I didn’t sleep well again last night so I finally got up, got dressed, grabbed my camera and drove to a park. In the rain. I took all my lenses and the world’s ugliest umbrella, all broken and torn. (umbrella, not the lenses). I walked. And got wet. And shot. I love how rain washes things away. And what’s left is simple. beautiful. clean. I should stand in it more.
This morning I woke up and cried. It’s spring and time for my dad to start growing his tomato plants. He always gave me two. And smiled when we put them in my car. Because he knew I would try. and probably fail. but I would try. again. Like I did every spring. And every summer, I would drive 45 minutes to take home big red tomatoes. Off his plants. I think he always held out hope that one day my plants would not only live but actually produce. I want to try again, but haven’t made that trip to the nursery yet. I don’t know why it’s so important… It’s important…
This morning I was driving and I realized I hadn’t written anything in a while. And I missed it. Like a friend. It’s easy for me to get busy, with nothing sometimes, and not even notice when something, even something really important, begins to slip away. In my busy-ness, I can lose my very vision. It’s a little like driving too fast and focusing on the road ahead… the task, right? And in being so focused on that road in front of me, which is after all necessary, I miss what is out my side window. It has become a blur. And then… gone. So, on the way home, I slowed down. Just a little. And I noticed that I was driving through a Constable painting. Low sky. Rich greens and pinks and whites of spring. Even a few cows and fences. And… no traffic tickets. All good, this slowing down.
… to run and/or workout fairly regularly. And I never loved it, but it was easier. Yesterday, I got tired of remembering how things used to be and walked over to the little weight room at my complex. 30 minutes later I was back home and amazingly, I looked the same. But something had changed. I finally saw that thinking about moving forward is good. necessary. Moving forward, for me, harder. It takes action, right? and I like to see results right off. (it goes back to the impatient thing). But I’m learning. This morning, I went back to the little weight room.
Last night I remembered something I had written a while ago and posted with a picture of my hands. It was about getting older and it was good for me to read. Again. This is it. Without the picture of the hands.
… I was driving today and looked at my hands in the bright sunlight. (this image is from last winter). But I looked hard at them and the first thought was, shit, when did I get so old? I have my mother’s hands and I’m too young to be my mother. (sorry for saying shit. twice.) So, I’m stopped at a traffic light, still staring at my hands… and I’m thinking about my two babies these two hands held and bathed and tucked in to bed. I was thinking about the footballs they have thrown, the piano pieces they have butchered and the ones they’ve mastered ( a lot fewer). They have caressed faces and thrown cell phones. They have written research papers at 2 a.m. They have turned page after page of other people’s adventures. They have crossed oceans. They have wiped away tears and traced smiles. They have held the hands of those I love. They hold stories. Secrets. and Hopes. Old is good. In my world, in my hands, old is good. … and traffic lights in my city stay red way too long.
Did you ever just wake up and not want to be what you are? But the harder you try to not be it, the bigger mess you make? Since I was little, I have loved photography. I owned a little instamatic. with the flash cubes on top, right? Everything was a picture, even then. I began to learn it on my own in college, shooting sports. shooting film. And I am still learning it. digital now. I have never really questioned it. It’s in me. I don’t bother labeling it a hobby or a profession. Just there. And it’s in there whether or not I’m any good. So, that’s not the issue. I just want something else. today. I will go back to wanting it tomorrow.
This morning, in an effort to make my otherwise ick day less ick, I put all the ingredients for a delightful and healthy breakfast into my blender. And the blender didn’t work. It worked yesterday. Not today. First I tried different outlets. Checked the fuse box. Nothing. It’s interesting how long one can stand and stare at something, willing it to be something else. As if staring will somehow change it. I stood there for a long time and it was still broken. And then it finally occurred to me that no matter how badly I want something not to be true, sometimes it still is. And yes, I did hit the on switch one last time before dumping everything down the drain. There is that thing called, hope.
With all the traveling I have done lately, both literal and figurative, I have paid a lot of attention to roads. Where they are and where they take me and who I am on them with. In all that, however, I forgot about the bridges. Not a big fan of bridges. I don’t know if it’s the lack of sure-footedness, the fact that they are not solid ground, sometimes the height, I don’t know. Yesterday, I was on one. Figuratively. I was at a point where I couldn’t go backward. I couldn’t stay where I was. I could only go forward and that meant crossing this stupid bridge. And for all the yammering I do about faith and trust, I would think bridges would be no problem. It’s taking that first step. Leaving what I know to be solid. Here’s what I saw. Standing in the middle of the bridge. The solid ground is inside me. Not underneath me. Focusing on the other side. Holding the hand of the person who also sits beside me on the roller coaster. And before long. There I am. Over it. One of these days, I will stand there long enough to look over the side.