Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Days are long, life is short

A stunning stretch of weather is just enough to put the kibosh on considering mortality. Beautiful spring mornings, with sun so bright and a sky so clear it hurts to look up. My city, my home, in the throbbing push of everything that is springtime-birth, renewal; it's life and and its unceasing urgency to grow, push up and out.

And yet.

We gathered last night to comfort and mourn the loss of a dear, dear friend's mother, and to watch the shadows fall across the face of another dear, dear friend who knows she's next, knows that far too soon, many of the same friends will gather around her to comfort, support, remember.

I came home from a long, wine-and-sun filled afternoon in the presence of my own parents and can only wonder: How long? How much longer do I get? And why? I don't deserve this anymore than L or D deserved to lose their own mothers in the peak of all their lives.

One mother lived to see her son happy, loved, and content in the prime of his life. One mother lives to see her daughter also happy, loved, and content in the prime of her life.

And yet.

It's just never enough, is it?

It's never long enough.

It's never enough time.

We are only greedy for life in the face of death.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Rites and Rituals of Spring

Rituals exist to remind us of our connection to something deeper. Rituals force us to face our past and our future. The Changing of the Closet is such a ritual. Initiated by the vast and glorious stretches of daylight, the appearance of pale pasty flesh and nshod tootsies, the flowering of apple, cherry, and maples, a looming Lilac Sunday, those of you who live in a non-seasonal climate (and "hot" or "hotter" do not count as seasons), do not know The Changing of the Closet.

This is a dusty, tricky, self-esteem challenging rite of spring.

Let me begin with some background: The average New Englander owns Four Basic Coats.

Coat 1
This is the heavy, freeze-your-ass-off, subzero coat. It's a wardrobe VIP, in that it is extremely valuable, makes important appearances during inclement weather, and must be treasured, cossetted, and otherwise taken very good care of.

Coat 2
This is usually PolarTec, or possibly down. It's a combination of high-tech fabrics that allow you to muck about, shovel, play in the snow, and so fort.

Coat 3
Less warm, but highly water resistant, this is your spring/fall coat. The one that you can wear to approximately 35 degrees (but no lower, as this coat is not meant for snow). This is either a zip-out lined trench, or again, may possibly be of PolarTec.

Coat 4
Lightweight, maybe has a hood, and in some parts of the country, this would be called a "jacket". For dry, cool days.

(You can walk into any New England home, open the coat closet or see the coat rack, and wonder, "How many people live here?" and guess "Four or five people live here, based on the number of coats." You are wrong. It's probably just one or two.)

But I digress.

So, back to The Changing of the Closet. In addition to Four Basic Coats the boots, sweaters, pants, etc. that you need for winter, and you can see where I'm going. You need at least two separate wardrobes. You cannot keep all that stuff in one closet. So most of us have some kind of winter/summer storage system.

And that's where the fun begins.

After you change the closet, you rediscover a whole new pile of clothes. It's like shopping without the pain of spending.

But a summer or winter can have an impact.

A body can—and often does—change. Which is why The Changing of the Closet can be self-esteem building or shattering.

What if nothing fits?

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Spring, running sap, fertility, etc.

Oh my god. If one more person around me has a baby, finds a baby, adopts a baby, or somehow or other procreates, I think I will scream.

Even the FISH are having (or at at least trying to have) babies—shad roe, a traditional New England-y, old-time-y sign of spring along with asparagus from Hadley, Mass.—is in the fish store.

Don't get me wrong.

I love babies.

Babies are the future.

They are amazing, cute, innocent, smell good in a peanut-butteresque way.

But with all my emotional and physical baggage surrounding the whole baby-making oeuvre, all those babies a' poppin' and a poopin' are causing a kind of painful, disfiguring, mental baby acne.


And to boot, I'm having serious PMS and cramps. I think it's my uterus' way of saying, "Well, if you're not able to use me, I may as well do something interesting."

An organ has to feel useful, you know?