What I know About Being Giddy And Free

Be a lamp, or a lifeboat, or a ladder. Help someone’s soul heal. Walk out of your house like a shepherd.”  RUMI

Well Mom, certainly not every morning I dance around the apartment like a madman before work, but I was compelled by the funky sounds of one Alex Boye. He has a real funky vibe of Motown in his sound. He gives me this pull deep in the gut, propelling me in a lazy, foot bopping, spiral across my little crescent-shaped dance floor… which normally serves as my entryway/hallway/sitting room space. It allows me a wide and generous birth to dance like no one is watching… well, cause if they are they’re a peeping tom.

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Been beebopping away to this Africanized version of Taylor Swifts, Shake It Up. You’ll LOVE it. So, so, so reminded me of you. I wouldn’t have thought I could ever take something meaningful from a Taylor Swift song, but with Mr. Boye’s at the helm, his voice alone gives each lyric a slightly different flavour.

I do love where I am you know Mom. Even in my darkest hour the last few months, I’ve still felt blessed just to be here. And you would love it here. You know what? Finally, I am living a simple life, and I’ve thought of you a lot. Felt closer to you here then I have in all these years since you died. Stunning, actually, to find you were right there within me all along. Waiting for me to talk to you, just as always. You always knew I’d come to you, and tell my tales, eventually.

I have little piles of books everywhere, just like we talked about. Lex and I do that every now and again, you know, sit around talking about decorating shit. But you’re here Mom, in the corners and the arrangements I’ve created. My conversation nooks, and flow of the space, all very bohemian, with that old Velvet Settee of Grandma’s commanding the entranceway. I need staples for Tim’s gun, so I can re-attach the underpiece though, and I’ve quit sitting on it – guests only now, well, and my coat and bag.

I’ve been decluttering, and its been wonderful to again just sit and chit-chat with you. Well, but I do all the talking. Heck, it’s probably par for the course, eh Mom? I did most of the talking anyhow.

So, yeah. I even thought of you at the Lake with Tim. Tucked away, with the cedar’s, Beech, and Ironwoods at our back, with that beautiful, god made, glacial lake, our Irish Lake. I’d sit there in the morning, coffee in hand, watching the sun rise. We faced West, so all this light would pool up over the cottage, bit by bit, bathing our little beach in its morning light. It was enchanting. Hard to turn away you know Mom from something that spectacular. And Tim.

AT THE EDGE
Yesterday, as I trudged along the sludgy snowed sidewalk home, I was reminded that on the otherside of that Kitchen wall for so many mornings, lay Tim. I do miss him, and I had not thought of it in ages, but for four-square years he used to sleep beside me.

My irreplaceable, reprehensible, lying scoundrel, and I loved him. I did. Right down inside, I loved him. Once I got him there, back to that place, he struggled day and night to keep us there. Sometimes we really were just doggy paddling, but that was Tim’s specialty you know, getting by.

I never liked his methods though, and we fought a lot about that. Sometimes merely with my eyes, I scorned him with a glance, but we didn’t speak of it. We had silent fights, and sometimes it was all out WAR. Especially after he was weened off that nasty shite he had become addicted to.

Oddly enough you know, in the end, his connoisseurs expertise in painkillers he used to his advantage, often {in various nefarious ways}. Oh yeah, little shit right till the end. I’d just sit there and roll my damn eyes, thinking, you fucking jerk.

But I digress. Up there in that paradise, whilst paddling away around the lake in our paddle boat, fishing for Large Mouth Bass, watching Tim disgustingly impale this poor frog and then casually whip this poor thing out into the deep waters. We’d go right before dusk, and Tim would take this route he’d been told about by one of the old Hungarians. Since, having arrived first (1952), they were, in a lot of ways, the Lords of Irish Lake.

No really Mom. You have NO idea. In fact, they protected the sanctity of the lake, they banned gas-powered engines in the early 80’s or so, and in all things related to the lake, Tim understood to be their domain. Yet, this ancient earthiness clung to them, and in their woods they drew back from the lips of the lake at one point, back into their forest of Cedar and Pine. I learned of their history too. And lets say the Russians are NOT their favourites. The word HATE rolls off the tongue. The year 1920 (er something), and they swept in and took over, and its a complicated past.

It was a magical place Mom. I often said to myself…Mom would have loved it here And so I stayed.

mE

Regardless of it all, I decided to stay, and that has made all the difference. I don’t know, maybe I always knew, somewhere inside I would be needed. Maybe those elements of the land, that land he loved, maybe they called me forward in order to care for one of their own. Perhaps.

You know Mom, my only regret is that I didn’t (really couldn’t) take the Elf Shoe. That mossy, little old, and handmade leather shoe Tim had found, of course, in the woods. I swear to god Mom, this place was fucken AWESOME. Like living in this enchanted forest.

Oh, yes, those enchanted forests always have their dragons, their tricksters, and players, it could be often nerve-wracking, not always knowing what the little shit was up to, and what would come knocking at our door. But we could see from our vantage point, everyone that came in, and everyone who went out; well almost, but that’s a secret way.

I believe perhaps once both Penny and Lex had come up there to visit us, only then did they even begin to get, what the hell I was up to. You know Penny, she was of course all “Well, if your sure Paula, but this is going to be very hard.” And it was, but I got out alive, which was more than Tim could say. So, there is a purpose here Mom, a higher purpose.

And I often wonder, why am I not damaged, more?. Or am I? See, that’s where I’m at now I suppose, surveying the damage that stinker wrought to my world. Now that it’s all behind me, now that THAT book of my life is closed, how do I go on from that?

Which I suppose is why I feel so compelled right now to just coast a wee bit longer. Life with Tim could often be like a wild toboggan ride down Tiner’s Hill. It could be beautiful, it could be SO vivid and wild. It could be ancient and mystical, hidden and secretive. It could be life saving, rarely life taking (except if you’re a fish). Deers ambled in the clearings at dusk, coyotes howled at night, owls hooted across to our campfire, and Hummingbirds performed their mating dance, right outside our Kitchen window.

That last spring and summer we spent together, I watched Robins and Cardinals with their young. I’d stand at the bathroom window as Tim slept, in the cool afternoon shade, as the mama Robin bopped around the front grass, searching for worms, for her two youngsters. She was missing some feathers, looked a little haggard, and I really identified with her. As those two ungrateful little bastards of hers squawked away for her to hurry up…their mouths opening and closing in anticipation.

Now Mom, with all I know, how can I NOT go on. With ALL that I know, about death, and life, and sadness, and grief, and happiness, and hope, dreams and beauty, I can’t wait what life has in store for me.

Guess will see.

Always,
PaulaB

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