28 June 2017

bits and pieces

That expectation that life should proceed in a straight line. Preposterous really - and everything I have learned about life up to now confirms that - yet deep down, I want it that way and most of my disappointments in life are based on this being so impossible.

Listening to a pleasant Sunday morning radio show, a chatty interview with an Irish author/musician, I feel a jolt of fear passing through me when he mentions with a sigh that most of his life is behind him now, that aged a bit over 60, you never know, it could all be over sooner rather than . . . and so on.

Before sleep, I read Do No Harm by Henry Marsh, which is quite brutal, almost like a thriller. I hold my breath and race through the pages to find out whether a patient survives. And with the relief when it happens I feel a short wave of anger wash over me. Recovery, complete recovery. How distant, impossible, almost mean, nasty these words have become.

I remember a friend who - many years ago - insisted we teach her everything about vegetable gardening, now, because she had been told that she only had months to live. All afternoon, we walked through the garden and she took elaborate notes about soil and compost and mulching and crop rotation. Later on, we got drunk. It wasn't a day for tea and biscuits.

Yesterday, a man approached me outside our local supermarket. He looked friendly, tanned, dressed in stylish sports clothing, with a well equipped touring bicycle. You are a housewife, he asked and I laughed, not really. Look here, he said and held out a stick of lard. For two weeks, I have been eating one of these every day, with onions and salt, and my skin got smoother, I feel much younger and healthier. Pig's fat? I ask. Yes, I boil it until all the bad stuff has evaporated and eat it right before bed time. We went on from there, covering the essentials, as you do, from factory farming, antibiotics in animal feed, hair dye, DNA sampling, white flour, exhaust fumes, the difference between fluorine and fluorescence, which brought us smoothly to the subject of migrants and there I bid my farewell. You meet all sorts, my grandmother often told me, if you have the time.

This morning, my daughter gave me her pep talk about my future. She's very good at it, pointing out where I have already, secretly, unbeknownst to me, made my decisions and how to follow up on them. She makes it all sound dead easy. And why not.

Today is our 35th wedding anniversary. We googled and learned that in Germany, this is the vellum (or maybe canvas?) anniversary, whereas in America, it is a coral one. For us, it's the what-day-is-it-again anniversary. It was a mad time and a wild day.

I think I got it all covered now, a cliche about life in general, a brief contemplation of my usual self pity and anxiety, bits of memory, local folklore, family chit chat, love and a link to an older blog post.

Ok. Maybe a bit of glam rock to spice it up. That's it for today.


Colette said...

Congratulations on your anniversary. 35 years is a long time, and it seems you still have deep love and magic in your relationship. Quite an accomplishment. I enjoyed the T.Rex video. Sometimes I yearn for the days when all those pretty boys wore full makeup to perform on stage.

Ms. Moon said...

We will have been married thirty-three years this year which is pretty good considering we were both married to others before. Congratulations! Your wedding (I said it too!) sounds fabulous! And perfect.
I hope you two celebrate at least a little bit.
No lard involved.

Steve Reed said...

Happy anniversary! I haven't in fact heard of a coral anniversary, but then, my parents got divorced after 12 years so I don't know about such things. :)

I also don't know anything about health regimens, but I would definitely think twice before resorting to the stick-of-lard therapy.

Anonymous said...

Happy 35th Anniversary to you two lovebirds! I love how you describe a book, a day, a conversation, a memory... all with the passion of being present in the moment. This is the best of life.

Your conversation with the man on the street reminded me of a conversation we had with a young man who happened to be walking in the same direction we were on our way home. I was going to do a post about it, but probably won't. This is what I wrote: Just walked into town and back to run a few errands. On the way back we walked with a young refugee from Nigeria. He is here going to the university studying Sociology. He left Nigeria when he was 10 years old and lived in Paris for three years while paperwork was organized. I asked him where his parents lived. He said his father died in Nigeria, but his mother died here. He said, ”You know mothers don't always tell you what is going on with them when they are sick." Now he is a student and works part-time as a caregiver. He said, "People in your country don't take their parents in with them. In my country that is what we always do. I like being a caregiver." We shook hands on the corner, glad for a simple moment of human beings meeting each other and being reminded of what truly connects us.

37paddington said...

Beautiful post. Happy 35th anniversary. As I read your getting married post, am exciting and joyful movie of the action was in my head. I do hope you're writing your memoir. You've led such an adventurous life, and are leading it still. Love.

Elizabeth said...

I love it. All of it.

A Cuban In London said...

Have a great wedding anniversary. Or a wee one. As you like it :-)

Greetings from London.

Hattie said...

We have been married 53 years. My husband is now my caregiver. I'm stronger than I was, thanks to modern cancer therapy. We are getting by. I avoid contact with people who have an agenda around what is happening to me and just stick to family and old friends. I don't have the energy to deal with people who think they have all the answers.