Saturday, July 31, 2010

Day 212

This is a time in my life in which I just want to be with my own feelings. I'm really glad my nieces have been here all week. They've distracted me, they've made me laugh, they made me presents and they reminded me of what is important in life. My Mom is glad that I spent the week with them and that they are still driving 18 hours to come see family. Family is important.

Last night was their last night here. Emma stayed the night and she and Anna slept upstairs. By 10:30 Emma came and got into bed with me. I turned out the light and unfortunately lay there half the night unable to sleep. I don't know why. I'm confused by the way life is suspended at the moment. I handle things differently than others. But it was not due to an unhappy day. Yesterday was lovely.

The girls were on the road by 9. Emma and I just hung out all morning alone. There were a lot of dishes to be done, art projects to be cleaned up and laundry. Diane brought the dogs over and she and Emma went off around 1 and other than a small walk, I have just been alone with the sound of the fish tank and the road.

The difference between those who are in the thick of the event and those who are not there but extremely impacted is big. One knows that when you are in the middle it is hard to find the place and time to notify others, but when you are on the sidelines and you care tremendously you don't want to be a bother and call too often, but you really need updates. This is the tension that is gnawing on me tonight.
As far as I know, my mother is still breathing. May she rest in peace.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Day 211

I am alone. There are 6 girls asleep around me. It is so peaceful and comforting.

I had a beautiful day today. I watched Emma, whom I love so much, laugh with delight with my friend David, whom I love so much. They played at Puffers Pond and we swam and they rowed and giggled and splashed and it just made me content.
I also watched my brother Paul be hugged by all his nieces. And my nephew, Jason be hugged by all his cousins.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Day 210

Another day, oh my goodness, another day....

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Day 209

I am either in shock or feeling intensely, no in-between. I have these wonderful people in my house this week. I love all my nieces and nephews. I love it when I get a chance to just have time with them, getting to know them individually. My older nieces are all adults now and I feel as though we have all entered a new level of relationship, sharing on a different level. THen the little ones are so alive and so curious and full of music and theater and art and animals.

And my mother still breaths.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Day 208

Long day. Children wake early, Aunts wake even earlier. Getting time for quiet when there are five girls living in your house

For Linda 3/2009

The gull and loon graze
On mollusk and barnacle
Feeding their hearts

I know you are
slipping towards them
spreading your wings.

Quietly leave earth
Slide gracefully into heaven
hurting no more

Monday, July 26, 2010

Day 207

In this picture are Grace, Hannah, Emma, and Mom sitting, Kora and Rhea standing, and Paul in the background. It was taken at Mom's 90th birthday party a year ago by me. This was a joyful day that as a family we had together. I am so happy we had this day when we did.

Today was a perfect summer day. The breeze blew throughout the day. Annie and I sat out on the lawn.

I'm having a difficult time writing in this blog this week for two reasons. The first is the plain truth of the difficulty of waiting for someone to pass. And the second is my house is full of girls, sweet lovely girls. They are so much fun, but they are not very conducive to writing poignantly.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Day 206

I know, this is another cheat, but five of my nieces arrived today. It was all I could do to get the photos up and some on my 365 Day project and the one on this blog. So I will now turn to Day 207.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Day 205

In 1987 my Mom and I went to Myrtle Beach where I was presenting at a conference. I was sick, I didn't know just how sick, and what felt like the beginning of my career turned out to be the beginning of the end of any bigtime career. Because I was aware that it was an important step I asked Mom to come with me. I am one of 6 kids and getting to go on a trip alone with Mom was pretty rare, only the third time in my life at the age of 34. We had a blast. My Mom wowed my professional colleagues. My Mom wows people, period. I thought a lot about this trip yesterday, mainly because my Mom now lies in a Hospice bed never to go on another physical trip with any of us. I was lucky. We went to Japan together, too. It was really fun, crazy, but fun.

I am a lucky person. I have this extremely close and extremely talented friend. He came with my yesterday and today stayed with me for part of the day so that I could be sad safely. He also shared with me 2 of his new projects. They are cool.

The first is a sculpture that he is carving out of quartz crystal with a granite base. It will stick in the ground like a post. It is so beautiful

The second is a bird, a Gannet, that he found dying and tried to save, but the ACPAA didn't succeed and let him take the bird to create a sculpture of it. It was phenomenal to see a bird that close up. Stunning feathers and large web feet with sharp ends. He has cleaned the feathers and carefully preserved them. It is gorgeous.


Friday, July 23, 2010

Day 204

This day was horrible, but I am grateful for a working car, close friends, really close friends, the beauty of corns fields and queen Anne's lace in the rain, and lobster.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Day 203

I feel as though I have been on a roller coaster this week, up down, tight corner, straight away, slowly build up up up, fly and turn fast, turn again and then again and then up and down....

I took three photos before seven thirty tonight and then the sky became this amazing movie. There were sundogs and rainbows and odd clouds and odd colors and a moon whispering as loud as could be.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Day 202

Poem for Nice Ladies Who Ask Me Where I’m From

I am as American as a patchwork quilt.
You can see what I’m made of: whatever
Ohio left over, what Kentucky has worn

through but not quite out. I used to be
something made by hand, backstitched
by fingers that made the last flicker

of a coal oil lamp a thing of use.
I am from generations, hives of women,
gathering around a wooden frame

to batten wool blankets into comfort and warmth;
three hundred years of Honeybees in the
delicate craft of Friendship Gardens.

(This is the work you don’t call art
‘til it’s under glass and far from home,
long time gone from the Cumberland Gap.)

Did you think I could be this beautiful
if I let your machine sink its teeth in me,
that gatling gun of electric stitches claiming to make

a Crown of Thorns? I am as lovely as suffering
and the marriage of unintended parts. I am
the beauty of the pattern found, and I want

all my seams to show.

- Mistinguette Smith

"Honeybee", "Friendship Garden" and "Crown of Thorns" are traditional American folk quilt patterns.

Northampton, MA
July, 2010

Thanks Mistinguette. I love it.

Something near me just got hit by lightening. Something so close I heard it explode, but I don’t see it anywhere, I don’t smell fire and I still have electricity. Thunder is rolling and rain is falling and it just sounds like somersaults being done by huge giants in the sky. Is that how Pete Seeger came up with Abiyoyo? Was he lightening and thunder? When Emma was three we used to talk about us being able to go out and play the song that brought Abiyoyo down. She could, too, you know.

I talked to Mom around 11. She is weak. She said she thought this might be it, but she didn’t know. She can hardly hear and she can only see what is in front of her.

I saw Patrick around 12:30. It felt good to hug. He is the best hugger, no doubt about it.

My heart feels unmanageable, it wants to reach out and it wants to hide all in one motion. It wants to scream and it wants to just pet a rabbit.

So I am on edge and thunder blasts. The phones haven’t started to ring and storm has passed, I don’t have to read too much into it.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Day 201

I am off to writing tonight.

Ok, I'm back. I did write a short poem that I should post, but.... And I did write some stuff about how to represent grief, but..... And I have started a couple of letters, but...

And I took some photos.... And it is Tuesday night, so you get the photos.