Monday, January 13, 2014


We're all around back to Monday again.

The days have begun to blur together with the ribbons of icy rain that have filled our drainage ditches and nearly drowned my little rock wall of hardy succulents. Too much of a good thing. Over the weekend the wind just howled and brought the rain sideways and mixed it with sleet. Or is it hail? I can never remember. It's all little ice rocks that fly from the sky. When the wind kicks up, it has behind it the full force of the Pacific Ocean. Sometimes the North Pole. It funnels through our little valley here and rips the trees apart and scatters them around the road. Days like those, it's a firm reminder that we live here in borrowed space in the laps of mountain ranges and hanging onto the edge of the country.

Last week brought three momentous occasions for me, all in a row.

Elvis' birthday on the 8th, whereupon he would have been 78. I was stranded in Elizabethtown, Kentucky once; a hundred years ago in a brutal winter snowstorm, in a brutal time in my life, on the birthday of The King. It's a story I'll tell another time, but every year on the anniversary of his birth, I find myself taking care of that young girl who thought she was all grown up, shivering there, stuck and clawing at the snow.

Audrey's birthday on the 9th. She is my best friend from high school's eldest child and she just turned 13. I met her mother the year we both turned 16. We were both in a new school in a foreign country and I started my period in her swimsuit the first time we ever hung out. When something like that happens, you are either friends for life or you never really speak again. I am blessed to say it was the former and her daughter was the first born of my close friends. I remember the awe as I beheld my friend there in the hospital, a new mother, exhausted and happy. I had no interest in being a mother at that point and she was like a warrior or a saint, treading ground I dare not touch. Now her baby girl is officially a teenager and my friend soldiers on ahead of me as I continue to watch in awe.

My darling true love's birthday on the 10th. He says the day is cursed. He doesn't like to celebrate. Ever since his 8th birthday when his dog died and no one showed up for his party. I cry and want to hold that small, sad boy. This year he spent it shuttling the kids to and from a birthday party and running errands while I lay in a fevered heap on the couch and my heart broke for him again. One year, though, the year we first met, he bought me a new dress - all shimmery maroon velvet - and took me to see Christoph Eschenbach conduct the Houston Symphony in Beethoven's 9th. Ode to Joy. Shortly after, he asked me to marry him. Which, of course, I did. For our honeymoon, we took a road trip to Graceland and I made my peace with Elvis.

It all comes full circle.

I wrote last week about our two faces. If it's all a circle and you are looking in both directions at once, you will eventually come around and meet yourself again. We think in opposites as absolutes. We think they are opposed, rather than part of the whole. Our rain and wind have softened today into tentative sun. I have pictures in my head of how this works. I will draw them for you sometime.

For now, another momentous occasion on the very near horizon:

Tomorrow, The Burrow Press Review will feature one of my pieces. It's a little different from what I write for the blog, but not. It is a tiny snapshot of my history, embellished with words. So here, now, in the bold sunshine of my current life, a whisper of that frozen time all those years ago will see the light of day. It's a strange thing to consider, as I could not be who I am now without having been all the things I didn't want to be.

This life is not an arrow, rising on its own trajectory until it ends. It is a doodle. An intricate design that winds in and out through pain and growth and joy and triumph and change. It folds in on itself and expands, it crosses itself and traverses new ground. It is a symphony. The theme keeps recurring. Sometimes in a wild crescendo, sometimes quietly in the background, but always there is harmony. Keep listening, keep doodling. My last days have been full of gray and relentless rain; sadness mixed with celebration. Today, the sun glances through clouds. It all comes around again.


  1. I am squealing in my head (I'm so your fangirl)! I was going to ask how one would most easily get their grubby hands on your featured piece and then I clicked on your handy link and there it was! I have so many thoughts, but these words are such paltry things, no? They tend to flop when you're trying hardest to describe. Like worn-out gloves. So just, love and grats.

    1. Squeal! This comment makes me smile all over. I'm glad you liked the piece. I am so grateful for your excitement. I would love, love, love to hear your thoughts if you can get them to stop flopping.

  2. Oh my goodness. So haltingly beautiful, so many snapshots of your loving life made vivid and throbbing, thank you for sharing!
    I agree. So much. That opposites are less absolute than we sometimes think and that they are more parts of a whole than distant extremes.
    Bless you and your husband, bless your friend and her growing daughter, bless you full-circle story and your sharp, sensitive memory. I am off to read the new piece.
    xoxoxo As always, much love from Oklahoma! So much.

    1. Thank you so much, Marie. You are ever-faithful and oh-so-sweet. Bless you and all of yours, as well. Thank you for your constant love. xo

  3. Congratulations on the feature, and thank you for the link - your piece is beautiful and aching and poignant. Wonderful.

    1. Thank you, Laurel! Thanks for clicking over and taking the time to read it. I'm glad you enjoyed it. I'm pretty excited about it, myself.

  4. Yay for featured piece! And what a breathtaking piece it was. My second son shares a birthday with Elvis--I've always had a strange love/hate/apathy attitude toward Elvis. I never know how I will feel about him from one encounter to the next. Beautiful post as always.


Thanks for reading and taking the time to say hello!