I’ve started writing almost every day since Tuesday and went straight down the rabbit hole of self-pity. It was a greater pity than “self,” making the hole deeper and wider and so easy to tumble into. Having no partner to debrief with adds to the rabbit hole quality of the writing. I read articles by those who have written eloquently. What do I have to add? I thought of posting links to all the articles that I’ve read. For days, I could post links. Instead, I tried to find quiet. Not an easy tasks with the furies and demons circling. Continue reading
I sit in Panera for coffee and a bagel tapping, answering email, commenting on Facebook, setting up a few meet ups with friends. Panera, at least this one, in the morning is a senior zone. Couples mostly. Of course. In small groups of a single gender or uneven, odd numbered mixes. Is this what substitutes for the boomer bar scene?
I am content just sitting with carbs, fat and caffeine. Observing. There is a woman at the next table who is not. Not happy. She sits alone holding onto a paper cup of hot liquid in front of her. No book or paper or electronic device to accompany her or pass the time. She has not planned for independence. She is waiting. Her fingers tap the cup. She looks at her watch. She looks to the door whenever it opens. The color in her cheeks rises. Her eyes are troubled. She avoids looking at anyone, including me. I would smile at her given half the chance. Continue reading
Julia and I continue to work on our gardens. We are weeding and cleaning the back beds. I am making space for some of what must be moved. I’ve not heard back from the inspector who told me he would call back in regards to an extension of time before imposing a fine to give me time to transplant. I hesitate calling in case the answer is not what I want to hear. In the meantime, my across the street neighbor received a complaint similar to mine. Their terrace garden is considerably smaller and their plants, although over 24” are all perennials whose final height is only in place for a few weeks. Someone on the neighborhood yahoo group has taken to calling he who is complaining the garden gestapo. I am almost more angry about this second complaint. No, not quite true. I am angry over my complaint as well. I am still muttering as I garden and doing a fair bit of blaming. Continue reading
It would have been a hard weekend if all had gone well. But all did not go well and I am on the other side of it. My head aches, my stomach is both tight and churning. And although I slept the night hard with a loving dream of an old professor’s praise for a new child, I awoke exhausted. I could have dropped Julia off at school and ducked beneath the covers. I didn’t. I know my blue moods. This one did not creep up. It was a definite possibility from the start. Though I prepared and hoped it would not to come to fruition, the aftermath could not be unexpected. Continue reading
Stuff wears out.
There was an old bottle of shampoo, Neutrogena T/Gel Total, that was sitting on a shower shelve for five years. I don’t like it and only use it when there is nothing else in the house. David used it. But I have used it now and again and again, and last week, It was empty. Time to toss the bottle. For just a moment, I was nostalgic. Was this the last household item that belonged to David? Could I throw it away? I could add a few more dramatic questions–in my head, I did–but without drama, I threw it in the bathroom trash can. A few days later, Julia emptied that can into a bag to be put into the trash.
Without drama, but I was aware of it leaving the house. Continue reading
We are stopping for lunch at a recommended restaurant that is supposed to have very good meat. La bandita. We have not eaten much meat apart from what has been in a few sauces and the waiter recommends “hamburger” when I ask him what is best. When I repeat “hamburger” with a big question, he says “oh, madam, it is wonderful!” So that is what I order.
We have passed the morning in Pienza, a small walled city sitting on a hill. It was an ancient town reconstructed in the 1400’s by the then Pope Pius II. Pius was a great humanist who hired a bevy of architects and artisans to transform his humble town into a great renaissance city. It is still a jewel of a city which is now a tourist destination. There is no trains and few buses here and so the tourists are those who have rented cars or come in small vans. So, fewer pack backer and more couples of that certain age. The size of the streets begin at small and go down from there. Indeed, the via del amore has hardly enough to room for lovers to walk hand in hand although the that may be the point.
I cannot sleep. Well, I slept for about an hour and a half and then lolled in bed for a similar amount of time, hoping to slip back into dreams. I did not do enough yesterday and I am not sufficiently tired.
I did not do enough because I had a minor “procedure” on Tuesday — big toe nail removal — and although I am in no pain, I was cautioned to keep the foot elevated for the next few days. And instead of elevating and reading or writing or figuring out the two web pages I want to put up, I indulged in television. Most unfortunately, the third season of Last Tango in Halifax which just finished airing in England is on YouTube.
A friend gifts herself on her birthday with novel experiences like hot air ballooning and power sailing. I am not as ambitious. In previous years, I wished for perfect days on my birthday — wearing favorite clothes, sleeping late, no housework or homework, good food and culture. My definition of perfect was pretty broad but these days my definition is still too restrictive to strive for. And so, time to change.
I’ve started projects on natal days. Some years I ‘finalize’ resolutions that I just couldn’t get right at the beginning of January. For many years, I didn’t want to make a big deal about celebrating my birthday but without a partner, if any deal is going to be made, I can’t keep my friends in the dark. And I am grateful for the rememberings — a few packages, morning coffee with, a phone call or two from, theater in evening and afterwards food so rich my tummy ached, and a big bouquet of Facebook wishes.
Should it be surprising that as it has warmed up slightly in the last few days—from below zero to almost 20 above—the nano-catastrophes of the last week have found solutions? Perhaps I am warm brained.
We are settling into the cold. Flannel duvets on the beds, insulated shades in colder rooms pulled up only on sunny days over 10 degrees, lined pants and silk long underwear are not merely fashion statements and neither of us runs out of the house without coat, hat and gloves. Recently, I has a conversation about living in New York City with someone who felt that he would never move to the city because of the high cost of living. I thought it was about priorities—cultural, education and business opportunities, etc.—but he still couldn’t see it. Then I said that we choose to live in Wisconsin even though we are predictably miserable due to cold for at least three months, and many years almost six months, every year. Home, family, job, beautiful and vibrant town, public schools, etc.—a good deal of priorities.
Excuse the disarray, gentle readers. A new year brings reorganization of the old and cluttered, rededication to particular journeys and diving into new long term projects. This year, these ideas are very exciting and before I leave my bed on New Year’s Day, I am appreciating the energy that seems to be at my disposal. I look forward to 2015 with a gentle enthusiasm which is almost a surprised but which has become familiar and comfortable. When I make my bed in the morning, I remember when all that I wanted was for the day to end and to return to my bed. I am still close enough to the years of grieving to viscerally remember being without the energy to begin a single idea. I am no longer there. Alleluia! Continue reading