I think of you as dead. Love is not dead, not mine for you. This is not respectful to those truly dead. Yet you are dead to me in that you lie and say forever. Torched and ashes, now it’s never and the real you is dead to me. I love the you that made a different choice, that loved me back. He holds my hand and walks with me and laughs with me daily. And there is nothing you can do to stop him and me. If anyone asks, you are dead to me, dead forever, and I will love whoever my heart chooses, for all time.
I found the chalcedony nodule on Indian Island yesterday.
I still think of you occasionally when I pay the bills, I think of you when I clean the catbox, I think of you when I clear the spam, I think of you it’s the Get’a’super-sized’rod’ ones that make me think of you and laugh I want to send them to you every time I still think of you occasionally Get’a’super-sized’rod’ and poo and bills
I buy gummi bears and forget to bring them over and over for months forget to bring them to the beach. When you teach me how to find chalcedony nodules clear agates that let the light through, you say, “They look like gummi bears,” and you are right.
In the early morning when the tide is low and the sun is low too angled and polarized light the nodules, agates we call them light up like stars, catching the sun. Sometimes I see one just after you and you are diving down to get it and I am too late again
You find three to my one The gummi bears are a bit hard when I finally bring them along I choose a red one, the small kind tuck it between two fingers when you aren’t looking I’ve gotten my fingers a little wet first so it will light up the same way as the agates I wait until we’re a yard apart and you aren’t looking at me. I jump forward and reach for the sand “Look at this one! So red!” You move towards me and I flash it. “Almost bear shaped!” I say and drop it in your hand. Your face changes from envious of the clear red to mildly horrified: “Sticky!” you say, and shake it off your hand. I laugh and pop a yellow gummi bear in my mouth and you are laughing too and shake your head. “I don’t want one!” “Got you!” I say. “Yes,” you say, “You did.”
Mary and Nissa are at the fundraiser. Only $100 each!
“I am the man for the job,” says Joe. He is elegant in a suit and tie and crisp white shirt. “I don’t lie. I don’t break laws. I don’t even speed! I am a man of sterling character!”
Mary and Nissa enjoy the fundraiser very much. Nissa is driving Mary home afterwards.
“He’s so wonderful! And that meal! Did you see all the silver? He is the man for the job!”
Nissa turns the car into Mary’s driveway. She turns the car off and looks at Mary.
“What?” says Mary.
Nissa pulls a spoon out of her pocket.
“You stole a silver spoon?” says Mary, appalled.
Nissa breaks it in half. It splinters.
“Wood. With silver paint. Don’t be fooled, Mary.” Nissa hands Mary the two wooden halves and Mary stares at them. Nissa gets out to help Mary in to the house.
After she is situated, walker within reach, Mary says, “I may rethink that donation I was going to make. Thank you for coming with me, Nissa.”
Nissa smiles. “You are welcome. Thank you for taking me.”
The woman in the picture is new to my home. She has a tag that reads “Chubby Purple Mama”. She was made by an artist in town, Karen Renee Page, who died in September. Many dolls were given for a fundraiser. This doll has crystals and a piece of wood in her belly. Without them she is not balanced. I added one of the chalcedony nodules that I find here on the beach.
I took a wonderful beach walk, 3-4 miles, yesterday.
The annoying thing was that my muscles are still grumpy. I took a nap afterwards and they STILL wanted me to go to sleep at 5 pm. I made it to 6, barely.
That was the pattern I noticed when I was finishing pulmonary rehab. On the exercise days and the day after, I would sleep for twelve hours. I would have a nap and then sleep for another 8-10 hours at night. Muscle repair and ME-CFS, but still, mine is mild. I don’t have to lie in bed 23 hours a day. I am very very happy about that.
That is a tree, dead, in the first picture. Sections of cliff collapse. I always worry that I will see feet sticking out, as in the Wizard of Oz. A friend saw a whole section come down and said if he’d been 30 yards further down the beach, he would have been under it. It is sand and clay. Here is a close up of a small chunk of clay.
Here is a big section that has fallen, trees and all.
