The Hard, Cold Snow

The Coming of the Snow

The hard, cold snow is here,

The kind that makes you wince.

The great, crackling steps one takes that sink unexpectedly,

Mother earth reminding you she’s but a heavy footfall away.

So a morning walk becomes impossible and the dog, depressed.

Your husband reminds you how he loves the winter but

You remember how warm sun feels and how each morning contains freedom.

There are those who live outside and those who live inside.

The watchers and the livers

Each needs the other to remind them what they miss

Not better or worse

Just different.

Letting Go When There Is No Rope Left

Letting Go When There’s No Rope Left

I have a friend who is trying to get divorced. This has been going on for two years. The marriage was a good length, (ten years), and a good part of it was not unhappy but the divorce has turned into a nightmare of hatred, accusations, bitterness, anger, paranoia and deep despair on the part of both parties.

There were no children involved, several properties purchased together, and a long stream of expenses for their life paid for by my friend who gave his partner free rein to do what she wanted in terms of the household accounts. By the time he realized most of his money was gone it was too late for reason or recompense: his life had become unbearable as daily verbal abuse had escalated to the point of physical pain. There was no surviving the atmosphere in the house, no love left between the two marital participants, and so my friend left.

His partner filed for divorce immediately and thus began the long history of demands for money, property, shares in imagined earnings, financial reports, tax returns, and appearances in court, depositions and more depositions. Interestingly enough, at this point in time my friend’s net worth had diminished to one tenth that of his wife’s yet she continued to threaten, hire new lawyers, fire old accountants, make new lists about what she wanted, hide possessions from my friend, and make her life’s goal destroying her husband.

Now I ask myself “Why?” If I were in the same position would I behave in the same way? Of course not. I am a reasonable person who likes to work things out and find reasonable solutions to problems. I like to have situations that are emotionally complicated solved as smoothly and expediently as possible as drawing them out only serves to upset one’s health and make oneself look like a fool in the community. People that continually fight over nothing and act in irrational ways are usually ostracized by others and find them alone and unloved in their lives. Who would actively make a choice to live like this?

Why am I writing about this today? I think it’s a really good lesson to all of us about how to destroy your life and your Karma. Holding anger, retribution and bitterness inside yourself is a good mechanism to destroy your own life. I think it does more damage than smoking. Imagine inhaling all that rage each day with every breath and then imagine not being able to release it. Imagine getting into arguments with everyone that surrounds you and then not having any real friends left. Imagine acting in a way that is dangerous to you and to others. Then take a breath and wonder why.

I think people get so caught up in their battles they forget why they began them in the first place. Much like all the needless wars we have been involved with we often can’t remember why we started to hate each other. We forget our compassion towards others and towards ourselves. We exist on our own fear and we can’t even see how it is destroying our lives. We lose all reason and all awareness of our own behavior and become fearful individuals who are living solitary lives as it becomes too risky to trust anyone else.

How many stories out there are like that of my friend? How many people hold on to old stuff as its familiar: pain is familiar. It may not be pleasant but sometimes fear makes us choose the familiar rather than the new as the new cannot be predicted.

I am no angel. Believe me I know that and I am aware of my own failings just as others are. I am writing this to make sense of the situation to me as well as to you as it seems so insane. The only thing I do know to be absolutely true is that operating from a fear based self will ultimately ruin your life and leave you with no friends or family to support you. In the end as they say we die alone but I hope when I die there are people who love me all around who can send me on my way to a new plane with love and joy. After all, there is really nothing else worthwhile in life but love.

 

Remembering something you thought you wouldn’t again

Image representing iPad as depicted in CrunchBase
Image via CrunchBase

Remembering Something You Thought You Wouldn’t Again

I believe in love and second chances. I believe in the power of memory. I love to reflect on whom I might have married or where I might have lived. I love nothing more than a glance from an attractive man in a public place which says to me “I am interested.”

What I love most of all, however, is the return of a flirtation you thought you had lost and the possibility of an old passion being rekindled.

There is nothing better in life than friendship begun at age four which continues to flourish. Nothing finer than an old designer piece which you wore at 30 still cupping your shoulders with certainly and still making you feel great.

I prefer the old to the new. I prefer the childhood memories to many new memories. I find the thought of an erotic encounter which took place at 24 infinitely more erotic in my mind today than any new ones I might have, except with one single man!

The art of writing romantic letters is seemingly lost today but I have been experiencing it recently with the greatest of pleasure. Imagine before going to sleep that you receive an email from someone you thought you had lost many years ago and that email was filled with love and remembrances of your past together, even painting a bit of what might be in future?

