Wednesday, October 31, 2007


I've been thinking much about Doris Lessing's character, Anna, in the Golden Notebook. She pops into my mind when driving my son to lessons, or pumping gas, or sticking my hands in the dishwater. She will likely be immemorial to me, although to like her is to admit her edged turmoil into an acceptable place. She makes me sad, for her, for her seeking, and her denials, and her utter unmet desires which work to undermine, then bolster, her. She waves, heaves, rolls, flips, dives, flies, and nearly, or does, lose her sanity. Lessing does an amazing job of showing the complex divisions that we often are. At least I am. When I get close to women, and they're vulnerable with their true thoughts, I see it within them too. It's difficult. I know I need the Stabilizer, and even within Hands, I often conflictually toss, and need advice and fingers, and outside help. But, Anna was alone, walking outside "the myth" entirely, caught in her time's disillusionment, being brave, yet weakened too. I'll think of her for a while because Lessing (the recent Nobel prize winner) created someone that you believe in.

Monday, October 29, 2007

"One bunch of grapes," repeated my uncle. Smack went the paddle. "One bunch of grapes," said my uncle. Smack went the paddle. Mrs. Coble meant to win, but my Dad reported cheerfully his little brother held strong and had the final say, after the final futile smack. They ran out the schoolhouse door, making the other kids smile and yearn or tskk: those boys!

We were treated to more stories this weekend at the propped up feet of my reclining, grinning father. He's a natural storyteller, but he says he won't write a western this winter like I want him to. He'd rather have the immediate stage and laugh from all of us. This weekend, he told one story twice, which made me look at my mother and comment upon this fact, which becomes a hereditary trademark at around age 90 and the mind is an endless spin cycle. My grandmother lives in the nursing home in such a tight circle of memories, frets, pleasures, fears. She has the staff call, every once in a while, when they can't calm her down, her son, my dad, and she tells him that her niece, really her daughter, is lost, and she can't find her, and she's at a restaurant called "Autumn Oaks", and her car won't start. Dad reassures her that this niece is spending the night with them, and she is relieved, and her mind turns to the next groove (when she saw decorative crepe paper hanging on the walls of the nursing home, she turned and said to the attendant, "Well, why are my bras hanging out here!"). She's lived here for about four turning years.

But, for now, we enjoy Dad's stories, even twice told, because he always manages to say one new kicker, one funny line that has us grinning and dimpling up at his propped up feet and bright eyes.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

I've been a bad blogger lately, but I've never agreed that I would tell-all, have I? Perhaps I've promised anyone who reads this now, that I won't tell-all. Perhaps that is the best thing I could do here with this blogger -- to Spare the readers all of my "reports" of daily life. This is my gift to you, bequeathed, held out, withheld...

The Fall has been good. Tiring. With blips of relational excellence. Troubles that clear up with prayer and friendships and home support. Shadows that hang. Yet sun always pierces through. I am grateful.

My dear friend from North Carolina came this week for a visit. We met on Friday morning for our walk/run on the trail of old. I was quite overjoyed to have her as my travelin' companion again that I couldn't talk openly because I was afraid of tears pouring out, needfully, sorrowfully, joyfully, over such a precious gift of her as my good friend. Therefore, I kept it in, only dabbing at my eyes by the lake when the geese lifted off and reminded us of another one of our old weekly times. As usual, we "churched" ; she spoke of her spiritual life in her searching and obedient and joyous way. I truly needed a female spiritual walk / talk again. Grateful for her. Boo hoo, wail, wail, rejoice, rejoice!

We went to lunch with other friends later that day, and at noon, we tailgated before the game with another group. I got to see much of her; we laughed and enjoyed our time before the plane flies in again tomorrow.

And that's my report (along with the excellent Tiger victory 41-10 over Texas Tech today!).