|Days turn into minutes and minutes into memories...|
November 3, 2003
Up close against my heart, I wish to impress forever, an image. An image that happened, something I witnessed myself, with eyes open and clear and full of, shall I name it? Yes, I shall...love . Love of a sort that's a bit new for me. Or is it yet another facet of this emotion, feeling, reality?
Seated 'round a huge, highly polished oak trestle table, perched carefully on a hard bench...sit three brothers, plates heaped and stacked and piled high with mountains of KingRanchChicken, SpanishRice (which we all know is NOT Spanish at all), tortillas, chile relleno, little clay bowls of hot, hot, hot chile con queso and big glass jars of a dark local ale off to the side. I have not one clue what they were talking about...but the three of them sat side by side, heads inclined towards the others...laughing and shaking their heads at only God knows what!
From my vantage point across the room, I could see clearly the shape and outline of their faces, see the light reflecting off heavy wheat-blonde hair and marvel at the powers and mysteries of genes...breeding...heritage. The way ears were placed on heads, the sharp, well-molded cheek bones and endearing beards and fine, firm mouths...long long eyelashes...much too long for men, but there they were.
Glancing away for a second to see to my task of pouring big glasses of iced tea, I noticed the younger boys, one of which is my own, move across the big room and arrange themselves carefully along that bench. Three more young men, then two more...and something in my heart went still and silent. The younger mens' red-blonde and russet hair made a lovely contrast with their elders' deeper tones and even a blind person could see these people were related.We be of one blood, thou and I .
For once, they were left alone...for enough time to talk and laugh and rib each other and pass bowls of food and pour out more ale...I think that is what they were drinking. Over all the noise of soooo many people and children, I could make out the various deep voices, my insides vibrating in response to them all. I pretty much stopped what I was doing to imprint that picture in my mind as firmly, as clearly, as precisely as I was able to. For I knew if I went in search of my camera or asked to borrow one of the many about, I would lose this little glimpse, I wouldn't be able to experience it all.
Right then, I made up my mind to do just that for the rest of our trip. Experience it as fully and as totally as a person humanly could...I shut off all old worries and folded up our life back here firmly and carefully so I could shove it far, far away...I slid into the people, the places, the chores, the china-blue sky and bricks of modeling clay for the little ones and a brace of giant pumpkins and pots of rich coffee.
Of course, my senses were so very alive and incredibly alert...we had been just a wee bit selfish...sneaked into the county a few days ahead and laid low off in a quite nice and very spacious motel room not far from the banks of the BrushyCreek! By the time we slipped back into the city and bunked with the crew, we were in most excellent moods and brimmed with All's-Well-With-the-World feelings. Shoot, there was even a healthy, "We're VERY Okay and you all don't suck as much as you usually do." attitude that was very helpful in dealing with the more willful and stubborn members of this clan!
I am soooo glad we went. It is incredibly wonderful how much fun we all had...how the events over the past years seem somehow to someway made us all softer and kinder and funnier and warmer than we thought previously. Or is it the passage of time has opened all our eyes to what we could never even notice before??
I haven't a clue. In spite of all the old wounds (and yes, I must confess, one or two members of this clan have now refused to enter a room where we all gather. Their loss, I fear, but it certainly transformed the atmosphere for us all...not having the hostile ones stomping around and creating drama and conflict and chaos and finding new battlegrounds to wage their wars upon.)
Anyway, I'm totally exhausted and tired, tired, tired today. I'm going through pictures and sending thank-you notes and answering emails and looking backward.
It's really a strange thing for me...after all these years, I realise an insight I had at the tender age of oh, about seventeen, is how different the men in this family are than a.)Their mother and b.)their sisters. It's not only me that's observed this. (BabyBoyNumberTwo has made many comments on this.) Or even how different everyone is when Mummie is a.)GONE or b.)ASLEEP or c.) NOT TALKING.
This dovetails nicely with UnwantedInsight NumberTwo that came along when I was about twenty: 2nd brother-in-law's wife is an incredible destructive influence. It was incredible how different EVERYONE is in rooms where she is not. (Since she's now officially disowned us all, every single one of us, down to the newest grandbaby and spouses she's never even met, we didn't see hide nor hair of her the whole ten days or so.)
Pity. She missed a LOT of nice things, people, food, laughter, cross-word puzzles and walks and Halloween craziness. Of course, we did NOT miss at-all the fighting and bickering and nagging she always so thoughtfully brought to old FamilyReunions of times past.
OH, well, my heart and mind are soooo full. Much to think about. Lots to catch up on here...ugh. Ick. Yuck.