Seasons Change

 

For Carolyn, the official end of summer has always been August 12th, the day after her birthday. On that morning she’d wake up to the distinct chill of Autumn. This year was different. There was no chill in the air. She couldn’t feel the gotta-get-stuff-done energy that normally spilled from her neighbor’s houses.

Maybe it was that she wasn’t ready to let go. Get back to her normal life. She didn’t work all summer. It started with a slow June, then it was the 4th of July, she figured no one works around the holiday, then there was this cloudy memory of a book she read when she was 20 about a girl in analysis and how everyone, including the girl’s shrink, vacationed in August. All summer she felt as if she were forgetting something. She had to call up the credit card company more than once to ask for forgiveness and to waive fees due to late payments.

She spent a lot of time in the sun. At the beach or on her lounge chair in the back yard, a glass of lemonade and her book on the table next to her. She was like her father. He would sun himself by the pool in their backyard. Stretched out on his lounge chair, glass of iced tea and a script on the table beside him.  Carolyn read Play it as it Lays three times that summer. She kept the book in her purse. She liked Joan Didion,  how her writing made Carolyn think about her father. She remembered that December when she was a girl, her grandparents came to stay with her while her parents went to California for three weeks so her dad could work on the movie Play it as it Lays. That Christmas there was talk about moving west. Some days Carolyn didn’t open the book. Instead she closed her eyes. Thought about Mariah, Joan Didion, her father. Listened to the buzz of the humidity.The heat that August was thick. Record breaking.  Carolyn missed the spring winds with their tangy mist and cool kisses. The heat pushed in on everyone. She could see it in slumped shoulders and furrowed brows, in weary gait, as if everyone was wading through setting cement. And in those last two weeks of August, she felt it push in on her. It clogged her system, seeped from her skin, pooled in the pit of her stomach.

She woke up early on August 31st. Her chest hurt. She stood naked in the dark kitchen. Drank her coffee and looked out the window. Waited for the sky to catch up.  It was her father’s birthday. She never knew how to act on this day. He would have been 83.

She went to the beach that afternoon and stood at the break, watched the water wash over her feet. She thought about her father. He died 12 days after he turned 53.  She passed the milestone of outliving her father by two years. It had been thirty birthdays. Thirty August 31st’s since he left. Thirty years is 10,944 days.

That evening Carolyn picked up The Year of Magical Thinking and re-read the section when Joan and John and Quintana spent time with Katherine Ross and Conrad Hall at Broadbeach in Malibu. Carolyn liked to read that section. She knew that she and her mother and father followed behind them, the next set of waves to wash into Katherine Ross’ beach house.

She tucked the book under her pillow before she went to sleep that night. In her dreams she visited Broadbeach. She was with Katherine, they were baking cookies like when she was a girl. She could smell the dough rising in the oven, the ocean, the Herbal essence of Katherine’s strawberry hair. She knew her father was there. Just outside, on the balcony. She could almost see him in her periphery. Almost hear his voice under the sound of the breaking waves. His laugh. Almost hear him say her name. And when she woke up on the morning of September 1st she almost believed he was alive.

 

Sweet Apples & Honey

The days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are a time for prayer, good deeds, reflecting on past mistakes and making amends with others.

 

Diving into the layers of color that are my life
Painting a vision of the year to come
Honoring my past

My father passed away on September 12, Rosh Hashanah in 1988. I used to say, Wow, two days a year to feel like crap. I was younger in understanding when I said that.  Now I wonder if his timing wasn’t part of the gift

 

Sweet apples & honey

 

Honoring what I have released
Has released me

People
Animals
Expectations
Clients
Attitudes
Habits
Fear
Heartbreak
Worry

Wants wishes dreams

Ah you’ve let go of dreams, one might ask.

Yes, I might answer

Let go of needing, pushing, pulling,
the angst that wraps itself
tangles, knots, ties itself
tightening around my delights
Wooosh, throw them to the water

Like a cloud
Or a bird that glides on the winds that come off the ocean
The bird launches into the strong gusts

A time to relax
A time to play
A time to drift
Riding the wind-wave
Sailing

I will
I have
let go and I will be carried
I will
I AM

I saw the box
resting on the brown table
I was sitting in a waiting room
this wasn’t the first time
waiting
in this room
on this day
I Looked at the box
other days, the many times before, I picked up a magazine about Running
this day
the picture painted on the box
the blues and the greens
caught my eye
this day
I opened the box
a deck of cards
I picked up the card on top

Don’t take it personally
One  of  The Four Agreements

I turned the card over in my hand
I read

If someone is not treating you with love and respect, it is a gift if they walk away from you.  If that person doesn’t walk away, you will surely endure many years of suffering with him or her.  Walking away may hurt for a while, but your heart will eventually heal.

Understanding

stitching together fabric too worn to seam
isn’t useful
words are just words
threaded together
to create a cloak
no matter how coarse and uncomfortable
I chose to drape it over my shoulders
let it create rash
scratching, itching, burning
rub my skin raw

Y is just a crooked letter

 

Sweet apples & honey

 

 

 

Tomorrow I’ll remember
40 years ago, 40 months ago, 40 days ago

yesterday
today
this moment
the one after that

honoring those who have come and gone

through the windows, peep holes, cracks, nooks, crannies,
slipped in-between
underneath
around
swirled in through the front door
lifted out the back

 

Sweet apples & honey

Bread on the water