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Archive for the ‘love’ Category

I love this…. first encountered it on NPR……..  telling your life story in 6 words, no more, no less… Smith magazine has published a book of these.

Ernest Hemingway’s……. “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”

http://www.smithmag.net/sixwords/ 

Mine – “Seeking: Time, Love, Sleep,Art, Wine” 

What’s your 6 word memoir?

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This afternoon I went to a birthday party for a gentleman turning 90 – he told me he reached this age in good health because he knew the magic formula.  I asked him what that was, hoping he’d enlighten me.He looked at me and said, “Love. I fell in love with a good woman who loved me with her entire heart on my good days and bad days and I did the same for her.”I want a younger version of that man. Good days and bad days, oh yes, I have loved that way………. I am missing the man who can return that kind of love. 

He said he isn’t too much to look at now days.  What he doesn’t realize is, it is not how someone looks that is import,  what sags and wrinkles only makes them that much more lovable.  It all starts and ends with what’s inside.  I choose to live with an open hand, open heart in hopes of finding real love someday……..and holding it.

I don’t want the guy with the 6-pack or the one who dresses to the nines, I don’t care about sports cars or how much money he makes, what he does for a living,  I want the guy who’s hair has turned the color mother nature intended it to be at this age, the guy with the lines on his face………the lines life delivered……….I will climb over the pretty boys to get to the skin horse…….anyday of the week.

And now, one of my all time favorite passages from “The Velveteen Rabbit” – about the skn horse

“The Skin Horse had lived longer in the nursery than any of the others. He was so old that his brown coat was bald in patches and showed the seams underneath, and most of the hairs in his tail had been pulled out to string bead necklaces. He was wise, for he had seen a long succession of mechanical toys arrive to boast and swagger, and by-and-by break their mainsprings and pass away, and he knew that they were only toys, and would never turn into anything else. For nursery magic is very strange and wonderful, and only those playthings that are old and wise and experienced like the Skin Horse understand all about it.

“What is REAL?” asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. “Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?”

“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.”

“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.

“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”

“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?”

“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

 I do have the capacity to love again…………in time……..in time. Right now, I have fresh wounds that need attention……..deep and raw, but in time I will be ready again.

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Life goes on

Life goes on ….

Two Septembers ago, I heard the fear in her voice.  We sat in her backyard drinking coffee with the chiminea aglow, her face mostly in shadows except for the tears trickling down her cheeks.

Her fear was not for herself, not for the days ahead when the beast would have its way with her, taking a breast was not enough, it would soon claim all of her.

She worried how he would get along without her, how he would handle the silence, shop for groceries, remember to keep doctor appointments etc. Her voice lowered to a whisper. She told me she did something very right all those years ago, she married a wonderful man. When she was diagnosed, he was there, telling her it was their battle.  When she was sick, he cared for her without her asking. When she cried, he held her and comforted her… and not once did she have to ask, he was always there for her.

She looked at me with eyes that pleaded for answers.

“When I am gone, who will care for him?  What if this happens to him, who will be there for him?”  She knew how essential his support had been in the early days, it was even more so now.

I wrapped a blanket around her and refilled her coffee as she looked up at the stars. A symphony of crickets filled the damp night air.

She turned to look at me, pointing to the heavens.  “Do you see that really bright star over those old oak trees?”

I nodded, holding back tears, selfishly wondering what I was going to do without her.

She continued, “Right there, right there is where I want him to look for me………..we’ve sat out here for 30 years and there’s always a bright star right over those trees.  Me and the Oaks, that’s where I’ll be.”

 

Her voice trailed off……perhaps she was wondering how far away she’d be.  “He needs to remarry, you know. He’s a good man, some woman will be happy with him……..perhaps Carla L would be a good fit for him?  You know, I can see them together; they’d probably live in her home.  Or maybe you should make sure he finds someone who loves to dance; I never liked it but he always loved dancing. You will need to keep your eye on him, to make sure he goes on.”

Three weeks later she slipped into a coma. He called me to sit with him.  When I arrived he was painting her toe nails, her pillow had recently been fluffed. He had her favorite candles burning and a photo of them on the nightstand.  He held her hand so tenderly and told me that even then, with her bald head and emaciated body, he looked at her and saw a gorgeous woman who loved him with all she had every day and every night. 

They used to glance at each other across a room and everyone recognized the look.  He looked at her the same way then.

She slipped quietly away the next day. 

Last night I attended his wedding – alone.  He looked at his new bride and I once again recognized the look of love. At the reception she told me his wife wrote a letter to the woman he would marry after she was gone.  She said it was the most touching, thoughtful letter, stained with her tears…… welcoming her into his life, the life she left behind.

She was quite a woman, that friend of mine.

I heard someone ask them if they’d be living in her house.  She said, “No, we will live in his house, it has the most magnificent view of the night sky, right over the old oaks.”

I knew what that meant, more importantly, I knew what that meant to him.

How sweet, how wonderful……..two people who truly love and understand each other.

We should all be so blessed………….he found it twice……….. I’m still searching for once…..perhaps someday.

