Thursday, November 14, 2013

All Kinds of Wonderful

I'll bet the title of this post surprised you. You are not used to wonderful here at The Striped Nickel, are you?

Well, if you've been dropping by for a while, perhaps you are, but perhaps you've forgotten. Or think I have forgotten.

I haven't.

Here is some of the wonderful going on around here as we speak:

A. Benjy, Benjy, and more Benjy. He is doing so well, and his school is so amazing, I have to pinch myself a few times a day to make sure it's not all a dream. Readers, he is LEARNING, and not exclusively on his own. He has FRIENDS. He is MUCKING OUT HORSE STALLS AND FEEDING SHEEP.

Sorry, I didn't mean to yell at you. Not at all. I just cannot believe it and shouting allows me to hear it better. It's true, all true.

I love that boy so damn much it hurts. Seeing him hurts in a joyful way, and not seeing him hurts in a missing-you sort of way -- but not-seeing allows healing all around, so it's good. So. Very. Good.

B. Saskia is wonderful. WONDERFUL. Did I mention wonderful? Not sure what Lars and I did to deserve our girl besides contribute some genes of a very mixed nature -- when you have a spare eight hours or so I'll tell you all about our...uh, colorful families -- and teach her the things we strongly believe to be true. Which means she has a deep sense of the urgency of socio-economic justice for all. And she loves books and animals and people and ~OPERA~ and actually has the voice to SING it.

Also, she finds the dog-speak I use when I talk to Noo Noo hilarious. We laugh uproariously at the dinner table when I ask the Hound if he is ready for his Pill-Pocket with a yiddle Pred-nisone inside.

I appreciate that, because really? I think it's probably just weird.

Then again, we celebrate the weird in this household. Pied-beauties, eccentricities, things and people on the far-reaches of "normal."

Oh, and Saskia has brought music back into my life after a long, dry spell -- my own Sahara of the Bozarts, to borrow a witticism from some 20th-century southern writer but I don't remember which one -- and for that I am so grateful. Music was everything to me -- music and books, that is -- until life became so hard I couldn't fit them in anymore. There just was no room.

But every day now, there is more space in me. Every day I get to hear bits and pieces of arias and art songs floating through this house.  Sometimes I get to have them whole. And boy, does that make me happy.

Have you had enough, Readers? I hope not, because there is even more wonderful afoot here. There's Lars, of course. Everyone needs someone to make fun of, and Lars is always willing to oblige.

Somehow he has always managed to love me, even when I could not love the life I was living, or myself. He loved me through those forty pounds Risperdal packed on me, and through the long, sick period last winter and spring, when they fell off. He takes me as I am, the Gestalt, the whole package, imperfect as that may be.

Lars is good people.

Today I had the privilege of thinking about, and talking about, some of the issues that matter most to me, with some very thoughtful people. That there are real things binding all of us humans together, and that much work is yet to be done so that every person is treated with equal dignity and offered opportunities to be happy and to thrive.

It sounds so simple, but somehow it's not.

BUT: I am lucky to live in a place and at a time in which these conversations are possible. How utterly cool. How hopeful. How wonderful.

And finally, there is this:

A. E. Housman (1859–1936).  A Shropshire Lad.  1896.
LIV. With rue my heart is laden
WITH rue my heart is laden
  For golden friends I had,
For many a rose-lipt maiden
  And many a lightfoot lad.
By brooks too broad for leaping        5
  The lightfoot boys are laid;
The rose-lipt girls are sleeping
  In fields where roses fade.

A tiny poem, a profound thought. My Dad gave it to me as a gift when I was maybe ten or twelve. He did not write it, of course, but he wrapped it in tones of love and offered it to me so we could cry together. To this day, I hear those eight short lines in his voice. I thought of it last night because Saskia was talking about the generation of English poets writing around the time of the Great War. This was written earlier, but it trembles with that same unbearable sense of loss you find in Thomas Hardy and Wilfred Owen.

Readers, I have been thinking about "With Rue My Heart is Laden" since last night. It is so sad, yet so utterly beautiful.  Nearly perfect, I think. I hope you like it, whether for the first time or the hundredth. It's the final bit of wonderful I have to share with you until next time.

I hope next time comes soon!

Want to share your own wonderful in the comments? That would make my day!

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