Thursday, November 12, 2009

Oh Autumn!

This time of year always turns me a little moody and introspective. Not, mind you, in a gloomy way, it's just the way of autumn. Leaves are turning brilliant and preparing to depart for a season. Jackets come out of closets. The holidays sneak up on us.

I wrecked Chip's car last week. It was the second accident I've had in the past 6 weeks, and the first I've ever been at fault in.

The first was a hit-and-run. I'm not angry anymore, because I understand that the guy who hit me was either an illegal immigrant or had a warrant out, or both.

Mainly, I'm relieved that I wasn't hurt, and that my truck wasn't completely wrecked. It was pouring rain and I was afraid that I would miss my dear old friend's wedding because of the accident, but it all worked out.

Wrecking Chip's car was not scary at all. It was the most minor type of accident that exists: the rear-ender. Sadly, because it was a sedan (me) hitting an SUV, the car is most likely going to be totaled.

When I went to get an estimate, I stopped to give a couple of ladies a jump start. I had to pry the smashed-in hood open to get to the battery. Minutes later, on the freeway, the hood popped open and smashed the windshield while I was going about 70 mph. THAT was scary.
I'd like to never experience anything like that ever again.

Chip already bought a new (old) car, an 80s turbodiesel Mercedes that he will run using biodiesel, made from spent fryer grease. It's free, save for the time spent collecting and processing it.

Speaking of biodiesel-- my friend Ryne just moved here to join forces with me. Behold, the newly formed: Delicious Landscapes LLC. We have this enormous, shiny work truck that runs on diesel. We will be running it on biodiesel in no time.

I'm swimming in work right now. Loads of it. Feeling grateful for the flood of work. Trying to keep my head above water and not get overwhelmed by it all.

See, I told you I would write something newsy, not too florid, and utterly straightforward.

The holidays are coming. Ain't that something? I'm pretty excited to see everyone. The difference between childhood and adulthood for me has been this: as a child, the holidays were thrilling because of presents and food. Now, they are exciting because of family. (this is the part where the live studio audience goes "Awwwww"). But it's true. So true.

Sending out love in every direction.


Thursday, November 5, 2009

Six Months. One Year. An Eternity

Six months ago, tonight, was the last time any of your friends ever saw you. Resolute, you went home and left us all forever. I'll never understand your decision.
One year ago, on Halloween, we attended the same party. I was unaware of your spectral figure looming over me, until a friend whispered in my ear, "Steve is right behind you, staring."

I spent the rest of the night glancing over my shoulder, avoiding you at all costs.
I'll never see you again.
In this past 6 months, I've swum through an ocean of "ifs," piercing the surface like dorsal fins.
I have lived through a season of the conditional tense: would'a/could'a/should'a.

The heartbreak is unending. But you taught me more, in this one act, than I could have possibly learned in years of making my own mistakes--about forgiveness. About love. About life.

Like the supernovas whose glowing deaths have revealed untold secrets about the heavens, about distances between stars and the age, size, and weight of the universe...

In your wake, it is a different word, a world where love is the objective, where acceptance is requisite, and where memory is precious. I know we are never over.
I just wish we lasted a little bit longer, and hoped a little harder.

love, ~F

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Auspicious Times

Autumn is delicious, is happening, is turning every day ever shorter and I dare say ever sweeter.

This time is a good one. There are friends and family galore, no dearth of love in life of late.

My father's mother, my Grandmother Maria, passed last week. She was 98 years old.

Her funeral was a sign post, a moment of reckoning where I was forced to realize, as I watched the priest dab at his eyes, as I heard the anecdotes about her, that I did not know my grandmother. I knew her, but I did not know her.

I wish I could have seen her in love, young, heartbreakingly beautiful. Before my grandfather flew into the side of a volcanic mountain, killing all crew and passengers aboard, leaving her a widow in her prime. Before she became so worried and fearful. Before she became a free woman, free to live in relative solitude, unmolested.

I heard stories of a woman who was a singer, who sang in the church choir and at friends' weddings. I found out that she was a stray collector, like myself, who fed a dozen cats at a time. Who fed the squirrels, and the "cha-cha-lakas" (gossamer, grackle-like birds) she pretended not to like. Who could make anything grow and flourish, bear fruit.

I found the Calderoni clan to be softer, more loving, more interesting and enjoyable than I had. Perhaps, in the wake of Steve's death, and this very odd year, I am learning how to forgive, deeply, and with purpose.

In the midst of death there is life. Everyone is having babies, bearing fruit, moving personal mountains of reservation aside and devoting their attentions to the next generation of young, blithe souls who will rule the world and eventually acquiesce it to their children.

It's a fine and admirable cycle, this constant sloughing and regenerating thing that our little blue-green planet so aptly performs. Like an ablution, the earth forgives itself and is cleansed of past misgivings constantly. What's not to love about this thing?

And me? Little old me? I'm trying to maintain this foothold I've found. I'm designing spaces and going out dancing. Drinking wine and remembering why I am here. I'm doing well and trying to do good as well. Living fearlessly, loving recklessly, and paying attention to all the trivial matters that make life a little less ordinary.

Despite my quietude, I am here. Mostly listening. Looking for auspicious signs.