“What fresh hell can this be?” -Dorothy Parker, anytime her doorbell or phone rang.
It’s Saturday morning, folks, and time for some pithiness du jour.
-Is it me or is this the lamest winter in recent memory? Of course, my recent memory is kind of limited to last year, as winters go. Prior to that they mostly run together. I’m not one who can quip confidently, “Oh, that winter of “93, that was a terrible one.” I could no more recall specifics of the winter of ’93 than I could remember what I had for breakfast then. I can remember big snowfalls and the winter it went to 20 below and the pipes froze, but at best I might be able to assign them to a specific decade. It doesn’t bother me that I can’t remember the weather of specific years. I already hold enough useless information in my head. In any case, this has been a disappointing winter here in Pennsylvania for winter lovers like me. I know, I know, it has saved us money on heating costs and the effort of clearing roads, sidewalks and driveways. I’m not entirely ungrateful for that, but meh, I still like snow with my cold weather. It’s the ultimate serenity to me.
-A memory just popped up on my Facebook page, reminding me that it was 5 years ago that I escaped to Maine to heal and grow. My sister-from-another-mother Kristen scooped me up at the Bangor Airport on this date, a barely functioning bundle of anxieties and pain, and proceeded to ever-so-gently sand away my edges and corners, centering me again in a comfortable core of calm. I remember clearly flying over New England and Maine towards Bangor, looking down at sparkling water and pine trees and feeling away, separated by both miles and circumstances, contentedly detached from the realities of home. Maine, or rather that part of the beautiful Maine coast, swept me in and away, so large and unapologetically bold and sublime and unforgiving. Maine, and Kristen, reminded me how to be in the moment and out of my own head during that trip, allowed me space and beauty and time to rediscover peace. It was a time of sheer, unqualified love and tranquility. I will always think of Maine in that way.
-We appear to have reached a new détente among the furred family members in the house. Since Abby, our temporary foster dog, left at the end of November, we’ve been able to leave the door to the second floor open. (Abby, being a terrier of some sort, viewed the cats as evil interlopers, so Gracie and Henry had to live upstairs for their own protection.) Slowly, over the last 2 months, Guinness and Henry seem to have come to a gentlemen’s agreement. Guinness has agreed not to chase Henry unless Henry turns and runs, which, if you know Henry, is not usually his way of handling confrontation anyway. Henry has agreed not to dart out of hiding places and attack Guinness’s legs from behind, scaring the piss out of him – sometimes literally. Currently they appear to tolerate each other’s presence in a room, and usually add a quick arc around each other if they have to pass within a foot or two in their travels. Guinness monitors Henry like a hawk. Henry, being a bit of an asshole as some cats are, maintains an aloof nonchalance, refusing to show an ounce of care about Guinness. Meanwhile, Gracie and Barney just go about their days, blissfully unperturbed by the simmering feud between Guinness and Henry. I think Barney is not-so-secretly relieved to have been demoted from public enemy #1 in Henry’s eye’s. I enjoy having all four of them around, most of the time. They all look so peaceful and innocent when they are curled up and sleeping in the living room, although it does sometimes make for a challenge for the dads to find a place to sit.
-I am finally gong to get back to work on the novel this weekend. I have found myself thinking about it again, and I feel motivated to write. I don’t know if the actually doing will feel as satisfying, as I anticipate that it will take me a bit to rediscover those characters after a long break. Still, I think putting words on a page will feel good. I think of those characters as sleeping, kind of, and I’m about to wake them gently and ask them to continue telling me their stories. I hope they remember where they left off. I think it will be pleasant to live again in a time before the last election.
Let’s all find a bit of peace this weekend. Let’s search for moments of kindness and love, even if, like Guinness and Henry, it’s only temporary. Let’s go to Maine, even if only in our minds.