Home this past weekend. It was Mother’s Day, if you didn’t know; if you didn’t know, you’ve really got more going on than I’m fit to address, frankly.
In Britain and Ireland, Mother’s Day is more commonly referred to as “Mothering Sunday”, which sounds just–well, just horrid, don’t you think?
ME: Happy Mothering Sunday, Ma!
A very special e-mail from my mother last week. She attended my niece Maddy’s very first “Grandparent’s Day” at school, and afterwards, escorted Maddy to a place called Mrs. Curl’s:
Mrs. Curl’s is right down the street from my elementary school/parents’ church. It is a fabled business, is Mrs. Curl’s.
Behind Mrs. Curl’s is a place called Archer’s Meats.
My mother briefly discussed some of the ins and outs of Grandparent’s Day proper. Then:
“Anyway, the real fun started when I took her home. We went to Mrs. Curl’s, and if you recall, Archer’s Meats is right behind it. A sturdy young farmer brought in a calf–this would be for butchering. Fortunately, Maddy didn’t notice the nice cow. As we sat outside enjoying our ice cream cones, we heard a sharp cracking sound, which I believe to have been a gun shot involving the calf.”
She concludes: “Maybe a few zoning regs wouldn’t be a bad idea.”
GOOD DEAR GOD AND ALL HIS ASSEMBLED ANGELS
It doesn’t end there, though!
My sister reminded me–and my mother verified this story–that, when we were little school children just down the road, a cow ESCAPED from Archer’s, GOT INTO THE FIELD by our SCHOOL, and HAD TO BE SHOT. And that the TEACHERS had to PULL ALL OF THE BLINDS CLOSED so we WOULDN’T SEE IT and develop IRREPARABLY COMPLEX MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES for THE REST OF OUR LIVES.
I don’t remember ANY of this happening, for love nor money, but my sister does, sort of? My brother Nick apparently recalls it with the clarity of yesterday.
We decided that this is because the boys would have been hyper aware–would have had the inside line, back then–on A COW being SHOT IN A FIELD adjacent to SCHOOL PROPERTY. I’ll betcha they went to the bathroom and tried to see out the window!
LITTLE JOHNNY: Hoist me up!
LITTLE TOMMY: It’s just like Christmas!
I know it sounds like Mark Twain wrote my school, but Greenwood is a perfectly genteel place!
There is a bait shop.
The other happening of the weekend was my youngest brother Ben’s graduation from college. My little Benjers! My sweet little boodle-doo.
My grandmother, my parents, Ben, and myself loaded ourselves into a vehicle and made our way to the graduation on Saturday morning; it was held out-of-doors, at a stadium-ish place, and that cool spring wind sure did BITE OUR FACES OFF! But first: Pictures!
Flanked by Ma and Pa, standing athwart the universe, master of all he surveys!
Flanked by the womenfolk!
A warm handshake between friends!
For years, wheresoever I have lived on the face of the earth, I have kept this picture of Benjamin in my home:
At the graduation, the powers that be asked–as they usually do–that the spectators hold their applause until all of the graduates had received their diplomas. Hahahahahahaha! Those powers that be! “Knuckleheads that be”, I like to call them, when they believe that such naive requests will be honored in any substantive fashion!
The name of Graduate Number One was called. Her high-heeled foot had scarcely hit the stage when a woman in the crowd shot up from her seat–a woman quite centrally located, bleacher-wise, rendering her position like nothing so much as that of a mermaid on the prow of a pirate ship–and shrieked, with one fist thrust into the air:
When Ben’s name was called, I mustered up a “Woooooooo!” But it bore no relation to the primal cry seen above.
I know when I’ve been outclassed.
I would be remiss if I did not direct you to the New Blogs/Websites of my good friends Lara and Laura [don’t get CONFUSED by their SIMILAR NAMES. They are two different people, with two different hearts, and thoughts, and feelings]!
Let me be frank with you; let me speak plainly, as people do. Laura has the best taste of anyone I know, end o’ discussion. It’s disgusting. If Laura told me to purchase a pair of shoes the color of melted orange sherbet and shaped like a rocking horse, I’d buy those shoes, because Laura knows. Don’t ask me how she knows. God knows, I think.
Anywho, go and read all about the delightful things she finds!
Lara has recently–and very excitingly–started on a new full-time venture as a mural painter/greeting card maker/step-stool creator/everything-er! Her work is bee-yoo-ti-ful. Go, look, stay, mayhaps purchase!
She is very talented, that Lara Levitan. You should see.
I am moving at the end of this month. Not to a new city; just a new apartment. It feels, though, like crossing an ocean. Three years in one home is not very long, and yet? It is. I moved in February 2007. From then to now? A lifetime. I have loved this apartment very much.
I have been thinking very much, lately, about terribly and utterly missing something, or someone, when they–or it–are still right in front of you; before they’ve vanished; before they’ve gone completely beyond your recall, out of your life with a finality that brooks no return. What do you do with this feeling? I do not know what to do with it. It is an ache that needs must fade, as other deep aches do. It requires no action. But…it does.
I am not very good at saying goodbye forever.
Our new apartment has a lilac bush in the backyard.
Explorers Cry Out Unheard
What I have in mind is the last wilderness.
I sweat to learn its heights of sun, scrub, ants,
its gashes full of shadows and odd plants,
as inch by inch it yields to my hard press.
And the way behind me changes as I advance.
If interdependence shapes the biomass,
though I plot my next step by pure chance
I can’t go wrong. Even willful deviance
connects me to all the rest. The changing past
includes and can’t excerpt me. Memory grants
just the nothing it knows, & my distress
drives me towards the imagined truths I stalk,
those savages. Warned by their haunting talk,
their gestures, I guess they mean no. Or yes.