Foldy Time

I’m not good with time. Kind of chronically. I’m late a lot. And, for some reason, I think a weekend lasts at least as long as a work week. Sunday evenings are always a disappointed scramble to finish the loads of laundry I thought I had another three days to do.

One thing I notice about time is that it folds over on itself, like the paper fans I used to make when I was little. Second, minute, hour, day, month, year – fold, second minute, hour… When I was a kid, the fold would be on the month, or even the week, or both. I’m probably due for an upgrade any time, and I’ll have my fold on the decade.

When an important event from this year folds on top of a similar important time from the past, a hole is poked into the time between the two events. Then, I can see through it to the event in the past, sort of like brutal, accidental time travel. All that foldy time is jabbed with something sharp and metal, and for some reason, I’m the one bleeding from the puncture.

I suppose it’s not always brutal. Sometimes, it can be a gentle poke and a glimpse into past springs or happy Christmases, or joyous weddings.

But often something has changed, and the difference, good or bad, is painful. Anyone who has suffered loss knows how vicious the jab is between this birthday or holiday and the last happy one with that person. It makes you avoid looking at calendars and keep the shades closed and the lamps lit at all times, so weather changes can’t trick you into stabbing time. None of that matters, because you always know, and it always happens.

My latest time jab was gentler than that, but still brought tears to my eyes. It was just a little day in August when I brought a small boy to kindergarten, poked through to last year in August when he still said “becited and bessert.” And another to the year before in August when he would call, “Wook, Mommy!” And on through diapers and pacifiers. All the way back to when I was a startled, confused and exhausted new mother holding a squirming, befuddling little creature who was so bewitching, I could barely breathe.

It seems like time has folded really quickly since then, and there are a thousand tiny pokes through time to all the little hims he used to be.

But before I get too teary eyed, I remember that these little spots will get folded over again, and before I know it, I’ll get to see all the new little and bigger hims he gets to be. I’m sure curious to meet these hims, but I’m not rushing things. I have a few thousand days left of him in kindergarten, right?

Nana’s Eyes

Nana and me

Nana and me

There was something about Nana – an elegance beyond description. She was poised and classy, but there was more. Because Nana was always around me, it took me while to really see her and discover what was so special. that indefinable something that made It clear she was not only elegant, but mischievous, brave, curious…magical. One day I noticed, it was her eyes.

Nana’s eyes sparkled with dreams, and I always got the feeling that through them, she was seeing the world as even better than it was. If she loved what she saw, she collected it to revisit and reward it in her imagination with brighter colors and softer textures. If she wasn’t fond of something, i believe she improved it. Sometimes, she seemed to travel far away. If you saw her then, you would notice how starry her eyes had become and see her small contented smile. She transported herself into true stories of the past or rich fictions where she played the heroine, a brave huntress or the benevolent benefactor of a vast fortune.

These were not the drifting, forgetful spells of a person grown old. You can see the magic of her eyes in any picture of her at any age. Maybe it did get a littler harder in later years to live the stories just the way she wanted. And maybe that’s why she longed to be in her own house. There, Nana could reconnect with the visions of her heroic tales. She could hear the echoes of loved ones’ laughter and the rustle of fancy dresses, smell the cologne of her handsome beaus, dance, sing, play create travel, fly.

Walking through her house, you can almost see the gossamers of Nana’s dreams. And looking at her family, you can see her legacy in the eyes of her children and their children and so on. She spent her life translating her visions into lessons of dignity, elegance, strength, nobility, magic and love. And we are all better because of that – because she loved us.

Happy Birthday Nana – I miss you.

I Like it Gentle, too

A while ago, I wrote about liking it rough, and I haven’t changed. But I do diversify. Lately, I’ve needed things to be gentler. The news of the world burns like acid in my gut, the Florida days are hot, dark and wet, and my not-so-friend, the D is drifting too near, too often.

So I’m taking it gentle with me, keeping my world a little smaller and my walls a little closer and my surfaces a little fluffier. Call it an emotional blanket fort.Or even a blanket nest, à la Robot Hugs.

nest 1blanket nest

My home remedy:

Naps. There are no words for how I love you, naps.

Hugs from my husband. My husband is a world-class hugger. It is the first thing about him I fell in love with. One hug, and I was home. I can get these free, whenever I want (not to brag).

Cuddles from my small boy. Also giggles. Also smiles. Also silliness. Also, the chance to be his hero in whatever way I can which usually involves finding things I should make him find himself or giving him treats he doesn’t really need. I don’t care, you should see his eyes.

Scheduled chats with my cherished friend, John, who always makes me feel loved.

Regular (near constant!) words with my living, loving, brilliant, hilarious diary/therapist Angela. Seriously, though. You need to come home.

Music. Yes, I’m obsessed, and NO, I’m not sorry. (New album, Positive Songs for Negative People is out in just three days!)

The Next Storm and Glorious You are perfect for my blanket fort.

FT next storm

Old, and not-that-old movies. I just watched French Kiss, and had gentle, if slightly impure thoughts about Kevin Kline. I will drop everything if An Affair to Remember is on. But for real, downy, fleecy movie gentle, I always watch Harvey. Elwood P. Dowd has it figured out, and come on — Jimmy Stewart. Look at that face.

Years ago my mother used to say to me, she'd say,

Years ago my mother used to say to me, she’d say, “In this world, Elwood, you must be” – she always called me Elwood – “In this world, Elwood, you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant.” Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant. You may quote me.

Hugs to all you all out there – unless that makes you uneasy, then I’ll just invite you to my blanket fort to eat cereal and watch movies.