Sunday, September 4, 2016

Awake 4AM Edition

1. That tiny edge on my pinky toenail keeps getting caught on the sheet.
2. What would I do if I woke up in a sealed coffin? Like really?
3.  I locked the front door, right?
4. I remember locking the front door, good.
5.  I locked the back door, right?
6. No seriously, you wake up underground in a coffin.  How do you die?  Screaming and fighting to make it faster?  Yoga breathing?  What?
7. I have got to cut that toenail.
8.  How could the alarm already be going off?

Tuesday, July 12, 2016


In July
the park's distances are measured shaded spot to shaded spot
my path changes according to the angle of the sun
and breeze is a sacrement

Friday, July 8, 2016

Weirdness. There is Just No Other Word.

It has been a very weird day.  And was already by eleven AM.  I was at the nail salon (it's Friday, people!!!) chit chatting idly with a couple of other women while we waited for our nails to dry.  One I have known for years (and this is important, because I know she is a lawyer) we've done yoga together, taken classes together, I've been in her home.  The other was unfamiliar.  We were talking about the gym and various yoga teachers and trying to exercise in this weather, when the one I know pivoted a bit to the odd feeling of dread in town and said something about the election being to blame.....the rest of the conversation follows as best as I can reproduce.  (Picture all smiles and lots of bared teeth from everyone involved at all times.)

Me:  Yeah, it is strange out there.  Someone actually stole my Hillary magnet off my car in my own driveway last night.
Her: Oh, yeah, I would never put a political magnet on my car. (Other woman nods in vigorous agreement)
Me: OK, but I would never take anyone else's.
Her: Of course, but it is someone using their freedom of expression.  Just like you did by putting on the magnet.  They are just expressing themselves. It's the same thing.  (More vigorous nodding)
Me: Um, except one is expression on private property, and one is stealing....Stealing isn't legal.
Her: Drugs aren't legal either. (yes, apropos of nothing)
Me: Well I wouldn't break into anyone's house and take their drugs either.

At that point my nails were dry enough to run away.  It was such an oddly disconcerting conversation.

Now I don't know that these women are Trump supporters, (but I can't  help but have my suspicions). I do wonder though, how we have gotten to the point in our country where in a suburban town, a lawyer would casually argue in favor of theft of property as a way to express that you disagree with someone.  Weirdness.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Too Old for all the Clothes I Like

Once again I find myself pulling clothes off the rack, sighing at their beauty and putting them back without trying them on.  Coachella in my head. Flower crowns of the mind.  Once again,  I am way too old for all the clothes I like.  In my mind these long flowy togs look good on me.  In reality I would look like a short, middle-aged lady who got lost in the teen section. It's not as bad in the cold weather.  For fall and winter, I  can tweed and cashmere out and feel comfortable and fashionable, but come the heat? Chaos!

Yesterday I was shopping at Lord & Taylor and I was flipping through the racks next to a lovely young woman who had the unmistakable scent of McDonald's french fries on her breath.  And I'm sure she wasn't even beating herself up for eating them!  She was tall and willowy with gorgeous medium brown skin and dark eyes.  She had the most gorgeous pink headband  wrapped around a casual but perfect updo.  My guess is she was all of seventeen.   She may have even still had braces. We can't possibly like the same clothes.  Or we can, but I can't possibly wear them.  Or I could, but I'd look like an idiot.

And yes,  I know there are some clothiers who exploit that tiny bit of hippie chick urge by making things that are both age appropriate and yet still bohemian, (Calypso St. Barth's, I'm looking at you). But if you ever see me pay $150 for a cotton shirt, you'd better check my basement for pods, because that is NOT me!  Also not me?  Tailored jackets and structured skirts.  There really ought to be some fashionable, reasonable, warm weather in between.

Someday (soon?) maybe I'll be old enough to say "Screw it. I'm just wearing what I like."   Until then, I'll be haunting the racks looking for things that meet my warm weather style, won't break the bank, and won't totally embarrass me.  Wish me luck!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016


winter coats washed,
boots tucked away,
sparrows chit-chattering in the trees,

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Through the Looking Glass

Yesterday was a weird day.  A deeply sad day, as well.  But very, very weird. Yesterday, I went to my birth mother's funeral.

