Friday, January 25, 2013

If I Died Tomorrow...

If I died tomorrow...

Would you know how much you meant to me?
Or about all the things I have learned from you and taken into my being?
That a part of you has become a part of me?

Would you know that I forgive you for those hurts from long ago
that have stood as a troubled wall between us,
we have had to climb over whenever we talk?

Would you know of the things that I hold dear?
The earth, our diversity, acorns, my dog?
Would you know what I do everyday to protect our waters?
Or the loneliness when I come home to a house without you?

Would you know of the places I have lived or the friends I have known?
Of the bogs I have bounced on or the deep muck that has sucked me in?
Would you know my disappointments and triumphs, my fears and my dreams?
Would I know yours?

Will I have said everything I wanted to say,
knowing that chance will come no more?
If I left you behind would you grieve eternally for that which was not?
Or gain strength from that which was?

If I died tomorrow will I go with regrets,
or with the peace of knowing I told you?
Will I leave with dreams unfulfilled or
will I go with a heart full from life well lived?

As long as I wonder about these things
in the autumn of my life
I believe I will say all that needs to be said
and live all that needs to be lived
Love all that I needed to love
Including you.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

You Can Teach An Old Dog New Tricks

Sunday I went to the movies to see the new film "Beasts of the Southern Wild". I arrived just a few minutes before the lights dimmed for the preview portion of the show. I made my way to the back of the theater, where I had five rows all to myself, two of which were behind me. There were few people in the audience that day, I imagine because this was a movie that makes you think. As the lights faded to darkness, I observed a mother and two young girls making their way into the seats directly behind me. Aw, isn't that great. A responsible parent taking her children to see something that will hopefully inspire questions and discussion.

As the previews played, I could hear the girls talking to each other. "I want to see THAT one," the youngest said. "Yeah, me too!" said her sister. I smiled.

Then the coughing and sneezing started. Hack hack hack. Achoo! Achoo! Achoo! Now you should know I have been bragging about not getting sick this flu and cold season, attributing it to my clean living and herbal and fungal teas. Cough, cough, cough, went one of the girls. And not into her elbow.

I immediately thought about moving to another seat, but I was too worried about making THEM uncomfortable. So I stayed put. I'll wash my hands right away when I get out of the theater, I'll change my clothes and wash my hands again when I get home, I thought. I'll make a real strong pot of cedar tea, full of vitamin C, to protect me. But still. I've seen that video showing projectile nuclear droplets soaring through the air looking for fertile ground to land on. I was well within the target area.

I started to feel pissed at that mother. Why did she take a sick kid out in this weather, to a movie theater of all places! Did she work for the military, part of a conspiracy to test out the latest Corporate designer virus in exchange for a year of free movie passes?

"Hack, hack, hack," went the little girl. I imagined the back of my head and shirt covered in snot.

Why didn't I move?

Because I am a caretaker. I care more about other people's feelings than my own. I was too worried about making them feel bad. I could imagine the little girls saying, "Mommie, why is that woman moving to a seat five rows away from us? hack hack hack sneeze sneeze sneeze. They would be scarred for life, feeling rejected by society and having weekly therapy sessions when they become adults, all because of me. Oh Puleez!

As I type, I can feel the illness coming on. The projectile nuclear droplets found their fertile soil. I am waiting for my cedar tea to finish steeping, a last ditch effort to drive out the virus that was so graciously given to me by that little girl in the movie theater.

Next time I will not hesitate to move. Whether it traumatizes someone or not.

The movie, by the way, was powerful and one of those films that leaves you without appropriate words to express your thoughts and feelings. I am still thinking about it. And those droplets.

Who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks?