1 22 23

That’s a lot of 2’s.  Makes me curious what I wrote on 2 22 22.  Lucky for me, I can do that.  Go back, and look.  Day after day, nearly every day, there is an account; what’s happening in the world, what’s happening in my mind and the results of my own thinking.  If ever I thought this was a relentless waste of time, I was wrong.  This might be my most valuable asset.  And if a day is missing, it means I’m travelling. It means I don’t have my laptop and I’ve written my thoughts down on stickie notes or my arm.

I’m delighted by the house this morning.  Good morning God.  Thank you for this beautiful day. I’m glad the party didn’t come together last night.  Instead, the house stayed clean, we watched a great movie and I got a great sleep. That’s code for I’m over 50 and a good night’s sleep is the sexiest thing alive. I’m equally glad that for a time I thought I was having a party, forcing me to pull it together.  Not that pulling anything together is necessary.  The party was a good excuse to clean, cleanse, heal, throw shit out, give stuff away, get on all fours and vacuum with the hose. 

My dear sweet Levi is gone.  It’s official.  I’m OK, mostly.  Mornings are awfully quiet.  I can see and hear him playing in front of me, tossing his toys, attacking his bone, dropping snowballs across the floor in a trail to his water bowl.  We had a deal: I type and drink coffee, we listen to jazz, and Levi plays the inside-outside game until Luc wakes up.  Then begins morning freak out session #2.

The title of this journal is Now What.  Last year’s title is Hope.  The deal is you can’t go back and re-name journals.  It’s day 22 of Now What and the dog is dead, the kids are good, and the house is ready.  I feel ready too, but for some reason I’m still sitting here.  That’s been the theme of my life for about a year now.  After the kids up and went to college, each of them soaring but in totally different ways, it was just me and Levi and a Subaru.  4 years driving back and forth over the mountains, a team to beat all teams.  There’s a work box, a suitcase (that remains half packed at all times) and a food bag, all tucked in the boot because Levi takes the whole back seat.  Water, check. Dog, check.  Dog food, check.  You can wing the rest of it.

2 houses, four hours apart, clothes and a toothbrush in both.  Isn’t that fun?  One house in the mountains, one house in the city, if you can call it that.  Us rural mountain people call anything ‘over there’ the city.  2 houses to clean, 2 houses to organize, buy food for, and realize that the shirt you need or the book or the drawing or the piece of paper you need, is over there.  I’m over it.  It’s not all it’s cracked up to be.  In fact, I don’t know anyone who said it would be cracked up.  All my friends are wiser than me.  They don’t even want one house to take care of; two houses are for the stupid people who haven’t figured that out yet.  Like me.  I recognize you need to put your stuff somewhere and my stuff is somewhere.  Now get me out of here.

You know what?  That’s the most organized these bookshelves have ever been.  The bindings are standing up, tucked and straight, and the normal clutter that relentlessly takes over is on someone else’s shelf, having been sold at the community center for 50 cents.  What more do you need than books?  People, I guess, and books, that’s all you really need. People being slightly more important than books.  Slightly.  But it’s got to be the right people.  There’s nothing worse than a handful of the wrong people. 

Not that there are ‘wrong’ people, in God’s eyes, which I emphatically appreciate and agree with.  And we are to love all people, which I also emphatically agree with.  I personally am excellent at loving strangers.  So the moral of the story is gather your people wisely, because you have to love them.  That’s the deal.  You can’t sell living Tchotchkes at the community center.