In 1957 I was fifteen. Eisenhower, a member of the Lost Generation, was President. He had recently agreed to defend Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan against invasion. Nixon, a member of the Greatest Generation, was his Vice Presidemt. The Civil Rights movement was just beginning. Newspaper headlines revealed there was a Mad Bomber on the loose and the Ku Klux Klan was making big trouble, We were in the midst of the Cold War with daily reminders of the nuclear bomb threat. We practiced drop drills. People were building bomb shelters.
It is that time of year when there are big changes coming. Some things are replanting themselves without much fanfare. Some are spectacular -- and they may be where you least expect to find them.
Under the best of conditions we grow straight and true, perfect images of what we were intended to be. Or are those images for us? Sometimes life throws us curves, or obstacles. Sometimes we have to bend or we will break. Sometimes we have to hide to survive. Life will do what it must, and mostly if we let it, we can trust that in the end we will be enough. We may not be what we think is our perfect image, or even anyone's image, but we survive. Being reminded of that by a carrot is unusual, I suppose, but also very ordinary.
Parker Palmer writes about “withering into the truth” as he ages. That phrase captures both a hope and hopelessness for me. I have never felt so depleted before. Childbirth was a breeze compared to this new age and stage. At seventy-five, and recently recovering both from a bout with the flu and a bad fall, I am experiencing a kind of weariness and dysphoria that is new to me. I can’t seem to get my legs under me to move back into my life.
That's a question I get asked when I go grocery shopping and have more than a couple of items, but not one I was asked very often when I was younger. Maybe it's a new trend -- people trying to help one another. That would be great.
My reponse is always "No, I can manage thank you." But today the shopping was a particularly big one, with a box of bottles -- wine, and sparkling water. So I decided to opt for some assistance.
We certainly had them, didn't we? So many great and grand expectations..so much hope..
We knew the gift we had been longing for, working for, was really, really within our reach and we just had to wait patiently until we could open it. Until we could own it.
I'm sitting at the Farmers Market enjoying a tamale and a latte. The air is warm, but not too warm. In fact it is beginning to feel a tiny bit like fall. There are a few yellow leaves on the liquidambar (or redgum) trees. Since those are usually the first to turn, it may be some time before there is evidence elsewhere. I don't count the Halloween decorations already appearing at Michael's.
"What are you, some kind of a poet?!"
I was eighteen and out on a blind date. My roommate had asked me to double date with her because her brother was in town and she didn't want him to feel like the odd man out. We were sitting on the Santa Barbara pier having dessert. I looked out the window at the shoreline and said "Wow -- the lights on the water look like a snow cone!"
"What are you, some kind of a poet?!" was my date's response.
It is Friday night and we have just come home from a pleasant evening at our not-so-local-but-friendly pub. I admit I have had a little more than two glasses of wine, and I won't tell on my husband who does love his Old Fashioneds. But we did our traditional end of week date and enjoyed every minute.
Our writing assignment this week was to use the words apprehend, apprehension, and apprehending as prompts.
Eight-thirty on a Sunday morning and the air is softly warm after yesterday's punishing heat. Farmers' Market. Picnic tables under the trees and there is shade even though the morning sun is still slanting in from the east.
Guitarist properly amped and the play list is every song I love and new ones I haven't heard but fall for immediately. Is it something in the coffee? It's only a decaf latte.
Of all the definitions of “engage,” the one that most attracts me is the intransitive verb “to come together and interlock .” Sounds a little sexy, doesn’t it?
So many things out there in the world that I am longing to be engaged to, and with. One of them is writing. Too often I push it off into a corner to wait.
ONE AT A TIME
What will you do with this bright day that glares through the south window and makes you open your sleep-sanded eyes?
(You only get one at a time.)
Karen had been planning her escape for two weeks, sneaking small packages of supplies and hiding them in grocery bags in the trunk of her car. Clothes for herself and baby Charlie, disposable diapers, drinking water, and food that needed no refrigeration were the last things in since those were the things she would need to access constantly. She was pretty sure she had plenty for three days of travel, and that would be more than enough to get her to the cabin. Thankfully she didn’t need food for the baby, since she was nursing him and he wasn’t old enough to need anything else.
It was a chilly afternoon in the fall. I was about seven years old, and my grandmother had invited me and some of my church friends to her house to start a group for girls of m age that would meet once a month. We were to have some fun, some snacks, and do a little project as a contribution to the community. The one I remember was using old Christmas cards to make gift cards. We cut pictures from cards with pinking shears and used them for covers on small folded pieces of construction paper. We then punched a hole in the corner and put a bit of ribbon through the hole so that the gift card could be tied to a package. I'm not sure what happened next with those little cards, but I do remember that the creative process was very satisfying to all of us. We were somehow now drawn into an adult world where what we contributed would make a difference.