Tuesday, April 27, 2010

{In which I find myself} writing to an unfinished accompaniment*

I have draft after draft of unfinished posts. This is because some of the writing is not good, or the subject matter is not worth writing about, or too worth writing about perhaps, and I cannot do it justice.

I have been slowing down, taking more time here and less time there. This is in some ways simply an echo of my physical reality. The phrase "great with child" is an apt one. I am seven months great, and so have a bit more time to become greater still. (I will not be sad if my greatness is cut short by a few weeks.)

And here is where I stop every time: the ability to tie things together, to wrap things up tidy and neat simply fails me and I am left, as it were, great and incomplete. Another draft.

* * * * *

Yes, these days I am full of drafts. I hope someday to complete them, but it's as if my mind refuses to channel a thought, is incapable of pulling itself out of the cosmic sphere of creation with anything concrete. I am left to drift wherever I will, without definite idea or direction or force. It's not without it's beauty. But it can be unnerving.

I shall bank on the shore eventually. But until then, here I sit in an open hand, the breezes around me, hoping that when the wind kicks up I shall stay safe. **

*Acknowledgment, apologies and thanks to W.S. Merwin. You are my favorite.
** Forgive the mixed metaphors...it's like I said...

Friday, April 23, 2010

Not Much to Say

This picture reminds me of the coast near Saint Brieuc, France. It's a quaint little town that I love, full of narrow cobblestone streets and small bakeries. Mmmm. Pain au chocolat or a small brioche.

It's rainy today. The local NPR station is on their last day of their fund drive. They sound a tad desperate. It may be that the recession is catching up to them. Who knows. That said, it seems like the last day always pulls some procrastinators out of the woodwork.

Maybe it's a good day for some hot cocoa. Some poetry. A nap.

Or nothing at all.


maybe an ice cream sundae.

Because it's rainy and gray and a little blah, so really, why not?

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Root beer and Other Memories

I am drinking a small glass of root beer tonight in honor of my grandfather who passed away a week ago.

He was quite remarkable in his quiet, humble way.

He spent the last year of his life here in Utah where my mom and my aunt cared for him after the passing of my grandma last January. It was wonderful to have him around. And while my parent's have never kept their refrigerator stocked with any kind of soda, this past year there was usually some root beer in the fridge for him. He was quite fond of it and would often ask for just a little bit more.

Because he was a WWII veteran they played Taps at his burial on Friday. It was poignant and beautiful and something I hope I always remember.

Cheers, Grandpa.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

An Overheard Conversation

Neighbor Girl Who Lives Across the Street, in 2nd grade: The Easter Bunny isn't real.

My Younger Daughter, in kindergarten: The Easter Bunny isn't real (!?!?!???!!!)

Neighbor Girl: My mom told me.
{Aside from the editor: And obviously forgot to mention the important caveat about keeping mouth shut around younger children regarding such topics.}

My Older Daughter, in 2nd grade (and coming to the rescue): It's not polite to talk like that about other peoples' beliefs.

Neighbor Girl: Oh, sorry. I was just sort of in a bad mood.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Oh la.

There is a strike going on in France today. This is not so unusual. The French are notorious for striking against anything they see as an infringement of their rights. Today there are ferry workers striking over the loss of $135 bonus.

I chuckle at this, though not without an affectionate but exasperated feeling.

I wonder about those strikes. The French system of government is certainly less lasseiz-faire than our own. The government provides a health care system that gives ample opportunity for visits to the doctor and medical prescriptions, plentiful vacation time, and a limited hour (only 35!) work week. High taxes cover these expenses, sort of.

Like our own Social Security and Medicare, etc., the French programs are not currently sustainable without some reform. At some point the amount of money going out will overwhelm the amount coming in. Some French however, are angry that somehow they should be asked to either work longer hours, or give up some of their vacation time or give up anything, even the equivalent of 135 dollars.

I am not an expert on the French government and social systems. I lived there for a year and a half. I experienced a transportation strike in the middle of December. It was cold. A few buses, which were still working, were packed with humanity resembling sardines. I found a flyer one day which I kept that called the strike obscene because of the effects on the general population, the reasons ranging from preventing people from getting to work to having the populace herded into buses like cattle and smashed together with no sense of dignity.

This is not a commentary on certain governmental systems, I am not being political. It's not really even about France. I am just wondering about human nature and the extent to which we are willing to inconvenience or harm others for what we perceive as our rights. There are rights worth fighting for. There are "rights" that aren't. This is a complicated issue and not what I planned to write about. But I guess that's what happens when listening to NPR News as I sit down to blog.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter Sunday

DEATH be not proud, though some have called thee

Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so,

For those whom thou think’st thou doest overthrow,

Die not, poor death, nor yet canst thou kill me.

From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be,

Much pleasure, then from thee much more must flow,

And soonest our best men with thee do go –

Rest of their bones and souls’ delivery.

Thou art slave to Fate, Chance, kings, and desperate men,

And doest with poison, war, and sickness dwell,

And poppy or charms can make us sleep as well,

And better than thy stroke, why swell’st thou then?

One short sleep past, we wake eternally,

And death shall be no more, death thou shalt die.

~ John Donne, Holy Sonnet X

Thursday, April 1, 2010

April Come She Will

I turned the page on my calendar from March to April last night before I went to bed. April finds me in fast-forward mode; a state of mind that often manifests itself when I am expecting and am anxious to get through the rest of a pregnancy. I mark time by the appointments with my midwives (it's a clinic, hence the plural). My next visit is in four weeks. Then come the two week appointments, then the weekly appointments which I hope, frankly, last only two weeks themselves. I know it's dangerous, but I am already banking on an early arrival for this baby.

In the meantime, my tulips will open and my crocuses, bursts of small cheery brightness, will wither under a brighter sun. My rolling lawn (rather uncomfortable to sit on) will green up and I will dream about ripping it out one day and laying down sod, nice and even.

Today there is a covering of spring snow on the lawn. It is icy and white and will probably melt by this afternoon. I shall drink a lot of water, hope to get the dishes done and the bed made, and look forward to Spring.

image from here