I am back in my pond following a trip round 6 of our beautiful Southern states.
It's been great. I have hugged people I love ,laughed until the tears rained down my face, frolicked with joyful, healthy children and in so doing been reacquainted with the child within. I have toured the gardens and yards of my scattered loves and found the visiting of the places as well as the people helps sustain me for the droughts between visits.
I was priveledged to witness the sun rise and illuminate the brilliant fall colors high in the Blue Ridge mountains. I've traveled through elite horse country where each equine estate was more breathtaking than the next. I have romped in a pasture with a mighty black steed on a crisp fall morning with the mists just clearing the barn steeples. I have hugged his giant sweet self and begged his forgiveness for my inability to save his beloved pasturemate. I am relieved to find his grief has lessened in this new place, while mine has not.
I have shared stories of life events, some wine and laughter with new friends as well as dear ones. I have laughed for hours while engaging with others in their efforts to coax layers of wallpaper from 100 year old farmhouse walls. I have stopped in the humble stores at tiny rural crossroads and been encouraged to vote and offered home baked goodies by the residents therin. (I wondered if there was an expected exchange of a specific vote per brownie but didn't ask)
I have taken a break from all forms of media and instead been entertained along the way with a couple of engaging audio books where good prevailed over evil!
I have again experienced people who trust first without proof rather than those who distrust on principle. The benefit people of goodness were everywhere.
I have rebalanced my creative core.
I am also back in my pond where a staggering amount of mail awaited my attentions. It took a full day to answer e-mails and phone messages and get up to speed on all projects in progress. It took a whole business day because I have very lovely people as clients. Many "stopped in" to welcome me home not to press their needs upon me. One brought lunch, another brought her new puppy for me to meet, still another came bearing a gift of a misshapen pumpkin because " she just knew I could evolve it into something wonderful". As yet it is still a lumpy orange blob but the images of possible transformations are percolating on my back burner.
My return home to unload, unpack, start the laundry, water the plants, inventory the larder, play with the dogs , were comforting rituals of my return to the home nest. Reality though came back with a rush when I foolishly activated the flat screen just in time to be assaulted by the vision of Cloris Leachman in harlot costume shaking her cleavage loose . I shall don my brothers shirt, get under the covers and concentrate mightily on other images!
Friday, October 24, 2008
Most of us have a favorite old garment we pull out on occasion to comfort ourselves from life stresses. Mine is a vintage, bright blue , soft, cotton polo shirt. It isn't really my shirt, although it has been in my possession for the past 25 years.
It is, literally, the shirt off my brother's back.
Years ago, my brother and I worked together for a spell and there came a day where he made a decision I did not agree with but which bound me to a commitment I didn't seek and did not want to honor. I was really, really angry with my brother and advised him of my extreme displeasure.
As I recall, that advisement was delivered at volume and, sad to admit, not much grace. To this day I can still see the pained look on my brother's face as he told me he would never do anything to upset me this badly and he'd give me the shirt off his back if that would make us square. My response? "Hand it over"...which he promptly did.
On the days when I arrive home feeling a bit overwhelmed or very tired, I head for a hot shower and my brother's shirt. It comforts me because it is old, soft, loose. It comforts me because I am reminded I have a brother who would give me the shirt off his back, and I am comforted because I am reminded I've had worse days, those where grace wasn't on my agenda.
Regarding comforts, I guess there is always scotch and water for folks without shirtless brothers.