Jun 10 2010

stretching my legs

Today I am over at the lovely Liz Lamoreux’s place,

be present be here,

with some reflections on aging, stretch marks,

and living in the moment.

I would love it if you popped over to say hello…

: : :

And while you’re there, be sure to scroll down and see the photo

of her gorgeous newborn daughter, Ellie Jane.

Isn’t that just the sweetest name?

Jun 8 2010

this is my life
on stress

Lately I have been feeling completely overwhelmed by overwhelm. I cannot get caught up, I will never be caught up, my to-do list gets longer but it never gets shorter, I hear it yelling at me even when I’m not looking. There is always more and more and more.

I know this, and I keep saying yes. I keep trying to fit it all in, to do all the things that I want to do in addition to the things that I have to do, and then I keep changing the rules. It feels like a cycle I can’t break out of, a circle I am enclosed in, a cage I can only sing complaints from.

If I know why the caged bird sings, why can’t I just let her out?

I want to open the door with my own two hands, I want to sing the tune that I wrote myself, I want to be the one who built the cage.

Oh wait, I am. I did.

This is my life, I made it step by step and minute by minute, all those choices, all those detours, all those maps that weren’t maps, they were mazes that took me someplace else, this place that is jungle and desert and sometimes, ocean, and I say that because I can’t swim.

I built my life, I am responsible. I know that. Sometimes I want to run away, start from scratch, do it right, take the correct path instead of the one I thought was better, the one that was less traveled, because now I know why it was less traveled, don’t I?

I am whining, I am sorry, I know, I should not, I should look for the silver lining. And I will, tomorrow. Or maybe even in five minutes, these clouds will clear and I will see, I will remember that life isn’t all that bad, this is, after all, just overwhelm. It could be under, under anything and that would be worse because over is always better, right? Too much is better than not enough.

No, wait, less is more. I forgot that, too, more or less.

Okay I am done with my rant, with my rave, with my long-winded empirical whine.

I’m going to go eat some chocolate.

And by the way, when it comes to chocolate,

I don’t care what anyone says,

less is never more.

Jun 6 2010

time out of mind*

My hair is a mess. I see myself in the reflection of my monitor and I laugh. You think I don’t, but I do, I laugh out loud because I am always forgetting what I look like, somehow I expect to see the 20-year-old me when I look in the mirror, but that girl is gone, out galavanting somewhere, she has better things to do.

It isn’t a matter of time, the years have passed, I remember them. It is a matter of mirrors. I have always wondered if you feel the same on the inside when you are eighty. I feel the same, in the core, the kernel of my being, as I always have, but I look in the mirror and someone older stands before me. I know I am in there, I know that if I strip away the mercury that lies beneath the glass, I will see all the way to my center.

I am not inert, I change each day, time moves through me, and I am not afraid. I am not chained to the notion of youth, I understand, I accept, but I do not cheer time’s passing. I don’t regret it, either. Minutes tick away on the clock whether we watch them or not. They pass us by or embrace us. We get to choose.

I can think of time as the enemy, it is easy to make time the bad guy. But time has no emotion, it cannot be cruel. It just stands there, a pillar of salt. It is just time.

It forgives but never forgets and moves forward but never returns and we stand on the sidelines and cheer or watch or turn our backs, but it keeps on playing. It is just time.

We are on time, we are out of time, we need more time, we take the time, we take a time out, time is on our side, time waits for no man, we try to put time in a bottle.

It is just time.

Time bursts all our bubbles, time stops us short,
time thinks a mirror is envy.

It is all that there is and all that there isn’t.

It is just time.

* title from Bob Dylan’s album

Jun 4 2010



today is your moment

you should take it

you should embrace it

you should shine

Jun 2 2010

in the out house

I went to our camp this past weekend, just for an evening. My husband and son went for the long weekend, but I can’t do that, there is mold and mildew and I am allergic, and anyway I can’t take three days off work just now. So I drove up there Saturday, late afternoon, a perfectly perfect day, just the right temperature, not a cloud in the sky, and the drive along the lake between here and there is always beautiful. On this day, the water was the darkest of teal, all dotted with tiny white sailboats.

I keep forgetting the windmills, built two summers ago, although I guess they are actually turbines, all stark and white and metal-looking but still, stunning. And along this drive there is a spot where you come down a big hill into a small town, and ten of these windmills are perched at the top of the next hill over. It is a very hilly place. And it’s a sight to behold, takes my breath away, really, the way they stand there like sentinels watching over the valley.

I should have stopped to take pictures, but the road was busy and my dog was panting, freaking out because he hates hates hates riding in the car and we were 30 minutes into a 45 minute drive. So I drove on by without taking pictures, but one day, soon, I will go back. And when I got to our camp I said to my husband, “I want a windmill, can we get one?” and of course, he just laughed, thinking I was kidding, but really, I want a windmill.

And then I sat down and listened to the wind in the trees, poplars and pine, that wonderful sound, and I watched the poplar leaves dance back and forth. I thought of the trees that have fallen, these poplars that are dying one by one, two of them have landed on the cabin. And this is where we got married, on the bridge that crossed the stream, but now that has fallen, too.

And I thought of our dog, the other dog, the one that died three years ago now, how camp was always his favorite place and we took him there the weekend before he died, even though the weekend before that he didn’t want to go, could barely move as the kids and my husband packed up to leave. But that next weekend we took him, not knowing it was his last weekend. And when it was dark, we went for the walk that we always walk, and we stopped in the spot where we always stop and we listened for the splash in the neighbor’s pond that we always knew was coming. That weekend, it was like he was a puppy again.

And then suddenly, out of nowhere, I was crying, not just misty- eyed but balling, missing all these things that are gone. So I went to the outhouse to collect myself and dry my eyes. The photo above shows what I saw facing out through the doorway of a door that no longer closes. Still life with outhouse, framed. (It faces into our woods, privacy isn’t an issue, and I went back, afterwards, to take the picture, in case you were wondering.)

Later, as I was leaving, to drive home to care for these cats and to sleep in my bed, I walked out to the road and saw the Milky Way, perfectly perfect, every star in the sky visible. And then as I drove I watched the moon rise, just beyond a long stretch of farm. It was huge and orange, tucked behind wispy clouds, more harvest moon than end of May moon. And again, I wanted to stop for a picture, it was that incredible, that memorable, but again, I had my dog in the back and his panting had risen beyond frantic, so I kept driving. And then I was home.

But in that short span of time, just six hours,

I saw a lifetime of fabulous views.