I took this a few days ago ~ a young mouse killed by a cat no doubt. It blends in with the surrounding grass and makes one think of one’s eternity.
It’s been a rough couple of months. My mom is 91 and having some health issues. She almost died mid-April with a UTI that turned to toxic shock. All her systems were shutting down, and her BP was 50 something. Since then, my husband came down with that flu that’s been going around and has been as sick as he’s been in his life. He slept literally for a week. He’s just now finally almost back to normal but still a little weak with a bit of a cough. My son tripped and bent his fingers backwards and broke his middle finger. His hand swelled up and turned all blue and gray. Then this last weekend I took Mom down to specialists in Colorado and she almost had to have surgery. Luckily, she didn’t and that’s good.
I’ve presented at two fabulous conferences this spring ~ AWP and the Wind River Outdoor Writers Conference. I also gave a reading at the Albany County Library. It was all so wonderful, but stressful too.
I feel like I’m growing, but it’s hard to put my finger on exactly how. I’m not getting much writing done, which feels horrible and makes me a little crazy, but I feel like I’m stretching in other ways. The kids are growing too. Their schoolwork this year was outstanding, and their math and reading has really taken off.
But it’s all given me a sense of uneasiness. I’m reminded of the impermanence of life and how death is inevitable and ever-present. I’m not in my comfortable mindless groove, but yet I’m not in my comfortable mindless groove, if you know what I mean.
But I also feel incipient, like things might change and things might be hard but they also might be good, you know? I think we’re always on the verge of something and maybe I’m just more aware of it at the moment. But change and rebirth is hard, is painful. Things die, things are reborn. It helps me to think of myself as unimportant at these times ~ insignificant, as the Romantic poets pointed out. Like Wordsworth at Tintern Abbey:
These beauteous forms,
Through a long absence, have not been to me
As is a landscape to a blind man's eye:
But oft, in lonely rooms, and 'mid the din
Of towns and cities, I have owed to them
In hours of weariness, sensations sweet,
Felt in the blood, and felt along the heart;
And passing even into my purer mind,
With tranquil restoration: ~ feelings too
Of unremembered pleasure: such, perhaps,
As have no slight or trivial influence
On that best portion of a good man's life,
His little, nameless, unremembered, acts
Of kindness and of love. Nor less, I trust,
To them I may have owed another gift,
Of aspect more sublime; that blessed mood,
In which the burthen of the mystery,
In which the heavy and the weary weight
Of all this unintelligible world,
Is lightened: ~ that serene and blessed mood,
In which the affections gently lead us on, ~
Until, the breath of this corporeal frame
And even the motion of our human blood
Almost suspended, we are laid asleep
In body, and become a living soul:
While with an eye made quiet by the power
Of harmony, and the deep power of joy,
We see into the life of things.
I don’t know what I’m saying here exactly, except that I love life and beauty and that my memories, like Wordworth’s, sustain me. And awareness of death is ever more present.