Category Archives: every day life

Glorious sun and pansies

Life goal met — there are pansies on the property! Last year we waited too long and there were none to be had. My mother loved pansies too.

For Easter, we used to hide treasure-filled plastic eggs in the yard, pack baskets with glorious chocolates and jelly beans, and serve up a special dinner for extended family. One year I made a batch of chow-chow to dress the asparagus. Another year I made carrots out of marzipan for the top of the carrot cake.

This year, I am making a carrot cake. That’s it. No marzipan. No company.

The space created by a less-populated social calendar continues to feel more blessing than not. I like my friends, I like my relatives, and still this is true.

On a related note, I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about K’s absence as he trudged back to the office and I’m still not sure, but this morning the quiet is glorious.

Have I really used the word glorious twice in one post? What besides chocolate and silence can be glorious?

Soft scarves, dry socks, insight, a welcome email, a piece of writing, a hot bath.

Also: Indictments. Perp walks. Lost law licenses. Exclusion from holding public office. Tarnished reputations. Huge fines. Ankle bracelets. Media bans and gag orders. Jail time.

Kushner is in the news again. If the beltway press wasn’t so hopelessly tied to GOP talking points, the Kushner news would be loud and pervasive. And of course, had a Democrat’s son-in-law done anything remotely this corrupt or dangerous to national security, the coverage on Fox would be nonstop with belligerent threats of hearings should leadership in the House change.

The building could have a 666 on it but I suppose that would be overkill.

So as not to end on such a vile note, the photo from Assisi (below) showcases an Easter bread, blessed by a priest two days earlier and served in an olive grove.

Pics and a little sound

“white women’s tears”

We walked in the woods today. The frogs were LOUD.

https://videos.files.wordpress.com/2VmI6Srd/img_4890.mp4

Next door neighbor’s yard crew showed up for the first time this season today. After asking them to take their ladder off of my Rose of Sharon sapling near the curb, I retired to the basement. Two leaf blowers went on and on but I didn’t care. My new plan. My sanctuary!

Cleaned out three bins of fabric, worked on D’s quilt until I ran out of bobbin thread, and made this little collage, above.

The initial three-house black and white was a gelatin print made with a cardboard and onion bag resist.

We just had an early and simple dinner: grilled cheese sandwiches and leftover soup. For real sustenance, we listened to Biden’s speech from this morning.

shopping and moaning

This week I obsessed about how none of the bundled-up Ukrainians seem to wear gloves. I scanned scene after scene to confirm. How can that be, I wondered.

And I thought about the things they carried. What was in those backpacks, those little, utilitarian sacks meant to hold lunches and shoes while commuting?

A passport. An extra pair of pajamas and underwear, maybe, but not spare pants or sweaters because they’re too bulky. Perhaps a toothbrush. Definitely a charging cord.

Not: photo albums, collections of ironware pitchers or Christmas cacti, not books or quilts or heirloom dishes. Not even room enough for a week’s worth of diapers.

And then, dinner done, TV off, we went shopping. It was almost desperate, this need to get out of the house and we had the excuse of five March birthdays.

What do I even get sons in their 20’s?

We went to the new Marshalls, which was moved across the street to make way for yet more development. I hadn’t been in it yet and more to the point, I’ve scarcely shopped at all since March two years ago.

While parking, we speculated that we’d be the only mask-wearers in the joint but were wrong. Every single shopper and every single worker wore a mask.

I had cashmere scarves in mind, forgetting that that’s not how you shop at Marshall’s.

I didn’t have time to dwell in disappointment (socks again, really?) because over near the men’s hoodies, a young adult had parked himself and issued moan after moan after moan. A keening sound, full-throated and loud, really loud. It was the sound you’d make finding your cat dead on the side of the road or after learning your mother had lost her battle with cancer.

He repeated his moans, like a foghorn. A small woman I took to be his mother stood nearby slapping hangers from left to right, impervious.

My mind went two ways.

The first was to regret going out. Good god! What made me think I’d enjoy going where there would be people, stale air, and crap merchandise? And, did I mention — people? I wasn’t sure I could take it.

You could hear him all the way over in housewares. You could hear him near shoes and underwear. You could not escape his lament.

The second way my mind went was to hear his moans as the mournful cries of the world. Perhaps, I thought, he moans for all of us. Perhaps he serves as a beacon of sorrow, speaking what we all feel and cannot express.

They were talking about him as we checked out. He must be having a bad day.

 

 

A Ghost and a Villanelle

 

I’d temporarily forgotten that February 13 was the date my mother died until last night when a photo of her and my father tipped over for no apparent reason. Hi Mom!

Coming down the stairs for coffee this morning, it struck me that perhaps all the missing blog photos in the year 2009 can be chalked up to my sister. That’s the year she came back into my life after a nearly ten-year hiatus and inserted doom into my daily fare. Is that you Noreen? Not quite done fucking with me? If so, nice prank.

Enough of that. It’s Valentine’s Day and so I offer you a Valentine’s Day poem. A couple of weeks ago, my Thursday class writing teacher gave the villanelle as a prompt. One very famous example of the form is the Dylan Thomas poem, Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night.

Valentine

Love lost, love found. It’s one big ocean.
We fold our clothes, we make our meals.
Spelling care with simple acts, there is no commotion.

You  may envy the grand gestures of devotion.
Abelard and Heloise, Tristan and Isolde hold appeal.
Love lost, love found. It’s one big ocean.

Do not gather relics and affix labels like some sort of museum docent.
Tidy the house, run one another’s errands and reveal that when
Spelling care with simple acts, there is no commotion.

Don’t keep a tally of sums, multipliers, and quotients,
Lest your feelings harden, wither, or congeal.
Love lost, love found. It’s one big ocean.

Remember the pleasure of the bow, the box, the gift well-chosen
Let that ripple outward with warm appeal.
Spelling care with simple acts, there is no commotion.

And you my dear mate, through the ups and downs of fortune
Have taught me patience and rubbed my heels.
Love lost, love found. It’s one big ocean.
Spelling care with simple acts, there is no commotion.