"Whatever you think you can do, or believe you can do, begin it, because action has magic, grace, and power in it." Goethe

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Friday’s Five

Sitting and listening to the mother of a dear friend. Thinking to myself: one day I hope someone will sit and listen to me. We really forget that the gift of presence is a thing. People need us to listen. Just listen. 

My granddaughter Sofia sitting at my grandfather’s desk. If I had to list a prized possession, that desk would make the list. I called dibs on it when I was a child and it lived in my aunt’s long hallway. All the nooks and crannies, the fold down writing space. I can tell she gets it. She moved her bowl of goldfish crackers to the edge and sat so proudly. A moment of realization–that I never knew my grandfather, but he seemed alive tonight. 

A text from a dear friend. She went to an exhibit where two of my art pieces are hanging. Her text was a gift of affirmation and caring. I think I’ll frame it for the days when wondering sets in. 

A lunch with two former colleagues. Sometimes we find dear friends in work hallways. They see us through hardships and celebrations. Today was a celebration. 

A book on art from a lady I met at a retreat two years ago. She received a copy and already had one, so sent the newest one to me. Thoughtfulness. Can we ever have too much? 

Simple moments, honoring life and those who cross our paths. 


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Halfway and Hopeful…A Countdown to Fifty

October 1. My halfway mark. This time six months ago I made the decision to count down to my next birthday year…a big one by many people’s standards these days…a 50th birthday coming at me on April 1. No joke.

Every first day of the month since last May 1 I have spent at least part of the day doing something fun, something for me. Today’s treat was to go see slam poet Taylor Mali perform at our local university. It was a good idea. I left inspired, even writing “inspiration” on the memo line of the check I wrote for books I bought from him.

When I think of this year long journey and how it started, the reason it started…well, that is the definition of bittersweet. As so many of my life experiences tie in with my best friend, she is also the reason I am celebrating today.

Our birthdays were almost one month apart and we planned to celebrate at the halfway mark of April or close to it this past spring. We texted our plans to one another one Saturday morning, and by that night she was gone. For good. Forever. There would be no meeting to eat real food and leave all thoughts of diets behind. There would be no laughter and stories shared together.

So, I decided partly in her honor and memory, I would start a countdown to 50, and hopefully I will see my actual birthday on April 1, 2013. But, we all know there are no guarantees. Do I have big plans? No. Do I have special requests? Only that my family and friends who decided to join me on this journey will still be with me.

The gifts of the past few months are more than the tangible things that special people have given me: a half birthday cake today from my old friend Deanna, a book of poems, a monogrammed bag… precious number candles for each month that I’ve come to cherish from my new friend Angela, not so much for their numerical reminder, but for their light that catches as the match strikes, reminding me that time is passing as fast as the wax melts. So fast.

The best gifts? The laughter, the sharing of the day, the hugs, the smiles, the saying, ” Here I am at this moment of this life with you, and I am glad.” So.

I’m halfway there and hopeful…hopeful to see 50 and far beyond.

What do I want out of fifty? To be there. To be with my family and friends. To write. To create.  To remember that days like this, days of full moons glowing through clouds, poets alive with the magic of words, a family who encourages me, friends who gather to celebrate the day to day good things, this is what I hope to get out of fifty. To live. To live.

I’m halfway there and hopeful.