Monday, February 28, 2011

I am sad. Every time I turn around - somone else ill or more ill or diagnosed with something scary. It is as it should be, all in nature's course, older bocies wearing out, but it sucks. It hurts.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Every day there is another sign of spring - daffodils in yards today and the terrible temptations of beautiful flats of blooming flowers at Lowes. Flowers and yarn both have me astonished these days at the glory and variety of color in the world. Flower wise, I want everything this spring, - especially pansies. But I was good. Bob and I just bought a bag each of pebbles and cheap topsoil for his container garden tomatoes, for which we have high hopes. It's still to soon to plant in the ground, but we are readying the plot, mostly Bob. It feels grounding (pun intended but true at a deep level) to have him strong enough and present to put Roots in earth. Every day there is more greenish cast to grasses everywhere, and the redbuds across the street are moving from promise through hint to glory - still not full flower. Most trees still stand stark and bare, but a few show palest hint of almost green light around their branches.

I still love taking Zumba class with KK, find myself excited by the international rythms and pleased that I haven't utterly forgotten how to learn choreography, but today I was probably the oldest woman in the class by at least a decade and, watching bodies in the mirrors I had mixed feelings. I felt unattractive and heavy in comparison to the younger dancers, slow on my feet, but then I began to notice that I still know how to hold my hands, keep my arms strong (which has them hurting today).I felt the same joy in spins that I felt at 3, 13, 23, 53. And instead of feeling disgusted with my body I started to feel thankful to it to still be working and dancing after sixty seasons. It's fine it looks a little worn. We've had some great numbers, this body and I.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Ruth and I had fun today cleaning out closets (which mostly beans I have a new spring wardrobe of great clothes she is too thin for now). this daughter of mine has great taste. I hardly ever buy clothes anymore, just wait for her to clean out her closet! Today she and I did buy a few clothes though at a resale shop called Savers which serves Easter Seals and seems to get it's clothes from the international community here. I did something I've wanted to do for a long time aned bought an India indian outfit (for $7.00!!!!!!!) which I am wearing this moment and just adore. It's the kind with the tunic and flowy pants, this one more everyday than some of the gorgeous brocade ones, but even this one has some beading. I expewct I'll be getting more of thiese. I feel so pretty in it, as I do in Ruth's clothes. When I go shopping for new clothes in American stores, especially clothes targeted at women my age, I find them pretty boring as well as expensive. I'm lucky to have the clothing sources I have.

But all of that is trivial. i sat down at the computer tonight and learned that the son of an online friend died suddenly Wednesday. He was 39 and left an 11 year old son, as well as parents, wife, sisters. I weep for them all, and of course I remember when Kerry died at 36, how hard it was on all the family, especially his parents, brothers, and daughters. At least we had time for goodbye. Loss is such an everyday part of life and we can't predict it so much of the time - except that it will occur again. And we can love and live as purely and intensely each moment as possible. That has to be enough.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Life is changing so fast. I seem to be getting used to the idea of Bob as a retired person. He decided today to grow his beard back, which seems ot fit not dressing for work every day. KK is thinking more and more about high school next year. Liam and Andrea are two year olds, not babies. i am knitting like crazy, something I thought I'd never learn to do. Chris is hardly home, working so much at different jobs, after a year of being the one of us home much. I miss having him in the kitchen. Bob is putting a garden in, getting stronger every day, hauled twelve bags of mulch by himself from a neighbor's yard to ours yesterday.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

I'm proud of myself for managing a third day in a row blogging. It shouldn't be hard, but it still is. I'm also proud of KK for doing a thorough job on a research paper on Kristallnicht, complete with poster and bibliography. I still hate doing bibliographies, with all their details of punctuation and perfection. I am getting a huge kick out of watching KK (She writes her name without the periods now) mature as person, dancer, and student. I am sad for Joanna to have her not around much these years, but I am so blessed to know her now as closely as I do. Spring note - today I noticed the first tinge of green on the back yard glass and the haze of pink aroung the redbud trees across the street is more intense. Last night I dreamed of fields of bluebonnets.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

I think making myself start posting has been a good thing. I feel more myself, more in charge of myself and decisions about what to do when, less overwhelmed. Tonight that is write one more poem, knit three rows on a soft pink prawer shawl, take a bath in ginger ming bath salts, and fall asleep next to Bob.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I heard the second sign of winter's end today, Inca doves cooing in the trees out back early this morning. There were just a few quiet coos, as there are also only the palest hints of pink on the red bud across the street, but the change is starting. Last night I went to hear Jeanie and Mark sing in a choir concert at their church, beautiful. The music was sacred and full of love but even more than that it was precious to sit with Marie and Bill, and watch Jeanie and mark share the beauty of the music and joy of their faith. All four of these people have been my friends since we were young. I was only 18 when Jean and I became close and I remember hearing, the first time I was introduced to Mark, that he was ALREADY 20! We've been through so much love, loss, growth, change together. Tonight I write this entry honoring old friendships and new chances.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Obviously my attempt to write thirty posts in thirty days failed. I'm starting again now, aiming at a post every day until Bob and I leave for a spring break trip to New Mexico. This period since we got back from our winter trip has been oddly hard for me. So much good has happened, like the delight I'm taking in learning to knit and making things that are useful and pretty. KK had her audition for the Performing Arts School on Saturday and it seemed to go well. She was scared to death befor because she wants to get in so badly, but chirpy after. We feel hopeful about geting a letter of acceptance soon. Liam and andrea have both had their second birthdays and both are thriving and delightful. Work and money situations are improving on all fronts. Yet I feel stuck in the blues, like I'm moving through fog and not sure if I have the strength to get through it. I know there is light sparkling on the water not too far away, but I don't trust my energy to get me there.

