Friday, July 31, 2009

The weight of it all

You look like you've been to the open-air market. Buying fresh flowers and fruit with a foreign currency. You spent your Saturday morning converting weight and worth into something you could recognize.

You've done that in your life too. The unknown? Very heavy but worthless, big fat coins you carry. The truth? Heavy and expensive, bars of gold you keep hidden away. Lies? Lighter than the air that carries them and cheaper than anything, play money - the paper and ink of your life.

The old woman selling honey murmured as you walked by her stand at the end of the market. Leave the market without regret, she said. It'll cost you more than you have. When you die, and you've already started, regret will not hold your hand.

Friday, July 24, 2009

When March is in July

You might think I'm kidding. I'm really not. I even saw a rainbow today. The sky is moody here and that's definitely a March thing.

You have to think that it's on purpose - there must be a really good reason for March to be in July.

I'm quite certain I missed a couple of things in March the first time around. Maybe this is my chance to not miss them.

Maybe what I've learned since the first March of the year will guide me during the second one. Maybe I'll listen to the murmurs of truth that a spring month brings and not be afraid. Maybe.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Laval en terasse

So, technically, it's summer. And some days, it even feels like summer. This weekend felt a bit more like early autumn and that's my favorite season so even that was ok. The rain, well, that's another story. Anyway, every restaurant that can has got a few tables outside. The result ranges from silly to odd to cool, depending.

The thing is, they kind of have to. When it's nice out, or even vaguely nice out, everyone wants to eat outside. Restaurants that have no outdoor seating suffer during the season unless they've got something really amazing going on in the kitchen and that's pretty rare in Laval.

I wouldn't sit outside at La Villa B, it's a little raised deck sitting on what is normally a parallel parking spot. I think I'd feel like I was having dinner in a parking lot. There's another deck at Le Petit Vénérand, which blends in a little better because it's on a cobblestone street that's mainly for pedestrians but it's very small - maybe 3 or 4 tables. I've eaten outside at Le Milord- they've got a patio in front of the restaurant with a dozen tables - it's nice, you feel neither on display nor parked.

To be honest, I actually prefer to eat inside anyway. I'm not sure why.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Quand lundi est boutonné avec mardi

When Monday is buttoned with Tuesday.

You know, when you're putting on a shirt that buttons up the front and you don't pay attention and you don't line up the buttons correctly with the buttonholes and so you're off. Lining things up, your mind was elsewhere.

You're still clothed, your chest and abdomen are still covered, but not in the way they should be.

Question of the day: when was the last time you thought you had things lined up and you really didn't?

Saturday, July 11, 2009

On the nature of twelve

Twelve months in a year, twelve hours on a clock. Twelve has something to say about the passage of time. A long time ago, it was a number that signified completion and the signal of the end of one phase and the beginnings of another, guided by a greater understanding and wisdom - knowledge learned from life. It promises a sense of calm amidst whatever chaos and turbulence we might be faced with.

I moved here, to stay, in September of 1997. A lot has happened since then.

I arrived single, no children, lots of plans. Here I stand, nearly twelve years later, single again, a mother, a lot fewer plans. I can only believe that to be a good thing.

But I am planning on holding twelve to its promises.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

You're a snake

It has not been my habit to speak to you - or even listen. Perhaps that is part of our problem.

A hard reminder, a harsher task master, your call at my door went from gentle frappe to insistent pounding. You're inside now, still pounding. I do not recall inviting you in, perhaps the smarter, secret me handles those types of invitations.

You've made yourself at home. You've coiled your darkness around my own. Yours is colder though, more certain, rooted where I do my heavy lifting. Branched beyond and through, your chill immobilizes what I must see, what I need to remember. The pain must come from my resistance to do so.

I watch you now, now that I know who you are, from back here. I childishly hope you will give up and leave. You will not. Not this time. There will be no future visits, you will not leave until what has been undertaken is completed.

I will thank you in the end. Even from back here I know that.

Monday, July 06, 2009

When it is your birthday

We will celebrate.

There will be cold champagne and salty cashews and spicy chocolates and creamy white peach sorbet. There will be guests, friends. Maybe a tiara.

I will give you my gift last.

It will be wrapped in silver paper, reflections. It will be tied with silk ribbon, transparencies.

You will open it, carefully. You will enjoy wondering what is inside.

It will be a key. Heavy, hand-carved, swirls on this skeleton. Art on the bow, math on the bit. You will hold it and wonder what compartments it opens.

Like the one key Bluebeard forbids us to use, it will open a bleeding lock. The bleeding lock to a wooden door, black with time and secrets. But unlike Bluebeard's women, you have permission to use it. I've given it to you, it is your gift.

When you are ready, you will use it to open that dark door. You will not be scared, you're used to the sight of blood.

You will never forget seeing for the first time. Understanding that you haven't opened a door in, but a door out. And the lock that bleeds? It has been seeping in all these years, death on the other side, you thought. Now you know, it was keeping you alive. The death was on this side.

You will take your first walk outside. Transfused. Alive.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Just the facts

You've spent your life fishing and hunting, odd that you don't know more about the equipment.

Knife finally at your side, I will watch you untangle your net, quietly, thread by thread, and reclaim as simple what has long been called complicated. You've named it now, it cannot hide behind the brilliant screen of image. You've seen the two sides of the apple and, despite years of trying to prove the contrary, you now know that they do not belong to the same apple. A puzzle that will never be solved, cannot be whole. Who cut them for you? That might explain a few things. But it will not change the facts.

I will watch you thank the vile, the hateful, the cruel. They have been your friends and family too. First cousins to distress. Necessary evils, you will call them. And they were necessary. Your constant companions on this river where polished stones are found, they have slowed your travels just enough to let you see the landscape, the river bed, the earth below.

And one day, I will witness you take flight, not from fear, but because you can. I may not see it happen, but I promise I will be a reliable witness. I will wake up to a different tide and realize you've done it, quietly, without violence - an evil you now understand as unnecessary. My testimony will speak of quiet dignity and whispered kindness - I will be honored to tell the story of you.