Friday, July 22, 2011

all about boo boos

I went shopping this Friday morning with Laurel, Violet and Samaya. As is our custom, I buckle Samaya into the grocery basket and Laurel takes Violet who looks very chunky happy Italian(that sounds like a new Ben& Jerry's flavor). I bask in all the oohs and aahs end exclamations "she is so adorable!" I acknowledge the strong resemblance explaining my noble African ancestors were captured by those troublesome Romans centuries ago. They were seduced by promises of pepperoni pizza for lunch everyday. Anyway, let me corral my wandering mind back to the supermarket before my friends wonder what this has to do with boo boos. We laze down the aisles with Samaya asking for cheese sticks and Mommy--at two years old, cheese sticks could be the favorite sometimes. My hands were steering the cart when suddenly Samaya leaned over and kissed the back of my hand. I was stunned and moved. Laurel explained that she was kissing the boo boo on the back of my hand to make it better. I thought of all the people down through the years who have kissed the unseen boo boos and made them better and I was filled with gratitude.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Xmas present

My grandmother lived with me for years in a three story house, but because of language and the fact that she lived in a different century, we often communicated from different worlds. One December I was struggling with what to buy her for Xmas. She had little and was content with less then little. She wore the same clothes, worked in her garden and walked to mass on Sundays. She was low maintenance until she was in her eighties--but that is another story. I went into a gift store on main street in Beacon and said no,no,no to myself until I spotted a small statue of a women that in the dim light of her eyes might pass for Mary, the mother of Jesus. I gave it to her before Xmas and she politely thanked me. Weeks later she came to me with a question that had been on her mind. "Why you give me a statue of some guy named "Art'"?
That threw me. Now we live not on just different worlds, now we live in separate universes. I shook my head and told her I didn't know what she meant. She turned the statue over and showed me a sticker that said "Art". It was useless to try and explain that it was a category put on by the gift store, but I tried anyway. She walked away puzzled by her unusual grandchild.

Thursday, July 14, 2011


Old friends are like long arcing comets. We came in contact decades ago and then went our separate ways. One night we looked straight up to we see an object trailing memories silently moving toward where we stand. All a mystery. Sentences carried on like one of us just left the room and then came back. The voices ask one question. "Are you still there?' Then they explain the curvature of space that accounts for their return after such a long absence and the gravity that drew them back to same corner of the universe. Separation will happen again. Comets move on, but the friendship remains for all time.

Sunday, July 3, 2011


I woke up early on Saturday morning caught up in the minutia of wedding details. My age old worries surfaced that something would go wrong. The rented tent by the ocean would be carried out to sea by a gust of wind with the bride and groom hanging on for dear life while trying to say their wedding vows. Or the the caterer would forget my special meal and I would gain back 160 pounds in one day setting a universe record topping some poor slob on Jupiter whose daughter was marrying an octopus like fellow. All of these thoughts were coming and going while I should have been thinking about what to say at the wedding. I calmed down and meditated after saying some prayers and clearing my mind. A writers mind can be crowded place where fanciful ideas wait none too patiently in line to be considered. In the quiet I heard the words "two sisters'. I remembered a poem written years ago and I read it at Julia and Sina's wedding.

Two Sisters

Two sisters snacking on strawberry twisters
Dreaming of future misters
Two sisters playing on the sandy shore
Dreaming about the land of more
Two sisters sailing far away
Dreaming about their wedding day
Two sisters praying in the Holy Shrine
And me dreaming of when they were wholly mine