Oddments

In search of story


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Disconnections: December 5.18

Now is the time of projects

inspired by the glow of the season

so I undertake insanities

in full-blown leave of my reason.

The proof of project fever

— I needn’t offer more —

is how much December time

I spend upon the floor.

Virtuous organization

visual oversight

can only be accomplished

by wall-to-wall floor blight.

Consuming and invasive,

tentacled, rapacious,

projects change to crowded

rooms that once seemed spacious.

But all of that aside

there’s yet another bane

the consequence to me:

my joints in chorus complain,

“Deck the halls! Hang holly!

Spike the eggnog cup!

But please to keep this truth in mind:

what goes down must get back up!”

 

 


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Vagaries in Gestation: November 14.18

Did you ever look at a close relative and ask yourself that hideous question “Am I like that?” No other question is so hard to answer, I think.

My mother was born 100 years ago today, and was a child of her time, as are we all. That time was one of clear-cut roles and expectations for women, and it crumbled around her during her life. She was, I think, stymied by the changes but willing to challenge her own perceptions. In a grudging sort of way. She stubbornly argued she was NOT stubborn. She was finicky and explosive and opinionated. She believed that anything worth doing was worth doing her way.

She ironed everything but rugs. And I’m not sure about the rugs. She believed in propriety and process, hard work and common sense. She inevitably bungled a punch line. She endured her own mother, although at great cost, believing it to be the moral way. Immersed in an immigrant Catholicism, she preferred Protestant humanness to Catholic etherealness. She wanted to sing “He walks with me,” not “Panis Angelicus.”

If I could fit her into a blog post, she wouldn’t be my mother.

So I salute my mom today and ask the answerless question: Am I like that?

 

Vagaries in Gestation

 


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Disconnections: November 3.18

 

My front yard may be small

but in gold it’s very big

ruddy, blushing yellows

on every branch and twig.

I raised my trusty camera

to capture golden riot

but was dissuaded from my focus

by the egotist too nigh it.

I had to zoom behind

to my neighbor’s tree instead

because nothing photobombs

like the high and mighty red.

 


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Disconnections: October 16.18

Morning sun

in autumn slants

reveals my dust-fest

extravagance;

my foremothers

would surely look askance

at my housekeeping

fainéance.

Matter of fact,

I think they glanced

and left this subtle

recognizance.

 

(Is this literary irony? I’m stuck in this dry, arid word desert, and dust gives me words. )

 

 


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Disconnections: October 1.18

As you know, dear reader, I am in the process of down-sizing. And process it is. I still have things in a storage unit, and I’m here to tell you that “out of sight, out of mind” does not apply: those things jabber at me all the time, yelling across town “We’re still here, you know!”

Sorting through life’s accumulation requires thinking, contemplating, reflecting, and — the biggest obstacle of all — remembering. One cannot just pick up a box and heave it into the garbage — it might have an old birthday card in it! And heaven forbid I throw out a Tiny Tears dress I’d intended to keep forever!

For me, what greases this slow-grinding process is anger. When I get angry, I can see so clearly what I don’t need! I can see how junk is weighing me down, and out with it!

The last few weeks have brought — for me — the climax of a long wind-up of anger and grief and resentment and depression and disbelief and despair and frustration and disgust, as I try to understand what has made children and women such disposable commodities. My struggles culminated in a free-for-all of unloading. And thus did I fill my car on the weekend for our community recycling day, and thus did I heap my own recycling bin to overflowing.

An inadequate catharsis, perhaps, but at least a constructive one. At the rate things are going, all my belongings will soon fit in a thimble.