Tag: relationship (Page 2 of 7)

remembered lightness

Thetwoofthem

there are things i want to write,
but i distract myself
with the to do lists,
with productivity,
with letting worthiness
be defined by accomplishment.
i do that rather than
come here and write
because i don’t have
an outline,
no rough draft
i don’t know the ending.
i can’t write a neat, tidy
essay that would net me an A+.

i no longer want to be the
girl who is defined
by how she theels
others see and interpret
her –
i don’t.

is that possible?

///

when i ask that she not put
certain things on facebook,
is that protecting her?
yes.
in a way.
and yet when i soften my eyes
on the word “protection”
the “yes” doesn’t come
as quickly
and as surely.

people will respond
to our words
as they will respond to
our words,
be they on facebook,
on a blog,
in a book,
or over a cup of
hot chocolate.

they will respond
through a filter
of their experience.
they will respond
via a mirror
of what they are
dealing with
in their own
life
at the moment.

does that diminish me?
does that define me?

///

if i own my own life,
and if i allow you to own yours,
isn’t that a gift
to both of us?

///

i look at the pictures of
kipp’s girlfriend.
i look at the pictures i snapped
that day in july
of the two of them
trekking up the falls
laughing
looking
touching.
i look at the pictures
and my body
remembers
what it was feeling
as i snapped those photos,
and
the question remains:
can i rip off the bolts
and kick the slats out of the
shutters?
can i release my heart
to romp freely in the lightness as it once did?
can i simply love her
without concern for
if i’ll ever see her again
or
if she’ll remain in kipp’s future
or
if she’ll love me in return?
can i just love her
because
i instantly love her?

she has a beautiful smile,
a long, beautiful neck
that scarves
fight over.
she is generous
and quick
with her laugh
and her smile.
she’s intelligent
in so many
important ways
that don’t have
anything at all to do
with her master’s degree.

can i love her without
crafting words
to explain
and justify?

///

when i defend myself,
is that protection-with-a-capital-p?
or am i not
once again
more concerned with
how another
will see me
more than i’m
concerned
with owning my own life?
doesn’t defending myself
make (and keep) me small?
and when i make (and keep) myself small,
doesn’t that make (and keep)
everybody else
and the world in general
small?

marking time

JeanneAndy07319173

we have been married 38 years today.
13,870 days.

and though love
doesn’t look the same
or taste the same
or smell
or sound
or feel
the same as it did
38 years ago,
it has kissed
every single
one of those days.

and that’s the important thing.

visitor

Meltdown

She’s coming next week,
the new girlfriend,
and though i’m eager to meet Her,
i worry i’ll embarrass
my son
when She sees
an overweight,
out of shape
redhead from a bottle.
a woman who has
pretty teeth
(thanks, mom)
but too many chins
and a face that
increasingly
resembles her
daddy’s side of the family.

i know nothing about Her
save her name.
that’s unusual,
but He tells me He wants
me to meet Her
with fresh eyes.

does She like to read
and if so, what?
does she paint?
dance?
draw?
stitch?
garden?

does She
laugh easily and often?

does She enjoy long
philosophical talks
that go into the
dark:thirty hours?

does She cheat at canasta?
shop off the list?

will She be territorial?
possessive?
will i feel the need to
ask Her permission to
spend time with my son alone?

will He make apologies
dressed as
explanations
on their way back to colorado?
there was a time
when i lived to
embarrass Him,
but He’s not in
high school any more.

i remember the first
time i took my husband
to my grandparents’ house.
it was as though i were
visiting for the first time, too.
seeing the concrete block steps,
the small, rickety handrail.
the rusty screen door,
the mesh full of holes that
allowed flies to traipse
in and out of that kitchen
at will.
the gold ceramic fish
with three different-sized
bubbles that decorated
the single bathroom.

it was the first time i noticed
that their feather bed
with the vinyl-covered headboard
was in their den,
the room that housed
not only their bed
but two rocking chairs, a space heater,
grandmother’s treadle sewing machine,
the dresser,
home of necessary toiletries
and fabric scraps,
the telephone on the wall,
and the television
that all but dialed itself
to live atlanta wrestling
every saturday night.

it was the first time i saw
that the combination
bedroom/den
was illuminated by a
single bare bulb
hanging down from the ceiling.

i wasn’t at all embarrassed,
just surprised that
i’d never really
seen these things before.
that the place where i’d spent so much
of my life
was new to me
on that day.

i love her. i seriously love her.

MomWBabyJeanne1

Artist and writer Frederick Frank wrote: “I know artists whose medium is life itself and who express the inexpressible without brush, pencil, chisel, or guitar. They neither paint nor dance. Their medium is being. Whatever their hand touches has increased life. They see and don’t have to draw. They are the artists of being alive.”

She wakes up each day
to a blank canvas of 24 hours,
and she fills it with strokes of
love and laughter
and
nourishment and beauty.
She is a creator of relationships.
Friends, family, strangers,
flowers and food . . .
those are her paints.

