Irregardless of walls…

hello bird
      I want my life to sing like the Irregardless in January,
a Raleigh restaurant much like a cold frame
that warmed my spirit to sprouting
like the ones I munched on my beanburger
while sipping red zinger tea.
January sunshine poured in through tall rough hewn windows
lined with green things growing in pots glazed in every shade of earthy whimsy.
To my young eyes,  it was a living painting
built by “artists and hippies”
with fresh flavors and fascinating fragrance
that seeped into every pore of my soul
and marked me.
The food was a revelation
…farmers market marries Van Gogh
and I marveled at every particle as if watching a new color being born.
But the glory of the place,
where the creativity angels seemed to gather,
was the bathroom.
I’d slip away from the table and my lemon tahini
and fairly skip down the narrow hallway
 to let my soul marinate in the sanctuary.
I loved that tiny room with the high ceiling.
Every square inch was splashed with a mural so bold and daring
and brilliant and expressive
it seemed to sing out loud in it’s ebullience.
Like nothing I’d ever seen or dreamed,
someone’s heart poured out on walls.
The rest of the world,  in comparison,
seemed dredged in gray flour
and fried until brittle and lifeless.
But here,
warm gardens blossomed and spilled unconstricted
down cinderblock and mortar
and became grafted into my sense of possibility.
I wanted this.
I want it still.
And sometimes now,
when computer crashes and administrative tangles
feel like icebergs ripping into my hull,
I close my eyes and remember that herby, loamy smell of freedom
that got inside me then.
And something wildly fearless pokes fun again at the perfectionism dogging me,
gently chiding my narrow vision
until it begins to stretch out beyond the walls
that seem to be closing in on me
and I rethink walls.
They are just walls.