…Quote that is. I love great quotes especially when they speak volumes to me. Here is another one that reminds me of what my maternal grandmother often said to us as kids.
“Consider the difference between the first and third person in poetry […] It’s like the difference between looking at a person and looking through their eyes.”
Today’s prompt: A man and a woman walk through the park together, holding hands. They pass an old woman sitting on a bench The old woman is knitting a small red sweater. The man begins to cry. Write this scene. Twist: write the scene from three points of view. The man’s perspective, then the woman’s, finally the old woman.
This moment had been hinted at many times in their relationship before but neither one wanted to be the one to throw in the towel. He realized how much he needed her in his life, she was like a good photobomb in his memories and he couldn’t let her go. As they walked he noticed the subtlety of her behavior towards him – still loving but more assertive, more determined. The peaceful look on her face so different from the often pensive look when she had something to say. From a distance they saw an old woman sitting on a park bench fiddling. As they neared, he saw she was knitting. That moment mirrored the moment he first met his love. She was sitting on a park bench waiting for some friends and she was wearing a bright red sweater. He later learned that her favorite color was red! Tears brimmed to his eyes as he turned to her.
She turned to look at him and saw his tears. She knew what he was thinking. How could she not! They had shared so many memorable years together. She loved him with every breath that she drew but she wanted this. “I have been yours for forever, I would like to find me” she thought. She didn’t want to find anyone else this was about her. Doing things on her own, discovering who she was. She would come back and she wanted to come back to him. She had thought about this for a while now, and now she had to tell him. Somehow, she could tell he already knew. She wouldn’t be glib about it, she knew he had been trying everything to change what he knew was bubbling in her. When they passed the old woman knitting the swearer, she would, she had to. She loved him but selfishly she knew she loved herself more.
“What a beautiful couple they looked so in love” the old woman thought as she watched them walk away. The man had big, brown eyes and the stature of her Paul. Paul loved her in red. It was his favorite color, he always said that red made him happy and laughed his infectious laugh which would make everyone want to share in his happiness. As she sat on the park bench she remembered all the happy moments, all the sad moments she shared here with him. Now he was gone. Her Paul was gone. A bittersweet smile that came across her face as she knitted that sweater. You see, Paul was her only son and he was driving home with his wife to share some amazing news with her. He wanted to do it in person, on that park bench, their special place. As she got ready to meet him, the phone rang. Someone said something had happened. She couldn’t remember much from the conversation but her Paul had suffered a heart attack and was in a coma. When she saw his wife, she knew what the surprise was. They were expecting a baby, her very first grandchild. The park is near the hospital where she visits Paul almost everyday. She had come to their special place because she missed her Paul and as she knitted that little red sweater for Paulina who was due any day now, she heard that familiar infectious laugh.
“I think that the best thing we can do for our children is to allow them to do things for themselves, allow them to be strong, allow them to experience life on their own terms, allow them to take the subway… let them be better people, let them believe more in themselves.”
I thought about this assignment for a bit which is why I’m a day late. I would like to think that everyone I meet is interesting, at least in the moment if I’m being truthful. After much thought and deliberation (primarily because I’m challenging myself to dig deeper, to step out of the box) I decided the most interesting person I have met all year is my daughter. She is tenacious, self assured, ambitious, smart, carries herself with such grace that I am very aware I did not possess in my early teens.
She may not be someone I have just met in the literal sense of the word but every time I look at her or share a conversation with her, I feel like I’m getting a glimpse of the beautiful heart, the strong willed, outspoken woman she is growing up to be. She has always inspired me to be more and I tear as write this because I’m proud to be her mom.
It would have been easier to talk about the loss of my dad, both grand parents but I thought of using this exercise to challenge myself. What have I lost, what am I scared to the point of insomnia to lose – my sanity, my family.
Some years ago I “lost” someone I was really close to, an instrumental part of my youth. She is seven years older than I am and a very giving soul. We dated and married siblings, had kids, did dinners and outings together. The bond got strained when I went out to work and she became a stay at home mom. Did I pull too hard to have her create her own identity separate from being identified as someone’s wife but then again I had found things out that she didn’t know and I couldn’t share. Still we tried to stay connected. Lunch certainly, girl talks yes, she wanted to get a part-time job which I secretly applauded but she changed her mind.
She started unraveling right before my eyes. Conversations and arguments we shared as children became her reality as an adult, accusations about being recorded by the government. She was later diagnosed with schizophrenia. On one of our final visits, I had to walk through two locked doors to visit. When I walked through the first door, the nurse walking with me informed me that I could not be allowed to see her if I was sobbing (I was hysterical by the second door) so by the time I walked in my eyes were red and swollen.
It’s been almost 6 years since I have seen her. I remember her often especially around the holidays and when I see her children. I know she is doing ok not better but ok. I keep up with her activities through other family members but I can’t bring myself to see her to visit. Afraid that she is not the person I remember, the person that I shared so many moments with, afraid that the person I want to be there is lost to me.
“The most painful goodbyes are the ones never said, never explained.”
I wrote this some time aback and came across it while rifling through some of my papers. Thought it was worth sharing.
When he doesn’t know you as well as he claims
When you know some parts of you incite fear
When you would rather share than repress
When he should stay instead of running away
What’s a girl in love supposed to do
When she would rather it be with you than anyone else.
When she would rather you see and know the real her,
Unleashed and unabashed?
What’s a woman to do!
“As tears fall from her face
she begins to sway
Love shouldn’t hurt this way.”
― Diana Rasmussen, Snow White Darkness
He came home, inebriated, and the sunny day quickly turned grey. They ran to their rooms in fear. He called out to her, speech slurred, he wanted dinner immediately. She brought it out and called the children to get him a beverage, he wanted juice. You could have heard a pin drop, the room was so quiet. She began to question him about his whereabouts, why was he frightening the kids. His voice didn’t even get pass a conversational tone when he flung the eating utensil across the room with one hand and the other hand came smashing into her face. The kids began screaming, she looked at him perplexed while he looked shocked at what he’d done. Silently tears ran down her face while he openly cried. They thought she would leave him then and many times after that but she never did. She loved him, he needed her and so she cried on the inside.
It’s a beautiful day to be thankful. A dear childhood friend recently lost an aunt to cancer, her fourth family member who has passed away in five years. Like she said, you begin to question the unfairness of life and your faith is challenged. One of our mutual friends thought we should do an activity to show our support. Hence the brunch.
It wasn’t a surprise to her but she was touched that we came together to support her and make her smile. While a group of us were chatting I looked up and saw our happy reflections in the mirror and wanted to capture the moment. Through the looking glass one can see the love and carefree moments of friends.
I spent the better part of today attempting to connect with my thoughts and what was the best way to capture the theme. Social media is a great way to connect/reconnect but often removes the person to person connection. Tonight I think I captured the theme just the way I wanted to. A parent conference tonight with a small group of parents in attendance going over school curriculum with a teacher. Her presentation was done using technology to connect to parents some of which had no connection to the current technology.
As I’ve gotten older, I have appreciated and craved solitude. A chance to reconnect with my thoughts, my spirit, my creativity. It’s often snuggled up with a book, being in my home when everyone else is asleep or away, dancing to old tunes and sometimes singing those tunes happily off key that I enjoy. My feet in the warm Caribbean sand being caressed by the lapping waters of the Caribbean or Atlantic oceans is where I am still and at one with my solitude – completely.