Sunday 24 April 2011

living in the now

And here I am ... back. I have been holding my tongue and  my breath for a while now. Scared to write what was happening since I was working over time to not think too hard about it. And inevitably, if I open a blank blog page, the truth is sure to flop out.

It looks like we are going to be in Glasgow for the summer. After much hand -ringing, hallway-pacing, excel spread-sheeting, scenario list-making, nail-chewing and general fretting, my dear husband has landed a contract job for the summer.

Insert GIANT sigh of relief here.

Yes, this is a short-term solution. Yes, we still need to figure out what happens, erm, AFTER summer.

And yet, that, is not now.

Now I  can buy flour, baking powder, mustard and peppercorns... things I have been holding off on since a move may have been imminent. (No one ever can find a way to move a half empty jar of mustard across international lines.)

Now I can get my summer clothes out of storage. (Naturally only to look at since it is only about 55F here but a girl can dream.)

Now we can keep L in nursery for his 2 life-saving, child-enriching days a week.

Now we can hire a babysitter so we can celebrate our 5 year wedding anniversary along with Kate & Will's wedding on April 29. (yes, they copied us.)

Now I can plan a long overdue trip to the US to see my parents and other mid-westerners. 

Now we can enjoy the parks and the flowers and take advantage of the lightness and the warmth and enjoy. (a.k.a. chase Lew as he runs amok throwing gravel or trying to lick wheels, pet strange dogs.)

Now I can make a hair appointment to recreate something that resembles a *hair-style* rather than the multi-coloured, straggly ponytail.

Now we can plan, really plan, what our next step is.

Three months isn't all that long, really.

But to me, to us, for now

It is everything.

Friday 1 April 2011

the beginning, the middle and the end

Things are changing in my life. 

Some faster than I can track, some achingly slow and some that are just hovering, waiting to land.

Not all of it feels comfortable to write *out loud* yet.  Even in my own head. 

And it made me think of this beautiful poem, Aristotle, by Billy Collins. 

This is the beginning.
Almost anything can happen.
This is where you find
the creation of light, a fish wriggling onto land,
the first word of Paradise Lost on an empty page.
Think of an egg, the letter A,
a woman ironing on a bare stage
as the heavy curtain rises.
This is the very beginning.
The first-person narrator introduces hirnself,
tells us about his lineage.
The mezzo-soprano stands in the wings.
Here the climbers are studying a map
or pulling on their long woolen socks.
This is early on, years before the Ark, dawn.
The profile of an animal is being smeared
on the wall of a cave,
and you have not yet learned to crawl.
This is the opening, the gambit,
a pawn moving forward an inch.
This is your first night with her,
your first night without her.
This is the first part
where the wheels begin to turn,
where the elevator begins its ascent,
before the doors lurch apart.

This is the middle.
Things have had time to get complicated,
messy, really. Nothing is simple anymore.
Cities have sprouted up along the rivers
teeming with people at cross-purposes—
a million schemes, a million wild looks.
Disappointment unshoulders his knapsack
here and pitches his ragged tent.
This is the sticky part where the plot congeals,
where the action suddenly reverses
or swerves off in an outrageous direction.
Here the narrator devotes a long paragraph
to why Miriam does not want Edward's child.
Someone hides a letter under a pillow.
Here the aria rises to a pitch,
a song of betrayal, salted with revenge.
And the climbing party is stuck on a ledge
halfway up the mountain.
This is the bridge, the painful modulation.
This is the thick of things.
So much is crowded into the middle—
the guitars of Spain, piles of ripe avocados,
Russian uniforms, noisy parties,
lakeside kisses, arguments heard through a wall—
too much to name, too much to think about.

And this is the end,
the car running out of road,
the river losing its name in an ocean,
the long nose of the photographed horse
touching the white electronic line.
This is the colophon, the last elephant in the parade,
the empty wheelchair,
and pigeons floating down in the evening.
Here the stage is littered with bodies,
the narrator leads the characters to their cells,
and the climbers are in their graves.
It is me hitting the period
and you closing the book.
It is Sylvia Plath in the kitchen
and St. Clement with an anchor around his neck.
This is the final bit
thinning away to nothing.
This is the end, according to Aristotle,
what we have all been waiting for,
what everything comes down to,
the destination we cannot help imagining,
a streak of light in the sky,
a hat on a peg, and outside the cabin, falling leaves.