So soccer practice was canceled, and instead we had a nice evening at home.
Now the girls are in bed, finishing up quiet reading time, and once I post this little snippet I'm going to go do some painting. The dishwasher's going, the laundry's mostly caught up, the house is tidy enough and tomorrow I've promised myself (and informed others!) that I'll take the whole day to gather up stuff for the art event on Sunday. I'm very happy and excited about it. I'm even going to get my face painted and everything. And there'll be a parade, and tamales, and we get to dance - possibly in the rain again, like last year - through the gates of Chinatown with a band and banners and there'll be hot chocolate too.
Remind me how sweet life is when I go back into woe-is-me mode.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Monday, October 19, 2009
But between soccer games and building altars in the shed, painting murals on the walls in the house and in a shed across town, thinking deep thoughts and listening to the birds, the days just go by, the way days will.
Yesterday my mother would have been 72 years old. She was the god of my childhood, and her moods were the weather, her face the sky. I regret she didn't live long enough to see me happy. I wish I'd seen her happy more often, and knew her better as a person and not just "mother", but wishing doesn't accomplish much, and so long after the fact it's even more of a misdirection of energy.
Does she look down on me from some great height, does she fly past me in the shape of a dragonfly, did I gather her into me in the hospital room when she died and "Don't Fence Me In" played in the background, just before six o'clock, with the oxygen gurgling and me trying to understand how my grandmother's face had eclipsed my mother's, like a mask had been slipped on. Will my mother's face be mine when I die? I know one thing. My children will know me better, and worse, and much more fully.
I wish you didn't have to die, said my eight year old daughter. I know, I said. I wish no one had to die, said my nine year old daughter. I know, I said. But think of it this way. Imagine the confusion and crowding if no one ever died. Imagine all the new ideas that would never come to be. Oh well, says one of them in reply, it's all just part of the cycle of life. And I promised not to die for many, many years. And I told them stories about how it would be when I was old and calling them to do things for me, and how they'd come home from college and tell me things, and they got up on a stool and we played at them being grownups and me being white-haired and sweet-tempered, or not.
I bet you miss your Mom, they said.
I do, I said.
Saturday, October 3, 2009
I asked if I could cut some, to display as part of an art-thing I did a couple of weeks ago. She graciously agreed. These hydrangeas are not those ones (I left them there, I don't know where they went to when the booth was taken down) but some others, from the same bush, and a piece of the timber bamboo my husband dragged home one day from the side of the road.
Thursday, October 1, 2009
But I haven't posted anything in a while, and I'd like to get back into the habit of it. I haven't been at the computer much lately. I've been painting a lot, on the walls in the house, a bit on the shed, and I made seven dollars painting the eyes and whiskers back on a tea-kettle-cat. (I didn't do a very good job on the whiskers.)
Today at soccer practice my daughter absconded with my sketchbook and four of my pens, to go draw and giggle with her friends while her sister ran around the field. I held some loose papers on my lap and drew on that, nothing in particular, just whatever came to mind. My daughter's friends came over and oohed over my picture and my daughter proudly told them I'd begun painting their room like a jungle. One of the girls complimented me and told me I should be an artist. I thanked her and said I just happened to be an artist, which impressed her to no end.
The days are cooler and shorter and the afternoon light when it comes is even more beautiful than it was in summer, when it became oppressive and I longed for rain. Yesterday the sun shone while the rain fell and the birds sang and I enjoyed it from the house looking out at the shed and the shed looking back at the house.
I came to epiphanies about control and illusion. It was a full day. I made meals, beds, apologies, progress.
Now if I could just grit my teeth and sit down at the computer and sort out my pictures. There are just so many.