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New Growth

Altocumulus
leaves - yellow green
blue jay gives call
starlings take wing
bare branches give way
to new growth of spring
heart swells hopeful
as hammock swings
and I anticipate
May

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Writer's Block: Multiple Personalities

Introduce all your different personalities.

All of my personalities - this could take a while.
Uber Analytical Annie - This is the me that is unable to not draw distinct links between disparate incidents, commentary, actions, inactions - you name it. It is the "me" that is on constant watch. It is the me I invented to protect myself. It is the me that leaves me quite alone most of the time.

Sentimental Journey Joy - This is the me that Uber Analytical Annie was created to protect. It is the me that dreams of happy endings, of being swept off my feet, that believes in true, destined to be love, the me that wonders at the beauty of the earth and sky. She smells flowers and listens to birds. She walks endlessly once she begins. She loves to dig in the dirt and finds sparkly rocks fascinating. She is, contrary to Uber Analytical Annie, quite trusting. She is an innocent romantic who giggles too much and is very easily hurt.

Self Loathing Sally - This is the me who comes out when Uber Analytical Annie has discovered something that hurts Sentimental Journey Joy - she hates Sentimental Journey Joy for being so stupid. She showed up early in life, details of how and why unimportant except to Uber Analytical Annie. Her tantrums are sometimes directed at others. Mirrors should be covered whenever she is around.

Extremely Independent Emma - Friends with Uber Analytical Annie, she provides the stability needed to keep a roof over everyone's head, food in the fridge etc etc. Men find her exasperating sometimes, though she's never completely certain why. Truth be told she feels quite put upon and is looking forward to retirement. She'd like to feel prouder of her accomplishments, but that gets complicated. If she feels too accomplished she fears being disliked...enter Self Loathing Sally.

Devoted Mother Joy - This is the only part of me completely independent of most other personalities, with the occasional exception of Uber Analytical Annie, who comes in handy sometimes as relates to raising one's child alone. She takes little credit, as she believes her child came to her completely pre-programmed and just in need of love. Sentimental Journey Joy has lots of that, she gives her full credit.

Confused Sibling Sally - Due to reasons known only to Uber Analytical Annie and a select few others, not to be revealed here, Sally is never quite sure where she fits in the family. Annie suspects no one in the family feels any different, however, that is their personality not Sally's.

Business Bitch Barbara - A personality bestowed upon me by coworkers, when really it's Uber Analytical Annie at work.

Always in Awe Annie - This is the part of me amazed by people's talents, enamored of beautiful art and music and nature. She loves adventures, travel, fine meals and wine. She collects glassware and tableware. She hates to clean because it isn't fun. She loves to laugh and is prone to sing and dance. She is closely related to Sentimental Journey Joy. She is the one who writes. You can find her in a hammock, or gardening, watching a baseball game, in an antique shop..just about anywhere, if only you will walk with her and show her things.

There are others...I am sure...but these are who I know off the top of my head. I hope they don't frighten you.

Maternal Ramblings

It's Friday. I have Saturday, Sunday and Monday morning left. It has crept up slowly, and yet passed in the blink of an eye. How. How do I ensure he knows I love him before he goes.
Today I am befallen with episodic tears. They sweep over me in waves as thoughts of the last 22 years drift in and out of my mind. He is not here to see them, which is as it should be, and, if I can help it, how it will remain. My son. My one real accomplishment. How.
Memories.
I remember the moment you came to be. The sparkle I felt as your life began. You are a part of me. Most would say I gave you life. I would disagree, it was you that gave me mine.
Sparkle gave way to a massive belly full of rumbling, tumbling baby boy and a heart full of love. We had a scary start, you and I. Delivery wasn't easy, I was so tired I didn't even see you being born, but the moment they handed you to me, my cheek pressed to yours, there was no taking my eyes off of you. Somehow I knew your color wasn't right, I told the nurse, she said it was natural. Then at two days old you weren't brought to me for feeding. A convulsion. Spinal tap. Prayers. Meningitis. Doctors telling me you might not make it, that if you did there was every reason to believe there would be brain damage. Incubators. IV's. Transfusions. Prayers. Sleepless nights. Christmas in a hospital bed. Going home without you was the hardest thing I ever had done. Six weeks of visits without holding you. A gloved hand thrust into a plastic box to stroke your tiny hand. Such a cruel start. The day you finally were laid back in my arms was one of the happiest of my life. I thanked the doctor silently, he had truly saved your life. Prayers were answered, no damage, no issues. How strong you were for one so small. How helpless I felt. But we survived. Home we went.

