Woke to the hoarse, croaking call of a raven and a lot more pain in my back and leg after a day with my daughter and grandchildren. My daughter does everything she can to keep me off my feet while she’s here–brings me cups of tea, shops, cooks. Don’t get up, Mama, I’ll get it is a regular refrain. But how can you resist an adorable 4-year-old girl-child with a treasure map who needs help finding the gold? Or a 9-year-old boy with a head of dark curls who wants to show you his latest find in video-game land? They are so beautiful I can hardly take me eyes off them.
My granddaughter and I were looking at photographs from a time before she was born when her mom and dad and brother were living with us. Every time her dad appeared, she sang out, “There’s my handsome daddy!” But the next album, photos taken a year later, she didn’t say that. “How come he’s not your handsome daddy anymore?” I asked her. “Because of his hair,” she said. He’d cut off his dreads.
It frightens me to be so much worse after doing so little, the unknown and unknowable that lies ahead.
The future: time’s excuse
to frighten us; too vast
a project, too large a morsel
for the heart’s mouth.
Future, who won’t wait for you?
Everyone is going there.
It suffices you to deepen
the absence that we are.
–Rainer Maria Rilke (Trans. A. Poulin)
In this, as in so many things, one day at a time.