Monday, June 28, 2010

The Mess

It is taking all my willpower NOT to clean my kitchen right now. It is 10:00 pm and it has been askew for many hours. My daughter ran out @ 3:00 promising to get to it when she came home. She breezed in for a few minutes and her deadline did not include cutlery, counters or dishes. I have tried to keep myself occupied. I have been reading and avoiding the chaos altogether. This is much harder than would seem. For me, I will have to endure this scene at 6:30 a.m. The floor is sticky by the fridge where icing sugar has coagulated with water. The counters have residue to the touch. I cannot use the sink with muffin tins, bowls of goopy coloured icing and baking implements jut out.

I am sure she will be disappointed when she sees it to. The reminder of her promise. The reminder of her responsibility. She will hope that I would just succumb to my dislike of chaos over principle. I should because it is punishing me far greater than it ever will her.

Friday, June 25, 2010


I get fixated. I can check my email ten or twenty times in a hour...waiting...hoping for a response. For a few days I have been doing this. Checking sometimes frantically, other times distracted and able to hold off for an hour or two. I am fixated because I want resolution. I am fixated because I am so confused about how we have arrived at this place. It is difficult to know someone is wishing your demise. My own wisdom would tell others "don't let negative thoughts rent space in your head" - while my heart beats faster with anxiety and anticipation. If I could change this about myself I would. I am stuck. Stuck and fixated. Stuck and anxious. Stuck and sad that discord has threatened my peace.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

I can pretend that words don't hurt me, but they do. A dark shadow has been cast on a sunny day. To understand why the effluvia began is futile, as I have rehashed every circumstances of our demise considerably. Asthenia has taken over as I accede to negativity. Perhaps this was the goal in the beginning. I am not implying that it was the intention to enervate, but possibly, jealousy seethed and became the malignant growth of distress within his soul.

For me, the pain will be momentary. The wound will return to health. I am fearful that his heart will remain obdurate and unable to heal.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Elegance of the Hedgehog

To say I knew where the story was going, would be untrue. There was no incongruence, in fact the denouement clarified much for me. But I would not have predicted that the obdurate Paloma would become caught up in the life of someone decades apart, yet kindred. Neither, would I have foreseen the shrouded root of Renee's aloofness with the residents of her building. I felt captivated by the unfolding of the plot that brought lucidity and optimism; things do not always have to be as they always have.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

It isn't often I feel challenged by authors. Being an erudite has enabled me to comprehend and catalogue vocabulary in English as well as some French and Latin. So, when I began to read "The Elegance of the Hedgehog" by Muriel Barbery, I was startled that within the first few chapters I was referring to a dictionary. This, in no way, discouraged me, instead creating a craving for this enjoyable use of words and commas. By the time I reached Renee's astounding shock at an unnecessary comma written by her educated mistress, her reaction was appropriate for my fellow word nerd....and grammar slammer.

I related because, I don't mean to edit everything I read. It happens so naturally that I am inclined to want a marking pencil when I read magazines, books, websites. Like a gardener seeing a plant meant for a shade garden, set within the flower beds that need full sun, it exasperates. To many, the faux pas is not obvious but, to those few who know, it is like a pebble in one's shoe that needs immediate remedy.

Thus, I find myself in this position, often. Incorrect use of than and then has caused inner turmoil. Lately your and you're seems to have lost all scrutiny - even to the educated. Your is possessive, you're is a contraction of you are. I have explained this to some, ignoring the glazed look. This is important, not only to me, but to humanity. When we allow our language to denigrate we will be left with u r instead, as text messages are frequently the mode of written communication lately. U r might have sufficed when schooling was not mandatory and paid for.

When Barbery challenged my intellect, I felt relieved. Relieved that there are morphemics among us. The feat that was most pleasant, however, was the discovery that Barbery sometimes had misused the words I was forced to examine. It seems iniquitous that I would delight in this, but I do. Perhaps I am more like the protagonist than the author.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Gardening cultivates metaphors for my life. The ivy was once a wanted ground cover. Now it represents control and irritation. It does not die easily either. I continue the eradication process weekly. Friends are helping with my garden. They share their cuttings, their advice and their wisdom. Yesterday, Krista and I were envisioning the garden, when it fills in. Her visions are clearer as she knows that the Solomon's Seal will spread along with the Euphorbia. The encouragement to plant good things is not taken lightly. The light and soil determine a lot of what will flourish. Watering and weeding will help. It is also about allowing each plant to complement the garden without overtaking it. Ivy works when kept at bay, as does praise. But when it takes over as the sole survivor, it becomes the hubris needing annihilation.

Gardening is life. You plant, you water, and nourish with good it will thrive. There will be times of weeding, fertilizing, and transplanting. Sometimes friends will bring their vision and their cuttings. I need their vision in my life, their suggestions, their help at weeding out the unnecessary to make way for the extraordinary. Gardening reminds me to work at what I really want and to plant and nurture what is important. My life is a garden.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

If you had told me 10 years ago, or even 10 months ago that I would give it up, I wouldn't have believed it. It has been part of my routine for more than 30 years. I learned to make it when I was eight. Scooping just the right amount - my mom would know if there was too much or too little - and then waiting until I heard the first plop that hit the glass top of the Corning Ware pot. I vaguely remember having to time the plops, but it is lost in time. After the alloted time, the burner would be turned to minimum and I would get the mugs ready. My mom and dad used evaporated milk. The kind of milk sold in cans that had a cow on it. They both took about a teaspoon and I would fix the coffee and try to bring it to them. Then, and only then, could I have my own little cup.

That is how the routine started, and continued sans evaporated milk and percolation. That is, until last year, amidst the chaos of medical situations and hospital visits, I switched to peppermint tea. Peppermint tea is mostly, predictable. I steep it for a long time and wait until the smell of peppermint tingles in my nostrils. Then it is ready. Coffee was becoming tiring. One cafe made it too strong, the other had line-ups out the door. The rug was suddenly pulled from beneath my comfortable, reliable morning routine. It had to change. Peppermint tea also meant I didn't have to go down the elevator, wait in line, look presentable, talk coherently, and pay what used to be the cost of a meal, for a coffee.

So, life goes on without my morning coffee. Surprising, but there were little side effects. I expected it would have been difficult. It wasn't. I expected I would want to return to the routine when I got home and settled. I didn't. Perhaps it was time for a change. But if you had told me that 10 months ago, I honestly would have thought I had a full-blown addiction. It is nice, for a change, to find out that you are not dependent on everything you think you are.