Tuesday, August 17, 2010


There's nothing like an honest piece of writing about things most people will not say.

'I have loved people. I have lost them. I went mad when that blow struck me, because it is hell. But there was no witness to my madness, my frenzy was not evident: only my innermost being was mad. Sometimes I became enraged. People would say to me, Why are you so calm? But I was scorched from head to foot; at night I would run through the streets and howl; during the day I would work calmly….'

Maurice Blanchot

Monday, August 16, 2010

I'm spending too much time alone these days. Last night I was cooking some shish kebobs under the broiler. As I walked to the oven to turn the heat down, the LED broiler light was flashing HI - and for a quick moment I thought it was greeting me...

Saturday, August 14, 2010

There's a lady here in Mission - if you've lived here long enough, you might even know who I'm talking about. She's one of those fixture people in small towns, the resident crazy, un-missable if you pay attention. I've seen her in all sorts of places; a middle aged woman, with a permanently frantic look, long salt & pepper hair streaming behind her on her bike. Or in the grocery store, her socks bulging with personal items she carries wherever she goes. Or sometimes walking, deep in conversation with herself. I'm sure she has a name. I'm not sure if anyone knows it though, she's always alone.

I watched her in Superstore not too long ago in the aisle next me - distressed, counting and recounting her coins to pay for her groceries. The clerk and the other shoppers shifted in frustration as she repeated the process several times. I think I may have been the only one looking on in empathy. Though I can't presume upon all her internal chaos, I understand what it is to be caught in the grip of an ocd cycle, illogically doing something over and over. To be trying desperately to get something 'right' when it feels all 'wrong.' The world has little patience or understanding of such insensibilities...

I saw her at Superstore again this week. She was sitting outside on the curb, writing in a notebook. The same morning, I'd read a wonderful quote, 'I will write myself in to well being.' I had a flash of wanting to excitedly engage with her & ask, 'Are you writing yourself in to well being?! So am I!' but I'm pretty sure she would have thought i was crazy. So I hurried to my car and left the nameless woman sitting alone on the curb with her notebook.


My 15 year daughter headed off to summer camp yesterday with her 2 best friends. The week has been a flurry of preparations and excited late nite phone calls about wardrobe and supplies. Wednesday we made the annual traditional supply run to the mall, 3 girls in giddy high spirits about their upcoming adventure. They bought matching necklaces, pretty silver chained crystal pendants, declaring their loyalty and friendship to one another. It's a girl thing - the last wonderful precursor to the next stage of life - one they all hope holds the promise of a new and different kind of love.


The 19 year old daughter of a close friend is getting married today and omgosh, she's soooooo in love. I've known her since she was less than a year old. She's over the moon with the idea of a glorious white wedding and dreams of rosy future - the way only a 19 year old can be. I guess I should be rejoicing for her, but instead I'm afraid she'll find married life quite unlike she's imagined. Romantic notions are such unruly, ungrounded things.


Yesterday as I was driving, a new remix of an old Doobie Brothers song, 'Without Love (where would ya be right now?)'came on the radio. The kids all sang along enthusiastically, the same way I did when I was 15. It's an interesting song about trains, life and love, sometimes rolling over us, sometimes taking us places. It kinda feels like that, doesn't it.

I couldn't help but think how little we understand about love, all love. How much unrealistic hope we put in it, how dependent we are on it's quality and consistency over our entire lives, and yet how paradoxically flounderous we are in the giving & receiving of it.

It's a sad thing when community services are replacements for loving families. When counselors are replacements for caring friends, and when marriages are replacements for knowing & loving ourselves.

Without love, where would we be now?
Perhaps sitting alone on the curb, writing in a notebook...

Saturday, August 7, 2010

The Million $ Question

...Will Mike get across the border tonight to catch his flight to Thailand...???