I don't know what is wrong with me but guess it is mostly reaction from the difficult year that culminated in Bob retiring from teaching early. That was a huge disappointment for me, that his dream of changing the world one kid at a time (our dream, maybe it was more mine than his, or at least as much so) worked out only in a limited way. It is wonderful having Bob home. i find myself reaching often for his hand and saying "I need you." "I love you." and thinking, "I don't want to have to live without you." his health crisies of the last few years seem much resolved and he is working hard at the gym and saying he can lean over and get up off low couches more easily, walk more easily up hills, but his feet still swell and he moves slowly and looks tired and it scares me. I feel angry because I want to just be able to lean on him and trust his health and I know how unrealistic that is. Many of our friends and family members are having terriblelife shattering and life threatening health crisies and we are not. But I feel terrified and vulnerable.

Also my daughters and grandchildren all struggled last year (except the two littlest and I'm not good at bracketing their pain when it goes on and on. I think it's been especially hard that some of the problems could have been fixed with money and I never had quite enough, though still we are blessed beyond so many. it's so hard to shake old codependence - the feeling that if I could just do everything right enough everyone would be OK. that hits me at work too this year as more than a usual number of cliets struggle harder than usual against overwhelming circumstances, as do many of my friends.

My visual vertigo has been bad lately which has me dropping things, bumping into things, and feeling very anxious about crossing streets or being in public places where I could run into someone or they into me. The visual world is really confusing these days when it gets beyond knit one purl one. Even working on the computer is harder than it used to be. I've had bad spells like this before and they've always passed. it's just hard not to be afraid that this one won't.

As I write all of this I focus on my favorite word "Abide." That has to be enough but it hasn't felt that way lately and I've been way off balance, just wanting to sit and knit and knit, doing something with the tiny yarn world I can control. I'm a bit of a mess right now and admitting that here is a place to start.

I am

I am connector and dreamer.
I wonder if it is too late for love.
I hear crying in the night.
I see sunlight on the river.
I want to erase pain.
I am connector and dreamer.
I pretend I am not afraid.
I feel colors like caresses.
I touch the face of the moon.
I worry I let people down.
I cry when my friends hurt.
I am connector and dreamer.
I understand real is better than perfect.
I say life is hard and life is good.
I dream of my beloved dead.
I try to stay in each moment.
I hope love is stronger than loss.
I am connector and dreamer.

Victoria Hendricks, 2/ 21/ 2011

I am exhausted and overwhelmed.
I wonder if I can be enough, do enough.
I hear words of hate, cries of pain.
I see messy rooms, suffering faces.
I want to make everyone OK.
I am exhausted and overwhelmed.
I pretend I know what to do next.
I feel need swirling like tornado.
I touch Bob's hand and feel death.
I worry I am not strong enough.
I cry out in powerlessness.
I am exhausted and overwhelmed.
I understand I will have more losses.
I say love is stronger than loss.
I dream of feeling safe.
I try to stay in the moment.
I hope I have enough to give.
i am exhausted and overwhelmed.

Victoria Hendricks, 2/21/2011

After snow the last time I posted here, it seems fitting to write that I saw the first faint pink of redbud blossoms yesterday and walked at night without a jacket this full moon.

Friday, February 04, 2011

Snowy morning was really beautiful, especially first thing before there were tracks. Liam ran to the back door and surveyed the scene, excited. "K.K.'s house is covered with snow."Then he and his Daddy went out onto the deck and built snowmen, one medium sized and one tiney, a Daddy and Liam pair. Bob has been tutoring for Sylvan, science in a middle school with a bad reputation and is encountering the same kind of awful behavior he found in the classroom. There were six pencils enbedded in the ceiling by the time the session was over yesterday. And it wasn't just Bob.Other experienced teachers on the team reported similar behavior, as well as refusal to work at all and a huge emphasis, especially for hte boys, on being perceived as "cool" in an anti-teacher way. This is so sad and scary to me. I just don't get it, that so many kids have such a sense of entitlement and egocentrism or that excited loving teaches can't break through it. And what about the inherent excitement from learning? It seems so part of humans at birth, enormous in
Liam? Even articles I read about high achievers seem to emphasise test scores and ambition above the magical joy of putting pieces of the pattern together in a new way. that is one of the greatest sources of delight in my life and I have trouble relating tho the idea of it being missing in many, especially children.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

The whole household was at the dinner table tonight, all at the same time and nobody in a hurry. I was tired after a long day and suddenly had a perfect moment, one of those blissful, this is exactly as it should be moments with KK clearing dishes and liam announcing he was about to be two with a laborious but effective display of fingers, his parents taking such joy in him, Bob beside me laughing, and birthday cake ice cream in my bowl.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

It is super cold for a Texas winter, windhill close to zero. I heard on the radio today that the last time it was this cold in Austin was in 1951, and I suddenly remembered stories from my childhood. That was the year I turned one and my family moved from Austin to California during the winter. Mama always talked about how cold it was during that move, and how when it was xlose to zero, her hand stuck to the icy metal door handle on the old blue Packard. It's odd how bits and pieces of old stories come back unsummoned.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

It's funny. Last night I wrote about Fiddler on the Roof and tonight I ended up watching the first half of the film with K.K. She's home sick with some kind of virus and mentioned wanting to see the filmm again so we watched together on the couch with cold wind outside shaking the trees. It is so hard for her to understand the tension between the Jewish community and other Russians in the film, and impossible for me to explain. Bob's been reading about Somalia, Miramar, places all over the world where hate based on ethnic or religious differences is causing devastation right now. I guess I don't understand any better than K.K.