Writing about Mexico and memories felt like a private memorial, that I had to get out of my head. Part therapy, part record keeping, so that my children could understand me and how I was feeling. I couldn't leave with 1 hour's notice, at 11 p.m. Monday night, to drive 16 hours for my abuelo's funeral. I was sad enough that he died, and I think I was even sadder to realize I was missing an opportunity to say goodbye, to share my story and hear theirs. Having always felt some uncertainty about my ability to write effectively about my memories and feelings, and being reluctant to commit to saying things out loud, writing this post was liberating and personal. It also felt as though I have barely crossed the threshold of a part of my life, of a hundred stories, of things I know and believe, but have yet to give a voice to.
Blogging can be a lonely business. I've been writing for a while. Some posts are nearly pointless, and some posts are full of my deepest thoughts and happiest musings. As much as I have wanted to be a good writer, to reach people and start a conversation, I have mostly resigned myself to the puzzled looks from family and friends, and feeling like a goof. Receiving comments is a relatively new pleasure, and it is wonderful. Bloggers, you know it's true: feedback, encouragement, connection, community, discussions and exchanges are the fuel and frosting that top the blogging cake.
Thank you for your comments. You may have convinced me I can say things, say them well enough to start a conversation that we can all share. But mostly, because of what you shared with me, I felt like I had kind and tender company as I sorted my thoughts and feelings and began to say goodbye to my abuelo, to chapters and days that in some ways are forever beyond my reach. I could not be at the funeral, where they say it rained for days, and the lightning did not wait for the thunder, but lit the night sky with every percussion. I could not be there to hold my abuela and to share the grief, and the healing that comes with company. I have been to too many funerals in the last year, and I have seen enough death and loss to understand that support and compassion are a tremendous resource for comfort and courage. Thank you for reading about my abuelo, about things I am trying to make sense of, and feelings I want to hold on to. Thank you for responding and encouraging me, for being supportive and compassionate... it helps. I feel less alone.
I think I have been afraid to post again, because I was pretty sure I wouldn't be as eloquent or interesting as I seemed to have managed in my last post. What? I'm not too proud to admit positive feedback felt really good. Really good. So, maybe I will slip back into mediocrity and obscurity. Maybe I have the rough draft of the next best seller, but writing is like surfing. Some days you paddle, paddle, paddle and never get a ride.
And some days you catch a wave.
Perhaps every post won't be an exhilarating ride, but I am hooked on blogging, and I love looking through the archives and seeing my children, recalling the things they've done and said. I love reminding myself that there have been good days and bad days, and I am still around to know the difference.
Independence Day was a good day. I planned a long day at the beach with the children, expecting Geoff would work, as he usually has to, but he exchanged this day for working the weekend (which he usually does) and he joined us for an entire day of surf, sand and
Truthfully, I love the fog. It was overcast, but warm, and it made it easier to play all day, without feeling scorched. We dug a private pool for Maria. Max, Geoff and William did a lot of bodysurfing. The beach was crowded and happy. We had chips and dip. I love chips and dip. We ate strawberries, we walked, we built drip castles.
It didn't stay crowded. By late afternoon the beach was deserted, and we enjoyed a very foggy walk, collecting all kinds of treasure along the way. Suddenly I decided to tile our shower with the smooth stones that cover our beaches. Not the shower here, at Garage Mahal. The shower in our own, future, imaginary, hopeful, some day house. I walked back to our base-camp carrying about 15 pounds of shower tiles. It's a start.
Someone got hold of my camera. Notice my relaxed, at ease expression?
Nothing's ever as easy as I think it should be. This day, this no-stress day at the beach was days in the planning and took hours to prepare and pack for. I was totally absorbed in making an idyllic, classic sort of celebration. I even envisioned presenting one of those clever fruit decorated flag cakes. So, you know, I was scurrying around, gathering towels, finding swim shorts, hats, sunblock and anticipating every need and patriotic whim. And finally, we were ready to head out. Stop for gas, and pick up ice, then the beach, and our beautiful celebration of freedom and family time. In the market I grabbed an extra bag of corn chips and a magazine to read while lounging luxuriously, and I kept noting how terrific everyone looked. Cute T-shirts, red, white and blue details, and snazzy summer sandals. Everyone was looking dressed for a holiday. It wasn't until then that I realized I had forgotten an important detail... I was still in my pajamas. 'nough said.
I let the children decorate the Fourth of July Fruit Flag Cake.
It was beautiful.
It was a very good day.