When I was about 4 years old, Diana Ross was telling a nameless “boy” that he turned her “inside out, and round and round.” I loved that song, and I sat in the back of my parents’ big, blue station wagon (hey, my last post featured something big and blue, too!) imagining a giant record player, with a pretty lady riding it like a merry-go-round. I loved the lyrics, and I took them literally.
These days that nameless “boy” in the song is more figurative. Of course Ross’s song is a poppy, love-is-so-confusing, disco-era anthem, and I love it still for that reason, but let’s just pretend “boy” is life. He’s fickle, unfaithful, un-containable, unattainable, but makes you feel so good if you just go along with your instincts. “Boy” can’t be counted on to be there forever, so you have to enjoy the time you have.
The spinning and the turning and rotating has a visceral significance to me as I get ready to fly to the other side of the earth. I still get a little nauseous from the physics-class-reality that our planet is continually falling, and that we are just little specs held to its surface by gravity, our mass pulled to the planet like I pull my son a little closer into my lap when I get set to read his bedtime story. We are pulled in to our mother while we all fall together. Now I get set to take an adventure my own mother would never have been able to imagine for herself, and I feel weightless.
This week I was surprised with a Facebook message from a friend of a person I know only by name. This person taught at Graded school (where I’m going to teach) for eight years, and taught in another international school after that, though she has a home base of sorts in Brazil. She is now preparing to head to my hometown, Ashland, OR. We joked about how we are almost literally changing places on the planet, and again I felt a little weightless. How funny to imagine ourselves as little juggling balls being tossed at the juggler’s whim — the boy.
I’m not a religious person. There’s so much to this life, though, that can’t be explained. How is it that the first shirt my husband randomly pulled from a rack of used children’s clothing said, “Surf Brazil,” or that when we stopped for gas today, the coffee shop next door was called “Bom Dia”? When I went to pay my cell phone bill and prepare myself for the remaining balance to pay off our phones so we can unlock them for a new company, the guy said, “Oh, this month will complete your final payments on your phones.” There have been countless other instances of coincidences that feel just a little too coincidental. Can something be on accident and on purpose at the same time?
I guess today I’m feeling like the turning and spinning and changing is picking up momentum, and that I’m ready, though still nervous, to open my eyes and enjoy the movement. I still have to sort through more of my stuff and continue to winnow out unnecessary items, and I still have some work to do to prepare for the teaching, and I could make the list even longer if I listed all the subparts of the list (as I am sometimes prone to do in order to increase the sense of accomplishment because I can check off even more, faster). But listing feels too square, too flat, for the round fullness of this adventure.
So Diana Ross, I hope you don’t mind that I link your song to my blog page, and that I let the tune spin me all the way over to the Tropic of Capricorn. The Goddess Sings, and we get to just fall onto the dance floor, and move along, instinctively.