Why do weddings make me cry?

My daughter is getting married next May, and sometimes just the thought of it brings tears to my eyes. So happens spring will also bring publication of my novel—the culmination of years of writing, some publication, lots of rejection, and always, always the tenacity to keep at it, a bag of emotion all its own. Then there’s the sorry state of our country, not to mention the seasonal melancholy etched into every falling autumn leaf.

But this is mostly about weddings and the emotional undercurrent they give rise to. I was weeks from turning thirty-five when I got married, an age at which the thought of being ‘given away’ in a walk down some carpeted aisle didn’t quite cut it. My husband-to-be and I found a venue styled to look like a turn-of-the-century French ballroom. Very hip. Very Greenwich Village. Very us. We did all the legwork, thankful to have very accommodating parents with simple requests. In the mixed metaphor that was, and continues to be, our lives, we were married by an Orthodox rabbi. The wedding may have been larger than I would have liked, but my family was large. I say ‘was’ because the generation that would comprise my parents’ siblings, cousins, friends, etc., is mostly gone. My husband’s parents, whose circle of family and friends was much smaller by comparison, could care less about what would seem to be a proportional imbalance. They were just glad that their son was getting married, and to a nice Jewish girl, who would in two years’ time give them their first granddaughter to dote on.

And dote they did. And on a spring night barely six months from now, that first granddaughter will find herself under a makeshift Chuppah at a Malibu ranch. We’re counting on her only remaining grandparent to be at the wedding. She’s 91, sharp and healthy, even if a little frail. She lives in northern California, the wedding will be in southern California. My future son-in-law’s grandparents plan to fly in from New York.

Like my wedding, my daughter’s is looking to be larger than she would like, and we’ve all done our best to pare the guest list. This is never an easy task, and one that feels even more emotionally complicated in a time when friends are more like family than the relatives I feel distanced from.

You can’t go home again. But you can feel the ache of what that thing called home, for all the convoluted emotions it encompasses, gives rise to. “You will have only one story,” says Sarah Payne, the fictitious writer/mentor to Lucy Barton in Elizabeth Strout’s tender and touching novel, My Name Is Lucy Barton. “You’ll write your one story many ways.” I don’t know that I have only one story, but I do know that the complexity of mother-daughter relationships keeps surfacing (hopefully in different ways) in my fiction and essays. Then there’s the more general exploration of familial ties: what happens when that thing we think of as family disperses almost to the point of dissolving?

I tear up during the ceremony at any wedding I attend. Down-the-aisle love songs have a way of tugging at my heart, hitting that nerve that sits on the edge of love and loss in the way that weddings do.

For better or for worse, a wedding is an affirmation of love. It reminds us what it is to be young (or old) and truly in love.

It’s another link in a chain of rituals that bind us.

It’s a reminder that the circle of life is held together by new links forged from broken ones.

It tells us that our children are grown now, moving on.

All those months, the planning and attention to details—the venue, the food, the entertainment, the guest list, the dress (a tradition with a history all its own)—

—to be funneled into a celebration, one day only, that embodies the future and the past.

Suddenly it’s here. We lift our glasses to the bride and groom. We smile. We laugh. We cry. We dance.

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Young at Heart

July 1985. I’m behind the counter of Farmhouse, Inc., an East Hampton design shop my husband opened with the man who would have been his partner had he not died. It’s Saturday night. We play Frank Sinatra music, always a draw.

It had all the markings of a good plan. Keith, my husband’s assistant in his NYC interior design business, wanted to open a design shop in East Hampton. He spent half his week in the city and the other half in Sag Harbor where he lived with his life partner, Peter, who had a thriving hair salon. The Hamptons had plenty of antiques shops but nothing focused on contemporary design. Lew liked the idea.

They found a space for rent, gave it a name: Farmhouse, Inc., a gallery of craft/tech. That was February 1985. Another person might rethink signing a lease with someone just diagnosed with HIV. But that other person would not have the spirit of the man I married. By springtime Keith had full-blown AIDS but was holding steady. We had a Memorial Day opening bash filled with friends (including local luminaries), and all the promise of a creative new venture.

 

If pictures truly are worth a thousand words, how’s this one for silliness and feeling young at heart? Please ignore the socks I’m wearing. It was a time. It was a look. Do not ignore the smile on the face of my dear friend, Regina, and me.

By early July Keith was gone.

