Carol A. Hand
I awake but it seems too dark to be time to arise. My first thoughts, sadly, are doubts about writing only about my day. I lie in bed luxuriating in the warmth of the extra layers of blankets, feeling the cooler air on my cheeks. I lose track of time as my mind wanders, but finally I open my eyes and lift up my old fragile battery-powered plastic alarm clock. Squinting in the grey light, my glasses still on the nightstand by me bed, I see it’s a little after seven.
What an uneventful life I lead now, today!
Finally I kick back the extra covers to discover it’s not as chilly as I thought it’d be, but it’s still dark and damp. Fall is definitely here.
As I arise and head toward the stairs, I realize why it’s so hard to envision writing only in the present. As my gaze passes over the blond-finished dresser in the alcove, I think about how many memories it holds about its many moves and so many other times. Everything has memories. I can’t part with some of the things because of those memories, but my bedroom is the least cluttered room in my house.
I wind down the stairs to the living/dining area, the center of my daytime indoor world. Gripping the railing tightly, I climb over the child gate at the foot of the steps, careful not to slip and hurt the little dog sleeping on the rug below. My glasses now on, I can see the bright number gleaming on the electric digital clock, 7:19. I have many clocks, but it’s the only electric one. (I’m used to many years without electricity.)
See what I mean? Even the simplest things carry memories and connecting threads to other times, people and places. Perhaps that’s as it should be. I’m in the time of my life when I have time to make sense of memories and contemplate the tapestry of past and present.
Ok. Time for coffee. This writing thing is becoming obsessive.
I put on the tea kettle to boil water for my morning instant coffee – yes, that has stories, too, and I peer out the kitchen window. I watch the little girl and her father walking down the alley on their way to the grade school just across the street. Their matching striped umbrellas tell me I’ll need to greet the morning from my back stoop this morning. It’s the only door with a little protective roof – shelter from the rain.
As I sit on the stoop to greet the morning, I breathe in the fresh cool damp air and listen – the sounds of busy morning traffic on the avenue two blocks away, the sounds of leaves rusting in the wind, and the sound of water dripping from the eaves. A gentle steady rain falls. A neighbor’s large grey rabbit shelters under another neighbor’s truck. I watch as it flattens its ears on its back as it chews.
I check my blog before reading the news. The message center is working for a change, so I decide to reciprocate the kindness of those who have liked and commented on my previous posts. I know I will lose my own language as I read the words of others, but still, this is something I feel the need to do.
Although I value all of the comments and likes, I’m especially grateful for substantive comments from Diane and Hildegard about yesterday’s post. Yes, here I am switching time frames to link the past, present, and future. It’s a constant in my life, this temporal interweaving, not just in this present stage of my life. I did need to know if anyone would be able to rise above the emotions of reminders of a hurtful past that may expose the shame of privilege we often carry deep inside. Privilege that accrued from the suffering one’s ancestor’s inflicted, knowingly or not, on others, to leave a better legacy for their descendants while sowing destruction for others. Shame we carry for the privileges we enjoy today.
It’s what I try to minimize in my actions today by living simply. Yet the electricity and fuel that enables me to write and blog, and make my morning coffee, comes at the cost of others who are displaced by resource wars and climate change, by underpaid workers who harvest and produce the food and clothing I can take for granted.
Photo: Notable Quotes
But it’s time to read the news and get on with my tasks for the day
Inside chores because of the steady, cold rain
Preserving food for the winter
Spackling inherited cracks in the kitchen ceiling
And other practical boring to-read-about things
But first let me wish you all a blessed day.
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