ENDS & ODDS

ENDS & ODDS:

 

I ate canned spaghetti tonight. What was I thinking? I didn't even like it all those many years ago. But I ate it. Like my daughter (who had the experience of years of my cooking) always says, "If you put enough butter and cheese on it, you can get anything down."

 

It's so cold again today! Winter bankrupts even the memory of warmth from my bones My head is a hollow can, my chest an empty bucket, each taking the harsh impression of the cold wind as I rush through even the smallest distance between warm spots.

 

Winter is not my favorite. Give me Spring when life returns on schedule, a clever predicament of perennials with names I can't remember. Give me the shy petunias (my mother 's favorite) that gang up but still look like peace stretched out on a picnic blanket. Give me the long, hard look of summer, even the storms that try to bite off all the heads in gardens. I'll take the test of heat that reluctantly yields to the half-time of fall when green life is twisted into brown and the purple-headed thistle hangs out in the empty lot with the broken glass that cuts my bare feet. Give me anything but winter. At least, from the gnawing midst of it, that's what I'm saying now!

 

A Sunday Nap: I darken the room and light a candle for its pale glow and fragrant breath. January midday moans musically outside. I have done all I needed to do out there, and in here as well, and so I drift down through my senses, losing them one by one, clinging a little to the last-- the soft touch of a soft pillow and snuggly blanket so like arms around a newborn, a sweet, comfortable simplicity from a time when a mother's love was all there was.

 

Nearly time for the sun to slide from the darkness and light the path of yet another opportunity. Rise and shine yourself. Accept the challenge.

 

Another day of trying to figure out how to earn existence, of hoping that when you go you will leave behind more than a clutter of useless furniture, a few coins, and various sour smells in the sheets.

 

On an ordinary day, I would push nothing from my path, not the stone anchored in dirt, not the opossum crossing the road, not the football flashing before me from a child at play, not the obstacle created by a man fixing his automobile across the sidewalk. On an ordinary day, I would smile, greet, step aside, go around, because on an ordinary day I want no short cuts and choose the scenic route of life.

 

The Ordinary Experience: We all have memory of pleasure and remembrance of pain. The vulnerable animal of our being knows love and knows despair because the world has offered itself to our imagination and experience, presented opportunity and challenge, drafted potential for learning and improvement, very often suggested, announced our place and way. Sometimes we listen and sometimes not, as we, stumbling, groping, make our way in fine company within the magnifIcent family of things. What a trip! What a ride!

 

Everything we ever own will one day be given over to a different person, different world, different form, another use, another time. Enjoy it, make good use of it while it is yours.

 

I learned much from two men, my father and my soul mate, the importance and application of which increases in their absence, and I wonder, with amazement, how did they know these things?

 

Friendship has been a two-way street of buying lunch, giving rides, borrowing money, but most importantly, it morphed into a mutual deepening of spirit.

 

I wish I was as graceful as my cat. I wish I could fall as naturally, as smoothly, in the controlled abandon of a dignified gravitational event. Instead, I land with a floor-shaking kaboom, "oomph" and "dammit," with arms and legs in all directions, and at least one of them destined to deliver pain for days.

 

Judgment and appetite are guests in my mind. I demand no less than cordial exchange between them.

 

When you sit in the peace and serenity of sunset, with tasks undone and feeling a pang of regret for inactivity, know there is good reason for rest.

 

Life is filled with comedic contradiction. In one tone we women complain about having nothing to wear, in another about trying to figure out where we are going to hang all our clothes.

 

Practice reason during rest. Censure passion with careful movement.

 

You will live closer to joy if you remain mindful of all the ordinary miracles of life.

 

What a shame that what we know in thought we can often not put in comforting words!

 

A good teacher does not ask you to enter his mind in agreement, but that you exercise your own.

 

Bring a big lunch to a debate on viewpoint. It's gonna take a while!



     Night came like a beautiful black man. The moon made eye contact with her, a challenge. 
     A male form appeared in shadow, tall and perfect, but taped shut, his contents hidden, exciting like the fire she started as a kid and loved before it blossomed from its red rose of birth into great destruction, and took the house.
     Here and now she was a prize, not the usual victim of  benign emergencies, not the simple woman who cured it all with peroxide and aspirin, not just another gossip in need of a cheap disaster to reconstruct, not the four-and-a-half foot woman sharp around the edges, who ate like she was trying to knock out her own teeth and wore every calorie of it. 
     She shook off thoughts of food now and looked at him, and strained to listen.
     When he spoke, his tongue stroked the contour of the words that armed him. The vowels and consonants tickled her left ear, then right.  He kissed her cheeks like the light tapping on a keyboard, and found her deep in her mascara. She could feel his heartbeat through her cross-eyed breasts flattered by pleats, as he auditioned for a place in her heart.
     "Yes, yes," she uttered in surrender.
 And then she woke, rolling across a sweaty pillow, and saw the natural night beyond it----
     Her husband stood beside his car, mumbled into his beard, talked to his tennis shoes, swore, punched emptiness, then bent in careless familiarity to prove once again how quickly whiskey-vomit mixes with loose dirt.   
     She groaned, closed her eyes, plumped the pillow with a romance novel under it, and beseeched return of the sweet, hard candy of her dream.