Sunday, September 30, 2018

Sonnets and Such

One day I wrote her name upon the strand,
But came the waves and washed it away:
Again I wrote it with a second hand,
But came the tide, and made my pains his prey.

Vain man, said she, that dost in vain assay
A mortal thing so to immortalize!
For I myself shall like to this decay,
And eek my name be wiped out likewise.

Not so (quoth I), let baser things devise
To die in dust, but you shall live by fame:
My verse your virtues rare shall eternize,
And in the heavens write your glorious name;
Where, whenas death shall all the world subdue,
Our love shall live, and later life renew.

In 12th grade English we had to memorize and recite a sonnet. I chose this one by Edmund Spenser which I have always remembered the first line of, and that's all. It comes back familiar as I read it through this morning. 

Up at 4 a.m. organizing, tidying in preparation for the Big Week. The Out of the Darkness Walk is Saturday and Cal is hosting a cook-out at our house and having some friends in for the weekend from out of town. This has me in a frenzied mood to...write a sonnet??

One day I washed the kitchen floor,
But came the Pat and walked across it:
Again, I mopped around the kitchen door,
But came the ants and trailed their antish bit.

Vain woman, I said, that dost clean in vain
How can you expect this house to look a-swag!
For Cal's friends to be impressed is strain,
And wear you down to your last rag.

Get up (quoth I), there's cooking and cleaning to do
And there you sit typing rubbish on your computer screen:
Your thoughts are those of a Shakespearean shrew,
And matter less than how you preen;
Where, whenas, all the guests arrive in haste,
And judge you to be a Mama of good taste. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2018


I received this watercolor in the mail yesterday. Originally painted in 2016 shortly after Adam's death. These things have a way of coming around when they're needed. With the Out of the Darkness Walk coming up, and all that represents for me, it is nice to have a surprise like this to brighten my day.

Yesterday morning after meditation, I was journaling per usual. I just write down whatever comes into my mind, an encouragement to myself, a goal, a poorly drawn sketch or pastel. Yesterday my mind was saying "soft touch." I decided I had just invented a concept called soft touches. These are things we give or receive that are usually small but give us that little boost we all need, and when strung together, represent a meaningful life. Later in the day, this soft touch came in the mail.

This soft touch was not so small, but it is so very soft, don't you think? The artist is Chuck Melvin, my ex Bill's, (Adam's father), roommate in college. A really funny, nice guy and super talented, even though he says he is not a watercolorist.

Sunday, September 09, 2018

Ashes to Ashes

Sometimes I just look at something and think "I put that there before Adam died," and I decide to leave it there forever.  I found a bottle of strawberry milk mix in the refrigerator that was clearly there for Adam, and can't bear to throw it out. I was dusting the upstairs bathroom and thought, "This dust was probably here before Adam died." How weird is that?

I was discussing ashes last night with a friend who was widowed young. It was an easy conversation. She spread her husband's ashes after 7 years, as per his wishes. Adam, of course, left no instructions or time to discuss such things. It was probably the last thing on his mind.

So his ashes, his remains, stay on the fireplace mantel. Bits have made it to Nebraska and the labyrinth at Spring Lake, even back into my body. As I consider Pat's and my own death (I know, but we do these things in "middle age"), I think about a permanent marker somewhere, probably in Macomb. If we pick out a plot and headstone, I believe Adam will be included there, but I can't say I'm in a real hurry. As my friend said, "You'll do it when you're ready."