Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Dusting Myself Off


Ah, the sweet delicious release. My composure steadfast. As I regain equilibrium, lost momentarily as I stumbled on a pile of stones littering my path. Faltering for a moment.

My backpack rebalanced, a cool drink of life sustaining water wets my parched lips as I carry on with balance and greater insights into the me I have become.

Cheers to the continuation of my journey, this marvelous redefinition of my life well-lived, with renewed vigor, a refreshed store of energy, revived passion as I gracefully stroll with purpose into the lemony sunshine and clear blue skies.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Chipping Away At The Peach Pit

Breathe in. Breathe out. Focus on the rise and fall of my chest. Inhale/expand. Exhale/release. Shanti. Shanti. Sha-anti-iiiiiiii. Namaste.

Bring it in. Feel at one with it. Let it go. Out into the universe. The negativity. Replace it with joy. Inner peace. My head falls forward. Hair dropping to the floor. Swinging gently. Palms flat. Rise up. One vertebra at a time. Rounding back. Shoulders last. Face to the heavens. Smiling. Fingers touching together over my heart.

Lying on the hard wooden floor which cradles my body. A purple bean bag covers my eyes, a rolled cushion supports my knees. The gentle incantations of our instructor brings me comfort. A peaceful bliss. The knot dissipates magically.

Floating free. Out of body and mind I gather the accouterments at the end of our practice. Folding the twin rubber mats which have cushioned my back and supported my weight. Pulling them back to their rightful place along the wall. The feng shui of it all. I carefully replace the strap which supported my outstretched legs on the rod framing the rice paper ink drawings. Carrying the blocks which moments before pillowed my upper sacrum and base of my skull as I lay in repose. Quietude.

Relax. Breathe in. Breathe out. Descend the narrow wooden stairway to the street. Slowly. One graceful step at a time. Capture the essence of the sacred warrior.

Then in one fell swoop it clinches up. My tummy tightens. My smile melts. Dissolves. One word. One frantic thing on the checklist which has come at me all too fast in a very condensed few days as if there is no tomorrow no reason to wait compelled to tic off every last thing blurring whirring until it is completed no rest for the weary no celebration no nothing just one thing after another and another and another until I seize up. Knotted. In a ball.

Seven days until yoga. Seven. It shouldn't be this hard. Not now. Not ever.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Loon de Tabagisme

"You knew your night would get a little bedda now that the Smoking Loon has graced you with his presence."

On the cement basement floor where water seeps in after a particularly heavy downpour next to the white plastic shelving (that is euphemistically referred to as 'the wine cellar') sits a bright yellow carton replete with twelve neat cardboard dividers each holding a dark amber bottle of Cab. From Napa. A loon etched yellow floating proudly on the red label boasting of a night of bliss. Or at the very least, a smooth sail.

A gift from a friend. A card carrying Alpha Squared member for several decades. Who swears it is okay to keep off the hard stuff, but sip from time to time the nectar of the gods. But who am I to say whether this is gospel? I am both a heathen and a cheap drunk. One dirty martini, up, three olives ... or on occasion a glass and a half of wine ... will set my chestnut haired head a'buzz.

Ainsi je suis un peu davantage que confus. Mais c'est moi. Pas lui. Le plus assurément il est correct. Au moins de son point de vue. If you know what I mean!

If I am going to imbibe the fruit of the vine, it will most likely be claret with a hint of lavender and a scent of sorrel mushrooms and a soupçon of pencil shavings. Not a bona fide wine aficionado I just want it to please my palette. Not impress my guests. Decanted. From France, preferably. In my earlier days I was a budding Francophile with a modicum of fluency. A real lover of all things du Gaul: Louis Vuitton, Hermes, Perrier Jouier, evergreen scented Rigaud boudoir candles. You get the picture.

Mais un canard? If so, then definitely one with aplomb. Debonair. Dashing. Self assured. Naturellement.

And that's the truth, so help me God!

Pinball Wizard

Ever since I was a young girl I've played the silver ball. From Nantucket down to Edmond, I must have played them all. But I've never seen anything like him in any amusement hall. That deaf, dumb and blind boy sure plays a mean pinball.

Must be those crazy flippers. His touch gives them a thrill. His deft tongue wags so glibly, I know I'll take a spill. Such a smooth talking wizard. There has to be a twist. Words warp illucidly. Hit me like a fist.

Cunning. Sharp. Plays by intuition. Scores big by manipulating the landscape under glass. Uneven pressure. Metal balls crashing, bouncing. Racking up the points. One offs no more.

Bells a' flashing. Buzzers squealing. Knot growing deep in my belly cutting off my inner joy. Attacking my self-assuredness. Shrouding my joie de vivre. Until I acquiesce. Fold my cards. Melt into the shadows.

Things going bump in the night. My night. Once solemn peaceful slumber interrupted by rattling noises. Breath whistling scarily. Noisily. Carrying me to the very edge of my comfort zone. And beyond. Uneasily. Ding. Ding. Ding. TILT!

