there is plenty that I have been thinking about this week but as I was got writing all that news-worthy news it made more and more heat in my brain, so I thought I’d stop that train wreck of thought and take a walk… there is promise bursting in my neighborhood and that makes this just a moment worth my observation and possibly your time too
strolling a mile or two down my road and you come to a large but shallow lake where the ducks take control from Spring to Autumn and my boy Mr. Blue has just arrived and that really made me smile even if he was skittish and hightailed it as soon as I spotted him
these are two news items worth my time and energy and maybe yours too tonight…
When I look back at my post from one year ago, I hear exhilaration, fear and uncertainty, but mostly an exhale that the business of life has halted. The post is filled with bursts of cheer with lines like, “Here we are. On our own couches. In the middle of our own living rooms. Reading an actual magazine. In loungewear. Bought online. Yeah. There are a few perks during the scary and dark days which have clouded our planet and forced us all indoors. I am not here to tell you what you should be doing to survive these days, but just wanted to let you know that we will, mostly, and I for one plan to celebrate epically on the other side.” By the end of the post, I was certain that hope for all was on the horizon, “I do not want to diminish the suffering for all the sick, for the families grieving those already lost, for this is a disaster that no one deserves. To think so is pure cruelty and folly. There is no telling where we will all be on the other side of this pandemic, but I know we will all have stories about heroic neighbors and sweet strangers, tales of unmeasurable fortitude and creative-energy bursts, new alliances and newly-developed passions. And most of all, a real understanding, like for real, that we are indeed one world. One small world.” I envisioned this new Still Life in the most temporary of terms, with joyous outcomes by summer.
It strikes me as privilege to begin again. For a door to open when before there were only walls. There is no doubt my life has unfolded with tremendous privilege from the get-go. My first memorable do-over happened at 16 when living at home with my parents no longer suited any of us in that scenario. The whys are a whole other story, but after a short search, my parents landed me in a New England boarding school for my last two years of high school. Standing in a dorm room with my mother, my trunk and suitcase unpacked next to my unmade extra-long single, she told me, in no uncertain terms, to break from my childhood nickname, from all the troubles incurred in my childhood home, and leave behind everything that still tied me down. This is your chance, she whispered before leaving me in that unknown landscape. Needless to say, I stumbled, only to find myself lost in the dark, unprepared for such broad horizons. I was raised in the dust-storm of a large household not sure what part of me was me; I found myself hesitant what to choose when the whole palette of decisions was there for me to pick from. So confused, I fell into the blackness of night for many years. As Katherine May so artfully described, “Winter had begun.”
“By winter, she means not just the cold season, but “a fallow period in life when you’re cut off from the world, feeling rejected, sidelined, blocked from progress, or cast into the role of an outsider“” (Mcalpin).