Wednesday, August 31, 2011

August 31, 2011

August 31st is always a kind of strange day for me.  Had she lived, it would be my sister's 51st birthday.  As it was, she was gone before she turned 19.  A suicide, successful after many failed efforts.  Suicide leaves behind a trail of broken hearts, all the more ironic because the person who suicides invariably thinks those who love her will somehow be better off.  Or an equally delusional path, thinking "yes, i understand it will hurt, but only for a little while".

What would I say to her if she suddenly reappeared?  I would tell her it never stopped hurting; that I never stopped wondering how it would be to have a sister; I would ask her if there might have been anything someone could have done to prevent her from going into the garage and starting the car;   I would ask her if she'd wanted to back out of her plan only too find it too late. I would ask her how the afterlife was for someone who suicided.

And I'd wish her a happy birthday.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Deep in my Heart

I moved away from the East Coast in 1979, making Austin my new home.  I find, tho, the old saying to be correct:  you can take the woman out of New York, but you can't take New York out of the woman.  Still having family in NY certainly keeps the connection alive, but I would feel connected regardless - it's just in my DNA. 

So this week, as Hurricane Irene began it's journey to the heart of Manhattan, I felt the anxiety of a native.  In fact, I felt the intensity of Irene so much, I was surprised that it was clear and sunny where I actually lived - shouldn't there be storms here as well?   Well, no, here in Texas we're in the grips of a deadly heat wave and a deadlier drought.

I live in the heat, I dream in the storm - these two home states of mine, two home towns, as different as night and day.  I am bicultural.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Library

I read, a lot.  I'm in one of those time periods where I go through a book a day.  At work, I have at least two idle hours per eight hour shift, and reading is benignly accepted.  Generally, I haunt the half-price book stores in town - and then someone reminded me about the existence of libraries.  Strange I would have forgotten this quaint habit of checking books out for free - my mother was a librarian.

I couldn't find my trusty library card, so I went to the closest branch and signed up all over again.  Oh, the of the early benefits that came from having a librarian in the family is that there were truly no due dates.  My mother passed away almost four years ago, yet I still have books from the Babylon Junior High Library in my home.  They are a sweet memory of more innocent times.  I loved going to work with my mother, long before one was encouraged to bring one's son or daughter to work.  I was the Librarian's kid, and the Librarian was very popular with the school kids.  To this day, when I need quiet comfort, I can always find it in a library or large bookstore.  As the world seeks online and digitized ways to read, I seek the tangible pages of a book, crisp print, a smell all their own. an adult, I found out books actually did have a due date - and I owed the library $14.75 in fines accrued several years ago.  I happily ponied up the cash, got a new card, and promptly found five must-read books.  Oh, there is one digitized task I'll enjoy - I can renew online!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

First Post

I'm a blogger from the first wave of Google blogs.  You've heard the story - I blogged every day, visited other blogs religiously....and got burned out.  And now I'm back.

And what's new?  The country is in the grips of partisan death throes, and I long for a viable 3rd party.  As a liberal Democrat, I feel stuck with Obama - and I know a challenger would be committing political suicide. Obama's campaign highlighted his best and highest self - a man we've not seen outside of campaigning.  The Obama who governs is stuck in compromise mode, when what we need is a person who occasionally uses the bully pulpit, and a person unafraid to stick by a decision no matter what others say.

What else is new?  I've passed the age milestone that defines middle-middle-age - and I'm the better for it.  I don't sweat the small stuff.  I sweat what I don't understand...until I find a way to understand it.  I want to know 'why' a lot.  Some 'why's' are not to be answered, just accepted, and that's cool.  I live by the Serenity Prayer - trying to separate what I can change from what I must accept.  That's where my restlessness comes to bear.  I'll use this virtual space to work towards soothing my restlessness and increasing my understanding.