The time flew, the time crawled

“What you preserve is the cheeriest memento mori. It is a way to say and mean: of everything that passes, this is what I choose to keep. It is a clear reminder, there for the tasting, of where and when and how you have lived.”

Suzanne’s been gone a month today. She was my daughter’s boyfriend’s mom. A person who loved well and who was well loved. I think of her daily. I think of her boys daily, my girl and all the people heartbroken by her loss. When she was on the last leg of her dying journey I would turn for solace to one of my favorite bloggers, Hannah, from Inherit the Spoon. In between writing about food, her boys, and home, she writes of memories…in the making, and those made, of her mom, who died a few years ago, a lady who sounds like she was also about 59, same as Suzanne.

Recently, Hannah posted the above quote from a book I enjoyed reading a while back, An Everlasting Meal, by Tamar Adler. It made me think of Danny, Brian’s older brother, Suzanne’s firstborn. Both boys left work last March to come home to care for their mom. Danny left San Francisco, where he was a chef at Outerlands, Brian took a leave of absence from his job in Boston. Time seemed to crawl for me as I held my breath, hoping, praying for miracles.

And when the miracle didn’t happen, the time that was left for them seems like it flew. A whole lifetime. Not nearly enough for any of us, glib as we may want to be with our easy platitudes about grief and loss. I just try to remember the Dr. Seuss quote Suzanne included in her obituary, “don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” So like her to want to comfort from beyond. Suzanne, wherever you are, I hope you are enjoying an everlasting meal. We miss you.

New Cape/Old Cape

This is and isn’t the cape I left back in the 70’s. The pace is much faster, while the characters and drama in local politics remain static. Kind of like a remake of an old Hollywood movie, not necessarily any better than the original. Same roles, different names and faces.

It’s interesting how the vision and culture seem to mirror the topography. Thankfully we are surrounded by ocean, sky, and horizon…the broad expanse helps balance the narrow land. Nature imposes a balance on our culture and community one way or another.

The dominant culture here changed dramatically while I was in Vermont. Or perhaps, I had changed? most likely, a little of both. The cape felt more conservative and stifled to me. Gone were the hippies and bohemians of the past, replaced with retirees and nouveau riche. Or so it appeared to me on the surface. According to Ana, I needed to create what I most needed to find here, and she was right. Something I’d done unconsciously in Vermont for years and had to learn to do here. And in discovering that I could do it here, remembering that I’d actually been doing this all my life. I was a military kid used to bases and the unique bonds forged with other military families. We were gypsies, vagabonds and I learned early what Darshan was about even though I didn’t have a name for it then.

I rarely drink coffee, I like my tea just so, and you’d better be an exceptional baker if you’re selling because if I can do it better at home…then I will. I am not your typical consumer. It’s an experience I’m seeking, more than a commodity. And imperfection? I love to tolerate it if you have the Darshan I seek.

The cafe, the garden, the work of art, the library, the bike path, the market or shop? That’s just the vehicle to get me to the experience. It’s the people or the trees, the color, or the thrill of the discovery I encounter when I arrive that matters to me.
It’s what Rumer Godden in “A Time to Dance, No Time to Weep” says is a Hindu belief that people will travel miles to see, touch, taste, sense, smell the presence or essence of a person, place or thing, with the belief that they will catch some of its spirit or soul to carry with them – this is what I seek in my journey. Darshan. Connection. The need to belong, to be a part of something bigger than ourselves.

When I walk to the Caribbean Market in my downtown neighborhood, I am not just going to buy the ginger tea that reminds me of a place in Amherst from my daughter’s college days. I am also going to hear the musical singsong of Patois speakers, to smell the sharp spices of Jamaican cooking, to pretend I’m in the South Carolina of my birth, to remember my own immigrant grandparents and how hard people work to make a new life for themselves, to create a new home. So, all this being said, I will share with you some of my favorite places on Cape Cod where I experience Darshan. This may include places that aren’t perfect but they always have good people, vision, and the feeling that that place is loved.

This is and isn’t about a place called Cape Cod, how it’s changing, how I’m changing…it’s about home…the home we make for ourselves wherever we are, because it’s about us and the people. It’s my guide to recognizing that home is right where I am.

