It’s a well-known writing exercise to think of a common household object, (shoes for example) and just dwell on it until memories and associations begin to present themselves and the words begin to flow. To this end, I’ve been thinking about violets – many different kinds – and I’m surprised and kind of delighted that I have so many diverse feelings around a flower which is often considered boring and supermarket- frumpy.
Such misplaced snobbery must be addressed. Continue reading
The General and I were having our usual Sunday morning coffee discussion group today (only 2 people permitted, dressing gowns required) and listening to a superb documentary about “grey divorce” which caused us to sit exchanging (sometimes worried glances) as women discussed either having to leave their partners of many decades or being left themselves, each terrifying for different reasons. Of course, for the person who leaves, that ‘terror’ could often be called excitement; the beginning of something new; or a totally fresh start sponged clean of predictability, routine and those little pyramids of toenail clippings in the tub. (Editor’s Note). Continue reading
When I was a young woman just starting out in the working world, I often worked with “older” women whom I looked down upon for being perpetually cynical, negative and hard-boiled. Often they were also the kind of women who might sit on stools at the bar in their fifties, sharing limericks (and possibly Tequila) with sailors. As a confident newlywed, I once admitted at work that my new husband and I had opted not to have a television at all.
“Ha!” one of them snorted. “I give you 6 months!”
Since I felt infinitely superior in my own lofty, more evolved sphere, I was able to let this kind of low remark pass but I remember thinking privately I will never become like them.
I don’t think I have, exactly; but post-divorce, much older now, I see the whole thing with a different lens, fully appreciating the loss of a soft, golden innocence, the piercing sadness of betrayal and the kind of resentment that can form hard, sharp crystals in the heart. Continue reading
O Winter! bar thine adamantine doors:
The north is thine; there hast thou built thy dark
Deep-founded habitation. Shake not thy roofs
Nor bend thy pillars with thine iron car.
He hears me not, but o’er the yawning deep
Rides heavy; his storms are unchain’d, sheathed
In ribbed steel; I dare not lift mine eyes;
For he hath rear’d his scepter o’er the world.
Lo! now the direful monster, whose skin clings
To his strong bones, strides o’er the groaning rocks:
He withers all in silence, and in his hand
Unclothes the earth, and freezes up frail life.
He takes his seat upon the cliffs, the mariner
Cries in vain. Poor little wretch! that deal’st
With storms; till heaven smiles, and the monster
Is driven yelling to his caves beneath Mount Hecla.
** Don’t you find that “adamantine” is very underused these days?