Her muse may wait for her
in the kitchen
and in her garden,
but her life is her canvas.
Her life is her art.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom.
I love you.

AlisonAndAda

in praise of curves in the road

pasture1693

i rounded the curve
and spied a gorgeous sculpture
in the middle of the greening field.
i blinked
and the captivating sculpture
became
a mule
grazing.

from captivated and elated
to
disappointed and deflated
all in the space of
a few hundred feet.

then i remembered
something read
years after i left
pews and classrooms . . .
michaelangelo
said he created his
david
by removing all that
was not david.

and just like that
i was once again
captivated.

///

i’ve been pondering lately what it means to think independently.
and to value feeling as much as thinking.
and every now and then, i wonder what my life would be like
if i hadn’t been so strongly conditioned
that science rules,
that there is only one right answer,
that a mule eating is merely a mule eating
and not a work of art.

The Virtual Red Carpet

No Academy Award was ever more of a surprise or more appreciated than the various honors and awards i’ve received from my friends in the ethers over the past few weeks . . .

Tracy Brown and Gordon Simmons allowed me to sponsor the Daily Gratitude Journal over at Happiness Inside where there are multiple ways to discover, well, happiness.

///

My darlin’ Jewels honored me with the Beautiful Blogger award on The Awesome Women Hub on Facebook.

///

Susan, Abigail, and Noel dropped a Stylish Blogger Award on me, and with that award comes a request to tell seven things about yourself . . .

1. I am named after my uncle (my daddy’s brother) who was killed at age 18. My mother and daddy met in third grade in a most unfortunate eraser-to-the-back incident while doing long division at the blackboard. It may not have been love at first sight, but they dated each other exclusively throughout high school, then enjoyed over 50 years of marriage . . . except for that one weekend in high school when a little spat found Daddy taking their classmate, Jean, out on a date. When Uncle Gene was killed, Mother saw a chance to solidify the affection of her mother-in-law, but oh the dilemma when her firstborn turned out to be female. G-e-n-e, short for Eugene, is a male, so that wouldn’t do. And she didn’t want to go through the rest of her life being reminded of That One Awful Weekend, so Mother tinkered around with various spellings until she decided on J-e-a-n-n-e.

2. I met my sinuses while flying the wind tunnel in Denver. It was fun, though – the wind tunnel not the sinuses.

3. As a child, I loved potato chip sandwiches.

4. I still don’t drink bathroom water.

5. I don’t wear a watch – haven’t for years.

6. I don’t like strawberries . . .

7. Or tomatoes.

~~~

“I need 5 more quirky things about me. I’m struggling here. Can you think of anything?” I asked my husband.

In less than 5 seconds, Hubby rattled off all sorts of things to me (almost before the question mark was out of my mouth). “That’s enough,” I told him. “I have my 7.”

“Are you sure?” he asked. “Cause I was just getting warmed up.”

~~~

While I am loathe to thank my husband, I am not at all hesitant to say Thank you again to these lovely, talented folk who have seen fit to bestow a little spotlight on me, though I deliver it red-faced with embarrassment for my tardiness.

It Was A Dark and Stupendous Night

TheHat.jpg

38 years ago today, I walked into the bar in search of a drink and out of the bar with the bartender . . . my future husband. I went there with a friend from high school, and we’d pooled and spent our money on gas to get us there. Having not thought things through all that much, my friend came to the rescue assuring me that she knew a bartender in a bar called Muhlenbrink’s. He’d be wearing a brown leather floppy-brimmed hat, she said. We made our way through the hugely crowded bar, and low and behold, there was, in fact, a bartender in a brown leather floppy-brimmed hat.

And he was adorable. Absolutely, undeniably adorable.

She shoved and I flirted to make the seas part so we could land ourselves directly in front of Him. She thumped her fist down on the bar and proclaimed, “I know you.”

He looked up. “No you don’t,” he said and went immediately back to drawing beer.

I was mortified. Mortified, I tell you.

As I silently begged the floor to open up and swallow me whole, she persisted with her insistence. It seems she knew the HAT, not the MAN. You see, for reasons he can’t remember, Andy was wearing Billy’s hat that night.

At this point, I don’t suppose he’ll get fired if I tell you that he did eventually slip us one (note the singular) tom collins, and when the bar closed (we stayed to listen to the band – wink, wink), we were invited to a part at the bouncer’s apartment.

We accepted.

And the rest, as they say, is history.

And herstory.

We met on January 27; became engaged on April 1; and married on July 31.

Of that same year.

He says I’m the most expensive date he ever had.

I say he’s the best date I could get with the boobs I had at the time.

Ah, love.

blink, snap, beat

Funny thing, complacency.
There she was: scooting along through life,
whittling down her to do list,
wondering how it ever got this overgrown in the first place,
thinking of all the things she’s gonna’ do
One Day
and how marvelous life will be then,
even though she readily admits that it’s
pretty awesome right now.
But still.