I Was a Catholic Girl

love this perspective on our catholic upbringing — for the longest time it sounded cool to use the recovering catholic term but i’ve had some really insightful, wild and amazing “catholic” experiences as an adult in the past 10 or 12 years.

Bird Tweets

“Comments on blogs are the life-blood of the medium. They tell the blogger you are looking, liking, wishing for more. They encourage and give the pat on the back that can come from a relative, but is so much more honest from someone who didn’t wipe your tears away when you fell and skinned your knee. Comments are like little presents to receive and open….after posting I can’t wait to see if someone will respond; I’ve made myself visible to you, I’ve invited you in. What do you think? Comments are the barometer of what we are sharing, and often–if not always–with art, that means our hearts.” ~ Karen Otto, February 2008 ~

Recap of My Week

“Longfellow believed that situations that call forth our coping abilities are “celestial benedictions” in dark disguises, sent not to try our souls, but to enlarge them.”
~SBB, Simple Abundance

My sister gave me SBB’s book Simple Abundance many holidays ago, and it really helped me through a soul wrenching year in my life. I don’t like to think back to that time because I have many regrets associated with it. Occasionally, I’ll revisit Sarah’s book, but this past year, I have been reading it daily again. Some of it’s trite and I roll my eyes, but much of each day’s writings speak to me in a timely fashion, e.g., on a day I need that particular wisdom the most.

Yesterday was a day of doubts, perhaps because I was cold and tired. But overall my past week was a blessed one, full of hope. My daughter sent me Halloween photos (Ky*ko check out the green man), I checked out a magical place on the wrong side of the bridge, and the gorgeous Miriam and I met at one of my favorite cafes in Harwich. That is a post in and of itself as that was another bit of magic in my week — how generous in spirit the world is if we stay open to it. That’s the hardest.

My girl and her sweetie pie roommate — my kids smiling always makes me smile.

This entry was posted on November 7, 2009, in hope, soul.

More Inspirations

Other bloggers who inspire me. McCabe, her humble and gentle soul, her awesome videos, and her welcoming spirit.

Jen Lemen for putting it all out there from the beginning even though she had no idea where she was going with it all.

Stef for hanging in there even when she gets discouraged, and inspiring me to do so too. Now she’s starting a new year fresh with some shiny ruby shoes that are gonna take her over the rainbow.

Pixie cuz she’s another Virgoan mystic who totally gets how sublime going into the mystery can be.

What’s that saying about making a difference? If you have made a difference to one person, you have made a difference to the world?

** postcard image from pixie campbell’s animama series **


I am a wanderer, a traveler, a gypsy, I love going places. My dad was in the Marines when I was growing up so I moved a lot up until the end of high school.

Southwest is running this spectacular sale through today. I’ve had a longing to revisit San Diego County where we lived my first two years of high school — I can only imagine how much it’s changed — Fallbrook, Vista, San Luis Rey, Oceanside, Julian, Escondido, Carlsbad, all those towns I remember — but Marty’s never flown and I feel guilty taking another trip without him. So, I’m thinking if we take advantage of this sale, either North Carolina (where I also lived), or Tennessee (never been there). I have a credit I have to use by January and these crazy offers Southwest has from time to time are just too tempting to my gypsy soul.

This entry was posted on July 8, 2009, in soul, travel.

Sisters of Mercy

My marriage, on the other hand, was not like Amanda’s. If it was, I’d have 3 children instead of two. I miss that third child every day. As it was, Molly almost wasn’t. Although I was married, I felt like I had no business being pregnant when the marriage was unhappy and volatile.

I loved my little boy fiercely, with all my heart, he was the light of my life, the apple of my eye, in an otherwise soul-killing marriage. I loved being pregnant with him, the childbirth experience, everything about it. I remember his first movement in utero. We were on a hill on Cheese Factory Road in Hinesburg — a country drive like so many we did, that was when we were happiest as a couple, when we were on the road.

I imagined working right up until he was born the way so many women the world over have — working in fields, squatting and having their baby, and then returning to work. I did work right up until he was born — not in a field, but in a convent kitchen. I began labor before my shift that morning, but only told Brian, the main cook and Leitha, the housekeeper and my neighbor. I didn’t want to worry the nuns, because I knew I could handle it. And I knew they’d be all worried and possibly send me home (or to the hospital) if they knew. They were very good to me, the Sisters of Mercy. They are not departed or gone., experience