Thursday, September 18, 2008

More Weird Than Usual

This has been a very strange day. I slept too late; left the stove burner on, on "high" while I got dressed; drove down the lane with my cup of tea on the top of the van; and, I cried a lot today. The crying doesn't feel bad, just unbidden.

Today my youngest grandson, Julian, is sixteen and I know it is a tough day for him. He won't get what he wants for his birthday because his gift list is far bigger and more expensive than his family can afford. In fact, it is bigger and more expensive than we all can afford even if we pooled our resources. (Oh, to be a grandma with enough money to lavish him with gifts!) I lost track of time this evening and neglected to call and wish him a happy birthday. Somehow the fact that his birthday card was mailed Monday doesn't relieve my regret about my failure to speak to him.

Sadly, I have faced this situation before. Keeping track of time is my biggest failing - in my opinion, anyway. I forget what day it is, when anniversaries and birthdays are, and forget to acknowledge such occasions in a timely fashion. Thankfully, my family members, children, and friends have a great deal of patience, and love, regardless of my thoughtlessness. My failings, my shortcomings, my mistakes, and the effects they have on those I love, float around like fallen leaves on my tears.

Another of my grandsons, Jake, is about to be deployed to Iraq. I can't say it out loud without crying. War -a lonely and evil thing. It takes people away, by distance, or illness, injury, and death. I am powerless to protect Jake and no prayers or tears of mine will change the reality of his departure. This war is a noxious battle of power and pride and desire for supremacy. My tears for Jake are among the pools, lakes, rivers and oceans of tears shed by so many women as their loved ones leave for battle.

I had to buy a new broom today. Why would buying a broom make someone cry? Because the other one is worn out, old and falling apart, leaving straw bits behind when I sweep. Today Julian is 16...this week Jake leaves for the son's baby shoes are sitting on the table...I am feeling old, a bit worn out and used up. I leave groans behind when I get out of the chair...I know that I am not as strong or as fast as I was a few years ago. I left the burner on and the cup on top of the car, I cried when I bought a broom, and I forgot to call my grandson on his birthday. My faults, frailties, and failures seem easier to remember than the dates and days that I want to remember.

Today I bought a plastic box, a container for the mementos of my son, his life, and death. One day, when I think I can bear it, I will put his birth certificate, baby book, report cards, and other remembrances from his childhood in there. Then I will add his death certificate, dried flowers from his funeral, photos of his grave, and the little pieces of his truck that I picked up at the accident scene. Perhaps the plastic box will protect the things better than the cardboard box did. He died on Jake's 21st birthday...Jake deploys this week...I can't protect him...I forgot to call Julian. Dates and times, events and activities, remembering and forgetting...brooms, boxes and tears...

Things today really seem more weird than usual. Thoughts and memories are crowding my mind. My memories of the past and fears about the future are as abundant as the straws falling from the old broom. Tomorrow I must call both of my grandsons. I cannot get lost in my life and forget. I will call Julian and wish him "happy birthday." I will call Jake and say "good bye for now." I will cry and the tears will not feel bad, they will be unbidden.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Holding On To The Good Stuff

This EDM sketch is "Something That Smells Good." It is one of my soapstone containers that holds Patchouli solid perfume. Patchouli became my favorite scent in the early 70's - primarily because it was said to cover the scent of marijuana. Back in those "good ole days" I smoked a lot of that herb and even grew it in my backyard. My neighbors all knew what the plants were and so did my children. As I look back on that, I think that the main thing it taught my children was the advantage of a good compost pile! I am proud to say that their minds weren't warped too much since neither of them seemed to be interested in smoking weed to any extent. Now my daughter is too old for such foolishness. I am too!

I don't smoke "Mary Jane," or cigarettes, anymore, nor do I drink alcohol in any form. I don't use illegal drugs - the ones that are prescribed for me alter my mind enough! Even though it has been a long time since I sat around with friends and smoked a joint, I didn't give up using Patchouli. I like the fragrance, and I like the memories that go with it. I remember those days with fondness and fun. I have a number of good stories about the times when I was "stoned." They are funny ones and I enjoy having others laugh with me over the antics of my younger days.

My brother, Mike, only wears Patchouli- that aftershave stuff is not for him! Like me, he has fond memories of the good times we each had in the past. I'm sorry to say that I never had that "particular good time" with Mike. Instead we share the love of the fragrance, the fun of wearing it, and our own individual stories of the "good times." When I am with Mike - not nearly enough for either of us - the fragrance of Patchouli enfolds us in a special, and somewhat secret, embrace.

The event that brought all this to mind so clearly, and fondly, was seeing Joan Baez in concert on Monday. The audience ranged somewhere between 45 and 70 years of age. There were canes and strong arms to lean on. No one moved very fast and there was lots of gray hair. A small number of younger people attended and Joan carefully explained the background of the songs for those who "weren't there" back then! She encouraged us to sing along on several of the was very nice. I'm told that there was a distinct smell of marijuana in the parking garage before the show...glad I wasn't there...I might have lingered a bit too long!

Well, this blog has kept me smiling the entire time. Ahhh, There was some good stuff in the 70's, I can still smell the fun we had.


This is a test post from flickr, a fancy photo sharing thing.