It was a lovely ceremony, very Rebecca.  It was in her house. She was there in her "green burial" coffin.  A set of (non-toxic) crayons sat atop the coffin, so people could write messages to her, before they placed her in the ground.  It was a pretty ceremony.  There were dogs and kids running around, and music and poetry, a double dutch song, as well as the normal Jewish prayers.   People spoke of her smarts, her kindness and her love of arts.  It was beautiful.  And exactly as she had planned.

She got suddenly sick last May.  One day this vibrant, bright and busy woman was having trouble with her words.  Her friends were worried she was having a stroke so they rushed her to the hospital.  A stroke might have been treatable.  Stage four brain inoperable brain cancer is not.  When I went to visit in early October, she could no longer lift her head, keep her eyes open, or speak, so it seemed as if the end was coming soon - but then, a near miracle happened.  She suddenly was able to speak, and said to her daughter, Nicole, "I feel better.  I need another MRI."  She was indulged with a new MRI, but no one really gets better from glioblastoma multiforme. Except she did.  Well, not really better, but the tumors had shrunk enough so that she had three months of lucidity and mobility.  She had a big seventieth birthday party in November.  She visited with friends, made plans to begin a poetry class at the local library and even started to plan to go back to her beloved pottery wheel.  She talked about seeing the first asparagus shoots coming up in the garden.  And she planned her funeral and burial down to the last detail.

Three weeks ago, whatever cancer miracle had taken hold, stopped.   She wouldn't quite get to see another spring in her garden.

She was a very kind and lovely person and I am so glad I got to know her. We met the year I turned forty, so we had a bit over a decade to reacquaint ourselves.  She was only eighteen years older than I, and we were both always very careful not to overstep.  She was like a kooky older cousin. Always full of interesting stories and small but intriguing presents for the kids;  a two-bowled, hand carved wooden spoon, a Russian Army officer hat, ballet slippers from the Bolshoi, a flower pin.....She lived in Russia until moving back to the States in 2010.  Then she built her perfect little house outside Boston and settled down in it to enjoy her later years with her art and her friends and her family.  That was the deeply sad part of the day.  Seventy years just isn't enough time.

But it was also a very weird day.  It is very, very strange to be in a room where everyone knows who you are, and you don't know almost anyone. And especially at the kind of event where you really don't want to stand out.  It was the first time in my life that I was anywhere with more than one or two people I am biologically related to.  Which I understand is not a very common experience for most people.  Here there were bio-cousins, and aunts and uncles.  They were all very kind and I felt very welcomed.  But it was a little overwhelming.   I hid a bit in the back row.   Wanting to pay my respects, but not wanting to get in the way.

I'm still wrapping my head around lots of things.  I've lived through two other parent funerals, and this wasn't that.  Rebecca was a wonderful woman, and I'm so glad she was part of my life, but burying a bio-parent is different than burying a parent.  Deeply emotional and yet deeply weird.

My brain had a hard time keeping up with the day.  I't's also weird to have now lost three parents to three different brain diseases; my mom had a stroke, my dad had an aneurism and now Rebecca to brain cancer.  It seems just a little unfair.  A little tilted too much to the head.  My bio father was in a car accident in the early eighties, so at least that is that.

It was very hard for me to find my center on a through the looking glass kind of leap day.  I was out of normal space and time.  It seemed appropriate for the odd day anyway.  The only word I could hang on to for the day was weird.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

The End?

I woke up this morning thinking about death.  Or more accurately the end of death.  Somehow in my dreams last night we managed to be able to return people from the dead.  Completely intact and cured of whatever killed them. (Not at all sure why they had to go through the whole dying thing and why we couldn't instead just cure their diseases and aging, and spare them all the drama, but honestly, I have so little control over my awake mind, I can't imagine being able to control my sleeping one.)

In any event, I spent today trying to figure out what our society would look like without death.  I mean of course everyone would want to bring back their loved ones, our parents, spouses, children, and friends.  We love them and miss them terribly.  But should they all be brought back?  And who gets to decide?  Can you imagine the brouhaha now if we could just bring Scalia back??????  Or how about Bowie?  Could we just let him finish one more last album?  Then would we kill him? Would murder lose its sting?  Would we get to vote on who stays dead?  Who deserves to have more life?  How long extra they get?  Because clearly there isn't room here on the planet for all these people and even the recently deceased.

Not that I came up with any answers (although my wonderful husband in all the cynical wisdom I love him for, said, "You know exactly who would get to bring people back. Rich people." not that he's wrong...) even in my dreams.  But it has been an interesting way for me to spend my random thoughts of the day.  I would love to hear what you think.  How would our present day United States of America handle the end of death?