Because someone knows me just that well
Saturday morning I tromped out of the house in my pjs to get the mail. First I am deliriously happy to not have even donned a jacket for this short endeavor. The sky was dappled with rain threatening clouds that were being overtaken by the sun and best of all it was only slightly chilly. Although nothing in the mailbox there was a lovely box in a plastic bag next to the plow beaten post. I was expecting this box which I knew contained my contributor gifts for both submissions and the actual printing of Robin’s third version of Handmade Life. The gift was a small hand sewn journal, a maple tree seedling that I have a premonition I will kill and so will give to Theresa’s student to nurture, and a little cut out paper temple thing. Additionally because Robin knows me so well she included a new CD for me and a plain white innocent looking envelope. Inside the envelope was the following poem about my mom. For anyone reading this that knew my mom I am including the warning that wasn’t on the envelope. Go get a tissue, put yourself in the right place and then go forward, you may ball your head off.
A Grotesque Despair
This ravenous river
Snatches what wanders its banks
Button boxes turned sheets
Tunnels choking her throat
Sleeping on the grieving mat
Of the waiting room floor
The huge rage that splits fissures
Angular shadows bleach and the singsong
Melody of the machines
Humming the blind dirge
Of this strangled finish
Crowded spaces, pressed nurses
Reaching, reaching for the woman
Who is ready to leave
Who has mourned herself and her children
Still shirking surrender.
This too the river takes
This and the rage and the grief.
This and the long-gone unmuddied days
Of her clear love
The still pools of her grace
When I told Robin later how I had cried and cried from it she said. “Yeah, I thought you could use that.” How wonderfully lucky I am to have people who know me so well they simply know that I can cry for frustration and anger but have such a hard time with sadness. People who can kindly silently guide me where I can’t get myself easily, to where I need to pass to stay somewhat whole. This is all without a lick of manipulation and with a whole lotta love.
Lucky doesn’t begin to describe it.
Robin is one of my longest and dearest friends. Ages ago she told me that when you cut yourself shaving, while getting ready to go out on the town, it is a sacrifice to the lust gods and you are going to get lucky and be smooching a sexy someone soon. The track record for this lusty voodoo has not been logged in a ledger and runs rather in the myth genre I am sure. But later that day in the shower I go to rinse off my leg and there is a telltale sting at my ankle. It made me think of this funny idea we used to muse on. So lucky I think, and then promptly think not. um.no.way. I am far too fragile at the moment to start any such endeavor and am for the time being going to make myself a yoga nun (thank you lovely Claudia for coining that phrase.) So instead the evening proved highly lucky in another regard. I had a potluck dinner at some friend’s of Jan’s. Their friends most of which I had never seen before showed themselves to be lovely entertaining people who I would adore seeing again. Every one of them. Among them were hilarious movie critics, jugglers, musicians basically people who made me feel comfortable, welcome and fascinated. At the contra dance later I got to dance with most of them, the ones new to it held an unstoppable joy of the soon to be addicted. If I am lucky I will see them all again, so I am hoping the voodoo works to that end instead.