Stormy weather

stormy weather - 1


Well, we made it through our birthdays with champagne and chocolate, a pint of great beer enjoyed in sunshine along the roaring Spokane River, and an all-around festive celebration together.   I don’t know how many times I heard myself repeating that old joke,  “well, it’s better than the alternative”, to old friends who were kind enough to call with birthday greetings.   Don said that it seems like everybody’s coming down with a terminal illness these days.   I just finished Barbara Ehrenreich’s book, Natural Causes, in which she talks about the certainty of dying, and in her signature sarcastic voice, she humorously reminds the reader of how little agency we actually have in the cellular role of our aging.  In my own meager version of control, I have a habit of pre-emptively preparing myself for the next big change I see headed towards me–putting myself in peril of missing the present moment.   Family and friends often point out to me how many times I’ve said, “this could be my last great decade”, but really, you never know.

It was pouring rain when we drove over to Spokane and it has been raining hard on most days since then.  There are rumbles of thunder and an occasional flash of lightning in the night.  I look up at the sky and cannot believe all those water-laden towering clouds can even hang in the air.  It seems to defy gravity.  The rivers are swollen with flood warnings, and the dock now hovers over the rising lake.  It has been magnificently beautiful and just the kind of spring we need, in hopes of staving off August forest fires.  But, you can’t control the weather, either, so we just never know.

Living in the Body
By Joyce Sutphen
Body is something you need in order to stay
on this planet and you only get one.
And no matter which one you get, it will not
be satisfactory. It will not be beautiful
enough, it will not be fast enough, it will
not keep on for days at a time, but will
pull you down into a sleepy swamp and
demand apples and coffee and chocolate cake.
Body is a thing you have to carry
from one day into the next. Always the
same eyebrows over the same eyes in the same
skin when you look in the mirror, and the
same creaky knee when you get up from the
floor and the same wrist under the watchband.
The changes you can make are small and
costly—better to leave it as it is.
Body is a thing that you have to leave
eventually. You know that because you have
seen others do it, others who were once like you,
living inside their pile of bones and
flesh, smiling at you, loving you,
leaning in the doorway, talking to you
for hours and then one day they
are gone. No forwarding address.

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