One hour south & a lifetime away! A seventh annual gathering. I knew this’d be a tribal exercise — all of us women of a certain age, many lawyers, all engaged & smart sharing an exuberant relationship to food. I didn’t expect to find more profound tribal bonds in the realm of heart ache. Without getting into the details, let me just say: what a lot of familial misery between the nine of us!
I went to the first gathering and missed the intervening six. It was useful to acknowledge what prevented attendance in those years, but listening to others describe challenges and interventions for sons, siblings, & parents, I couldn’t help but wonder what I might’ve learned or employed to good effect had I managed to show up.
Put that wonderment in the category of ‘parental hand-wringing.’ Reflexive regret doesn’t get a free pass around here, just so you know. I’m working on it.
I should have handled it differently. Is that true? Not sure. Not definitively. When I think, “I should have handled it differently” I feel bad and there’s no good reason to hang onto the thought. If I turn it around here’s what I get: I handled it just right.
I don’t beat myself up for being an introvert anymore, but I live so privately these days that I have the luxury of forgetting how my style of communicating comes across. It’s not that I forget how interruptive, easily excited, and opinionated I am. It’s that I forget that for some, this is off-putting.
(“I’d rather need modulating than feel compelled to shush people,” is something I would never say.)
Anyway, it was no big deal. And one guest informed me in her quiet way in the kitchen yesterday that she appreciates ‘direct people’. . . likes ‘knowing where she stands’. It was nice to hear, but also just weird to even be thinking about: ‘I’m this. I’m that.’
I’m glad to be home, that’s for sure, nice as it was, even though it is cold and rainy again. I have the heat on. Just a little. No apology. The doctor’s office called. The test was negative for shingles but probably is shingles given the presentation. My brother seems pretty sure that the reason it doesn’t hurt is because of the recent vaccination. Maybe that foiled the test, too.
Whatever else this diagnosis says about my stress-level, chocolate consumption, or immune system, it feels appropriate that my cheek is weeping. Weep, weep, weep. I keep wishing I could go somewhere and cry but I can’t or won’t, so maybe this’ll have to do.
If it weren’t for a phone call with my sister, I would say that today is a very good day and even with a phone call from my sister, the day rounds into new territory. Less hostile, that is. Calmer. Rain or no rain: mine. Blame and vitriol or none: mine. Weeping blisters or none: coming ’round the bend.
I always think I’ll be back sooner than I am, so in case I’m not — will you watch the Comey hearing on Thursday? I will and in real time, with friends.
Most people didn’t answer their doors and the few who did mentioned we were the fourth crew to come by recently. There were a few hostile white male millenials. My favorite encounter was with two young girls in pajamas who came to the door and announced that their mother was voting for Hillary. My second favorite was when a pink-slippered older woman smoking on her porch emphatically informed us that she never told anybody who she voted for, ever.
I can’t say canvassing was useful in terms of the election’s outcome but it offered unquantifiable value in dragging me away from the news. There were some seriously beautiful clouds, too.
When I got home, the earlier-setting sun lit the autumnal canopy on fire.
The pictures don’t capture the light at all.
Between the clouds in New Hampshire and the gorgeous sunset at home I was reminded that even in a world tainted by the ascension of a madman, there is majesty and expanse, light and sky.
One of my characters says this and it has been running through my mind this week. There really is something about spring bringing hope and I am clinging to the idea, even if a little trite and even though a Nor’easter is barreling up the coast at this very moment. The temperature dropped so much since yesterday that I had to wear a scarf and a down coat walking Finn today. With four to eight inches of snow predicted for Sunday night, it sounds as though we shall need to shovel again come Monday. Tomorrow I will cover the newly emerged bluebells with large jars.
I have a lament to post tomorrow. It came from a prompt in writing class yesterday and contains a few threads of thought that will eventually be included in a book review.