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Life is not an adaptation of a famous cartoon strip. Maybe.

January 29, 2007 | Category: In My Life



!00 and some days ago, it rained.

I made a pot of soup.

I'm always making a pot of soup.

How many hours have passed over days, weeks, months? With my shoulderblades dancing as I chop-chop-chop with my favorite blade against the plastic cutting board. Maybe slower now, since being sick. Maybe more of a waltz, or a tango - chop-stop-puff-chop....

The snap of the carrots. The wet shuffle through the onion. The slicing long into the heart of the celery.

The steam tickling up from the silvery stock pot as the mirepoix boils.

The feel of the counter pressing into my back as I ponder up where to go with my prepared canvas.

An amethyst swirl of beets? The earthen bubble of puffy white mushrooms? The tang, with a fistful of fresh basil, of simmering tomatoes? Or a do I twist back to the onions, cutting long loopy curls? Reach for a fine port to share with the pot - a sip for me, a gulp for the soup.

It has been a rainy autumn. A rainy winter. It has been mud tracked through my house so thick that, unmopped, it hardens into something that takes scraping off with a butter knife... and much muttering of swear words.

Spiders huddling in our corners.

We waited for the brittle cold, that still has only flown through here and not yet stayed. We salted the stairs again and again, ripping the paint down to wood with all that salt. But no ice to save us from.

The winds have howled through our attic. They have gnashed at our trees, ripping through limbs. Sticks rain down in the night, to be gathered in the morning.

Little damages. Cracked birdfeeders. Scratches on the cars.

We dip the green-sapped sticks in old candle wax, and use them to start great roaring fires in the fireplace. And then, when the rain slips down the chimney, it makes a sudden hiss. And a pop.

It's a long 3 months to be forever refilling the windshield wiper fluid. To be seeing different doctors. To be making and taking appointments long put off. Of stunning moments of clarity that I have not let my shame pull me from.

But I'm not there yet, in stitching it together. I am still remembering the soups. The recipes, all in my head. The different steams and tones and jewels of it all.

I'm remembering the hours spent with my Bear-cub beside me, measuring. Making himself sandwiches. Wrinkling his gorgeous freckled nose at my soup even as he learned to read by recipes, held with a magnet on a can of chicken stock.

Rolling around in the big bed in the dusky afternoon. Maybe one of us jumping, a little. Full of soup and sandwich snack. Waiting for Daddy to come home so we can be all together, our little family.

Meanwhile, pushing my leaping cub to pay attention, to point out the words he knows as we read from a a big book full of vibrant cartoons about a red-headed boy (yes, like you, beautiful Bear) and his friend, a tiger (yes, like your own tiger there, tucked under your arm.)

"It's a magical world, Hobbes, 'ol buddy..." we read. Admiring that the boy gets to be in front of the sled. And that the tiger gets a bright scarf.

And they shove off, down a hill. "...Let's go exploring!" he shouts into the wind.

"Where's the more?" Bear asks me, leaning down from his jumping to turn the page, only to find there are no more pages to turn.

"There is no more," I tell him.

"Of the book?"

"Of all the books. That was the last thing the cartoonist drew of Calvin and Hobbes. This is the end."

Bear stops leaping all together. He huffs, standing still. "No," he says.

"Yes," I refute, flipping the book to the back cover again.

"No, Mommy. Member? They're going exploring. That's the begining. We just don't get to watch anymore."

Oh, I think.

There is something important here. Something in this moment, in the gloaming of the winter sundown. In this exact space on this crumpled bed.

Something....

"I'm home!" CD shouts, bursting in with wild winds slamming the doors open as exclamation. Bear spings off the bed with a high bounce and a shout, "Daddy!" And I follow, more slowly.

Something. Almost ready to be known.

(to be continued...)


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Comments


Yeah. More. More. This is not the end. This is only the beginning. Let's go explore ... and please, keep writing, and tell us where you go and what you do. Life is in the little things....

Posted by: Whymommy on February 3, 2007 12:02 PM


I told my husband about what Bear said about Calvin and Hobbes. And he almost cried because Bear so perfectly got what that cartoon is about.

And then he broke out his Calvin and Hobbes collection to start reading with D.

Posted by: Elizabeth on February 2, 2007 08:41 AM


Great blog! Good choice escaping the corporate world. I did the same, hoping to never return.

Posted by: Shawn on January 31, 2007 01:14 PM


You did write "to be continued" so I will wait, please keep writing.

I absolutely love Calvin & Hobbes as does my 9 year old daughter, it's so great to share such wonderful writing with her, glad Bear loves it too.

Posted by: Angela on January 31, 2007 11:49 AM


I love your writing. I love the imagery, the sentiment and the feeling it always evokes in me that you've captured a small bit of how I feel (and sometimes how I want to feel). I try to remind myself that life and everything worth doing in it is worth doing just for the journey - just for the places I get to see while trying to get where I'm going. Its the only way of looking at things that makes any sense to me since my father died in the towers 5.5 years ago. You blog reminds me of that on days when I may have forgotten it. Thank you and I hope you keep writing.

Posted by: mom2wahid on January 30, 2007 07:41 PM


I love your writing. I love the imagery, the sentiment and the feeling it always evokes in me that you've captured a small bit of how I feel (and sometimes how I want to feel). I try to remind myself that life and everything worth doing in it is worth doing just for the journey - just for the places I get to see while trying to get where I'm going. Its the only way of looking at things that makes any sense to me since my father died in the towers 5.5 years ago. You blog reminds me of that on days when I may have forgotten it. Thank you and I hope you keep writing.

Posted by: mom2waihd on January 30, 2007 07:40 PM


Sigh.

I really needed to read that, just now.

Thank you.

Posted by: paige on January 30, 2007 05:48 PM


Yeah, she's back!

Posted by: Mia on January 30, 2007 01:59 PM


Delurking to say that I hope its not the end, 'the no more' of this site! I love your writing and am hoping that my noncreative, scientific, right-brained thought process has got it all wrong. Please?

Posted by: emily on January 30, 2007 12:50 PM