Our next challenge was really mine. It was you that gave me the strength to get through it. Rage against myself I tolerated for reasons I am still trying to understand, but your arms outstretched calling to me when it erupted in front of you was all it took. I gathered you to me and we left. My love for you saved me. It always has.

We did alright. On our own we managed through shared meals of pastina and baby food for a while. Gradually we built up a home in that one bedroom apartment. I will always remember your blue feety pajamas, the way you would sneak out of bed in the morning to eat brownies in the kitchen. You thought i didn't know, though your face was full of chocolate and the floor scattered with the bits of nuts that you'd picked off the top. I remember bath time, reading to you... "Cozy in the Woods", "Half a Haycorn Pie", singing "Shake Shake Shake Your Sillies Out" and the Barney song, the way you liked it when I warmed the towel on the radiator. I remember setting you on the vanity and drying you off. Smiles and big, big hugs - such a beautiful boy. At night I'd sing you to sleep, "Edelweiss" "You are my Sunshine" and the silly words I made up for Brahams Lullabye.

Soon it was time for preschool. "My Mommy is special to me. She smiles at me and I smile back". The time I was called into the office there over concerns that you were experiencing some kind of stress. "Christopher is taking to holding his head in his hands and moaning about the mortgage and the money" they said. I found it strange, since I didn't HAVE a mortgage. When I asked you, it became clear. "March of the Wooden Soldiers" was your current favorite movie, and as you always did, you were merely reciting the words the Old Woman who lived in the shoe spoke when Marley was coming for her house. My Son - the film buff. You retain your love of film today. Soon you will leave to pursue your passion at college - still photography. Who knew then? I guess you did.

Every teacher you ever had told me at back to school night what an absolute joy you were to have in class. What a nice and considerate person you were, how eager to help and how kind to other children you were. It always made me cry. You were the kid that defended the weaker, or the different. Learning to play chess with that little boy they picked on in daycare, so he would have a friend to play with. My son who has a heart of gold. My son who never asked Santa for anything for himself without also adding "and a diamond necklace for my Mommy". My son who left his allowance out on the cookies and milk table in a box with a note: "Dear Santa, this is for you and the elves". I still have that box and note. Your heart is so very precious.
I have a box of school work and projects, drawings and stories. I also have the gifts you would buy me at the school store. A necklace with a carousel horse on it, bought after you rode your first merry go round. A replica of the Titanic necklace when you were ten (since Santa never brought me one, you did). A lipstick case in the shape of a swan, since you knew I liked swans. Those gifts have given way to Yankee gifts - each one so very thoughtful. I want to tell you I'm sorry I never wore the Titanic necklace, but it is tucked in my jewelry box and is so very loved.
We made it through the school years. We made it through your "black period". My singing you to sleep was replaced with your walkman, then your ipod. Your room is full of game consoles, guitars you used to play, computers, tv, camera equipment. I tried to nurture your interests. I hope I did. I probably overcompensated for not being able to be a stay home mom. Our time together has never been more than mornings and evenings. Weekends. The occasional vacation. I have so many memories, but I find myself wondering as time grows short, have we shared them with each other enough? I find I want to sit and talk with you endlessly, but you're not terribly interested in that now, are you?
You're 21. My god, weren't you just 2? 6? 12? Just yesterday you got your license, and your first car. Somewhere in between we moved to this house. Somehow I managed to buy it. Somehow I managed to get you your second car. Somehow I've managed to get you through your associates degree and now you are soon to be on your way to your BFA. Don't you see - everything I've done, "accomplished" has been for you.

