Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Wednesday, I Think

 If you look very carefully there, you can see the tiny trimming of a baby's fingernail of a moon. Because I read The Lacuna, by Barbara Kingsolver, I know that the moon is waxing because it is making a D shape which stands for Dios, God, while if the moon is curved the other way, it stands for Christo, which means Christ who died, which means it is waning. 

I am having the strangest reaction to the idea of blogging right now. For whatever reason, I really do not feel compelled to write for the first time in however many years I've been doing this. Unbelievably, I have posted over 8,000 posts and never once have I become disinterested in writing my thoughts here the way I feel disinterested right now. 
Of course, here I am- writing my thoughts here. 
But I could just as easily not do it. I would be fine. 

This is not to say that I am not having thoughts. Perhaps I am having too many thoughts. Perhaps I am simply not up to the regular ritual of reportage.
Today we did this. And then we did this. And then this happened. And then this is what I thought about it. 
And so forth. 

Perhaps I have too many conundrums going on in my head about this experience. Parts of it have been stunningly beautiful. North Carolina is incredibly beautiful. Sometimes staggeringly so. The shades of green and blue with the mist of lowered clouds like gauzy veils on distant mountains along with the impossibly verdant hillsides and deep gullies knock me to my knees and sitting in a creek as the water rushes around me while butterflies and damsel flies flit and dart is almost too much to bear. 

The view from the back of Vergil's mama's barn on Black Mountain.

And at the same time, some of the roads being so close to drop-offs that are hundreds of feet down scare me to my bones. I have actually cried, not quite from fear, but from an awareness of how literally close death can be. And yet- these are roads that the people here drive daily to get to work, to the store, to school and meetings and to get a haircut. It is absolutely foreign to me. So are paths that Heidi would feel comfortable on, taking her goats to pasture. The other night we went to a cook-out supper between Vergil's mother's house and Vergil's sister's house where the RV is parked and I watched in utter amazement as August and Levon and their three cousins ran up the hill and then back down, like little goats, like Heidi and Peter, seemingly propelled by nothing more than sheer joy and life.

So. So. So. 
What am I saying here? 
See. I don't know. 
There have been parts of this trip that have been worrisome- parts of aging and change for both me and my husband. Or if not even worrisome, then different. 
Okay. Worrisome. 
And different. 
And once again, we learn how to adapt and cope with the tools we have and we are fine. 
The sweetness of being with Jessie and Vergil and August and Levon in their mountain place is overwhelming. Seeing the way the boys interact with their cousins here is beautiful. August has an almost-twin in his cousin Maida. They are close to the same age, the same height, each with curly blonde hair, both thin and long and strong-legged. August has huge, beautiful brown eyes, Maida huge beautiful blue eyes. Last night, we saw them hold hands, walking to see Vergil's mother's chickens and we almost swooned. I hope never to forget that. Part of me wonders if I am being incredibly selfish in wanting them to live in Florida when I see how amazing their life here would be. 
Too much to think about when I consider what my life without them would be. 
And yet, I could not move here, leaving behind my other grandchildren, my other children. And as beautiful as North Carolina is, I am a foreigner here. 
I am a flatlander. That's all there is to it. 

So I am thinking about all of this because of course there is no way I can just take a week's vacation of enjoyment and adventure without dredging the deepest trenches of meaning as I go. This is just who I am. And the older I become, the more meaning things take on while at the same time, the less significance other things hold. 
The conundrum of it all. 

Meanwhile, we have had fun. Jessie and I went to Asheville yesterday to get massages while Mr. Moon hung out with August and Levon. Today Boppy and I took the boys to the grocery store and they beep-beeped the entire time 

I took a nap with Levon this afternoon, telling him the Mr. Peep story until he feel asleep. As we cuddled up on the bed I told him, "Levon, we are in the nap club. Just you and me." This delighted him. 
While we slept, August drew a picture for Boppy. 

We had supper here tonight with Jessie and Vergil and the boys. We laughed so much. 

This morning we ate breakfast in Black Mountain which is obviously where the celestial hippie movement is centered. 

August ate so much I thought he'd truly burst. 
As we were eating, the guy who is probably at least a co-owner of the business came around to check on things. He had a very, very hip man-bun hairstyle and the sort of body which would seem to indicate at least eight hours of yoga a day. 
"Is everything delicious?" he asked each table. 

In a way, that sort of sums it all up for me. 
"Is everything delicious?" Well. Yes. Sort of. Not entirely. No. Actually, I didn't like the potatoes. It wouldn't really be life if everything was delicious, would it? 

Meanwhile, we learn to live with the parts that aren't, we recognize the parts that are. We make do, we go on, we are humbled by the experience. 

Or so it seems to me. 

Love...Ms. Moon


  1. What a beautiful and heartfelt read this evening! Thank you!

  2. Thank you for writing anyway! Your mixture of feelings is very human and understandable in the new place. I think it's more difficult to change routine and location as one gets older, but it sounds as if you are doing it quite well.

