Saturday, May 2, 2015

Crashing

(Original sketch by Barbara Scott Keene titled Bathing Beauty)

The sand is so hot we hop through the dips and onto the scratchy Army blanket. Gulls screech swooping, always looking for food. The umbrella, styrofoam cooler and towels drop like I drop my clothes  getting ready for bed-in a scatter. The waves swell and I dive, closing my eyes against the burn, surfacing quickly, I lick my lips and taste the salty water. It is an incoming tide. Shivering, arms crossing my front, a flat chest, I squint to see my mother. A beauty in her wide brimmed hat, sunglasses and painted red toes; she sits low on the beach watching me. I feel like she is always watching me. I am the center of her world, or so it seems. I like it that way. Just then, an incoming wave crashes into me and I fall.

Monday, April 20, 2015

To Be



Over the years
dreams build,
Scenarios play
Over and over
In your head,
Just how it's
Going to be.

Now the reality
Seems bigger,
Better,
Than your dreams.

But
You won't know
Yet,
There is work
To
Be
Done.




Saturday, April 11, 2015

The Capacity to Love

It is strange. Bowls lined the counter: chopped cilantro, parsley, a honey lime infused slaw and an avocado/tomato salad; stuffed into handmade corn tortillas topped with seasoned shrimp or chicken. All this to celebrate a girl who breezed into our lives as a new four year old. Her braids held tight against her head as she raced through the field dressed in frilly pink chasing chickens. So much has changed in more than a decade.

It is strange to feel love's grip at first sight; another mother's child. Loving through the first lost tooth, the triumph of riding on two wheels and the first day of school. Loving through confusion, "How can I love two mummies?" Loving through the teens.

It turns out the heart has an inestimable capacity to triumph through all seas. 

My intent is to love through it all. Happy Birthday sweet girl!


Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Burned

Listening to the weather report has become an exercise in restraint.  Below zero up north, snowing with accumulations on the coast.  Yikes!  In three weeks the April calendar will be torn away to make way for May.  Flowers.  Green grass.  Warm sun and gentle breezes. One can only hope.

This morning in the gloom of snow producing clouds, I put my knitted purple scarf on, decided I was cold and put a second one on.  Shoving my hands into my long wool coat, I trudged down the steps opened the car and grabbed the scraper that has a brush to wipe away the snow from cars whose poor owners live through long, long New England winters.

On Route 3 just past Hamilton's pond, through the curtain of snow I saw the dark silhouette of a deer. Passing her slowly, I noticed the thick fur.  It is much too cold to relinquish winter protection. Enough is enough.

Reality.  No one can do anything about our weather woes.  I psych myself into thinking that today is beautiful; the trees lay heavy with the first snow fall.  You know, it is just not working.

DISCLAIMER:  Normally

I don't complain, but I think my psyche is permanently freezer burned.


Friday, April 3, 2015

Heaven

As a kid,
Attending daily mass
Fueled my Catholic
Identity
Until,
Sister Mary Somebody
Announced
"Your protestant grandfather is
Not in heaven,
He's in
Limbo."

My seven year old sensibility
Knew
This
Was
Not
So.

There is a place that accepts
All,
Despite
Religious Affiliation,
Color,
Rich or Poor,
Age,
Or
Orientation.

No.
None of this
Matters
In the long run.




Thursday, April 2, 2015

a charmed life

Despite the fact that we have far fewer souls in the house, our mornings are carefully orchestrated all because of the shower situation.  Three teenagers can hijack the hot water tank, leaving the adults with a steamy bathroom and not much else.

The other day our daughter announced that she takes a 30 minute shower.  Really?  I wouldn't know because at 5 in the morning I am still in bed fighting for those eight hours of required sleep; dead to the world.  However, it is a fact that the youngest sons have been known to take two or three showers a day using a new towel for each new watery experience.  How dirty can you get in a few hours?  I use my towel for 7 days.   One week.  Ever heard of save the environment?

This morning there was a guest in the house which meant less hot water to go around.  Literally, I ran into the bathroom and into the shower.  The upstairs water had been running for two minutes-tops.  Today was shampoo day which meant an extra 45 seconds in the shower.  The soapy mesh puff met my entire body at record speeds. This is all so typical. I rinse, turn off the water and am wrapped in my towel.  From start to finish it takes about 2-3 minutes.  There is NO loitering in the shower in our house if your age is over 50.  Seldom do I allow myself the pleasure to linger under the misty spray.  I am too sensible.  I think of water shortages world-wide. Plus we spend a lot of money paying for water.  Let's safe when we can.

I am dressed. I put make-up on and my hair is dry. My husband has taken his turn in the shower.  We epitomize efficiency; from bed to bathroom to kitchen in less than ten minutes. Pouring boiling water over the coffee grounds, I still hear the upstairs shower going.  Eight minutes ago the tail end of my shower was lukewarm.

"How is it that you never run out of hot water?" I questioned my son after his lengthy shower.  "It makes no sense; my shower turned cold."  I offer, "You must live a charmed life."

"I don't know," he says, "I guess I do."

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Grounded

On a warm day in early fall, I walked into a metal smithing studio.  I knew nothing.  It was like stepping into a foreign land with strange-sounding tools, implements and labels for procedures with hammers and torches.  Even after six months, I  still approximate the language.

My teacher, my mentor reminds me that muscle memory has a lot to do with her ease in completing a job in mere two minutes, when after 45 minutes of struggle, I ask for help.  That being said, I have learned that I have not completely shed perfectionism.  If the muscles in my hands or fingers fatigue or the solder does not stick to the flux and falls off after 55 tries; I may just give up-frustrated.  I look for fast, speedy results.  This seldom happens in the studio.  Sometimes "gluing" metal pieces together with fire has disastrous results.

"Oh prongs are easy," my teacher said looking at a piece of fossilized coral.  That was weeks ago.  After tedious steps and having to take it apart several times with more filing, sanding and soldering; last night I was able to walk out of the studio with my first pronged piece on my finger.

Walking to my car it was dark.  I had no light.  With trusty Bean boots on my feet, I opted to venture through the muddy edge of driveway to my car.  This seemed the more sensible route rather than swim through the depths of puddles or slip on ice.  Nearing the road, I remembered that delicate shoots of green were popping up in the owner's garden at the corner of the driveway.  Last I knew they were submerged in water.  Despite the cold temperatures the mud still provided a slippery footing.  It was troubling when my left foot splashed in deep water. I was certain I was crushing plant life, someone's prized daffodils or something.  Quickly lifting my foot out of the puddle to save the flowers, I took a sharp turn away from the bed and found myself lying face down in the cold gravelly mud.  Realizing my left foot was stuck in the mud, I tried to release it hearing a sucking noise.  I got up quickly, but only as high as my knees when I was knocked to the ground again.  My left hand (the one with my ring) plunged into the cold, muddy dirt.  My bones could have shattered, but after all that work I was  concerned about my ring.  Once I was upright, I sloshed a few steps into the road and  lifted my left hand closer to my eyes.  It was too dark to see.   For the five minute drippy ride home I realized that there was not much I could do about my situation.   It is likely that my car is muddy.  It is also likely that my ring was crushed with the blow my left hand and wrist took to catch myself.  There is a lesson in everything.  The lesson here is patience, persistence and detachment.  It all became so very clear when I was grounded in the mud.