Imagine how that feels? How happy it makes you to think someone else many miles away is having the same thoughts you are having. Isn’t life grand? The really amazing thing is if you have no attachment to the outcome and only feel the joy of love, you can enjoy it even more.

Each little sound bite being sent electronically over IPAD’s  day to day add to the wonderful building and waxing and waning tension of this feeling of love and desire yet there may be no consummation. I think I have learned one lesson in life after all these years: don’t live in a fantasy state particularly when starting out in a relationship or the hope of a relationship. It’s a bad idea.  Really looking and listening and understanding what the other person is about is a good thing. Feeling giddy is a really good thing. Having hope is an even better thing. Holding hands is the best thing in the whole world even when it is done electronically.

Saturday Night: 1958

"Il Ballo" (in English "The Dan...
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Saturday Night

So it’s Saturday night and I am at a beach where the waves are still in shock from the thought of a Tsunami. The evening is still and even the sea grass floats more slowly. Nothing could happen or anything could happen and no one really cares.

They say the force of the earthquake in Japan knocked the world off its axis a bit and changed the coast of Japan by 4 inches. Earthquakes can happen anywhere and at any time just like any unpredictable violence yet we go on living our lives as if they could go on without us.

On Saturday nights in Connecticut in the 50’s the evenings were warm and sometimes fragrant with the smell of cut grass  and the families gathered in the muggy evening sitting on iron lawn chairs with small flowered pillows while placing their drinks on iron side tables with tops shaped  like large, flat leaves. The mothers dressed in longer cotton dressed with full skirts and pointy high heel shoes. The fathers had hair slicked back from their high, hardworking foreheads that glistened in the evening light.

My father loved dancing more than anything else and had one of the first outdoor dancing floors built in a private home in Connecticut. He installed outdoor speakers: large white globes that looked like miniature space ships and hung high from the corner of our house. The music came out of the speakers with a faint lisp as if speaking a foreign language from a child’s point of view.

On Saturday nights my parents would occasionally have friends over who would dress in that fifties way and everyone would have cocktails. These cocktails came in tall glasses with fragile stems and frosted sides and were usually a pale pink. By the time dessert was over the cocktails seemed to have melted away any formality and out to the dance floor everyone would go.

My bedroom from the age of nine until I went away to school was right above the dance floor and supplied me a perfect view of these evenings. I saw Mrs. Ewald slither across the floor doing her own version of the snake on her belly, and watched with fascination the antics of Mrs. Dewart and Mr. Green who were throwing leaves onto the dancers from high on top of a wall they had climbed on. Mrs. Simmons danced like a graceful gazelle with almost anyone and Mrs. Gagarin was surely the most elegant, but no one could begin to compare with Olive Cawley Watson.

Ah yes, the beautiful Olive Cawley Watson with her dark curly hair and her deep and ever glistening brown eyes and her bewitching way of looking at men  from a sideways glance and a gently tilted head. There was no one to compare with Olive out on the dance floor. Every man wanted his turn with her and she laughed up into their eyes with her neck tilted back and her tan arms around her partner like a wreath. The music never seemed long enough to her partners and they relinquished her with reluctance to another partner always following her with their eyes as she walked away. It didn’t seem to matter to Olive who she was dancing with, only that she was dancing as the beat of the music kept her heart alive and forced her feet to move and made her mind forget and dream about what never would be.

The night grew late and some people left while others found places in the curves of the terrace to sit and sip their sweet after dinner drinks made by the butler long gone to bed.

The dance floor was silent for a while and I, in my high bed, would almost fall asleep without the soft brush and whoosh sound of the slow dancing feet.

Then I heard it, the sound I always waited for, the sound of soft leather and scrape of shoe from Madame Arpel in New York, the sound of softly counting from a male throat and the warble of a closed throated sparrow in response. I rose from my bed to find my post and watched carefully from behind one curtain. The dancing pair was perfectly orchestrated to the music and each other moving across the floor in tandem with a natural lean and a curve like a soft crescent moon into the letter “K”. The soft sounds of bull frogs and crickets an orchestra to their dance and sometimes there was no one there at all. Sometimes they had no music. My father kept his tongue at the corner of his mouth in concentration while my mother closed her eyes thinking of nights when she was 17 and dancing with a movie star.