Can’t say I would ever really fill Keith’s shoes, with all that he would have brought to the partnership but we gave it our best shot. The following July would find me very pregnant and overjoyed by my mother’s visit. Sara would be born a month later.

Why is this on my mind now?

Well first there’s the Frank Sinatra connection. Almost any song on the cassette we regularly played as customers browsed takes me back, but “Young at Heart” puts me there in a flash, the wistfulness of it, hand in hand with a melancholy undertone.

Then there’s the novel I would write, sparked by the need to make sense of a very troubling time. These were the early days of AIDS. Nobody knew what was really happening. Days felt shadowed with clouds.

More and more a sense of innocence lost took hold. All those years of sex/drugs/rock ‘n’ roll free love and now we have sex equated with death. What would the impact of that be on anyone coming of age in the ‘80s? I pictured a girl, a beloved uncle, the mysteries surrounding him. I pictured her born in the summer of ’69, coming of age in the ‘80s, a time when the mysteries give way to tragedy. How does a young person, in all her innocence, make sense of it all? How does she confront the ugliness of that thing we call homophobia?

How does she handle grief?

And, what if her own sexual awakening occurs while her uncle is dying?

There you have it, the seeds of Just like February, which will at last be published next April by Spark Press.

In the words of the young narrator’s quirky grandmother: “If you live long enough, you see everything.”

Speaking of which, here I am, another July years later, the kitchen renovation I recently wrote about brought to completion but forever holding all that’s contained in those moments defined by before and after.

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It’s easy to remember . . .

Sometimes even I surprise myself.

Last year, in a post focused on the spirit of place, I wrote these words:

Walls hold secrets. Memories are something we make.

Oh, to be a fly on a wall when something we’re not privy to is taking place!  The walls I’m mostly thinking about are the ones that give definition to the places I’ve lived.  They may be repainted and redecorated, but, barring any demolition, they remain standing.  Stepping into a room you once inhabited is bound to be riddled with emotion. Nostalgia for what’s gone may kick in, unless a nagging sense of what was really never there gets the best of you.

Memories are of a more fluid nature.  It’s one thing to understand the neurological processes that give shape to them in the first place, another thing altogether to laugh or cry at the spontaneous recall of some past moment triggered by a smell/a sound/a conversation or scratch your head in frustration at something that never gets past the tip of your tongue.

The gorgeous, bittersweet saxophone of John Coltrane tells me it’s easy to remember but so hard to forget.

I’m not so sure it isn’t the other way around.

Ask me the date of my mother’s death, and I still say 17 Nissan, the third day of Passover. That’s what the Jewish (lunar) calendar tells me, and that would be today.  The secular (solar) calendar marks her death on April 8, 1993. Don’t ask me if it’s a good thing or a bad thing, but the disconnect between the two different ways of marking time had me unable to recall the April 8th date for at least a few years after she died.

Passover, like Easter, is nothing if not a spring ritual, each holiday underscored by stories of renewal, not to mention death and resurrection. Photographs help me recall a time when there was no Passover without a Seder.

Young as I was, there was always that moment of mystery and magic—opening the door for Elijah the prophet, checking the level of wine in the cup left on the table for him to see if he really did take a sip. That would be my sign that all was okay.

Sentimentality, coupled with a sense of keeping some semblance of tradition, would have my family continuing to gather for Passover after my grandfather died. But the Seder would fall apart like crumbled matzoh without his guiding presence. Memory may (or may not) fail me but the last Seder I recall ended in a fight between my uncles. So the ritual of gathering to tell a story of enslavement and freedom would give way to the ritual of gathering simply to eat. It was my mother and aunt who held it together, with their cooking.

Food as ritual? You tell me. With each passing generation something is lost. These days I do some semblance of a modernized Seder to bring together friends and family.

And I do my best to remember.

1 Car, 2 Cars, Red Car, New Car

little red wagonI don’t really remember the first, first car my family bought other than that apparently my parents listened to almost five-year-old me when I requested “fire engine red” and that we bought it from the same car dealer from whom we would buy two of our subsequent cars.

I do remember the excitement of buying my own first car, a used Jetta, when I moved to Los Angeles after college sara jetta and a few years later the overwhelming feeling of buying a brand-new car and getting its butt whipped by Mother Nature the first week I owned it.

