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.