And here is a tree only part way down. I am careful on the beach, but I think sections can fall with no warning! And I worry when I see children or adults climbing partway up the cliffs. Not me.
We can work it out, the song says. But no, maybe not, not always.
Trauma bunnies together. Walking. Why would you walk with me, I am so down? Oh, you are a trauma bunny too. Walking on the beach, slowing down, looking at rocks. The walks get longer and longer. You bring FOOD and tell me I have food insecurity. I laugh. But it is true.
Comparing notes about childhood. You say yours was worse. Yours was terrifying. You ran away over and over and over, but came home. Small children need food and shelter. You get older. A neighbor says if you run away now, you will never stop running. You do not run away permanently. But you still run.
My childhood has no bruises to the skin. But the bruises to the heart are a nightmare. You finally say that I win, my childhood was worse. But I was not trying to win, I want to say. I was just telling you as you’ve told me.
We have both survived damage and coped. I have the resource of a grandmother with money who paid for medical school. I apply without telling my parents, after my mother says, “You don’t want to be a doctor. It’s too much work.” I am a poet, a writer, being a doctor so I can study people and have children and be certain there is food. Job security. And food security, true. With a husband or without.
You fight school all the way, but when you are told that you will be a failure or in jail, you decide that you will prove them wrong. You are still proving it. You won’t tell how you make your money, not to the locals, but the new car every two years tells them you have money. And it’s the wrong kind of car: a liberal car for a professed conservative. It stands out.
We start playing trauma bunnies after six months. You want me to come to dinner and I turn New Yorker and direct: is this a date? You are surprised. I set the boundaries and you think about it. And say yes.
But trauma bunnies is not as much fun as the beach. We get close and intimate and then you run. When you run, I run too: the other way. I don’t chase you. You haven’t experienced that before. You keep coming back. Why aren’t I chasing you? Because I too am a trauma bunny, remember?
Back and forth: close and far, together and apart. All holidays become times when you run, so that I will not be part of the family. I announce that I am now your mistress and you can’t be with my family either. Back and forth. Closer and then you refuse to come to my son’s wedding. Far again.
You say the summer will be very busy. You say your focus is music. You say we can go to one beach. One beach? For the whole summer? I run to europe and you are surprised. I ask, are you too busy to have me around? No, you say. But when I return, you have a friend staying with you. Intimacy disappears.
I am tired of it. My daughter is here.
At last I bring up sex: are we done with that?
No, you say. We have visitors.
Wouldn’t stop me, I say.
You say, sex is still on the table. Then you hem and haw. You say sex is not important, you can take or leave it. The friendship is more important. Well, the friendship is most important, but sex IS important to me and hello, it’s damn insulting of you to say you can take or leave it. Leave. This is all triggered by your yearly family get together. You need me at a distance so you won’t be tempted to invite me. You don’t want me there so I am distanced again.
And I am done, done, done. I dream of a small child, a wild woman, a woman doctor and someone new: a quiet woman. I think about the quiet woman and I ask the other three. Yes, they say.
The quiet woman is the adult. Not the mask of the professional, not the wild defense fighter, not the small child. The small child has healed. She is the connection to the Beloved, to the source of the poems. She blesses the others. The quiet woman takes over.
The quiet woman takes over. She says goodbye, farewell, Beloved keep you and bless you, you may contact me any time.
You are in your cave alone and do not answer.
You may end up there, alone, alone, alone. You want freedom most of all, you say. Another song: freedom is another word.
Yes it is. People can change and grow. But some want to and some don’t and sometimes we don’t grow at the same time.
Yes, says the quiet woman. Sometimes we don’t grow at the same time.
Fade to quiet.
I took the photograph from a canoe at Lake Matinenda in Ontario, Canada.
Refugees welcome - Flüchtlinge willkommen I am teaching German to refugees. Ich unterrichte geflüchtete Menschen in der deutschen Sprache. I am writing this blog in English and German because my friends speak English and German. Ich schreibe auf Deutsch und Englisch, weil meine Freunde Deutsch und Englisch sprechen.