Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The Topography of Love

While we sat at breakfast, I surreptitiously studied her face the way I would the ridges and rills of a wind-carved land. Each line, each wrinkle that etched her skin told its own tale of love and prayer and toil and perseverance. They ran together into a network of stories, one long story, composed of the joys, sorrows, trials, worry, laughter, and love of life. It was a face I had seen my whole life and a face I still don’t know very well. Strangely enough, with all those wrinkles, it looked anything but worn out. This was not the personality of someone who is just hanging on, waiting for the end, but a cheerful soul who enjoys the life that is given this day.

She’s 92 and still full of spunk. (She thinks BINGO is for “old people” [whoever does that refer to, … the hundred-somethings??], preferring shopping and line-dancing when she can get out.) She’s buried her husband, her sister, her brother, her son-in-law, nephews, nieces, cousins, and probably long-lost lovers. She’s held in her arms and laughed with her great-great-granddaughter. And if I have her genes and I get to be that old, I think this is how I want my face to look. Cheerful, grave, filled with story … lived in. A topography of love.

Today’s influences and soundtrack:
Anonymous, The Chronicles of Israel
Beethoven, Symphony No. 5
Eric Hayford Rhodes, Shout!
Lyle Mays, Street Dreams
Gordon Lightfoot, Sundown

Monday, November 19, 2007

For Peculiar Reasons

Today was a really good day. But it was good for all kinds of peculiar reasons.

I got about 6 hours of sleep last night which is an hour more than normal, so I felt rested.
I had a cup of well-made coffee of the proper strength while reading before first light.
I had a nice hot shower which seemed luxurious …. but that happens every day. I once went a month without being able to get cleaned up, so a shower every morning is a luxury anyway.
I wore a new pair of socks that were bulked up on the bottom and my feet were comfortable.
The front seat of my Jeep felt right.
The trees are nearly barren with only remnants of leaves decorating the branches. I love this time of year “… before the coming of the snow.”
The air smelled wonderful, the weather was improperly warm, and the sunshine on my head felt like a soul massage.
There was a hawk against blue sky and a Flicker was laughing at me from a nearby sapling.
A friend of mine wore a new bow-tie.
Another friend laughed at my faux pas and it made me feel significant.
There were leaves being carried on the breeze which made me wish I could fly.
The office staff spent 15 minutes laughing at silly stuff.
I finished a little project that was dogging my steps for the last few weeks.
I was surprised by butterflies on November 19.
Someone fixed us a delicious meal, just because …
The moon has risen and is splashing light all over my front lawn.
I am glad for the dog down the street barking at who knows what.
The day ends with a glass of delicious 2005 Cabernet.

I feel like the king, sitting in his counting house, counting all his treasure…

Today’s Influences and Soundtrack:
Michael Denton, Nature’s Destiny
Arthur Bennett, Valley of Vision
Alexander McCall Smith, The Kalahari Typing School for Men
Hubert Parry, Lady Radnor Suite
Pat Metheny Group, Something Left Unsaid (compilation)
Charles Tournemire, L’Orgue Mystique Suite No 24