Tag Archives: life

Carnival of Love

Standard

The other day, an online friend shared a piece of beautiful writing. It was about how nice it would be if we could have – as adults – the innocent joy of teenage love.  I’m sure that even if you didn’t personally experience the starry-eyed, giddy school kid crush, Hollywood certainly provides plenty of reference material for you to understand the “share-a-soda-at-the-roller-rink” kind of relationship. And while little whispers and dreamy romance certainly seem to be love. It’s not. That’s the cotton candy of life – light and sweet, but dissolves too quickly to provide any serious sustenance.

It’s like they say in the song… “I found that love is more… than just holding hands.”

Don’t get me wrong. It’s important to keep romance alive in a long-term partnership. Loving couples do giggle at silly stuff, and keeping fun and play is important in everyone’s life, not just in relationships. So what is it then? True love?

Like the other song says… “I looked at love from both sides now.”  So here’s what I’ve found.  Unlike cotton candy, beneath the sweet surface, there’s got to be substance.

Love IS innocent. When you ask “Do I look fat in this?” Love says “You couldn’t possibly.”

Love IS a giddy laugh. When you screw up Thanksgiving dinner, Love says “Really, I had enough to snack on earlier. Turkey just puts me to sleep anyway.”

Love IS that dreamy look. Even when you’re sitting in bed with the flu and a box of tissues, Love says “Do you want me to make tea? or soup?”

Love IS riding around with your head on his shoulder. When the worst call comes and your knees buckle at the news, Love says “You’re not driving. I’ll get the car.”

And Yes, Love DOES hold hands. Especially when you hear the word “diagnosis.” Love says “Ok, we’ll do what we have to do.”

As wonderful as puppy love is, and despite the fondness I have for those days cruising the summer streets with the music loud, and his arm around me as we strolled the fairgrounds, I’ll pass on the cotton candy. True Love is a caramel apple… sweet enough on the surface, but underneath all that yummy gooeyness is something good you can really sink your teeth into.

Pandora’s Box

Standard

I finally had to do it. It’s been taking up room in my closet since I moved in, and I need the space. Downsizing from full-sized tote to under-the-bed storage is critical. It’s just not something I looked forward to doing.

Image

It’s fun to go through boxes of old pictures with friends and family, each taking a few out at a time and recollecting the memories invoked by the fading images — rethinking hairstyle decisions and fashion choices, comparing the changing city skyline over the decades, recalling old faithful automobiles, and of course, remembering those who are gone now. It’s always a sweet and sentimental process, laughing through the tears.

By myself however, not so much. I get stuck wondering what to do with all of these pictures. I’ve already put my favorites into frames and albums. This box is mostly full of those candid shots that weren’t the most presentable, but are surely the more honest portraits – kids clowning around, my sister trying to hide from the camera, Mom and siblings around the breakfast table. (Seriously) Who takes pictures at breakfast you ask? Well, if Dad had a new lens he wanted to try or film he had to “use up,” anything was fair game.  And since I bought my first camera at about 10 years old, there’s a whole collection of the world shot from a kid’s perspective. Funny to see what I thought was picture-worthy. My dog “Candy” was a common subject and my little nephews made for cute, albeit blurry, images.

Beyond the captured occasions, I drift into deeply held memories of the people in these photographs — conversations we had, times we told stories and shared laughs, discussions that turned into differences, and decisions that led us to separate paths. Inevitably, I come across photos from events that were overshadowed by someone’s drama… the wedding where so-and-so stormed out, the party where what’s-her-name drank too much, and family gatherings that always seem to be missing the one who could never be there on time.

I really can’t take it. I don’t like spending time in the past. I pitched a bunch of duplicates and poor quality prints, but there are too many years to sift through alone. So I dump the contents of the bigger box into the much smaller box and shift it around until the lid fits.

Then, as I shove it under the bed, I realize:  at least I won’t be adding to this box anymore. Ever since digital pics and online sharing, I don’t have tons of extra pictures floating around. I think I prefer this new photography – take the picture, upload it to all my friends, and be done with it. No more looking back into a musty collection of bygone days. Just sharing what I’m enjoying… now… with people who care enough to enjoy it with me… now… and deleting all the drama.

