Thursday, June 18, 2009

For Pam Macchi

…in gratitude and remembrance

Soft hands,
Hands worn with time,
Held the brush
Dipped in the paint
Paused before the canvas.

Calm eyes,
Eyes wizened to the steadfast pulse
Underlying life’s inconsistencies,
Closed—to envision a scene
No other earthly eyes could see.

She painted
Upon the canvas
Upon the hearts of those she touched
With her soft hands
Her calm eyes.
She painted
What others could not understand
What the Bridegroom allowed her to behold.
She trained wandering eyes to trace
The line of the horizon
On her canvas, to envision
What it took only faith to see.

Her voice was quiet
Yet strong
Waiting to speak with purpose,
Calling her children by name.
It was the voice of a mother
Shepherding a flock built of generations
And nations,
Born from the womb and birthed from her heart.
No matter how they came
She loved them,
Carried them,
Taught them.

Her feet, calloused,
Tread a path for her children to follow,
And broke into dance with the man she loved
Upon the horizon she saw when she closed her eyes.

I close my eyes
And I still see her
Dancing—eyes thrown open
To immense beauty,
Beauty the struggle of life prepared her to see.
She is near still—
Living on in her children,
In those to whom she gave of herself,
In the heart of the man who shared her life.
She painted indestructibly
With mediums that will not fade.

Her eyes are closed,
Yet they are open.
They are still seeing what others cannot understand.
Her heart is still resonating
With the steadfast pulse underlying the pain of inconsistency.
If she were here she would take our hand
And help us trace the line of the horizon to rest
Upon the chest of her Bridegroom
So we could feel the steady pulse of his heartbeat too.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Growing old...

It feels weird to get old. Not the kind of old that means gray hair and grandchildren, but the adult kind of old, the feeling that keeps reminding me that childhood is gone. The playfulness, the laughter, it’s still there, but it’s different; the world has changed. It’s the kind of old that watches individual friends become families, the kind of old that needs high heels and leather portfolios for graduate school or job interviews, the kind of old that has to take all the dreams of childhood and actually make a decision about what I want to be when I grow up. It’s the kind of old that brought my brother and I to sit on the porch for two hours last night talking. We talked about relationships and dreams, but as we talked I realized that we were no longer speaking with the voices of children but of adults and that our hopes were no longer just dreams but possibilities. It was the feeling of the world becoming tangible.

I’m not sure how I feel about getting old. Some days I miss the weightless years of childhood when my only tasks were only to dream, play and learn. Some days I like being grown, facing a world of endless possibilities with the power to make some of them come true. Some days…

As I face the reality of getting old, I wonder if it is possible to retain both worlds, that of a child and that of an adult. I ponder if I need both worlds, if I can’t live fully without them. Perhaps this is the secret of getting old, to stand between two realities and plant a foot in each, to combine the authority and resources of getting older with the innocence, trust and faith of a child, to blend the power to dream with the power to create. I think what scares me most about getting old is that so many adults seem to be too tired to play, that sometimes I too am already too tired to play. I never want to lose the ability to laugh really hard, to run through the grass with bare feet and loose hair, to play in the rain, to dream of things beyond myself—the ability to be young even when I am old.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Vagabond no more

I’m home. Still living out of a suitcase because I haven’t unpacked… but I am home. No more traveling for a good long while. My siblings were excited to see me, and they made me feel loved as usual. The entourage was waiting in the driveway with a banner for my car to break. But I do have to say they are very opinionated. Within two hours of walking in the door they had made several judgments: according to my little brother, (who weights in at all of fifty-some pounds complete with toothpicks for legs) my backside is too big. I also have too much hair, I’m getting old, and apparently I’m supposed to be having children because I got baby bibs in my birthday presents. Becca saw them at a garage sale and bought them because they had music notes on them. They said they were for my hope chest, but I don’t really believe them. If I let my siblings plan my life I think I would have been married three years ago with fourteen flower girls and would already have five children. Oh well. I love my family with all their ridiculous comments and take it stride; it is my proof that they love me. No mistaking I am at home either.

The last five months have been a brainial, emotional and physical whirlwind, but they have landed me in the place I love most in the world. My goal for this summer is to be. To be with the people I love, and just to be—be still, be calm, be quiet. There is a certain attic calling my name, and a box of books from which I may choose (a luxury only afforded to me three or four months out of the year), as well as a few of my favorite couches scattered throughout town. I’m ready to stop thinking so hard and listen. If I hear anything worth sharing, I’ll let you know.