The way to love someone
is to lightly run your finger over that person's soul
until you find a crack,
and then gently pour your love into that crack.
~Keith Miller

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

sorting through stuff


Coming Close to the Earth 

I meant so
to bend the bough
but never once
to break the branch.

I hoped
that I might see
the blossoms
       fall intact
without the petals
               coming loose
or even once detached.

What I wanted most
        was love
in a straight
straightforward way.

I wanted you
not as you could be
had I made you up
but the way I found you
no different from
the way you really are.

I thought by now
we might have earned
a chance to come down close
and lie against the earth.

But I am convinced
the earth will not allow
even its truest lovers
membership straight away.

I cannot care
a little for you.
I love you only just enough
to love you all the way.

From “Coming Close to the Earth", 1977, 1978

me - 1977 or definitely after 1975 
Home again ... sorting through "stuff" today and I came across a box full of High School mementos in a box under my bed, things like the McKuen poem and the photo. Pictures like that one are the vintage version of selfies. You'd put four quarters in to the photo vending machine, hop inside and quickly draw the curtain ... almost ready for four strobe-like flashes, then back outside the box and voilà, a sleeve of mostly silly pictures. That was back when 25¢ would get you a gallon of gas ... or a pack of Marlboro 100's.

Being back home is nice ... seems like there is a lot to do ... lots and lots, bunches in fact, of sorting to do. All the boxes seem to be a metaphor for the psychological baggage.  I am happy to say that most of it is stuff that I will enjoy finding the proper place for.  It absolutely amazes me to see how many hand towels Momma owed ... and there are boxes and boxes of cleaning supplies.  How excruciatingly clean everything was in my growing up home has always been a pleasant memory.

I'm putzing around ... should be emptying boxes. Trying to just chill. Really liked seeing this poem again after all these years ... makes me reach back to remember a younger me - she was (surprisingly) a lot like who I have looped around to again (or maybe I have always been), one who loves my people all the way ... just the way they really are (as best as I can see anyway). It's strange how that, being a true version of oneself, tends to be difficult for people. It seems like to we look to others for affirmation, compromising what may be our best characteristics to fit constructed expectations or markers of success.  Maybe especially as I sit here in this house full of too much stuff,  I wonder what it would be like to do with less ... a lot less (but each one of the less a really great less ... lol).  That's what I'm trying to do in life ... find what is really good ... some of it is "stuff" but most of it is intangible I think.

I'm not settled enough to write about the last few weeks with Momma. Some of it, and the more distant past experiences which shaded and shadowed our relationship, are still a bit much to sort out. I loved her very much ... it hurt that she always seemed so dissatisfied with me. I really couldn't understand it ... and I doubt I will. The pain of that has significantly seasoned my desire to accept people (and myself) as they are and to help them (and myself) build on that as they grow towards a strong version of that ... it's why I like being a mom and it's why I like flight instructing.  We are who we are in the process of becoming who we become ... the process seems to me to be a collaboration with God, and with the people and other influences we select.

I don't want to write about my last few, really outstandingly positive, days with Momma tonight.  Going through the "dying process" has taught me some important things about living well ... I am still working through, processing the experience ... and I find myself very tender, raw even ... it's reminiscent of menopause emotionally ... or pregnancy ... whatever it is, it's as though my feelings are very near the surface and I don't know quite what to expect of myself.  I definitely don't feel very efficient ... and that's not troubling in the least.  I'm just not used to being so ... idk ... "feely"?

My brother is doing very well. His blood proteins are way down which is great news, and he is feeling good, also great news. My C is over there this week ... I just hung up from chatting with him and I said my little spy says you is doing well. It is hard for me to be this far away. He said as wonderfully as his sweet wife is caring for him, and as much confidence as he has in his medical team, that he does feel somewhat at odds without me nearby.  I know how it is ... we have had each other's backs for ... pretty much forever as we know it.  Fortunately, L is already arranging  a few long weeks, coming up, when I can go back and see for myself how well he is doing. L and I are busy scouting out possible locations for when he retires (sorta ... he hates it when I say retire) ... and we are clicking off stops at the Texas Monthly top BBQ joints ... and that is fun.  Oh!  And this (who knew!), I love stopping at the Texas wineries!  For ten bucks you get 5 or 6 samplings (two respectable size sips, which we share) of wine.  So far I am leaning towards wines from the Holy Land which one place imports. Their sign said Holy Land Wines and I thought it was some Texas humor but once inside realized they were serving Israeli wines along side their local products.  At Salt Lick Cellars (Driftwood, Texas) the only wine I especially liked was their Sangria, the BBQ was delicious though and the slaw was perfection!

Maybe we will open a bottle every time I have a room in the house set straight ... sounds like a plan!

This summer I intend to just work around the house ... hang out some with my youngest ... walk the dog ... cook (I have missed that a lot) ... and garden some ... maybe work on a tan like the ones that just appeared on that younger me.
And ... I think I might look in on some of Rod McKuen's poetry ... or maybe just spend some time reading my favorites.

So ... chill wine, empty boxes.


GretchenJoanna said...

Seeing that photo of you, and reading the many wonderful quotes you have collected in the sidebar, I think a good caption to go with your youthful radiance would be this one:

"Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart." ~ Kahlil Gibran

I love good quotes, like that one, and you've reminded me that I want to have a Quotes page on my blog. Maybe I'll start it...tomorrow!

DeAnn said...

I like reading Gibran. What a lovely compliment. Thank you!