Wielkanoc (Easter)

April 24, 2011

Easter Sunday 2011. Sunlight and shadows do a gentle tango behind me as I drink my first coffee and wish for a chocolate bunny. I remember Easters past: various egg hunts, colorful baskets filled with Peeps and other goodies, dyeing eggs with friends in Grand Rapids as a tornado watch hovered, church services with my family in which I was inevitably wearing an itchy petticoat under my new dress and was not allowed to scratch in public….the regal bells chiming over the crowds on The Royal Mile. And of course, a timeless Patti Smith album. Rejoice, resound, renew, reflect, remind, rebirth.

Today I will get out from behind my iMac and go meet my life again. I will stop waiting for it to come to me. I will shake hands with a stranger, drink a Diet Coke downtown, tell a serviceperson thanks, greet the new cat in the neighborhood, dance to the first good song I hear, drive fast in the country with the windows down and sing whatever comes to mind, act like a happy idiot and see if anyone notices. And if I don’t do any of these things, then I will do others. I will wing it! I will celebrate just because. And I will try to remember to do this every day even if only for a few minutes, just because.

Today I am rising from the depressed and depressing mire I have allowed to become my life. I have carpéd my diem, y’all… it is so liberating!

And somewhere out there is a chocolate bunny with my name on it.

Happy Easter.

Time

July 11, 2010

Have you ever noticed that the clock seems to tick faster when you are in a happy place (literally and figuratively), so that it is impossible to completely savor each nanosecond to its fullest extent? And then the opposite is true too: when things are not so good every “tick tock” sounds as if it is being played on 16RPM. A second feels like an hour. I guess this is one of life’s great ironies, right?

Tick tock. Tick tock. Eventually things will be back on 33 or 45, or dare I hope, even 78, lol. Meanwhile, I am not in chemo and as far as I know, I am healthy. I will savor today as best I can because it will never come again.

Wishing everyone a day to be fully relished.

Enough (a fiction romance)

January 31, 2010

Macy’s receipts and postcards,
dim snapshots and bar fliers,
torn train stubs and bad poems:
tangible remnants
of the intangible.
The never was, the never will be.
Promises never made need never be kept.

What kind of fool am I?

Enough.
Enough.

A fork stuck in the road

December 27, 2009

So here it is another Sunday, the first one after Christmas, and here I am again with my coffee and Green Day resounding through my ear pods. I guess this is going to end up being my “year-end” journal, for better or worse.

Maybe it’s just me, but I feel as if a lot has changed in the mere two days since Yuletide. Thanks to another extremist willing to die along with (in this case) hundreds of civilians, airports have now had to further tighten their security screening criteria and add even longer wait times to harried, tired travelers. Of course, that’s only the inconvenient, annoying side of it. I’ve been reading comments here and there from those dismissing this incident as simply some yutz failing to set himself on fire (actually, he did accomplish this and setting the plane wall ablaze as well) and how could this bring down a jumbo jet, yada yada yada. Maybe I am getting old, or maybe I am overly sensitive to this issue, but I believe this type of thinking is naïve and dangerous. This guy may not have succeeded in blowing up Flight 253 over Detroit soil, but his intent was clearly there. Sadly, the terror tactic has worked once more and now the rest of us are paying for it, anxiously and fearfully, with the aforementioned stricter measures. And it still may not be enough.

All of this makes me wonder how safe we ultimately really are and my conclusion is that nobody is ever completely safe because we are mortal. So perhaps it might be wise to keep that in the back of our minds in our approach to life and try to enjoy things as much as possible during our allotted time here, take as much care of ourselves and each other as we can and try to do the best we can every day.

This season is tailor made for this sort of thinking, though, isn’t it? Lol.

On a positive note, people like Susan Boyle and the 94 year old artist Carmen Herrera (who sold her first painting 5 years ago and is now, finally, basking in success) are greatly inspiring me to keep plugging away at my scribbling. It’s nice to see this reminder that we are never too old to have our dreams come true, isn’t it?

This coming year, I will make at least one change in my life that has been long overdue. I’ll do the best I can with the hand I have been dealt and try to quit whining over not having better cards. This has been a not great twelve months for many of us; here’s hoping 2010 is a vast improvement for everyone.

Happy New Year.

Snow storms and key chains

September 19, 2009

October 13, 2006.  So all my old friends in Michigan and Chicago are snowed in as I type.  Seems a little early for this, but let’s face it, the weather has been insane like everything else in the world in recent years…yet another price we humans are paying for our bullish refusal to take care of ourselves and each other and the environment and so on.  (I sound like such a hippie, but it’s still true, isn’t it?)

I remember when I was 8 and living in Kalamazoo.  It was the last week of January and naturally, snow in Michigan in January was not a surprise.  But this snowfall was a stunner.  The weather had actually been on the temperate side earlier in the day and it almost looked as if we could anticipate an early spring.  I wore my sneakers to school that day and a windbreaker because nothing more was really needed, or so we thought.  After lunch, though, the snow started slowly, then began falling more heavily….by the time school ended for the day, there had to have been several inches on the ground already with more coming.  I shivered in my blue windbreaker and red Keds as I waited for my dad (who taught music at our school) to put my little brother in the backseat of the Volkswagen, then I climbed in behind him.

To this day I still have only very patchy recollections of this event (apparently I had nightmares for weeks afterward) but I don’t think we got very far in the VW.  I think we still had about three miles to reach home when the car got stuck and we had to abandon it.  I remember being very, very cold.  My dad carried Jeff through the mounting snowdrifts and held me by the hand as I navigated my way through snow that came up almost to my waist (maybe it really wasn’t that high, but I was small and it felt that way at the time), in my thin windbreaker and soaking wet Keds.  I don’t know how long we were out there but eventually we sought shelter at a house that turned out to be just two blocks from ours.  An elderly man lived there seemingly alone and he gave us haven from the storm, literally (by now it was evening; I remember watching the snowflakes in the streetlights as if I were hypnotized).  He gave us dry clothes and I remember sitting on his sofa underneath a blanket, eating soup and watching television.  When my mother and older brother finally arrived later on via boots and sled, carrying our own winter coats and boots, I apparently balked at having to leave the warmth and safety of this kind man’s abode.  But I did, and finally we were home again.  It could have been so much worse…we were really lucky, actually.

The snow continued for another two and half days and we had no school for almost two weeks as a result.  (That part I loved, needless to say.)  It’s a miracle that none of us fell ill or suffered any other physical ailment (like, say, frostbite or hypothermia!) after this unexpected adventure, but apparently I did have nightmares for some time afterward…I don’t remember this, though.

I hope everyone in the path of the current blizzard is and will remain safe.

Ninth month

September 2, 2009

September…new beginnings…a hint of autumn air finally cooling summer’s humid hold…birthdays for family and soul mates alike…a David Sylvian song…a Woody Allen film…school days and waiting for December…work days and waiting for December…Halloween decor assembled in stores…good tv, bad tv…canadian geese headed further south still in beryl skies..nine one one…goodbye to an old friend…a bittersweet hello to others.

September…a month of promise and sorrow, a month of change, of more color to come.