I'm at the Fish Counter at the Giant. A woman is ordering salmon. I stare at her and say, "You look a lot like my friend Judy Kroll."
"And you," she said, "look a lot like my friend Ruth Deming."
We hugged and talked a while. Her 10-yo son Max, a baseball fanatic, has the best of both worlds - he's the team pitcher, plus his dad Barry takes him to Phillies' games.
When I was a teenager I lived in a fantasy world where I pretended I was the first female member of the Cleveland Indians.
Jimmy Piersall, No. 37, got me in.
My diabetes supplies: Lancet to prick your finger - ouch! - meter w/test strip - and insulin pen - minor ouch!
I had nothing on my calendar today except my diabetes support group at Warminster Hospital. Our assignment was to bring in our diabetes equipment. Our leader, Lynn Sinclair, LD, is extremely knowledgeable.
Edmund sat next to me. He loves his meter, lancets and test strips so I called the no. he gave me and ordered em. His meter speaks, which I find totally obnoxious, not to mention it takes valuable seconds before the woman shuts up so you can get on w/pricking your finger.
Said the guy from TN who I spoke to and gave my address to:
"And is this a house or apartment, Ruth?"
"House... It's actually a mansion."
He didn't sound as if he believed me, so I elaborated.
He said, "Sounds like it'd be a difficult place to keep clean with all those rooms."
But we shore do eat well 'round these parts.
Salmon, Tomato, Asparagus Chowder
Mom finished sewing curtains for Sarah's old bedroom. Here they are:
Nothing more beautiful than lace curtains. I put the old curtains in the washer and will cut them up and use them to blow my nose in.
Remember the story Rumpelstiltskin? A poor miller boasts to the king that his daughter can spin straw into gold. Brothers Grimm collected this for their tales in 1812.
This is a poor analogy. Let's turn instead to the Augean Stables, the fifth of Hercules' labors:
Cleaning out and redoing Sarah's old room was my Augean Stables. The last part was organizing my poems. I bought two accordion folders in the stationery aisle at Giant and hand-wrote labels for the poem categories.
Categories include Bugs - Animals - Birds - Flowers & Fruit - Spiritual/Religious - Metaphysical - Death - Boyfriends - On Poets - Famous People - People I know - Objects ("The Tarp in Winter") and Houses ("The Tyvek House").
At blog's end I'll regale you with "On a Poet Taken Away."
My poet friend Carolyn Constable's advice has finally found fruit in this girl's brain. She's always urged me to publish my poetry. Since no one will ever discover me, perhaps I'll put out my own book in a similar format to my Yes I Can book:
"Yes I Can" story of my manic-depression and a dozen poems including The Lucky Seven.
My poetry book will be as fat as it can be. I myself am trying to lose weight. Aren't all women?
As you may know I'm a psychotherapist, trained in group therapy. Am now running two Goals Groups which is totally expanding my mind.
Said Frank in one of my groups: Hope is the swlrd that vanquishes depression.
How is my mind expanding? What am I doing different? Of course, I am always reading. I have several pages left of the classic Call of the Wild, about Buck the lead sled-dog on Alaskan treks for gold. This book defines what a classic is.
My facility with language has improved. I journal often, with great ease, and allow my unconscious to surface unafraid.
But it is in my groups where I meet disparate individuals who struggle as we all do through the joys and terrors of life that my brain is seized by a desire to stir the pot of their minds and bring it to a simmer of delicious flavors that have been denied them for one reason or another.
Today I booked three fantastic speakers for our New Directions' Meet Your Mental Health Professionals series.
Imagine my shock when the gr-reat Norman Cotterell of the Beck Institute called me back the same day and said he'd love to speak!
So did Anthony Matteo PhD of Montgomery County Emergency Service! I found Anthony in an MCES brochure I received in the mail. And Dr Ruth Prahol from Southampton Psychiatric Service will talk on Couples Counseling.
I do love setting up these free programs. As someone said to me recently, put the word "free" in front of anything - free poop - and people come running.
FOR THE POET TAKEN AWAY
in memory of Jane Kenyon (1947-1995)
I was looking for
a book of poetry
skinny books being
easier on one's chest for
I brought it to the sales girl
who sighed and said,
it doesn't have a bar code."
Ah, blessed day
for poets and for me.
I looked at the back cover,
by that fat
disorderly line-up of sticks.
"No wonder," I said to the sales girl.
"The author has just died
and probably took them with her."
On my way to the car
I invited the poet
to slip inside me.
"Use my body any time you wish,"
I said and waited, my feet
pattering on the pavement,
for some sort of inner settling
that never came.
I showed her
the cluster of winter weeds,
their tassels dark with age.
Somehow, in the construction
of this aromatic new bookstore,
they managed to escape
the carnage that befell the
more obvious trees and woodlands.
Did she miss them?
these earthly sights -
thick-maned dogs, ponds, frosty maples -
images from her poems.
I will miss them,
when the time comes,
something as simple as
the back of my hand
creasing with wrinkles;
fingernails, all without
a trace of moons,
a family trait.