Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Couched thoughts.

(Written 04/17/06, 8:43 p.m., but I am so in denial.)

One of those house/decor magazines entertained Hidi and me for a while at a bookshop today. I have never seen so many ugly kitchens in my entire life. Too many blank, polished places ordained with a single ancient artifact. Furniture with sharp, uninviting edges. Hidi said something in the parking lot about how she'd much rather look at (let alone sit on) my couch than anything we saw in the glossy, captioned pages.

You have to understand how in love I am with my couch. (I'm so smitten that I really wasn't going to write about it, but here I am.) It's gold with pink and green and white oriental scenes on it: trees and flowers, people hauling wood, digging in the dirt, uscythesythes. It is especially worn in the left-most cushion as you look at it, because that is the best place to sit. The matching material pillows are tube-like and there seems to be one more than one really needs. Those are kept company by the green and brocadecaide pillows my mom made when she was in high school for her mother (plus two unmatched green, velveteen garage sale pillows for accent).

And it is true that thinking you might be losing something makes it more precious. The couch quite literally just made the cut into this apartment. And the dimensionallysionly gifted friends who forced it in the front door immediately informed me that I will either have to 1.) convince my landlords to rent the couch with the apartment when I leave, 2.) chop it into little pieces, maybe keeping a wallet-sized portionmementoomento, or 3.) lower it out the third story patio window. So I'm on the lookout for rope in anticipation of this June's move.

Oddly, this $35-couch has become a symbol of my adult life, having nursed me through colds, given rest to my visiting familycommonalitymonality to deep spiritual conversations, cushioned my grief at my grandfather's passing, and been the center piece of my finding a decorating style.

I realize now that I appear rather materialistic. Going on and on about toothbrushes and couches. I think the truth is that Iinterestedintersted by the impact our surroundings have on us. Would I be a happy person if I absolutely had to sell my couch, could never find another toothbrush like Glen again and was forced to live in a house with a stainless steel buffet/sideboard? Okay. I am convinced other small, temporary gifts in this temporary world would come to the fore and captivate my gratefulness. That's part of the secret of this world's beauty, I believe we're riveted most by things that cannot last. A sunset. The first moments of a baby's life. The calm in a storm. Memories of moments already past. Even huge canyons and ocean waves are constantly changing, and we soak the view in, knowing we will have to walk away.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

I'm Apriled

A tribute to that lovely exercise of making up words. I actually composed this an April or two ago... And weather-wise it really was more fitting for yesterday's gorgeousness.

I'm Apriled

On this everbloomed daffodil day
I laugh for east-chased clouds
and hum with the winds, tuning
to their change my once winter whistle.

What daughter loves more
the contemplation inside a new tulip?

What gifttaker pines more
over the words in a single branch?

What beloved knows more the sweet,
untold stories in windowpane rain trails?

Such Beauty
splits my senses and
I am unsummed,

unfrozen, unwintered and freed;
forefinger, inner ear,
little toe, wristbone,
hairwhisp caught on end
seeking rhythm in the world.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Much obliged

Does the word "obliged" come from "obligation?" Answer (thanks to Dictionary dot com), they both have the root of "to bind" - in other words, the binding of the favor or courtesy is on the giver. Though it would have been a bit more fun I think if "much obliged" really meant "one who has many obligations."

Must just be me. Bronte the cat sits just a block or two away, where she's been at the vet since Friday. Were she human, she'd easily be in AARP - I don't really know how old she is. But we're dealing now with medication for the rest of her life. *sigh* Having to be an adult, making life and pain and death decision is not what I wanted to do today. Can't I just go home and stuff Easter Eggs? I suddenly feel how precious that simple companionship of a cat is. Yes. Apparently I'm going to be one of those old ladies some day.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

A toothbrush named Glen

I just bought a new toothbrush. It's like a Cadillac for my gums. I could hardly stop brushing, it felt that good. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that I broke my rule and paid over a dollar and half for it. Maybe it's because my last one bore a closeresemblancece to a spoon than a toothbrush. Maybe it's because it is pink.

I thought only a new dress or a concert could make me feel so good. But here I sit, beaming because of my toothbrush. Nearly wishing it was in my mouth right now. If she were sparkley, I'd name her Glenda. But minus the sparkle, she's just Glen.

I think I have to write about things like Glen, because I forget how little things can be just as pleasing and just as important for my self esteem as pay raises and surprise hundred dollar checks and winks across a room. I need to successfully cook a meal. I need to wear turquoise on a Saturday. I need to feel good about my toothbrush.

Shoot. Maybe next week I'll buy socks. Why do they package socks and cotton underwear in re-sealable packages, anyway?

Monday, April 03, 2006

I saw beauty

"You can take no credit for your beauty at sixteen. But if you are beautiful at sixty, it will be your soul's d0ing." - Marie Stopes

This weekend we celebrated my grand-aunt's 90th birthday. Dressed in regracefullyull in low heels, she flitted from grandchildren to church friends to card-playing buddies. She seemed always on the verge of uproarious laughter, no matter at whom her brown eyes sparkled. I sat watching from a table decorated in pink and blue and yellow balloons (just as fitting for nine as 90). She must have forgotten all about birthdays after the age of 35, she just decided to stay young.

Aunt Wilma. Singer of high school operettas, master of the church organ, widowed these ten years. And one mean birthday party hostess.

That night, more partying for me and Mom as we go to her High School Alumni Banquet. We don't even make it in the doors before someone is calling her name and hugging on her. And I watch very closely this woman that I have held myself up to for as long as I can remember, as she interacts with the people from the era of her life I most dreamed about. [There was just something magical to the little girl I was, sitting next Mom on her bed, opening jewelrey box that smelled like time erased, going through the old 4-H and honor society pins, hearing the stories of girlfriends and senior trips and proms.] As she talks to friends not seen in 10, 20, 30 years, she is that farm girl again. And she is stunning.

These women of my family, their beauty, feed my soul.