Things I need to learn to do

1. Acquiesce to the concept of linear time ... at least when it comes to school work.

Time - for me - usually - especially when I'm doing a lot of contemplating and cogitating - it seems so much more global than it is. Omnidirectional. Optional, even. sigh ...

2. Re-learn walking.

After an autumn of stump-drag ... stump-drag ... stump-drag ... my gait is not exactly graceful anymore. I've started hauling myself around like an old woman - a fat old woman. Not pretty. (And this is not the first time I've had to re-learn walking. I had to do it after I had rheumatic fever as a child, I had to do it after I broke this same foot in high school, and now I have to do it again. I'm sure it's a manifestation of something, but I have too much school work to do right now to stop and think about it.)

3. Continue the habit of jotting notes in the night.

I discovered a great technique last night. Rather than turn on a bed lamp and wake my husband, I stayed as quiet as possible. Rather than toss and turn (making the thought in my head foam and froth), I got up. Rather than take a notebook to the living room and write whole thoughts, I came into my office, turned on the overhead light in here, and penciled a couple of notes on a notepad (not into the computer, which I left turned off). This morning, my notes make sense and I know what to do with them ... and best of all, last night I could get right back to sleep.

This midlife stuff. It's like living with an adopted child - or a new roommate - or someone else who brings a life and a personality to the relationship, and I'm doing my best to have a compatible life with her. But she's a bit distracted, and sometimes she gets hung up on the most basic stuff! She's making me a little nutty. I want to go home now.

Only I am home, and that's my soldier daughter in Afghanistan during winter, and these are my assignments put off for too long, and that's my face in the mirror. I'm my own weird roommate.


Time for Derek Walcott again, I think.

Love After Love

The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other's welcome,

and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

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