like wind on drugs

My gran is in her new apartment now and even though she tells nearly everyone that she sees how she will be returning to her home shortly- I assume she must know down deep that it is not reality.

I know this because she is giving me things that leave big spaces on walls in her old home.
This dresser or chest has always sat in the room off her kitchen.
I would sit on a stool and open those two doors and play "bankerwritersbizlady" all day long with old checkbooks and tiny journals and stamp pads and money.
I would sit there and recite stories that my grandmother transcribed in little leather notebooks.
I would swing round and tell her all my wishes. All my lies. All my dreams.

It sits here now in my house.
It sits heavy like a stone on the flooring.
It is at the same time beautiful and sad.
A reminder of how fast the calendars have flipped.
Like wind on drugs.

And one day it was just gone but I will always have the memory of you stroking my soft hands and telling me it was a sweet freckle.

when the weather turns
dialing down the heat
whispering chills between shoulder blades
I go back to the desire to remember all of the people that I have been

every year it's harder to wrap my wool cardigan around the facts
that there was a time I traversed roads and main streets untethered
I walked alone
I carried less knowledge
I floated like gauze

I wish I knew what the landscape of my gran's mind looked like
on the inside
I know how very layered and tempered mine seems now
very interested in knowing what 90 years old looks like
how does she remember herself?

yesterday she told me things
we sat touching noses and whispered tiny agreements and
wet eyes were in the room
all of the tears revolve around time
and the way it has rushed right to this moment
this Sunday afternoon
in a small room
time that really doesn't go anywhere
it just hangs there
round
pushy

she announces that I am young still
and although I think I know things
I have not been through enough
not enough years
times round the sun
to see it like a shiny penny on a dirty street
(This scares the shit out me)
because there is more good and bad coming
it's like a swirl
and let me hold someones hand for 60 years
or live in a house where babies were pushed out into sunshine rooms
and then those babies had babies and those babies had babies
and we all ate apple pie at at the same damn table

Sometimes in the fall
I just want to talk to someone
who knew me when I was little kid
or when I was 13 years old
someone who can verify that I did indeed
once have a beautiful freckle
on my left hand middle finger

I want to be reminded of those people I used to know

I want to practice my remembering

photo via tumblr

Sunday

Scout met his 90 year old great granny today.

She is slowly making her comeback to pie baker extraordinaire
with her new pacemaker and physical therapy.

love

Who knows where she will end up living- nursing home/apartment/with my parents...
We are just thankful after all she's been through that she is still here.

IMG_8736

But you can thank us later for the things we've handed down

My gran is tucked into a long term care unit in my hometown hospital after spending last week in the ICU here in Columbus, Ohio. She fell and hit her head and had a small brain bleed. She also has a heart that is not working well- not even for a 90 year old. She is passing out intermittently and falling. She thinks she will only be there for ten days.

She is convinced she will soon go home to live alone on her hill and bake the pies that seduce the neighborhood and give her free rides into town. She is certain she will soon resume her duties as church treasurer and ladies club craft leader. She has a schedule. She is stubborn. I listen to her, but safe in my house where she can't see my tears, I know this is not going to happen. I have talked to my grandmother everyday of my life on the telephone since I was a kid. The only times we have not talked daily was when I lived in Europe. I know her. And this kills me.

She made the boys both a kimono style gown when they were born and just days before she fell she told me she was upset that she had not made this new baby one yet. She said she would get on it. I told her not to worry about it as I held the phone between my ear and shoulder while doing dishes.
It's no big I think I said to her.

Yesterday I smoothed the wrinkles from the gowns as I unpacked them from small boxes.
I pressed them into the bed and looked at how tiny they were.
I felt sad like warm rain.
I wanted another one to be there too.
I want this child to know her too.
I want life to slow down a bit.


title from Marc Cohn song

What runs through my mind at night- moments before I fall asleep

My other granny- the minister's wife is struggling with a heart that wants to push from her chest. She has a ticker that tocks and knocks and causes her pain. She is weak now and it makes me sad. She is a painter and keeps telling my mother to ask me what I would like her to paint for me. I resist for this whole past year or so. I don't want the last of anything. It sounds so final. What would you have someone paint for you if it would be the last thing they may ever paint for you?

She's sensitive. She may even have it.
The ability to find the information hidden from most of us- from the senses.
Extrasensory perception.
Whatever.
She woke up one time in the night and said a plane crash was happening and it was.
Her son was in a plane crash.
She also woke up and circled a date on the calendar.
Her father died on that day.

I want her to paint my future.
In colors bright and vivid.
I can hang it up on the wall and never be afraid to look at it.
Or share it.
When the light hits yr lens you will see peace
and all throughout your body a feeling will wash right over you.

It will feel like the way it feels when someone rubs your head

and you know that through their fingers pulse love.

was your hair really once black like a bird?


Finn plays with my grandmother's hands whenever he is with her.
He takes her hand and within moments he is pulling her nearly 90 year old skin from her like elastic bands.
He rolls her dark blue veins that lie like wet rope against the speckled white skin.
She shakes him off and raises the back of his thin t-shirt to scratch his back.
He is my child.
He loves to be patted or tickled or touched.
He will sit submissive for a few moments but then he is again at her looking like a small microscope at all of her oddities:

her brown flaky bits and bobs
her constant bruising
her general translucency

It is as if he may see right through her skin if he squints hard enough.

He pulls at her white thin hair and says:

Old granny was your hair really once black like a bird

Yes dear the darkest hair in the hollow

Granny were you once a little girl

Yes dear

And it goes on like this long enough that every single time
I wished I had a microphone to make this history real and frozen.

And her hands.

They are so foreign looking to all of us because they have been around the sun so many times.
I wonder what all they have done.
These hands.
Lately I am most fascinated by her penmanship and pies they produce.
And of course the way they calm down the generations of us.

Granny
He begins again.
And Granny stretches her long fingers
out against the cool of the laminate kitchen table and smiles.

(wrote this last night at my every three week writing group that I love. I love that we are starting to become a group that just might make the world a more magical place)
photo via we heart it