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Masterpiece

palette1.jpg 

I close my eyes and remember you

small details

picked up by the scrutinizing eye

of an artist

Had I the talent

I would have painted you

that afternoon in June

on a large fresh canvas

caught every small detail

the way the sky with her billowing clouds

wrapped around you

the sun picking up the highlights

of your salt and pepper hair

and casting shadows on your face

the freshly cut grass of the river bank

your pedestal

the reflection of the harbor

in the corner of your eyes

as they looked at me

with the undeniable

look of love

  

Had I the talent

I would have captured that moment

in oils

you in your black shirt

and wrinkled trousers

in the late afternoon as long shadows fell

and the gulls watched

but what my masterpiece would not show

is the woman with subtle crows feet

and paint on her hands

who remembers ever so vividly

the way your fingers tasted in my mouth

how your body fit mine

so perfectly

and how so many could-have-beens

never happened

no, the world will not read my scribblingS

nor will they know of my emptiness

they will not see my memories

that are locked away in my mind

the world will see my masterpiece

that small glimpse of the time

you let your fear of being hurt

fall away

and loved me the way every woman

deserves to be loved

Many have that for a lifetime

My masterpiece embodies a sliver of time

late on a summer afternoon

     

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In my past I was the mere shadow of a weak woman.

Unworthy of being loved, I married a man whose depth was no more than surface deep, his own sorrows buried in alcohol. Yes, saddenly this was what I unconsciously chose for myself…someone that I could love more and who did not know the meaning of the word, nor did he have a desire to be loved. Sigh.

In the mirror I am a no longer a victim but a survivor, a stunning beauty with clear pale green eyes, laugh lines and a little of nature’s sparkle in my hair. Even if I am the only one that sees that in me, that is all that matters.

In my dreams the thin woman that lives inside my body escapes, climbs Mount Rushmore, dances on the head of Teddy Roosevelt, jumps over to George Washington's head and slides down his nose landing in a lush, decadent, creamy, warm pool of Godiva chocolate. She takes a deep breath, then notices she has left her mark on this earth... her lime green, size 3, thong bikini dangling on the mountain for all to see.

In my stories I am a pioneer woman who followed her man across this country raising healthy children that had strong family values and learned to deal with life’s challenges as they came.In my fears I am a on a bridge that is crumbling into a rushing river below it and I can not swim. I am terrified, not for the fear of drowning but because I am unable to save my children who are with me in the swollen river. My heart dies a thousand deaths instantly, it's much too much for me to bare.

In my car I am Barbara Streisand’s idol, I speak perfect conversational French and I weigh what my driver’s license says I do.

In my wishes I am the person that discovers the cure for all cancers so we don’t have to say good-bye to loved ones much too soon.

In my childhood I was a the princess that never smiled, a fat child that realized at an early age that the world would judge me by my weight and not my heart. I was a thin teenager but never knew it.

In these clothes I am a Diva with traces of dye ink and pigments from memorable nights of splendor spent crafting treasures for my loved ones, way into the wee hours of hot summer nights while the crickets sang to me and only me, as the thunder rumbled in the distance.

In the future I'll be old but never old in spirit, my scrapbooks will up to date, my crafts organized and my house clean. I will be one of those people who sit on their porch and watch the world go by, those people that I’ve loathed and envied all these years while secretly wondering what the inside of
their house looked like.

In my family I am an OVER-PROTECTIVE MOTHER and darn proud of it and thankful for being blessed with two beautiful sons that tolerated me all these years! Not for all the riches of the world would I trade the years I've had with them, or the hopes I have for their future. They are my greatest work and the part of my heart I leave behind when my days are done. They are love. 

In my old age I am healthy with great hair that still blows in the wind. I wake up with my lover of many years, his hair now gray, wrinkles grace his face, his eyes still the biggest source of comfort to me. I speak to him without a word, he knows he is my heart's desire. We go for coffee early in the morning before the birds are up and sometimes play Scrabble in front of the fire while sharing a bottle of our favorite wine. His hand is the one I want to hold as one of us are dying, knowing the other's departure from this world won't be far behind.In my heart I know I am blessed......I have my vision and hearing, all my senses, as well as wishes and dreams more precious than gold and the hope that they someday may come true.

Just for the record, I fit in one airplane seat, but that may not always be the case.... :)... in which case there would  simply just be more of me to love!Ahhhh, my pen has ceased to write, my fingers too tired to type, my head is spinning, I feel a little wild, I may just have to howl at the moon!

 

$

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To the man I’ve yet to meet….

There are some things I want to know

about you, dear

not all at once, unless of course,

your comfort takes you there

I am ok with letting these things

reveal themselves one by one

like fallen leaves that arrive with the wind

Or perhaps they are best discovered 

peeled away one by one,

like the thin layers of an onion

sometimes they make us cry

and sometimes we just hold our breath and go with it.

Or would you prefer to reveal them

by the light of the moon

as we sat wrapped in blankets on the beach

the waves lapping at our feet

as we shared a glass of wine?

Some things are best revealed in the safe confines 

of a room warmed by a raging fire

I have no agenda, no timeline,dear

just questions, from my heart to yours

it’s all part of the process

of becoming

fully present and invested

in “us”

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