Friday, March 27, 2015

An Rambling Update on the Turtle

This is a little boy, Mr. Ryan, age 8, who put words and pictures to his life and is excited about all of it. His family, Cape Cod, sports, tacos. Travel. Video games. 

My list is half different than his. In fact, in the past few months I've become well acquainted with lists. There's been compelling reasons to be overwhelmed.


I haven't. 

Just so you have some context, my Mother's died, we had Christmas, I'm back to consulting work (happily so far), we renovated and rented our disaster of a condo in Rhode Island (another story), I finished 100 hours of professional online courses (had to), and we are beginning the beginning of readying to sell our house here in Western Massachusetts and move to Provincetown (big move). It hasn't stopped snowing. And I'm deep into writing my book (I love.)

I'd say that is a busy life. But funny thing is what's going on for me is inward and not centered on chores. I'm looking back and looking ahead, able to acknowledge how much right my parents did in raising me, and beginning to imagine how I want things to be for me ( and JB) (and Jess and the kids) in the months and years to come. 

I am nostalgic and wistful and grateful and hopeful. Most of the time I'm present and most of the time I don't stress or worry like I used to. I've discovered that my best style is truly turtle-like, not just a metaphor. I don't mean I'm slow, because I'm not. I mean that I don't do well when I have piles of things to do and I do do well when I look at that pile and just do what will work for me at the time, hoping that little by little that will be enough. And so far it's worked. I've gotten a lot done without being buried.

I actively follow the horrible events in the Mid-East and Israel and Ferguson MO and in the lives of elephants and dolphins and lab dogs and chimps. I know that Provincetown has a huge problem with affordable housing. 

And I have a garden to build. Travels to take. I have grandchildren who will go to the movies with me.  

So much is pretty close to perfection, huh? Yes. 


Life doesn't work that way. Just knowing that fact has prepared me to expect the best and the worse, depending, to be ready for either. If it's joy, may I put my hand out and grab it while it's flying by; and if it's despair may I know I have accumulated enough strength. 

That's how I seem to be living these days. Just saying…..


Friday, March 20, 2015

A snippet from the new novel….

Christine Macabee, mother of four and lover of all poems good and bad, is a bona fide John Denver. groupie.  I'll let her tell you something about that herself.
John Denver died in a holy mess of splat when the plane he was flying crashed to smithereens into Monteray Bay. He had just bought the two-seated fiberglass plane that the orignal owner built from a kit and it was his for just one day.  It was a Sunday afternoon and he wanted to take it on a test spin down the coast. I read all about it: he had practiced three touch and go landings -he’d head up, swoop down to the runway and then pull back up. I’ve never been to California but I imagine at 5:28 in the afternoon the sun must have still been a ball of yellow gold and he must have loved seeing the white glitter balls bouncing off the ocean and onto the windows of the houses that dotted the Bay. In the days that followed I read everything I could get my hands on: he was about a hundred and fifty feet from shore, and five hundred feet above the ocean--that’s not very high, five hundred feet.  Witnesses said his plane just plunged straight down into the water and broke apart on impact. He was so badly mutilated that all they could tell was that he was a male. His brain, teeth, eyes, one arm, and seventy-five percent of his head was missing, You can imagine how I reccoiled reading that--my wholesome sunshine man picked up like rubbish.
I don’t know if his wicked second wife Cansandra arranged to cremate what was left of him, but thank God a representative of Parker Funeral Home took his ashes personally to Colorado. The funeral service was held on Friday, October 17th, 1997 at the Faith Presbyterian Church in Aspen, Colorado. Over two thousand people attended and of course, I was there too, sitting in my kitchen, holding my rosary beads.  I read that John’s horse Tonto was brought the church and six airplanes flew overhead, rocking their wings in a salute. I tried to send prayers and energy to Aspen but it didn’t seem like enough: I was obliged to arrange my own tribute. So a week later, on a rainy Sunday at 5:30 pm, just before our take out pizza arrived, I replaced the red and white checkered kitchen vinyl tablecloth with my grandmother’s white linen runner, I placed two tapered white candles on each end of the dining room table and put John Denver’s eight by ten inch gold framed photo in between them, and In front of his photo, in my best cursive handwriting, I placed the  ten dollar mass card I ordered from the Sacred Heart Church. I set the table and on each dinner plate I left a typed copy of “Perhaps Love,” my favorite John Denver song. 
There would be ten of us that evening: the kids, Louise, Jimmy’s brother Milton, and Jack and Ruby Nelson, our neighbor’s to the left. 
There is not much else that equals the fun I'm having getting to know Christine Macabee...
love kj