Monday, March 26, 2012

Building Sand Castles

There is laundry whirring and tumbling its way clean. I am winning my annual war on ants. There is an explosion of doll clothes and Legos in the living room, sheets that need to be changed on the beds. Tiny bits of wood and motes of dust and ash have found their ways to the corners of the hearth. I have work to do today.
This is the stuff of life. It is the every day. These are the things that we do that become undone, only to be done again. These are the sand castles we build, only to be washed away by the tides of being alive.

My husband wears his socks to bed, he takes them off as he falls asleep and drops them on the floor. I am grateful for this farm of wadded little black sheep. The toes pulled through the tops in groggy haste look like noses peeking out through rumpled bundles of fleece. I collect them to me and corral them in my basket. I will wash them and dry them and turn them into rabbits - floppy ears of toes sticking out of their bodies joined in pairs.

Photo courtesy of mourguefile.com
I will bastardize Robert Frost in my head as I work "and piles to go before I sleep", I will pray for my friend who is having her 5th round of chemo today. I will conjure her face, recently devoid of eyebrows and lashes, but yet still smiling: positive, ready, in grateful awe of the doctors who are trying to save her life. My thoughts will drift from this beautiful soul to another sole entirely and wonder if the market will sell me a whole fish. "I am going to knit it a hat out of green onions and lemongrass," I will explain to the fishmonger, who will undoubtedly, in his thick apron slick with guts and scales, smile and shake his head and wrap my purchase in brown paper.

I will approach these sand castles with gratitude. The folding of socks, the scolding of ants, the molding of plans in my head. I have a love who shares my bed with his big, smelly feet. Spring has come and everything is waking up, which means the ants are stretching and seeking sustenance for their queen. I have hope and vision, a sense of things to come. As I build my daily sand castles, I am etching things in stone: this love, this awakening, this vision. These things I build every day that cannot be washed away.

22 comments:

  1. You've just made me feel infinitely better about my never-ending laundry basket. Beautiful, Lou.

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    1. Anything that makes one feel better about the laundry is a good thing.

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  2. The ".. miles to go .." poem of his is one of my favorites!

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  3. The idea of our everyday drudgery being like lovely sandcastles is an image I want to keep.
    (I voted Blair, because I always wanted to look like her.)

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    1. Oh my! So did I! Her hair... she was such a snot though.

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    2. It was the hair, and the clothes.

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  4. I love the idea of sand castles, and I think I will forever look at my endless mounds of laundry differently from now on. Thanks!

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  5. Building sandcastles in the sky. Or, my closet, kitchen, and laundry room. Oh, and in my head too. Building, breaking down, building again. Those things that never break down just aren't lived "properly" then. Or maybe just not actively. Hm. These are thoughts to ponder as I invite the sandman to build castles in my dreams. (Minus the racing girls and Kia)

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    1. I agree about the lived in properly thing. We live very properly in our things. Ha!

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  6. YES! I love the image of sandcastles and all the things we do each day that get washed away - but there was fun and value in the building of the sandcastle and we get to do it again today! I liked you post!

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  7. What a wonderful take on what is otherwise very mundane. A lovely start to my day- I will be building castles today, rather than wading through mussy chores. Thank you!

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  8. You have a wonderfully poetic way. It's always a true pleasure to read your words.

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  9. I love Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, it was one of my favorites with Frost until Two Roads Diverged in a Yellow Wood. He liked the woods didn't he?

    We're also battling with the ants. Hopefully we win soon.

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    1. I love Robert Frost, too. He's from Vermont. I spent my childhood in Vermont. I totally get his thing with the woods.

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  10. How do you win an annual war on ants. I have tiny little ones that are a real pest here in mexico. they dont bite or anything but they are literally everywhere.

    No american products I hope and just plan common sense which i seem to lack because they are now worse than before i used the poinson...

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    1. I use a three part strategy of confusion, containment and biological warfare. You can confuse their little anty trails by sprinkling cayenne pepper or baby powder over where they seem to be coming from. They won't cross that line so you can keep more from coming in. Then once they seem to all congregate in one place you can set out cream of wheat (dry, not made) and they love it and gobble it up and then it swells and explodes their bodies. Do this for a few weeks and eventually they leave you alone. Also if you wipe down your surfaces with vinegar, they don't like that.

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  11. You done it again. You would think my storehouse of awe would be runnin' a little low, but nope.

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