the candor of the women always surprises me
living on the streets affords little privacy
and it plays out in subtle
and not so subtle ways
is it easier to lay the details of your life wide open
when you have no place to hold your secrets?
or are your secrets hidden so deeply inside
that they are lost even unto you?
what is forgotten and what is told,
what is held back and what is shared,
is the last measure of control
the final dignity
we are the same,
in the beginning
and in the end
and most certainly in between
what divides us
is nothing but our fear
for the women of Rahab’s Sisters and all the women who live in the margins.
In three short days, my husband and I will leave our sweet 1700sq foot home in NE Portland for an 880 sq foot loft in the city’s cultural district. Needless to say I have given away a lot of things in the last month. I say I because truth be told, my husband is a man of few possessions. I envy that about him.
Me, on the other hand, I feel a bit like a hoarder. I thought letting go of things would be easier. And let me tell you, I have let go of a lot. The people at the ARC and Goodwill see me weekly. I have been to the dump no less than 3 times. I have given furniture and art and random things to friends and family, and still..still I have too much.
Yesterday my husband asked me, “do you think once we move in we’ll discover we still have too much and will have more stuff to get rid of?” I fear the answer may be “yes.”
The hardest things to get rid of ? Books. I didn’t part with my poetry and art books, but did manage to release several from my knitting collection. I will continue to let go of things. It feels great to have less. What’s also been hard has been letting go of any thing that has memories of my children imprinted on it. I did send off boxes to my kids and saved their baby pictures. I have to remember that memories are kept in the heart, not in possessions.
Saturday morning, when the movers deliver our possessions, we’ll see how well I’ve done letting things go. I want to live simply. I want to collect experiences rather than stuff. I want time over things. This weekend marks the beginning of a whole new way of living.
this morning I reached for the microwave door to reheat my coffee
only to remember
that i gave it away my microwave yesterday
cold coffee it is
it doesn’t matter that my children are grown and out of the house
I love them as fiercely as I did the moment they were born
likely more so
time has polished and sealed my affection
the weight of the world
the unkindness of strangers
and family alike
doesn’t ease as your child grows
it is a constant companion
mothers are never bystanders to their child’s pain
it would be impossible or careless
say what you will
it will not change what is
a child is like a gift that never loses its original wonder
indeed a child is the most wonderful gift of all
In the process of cleaning out my home for the big move, I have come across old journals. Ugh! In them I have found a few pearls, “special only to me” writings that I want to save. I will include them over the few weeks in an effort to preserve some memories..
29 August 1993
On the way to the Park
“That dog looks like Beckett, mommy.”
“but Beckett has more spots,” she says pointing
to her body, “all over his body.”
“yes honey, and he had more hair too”
“I miss Beckett mommy”
she lays on the sidewalk and puts her head down
“I miss Kimmy too”
“I miss Kimmy too Dev, I’ll tell her you miss her next time I write”
“I’m sad mommy
I want my name to be Kimmy.”
because it’s Valentine’s Day and because I have the best husband ever
1. He’s a good man; and being a good man is important to him.
2. He’s funny. Smart funny; not mean funny.
3. He plays the guitar really well.
4. He makes breakfasts.
5. He loves me soooooo much
6. He likes to read
7. He’s a very good writer.
8. He’s a very good teacher.
9. He works hard.
10. He always does the right thing.
11. He’s very very handsome. (Lest you think I think looks are most important, I put this at #11)
12. He’s generous.
13. He is always kind to me,
14. He will go out at odd hours to buy me chips or chocolate.
15. He likes my cooking and tells me so.
16. He likes my eccentricities.
17. He never teases.
18. He’s artistic.
19. He’s ridiculously smart
20. He’s romantic
21. He’s a door opener and holder without exception.
22. He makes a very good cup of coffee.
23. He appreciates me and tells me so regularly.
24. He loves babies.
25. He loves my dog, even though he doesn’t love dogs really.
26. He has the softest skin ever!
27. He dresses very nicely every day. (He wears a watch!)
28. He’s a very good snuggler
29. He’s a good tipper
30. He wants the best things for me.
I love my husband impossibly much, I do. And I consider myself very lucky.
Jack and Nora
I found this picture recently of grandparents. It’s a picture I had never seen before; I have no idea where it was taken, only that it was taken in 1972.
I love it; and them. They both passed several years ago. Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about them. My grandmother is the one who taught me to crochet and started my life long love of yarn and fiber crafts. My grandpa was a character, always up for some adventure. I remember once going up to New Hampshire; he begged me to take him, even though I knew he’d hate it. A remote house in the wilderness with no tv was not my grandpa’s idea of fun. We were there maybe an hour and half when he asked to go home. He stuck it out for two days…then I drove him back to Connecticut, stopping in every other New England state along the way to buy lottery tickets.
I didn’t see my grandparents regularly as a kid; one of things I would change about my childhood. The time I did get to spend with them was always fun and easy…nothing ever phased my grandmother. I most loved watching them together; he always called her “Mother” and she always called him “Dad.” I miss them both so very much.