My father, concentrating on his dance lessons, may have missed the lightness and grace he had in his arms and my mother, lost in her world of memories, may have ignored the scent of my father’s Old Spice and the feel of his hand pressed firmly into her back. I could only see what was right in front of me and only sense what was real or what was imagined. I watched the float and twist of her dress and the half turn of her face into my father’s chest and squinted to count her breaths taken in to revive her spirit. I thought she was the most beautiful and fragile thing I would ever see and I used all my energy night after night to protect her as it didn’t seem to me anyone else was. You can’t protect anything that doesn’t want to be protected, not even the loveliest woma

“The Razor’s Edge”

Cover of "The Razor's Edge"
Cover of The Razor's Edge

Why The Razor’s Edge is still so appealing….

Recently a good friend of mine recommended that I read The Razor’s Edge and so I picked it up on my way to Lenox, Massachusetts.  Once I began to read the book, I was hooked as I found it to be a great story about the meaning of life. Unlike the popular hit of paper and film. “Eat, Pray, Love”, I was engrossed in the movement of the main character and his approach to and passion for understanding life and finding purpose. Why did this book so deeply touch me? I recommend that you read it if you haven’t already.

I have always believed that if I tried hard enough and kept searching long enough I would reach a place of understanding of my life and my purpose on this earth. I assumed that others felt the same way as I do. As life has gone on I have begun to understand  that some share this quest of mine while others are content to merely live out their lives and do what is expected of them, rarely questioning the path they find themselves on. If you are lucky enough to have been born into a family with resources it is obviously easier to be on this quest for meaning as you have more time on your hands. Let’s face it, if you have to struggle to pay your bills or have serious health issues, or have been  fired from a solid job after 20 years as many have today, you don’t have the luxury of sitting back and reflecting on what the meaning of life should be. Your focus is on basic survival and what it means rather than what your path should be.

Having children also prevents a lot of reflection as once you have a child you will never again be responsible for just yourself: you will always have someone more important than you to look out for. While I understand that it isn’t a good idea to put the life of your child above your own, I think it is practically impossible to avoid not doing this once you have one. My father used to say, “You are only as happy as your most unhappy child.” And I think there is some truth to that statement.

The Razor’s Edge resonated with me as I have never been able to lead a life of leisure, even now at my advanced age. I find parties exhausting and cocktail parties, the most exhausting. I hate having to dress in “appropriate” clothing though I love beautiful clothes.  When I find myself in lovely restaurants I often feel frozen as if I am an actress in a play. It is extremely rare for me to be able to sit at a table with someone for more than an hour or so and when I find I have done that I know I have found a treasure of a human being.

This novel speaks of society and our role in whatever society we are a part of, and examines the value of a life within certain groups versus a life lived without expectations of behavior and only a quest for meaning.  Taking the path of enlightenment may mean giving up structure as well as acceptable behavior in order to find one’s soul.

Recently I have been feeling as if I am not sure where I should live or what my path should be. I have lived on both coasts: one is better for me socially and the other, professionally. I find myself dissatisfied with only a good social life and long for satisfying work, and when I am happily working I feel lonely returning home at night to an empty house. I know there is a reason I am facing this challenge as I know I have to make a decision about where to live very soon. I think as you get older you find yourself thinking about how many years you have left on this planet and what kind of life you want to have. To me, the best life is one filled with love and where you believe you are making a contribution to the world around you. Finding that life is what I am up to now.

I loved the book because I am also searching for a meaningful life and I feel as if I have to make a type of vision quest to do it. Most of my life I have been too easily influenced by the opinion of others, though no one that knows me would agree with that statement. I think we all are. Finding our bliss, as Joseph Campbell stated, can only be done by focusing on what it is that brings us joy. For me, it is often helping others, making them laugh, donating to charities, or just having someone in my life that I cherish and love to come home to at the end of the day. In my heart I am a pretty simple person. I started out that way and find that the older I get. The simpler I become.

The happiest life I can imagine is to live with someone you love very much and have work that brings you great joy, whether it is a certain regular job or more creative endeavors. I wonder how many of you agree with me and are lucky enough to have both.

More on Abandonment and Car Accidents

Why write?

I write because I have to write. I have been writing since I was in third grade. At first it was about my dog and now it is still about my dog and sometimes about my men. All right, all you readers out there in web land who gave me a hard time today about abandonment fears, I don’t believe you really feel any differently than me. I think we all share the same fears about opening your heart and so we stay in bad marriages and relationships thinking we are doing the right thing. There’s nothing wrong with doing that. I will argue, however, that each and every one of us is scared. We are so frightened of anything that shakes our emotional selves and so we avoid having that happen.

