The laughing inside met the laughing outside. They rode together for days. Laughing became a rejoinder to being blessed. I’ve been feeling more trusting of the idea of being blessed. It’s scary; Trusting. For me at least.
I’ve felt comfortable in my skin recently. Exuberant. Sometimes I can see myself in all my bumbling truth and just go with it, just notice. And if I let the noticing rest, it takes on a sweet life of its own. I float a bit lighter. I imagine my life as it is. No walls.
On my way to Bethesda last Wednesday I floated down the highway in my white bullet Volvo S60 T5. My butterfly tank, the Swedish SchmetterLink. I listened to the new Niel Young, “Prarie Wind”, the new Bonnie Raitt, “Souls Alike”, which is excellent, Cecelia Bartoli doing Italian love songs, the fantastically talented and sexy blond clarinetist Martin FrÃ¶st, who plays opera inspired music so sensually, and Steve Reich, which is hypnotic “phase” music, perhaps best described as acoustic sound textures. I love listening to music while I drive long distance. I do some of my best listening that way, as a captive audience.
A few hours after I arrived, we sat to a simple feast of steamed lobster and steak, surf and turf. Sipping a glass of wine, I chatted with Mom and Sis and her husband, Bill. Bill is a grand spirit, whose scope of observation is wide and inclusive. I believe his 1/32 portion of Native American blood affords him a deep, peaceful perspective on any subject. (Note to self. Date more Native Americans.) His tall, lanky body seems to bounce with generosity of spirit. He’s a professional gardener. Yup. He cares for a small, wealthy private estate in NW DC. He works hard, and knows the value of relaxation. He’s a boon to the Thomas family nervousness.
At some point in our bubbly conversation, I mentioned my stiffness from the drive and that I needed to do some yoga. Bill asked if I could do the plow, a pose where, while lying on the back, you bring the legs and hips up over the head and touch the toes over the head. Exuberantly, I jumped up to demonstrate. The half folded sofa bed looked like a good thing to lie on and demonstrate my limberness. I flopped my legs up over my head. I did it with such energy that the sofa bed folded up, swallowing my head and shoulders, while my legs flailed in the air. It must have looked cartoonish, the big sofa mouth with lanky legs flopping about. I wasn’t really stuck, but I couldn’t bring my weight down without bringing the whole couch with me, so I just stayed there, laughing so hard I couldn’t breathe, while the family tried to rescue me. They were seriously concerned, which made me laugh even harder for some reason. I haven’t laughed that deeply and completely in many years. As I wiped away the tears, we returned to our meal. Laughing at myself feels so good.
Sonya the Platinum Princess (Mom’s Papillon) is a perfect match for Platinum Glamor (Mom). But for some reason, she has closed membership to her private club with only two members, Platinum Glamor and me. (who could perhaps be called Platinum Glitter) My sister and her husband are not included. (we’re working on that) So the Platinum Sisters have their little parties, and no one else is invited.
Sonya is particularly happy when the three of us go outside so she can do her duty. We saunter across the front lawn while she sniffs around. Mom’s life is finely tuned to the delicate, intricate life of her personal angel, Sonya. I knew this for sure when as we spoke, Sonya spiraled in a smaller and smaller circle, and then, just before she stopped and squatted to pee, Mom uttered, “She’ll pee right…now.” And then, a few minutes later, it was pointed out that she would poop “now”, and, pointing the flashlight at it, noted how firm and healthy it was. Now that’s intimacy! Seriously, a pet schedule is healing to the human soul. Sonya’s exuberance is healing for Mom.
Among other things, the Platinum Sisters made Welshcakes, which are cookies cooked like pancakes on a griddle. It’s more fun with someone, so one can roll the batter and the other can flip each cookie. The Welshcake is a light, cakey butter cookie, with currants and a touch of cinnamon and nutmeg which goes great with tea. The recipe is my grandmother’s, from my father’s side. Though it’s a common cookie in Wales, my grandmother’s recipe is particularly yummy. I cook them every year in memory of Gramom, and send a few dozen to Dad.
While Mom and I cooked, Sonya pranced around, danced to her own electricity. If Mom’s moving, she’s dancing. She never rests unless Mom does. She looks so busy, twirling and pacing behind and around us, one wonders what she’s doing. There seemed to be a dozen or so cookies missing soon after we finished. There’s NO way Mom and I could have eaten them.
I connected with Sis Amy better than ever. I’m finally grown up enough to let down my “big brother” hair and just be her friend and fellow musician. I have great respect for my dear sister, who teaches 40 students a week privately, and freelances, managing her own flute and harp duo, plus plays principal flute and manages all the personnel of a small orchestra. She quit smoking over a year ago, after 25 years. Go Sis! I’m in awe of her sometimes. She is more efficient and organized than I’ll ever be.
On the way back to Columbus, I listened to the same CD set as on the way out. But I felt the music even deeper. As the beautiful rolling hills of Western Maryland uncoiled before me, I rejoiced at my good fortune. A bellow of life sprang from me unimpeded as the white bellies of snowy hills presented themselves to me with such perfect gullibility, trusting me, because I trust them.