Bored to Death

Standard

A woman I’ve been acquainted with for about ten years finished up the dishes, put in a load of wash, sat down with her crossword puzzle and died.

She was 61 and hadn’t been sick.

Apparently, the only thing wrong with her was her attitude.  When I asked her survivor husband what he thought had happened, he said “I think she just gave up.”

She may have been depressed, but that’s not how I would’ve described her. She was feisty and funny and cooked dinner every night. Unhappy, however? Maybe just unhappy.

Could being unhappy actually be the reason she died?  I think there’s a good chance it was.  Her dissatisfaction caused her to do things she shouldn’t have and not do the things she should. What I don’t understand is why she was dissatisfied. She was a good wife; they’d been together 40 years. She was a good mom; the boy’s a lawyer for Pete’s sake, with a beautiful doctor wife! But what about her own life?

What happened, I wonder.

I think it was exactly that… she gave up. First, she gave up working and then she gave up volunteering. She gave up traveling, and she even gave up shore vacations.  Of course, that was after she gave up going to the country house. And she had given up gardening a long time ago.

These were her choices. Just like we all have. Every day.

I never realized it before, but for some of us “having a life” may actually be what saves it.

Genesis

Standard

“A subject for a great poet would be God’s boredom after the seventh day of creation.” ~ Nietzsche

big bang

First there was here
And then there was there
Now here is this
That then is where

It was just an idea
Whose time was right
Long enough in the dark
Let there be light

Now this cannot be with that
There must be below
Here must be above
And it was so

There will be bounty
Here will be vast
All things will be plenty
And it was cast

Balance was needed
Hence the sun
As well stars and moon
And it was done

Spirit must go
To be on land and sea
Living in this place
Let it so be

Love burst forth
Men and women to share
In All that Is
Born was the pair

Intelligence is
Wisdom will be
Available to all
And it grew on a tree

We as sad children
Acted out on our fears
Did sorrow discover
And shed our first tears

Alas, said the Lord
Look what I’ve done
Life and death forever
It has begun

Then without pride
Or judgment or shame
He rested at last
And turned on the game

All Fired Up

Standard

porcelin

The heat is unbearable.

I always thought it was smart to bring a jacket. Now I’m stuck in three layers of clothing, sitting next to a rather large individual in a fairly small seat on the train.

Why, in God’s name, would they set the thermostat so high when it’s such a beautiful day? Looking around however, I’m the only one noticing the heat. Is it just me?

Oh, I get it.

It is just me.

Dammit.

My sister warned me about this. Out of nowhere, you become a kiln. A sensation starts small in the core of your body and ignites every cell on its move outward. Suddenly, what was comfortable is now suffocating and stifling. There’s an incredible urge to start unbuttoning everything. This is a public place though. I can’t exactly strip down. Oh dear God, will I actually immolate? Probably not. So here I am suffering the fires of transformation in golden silence.

It’s a test, I know.

Just as soft clay is fired to harden it to ceramic, the experience of my childhood, my youth, and my adulthood is being forged into the fullness of being a mature woman.

In a kiln, the higher the temperature, the finer the porcelain becomes. The imperfections are eliminated, the fine lines of paint are made permanent, and the colors become enameled. The result is a visibly delicate, but incredibly strong piece of china capable of withstanding daily use while maintaining its beauty.

And that is how it is with women. We reach a point where experience has done its job to teach us all the things we need to know… to be durable, to be practical and yet to display our gifts in a way that highlights the best qualities of our feminine assets.

We know who we are.

The doubts are burned off. The fear turns to ashes, and anxiety is just smoke rising and wafting away. With confidence and clarity we move into the new territory of being ourselves. Not a daughter anymore. Not a wife anymore. Not a mommy anymore. We become the women we knew our grandmothers to be: calm, assured, optimistic and ever faithful, tender yet strong, with the perspective to gauge the passing days over the lengthy years.

So as the intensity of this moment subsides, I’ll not wish it away. I will remember that in these brief minutes of internal combustion lies the serenity of my future.