Nothing but blackness above And nothing that moves but the cars…. God, if you wish for our love, Fling us a handful of stars!
Landscape with Desire
by Julia Kasdorf
Next month maples along this lake will rage orange and scarlet. Firs we barely discern on that far shore will state their dark shapes, so we are torn between taking it all in from the porch and taking a swim. At night we pull on sweatshirts, lie down on the dock, heads nestled in life preservers, and wait for meteors to streak the August sky like runs in the blackest stocking against the whitest thigh. With each plummeting light, our voices rise like love cries, more urgent and louder than any solitary loon or coyote calling to its mate. Only we conflate longing and loss like this; only we wait
Age is an issue of mind over matter, if you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.
By Christina Rossetti
My heart is like a singing bird Whose nest is in a water’d shoot; My heart is like an apple-tree Whose boughs are bent with thickset fruit; My heart is like a rainbow shell That paddles in a halcyon sea; My heart is gladder than all these Because my love is come to me.
Raise me a dais of silk and down; Hang it with vair and purple dyes; Carve it in doves and pomegranates, And peacocks with a hundred eyes; Work it in gold and silver grapes, In leaves and silver fleurs-de-lys; Because the birthday of my life Is come, my love is come to me.
My Mother would have turned 89 this week. Despite having lived to an age beyond what her parents and sisters experienced, it feels like she died young at 83 for a person who was as vibrant as her right up until the end. Her death combined with COVID has changed my fall and winter routines. Normally October is the beginning of theater season, with both her or I having secured tickets to ballets, and plays and concerts to look forward to throughout the fall and winter season and to help carry us through the coldest months to spring. It seems like a foreign concept right now, the idea of attending live events. The Rolling Stones tour came to Minneapolis last night and by all accounts put on a good show. Its funny to think that Mick Jagger is closer in age to my Mother than to me. But my Mother was a rock star in her own right.
I am not sure if I am getting better with dealing with loss with age but I seem more resigned to it these days. A new puppy arrived at our farm over the weekend. A 7 1/2 week old golden retriever puppy that if all goes as planned will become a breeding female for a service dog program in the future. I haven’t had a puppy in my life for 20 years, so it is feeling like we have a new born infant in the house again. It is also a reminder on how fast our lives move by. This puppy will carry me into my 70’s. For now it is a confident ball of fluff that has the entire household on its tip toes, her 12 year old golden retriever brother genuinely enjoying showing the puppy the ropes, but also a little jealous at all the attention going the puppies direction. Tasha the cat is a bit grumpy but will come around. I have never seen a puppy this confident, a puppy so quick to adapt to its new environment. Her name is Vida – life! And she is just what our household needed this fall.
What I Learned From My Mother
By Julia Kasdorf
I learned from my mother how to love the living, to have plenty of vases on hand in case you have to rush to the hospital with peonies cut from the lawn, black ants still stuck to the buds. I learned to save jars large enough to hold fruit salad for a whole grieving household, to cube home-canned pears and peaches, to slice through maroon grape skins and flick out the sexual seeds with a knife point. I learned to attend viewings even if I didn’t know the deceased, to press the moist hands of the living, to look in their eyes and offer sympathy, as though I understood loss even then. I learned that whatever we say means nothing, what anyone will remember is that we came. I learned to believe I had the power to ease awful pains materially like an angel. Like a doctor, I learned to create from another’s suffering my own usefulness, and once you know how to do this, you can never refuse. To every house you enter, you must offer healing: a chocolate cake you baked yourself, the blessing of your voice, your chaste touch.