So, in keeping with my drive to accomplish my Chinese New Year's Resolutions - regardless of the fact that sometimes I feel like I'm stuck in Karo syrup, forcing one gigantic step forward after two or three or twenty tiny steps backwards - I called my brother.
As for the necessary caveat: I am the worst correspondent in the world. Ok, I'll admit that's hyperbole. I know at least two other people who are worse than I am. And one of them is my brother ;)
It's not like I avoid responding. I read everything everyone sends me: emails, texts, cards, letters, books, etc... And then I either dash off something I don't over think (and should rue, but I rarely regret anything I do because it's a waste of time) or mull on it. A lot of the things that should be more important fall into the mulling category.
And then it's two months later and fuck! I haven't responded.
The other caveat is that I love my brother to death. But I never actually said it outloud - I'm not a vocal lover (that reads really bad, but I know what I mean) but I love really hard by action (this reads even worse!) - until September 2008. It took me 29 years to acknowledge that I loved my brother verbally. And it felt weird to say it. Not because I didn't feel it or mean it, but because the words "I love you," sometimes are so completely ineffectual in execution. As I only have poets and practical experience in what I think is love, what I feel for my brother (and sister-in-law and sister and brother-in-law and Mom) is exponentially more potent and well, meaningful.
I have a fear (that I've discussed with MrFrank who mocks me) that I've never really loved anyone in my life outside of my family (this is probably untrue, but I don't know!). That I've just been skipping through limerence after limerence like a pool of tricky sensation.
On Sunday, it was Madelyn's birthday. Madelyn is my badass neice. A punk rock princess in the making who is going to break every heart she comes across with keen intellect and beauty. I owe that kid a million birthday presents. She's my first niece and I met her and held her at three months. I'll never in my life forget the way the light in my brother's living room was in South Carolina or the sound of the wind she broke in the Chinese restaurant ;) It's a sort of magic that I don't completely understand but like (outside of the breaking wind bit, which was just hilarious).
I ended up talking to my brother for just under an hour. We talked about my break-in and guitars and work and kids. It was kind of awesome, even though I hate that sticky crackle sensation of having a phone pressed up against my face. And it was something I want to do again.
Part of the being audacious in the year of the Tiger, I think, is being the first person to do things when neither party knows what to do. I'm not promising the right thing - goodness knows I have no idea what I'm doing most of the time ('stabbing at the wind' as George Dakkas used to say) and thankfully am good at researching - but it will be something.