Archive for the ‘April’ Category
And so April leaves us with flowers galore. The end of the academic year seems relatively calm this time around, perhaps because my personal life has been so fraught with turmoil since the day before it began. Finishing classes this afternoon, I get word that Mom has fallen and broken her wrist. But after a sleepless night in the emergency room w/ my brother and his wife, she is still up to having her hair done. So hopefully the physical injury won’t derail her settling into her new environment. The bright side is that everything seems to be working the way we envisioned to support her through whatever course life sets her. I’m grateful that we seem to have found the right place for her this time.
Some days are simply happy. Mowing the lawn, as a break from grading papers, might not be everyone’s idea of a good time, but for me today it works. Everything is growing around me, I can almost see the difference a couple of hours make. The birds are singing, and my neighbor points out a hawk that we hear but cannot see. Sometimes when there is nothing special, it opens the door to make everything amazing. Today is a day when that is really true.
It’s the day I need. Grade half of my big stack of papers. Talk w/ Mom on the phone when my brother visits her for the first time, with the director’s blessing, and she sounds great (big sigh of relief). My daughter calls, and I skype back to read books w/ the grandboy, at his request. My son calls from Paris, and all is well. Box unpacking continues, and later I go out to dinner w/ a friend just returned from Rio. Fabulous, truly. I stand outdoors in the middle of my greening lawn and feel the tension of the past few days melt away in the warmth of the afternoon sun.
When I call today, all is well with my Mom. But it wasn’t last night. Her sorrow and anger has her lashing out, and still we aren’t able to speak with her by phone in this settling in period. it doesn’t seem right somehow to keep us apart. Somewhere in her confused brain she must realize we’re suddenly not there, she is in unfamiliar surroundings, and it must terrify her. If I was a praying person, I would pray that we will get through this to a more peaceful life for her. And for us. I go out to walk in the sun and flowers, looking for solace.
Work, walk, the warmth of the sun on my shoulders. A day as it should be. Almost. Except for a nagging sorrow digging its way into my soul. An evening of laughter and caipirinhas w/ J. dispels, displaces, but nothing erases the feeling staked out in my heart that tells me all is not right. After he goes I fall asleep on the sofa, watching a movie on the music of Leonard Cohen, wake at 3 AM disoriented, stagger up to bed.
The sisters of mercy, they are not departed or gone.
They were waiting for me when I thought that I just can’t go on.
They brought me their comfort and later they brought me this song.
I hope you run into them, you who’ve been traveling so long.
Yes, you who must leave everything that you cannot control.
It begins with your family, but soon it comes around to your soul.
I’ve been where you’re hanging, I think I can see how you’re pinned:
When you’re not feeling holy, your loneliness says that you’ve sinned.
- Leonard Cohen
Leaving school today I watch as the great carnival rides parked in the commuter lot stretch their arms toward the sky, warming up for Spring Week-end festivities on campus. And it looks like our recalcitrant spring will cooperate and bless the holiday that bears its name with lovely weather. I am glad for our students, for this chance to revisit fun with youthful enthusiasm in the midst of term-end hard work and a world fraught with terror. Here on the last edge of childhood, a moment to laugh before moving ahead to pick up the waiting mantel of adult responsibility.
Warmer but windy, as spring once more is coaxed out of hiding for a day, perhaps more. The end-of-semester papers are coming in, piling up on my desk, hopefully to be cleared away before the last exams come flooding in next week. But we are all looking up from the toil in amazement– 2 weeks of classes left, exams, commencement, and then… we’ll be sailing into the open waters of summer.
Moving toward the end of the semester, life clouded with an overlay of events beyond my control. I am swimming through jello toward a simple life, toward my music, toward the summer. And catching students and family and friends as they fall across my path. I can’t do it all all the time, I do know that. But for the next few weeks I have to try.
Back on track w/ my music filing system, what a relief. The logjam where I have been stuck, due to the periodic derailment on my settling in since the day I began to move, seems to finally be loosening. And the brilliant too-showy flowers of the azalea brighten my neighborhood walk today with their frivolity.