Yup, the first post since April must be written to you – for you demanded I write again. You didn’t forget that I had this blog (even though I pretty much did, and assume most others have as well), you kicked me in the butt in your typically unforgiving-yet-most-caring way and caught me pre-coffee. No defenses properly caffeinated. All rationalizations fragmented in the middle of the night when one has the freedom to forgive lethargy, holding one’s doubts as a pillow while huddled in the corner of the couch. Your timing is pretty damn good.
So what’s been going on in eight months? Nothing. Everything. I’ve been graced and damned, overwhelmed with love and had my heart broken a little bit, thinking it would never mend and bowed my head until I felt it beat again. I celebrated new life with such awe and humility, that I remembered what it felt like to be drunk with love.
Details? You want details? Not this first go-round, pal – the words are swirling around in my head arguing about which should be written first, debating how transparent I will seem, when my preference is to remain a bit opaque.
I can say this – I remain grateful, yet I no longer feel that I can write about it without cliche or some really sickening elevator music playing in the background. The karma truck was becoming a paean to gratefulness. Not a bad thing – but a personal thing. It’s not a commodity. I’m not selling it. You are gifted with it or not. You are blessed with the frightening awareness that there is nothing more ephemeral than this moment and you’re either going to foment some goodness in it – or not. Your choice.
When I last wrote, I introduced you to my magnificent granddaughter Sienna Reese. Almost four weeks ago, my other son and daughter-in-law welcomed Sophie Ida into the world. She is miraculous and magical, beyond beautiful and/or adequate words. As I marvel at Sienna already exploring her world with determination and a smile that can change the hue of the sky and the color of one’s day, I watch her weeks-old cousin already turning from newborn to little baby, eyes alert, fingertips with special powers – as they curl around a finger she enters the bloodstream. Two of my sons now have families of their own. And when I’m not in tears, I am laughing a song of life.
Balance shifts, roles change, rhythms are re-calibrated. Andy’s mom passed away in May, and though not unexpected, it is never expected. Each of us responds to this part of the journey differently – and his story isn’t mine to tell. But I watch, I wonder, I ache. I marvel at his dad, who at ninety years of age, gets up every day with the intent to engage himself in his days. Golf, bridge, speakers’ series, synagogue. He has taught me how to grieve deeply and not turn one’s back on life. How to open your arms to the day and those people who fill it.
Life – that’s what’s been going on. What you do with what you have when you have it; what you choose to do when you don’t. I guess in the span of one moment and the next, so much happens in the space in between. The stories we get to tell depend upon the traffic in one’s head, the road maintenance on one’s heart and how close the image in the rear view mirror appears.
“We ain’t anything more than a name and some likes and some distastes, and a story we tell about ourselves.” (M.T. Anderson) – And what others say about us too, I think.
It was good to write to you…let’s stay in touch.