Thursday, October 26, 2017
Tuesday, October 17, 2017
Imagine open country roads, a sappy metaphor for my new life.
Imagine coming upon an intersection on such a road, a hand-painted wooden sign posting the choice of paths: this way, that way, the other way. In my mind, the sign's wood is ashen, weathered from rain and time, the paint lettering is white, faded from sunshine.
Barely two months ago, I ventured down such a road. I was alone but not lonely. For two years I've been driving by myself in his car: slow Sundays to the fast-lane-to-nowhere evenings.
I sat at the intersection, pondering as you might say when facing wide open fields of decision. Which way should I go?
I chose the other way. No hesitation.
Sticking to mostly dusty back roads, steering or as a passenger but now in a brand new convertible, music is always playing, the sun warms my face, and the wind blows through my hair.
I know I made the right turn.
Sunday, August 6, 2017
Friday, July 28, 2017
It was well after midnight when I dropped fresh laundry on the bed to fold, balancing the night's final glass of wine in my free hand. Dropped also was my jaw when my eye caught the light. Oh, wow, I exhaled.
The many signs I receive bring comfort to me now. I do, after all, keep asking for more. But this one, this sign had such energy in it, as if it were alive.
My friend Karen and I had enjoyed a lovely dinner together; somewhat impromptu, a small change in her plans making for a leisurely night. I made a bowl of linguine: red onion, red bell pepper, red cabbage, sun-dried tomatoes, olives, pine nuts--very garlicky and full of herbs. She brought Fairy Tale eggplants to broil then splash with balsamic, which we devoured along side a green salad.
She is the kind of friend, others have noticed, that when she and I get together, our conversation starts from the get go and might not slow for hours.
So, last night was not an exception. We talked. We talked the usual food, wine, books, and music. We analyzed changes in our lives, and baby steps toward our future plans. We talked about the fine line parents face of wanting their children to understand truths, truths that can be painful, but knowing they have to live their lives and discover for themselves.
A day doesn't go by lately that I don't give purposeful thought to consciousness and subconsciousness and how the two connect; how I can help them connect. I am fascinated by it and consumed with it. I'm sure I bored my friend with it. Can every idea that comes to me out of thin air be attributed to the two working together or are thoughts and ideas aimless?
I had turned the music off and was considering all of this when I finished the dishes and turned my attention to laundry. There, on the bedroom wall, our bedroom, was a light; a light with such brilliancy! It was a rectangle, the size of a single switch light plate, positioned about two feet off the floor. The inch wide light bordered the rectangle.
There was nothing in its path that could have been reflective and when I moved myself back and forth in front of this light, it remained constant. It even seemed to shimmer at times.
I am now able to enjoy signs like this, a sign itself of my growth in this grief journey, but I've not yet grasped the most important lesson which is that I cannot make these signs tangible. I can only be still and quiet and enjoy them.
I could not take a photo. When I left to get my phone, the mesmerizing light had disappeared. I could not catch the wind circling around me that day in the kitchen, or record the music I've heard in a silent car.
The proof is only in my heart, or perhaps trapped somewhere between my conscience and my subconscience.
Monday, July 24, 2017
You hide yourself from me
In the bottom of a bowl of blackberries.
I want to spoon you out,
Cover you with my sugar.
You need the sunlight
But I can see you want the dark
And so I let you hide yourself from me
In the bottom of a bowl of blackberries.
I wrote that poem as a forlorn fifteen year old, waiting to be struck by love: a full-on assault by the sun and the moon and the stars. I waited at sixteen. Then seventeen. It was obviously, albeit romantic, what I now consider my Romeo and Juliet Era.
In Zeffirelli's beautiful film (still a top-five on my film list), as much as I lusted after Leonard Whiting (Romeo), I wanted even more to emulate Olivia Hussey (Juliet). My hair was dark and long, parted in the middle. Sometimes I'd put it back tightly, a braid down my back. I spent evenings in my billowing white cotton, medieval nightgown, memorizing lines from the film.
"Wilt thou be gone? It is not yet near day.
It was the nightingale, and not the lark,
That pierced the fearful hollow of thine ear.
Nightly she sings on yon pomegranate tree.
Believe me, love, it was the nightingale."
"It was the lark, the herald of the morn,
No nightingale. Look, love, what envious streaks
Do lace the severing clouds in yonder east.
Night’s candles are burnt out, and jocund day
Stands tiptoe on the misty mountain tops.
I must be gone and live, or stay and die."
