Lady Momoy with her blossoms hanging like wispy bells of ivory and peach hand-dyed silk that would swish, swish, swish if it were a skirt moving along the path. I read that the Chumash would pray to the tree before harvesting her parts for ceremony, "Grandmother, I beg of you..."
I want to write again. I've been writing every day of my life in private journals and letters, but I want to write again for you- my readers, or at least the readers I imagine out there and for the girl I've always had in my head who is a woman now, I guess, inner-voice or something like that, Old Lady Momoy, maybe, keep me safe, save my words, remember me here naked in the garden in the morning where the cabbage butterflies look so innocent landing on the greenest of leaves, but they are laying eggs every time they touch down and their babies will eat all of my vegetables.
I drink my tea in the garden. I watch the blue scrub jays and the woodpeckers and doves. I watch three crows fight a falcon and I don't know who to root for. I collect the fallen feathers and put them into a secret altar I've built on the stump of an old tree in the back of the property where no one goes but me and I am, from an outside view, in love with myself for still doing things like this at thirty.
I draw a portrait of myself in my journal as Erzulie Danto and I'm wearing a crown of pomegranate blossoms and I carry a bouquet of knives. I'll always be silk and sharp at once, up and down, the black and shriek of the crows and the swoop and kill of the falcon. I love my life lately. I'm pretty damn happy, but I still feel acute despair daily and I think that is the way it will always be.
We have called our garden, "The Good Garden." It's a great space. There, I write and sleep and cry and work on my tan under the sun and there are squirrels and orb-weavers and horseradish and mint and there is me and I'm quite something, God, I'm beautiful as I lay in the awesome gaze of the Grandmother.