Ironically it was Mother’s Day Weekend with my mom actually in town visiting me when Mother Nature kicked me in the ass with a sandstorm that wreaked havoc on my newborn car and eventually brought me to follow the mindset it’s “just a car” meant to get me from point A to point B and anything that Honda 2014happens in the middle is a nuisance, physically and financially.

Yet for some reason, as my parents watch our family car of nineteen years go down the driveway for the last time, I feel a sense of nostalgia. The many trips up to sleep-away camp, moving into college, moving other people into college, going to visit family and friends along the East Coast and Midwest, the rusty nobye bye 4Runnerw POS has been a lot of places… it was even on the receiving end of the first car I got in an accident with (sometimes going in reverse in your family’s fire engine red car on your last day of high school is hard, and the big family truck gets in the way, just sayin’).

I will admit going from a 2002 model car to a 2014 model car does feel a little like going from the Millennium Falcon to a First Order Space Ship. There are many new bells and whistles evident with the obvious technology changes over twelve years. So you can imagine what fun it is for me to watch my mom stepping into the future when she was surprised with a new car for her birthday this year. Imagine not having to turn on your car ten minutes before you have to leave to defrost the windows in the fall and winter. It’s cute to watch, although she does clutch the steering wheel like she’s 66 minus 50 and learning to drive again. I teasingly offer to give it its first scratch, since I’m a pro at that, so that she can get over the fact that it’s nothing more than “just a car”—something she reminded me of last Mother’s Day.

I don’t know who first said it, but I often hear the expression, ‘it’s not the destination, it’s the journey.’ Okay maybe it came from Homer and The Odyssey, or at least it sounds like something Odysseus probably felt when he finally returned home. Despite these toys just being cars, we spend SO much time in them. My friend and I will forever laugh about our journey getting from LA to NY in an orange Fiat—a car I’m glad my dad never sat in until after our road trip was complete. It’s hard not to associate these journeys with the (hopefully) reliable things that get us along on them. I mean, I’m sure that it was sad for pioneers on the Oregon Trail when their wagons tipped while trying to float across a river, or an ox died due to hunger or disease. It’s the same thing, right? Unless you owned a modern day Jetta, in which case, peace out, bitch.

Deborah gets a Lexus

Birthday Surprise Video

Talk less, say more

I have a dream . . . in which I’m sitting at a kitchen table with my cousins—very close cousins, whom I love dearly—and we’re reminiscing, schmoozing, laughing about old times at another kitchen table, in a small Brooklyn apartment, as mythical as it was real. We tease each other about the kids we once were. We keep nibbling at whatever food and snacks are within reach.

What makes this a dream is one simple wish: when politics rears its ugly head, and we find ourselves across that nasty divide, we listen—really listen—to each other. All one cousin, staunch Republican that he is, has to say is one word to make me cringe: Yes, Benghazi.

I try, really I do, to put things into perspective. I ask him to look at past administrations, Republican and Democratic alike, to see if we might reach some common ground re: fallibility and accountability on both sides. There’s nothing pretty about politics. At its purest, it’s a rather benign word encompassing the ‘science of government’ or ‘affairs of state,’ rooted in the Greek politikos, meaning ‘of, for, or relating to citizens.’ But even way way back, the ideal vs. the pragmatic and/or power-driven state of governance was teased apart by philosophers. All of which doesn’t do much to mitigate today’s connotation of politics and with it, the encroaching reality that the truth of any situation is hard to come by. We all have mindsets, predispositions, call it what you will. We live in world governed by all the news that’s fit to summarize and spit out to suit a spin mentality that supports those predispositions.

It’s the reason that presidential debates put is into a tailspin or make us fall sleep, and, alas, rarely change our minds.

It’s the reason elections, presidential or otherwise – make everyone I know complain about those hideous placards marring the landscape for weeks and the bombardment of 30-second spots messing with any pleasure I get from watching TV. (Even with DVR capability, allowing me to fast-forward through commercials, I can’t help but feel the offense of it all during the height of election season.) Don’t even get me started on the obscene amount of money that goes into campaigning. All that complaining seems to get us nowhere.

Go ahead, remind me I’m preaching to the choir.

