"Those were hard things for me to come by, and I offer them to you for what they may be worth." - Toby Wolff



Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Crayons In The Wind



Every now and then, there's a stiff wind...the kind that can measure rooms with its cavernous roar. It knocks you senseless sometimes, even though you have both feet dug in, and your hands are firmly anchored to the railing of your stone wall.

I had some crayons once. So many beautiful colors, and with them I drew love that birthed rosy cheeked children walking bushy tailed dogs. I drew a life line that traveled down my plump young hand and into a crepe paper version of itself with an arthritic knuckle.

I thought I had the tools.

My fingers are cold. They make a play for pockets that are full of snotty tissues and fumble there with the tattered remnants of a memory seam or two. The surface of my skin ripples like the sea and I can only guess where time has gone. The wind. The wind took it. You see I forget that there is a breezeway as big around as the mighty oak that once held a tire swing. I forget that the creaking isn't the sweet melody of child's play, but the rattle of space inside my soul. There are things that are missing. Things that have always been missing. Things as fundamental as a mother, and a father. It takes a while to realize why there's always a breeze.

Every now and then, there's a stiff wind...the kind that throws up a mirror to your parlor tricks and illustrates the backstitch of an illusion. My crayons had no box, no structured frame with a cylindrical opening to whittle them into fine points. They just wore down with my scribbles and kept on going.

I have a sense now, of what I might have done if only I could have sharpened my tools and filled in the hollow where air escapes.

I might have caught my breath.

Every now and then, something howls through a void you forgot you had, maybe didn't even know you had, and it rocks you with legitimacy. I'm not placing blame. I'm just giving a structure of compassion to the wind.

20 comments:

  1. annie, how beautiful your writing and expression. i always welcome it.

    "broken crayons still color' i just came across that….

    i've also just read anne lamont's 'small victories: spotting improbable moments of grace." i think you would like it a lot

    i want to say something optimistic to you here, knowing your strengths and grit. but you've shared this universal and personal truth so aptly, all i can say is thank you; i understand this too,…

    love love
    kj

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    1. I'll look for that book. Always, I need the reminder to look for blessings. It's not in my nature necessarily. But this was really just about a moment where you realize great losses....the irreplaceable ones, the hole that will always be a hole. I realize that such holes can be filled with other things. Ahhhh, but to let them in. Therein lies another tale :) Love you KJ. Think of you often, and your dear Mom. I thought of you while writing this actually.

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    2. annie xoxo, i just reread this. "why there's always a breeze." is that what love does, even when we don't have enough of it--it creates breezeways that at least sometimes let out what we so desire to keep safe.

      thank you so much for your thoughts about me. I am doing pretty well most of the time. i feel like the best parts of my Mother may have taken up residence within me. If that's true, i won't be surprised if she brought some spackle with her.

      love to you too, annie. lots of it.

      love
      your pal
      kj

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    3. That made me smile. Spackle. Indeed. Rock on Mommy!

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  2. yes, mi amiga, sometimes no matter how tight one is holding on or how firm the feet seemingly are planted, a wind swirling gusting comes howling by and throws one's balance off. it can blow your hair wildly about but it may knock you off your feet. at the time it seems the storm will never cease or it may take you to the sea but when it does subside and your ok that's when you brush yourself off and re-comport. you comb your hair tuck your shirt in and then notice the quiet serene of sun piercing through the gray clouds. i like singing or writing and if by chance someone hears me and wants to join me in the song or read my writing and tell me ...that's nice, then i shall go on until the next dusk the next dawn.

    ...Do not disdain portrayals of love or feign affection / but receive with open arms life's every emanation / for loves may falter and tend to fade away / and hearts they get scorned and cry from day to day / do not fold within like a flower sleeping at the end of its season / but leave a little room to start again...

    feliz ano nuevo

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    1. Oh I love that last line! Do not fold like a flower in the end of it's season. That is such a picture of fortitude and resilience. Keep going. Everyone is broken in their way. Sometimes the wind just blows the curtain open and you get a fresh glimpse of the reason. There is some comfort in knowing that there IS a reason for everything. Would love to hear you sing. You should post an audio, or perhaps you have. If so, send me the link :)

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  3. I feel your heart beating as my own, my Annie. Age has made me feel loss like an elephant sitting on my chest. I've gone from the abyss I clawed my way out of to the quicksand of the slough of despondency. What next, dear God??? A person can only take so much pain... I love & appreciate you, BFF. xo

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    1. Yes, aging brings its own new set of losses, exacerbated by the old rusty bundle of childhood ones, and those layered on after that. It is a hard life we lead here in a broken world. But this is temporary. Within it we hold the hand of friendship which is such an aid! We are not alone...in any of our suffering. Someone has gone through it before us and will go through it after us. I wish I could take your pain away for awhile, give you a respite. I would trade you mine, but I imagine we would both find our own cross easier to bear. Love you dear friend!

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  4. Okay, this took me in and won’t let go.. Love it.. So many images. I’m getting out my old crayons☺
    I am a true worshipper of stiff winds and the powers they have to recover buried thoughts and dreams.

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    1. Thank you Anthony. It is the greatest compliment that something I write will stick around awhile and haunt. I am not a fan of the wind at all, but I do like the way you look at it!

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  5. So beautiful. It takes my breath away and I look for a space to gasp.

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    1. Thank you so much Kass. Funny how certain moments just throw up a huge magnifying glass. It's ugly, but it's truth. Have you ever used one of those 10x mirrors? ARRRRGH. Who knew my face looked like that, LOL!

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    2. I try not to use those mirrors, but love the magnification of imagination....and your words....ALWAYS.

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  6. It is always better to scratch away your crayons bit by bit..than placing them in the void, contemplating future as a slow drizzle. Hope you scribble a lot more with them for the rest of your time.

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    1. I've had crayons in the void. I've had a lot of things in the void. The void where there is no mindfulness. It is such a discipline, and it's hard! Still scribbling though, and trying to do it more outside the lines :)

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  7. I have a sense now, of what I might have done if only I could have sharpened my tools and filled in the hollow where air escapes

    damn, what a line... I have a sense too - wish i'd of had it 30 years ago.

    wonderful bit of nostalgia, if that is what it's meant to be

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  8. sharing an experience is cool,
    love the details.

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    1. Twirling in the wind, the sounds of all people rushing by laughing by and you're twirling and you can't stop it end sin a ravage a noise and no one who is blood grabs you out of the storm, they just let you go......as if you had become ashes to ashes dust to dust

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Thank you for listening.