Tuesday, July 31, 2012

How Dare it Be August?

Summer wanes.

How dare it be August?

To tell the truth, I'm not sure I've made the most of it.

I know compared to some, I've done a lot. But compared to others I'm a sloth, and anyway, the only thing that matters is if it feels enough to me.

It doesn't.

I know in my heart what I've done and haven't done.

I've swum less.

I've written less.

I've read less.

I've been less.

I shouldn't be wasting hours and days.

Partly, it's the usual distractions. facebook and twitter, I mean YOU!

And, partly, I've been lazy.

And, partly, things hurt more than they used to. *shakes fists at hip and lower back*

This photo pains me, as much as fills me
. . . why must everything feel symbolic?
But it's August.

And I need to get on the ball.

I'm swimming Swim Across American's 5K on August 11th to help raise money for cancer research and am going to attempt a 5-mile swim with the West Neck Pod on August 25th.  So there's that.

My Frankie revisions are due September 1st and I'm still working on them. I have the right to turn in my next "option" manuscript four months after that. I should have already been on that project instead. Plus, I have a wonderful independent publisher interested in my women's fiction piece Swim Back to Me, which needs to be rewritten.

I long to have my women's fiction published.

And, yet, I've wasted time.

I'm wasting time.

I squandered away too much of July, and I'm feeling it.

So, tomorrow is August.

And, I plan to milk it for all it's worth.

Let's see what I can get done.

- gae

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Waiting for the Other Shoe to Drop

West Neck Beach yesterday, where I submerged & felt carefree

So far, I've lived a fairly tragedy-free life.

Sometimes, I'm terrified this means


any day now, 
Maira Kalman shoe drawing. Oh, how I love Maira!

the other shoe

will drop.

Why would I get to go unscathed?

That's not to say my life is easy.

We each have our trials and tribulations.

I constantly face the small battles we all face:

tight finances,
marital woes,
injustices done to our children.
Our parents' aging,

my own slow demise.

But here's this boy, Lane, and his scans keep coming back "hot."

His whole life is one big, nearly- insurmountable battle.**

I have friends who have lost parents young,

or lost spouses at their peak of life.

I have friends who have battled cancer.

Friends who lost jobs, lost their homes.

Why would I get to go unscathed?

Or maybe that's the cruel trick of things. That even when we're unscathed, we wait for that other shoe... we know it's only a matter of time.

So, we make bargains with invisible powers,

and remind gods we don't believe in

that we know how truly blessed we are.

**I am swimming in Lane's honor on August 11th.

If you are able to donate . . . any amount NO MATTER HOW SMALL is appreciated.

Here's the link: http://www.swimacrossamerica.org/site/TR/OpenWater/NassauSuffolk?px=1134312&pg=personal&fr_id=1526

Meanwhile, sharing this magnificent poem by Naomi Shihab Nye, from my friend Stephanie's moving blog, Live-Blogging Love and Loss,

and truly am counting my blessings.

- gae

Before You Know What Kindness Really Is

Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness. . . .
Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.
Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to mail letters and purchase bread,
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
it is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you everywhere
like a shadow or a friend.