I wonder if it has seemed that I wasn't really here for you. I wonder if you know how much you are loved. How do I explain that everything I've done in the last 22 years has everything to do with you? You gave my life structure and meaning and a purpose. I'm Chris's mom. I am so very proud of you. You are the one people call when they are stranded. You are the one friend's mothers trust. You are the one mothers wish their daughters had stayed with. You are a reliable employee, up at the crack of dawn without complaint. You are too self deprecating, a little shy and sometimes naive, but you are good to the core. You came to me that way, I take no credit for it. My life has been blessed with you. I want so very much for you and I am excited for your life to take wing I just wish it didn't go so fast and that I was better at letting you know how very loved you are.
I hope I have served you well. I will always be here for you. I'll always be Chris's mom. You gave me life.
When I leave you at your dorm on Monday, my cheek will press to yours, and you will know. I love you.

Stormy thoughts

Kitchen is stocked. Laundry is done. Tomorrow all loose objects will be stored. Batteries are purchased (even some I have no need for), lanterns located. Candles will be gathered tomorrow. Jugs of water will be filled to keep plumbing plumb. A nest will be made of the living room couch, where I will sleep in hopes of surviving any falling trees.
Tomorrow I will call my mother. I will call my sisters. I will touch base with friends. I will gather my son and our pet to me and weather the storm. And you, you will be in my heart, as always.
Be safe. Be safe. Be safe. Be. Safe.

Suitcases

It's begun. Bags of new clothes being washed, folded and packed away. Drawers being picked through. Soon the closet will be organized. Soon the room which once warranted a "parental advisory" will be neat and clean and void of overflowing waste baskets and objects without a proper place.

His eyes are so full of excitement. Mine try to smile past the tears I am choking back.

He smiles at me, and I smile back.

The Power of X

is infinite
divine
warm
perfect
it can be soft and gentle
or possessive and intense
it can hold me fast
or leave me aching
generate heat
or greatly comfort
a simple thing
an X
pure
meaningful
love's signature

Echo epiphany

It's only when you see me, that I'm certain I am here

Dwindling Sundays

It's August 21, 10:30 a.m.. The house is quiet except for the sounds of hungry birds vying for the best position at the feeders on the back deck and the hum of window air conditioners removing humidity from the cabin walls. The door to his room is open, but my son still sleeps.

I'm torn. There is a part of me enjoying knowing that eventually his sleepy, rumpled six foot frame will wander out of that door and mumble a good morning to me while stretching and scratching. Of course, I'll see the man he's become, but also the tiny tow headed blonde baby boy in his blue feety pajamas, who has long since stopped clambering up into my lap for morning hugs. I rather like knowing he will be coming out of the room.

The other part of me wants to run in there and wake him up, just so I have a few more waking minutes with him in our little world here in this ramshackle cabin we call home. You see he leaves here soon to go live at college. It isn't far away, but it may as well be the other side of the earth for the void his leaving will create. My boy, my son, my constant companion these 21 years, the only constant.

So I am torn between impulses. They come from the same place - an immense love, one I will never be sure I have adequately expressed. I do not pretend to be a wonderful parent. I have many regrets over wasted time and poor choices made. I will never really know if I've done right by him I suppose. Perhaps that is the hallmark of every parent - that we ache with the need to love and protect, provide and instruct while somehow holding onto our own identities. They define us, our children, in so many ways. More importantly perhaps, they reflect us.

How I ache to hold fast to him, can't we do it all over again? And yet, I also know I must let him go and find his way away from me. After all, it's what we strive for, isn't it? To make them independent, fully functional and without need of us? Still I ache to hold him close, though I can't anymore. This child ...

He wakes..

god he needs a shave

King of the Wind

Mom still has the card. This is the original cover I tried to copy.