Warning: Hippie-Dippiness Ahead
When I say "intuitive," I don't mean any kind of psychic crap. I've met a few people who may have been psychic -- few and far between, and almost never the ones who think they are -- but I myself am definitely not. I mean that, five years after the destruction of the life I was living, I finally, consciously understand that the only way to build a coherent new life is to follow my obsessions as I always did and see what happens. For about four years now I've been mostly dismissing those obsessions because I was accustomed to turning them into something arguably useful; i.e. fiction. When that stopped happening, I gradually stopped valuing them unless unless they led to something concrete (like gardening, allowable because it created exercise, beauty, and produce). Chris has provided me with a wonderful reeducation by example: in the past year, I've watched him turn his own obsessions into one of the most popular restaurants in New Orleans. In doing so, he has also provided me with a space where, for the time being, I can do just about anything I want to do as long as it doesn't hurt anybody or cost us a fortune.* I can't think of any greater gift anyone has given me since my mother taught me to read.
And it's symbiotic, because God knows Chris was born with a wild talent, but he's also using a great many skills he learned in mostly low-paying jobs at various restaurants over the course of nearly twenty years while I made a (usually) decent living writing books. I still contribute royalty, reprint, and eBay income, but he's the sugar daddy for now.
To what point all this confession? I don't really know. I guess I just want to say that as the fifth anniversary of the federal levee failure approaches and I get ready to face one of my worst fears (yeah, yeah, by going on a really nice vacation; shut up, I NEED THIS), I'm pretty happy and very, very grateful.
*Motto from a depressed day last week, with apologies to Flannery O'Connor: "It ain't no real pleasure in life, and most of what passes for pleasure costs a goddamn fortune."