Yes, I take it all too personally. I worry about climate change, terrorism, a woman’s right to choose, the future of the Supreme Court. I worry about people who spout about the right to bear arms without really understanding the nuanced language of the Second Amendment. With cousins living in Ohio, I sometimes imagine myself on the campaign trail, a volunteer. Think of the sense of accomplishment if I could change the mind of just one person, cousin or otherwise, leaning red!   Almost as gratifying would be getting someone to listen—really listen—to the information I’m trying to share. This person, like my cousin, would probably say he’s listening, and, to some degree he is.   But what he’s hearing is something else completely.

He would probably say the same about me.

My brother may be a better (or better yet, more determined) person than I am in his efforts to get my cousin to see the light, to whatever degree possible. I stay away from family dramas on Facebook, but I do read the interactions and sometimes, when I just can’t help myself, I put in my two cents. A few days after the horrendous shooting at Oregon’s Umpqua Community College Campus, my Facebook feed showed me that my cousin had shared a Wired Outdoors link with this message: Making Good People Helpless Won’t Make Bad People Harmless. On their own, the words are hard to argue with. Except that the telling graphic—a rifle underscoring the words—gives a not-so-subliminal spin to it. Wired Outdoors is apparently a hunting TV show, and reducing the complex issue of gun control to a simplistic phrase brought me to a place between rage and tears.

You know the saying: You can choose your friends . . . but family you’re stuck with. Stuck or not, I periodically find myself with a nostalgic longing to be with family, no longer around the proverbial corner. With distance more the norm than the exception these days, family get-togethers take a bit of planning and effort. The alternative—disappearing from each other’s lives completely—is not an option.

There’s nothing original about my scenario, and I know it. Case in point: a good friend tells me about family group emails in which one of her brothers insists on sharing what is now generally understood to be egregiously manipulated Planned Parenthood videos. All efforts at trying to make him see the ruse for what it is are clearly a waste of her time.

But we try . . . and we try . . . and we try. And once in a while, I like to think, we can step outside of ourselves, take the time to listen and read with an open mind.

Like I said, this is a dream.

modern familyAnd even if we can’t cross that political divide, we still manage to sit around a table. And eat.

 

 

A Time Capsule

Everyone has a different idea of “home.” To some it’s the people who come to mind when you think of home, to others it’s a specific place. The year was 1995, and my parents were actually buying their first home. I was turning nine and not happy about it. The first two months of my life were spent in Sag Harbor, then we moved back to New York City. The way my parents tell it, by the time I was entering kindergarten we needed a bigger apartment or we had to get out of the city.

The cottage we ended up renting in northern Westchester (to see if we liked the area before putting a down payment on a house) was adorable and I did not want to leave it, mostly because the family we were renting from had three dogs that roamed our property and I loved them like my own (in retrospect, this would have been the appropriate time to barter for a dog… if you’re making me move, it’s time for a dog!! Waiting a few more years to get the most perfect dog ever I guess turned out okay.)

Nineteen years later, I’m in that same home discoveringSara room a story I wrote in school about how much I hated this new home and didn’t want to leave my best dog friends. The chapter of hate was followed by a chapter of “Today my parents signed the mortgage papers, I am now a homeowner” (proof of what little I knew about home owning).

My mother and I have a hard time divesting things… clothes, old school papers, arts and crafts projects, etc., but it was time to go through the basement and throw out a lot of things. Turns out I was pretty ruthless at letting go, which pleased and surprised my mom. I made her keep some of the stories I wrote because obviously when I’m a famous writer someday, everyone will want to know that I’ve always been one and see my humble beginnings—right?

As much as some things have changed over the past twenty years (new appliances, an addition to the house, new front steps, and when I go home again later this year, a renovated guest bedroom), it’s also amazing how much hasn’t. My bedroom is almost exactly how I left it ten years ago . . . a time capsule, if you will. When I’m home for the holidays, in my room, it feels like I’ve been transported back in time, surrounded by photos from camp years to high school and college hanging on my walls, posters of all the bands anwicked witch etcd movies I loved, representing a very specific time period. I can’t say I feel that different either, being at home… mom always making sure that I’m fed at every meal, driving me to and from the gym since we only really have one working car. Sometimes, it’s just really nice being taken care of.

When I went home for the holidays in December, we took a trip back to Sag Harbor. I have zero memory of the place, because, like my dad told at least 26 people (or everyone we encountered at the end of the earth, aka, the East End of Long Island), it’s been 26 years since we’ve been back there. Aside from the bougie shopping areas that are East Hampton and Southampton, this part of Long Island was very different from the part I’d known growing up. It had much more of a northeast summer town feel than the beach clubs of the south shore.

