I’ve been listening to one of the best Springsteen albums ever, Tunnel of Love. When we were kids, my sister (codename: Cordelia) and I came up with a theory, convincingly backed up by textual evidence, that the song “Brilliant Disguise” was about our cat Sugar, a beautiful and secretive creature one was likely to cross paths with “out on the edge of town.” The person “call[ing her] name from underneath our willow” was, of course, Mom (who went outside every night to call her in), and the thing Sugar had “tucked in shame underneath [her] pillow” was, as I recall, a hairball.
It made sense at the time.
This is the album with “Tougher Than the Rest,” “Spare Parts,” “Cautious Man,” “Tunnel of Love,” “One Step Up,” etc., plus, Bruce Springsteen wearing a bolo tie. If someone said to me, “For a period of one month, your half of every conversation about anything that matters must be conducted solely in lyrics from this album,” I would say, “That is not a problem. Where did I put that harmonica?”
This is actually the nail polish post I mentioned a few posts ago, but I’m getting there in a roundabout way. It has to do with Springsteen’s Bill Horton, the “cautious man of the road.” Do you know about Billy’s tattoos? “On his right hand Billy tattooed the word ‘love’ and on his left hand was the word ‘fear.'” I’ve been feeling a kind of camaraderie with Billy lately when I paint my nails, because while I don’t know that I’ve ever been moved to paint my nails in “love” and “fear” colors, the colors/arrangements I choose always have significance to me. I love that Billy knows what matters to him and has the urge to be representational about it on his own body. I love being thoughtful about the way I decorate my body, which is, after all, the container of my life.
Some recent expressions:
|Also, you should read that story in the background.
“A Rose for Ecclesiastes,” by Roger Zelazny — so good.
|On my left hand, little suns rising…|
|… and on my right — this was really hard to photograph, so it might
be hard to parse, but those are little moons in a dark sky over water.
If you look closely you’ll see the moons are crossing the sky nail to
nail. It’s time-lapse nail polish 🙂
|Maybe clearer here?|
|Or here. If you’re curious about what I was
reading when I snapped these pics, it’s the story
“Judith” by C.E. Montague.
By the way, I’ve blogged before about how important it is to make messes when you’re writing. I also recommend it when self-decorating.
|Left hand in progress.|
|Almost done with the left hand.
Wait for it to dry…
|…so you can use that hand to paint a mess on the right 🙂|
Final note: I am planning a small blog break, starting now, during which I intend to contemplate my bloggy equilibrium. Be well, readers, and see you on the flip side.