  3. I am so struck by this post, Mary, and how much it resonates with me. The writing and the not-writing, the getting older, the reckoning with stuff, always the musing and mulling and needing to be "home" wherever and whatever that is. I am grappling with this horrible arthritic knee thing -- it's made me deeply anxious about the future. I think, also, that coming out of the pandamnic has been very very weird, perhaps more than we think.

  4. You are a ponderer. Things happen, you cogitate on them and out pops a wonderful blog post. It seems to me that you are much to preoccupied with where you are and what you are doing and the people you are with to really do a lot of pondering. But by the time you are on the way home, the thinking will start and the need to write it all down will return, and we all will be in for a real treat.

    PS, I feel a need to join a nap club.

  5. I wish I had a nap club. Much to ponder and more fun to have while you can...

  6. Your writing is as nutritious as ever, considering you don't even feel like doing it. I think the change of location has reset your thinking. It's why people do it.

  7. It sounds as if Jessie's family is contemplating a permanent move to Black Mountain. You are a very lucky woman to have all of your dear ones within arm’s length like a big hug. Knowing that you could still see them often and communicate on line is not quite comforting. I feel your pain. All will work out because there is great love all around.

  8. As always, your writing resonates with the ying and yang of life.

  9. That last analogy is genius. Yes it can be mostly delicious but…..Thank you for writing here anyway. Your words are cherished, not just by me but all your readers. That said, it’s very understandable that it can feel like a burden at times, I’m amazed you’ve done it for so long, so eloquently. Much love.

  10. Oh hell yes. Aging is a conundrum. I'm in the midst of something right now too - have decided to stop dying my hair and let my gray just be. And it's weird as eff.

  11. I have thought a lot about your thoughts here since reading this post last night. I can feel the ache beneath the words, the sense of being in a place that is not home, and the wonder that your beloveds are so at home there, even though they are equally at home with you. We seem to all be wondering about the feeling, more than the place, of home, and what you bring home to me here, is that the feeling arises from so many complicated strands of personal history and being, not all of them easily understood. Perhaps it is ok to not understand, to just allow the feelings and awareness to flow on through. As for aging, we have no idea when we are young, do we? That is perhaps a mercy. I love you dear friend, sister of my mind, and I am glad you wrote this evening. You have explained some things to me, and given me much more to think about. Hold your babies, big and small, close. The photos are magnificent.

  12. Bittersweet is the term I would use. Sending hugs.

  13. Mary moon you are such a beautiful soul. How you put my very feelings into words and we have never met.your words touch someplace deep in my heart where i dont have words. Your grandbabies are beautiful sunkissed little angels.❤

  14. Mary I read this last night then came back today to read it again because there is such a rich well of wisdom and real experience here which doesn’t explain what I’m trying to say. Great writing deep water writing. I keep thinking *delicious* this post is delicious to me and I was hungry for it.

  15. Conundrum is a good description for aging. I feel as if I am trying to keep busy and "be productive" while I pass the time until I die. I wish I knew when that would be so I could plan better.
    I want to take better control of my life but the days slip past...

  16. Nothing more to say, nothing can quell the uncertainty of the so called future, "missing" is the worst part of living I think, Why can't we all just live together in your house, all the children , all the babies finding happiness no where else but at Mary's table. I have never been able to deal with goodbyes, ever! I am pretty sure you are same same. Love you, Mary, you speak deep truth.

  17. those years I traveled somewhere during the summer I never once thought of blogging while I was gone. and then poured it all out when I got back. are Virgil and Jessie contemplating a permanent move to the mountain when their house is done? those four years with that crazy man in charge I contemplated the need to leave the country if he was reelected and even now I'm not convinced that our democracy won't fall but we would have to leave our kids and grandkids as I don't think we could convince them all to leave with us. and at 71, I'm not sure I could manage a major move like that. certainly not when it might become necessary. as for aging I still refuse to give in. but the body is deteriorating little by little.

  18. What you say, exactly. Like looking down a black hole and coming to terms with it. Mostly.

  19. “But I could just as easily not do it. I would be fine.”

    But….I wouldn’t be!!

  20. For someone who reluctantly sat down to write - you wrote a powerful post, Ms. Moon. Stepping out of one's routine into a new place is disorienting, and must be especially so with some things the same (the grands) but yet not (grands with cousins, in the mountains). Some of us thrive on such changes, others (me, for one) not so much.

    That darn mortality. It rears its head at unexpected times.

    A lovely word-picture, August and Levon and cousins racing up and down that mountainside! This visit is stretching them too, in all ways.

    Chris from Boise

  21. It's nice to get an update on a different part of the world, but I'm glad you're ... Having a holiday!

  22. Blogging on vacation, in my experience, can be difficult. When you're out of your normal routines and surrounded by so much activity, it sometimes seems like an unnecessary distraction, or even a burden. So I get it.

    I'm glad you're getting lots of time with the kids in that beautiful, wild, mountainous country. And I hope you're having fun, despite the negatives that intrude here and there.

  23. It's ok to not blog you know. I think we all need a break from time to time so enjoy yourself!


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