Doesn't every family have a "firecracker" member? Someone who sizzles, blackens, pops? A gunpowder personality with a short fuse of excitement burning in the heart? I was too young then to really appreciate it, too young for explosions. I was merely a small circle of light, a sparkler with a fairy princess purity of heart, still protected by memory of the peace in a mother's womb or at least as generated through her arms, So, I missed the most of that energetic presence that kept splintering around me, aflame with wonder and delight, until it was gone, and there were no more amusing noises to break apart and prove themselves photogenically on the amused, awestruck and, for the most part, approving dark.

 

In many households, there is someone in the kitchen, pretending to be strong by throwing things. There is someone in the kitchen, quiet, pretending to agree with all things, or yelling back. There is a small child in a single bed, listening, winding up to yowl in yet another night that pushes him out of bed, and he tries to end it all by pretending to have bad dreams.

 

People will always disappoint you, but the best of them disappoint you less than the others. Still, I think we might be less disappointed with other people than we are disappointed with our own expectations of them.

 

Did you ever see a complete stranger looking at you with such utter disgust that you felt sure he must know you, and know you well?

 

I have lost more than a few friends in life. It must have been more important to me, because I'm not sure any of them even know it.

 

I surround myself with with middle-of-the-road stuff, cheap stuff, stuff that leaves no disappointment if it ever breaks down or comes up missing.

 

It is my experience that romantic love is a divine accident of life-- that can only through effort endure.

 

Many times, successful vocation is found in spite of rather than because of advanced education.

 

Only for a brief time, when I rose as high as the swing chains would take me, was I ever so full of the thrill of flight, so heedless of possible injury and thoughtlessly bailed, did I ever feel with absolute certainty that the sky was within my reach.

 

Believe that you have value. Believe that life is worth living. Take your vitamins, exercise, and eat healthy-- at least while your pizza is still in the oven.

 

Am I old already? So soon?

     Could be the hardest part about being old is pretending I still have all my marbles.

     I have some really terrific memories. Trouble is, many of them never really happened, but I remember them like they did.

     I survived my own stupidity. That might not make me wise, but it proved I am resilient. 

     I wasn't even old at the time, but I was at a business meeting once, trying to make an introduction. I couldn't remember this one guy's name. It was very embarrassing .... primarily because he was my husband. True story. Being nervous is a bitch! But not as permanent as being old.

    I may act more responsibly in my old age, but I have more varicose veins. Life is a trade-off.

    I love dogs! Dogs don't know how old you are, and if they did, they wouldn't care. Dogs are not judgmental, though I did hear Duke snickering a little one time when he watched me crawl into the bathtub.

   

Although old age doesn't draw a very big audience for the dance of the seven veils, it kicks the crap out of the option of procrastination, it runs up on you fast, punches you hard, and grabs handfuls of hair...it can at times seem less a diminishment than a beautiful Indian summer. Like most things, it acts a whole lot more natural out of the spotlight. So, whenever possible, boo it off the stage....and just live.

 

Being able to adapt to change might be as (or more) important than being strong or intelligent.

 

I was once called a "strong-minded" woman, "stubborn enough to drive a saint crazy or a general to his knees." Right or wrong, I took it as a compliment.

 

If you have the will to live, a little knowledge of navigation, and creative imagination, you will probably never be hopelessly lost.

 

To survive... If you aren't the most fit, consider being the most heavily armed.

 

Success is relative, a choice between the force applied and the resulting action-- choosing whether to be the foot or the football.

 

Contradiction is a study in vulnerabilities, so virtually eliminates any possibility of a fair fight.

 

On occasion, I have been called "nuts," usually with a smile, so I don't mind it. It's a trophy of sorts, proof that I went through crap, and came out on the other side-- in large percentage anyway, and with appreciation of contrast - the indivisibility of darkness, the separation of light, and with the ability to whitewash what is uncomfortable to me, and to gild whatever I want to improve--- But I exercise a certain reserve....I watch carefully, and name everything before I step into it. Nuts? Ok, I'll take it!