My mother bought me two Juliet dresses; both had the defining puffy sleeves, the tight Empire waistline, and a bust which was cut as low as I could get away with the night I wore one when my father took us to Mario's for a fancy sixteenth birthday dinner.
This was about the same year I was introduced by an English teacher, to the poems of ee cummings. From a favorite, the title long forgotten, my starry eyes formed images of two aging adults curling up together at bedtime, the husband not feeling well. The last line was, as I recall, "The medicine was in her long, un-braided hair."
I was already in love with love, but that was when I fell in love with words. Right then.
A few years later and married, all innocence lost, I would enter my Big Chill Era. It would be many more years though, before my life took a turn, and I met my Romeo.
i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
no fate (for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world (for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)
Saturday, July 22, 2017
I call her The Intuitive. I hope you get to read one day, in a classically published form, about the influence she has had on my life the past year and a half.
She came this week and spent a few hours with me. I swear, she comes in as any other friend would, sometimes hair damp from a shower, but she somehow sprinkles fairy dust all around, and when she leaves, the dust settles. Ideas, visions, revelations, truth---they emerge in ways that are too hard to explain in this space. Sometimes the thoughts tease me and sometimes they slap me hard.
I think I experienced a little of both after Wednesday's lunch. I am not ready to remove my wedding band, won't be for a very long time, but I have listened hard to the other messages she speaks in riddles, and what has come through is nothing short of miraculous.
To her, it was just Wednesday, doing what she does.
Monday, July 17, 2017
Sunday, July 16, 2017
I have a grand memory for many afternoons in my childhood. I recall details vividly, and almost all of them are rich and good. Memories like the rides across town to visit Ganny, standing up so I could see, in the front seat of the old black Oldsmobile which I later learned didn't have a reverse gear, and I remember at her house another day, my friend running into the barely visible clothesline, scraping her face. The yard had a small garden and toward the back, wild violets blanketed the ground. We didn't go there as often as I would have liked.
I remember people, places, events, and I can today, easily bring forth the emotions I had for each and every.
So it was with keenness and joy, that I watched two children during one of Dallas' many pop-up storms the other day. These downpours come out of clear blue skies which turn dark and threatening in mere minutes.
Both boys, one black and one white, about ten years old, were crossing from one's house I presume, to the other's, laughing and tagging one another as they squealed through the rain, prancing through the foot-deep water which pooled from the curb to cover most of the street.
Barefoot and happy were they!
I smiled the rest of my short drive home, wishing them a memory which might last.
Friday, July 14, 2017
I'm willing myself to take deep breaths, for this feels as though I've run into you after a long unexplained absence, and I'm awkwardly hesitant that perhaps you expect me to explain.
If you've peeked at the blog since late 2015, you've probably figured it out.
Maybe his death was my escape excuse from blogging. I had realized, even before, that I had little creative juice left after five years...
It's a great thing about blogging: you can come or go, without explanation. Thing is about me though: I feel I owe explanations. Like I owe thank you notes or bar tabs.
I guess I want to tell those of you who have hung around, or are now checking in, that my absence was at its worse unexplained, but at its best productive. I wrote a memoir!
I've been healing.
Hello old friends.
I'm happy to be back.
Sunday, April 16, 2017
My father had that ability to immerse himself in the moment, perhaps more so than anyone I've known. Whether he was enjoying his favorite Paciugo gelato - black cherry - while sitting in the car on a hot July day, or slamming any door in the house if the Tar Heels lost a basketball game, or tearing up listening to a beautiful aria; he totally embraced all that defined or surrounded moments in time. (One was during WWII, in Paris, sitting on the curb eating a treat of canned (maybe stolen) peaches.)
It seems for most of his life, as if he didn't fear but yet was guided, unaware, that any moment could be his last.
This was heavy on my mind this Easter Sunday as I celebrated with family and friends. I so wanted to emulate my father but yet, my heart still grieves. I pretend to be in the moment but I'm still very much aware of the me who watches me.
Throughout the afternoon I proposed toasts: clink clink clink! I absorbed and enjoyed the music in the cafe. I ate well. Life seemed good. And when my nephew complimented my earrings, knowing in a glance they must have been a gift from Kevin, I teared up. Just like Daddy would have done.
Maybe tears continue to be good.
I came away from the bustle of the bistro knowing that I am still healing. Still healing by willing to be there, willing to risk the pain of a memory, be it by a bite of anything, a song, or a toast: clink, clink, clink!
Whether it is me, or it is the me who watches me, we are together trying so hard to live in the moments.