To think I almost handed my pinball crown to him.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Lobster Pots and Blueberry Pie

It is curious how I managed to not own a pot large enough to boil multiple crustaceans simultaneously. Especially since I have summered in coastal Maine off and on for over twenty five years and made the Pine Tree state my home for six. And, I adore lobsters. And mussels and clams. But hey, somehow this is the one piece of kitchen equipment that I am lacking. That and a maid. But that is another story.

An inventive cook, a rogue gourmet, my cupboards spill to the basement with paraphernalia from which to imagine and create delicious culinary treats. Fluted tart pans in several sizes. I can whip up a bread pudding soufflé on a moment's notice replete with bourbon hard sauce and praline cookies. My shrimp risotto with asiago, pignoli nuts and basil is nonpareil. My cabinets are chocked full of grilling pans, steamers, woks of various sizes and griddles. Yes! I have the shellfish picks. The red enamel lobster claw shaped crackers. Even the odd bib or two. But alas I posses no lobster pot. Not until today that is.

A little after ten this morning, the brown UPS truck rolled to a stop in front of my house and out popped the driver balancing a very large corrugated box in his tanned, muscular arms. I love surprises. Adore them. My pulse quickened. Excitedly I grabbed the awkward size carton from his hands, signed a scratchy "AF" on the line and placed the package on the floor of my office to do the dirty deed.

Hurriedly I peeled off the clear plastic packing tape, slit open the corrugated cardboard to reveal white styrofoam peanuts carefully protecting the contents. So many of them. Too many, in fact. Not typically welcome in my home. But this is a gift after all. So my unwrapping continued unabated. Packing materials spilled onto my just waxed kitchen floor. Clinging by centrifugal force and friction to my fingertips. My treasure hunt progressed. Unwinding the thin outer wrapping of cocoa colored craft paper, memories of colorful crepe paper surprise ball favors (ubiquitous 1950s birthday party fare) came to mind.

Wow. The largest shiny black pot speckled white revealed its utilitarian self. Compliments of a darling friend, anticipating a lifetime of visits. Images of Woody Allen and Diane Keaton fluttered across my mind. Lobster races on my black and white kitchen floor were now in the offing. Trophies would need to be made. An internet recipe search conducted. Fast forwarded into the future. A New England foodie came of age as the cold, steely cauldron emerged in its full glory.

Cheers to my generous friend. I also tip my glass to the Maine lobstermen, those stern men braving stormy seas to harvest these delectable treats. And ... to the glut in the summer market lowering the price to a mere $4.99 a pound. Let them eat lobsters fresh from my stockpot with a homemade blueberry cobbler for dessert!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Hiatus Explained

By now you have figured out that my son's graduation last week from college coupled with his imminent move to New York City and then to Hong Kong have crimped my stylus.

Cheers to the gods that smiled on my darling son! We have much to do …

(I'll be back soon. Promise!)

Plastic Bins, Crayons and Report Cards

We are elbow deep in dozens of over-sized storage bins. You know the ones. Clear plastic with red or blue hinged tops. Bigger than a breadbox. Heavy with books. All kinds.

The requisite text books highlighted yellow saved for the day that never arrives when we need to look up an algebra formula, a Latin declension, a single date in history that seems the pivotal point setting in motion a series of seemingly unrelated events. Children's stories in large typeface with less than ten words to a page. Smudged with peanut butter fingers and drips of chocolate milk. Read, reread, treasured. Classic literature of adventures on stormy seas inhabited by pirates, mermaids, explorers. Edgy historical writing from across the centuries, spanning the globe. We are readers. Voracious ones. Unable to relinquish, even for the sake of coveted space, our somewhat mildewy, dogeared riches.

Some are piled heavy with multi-colored spiral wide-ruled notebooks from middle school classes which ignited his passion for learning. Excelling. Planting the embryonic seeds that would flower into thousands of delicate blossoms to be explored, evaluated, questioned. Giving birth to his love for scholarly pursuits. History lessons. Sloppy copies of essays that were perfected over and over again until the words flowed just so. Impeccably chosen. Nuanced. Presaging the direction of his studies.

Kraft paper grocery bags litter the floor in haphazard piles. Half filled. Strewn about in some modicum of order. The bins teeter heavy on the wooden pallets that keep these curious boxes above the rivulets that stream across the cracked 160 years cellar floor when the spring Nor'easter blown furious and rain pelts our village neighborhood dumping inches. The nearby Mousam River overflowing its curvy, tree lined banks.

So we have been here for days. In the damp basement. Not making one iota of a dent. Not even a teeny one. Too many delicious memories to contemplate, ruminate and celebrate. One bittersweet moment at a time. It is a slow process. Revisiting the years that flew by all too quickly. Leaving an indelible imprint in my mind's eye. Swirling with sepia-edged visions of my young son evolving at warp speed into the charming man he is becoming. Souvenirs of his magical childhood. Precious. Beloved. Ephemeral.

May this improbable task take forever. My memories, our memories, framed in a most delectable album in my mind's eye to be retained, recalled, revisited cherished for a lifetime.

Cheers to our life well-lived!