Posts Tagged ‘Beginnings’

Last laugh

September 6th, 2007    -    6 Comments


When it appears in a spread, this enigmatic card heralds unexpected events and sudden inspirations. He may foretell breathtaking coincidences which have the power to upturn an ordinary life. He represents, above all, the transformational spirit of anarchy and the impersonal forces of destiny. We are foolish to believe we can totally control our own or other people’s lives, he says.

The school calendar tells me that this is the last day of summer. These ten weeks have been a riot, and not necessarily a laugh riot. But something tells me all that is about to change. I feel a take-off rumbling; I feel a buzz. This kind of a turning point calls for a little review. This was the summer that:

We traveled cross-country to witness the rocket launch that wasn’t.

The household plumbing pooped out and required emergency neurosurgery.

The new pipes caused a pressure surge that broke the washing machine.

The repairman mixed up the hot for the cold and I shrunk my new cotton cargoes.

Our new neighbor turned out to be a dastardly developer who built a menacing addition overlooking our century-old garden, then put the property on the market where it remains empty, overpriced, unkempt and unsold. (Wanted: rich new neighbors with a friendly 8-year-old girl.)

Posthaste we put in a fifty-foot stretch of exotic bamboo, a stash of cash and a fountain of tears into this old patch of dirt to vainly recapture what used to be.

Last night, in the thick of concocting a casserole for this morning’s teacher appreciation breakfast, the oven died. (I’m broken up over this one.)

And within the last 10 days I have found, on two separate and creepy occasions, a Joker card mysteriously placed under my bedroom rug by an unknown interloper. Two cards from a deck we do not own. The police have been called and precautions taken.

All of this culminates just as I have resolved to stop all my bellyaching. There are many out there who are much better at it than me (the bellyaching) and drop-dead (funny) to boot. With my next post I will go back to the basics, my own calling card, and make a practice of demystifying the enigmatic Zen teachings that eternally perplex us in plain sight, tricking us, surprising us, upturning and illuminating our deluded view of ordinary life. Who else but me can do that? Who else ever would? No, the world will never notice. And so it will ever be.

And just for the record, should something else untoward happen – should the Joker reappear for one last laugh – here’s a clue: Colonel Mustard, with the candlestick, in the Conservatory.

The future calling

August 8th, 2007    -    3 Comments

I m at the airp. I don’t want 2 leave at
all and I feel sick like I am gonna barf:-&
I wish we lived here sooooooo bad
I miss u and the Molly see u soon Love Georgia

About a month ago my 7-year-old picked up my cell phone and said, “Mommy can I text you?” and I said, “Honey, you don’t know how to text.” What I should have said is “I don’t know how to text,” because I was wrong about her. What do I know? Where have I been? About a month ago she was born and how she got this far already is completely beyond accounting. I look at her now, I look at her beauty, her freshness, her supreme inalterable isness and I’m weak with it still, helpless, humbled, awed by the immensity and inexpressibility of love.

Life in 10

August 2nd, 2007    -    No Comments


My husband and daughter just left to spend a long weekend with my in-laws in the Midwest. Presiding over the morning hustle, prodding the motion along, I saw how clearly we are balanced on the brink, how surely life teeters up and then totters, ahem, in the other direction.

1. Did you choose your outfit?
2. Did you pack your suitcase?
3. Did you get dressed all by yourself?
4. Did you brush your teeth?
5. Did you make your bed, feed your pets, and wheel your own luggage to the car?
6. Did you remember to check in online?
7. Did you pay your last two driving tickets?
8. Did you get your new bifocals?
9. Did you pack your cholesterol pills?
10. After losing track, leaving late, doubling back, jumping the line and racing to the gate, did you get there on time?*

Of the three members in our little tribe, one is certainly on the ascent.

* Technically yes, but I don’t want to know the details.

Delinquent to the dance

June 10th, 2007    -    6 Comments

As I start, I am reminded again that I start late. Late to bloom, late to love, late to marriage (the one that counted) late to motherhood, late to life and all its messy lessons. I come around again on things, come around to a different way of looking at them. And so I’ve come around to a different way of looking at this thing here: the blog.

I start by looking at things from the outside. As though it is for someone else, by someone else, about someone else. And then slowly I begin to see that it is not that way at all. You see, I read a lot of blogs. It is me reading, me responding, me concurring, me finding solace in a shared experience, me finding solidarity in a stranger’s familiar story. It is only me; it can only ever be me. Instead of tagging along on the perimeter, poking a poignant comment here and there, wagging my finger fore and aft, it is time that I began in earnest to blog to me. Because I’m the only one here.

We are so slow to commit to ourselves, aren’t we? Looking always for the external acceptance, the validation, the scattered applause rippling to a crescendoed ovation. I’m reminded of a weekend trip to Taos, a girlfriends’ trip over a decade ago. I was single and living in the painful torque between doubt and expectancy that I would love again. My best friend and I stepped into a jewelry shop (every other shop in Taos is a jewelry shop). I studied the rings in the locked cases. “I will marry myself!” I pronounced suddenly, and bought the ring that I wore on my left hand for a scant half-year before the real deal arrived, right on schedule.

“I will blog to myself!” I pronounce.

As writerly self disciplines go, it is as good as any.

So I am late; I am late to the dance. But I am dancing. I am dancing. I am dancing.

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