I love history, and I love traveling, so visiting a place that’s a part of my personal history had a lot of meaning—especially when my parents got to telling stories. Sag Harbor is a cute town, and I humored my father by sitting on a kiddie ride I apparently enjoyed as a toddler (yes) 26 years ago, but luckily the rain saved me from posing for too many photos. And even if my father had this great idea for lunch at a restaurant in Montauk it never occurred to him might be closed, the drive was worth it. You can learn a lot about your parents on a road trip. And maybe even something about yourself.

 

horse

 

movielittle red engine

mailbox

It’s a beautiful day; so why are you on Facebook?

Sure, you’re outside on your deck, laptop/iPad/iPhone/iWhatever at the ready. And you’ve set yourself a time limit, twenty minutes max. Only curiosity trumps will power once you start scrolling through status updates of friends, perusing pages you follow. Overload is an understatement, but something is bound to slow you down, make you take note; how quickly twenty minutes roll into thirty.
Ruscha copyNo matter how you slice it, you’re kind of hooked. ‘Vacation from Facebook’ should be a hashtag (if it isn’t already), considering the growing body of commentary on what-Facebook-has-wrought. I Liked Everything I Saw on Facebook for Two Days. Here’s What It Did to Me, writes Matt Honan in a piece largely about the FB algorithm and its insidious effect on his news feed. Laura Dimon’s piece in The Atlantic last year, What Witchcraft Is Facebook?, considers whether a woman’s symptoms of conversion disorder were ‘contracted’ via social media. The comments the piece engendered tell a story all their own. Then there’s the blog, Facebook Detox, or you can cut to the chase and read Heather Hummel’s Huffington Post piece, How a 21-Day Facebook Detox Makes you More Creative.

Duh

I’ve backed off a little of late. No epiphany or demanding life circumstances pushing me in that direction except maybe the sense that there is no revelation without some reflection. Maybe, too, my curiosity re: how our neurology got so entangled in social media has gotten me searching for answers. Didn’t have to look very far. An opinion piece in the New York Times Sunday Review two weeks ago (Hit the Reset Button in Your Brain), tells me that on a typical day we take in five times as much information as we did in 1986. The time we spend reading status updates, tweets and text messages competes with time spent on often meatier issues. It’s a brain drain.

So why do we do it? A friend of mine (prior to our Facebook days and forever), a sensitive, poetic soul, once likened Facebook to the town square. We share thoughts, post photos, foster interaction. When it’s good, it’s really really good. Connecting with long-lost friends is a blessing. Connecting with kindred spirits in that serendipitous way Cyberspace brings us into circles outside of our immediate, physical world, gives a different meaning to friendship.

What I genuinely love most is the give and take. Show me a striking photo or piece of art, link me to a poem, post a quote about or by a writer I admire and I stop scrolling. I pay attention. I share.  Everyone needs a good music break during the day, give the brain some relief from headline news with its pounding repetition.

What I like least—and I know I’m not alone here—is the diminishment of boundaries a public forum like Facebook fosters. Its very framework makes us feel the need to say something—about ourselves, about a friend’s status update, about world affairs. If you can’t change a cousin’s political persuasions at a family gathering, what makes you think you’ll fare better on his Facebook wall? Of course, those gatherings may be few and far between these days, what with families more dispersed, but the need to connect is as primal as it gets. And a world that seems smaller and scarier by the day has us reaching for all the reassurances we can find. Or playing the provocateur.

We all want to be heard, if not seen. A selfie that goes unnoticed only affirms the delusion that there’s nothing we can’t do ourselves; what does it take, really, to let someone know you saw/you liked/you commented?

We want all our needs met. We want the president we like to do the humanitarian thing/we trust his motives.  Except if we don’t. Except if he’s the president we don’t like, in which case everything he says is suspect.

It’s too easy to be cynical but let’s not kid ourselves, we’re in collusion. We’ve given so much away in terms of privacy (unless there really is something insidious in the Facebook framework akin to the amount of nicotine that gets smokers hooked). Can’t turn back the clock, and you’d be hard put to go home again; the metaphor of cozy comfort may be ingrained in the word but neighborhoods change, parents move to retirement communities, and what we think of as ‘home’ needs some rethinking.

