It is Thursday and we’ve been out of internet range except for select minutes for days. I have many pictures to post from out incredible hikes in the outback, the center of Australia. There is no way they will upload on hotel internet but I will have access to better soon. Continue reading
A line from one of my favorite songs (“Is Anybody There?”) in one of my favorite musicals (1776). It is running over and over in my head, the voice I hear is, of course, William Daniels, the original John Adams.
We leave for Sydney tomorrow evening. I have a list, albeit short, to accomplish and two therapy appointments today. If I finish what needs to be finished before the middle of the day, we could see a movie tonight but I am not depending on that extravagance. Continue reading
Not much of that the last two weeks. The city is tearing up my street, both streets on my corner. The crew port-o-potty adorns my terrace garden bed. From 6:45 a.am to 6:00 p.m., 6 days a week—scrapers scrape, diggers dig and hit stuff in the ground, pounders, earth movers, buriers of huge pieces of metal and all of it beeps mercilessly when they back up. I complained to whoever listened and grumped to myself often for days. Then I stopped insisting that my daily round remain the same and got out of the house as much as possible. After awhile the persistence to hold fast to my daily round and the desire to escape as much as possible settled into some middle space—I stopped complaining and reclaimed the house when I needed it, mindful of my tolerance. I needed to open windows and turn on fans and welcome (almost) the road dust. I started greeting the crew outside my windows and they’ve been helpful making some space for me to get my car out of the driveway and out of my street. I am on the verge of baking them muffins. Continue reading
“Life changes fast.
Life changes in the instant.
You sit down to dinner and life as you know it ends.
The question of self-pity.”
With a very big sigh of relief, I count another mother’s day over. My feelings about the holiday remain the same as they were four years ago and I am still not proud of them. Of course, I am not proud. The feelings are still all about self-pity. Which is ugly and such a damm nuisance.
When I first read Joan Didion’s “The year of magical thinking,” I did not understand those first lines quoted above. I rather shamefacedly admit that I didn’t understand them for a very long time. What was so bad about some very well deserved self-pity? Continue reading
This is a picture of Julia walking to class. Her case manager sent it to me yesterdy. He wrote: “Hey, I was following Julia and a peer in the hall, talking like best buds. Not sure who her friend is, but I’m happy she has made strong connections with reg ed peers.”
It is a great picture.
When I looked at it, my first impulse, after a good hearted motherly smile, is to race to the story of Julia making a friend, going over someone’s house, talking too long on the phone, telling secrets to someone (not me), going to a sleepover, having a party. And then, I stop. Continue reading
Thunder and lightening and rain last night. Just before bedtime. This morning everything is moist and cloudy. The bird and squirrel sounds come to my ears as if through fog. Sitting on cushioned wicker on the back porch, I listen to the uneven hum of the ceiling fans. Temperatures predicted to be summer like, so I open all the windows and turn on the fans. There is a disconnect between the wide open house and the gold-brown and worn green leaves blanketing the gardens. But the disconnect, the tilt, the slight unevenness of my world’s tectonic plates feel . . . right, correct, just as it is. Continue reading
Six hours at the Dane County Airport waiting for weather to clear in Newark, New Jersey, to take for a short, direct flight is enough to make anyone a bit of a philosopher. That or go nuts. Because I bought this summer’s tickets with credit card points and used the voucher we got in January, I sprung for flying out of our little, low key facility. Lines are short, seats plentiful but there are fewer food choices and what there is comes with NYC prices.
Julia did all her home work and her puzzle exercises and some extra of each. She worked on coloring a new dragon picture in her art app. If her cello had been here, we would have gotten in a good practice. Now, she is listening to music on her phone and watching videos of kids dancing and singing. She has not even cracked the sketch book or dot to dot book. The kid has learned to wait. She is developing patience. Continue reading
Feeling like a super mom today. Exhausted but endowed with power and magic. Today is never easy. 7 years. Another anniversary of the beginning of my unexpected life.
I have long entertained the idea that the cells of the body are recycled bit by bit every 7 years. Where did I hear that? I have no idea, but if it were so, there is no cell in my body left that actually knew David. Could that be? Even if it was the general rule, I imagine my cells clever enough to bypass such ignorance. They might have whispered and conspired, perhaps saving one very, very old seven or eight or nine year old cell and sitting at her “feet” to listen to stories of when I was not lonely. And really, there was that time when I knew joy without effort. And maybe in the stories of that old cell is the seed of a coming time of such joy. Just maybe. Continue reading
Countries, governments, empires rise and fall. I was not a bad student of history. I learned the three to five to seven reasons why Greece and Rome and the city states of Italy and England and France and various dynasties of China fell. Somewhere in those reasons was usually some catastrophic event— a war lost or a prolonged war won but leaving a weakened empire or a natural disaster. I imagined that the linchpin of any fall was that catastrophic event.
When David and I lived in Frascati, Italy, we would talk politics with our landlord and his young adult children. Mr. Maoli told us that the United States was powerful now but that as a nation we were children. He said that once there was nothing stronger than Rome, and in another age Venice, Siena, Florence and Genoa were all powerful. And now, they were not. I agreed. He made sense. Nothing, even a democracy, even the leader of the free world, lasts forever. Continue reading
Two deaths. One the wife of friend; the other the mother of a friend no longer. The first was a sound shake. A woman who was ill and being treated, who was expected to survive, to be healed. An unexpected death even though there was probably some scientific percentage that she would not survive. Like David. Twenty percent of those with heart transplant don’t survive. And we never considered for a moment that to be David.
We are all always part of the percentage. Continue reading