Even in a frost-killed landscape there remain artifacts of great beauty. I drive up to see Mom today and find her well and in good spirits. I bring her photos of the family visit with her from last month and she is thrilled to see them and “remember”. I put them in her album with the names of all and their relationship to her and/or her kids/grandkids. It’s a small album that she keeps under the seat in her walker and I know she will get so much pleasure from reminiscing again and again. I drive home in the dark, tired but at peace.
The killing frost has arrived, taking my last lingering green tomatoes for its own. Nothing will grow here now until winter has passed. We are in the in-between phase when perennial plants go dormant and annuals fail, as we turn the seasonal page waiting to see how bad things will get, hunting down warmer jackets, warmer gloves. I shiver involuntarily, don my protective gear, and head for home.
why does the roof fly off the world
from time to time leaving me bare
I reach out in the darkness where
will I find sustenance words hurled
in frustration fall broken curled
up in a ball at my feet they’ll
evaporate by morning sail
away even from memory
as my heart’s song no longer free
lies tattered trying to inhale
I teach, counsel, sidestep 3 meetings, flee campus as soon as possible, and P. and I drive to Boston to see Lucinda Williams perform, It’s a rare adventure mid-week, and I know I’ll pay tomorrow for a late night out. But for right now, this is just where I want to be. Sometimes life just has to step in front of responsibilities.
Today I hit the wall– life has been lived full throttle forward for too long. I can’t even summon the energy to venture forth in the slashing cold rain to run errands, so I spend the day reorganizing my kitchen counters and spice cabinet, ignoring piles of grading, curriculum revision, and other “important” items on my agenda. At day’s end I feel glad of a couple of small tasks finished to completion, and hope to wake restored, with the energy needed to take on the amorphous mass of tasks with unknown outcomes– possibly quite futile- and looming deadlines still waiting to be addressed.