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Showing posts from June, 2016

Wisdom

I met her at a writers' conference--a woman whose age I found hard to guess, but whose slowed and stiffened gait told me she was at least a few years older than me.  Her voice carried the warm musical cadence of the Caribbean, slow and deep. She was quick to break into peals of laughter that shook her body. I was drawn to this woman, who arrived alone--but seemed at ease with her own company. I caught sight of her over the three days of the conference, en-route to the next workshop or pausing to take a rest, large red purse resting on her lap, while her hands held onto her bag of conference leaflets. It turned out that she is a self described conference addict--a Senior who believes in life-long learning--and this was her fifth conference so far this year.

We sat together at one point and my natural curiosity prompted questions, which she answered slowly and thoughtfully, I learned that she had endured three major tragedies in her life. No-one would blame her for being crushed by a…

Friday's Child

Our second baby wasn't due until the middle of June, but in the first week of that month in 1972 I was seized by the a strong compulsion to clean the house--no matter that it was hot and humid and we had no air conditioning--everything had to be clean. For some time I had wanted my body back. I kept misjudging the proximity of doorways and bumping into furniture. I navigated space feeling like a huge, ungainly, ocean-going-liner. 

Paul was working in a facility for people with developmental disabilities, and the upcoming weekend would be a long one off for him. When he told me that he was bringing home a guest for four days--one of the people who lived there--I thought ungracious thoughts. With a toddler who had just turned two at the end of May, and our second baby due in just over a week, the thought of an extra person staying for four days was exhausting.  But when our guest Philip came home with Paul after his shift on Thursday, seeing how excited he was at the brightly coloure…