Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Sunday, January 27, 2008
So here's a long overdue update, beginning where the holidays ended, finally with a hopeful slant:
This is a good sign. A few days ago this Amaryllis bloomed. It is so cool to watch this plant start as a big round bulb and sprout inch after inch until it is almost two feet high and ready to reveal these incredible flowers. Across the miles my best friend (you may know who) and I have been tracking the growth of this miracle. It's hard to be depressed under such circumstances.
Oh, here he is yet again: Mr. Ryan. I look at this photo and remember that even the toughest times will not last--and certainly not without a fight.
Yesterday was the first time in TWO MONTHS that we have had a fire. Normally I built several a week, but I have been too weary. So the quiet event of sitting on the couch in front of the fireplace is another sign that things are improving.
Give me Peet's coffee (Major Dickinson blend) anytime and I'll feel better. Every morning for the past few months I have started my day this way, if only for five minutes before the approaching sound of a walker, crutch or cane stepped into my solitude....
jb is almost three weeks past a total knee replacement. In a weak moment she's allowed me to post this picture. She is still on crutches and will be for some time. I won't tell you about the 911 call in the early morning last week, but overall, she is improving each day. And today she bought herself an Apple iPhone, which is very cool and very exciting.
And, after multiple complications and challenges, my Mother will be moving to a wonderful rest home next week. It is a grand place where she will have freedom, activity and support, 3 miles from us--and here at # 9 our old routine will hopefully return. Oh: except that I will be returning to work in early March. More on that soon enough....
Here they are in the back hall: Cathy, Lily, and the Ukulele kids. All I have to say is: Comforting.
Friday, January 18, 2008
Sunday, January 13, 2008
Risk more than others think safe.
Dream more than others think practical.
Expect more than others think possible."
I read this quote tonight on Jimmy James' blog and it seemed to land on my shoulder. I like that I approach life this way, but does it also make me unwise, unsafe, impractical, unrealistic?
Often I am unfamiliar with Middle Ground. Sometimes I knowingly take a turn to the right or left before I get to Middle Ground. I believe in abundance and I can easily imagine overcoming odds and distance. I don't trust easily, but when I do, I'm committed. When I'm healthy and confident, I would consider this description of me a compliment by friend or foe.
But I am not quite healthy or confident right now. A few spheres of my life are spinning wildly and I'm tired. It doesn't help at a time like this to question my core beliefs in caring, risking, dreaming and expecting, especially when it leaves me uncertain about my own values, beliefs, strengths.
So here's where I'm back to: Given what is, what am I to do?
Back to Acceptance. I may not like what's happening, I may need to figure out how better avoid depletion, I may feel passionately sad about changes I wish weren't so. But now and ultimately, I want to accept at least as well as I choose to care, risk dream and expect. I'm working on it. Today was a better day than yesterday. And tomorrow I'd like to wake up with a better dose of patience and kindness toward myself. I really am a piece of work--I know that--but I do try. For now, let me simply accept that.
Thursday, January 10, 2008
This was the first time Alex saw fireworks, and these fireworks, planned and operated by a world renowned European pyrotechnic specialist, were utterly spectacular. For thirty continuous minutes, high overhead, encompassing a universe of elaborately designed patterns and circles and arrows soaring upward with impeccably executed timing, a canopy of bangs and pops and rockets unleashing massive pulsating colors--whites and greens and reds and yellows and a few precious blues-- shot up and exploding, all at once, in every corner of the sky.
When it was over, as they walked back to the Arlington Street T stop, Alex scrunched her face and pulled at her mother’s hand.
“Mom”, she said, “Why did it feel like it would have been ok if we had all died while those fireworks were going off?”
Her mother, startled, surprised, stopped and turned to face Alex.
Before Alex could respond, her mother added, “And honey, when you are lucky enough to have moments like that, you let them change you and you hold on to them as long as you can, because they are gifts from straight from God.”
Thirty four years later, in a sparceroom, on the left side of two shaky twin beds pushed together, Alex remembered the earnest look on her mother's face that night.
“I love you”, Lily said.
And for the first time without sorrow or secrecy or second-guessing, Alex, thoroughly depleted, softly whispered back, “Me too, Lily. Me too.”
Wednesday, January 09, 2008
If you've been visiting in my absence, thank you.
My house is currently a combination orthopedic, rehab, and pharmacy store-front. Yikes!
I can't tell if things have yet turned upward, but I'm hoping!
Tuesday, January 01, 2008
There are certain steps that must be taken today. There is no return-of-goods counter—just a “you buy it, you own it” policy with fine print I didn’t read then and don’t want to read now. I know I must hem the predestined pleats and complicated seams, iron out past and future wrinkles caused by sitting still too long, air out the fabric so it remains pure and air fresh. Meanwhile, even though I’m dressed to the hilt, I’ll still carry those sticks near and far, carry them because I freely picked them up to begin with, and I will never fail to hold onto even the smallest branch. I’ll be taking one step after another on my way to town, even though the one-day- all-out tag sale is for naught.
If destiny has another plan, I’ll be there, waiting first in line for the doors to open. But there is no special sale on this day. There is no discount or resizing that can make this anything other than what it is. It is not that. It is only this. And what it is is so inestimable I will spend the better part of my life on the budget plan, making regular payments into an account where withdrawals will be scarce, but worth every penny. I can purchase only what I have paid for, and I can take home only certain sizes even if they’re wrong for the circumstance. I came here freely and knowingly. I knew then there was no warranty, but the fit was so exquisitely perfect I made a deal with destiny. I would carry the sticks and accept the conditions in exchange for the moments when the fit came straight from God’s designer.
Meanwhile, under a canopy of shining stars, we dance and then we linger. And then, always once more, we are free.