Looking Inward or Looking Down?

photo of two feet clad in socks with a wintery design

Winter Socks

Been asking myself for a good, interesting blog topic, but kept coming up empty. Well, not exactly empty, but with ideas too “commonplace,” “boring” or “nobody cares about that,” etc. to write about here. So, going beyond that question I asked myself, just how much self-revelation is appropriate in a blog. Then, is a personal blog (vs one about cat care, for instance), just so much navel-gazing, self-applause, etc.? How much me can the average reader stand? The below-average reader? Is there anything at all interesting about my life? (There are many days I don’t think so.) While dead-ended in this particular passage, I decided on my sovereign remedy, caffeine, poured myself a cold cup of coffee, and then started poking around in my notes and papers, hoping to find some ends of threads I’d dropped while getting on with my life. While I was engrossed in sorting the odd bit, the phone rang. It was my old, old friend, a women I’d known since I was 15 years old, to catch me up her latest news and hear mine. We’ve had many such conversations through the years, giving both of us a perspective on our lives that we sometimes were too close to see otherwise. We’d grown up together bouncing off one another, she the brunette, I the blonde, she the classicist, I the lyricist, she the piano, I the snare drum. We’d parted life paths a long time ago, one to academe, the other to high school, but we ended up in the same place: gardens, woods, family, books, pets, and the art of living well. Still much in common, but enough differences to keep the old arguments going (though I am always right). Our conversations can still go on for hours.

An old friend is a blessing. My favorite saying about friends:
“Good friends know where the bodies are buried. True friends helped you put them there.”

She still has her shovel…

Here’s a poem I wrote about us a number of years ago.

For Susan, Wherever She May Find Herself

Let’s get blown away on wine, my friend,
and fill the night with wild talk and laughter.
What do our dreams all mean?

I shall speak of love, and I say
I know not: yet I know.
I tell you, words are nothing, nothing!
My heart was filled with glorious madness.
I hurled myself out in a thousand pieces
and made a mark, by God!
I remember so much. How my face looked
under the streetlight. Rain in the night.
The color of my hair.
Now I write poetry on the back of grocery lists
and stand bemused in the supermarket aisle
while people clatter carts indignantly around me.
I can’t stop smiling, though.
My skin embraces me, and the air that I breathe
slides down my throat like silk.
I move through this world like a goddess.
Disguised in jeans and holey sneakers, freckles
and streaked hair, I lurk waiting
to catch the universe unaware
and know its secrets
as my own.

And you? You booked passage
on a ship of state heading for a civilized shore,
one you had thoughtfully planned on.
Or did you plan at all, beyond that first kiss?
I can see you now, determined to follow the rules
but bold as hell when you really wanted something.
You gave life no quarter
and so it yielded up its treasures to you.
What now? A quiet, restful, orderly life?
My dear, you lack patience.
And you keep coming round curves,
surprised into laughter at what’s next.
Exactly as you planned it long ago,
or did it all just happen?
You never were quite sure which was reality,
which your dreams.

Ah, we were a pair!
Crazy with desire for life not limited
or circumscribed by rules or the lack of them.
We loved life holy then,
And now. Giddy as girls.
Nothing has changed.

©2012 cleoxcat.net

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