Today was not the best day for me. It seemed as if the universe was filled with shooting stars with very pointed edges that continually and unpredictably fell all over us. I was driving into the city and listening to Frank who always calms me when an enormous Cadillac Explanation or whatever it is called drove into me. Literally! On Van Ness avenue! The man who was driving was an angry man who wanted to pretend it was my fault but the damage to my car clearly said it was done by the Explanation. I found myself frightened by the man and by his anger and wanted him to apologize to me which he never did. As a matter of fact, he never said one word to me. The policeman who was my guardian angel made him give all his documentation to me and kept asking me if I was hurt. I wasn’t hurt, just shaken like James Bond and his martini.

Protection against stress is hard to find and precious to have. We need to nurture it daily and remind ourselves that it should be a practice. I find that practicing love and forgiveness is the most important ritual I have. If I forget to practice I can so easily fall into fear and anger. People always tell me how strong I am and I know it is true. I have survived many things but the most difficult thing to do for me is to walk the line between kindness and weakness because the world confuses the two.  Kindness seems to be love without looking for something in return and weakness seems to be fear.  Is there a bumper sticker there?

Mercury goes retrograde on Friday so beware of any communication happening around that time. Tonight the air is soft and the sky, still. My garden is fragrant with the scent of gardenias and thoughts of tenderness. I believe in magic and always will.

The Stress of Attraction, the Fear of Abandonment

The Stress of Attraction…The Fear of Abandonment

It doesn’t get any easier to find someone…everyone thinks it will get easier as they get older, but guess what? It feels worse. The other night I was minding my own business, well kindove minding my own business, and circulating at a wonderful dinner by the Truckee River in Lake Tahoe when across a crowded room I saw a guy! It was hard not to miss him. Tall, cool, like the Marlboro man but in an artistic mode. I was entranced and captivated and though I am close to retirement age I couldn’t help but get a little short of breath. Subversively I watched the man. No wedding ring. No sign of a hovering female. No apparent behavior that said, “I am weird.”

I said to myself don’t even think of it, Lucinda. I sounded very strict, even to me. I have made a pact, you see, to not even think of getting involved with a man again unless there is a chance of a lifetime commitment. Let’s face it, there’s not much of a lifetime left for me. So maybe that’s not much of a wish, but I am taking it very seriously. I am not going to be swayed by shoulders, beautiful bone structure or tiny hips. Well, maybe I will take them in, but not be swayed by them. Oh no, I am looking for a serious heart companion. Someone who will watch my back. Someone who will adore me and I will adore back in the same amount. Well, maybe he will adore me a tiny bit more because it is always better to be the beloved rather than the lover.

Anyway, back to my story. I refused to acknowledge in any way I was interested in this man and asked the universe to be in control of the attraction. Before I knew it we were sitting side by side having dinner. I swear I am innocent in this. I did not bat an eye nor beckon a baby finger. I just sat back and allowed it to happen. I found him fascinating. Everything we spoke of seemed to resonate with me which was so weird I couldn’t eat any of the meat which was the feature of the evening. That’s another story. Large haunches of meat roasting over a fire. A meat spectacle!

Any way I had no idea how to respond at the end of the evening when he gave me his card and asked me to contact him. I think I made a joke but to tell the truth I have no idea what I said. I felt like I was 14. The next morning I ran into him again as I was hanging out with an old friend of his. We had lunch together and there it was again. That sense of knowing all about someone and wanting to know more. I really wanted to hold his hand. 24 hours later I sit at home after a three hour drive and have no idea what to think.

Do I email Him? Will he email me? The whole thing is so wonderfully silly but also painful and frightening. Most people would say just enjoy it and have fun but I can’t do that. I find it incredibly stressful and I feel tired and somewhat hopeless. Just after I meet this wonderful creature who seems very interested in me and what do I do? Want to run away and hide or have him immediately come over here and live with me for the rest of my life. This is insanity. I can’t do this dance which is why I made that commitment to myself about finding a lifetime companion but I have no idea how I am going to find one if I can’t stand the initial heat?

So what is my point here? I guess my point is that we are presented opportunities in life that require attention and taking a risk and though I am longing for a partner of my heart, I find the feelings so intense I am often unable to comprehend them.

Stay tuned for the next part of this story.

