Saturday, July 2, 2011

Giving, Receiving

Ah yes. This is one of the pictures I took yesterday but it has been a bit touched-up and sent back to me by Catherine at photocatseyes.

She said this in the e-mail she sent me:

I normally never fiddle with someone else's photograph but could not leave this one alone. I knew how it must have looked in real life, sort of, and I added some darks in your photograph.

Well, you know, that is something, that she did that, that she sent in on to me. I really like what she did. She is a photographer and I am a picture-taker and it's good to see what can be done if one has the knowledge to do such things. It also made me feel good that the picture I took intrigued her enough to want to take the time to do that.

I think it's somewhat remarkable, this picture, in that I took it yesterday morning and then last night, as I said, I met the woman whom I talked about this morning, who after many years still remembers this house and mentioned specifically that light in that same place.
One never knows, does one?

It is late Saturday afternoon, I am dirty and sweating. I've been out weeding in the garden for a while, pulling up great fistfulls of what my husband calls either Johnson grass or nut grass. I have no idea what it is but my gloves make it easier to pull somehow. I have pulled away a great many of these sprouts from around my poor little watermelon plants which have been hidden within them. It has not been a good year for watermelons in our garden. We only have two on the vines and they are not that large yet. Perhaps with a good weeding, things will move along apace.

I went to see my mother and it was fine. She is content and happy and she shows me all the same pictures and tells me the stories of them over and over again. I just nod and listen. We went out to the porch where "her" flowers are and we sat there under the ceiling fan and chatted some more and it was pleasant. She calls the people there "old," she remarks that there are people on her floor who should actually be on the floor for people with dementia. She tells me that she has never seen a pink geranium before and I know this cannot be true but what do you say?

I do not think it is just me who feels as if I am facing an old stranger when I look into the mirror. I think we all do that. We are one thing inside, another on the outside. And so it is.

I had a great time with Freddy at lunch. I think it may actually have been the first time that Freddy and I have ever spent much time together alone. And it was terrific! There were no awkward silences and despite our many, many differences in age and gender and upbringing and religion and experiences and well, everything, we seem to have a meeting of the minds and I think we amuse each other. I am sure that when he thinks of me, the word which comes to mind is "hippie," which of course is fine with me. I am, in a way, still a hippie. And if I can bust his stereotype of what a "hippie" is, then all the better. I still am not sure and I have supposedly been one for a million years.
I reminded him of last year when we had just met and on my birthday I did some filming with him- it was Faceless- and how he'd brought me a small cake and candles and we all sat down and had some and that afternoon Mr. Moon and I left on our road-trip-to-nowhere and I told him that it had been one of the best birthdays of my life.
He had no idea that day what it would mean to me to not only be doing something so radically new and fun as being in a film, but also, to receive that birthday cake- there was no reason for him to do bring that cake except for kindness and consideration and yet, he did it.
And I have felt affection for him ever since.
He asked me how Mr. Moon was and when I said, "Oh, he's good," my eyes lit up and he said, "I am SO jealous of the way you two feel about each other. All I have to do is say his name and you light up."

I think I give him hope that there is that sort of love in this world. His heart, as all of our hearts, have been broken before, although he is with a woman now whom he feels very good about.
And Freddy gives me hope that artists can do their art in this world without having friends in big places or internships with Big Artists. Every film he does shows huge growth in every way.
I told him that and he said, "Oh, I am just taking risks."
Just. Taking. Risks.

See what I learn from him?

So that was good and it's been such a good few days and when I got home I took corn to neighbors and Ms. Fleur refused the corn unless I took a watermelon and isn't that how it goes with neighbors?

Isn't that how it just goes?

I give a picture, a woman makes it better and sends it back as a gift. I meet a woman who gives me the gift of telling me what a special house I live in and I give her the gift of letting her know the house is still here, the light still falls as she remembers it and that she is welcome back anytime. I give Freddy hope that there is love and he gives me examples of the rightness of taking risks.

I take my neighbor corn and she gives me watermelon.

Well. It is time to make the pizza dough. I asked my husband this morning what he wanted for supper and he said, "Have you ever asked me that question at this time of morning and gotten an answer from me?"
"I have never asked you that question at any time and gotten an answer from you," I said.
He mused.
So I am going to make the pizza. I think I will leave the rest of the watermelon weeding until tomorrow. I'll turn on the air conditioning and make the supper and finish the laundry and listen to Prairie Home Companion. It is Saturday night.

When I was weeding, a small toad hopped out of my way and I peered at him and was amazed at his ability to camouflage, his small clever compact body, his dark black eyes. I thanked him for being in my garden, for eating bugs. I sprayed my aphid-ridden beans with soapy water and I saw a ladybug, gorgeous as a jewel on a leaf and I wished there were hundreds more like her to eat the aphids. At least I have not poisoned her, even if the soapy water doesn't do much good.

I am thinking of one more thing which is how last night I looked around at the crowd and I thought to myself, "Buncha old fuckin' hippies," which is as silly as my mother calling the people she lives with now "old people."

We are what we are, we give what we give, we take what is offered in grace and in thankfulness, and rarely stop to look in the mirror and see beyond the eyes which are ageless which may be our saving grace and is, I suppose, part of how we go on, believing we are special and laughing at ourselves for knowing that yes, we are, but that so is everyone else.

And the light falls on us all.


  1. Yes, I am so glad for that golden light. I am enjoying a bit of total peace at the moment.

  2. I loooved reading this beautiful post. I love your mind, heart and the way you see people, and yourself.

  3. Syd- And you deserve it.

    Maggie May- And I love you. Of course.

  4. This post flowed so beautifully. I can imagine reading it in some groovy magazine or other. It was one of those serendipitously zany days in Lloyd.

    Thank you again for the maize.

    I saw a sign on the one of the little primitive churches down the road and I giggled and thought of you and wondered if you saw it too. It said: "God is looking for spiritual fruits, not religious nuts."

    I laughed out loud!
    xo Oh PS about the pink geranium, I would say something like: "They are lovely, aren't they"?

  5. It's so important to notice the not-so-obvious details, like you did. Thanks for the reminder.

  6. Alright, this post made my eyes water (must be the light). Thank you SO MUCH for the toad. I <3 toads and haven't seen one in ages. I don't think they live here. Like grasshoppers. Or lightening bugs. **sob**

    But hey, hardly any mosquitoes.

    Blessings on your beautiful acres.

  7. You and Mr. Moon give ME hope, too.

    Though I sure am screwing a lot of frogs trying to find a prince.

  8. I love that last paragraph.

    But not as much as I love you, Ms. Moon


  9. Ms. Fleur- I saw a good church sign too but I can't remember what the hell it said.
    That would have made a good answer to Mother but she was SO certain she'd never seen a pink geranium before that it was hard to think of what to say.

    Nichol- Sometimes I think I probably miss the forest for the trees but whatever.

    Beth- Lord, honey, we have everything here. Except wolves.

    NOLA- Mmmm. I thought you were supposed to just kiss the frogs but whatever works for you.

    Michelle- And I love you. Be well.

    Lisa- And you and yours.

  10. This is one of my favorite posts. It is so beautiful. Thank you for writing it.

    I love you SO DAMN MUCH.

  11. Ahh, Mary what a wonderful post. I'd never thought about the eyes not ageing before.

    Ditto SB, you write so beautifully.

    I've missed you, but I'm having trouble commenting so I shall leave your blog open on my laptop and catch up in bed tomorrow morning. I look forward to it. It's 1.30am here.

    I love you xx


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