Then the phone rings
and her husband says
“I’ve just been hit by a guy
doing about 50 mph.”
“Are you all right?” she asks,
and he assures her that he’s fine,
especially since he saw the guy coming,
swerving off the road then
back onto the road,
headed right for him
but he was able to move over just a little bit
so the fella didn’t hit him head-on after all
but just in front of the driver’s side.

Her car is in the shop,
so she calls her daughter and asks her
to go over
and once daughter says “I’m on my way,”
she breathes easier because
she knows her husband is okay
and she knows her daughter can handle anything.
Her son is in Colorado, but she calls him anyway
because emotional support doesn’t know geography.

Her husband and daughter get home
and they all spend the rest of the afternoon
quietly watching television
and refreshing the ice they hope will
contain the rise of the mountain
that’s grown on his left knee.

She sleeps good
(considering)
and the next day she sees the
big, ugly bruise across his chest –
the seatbelt’s legacy –
and even though the soreness settles in,
and they snuggle and touch even more than usual
as the sobering possibilities of what might have happened
drape over them like a heavy, heavy, heavy veil.

She writes as though it happened
to someone else
because that’s as close as she can get
to it right now,
and she wonders
why it takes a near-negative event
to shift her into
renewed, committed
positivity.

Truck1.JPGTruck2.JPG

aspiring for more

wonderland.jpg

i was in line at the pharmacy when they opened to fetch his prescriptions. he told me he didn’t need them, but i called him anyway to ask if he was sure he didn’t want me to just bring the bag with me. “no,” he said, “i’ve got enough.”

then the snow came.

and came.

and came.

and came some more.

and first thing you know, he’s at the bottom of his pillbox. it’s okay now. they left this afternoon, headed home . . . and to the bag with another month’s worth of meds inside.*

it’s my nature to think about things like this. i was, after all, the only fourth grader to build and stock the family bomb shelter. so when did i start second-guessing myself? when did i begin to think that planning ahead – thinking about things like having extra supplies of food and medicines on hand – is a fine display of negativity? when did i become embarrassed enough about the way i am to grow silent and default to others?

when i listen to my self and act as one with my intuition without reservation, without explanation, without apology, those are my moments of pure, unadulterated, ordinary joy.

* (i stayed behind cause let’s face it: when they slide off down the side of the mountain, somebody’s got to be here to inherit everything.)

~~~
this post is my response to today’s reverb10 prompt by brene brown: Ordinary joy. Our most profound joy is often experienced during ordinary moments. What was one of your most joyful ordinary moments this year?

my soul food

glamoramatree.jpg

mary talks to her bookkeeper from under the dryer, hammering out an appropriate memo to explain to her employees that there will be no holiday bonuses this year – not because of the economy (well, not directly anyway), but because her store manager (for reasons she can’t fathom) approved 33 hours’ worth of overtime for one full-time employee and 24 hours’ worth of overtime for another. after those two checks are written, there simply isn’t any more money.

suzie sits on the gold sofa with a leopardskin throw over her legs as she patiently explains how to cook a turkey to her daughter who is preparing the holiday dinner for the first time ever.

janie’s grandmother drops by to beam her pride at her teenage granddaughter who is now working as the salon’s receptionist and girl friday.

as i sit waiting for kristi (the owner and my stylist) to mix my color, an adorable little 10 year old girl appears at my chair and introduces herself. “are you alison’s mother?” she asks. “i sure am,” i told her.

“i’m ansley. miss alison is my voice teacher.”

that’s when her 5 year old sister, lily appears. in her flannel nightgown. we chat a bit, and just before her mother appears back on the scene, lily tells me “you’re funky” – which i take as a compliment and put my glasses on to punctuate and prove her right. “lily, child, you go put your clothes back on. go on right now. shoo,” her mother says, sending the girls to what was a bedroom when mrs. geiss owned the house decades ago. ansley and lily will spend the day playing with brandie’s (the other stylist) daughter while their mothers spend the day making other women like me feel special and beautiful.

in answer to the simple question as to her readiness for the rapidly-approaching holiday, beth pours out her grief, frustration, and exhaustion. as she tells us about her mother who’s in the depths of a deep depression, currently in ICU where the medical staff treats her body and refuses to treat her troubled mind, as she tells us about her teenage daughter who’s recovering from injuries received in an automobile accident, injuries requiring her mother’s assistance with everything – and i do mean everything, phone calls are quietly ended and cell phones tucked away. it’s two days before christmas, yet all thoughts of shopping and parties and cooking completely disappear as we bear witness to beth. in that moment, nothing is more important to us. nothing.

this is my soul food. this gathering of women in an old victorian house tastefully transformed (with the help of mid-century accoutrements and the tasteful style of the owner) into a veritable pink tent where women come together regularly in the name of beauty, always remembering that there’s beauty . . . and there’s beauty.

glamorama.jpg

~~~
today’s post is my response to today’s #reverb10 prompt by mysticflavor: What did you eat this year that you will never forget? What went into your mouth & touched your soul?

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