Monday, October 24, 2011
Proud October. The bright happy wonders of a year winding down. Everyday marvels announcing themselves in parks and traffic circles and along the streets. Bright gold and red and green, emerging under the pale blue sky; the faintest sweet odor of fallen foliage starting to rot. In a month, the skies will be gray and dark, the leaves will have fallen and the smell will be much stronger. So ends a year.
The wheels were turning as I went up Tabor, let me tell you. Had a lot on my mind.
Pause. Let it ripen...
"A lot on your mind, then?" That's what you're supposed to say. To which I then reply: "Yes, indeed. This bright October day made me anxious. I don't know why. There's really no 'why' to it."
Actually, that's not quite true. I know what is making me anxious.
Rather this: I feel unprepared for what is to come.
There are some things for which one cannot prepare. No matter how predictable, how plainly inevitable they might be. Like the confirmation of a fearful suspicion on the eve of one's mother becoming a septuagenarian. She is slowing down. She has slowed down. There is no denying it. I'm not prepared.
Nor wise. I look to the women in my life for wisdom. Or respected writers and artists. So I read about Granny Weatherall today, because Katherine Anne Porter was wise. I thought she might offer insights or solace. Insights, yes, but solace... not so much.
Instead it came from Maty. (Who else?) She helped me remember what is important. "You have to be happy. It's not good you're going to be sad about it. Celebrate. Mom is seventy!"
She's right, of course. Everything doesn't have to be about me, for goodness' sake.