 

I wore myself out today by eating too much, feel groggy, much like a bear going into hybernation. I'll pretend this overcast day is at day's end, lullaby myself with snippets of songs I can't totally remember in a voice that drops because I can't carry a tune, and space out to accommodate the strain I've placed on my digestion. I'll gaze at the sky like it's a silent film on a silver screen, and expect nothing in meaning from it as I share moments of abandon with the rest of the lazy afternoon.

 

My friend comes back from time to time, to my thoughts if not my chair. She loved candles, and her fingertips were curious of their pain. Often she was barefooted, those ducklike, flyswatter feet slapped down like wet towels. She loved bathrobes and hats, and there was sadness behind her red laughter that came out for most occasions. She was my friend, imperfect like me, but more troubled than I was, who left of her own volition. And I miss her!

 

There is always a place in my heart for the nomad, that stout soul with the color of dirt in his hair and his skin tattoed by the sun. There will always be thousands of miles between us, though I sometimes see him close up in my dreams. But I am here and will be here, curled up on my couch, and he will be on the road to Shanghai, Quebec, or Kathmandu.

 

Most of us don't have that much confidence, and so a life-long goal is to get away from or protect the glass part of our personalities, to find the constant, the strong wall behind the uncertainty and inconsistencies that will contain the blast if the glass should ever shatter.

 

Some romances are like hugging a snowman. No heat except your own, and the tighter you hold on, the sooner it melts away.

 

When I got out of prison..... Well, that was a memorable time. I remember digging into the wall... Another day, another hole, then covering it to avoid disclosure. I remember feeling my mouth, but not using my mouth to speak, to avoid any repercussion. I remember what I did wrong, feeling guilty, empty, invisible. I recall wondering just who had the worst effect on me and so who to blame (outside myself) for writing the worksheet of my life. It was an awful time...... BUT THEN, I LIED, ALL OF IT. I've never been in jail except the almost-lockup I requested to do research on incarceration. Just a bit of an attention plea today, trying to get you to think, or worse--an exhibitionist (without the. Indecency) trying to get your attention.

 

When I was a child, I figured I would grow up to be a nurse or a teacher, mostly because I wasn't aware that there were a lot of other options. Otherwise, I might have chosen to be a paleontologist, someone who digs through the layers, discovers new things from the ancient. Alas, I'm too old now-- too old for the study, too old for the concentration, too old for the energy. Too old for the hiking it requires, since a hike to me is now a walk almost to the corner.

 

My mother had a pink, clean voice. Uplifting. Comforting. Almost an unearthly thing. And a touch like silk. My dad was laughter and anger, both hitting the air like thunder and breaking branches as a storm pushed through the dark forest of his mind, shedding debris all over us and the ground. My sister and I grew up between them. Though I should not speak for her, I relate for myself -- Trade either? Of course not! My childhood was blessed! I loved them both!

 

My fitted sheet came loose last night. I must have tossed and turned, roughed up my covers as if trying to escape or best a growling predator with sharp test snagging air. May as well get up and get started. Maybe it was the pizza I ate last night, something in the perfectly good lumps of meat that smelled like death. Perhaps not. Maybe the day will throw hints like pastel balloons into the three-ring circus of my mind, or somehow outright tell me what's bothering me. Here goes!

 

A good companion accepts that which is unique in you, supports you, revels in your difference. A good companion does not treat you like a nickelodeon, a jukebox, doesn't think to throw a few coins in your direction to get whatever tunes that please.

 

Feeling grateful to a memory nearly lost in the long ago: When I try to look back at those specific early times, I remember little... Not the scent of him... Not the feel... Nothing that he said or did... Not wanting him near... Not wanting him far away. A nearly total blank...except for a rather hazy image of an exquisite profile, but even that's a cheat since aided in clarity by the fact our daughter has it too. All of that's Ok because I'm quite certain if he were asked, "Do you remember Kate?" he'd draw a puzzled look and likely would inquire, "Who?"

 

I'm not sure I have ever been depressed, sad a bit from time to time, sure, for sound and unsound reasons, but not depressed. How exhausting it must be for those who ARE, but feel compelled, when in the public, or worse, with friends and family who have the best of wishes for them, to pretend otherwise.

 

On the other hand, I have been angry lots of times, or perhaps more aptly described, have suffered occasionally from "uncertainty with attitude."                      

 

But, mostly (and there are times I have to work at it), I am content, full of anticipation, and at peace.