Thursday, August 19, 2010

Quiet Time

I just got home from a glorious but short trip to Ohio.  I went to Toledo, which--at least in my Grandmother's neighborhood--seems a city worthy of it's own telethon.  Toledo is the model city for the setting in Absurd Hunger, and go figure!! I was under-representing the decrepitude of the neighborhood I recalled.  My grandmother lives next to a house that caught fire in May.  Her garden is littered with little pieces of charcoal that blow from the back of the gutted house and into her tomato beds. "People are getting shot or shooting up around here," she said.  It keeps getting worse, each year I go back.      

Now, I'm in Texas again, where my problems seem small in the middle of all this space.  I miss my family and friends.  I won't let so much time go by without visiting again--no matter the obstacles.  Despite the setting, we had a wonderful time together.  Grandma insisted I have two cakes for my birthday, one that was pure butter and sugar from an infamous bakery down the street from her house.  The other, the better, a lemon cake, made by Grandma herself that very morning.  Mom and I made the drive there and back from Columbus.  I spent the rest of the too-short time with Mom and my sister.

I miss them so much, but I'm glad to be back with my husband and dog, and, of course, Little Bob, my tailless outdoor kitty.

I have three more days of vacation, until the insanity of the term begins, and although I'm excited, I'm enjoying the relative solitude.  I am savoring the crepuscular hours, the only breaks from the Texas heat; I am hanging out with my new homeless adoptee, who bounces around, trying to find his equilibrium, and watches me from afar until I set out his food on a fresh coffee filter (the plates get too hot in the sun).  He will, I'm sure, one day allow me the luxury of petting him, but for now we're both OK with the way things are.

I've been writing and editing, but more than that, I've been doing very little (though there's no shortage of things to do).  I've been meditating on my trip, thinking about my family, our future.  It's been a long time since I've been so inactive, so able to think, and I thank my family for bringing me this sense of peace (no matter their hardships).  The last time I was so inactive was when I underwent six weeks of recovery after stomach surgery quite a few years ago.  Then, I felt forced to meditate and reevaluate my life.  The quiet time was so precious, but so forgettable, and I'm not waiting for another illness to indulge it now.  In fact, if I do this right, these three days will feel like a lifetime.  Who knows what three days can change?

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