Me and Pearly at the famous Pink's Hot Dogs in Hollywood
September 16. 2019
I'm thinking about the lady at Ralph's during the freakish heat wave in Los Angeles. We were standing by the broccoli crowns. I said something about how cold I get in the produce section and she said, "My people are from the Baltics. I love the cold. I cannot abide this heat."
I'm thinking about my birthday last week and all the love that flowed my way. Wow.My best friend, Pearly (aka Lisa) flew west to be with me and that was the best gift ever. We went to Pink's Hot Dog stand in Hollywood, walked a labyrinth overlooking Malibu, watched Queer Eye, Not Just A Makeover, spent a gorgeous day at the ocean. Come on.
Currently, I have a car pile up of tales to tell.
I'm thinking about the things that add up to make a day, how funny and sometimes sad, and all the stuff in-between that goes on. I like lists. They're my way of tossing the dice and seeing more clearly. I'm especially fond of bullet points (option key, 8).
• I woke very early, graded two batches of my community college English class reflections - one on procrastination, anybody? The other was on the art of listening, especially as it pertains to our creative muse(s). Stop forcing, let things bubble up.
I was done by eight am.
• I pumped out twenty push-ups on the kitchen counter 2 sets of ten. I'm a candidate for some kind of boot camp, give me twenty more! I love this stuff.
• I made oatmeal with raisins for breakfast and later ended up talking about my parent's divorce (circa 1974) in my therapist's office, feeling oddly drained and surprised to be revisiting something that happened so long ago. I likened it to a house being turned upside down and all the pieces rolling down the street.
My parents brothers me the family dog
• After looking up feeling drained from therapy and reading about emotional therapy hangovers, and taking a weird nap, I pulled my well-worn copy of Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach, unopened for years, off the shelf. Somewhere in the divorce story, I veered into my writing life, telling my therapist how Sarah had written much of this book from her bed unaware that she'd end up with a gigantic bestseller. She writes in the forward that the book she started with had no resemblance whatsoever to the book she ended up with.
There's a freeing message. Most everything unfolds in its own time and way.
Inside my copy of Simple Abundance were pieces of my past:
• A card from a friend thanking me for all our kitchen table talks. We parted ways abruptly years ago.
• A beautiful kind-of-Christmas newsletter from a wonderful artist friend
• A page torn from a Silent Unity magazine given to me by a woman at the library. I was there with my three year old Claire (now almost twenty) stacking our weekly pile of books. Edith was with her grandson. Over the course of that winter, we became Tuesday morning library companions, chatting about life, change, loss - at some point she felt called to share this one page on Faith.
Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things unseen - Hebrews 11:1
• a maple leaf
• a business card for a local California restaurant - did we go there?
• a New Yorker postcard of the woman diving into a pile of leaves from my mother's best friend, Nan.
Flipping through the book I found this underlined sentence, each (painful) memory comes bearing a peace offering. There is nothing to fear. The past only asks to be remembered.
Everything is tucked back inside to be found (again) another day.
I'm thinking about Eddie at the Home Depot. Such a friendly young man.
"I've been here for five years," he said."The first four I handled only succulents and cacti. I got stuck a lot. This year they've moved me to the flowers and chrysanthemums. It's much better."