It’s a sultry morning here in Maine: the kind that might make you think you were in Antigua waiting for an early morning coffee on the porch of a house overlooking English Bay and around you were the remnants of a late night party with one pale pink sandal cast off in the corner. You walk to the edge of the porch and gaze out over the bay and you notice you are alone. I wonder if  one notices the beauty of a place when one is not alone? I wonder if the edge of night that has merged into the light of day would go unspoken about  The warm breezes that could so easily be drying the sweet mornings of love makings in other houses would not be felt as poignantly if one were with another. The makings of a dream would be lost in other lost recipes and flour, butter and eggs would be cast aside  to be forgotten. Breakfast should always be bacon no matter where in the world you are and those that say otherwise have no knowledge of what life is. Even British bacon has its merits and the smell alone is enough to bring you into nursery dreams of  cream merging with stories that always end happily.There are spirits here on North Haven visiting me nightly: having asked for years what it is they cry for now I give them up. There are a few plaintive midnight cries but for the most part I am alone and peaceful. How many moments like this will I have until the next life, I wonder? I spent last night with my friend, Violet, who is 89. We went to a local wine tasting and she decided half way through the event to pour all the little bits of wine from her 5 glasses into one so she could enjoy it! Isn’t that the best idea? Kindove like what we should be doing in life!

More Erotic Fantasies from an Older Woman

More Erotic Fantasies from an older woman

Though I am not married, I believe in marriage. I like the word, “husband”. I know this may make some of you smirk.  How can someone like me, an avowed feminist, be supportive of marriage? I think I believe in marriage because I believe in happy endings, holding hands, sending cards on birthdays, celebrating anniversaries, making a relationship romantic even if it is a long term one. I like to word “husband” because it means to me a nice man who is there for you in the long run. Someone to watch your back.

Last night at a dinner party with a group of friends the subject of marriage came up, and I said I hoped to remarry before I was dead. Several of my guests laughed and then a few comments were made like, “Why would you want to get married?” and “Why not just live with the person?” and “Would you want someone around all of the time?”

I am used to these kinds of comments but they still bother me. It seems to me that I should be allowed the same kind of romantic hopes one has when one is young. I have been single for a long time, actually since I was relatively young, and I haven’t lost my romantic desire to be with a significant other. I have no need for financial support nor do I want someone to take care of me. I just want to have a husband.

Yes, it’s true I have gone out with a lot of men. As Marilyn Monroe said so wisely, “Some girls just get asked more!” I have had a really good time over the last 15 years dating up a storm and I don’t regret a minute of it. Now that I am announcing to the world I want to settle down, the world laughs at me!

I wonder why this is. Is it because their own relationships have lost their romance? Is it because they feel uncomfortable when I speak of romantic love and how I would like to find it? Is it because they think I am “too old” to be thinking like this? I am embarrassing them in some way?

I don’t think you are ever too old to be a romantic. I think it is what those small moments are for when you have a really happy daydream about something romantic and you find a small smile on your face. I think it is when you see something about your beloved that reminds you how tenderly you feel about him. I think it is having the pleasure of seeing something in a store you know he would like and buying it for him.

I think sometimes if people could still try to believe in magic they would be happier and have more fun, be more relaxed, and have more meaningful relationships. I am used to people laughing at me because I say things they may have felt but are uncomfortable hearing. Fantasies are not for the faint hearted.

In recent years I have run into a few men who have tried to have a relationship with me despite that fact that they are married. This is such sad behavior. I find it not only bad behavior but also insulting to me. These men prefer, it seems, to compartmentalize their relationships: one for the family, one for love and sex, one for business, etc.

So what am I saying here? I believe in romance despite the fact that I am old yet I find it difficult to speak about my beliefs as most people I know seem uncomfortable with dreams and romance. Romance, to me, means loyalty, faithfulness, passion, support and most of all, flatly refusing to give up my hopes as they get me through the night! And that means a lot particularly in today’s’ world.

So to all of my friends who make fun of my desire, I ask that you change your tune and support me. You may find it fun to dream as well!

Night of the Flowered Sheets

Night of the Flowered Sheets

There is the bed with the sheets thrown back

And every time I pass by the bed I am longing,

The sweet scent of starch and summer.

I could spend the day in those sheets

Naked

Turning over onto my belly and then up on my back

Breathing in the silence of the morning

Then the evening

Running my hand over the edge of my hip

Remembering the feel of an earlobe

Each minute slows to the breath of a spider

There is no sound

I stretch

Languid caress of sheet on skin,

Memories pass over and under the soft ,filtered light.

I feel nothing here just the slow

Sensual beat of hours passing

And no one knowing  where I am.