Archive for the ‘July’ Category
And the month ends for me in MN. This has been a much more traveling summer than I planned, and so I watch the 2-year-old in my home airport excitedly pointing to our arriving plane, and feel a touch of envy. I do remember when plane flights were fun. This one is delayed, but luckily I can wait it out at home, finishing up some house-keeping chores. I am met at my destination airport by a 3-year-old superhero in cowboy boots, undies, and a green frog terrycloth cape, fresh from his bath. And, of course, his parents, my daughter and her husband. We stay up too late as I catch up on their news. My daughter ended her old job today, starts a new one tomorrow. The move to their new house is stalled in get-ready, get-set mode. But I am here to help so I begin to look for ways I can.
Stick close to home today, getting ready for my trip to MN tomorrow. Lots of things to figure out by email for August unfolding. And for/from friends from or going to Brazil. As always, the day before departing, part of me wants to curl up in a ball and sleep through my flight. But the other part is excited to see how the now-mid-western part of my family is faring and to help them with their move. Family is one of the core elements of life, and I miss having mine at home.
I spend most of the day immersed in music and laundry, preparing for my trip on Tuesday. In between I watch Olympic swimming as this is the only time, once every 4 years, that competitive swimming is readily available on TV. From age 7 to 17 I was a competitive swimmer, and though not Olympic caliber I did well enough to keep at it as the main focus of my life outside of family and school. I still have a small stash of medals and trophies that my kids wouldn’t let me throw away when my parents handed them over during a housecleaning spree. No, Mom, these are important! And so they are, just like the Little League trophies and ballet point shoes with the show date written on the sole, remembrances of achievement remaining in my childrens’ old rooms. We are what we dream. We learn from every context we are in. Maybe I wasn’t the best swimmer ever, although I did hold some local records, but I learned that when you touch the wall– first, 2nd, or last– it’s over and there’s no changing things to suit yourself. And that your competitors are also your friends, and often your teammates. So I smile as the local girl gets an Olympic silver and says she is thrilled. And although it’s not televised, I know that the swimmer in the finals who comes in 8th, or the kid who makes the team by the skin of his/her teeth, or even (and this was me) the girl who barely qualifies to swim in the Olympic trials, knowing that there is no shot at the team, that this is the pinnacle dreamed for, I know they are all learning, dreaming, and filing the memories away. Some things are more precious than medals. And these lessons can change us forever.
Wildflowers in the city brighten litter piles and granite block walls with their cheerful presence. Uninvited, their roots anchoring them in the inadvertent dirt of the slightest of cracks, they sneak a little country into disregarded urban spaces. I’ve loved Queen Anne’s Lace since I was a little girl, growing up in a small town. And every time I see it now in the nooks and crannies of my city it brings a childhood grin back to my face.
Near misses, for good or ill, leave one breathless. Sometimes it’s in life, sometimes it’s in an instant, sometimes in an event you can control, sometimes in one you can’t. An instinctual swerve to avoid another’s driving mistake, a concert that holds an exultant best result, an X-ray that shows the feared is indeed not there. As the Olympics open we can expect to see many near misses and the opposite, those tiny margins of victory. But for me it’s the others, in art, in life, nearly always untelevised, that are the ones that really matter.
Today I’m finally caught up from my 2 weeks outside of internet-land. And it’s also a big day for another reason– my IRS audit goes smoothly, my deductions check out, and I owe nothing. A big shiny yellow-flower smile of relief. I celebrate this evening with B, finally sharing R&C’s wedding beer they gave me to bring home from Rio. Sometimes one only recognizes stress in retrospect, after everything has worked out.
catch a moment and hold it in your hand
this isn’t something everyone could do
and though things haven’t work out as you planned
you’ve had the fortitude to see them through
the glass may be half empty or half full
but does it really matter now you’re here
loss doesn’t have gravitational pull
so leave it on the shore don’t draw it near
your boat is ready now it’s time to go
you’re ready too though you can’t quite believe
that’s true you can’t deny it either so
take a deep breath and bet on your reprieve
it seems the whole world is singing you on
look around once push off it’s time you’re gone
In which Marilynn goes to Rotary Club for the first time. Truly. As a result of an article on me in the local paper last spring I have been invited to speak at the weekly luncheon. I have made a short version of my powerpoint on mandolin in the Americas in the 2oth century, and show pictures, chat and play a bit, answer questions, and am congratulated for not going over my 20 minutes. I might be asked back (: Meet an old friend there who used to film me performing to air on the local cable station, decades ago. He says I haven’t changed a bit. He can’t even guess how wrong he is.
The day begins with a union meeting. Bad news re: the contract, but the solidarity of 100+ professors in every stage of their career filling the room with concern, comments, and support for others in different positions is remarkable. In the evening I get together with my friend Jon for drinks and dinner. As always our laughter and conversation make me feel smart, amusing, and amused. A remarkable quality in a friend.