Back in the long-ago 90s I did therapy for six months (a) because I felt sort of busily jazzed up trying to save the world at all times and (b) because my husband thought I should. Maybe he detected a sadness under all my over-functioning I don’t know. I started going all right but every time I went to that therapist’s office I could tell her how everyone else in my life was but not how I was. After a few sessions she told me that as fascinating as my lively tales about other people were, she felt frustrated that I couldn’t talk about myself. If there was sadness underneath all my rushing-about what WAS that sadness? Darned if I knew.
Well LIFE SURE CURED THAT and these days anyway I do know why I’ve been so sad, so off my game, at times so bereft-feeling at times that this mate of mine sometimes finds me standing outside the bathroom door waiting for him to come back out. (I know! Pathetic!)
So, without further talk, here is my litany of reasons for sadness, some general, some specific to me.
- Like so many of us, I am still sad that we lost Bobby Kennedy. Fifty years ago this coming Saturday I watched his funeral and well do I remember the quaver in the voice of his one remaining brother as he gave the eulogy, and the sight of his children crowding around his casket, and the sight of is that widow, newly pregnant with the couple’s 11th child.
- Again, like many of us, I am sad about the changing climate with its ever-more-devastating weather events. I’m very sad that we in this country are doing so little to ward off what looks to be the very dire consequences.
Less catastrophically, I’m sad about my own small stuff:
- I’m sad about the way time is passing so fast. I can still picture the color, style and fabric of the dress I wore the day they buried Bobby, and now I am… how old? I said to my mate only last Christmas, “Just think! In 15 years I’ll be 73!” “Um,” he replied with a kind smiled, “in 15 years you’ll be 83.” Where did it all go?
- I’ve been very sad that I can’t seem to write much anymore. It just hurts to sit, to stand, even to lie down for any length of time with a spinal column that has come to resemble a Crazy Straw the way it veers right up by my bra-line, then veers sharply left around my hips, then ends with a flourish of two additional veerings that together deliver pain not only to my back but also clear down one leg. Sigh.
- I’m sad about my digestion-related insides since I now have “bacterial overgrowth” in there, which is diagnosed by having one blow air into a glass tube and send it off in the mail. That part was kind of fun, to be honest, a little like capturing fireflies – only these turn out not to be fireflies at all but rather a dense civilization of little sea monkeys as I picture them. These tiny tenants now renting space in there have apparently moved in for keeps, the doctor says, so that for the rest of my life if I wish not to suffer I can’t eat wheat, barley, dairy or really any kind of sugar including the innocent fructose that comes in apples peaches, nectarines and so on. Who wouldn’t get sad on being told this news?
- And finally, to conclude this tale of woe, I am about to have rotator cuff surgery, which sounds both so picturesquely dreadful and immobilizing that I’m actually looking forward to the adventure of it . More on THAT another day.
So there it all is and maybe that stern therapist was right: I do feel better for having told all this. Also, there’s a real upside to the thought of being unable to so much as wash a dish or fold a pair of underpants for ten whole weeks. Plus anyway come on: Who doesn’t love sea monkeys?
It’s too hot to work so I thought I’d just find a dock and go sit by it.
That’s Old Dave on the left.
(Italian you know; they take a good tan.)
I’m the other three, the ones with the Irish pallor…
I cloned myself to get more done about a year ago. It works! This is Terry One Two and Three, with Terry Four Five Six just fixin’ to get their feet wet….
Terry Seven and Eight are cooking lunch and paying bills. (Hey, SOMEBODY’S got to stay dressed and serious!)
OK is it spring yet?
It’s not snowing and the buds on the magnolia tree are starting to get that hopeful look, so What’s going on?
Where are the days of snow like steel needles being shot sideways into your face?
The days when rhododendron all over the county are holding their leafy arms straight down and close to the body, like Irish Step Dancers, the way the only do when it’s really freezing out?
What happened to winter?
Old Dave and I were able to shingle and paint our whole house. starting two-thirds of the way through October and not finishing until December 12th. The painter said he had never before been able to pick up a brush for exterior work in November. never mind in December.
Is this global warning finally showing its true face?
The weather report says temps today will be only in the 20s but by week’s end they’re supposed to be edging up again. And as far as I can tell there’s no snow in sight until next Thursday at the earliest.
So I just have one question:
WHY, with the buds on the magnolia trying to get started all over again and the rhododendron holding their arms out like little kids spinning around to make themselves dizzy, why oh WHY can’t I wake up in the morning? I who always shot out of the bed at 6 if not 5:30 or even 5:00 to begin working, before coffee even? Am I actually growing calmer and less driven as I get older, or is it …
that it’s still
So gosh darn DARK IN THE MORNING?
There’s this guy I love to fight with because while MY politics are based on rationality and the highest impulses ha-ha, his are based on fear and hysteria. One time when he got all worked up talking to me about the environment he shouted “But it’s ALL fake don’t you see? There IS no Wobal Glorming!”
Well you’d best believe there sure as heck IS ‘Wobal Glorming’ with these extremes of weather we’ve been having and if I didn’t see that the other night when the outside came IN I sure know it now: One columnist friend from Arkansas has been without power and telephone for six days and another from Kentucky has been living in his car for a week, both on account of outages due to the bitter cold. Even in South Beach FLORIDA where I was on Saturday, temps were just in the low 40s with a 20 mile-an-hour wind. (It was amazing! Finely turned-out young men were blowing clear over! High school girls in belly shirts were screaming and clutching at their hairdos! I sat on the cozy bed of a hotel room hanging just above Ocean Street and watched it all.)
Then at 3:00 that same day I boarded a cruise ship.
They have that special drill at the start of any cruise where you have to assemble at your Muster Station by the lifeboat that will carry you to safety should the worst occur. Dozens of us were crushing together by the exit when without looking, a big lady in front if me THREW her arm back, lassoed the long belt of MY lifejacket and bucked it tightly to her own.
When she turned and saw what she’d done she burst out laughing.
“If you jump I jump!” I said, channeling Leonardo and Kate Winslett from the ever-compelling Titanic.
“We’re all goin’ down together!” she said – and if that isn’t THE metaphor for our times I don’t know what is.
But oops I gotta run now. They got them Frozen Mojitos on Deck Five and after that there are some deck chairs that need rearranging.