Facebook is a far cry from home; it negates intimacy even as we share our griefs and joys, and there’s every good reason some of my closest friends won’t go near it. But those of us who see it for what it is at least have the option of what we choose to be swept into on a day-to-day basis.

And when that sea of ships passing in the night starts to overwhelm, it’s a sign to drop anchor. Someplace. Anywhere but Cyberspace.

wall detail copyThese days my curiosity takes me outside. The excavation of my front yard is finally taking a new step – literally, as I watch the front entrance become grander than ever. I’m especially fascinated with the methodical work of the stone masons—combing the property for stones, pounding away at the large ones, chiseling them to fit the puzzle of the beautiful wall they’re building. Pouring concrete for footings. Placing a tier of concrete block for the steps.

Such attention to precision leaves no time for taking a break to check in on Facebook.

When the dust settles

Below the front door to my house is a large dirt pit, the first stage in the repair and redesign of the steps leading up to the entrance. This is what I arrived home to after a long weekend with my daughter in southern California, followed immediately by a trip to Ohio for the funeral of a dear cousin.

The hole in my heart finds some perverse comfort in the hole I’m staring down at.

excavation2

In Buddha’s Brain, a book that brings neuroscience into the meditation equation, Rick Hanson tells me that “the brain is like Velcro for negative experiences and Teflon for positive ones—even though most experiences are probably neutral or positive.” It has something to do with survival strategies and the way the brain processes them. For all that it contains and controls, the brain is not a computer. What it retains in memory is the essence of an experience, not every little detail. I see the Velcro/Teflon analogy in more linguistic terms: the word “sorrow,” the very sound of it, carries a weight; joy is like a bubble.

The poet Yehuda Amichai puts it this way in his poem, “The Precision of Pain and the Blurriness of Joy”:

. . . . I’m thinking how precise people are when they describe their pain in a doctor’s office.
This one’s a throbbing pain, that one’s a wrenching pain,
This one gnaws, that one burns . . . .

. . . . Joy blurs everthing . . . . Even the spaceman who floated in outer space, tethered to a spaceship, could say only, ‘Great, wonderful. I have no words.’”

I have words—wonderful ones—for the extraordinary vistas I took in during a road trip (six hours) to Death Valley with my daughter. Death Valley terrainNot to mention the gift of uninterrupted time spent with her. We were cruising in her spiffy new car, bright blue, state-of-the-art sound system, her music mostly. On the way back to L.A. we hit a sandstorm. Wind kicking up, sand blasting the windshield. You do your best to keep the car steady. You slow down till the squall passes.

The days in L.A. following the overnight in Death Valley are far from a blur: a spinning class on Mother’s Day; brunch at a Mexican restaurant in Santa Monica; dinner, home-cooked, with friends, and a movie, Frozen. Shopping. Drinks and light bites with another friend on the last night of my mini-vacation. Happy Hour was all the more joyful for not even hearing my cell phone ring. Later that night I would learn that my oldest cousin had died. My daughter got it right when she said to her friend that I’d fall apart on the flight back to New York. Within twelve hours of landing, I’d be on another road trip (seven hours, no traffic), this one with my brother and a cousin.

Weeks later, the dust begins to settle and I look back at how much terrain—literally and emotionally—I covered in a short space of time. I think of my daughter’s words in her last post re: how little is in our control.   A joyful weekend—the first Mother’s Day in several years I would spend with my daughter—is punctuated by a freakish act of Mother Nature (that has my daughter doing her best not to freak out about the possibility of increased insurance premiums) and a death in the family.

The dust settles a bit more. I like to think that my daughter’s  new job, more in keeping with her career goals, takes a little edge off the fact that the beautiful new car is still in the body shop. Yes, it’s just a car. And there was no collision, which, in sunny (dusty) California means no increase in premiums. Most important,  we weren’t hurt.

new carBut the car was barely a week old. And, yes, that hurts. Irony plays it hand, again and again. Who knows what might have happened had we driven the old, ailing Jetta? You can go for miles in Death Valley without passing another car. And cell phone service is not something you can count on at sea level and below.

My cousin, almost as close as a brother when we were young, is gone. The passage of time may change the nature of relationships, keep us from sentimentalizing a past that has no real place in our present; but  that thing called love, when it’s deep, is outside of time, in a place where  pain, in all its precision,  finds some respite in the blurriness of joy.
flower girl copy