Sunday, November 4, 2012

attending sunset


How troublesome words are. 

If I'd been content to merely "witness"  sunset as I've been witnessing the sunrise this past month, a quick acknowledgement of its appearance (or non-) would have seemed enough.  But "attend" seems to require something a little more deliberate.

Speaking of which.  How accidental are accidents? Or are they all secretly deliberate?

Tureen With Lid in the Blanc pattern by Dansk China
not a butter dish, because  none available at  replacements.com

Before my youngest son joined us this past summer, what was I really thinking-- that morning before I even knew for certain he was going to come? Fingering the little white raspberry on top of the butter dish dome, silently congratulating myself once again, once again, on my clever cleverness at that long-ago estate sale when I scooped it up for next to nothing -- noting again how breakable my doted-on Dansk Blanc butter dish was. How easy for small and unaccustomed fingers to let it slip and fall.  How I would hate to seeit broken, my lovely raspberry-lidded butter dish.  How of course people are more important than things.  How I would just have to resign myself to that eventuality. 

Within the week, my butter dish, plate and cover had slipped one hasty morning, slipping from my own not-small and well-accustomed fingers, even the little berry on top shattering into as many pieces as was necessary to take care at least of that worry before my son-to-be, my son-who-now-is moved in. 

But it was an accident.

Just like my erasing all the pictures from the last tense and dutiful weeks of August as we packed up my irreplaceable Middlest and delivered her up to her new life. Weeks I wanted to be focused on her, but weeks I knew doting case workers were expecting to see in full-color pictures at our next monthly check-in, expecting to gather up and email on to every therapist and fosterer and grandparent our youngest son had brought in his wake.  Too many emotions and cross-currents and none I wanted to keep recording. The grimaces and awkward hugs, the brief sweet moments between pouts and tantrums.  When there was peace and ease I wanted to live in it, not be photographing it.  Everywhere I went I felt I carried their double-agent, my camera, no longer a friend with patient eyes, but an obtuse intruder keeping tabs on my family.

And then I misplaced my camera USB cord.  And then I accidentally erased all the pictures from August before I could copy them over.  There was a pang of loss, of course.  To have lost all those last pictures of my daughter.  A few sweet bursts of laughter between my sons.  But I would be lying to say I wasn't first swept with naked relief that now I wouldn't ever have to sort through the mass of those mostly unharmonious snapped shots.  Relief to have an unexceptionable excuse for the small smattering of canned smiles I could pass along to official entities.  And keep all the rest only in my memory.

Accidental?  And what about washing my phone dead and then drying it deader, so no one could get hold of me any more, at the height of my frustration with constant phone calls?  How it took me two months to find enough time to replace it?  It was such a pain to have to conduct all my business by email or landline.  Some busy-ness just dropped off because I was too hard to get hold of.  Was all that accidental?  I think it was.

Maybe.

Surely it was not deliberate.

And now, scarcely have I begun to unwind my story of the snail, that mute braggart of deliberation, scarcely have I begun to uncoil my inner guard's inner spiral than I find my Self evicted from her longtime lodging -- or did she break out on her own?


I didn't think I was ready to break out of the shell so soon. But I smashed this shell in a moment of inattention.  This shell kept safe for years.  Years and years.  I had fingered it day after day without ever breaking it.  And now when I wanted to really look into it, there is no in to look into.  Sunlight shines right through the broken chambers.

I want to make a new symbol of this already.

But my symbol-maker is tired.  Sunset comes earlier and earlier.



My body yearns more and more to get to bed earlier and earlier, too.  Someday, I keep promising myself, I will sleep from sunset to sunrise all the year around.  When I tell other people this ambition they are suitably unimpressed.

The things I do make time for are so inexcusably slight.  The things I never accidentally forget.

I love my daily diagram.

I love my private photographs of things no one is expecting to see.

Says my older son one sunset when he walks with me and I stop to take pictures of thistle gone to seed in the last light,  You make me see that things are really pretty that I would never have even looked at.  I love that.

I love writing 1000 words a day no matter what.

I love my spinning class.  As in bicycle, not yarn.  I love the sweat and especially I love endorphin bliss I carry around all day afterward.

And yes, I love having a requirement where I must -- sorry, the light's going, I've got to go right now -- slip outside and up to the top of the street where I can see the sunset properly.  Attend it.


That regular festivity. That meeting.  That farewell concert in the skies.





Today's 5 words were randomly plucked from 
Sweet and Sour: Tales from China Retold: 
  1. scarcely
  2. lodging
  3. guard's
  4. braggart
  5. or
Did you notice when they showed up?

    1 comment:

    Mrs. Organic said...

    Sunset, a meditation and last respects on a day well spent.

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