|Do you ever wonder where poetry comes from?|
February 11, 2018
The gentle ticking of sleet against the windows is the perfect music of this cold, dark, windy and frigid night. Three golden beeswax candles cast their beams into the room, out the panes, into the night. Drifting freezing mists dance at the tops of the trees and not a creature is stirring, except for me. Spouse is deeply asleep, curled up under a mountain of down comforters and soft flannel sheets, a good sleep, after so many nights of wakefulness and racing heart. Not the good kind of racing hearts, sadly.
Myself, I have been lost in Neil Gaiman’s voice and writing, eyes drowsily closed, lost in a world of frost giants and gods and dwarves and ohhh, of course, Neil Gaiman’s voice. Only by the strictest of self-discipline did I honour my own tiny oath to ration chapters and praising that resolve, find myself gazing out the windows, all curtains and shutters drawn back, to watch the mist and trees transforming, a sleepy, small-town street bespelled.
His description of Thor, with red beard and great size and good-nature pleased me mightily, and I think of Ullr, and Freya and poetry and nights of deep falling snow.
And pancakes! Tuesday is Shrove Tuesday, also known and loved as Pancake Tuesday, we are having friends over for a big ol’ Pancakes and Champagne Tuesday dinner. It is really kind of funny, how long ago, at my in-law’s house, the siblings all got to talking as to why their father always made pancakes for Shrove Tuesday and innocently enough, I mentioned, well, the man is of Irish descent and heritage and just about every Irish person I knew, always called Shrove Tuesday, Pancake Tuesday.
They all turned to look at me, from Uncle Bob, my never known father-in-law’s baby brother, all of Himself’s siblings and their spouses...so many pairs of brilliant blue eyes, right on down to Mum’s dry-ice slate blue, and two thoughts crashed into my mind: “Gosh, just a tiny smidge of mascara would do all the Sisters’ a world of good, they all, including Mum, have that odd, washed out rabbity look with no lashes to speak of”and then, “Lord, I am going to freeze to death under all these icy cold blue eyes staring at me!” My husband was at work and never was I more aware of my dark eyes in that house of pale, cold, gimlet eyes. To this day, I marvel at the twists of DNA, for all three of Mum’s sons have beautiful, amazing, heart- melting shades of blue eyes and absurdly long thick maple syrup eye lashes. Uncle Bob had eyes the same shade as cornflowers, so it must have been Mr. Oil-Company Executive’s side of the family they sprang from.
Plus, it was just funny, that this little ol’ Protestant girl, from people that have been in America since the Elizabethan era, explained Pancake Tuesday. At that time, I had never ran across Irish people that tried to hide every wee hint of Irish heritage or origin. Mum was quite surprised but really, Uncle Bob should have at least heard of it! The family is still Irish enough to berate my Scottish ancestry for sure.
Sooooo, our two boys will be honouring Pancake Tuesday, one by feeding his family with mountains of homemade pancakes and some with blueberries and some with chocolate chips and all with whipped cream and Québécois maple syrup. Baby Boy II and his wife will go out, for they won’t be in NoVa this week but if they were, a supper time visit would be a sure thing. Curiously enough, IowaGirl, whose paternal ancestors hailed from Kerry when they settled in Iowa in the early 20th century, always had pancakes on Shrove Tuesday, even with a Protestant mom, just like us! And just like my family, IowaGirl’s father’s family has inter-married with Protestants for ages and ages.
BabyBoy II phoned late yesterday evening, knowing his father and I had a political meeting to get to. Alas, I begged off, just embarrassingly enough, too exhausted after a day of phone calls and research and helping with editing and trying to round up the “staff” and putting out fires between different staff members. “Everyone wants to be a chief, not an Indian,” as DaddyC. was known to say at many many after-meetings. Ernie Fletcher has had this position since 1995 and the other races are a bit crazy. Of course, thus County was where the GOP got their foot in the door, back in 1964 with Barry Goldwater and the GE executuves’ conniving.
My father is a bit amused, for as a young person, he was up here in 1964, hood-winked by Golddwater’s “ Right To Work” doublespeak and I suspect, a sort of adolescent rebellion. Or frustrated Southern Baptist minister want-to-be with degrees from the Seminary in Louisville. Once again, I had to make it clear to my father, I am not listening to any of that Trump stuff and the last three stock market’s bi-polar episodes has hushed him anyway for a bit of time. Plus, I am over a thousand miles away! The Texas Dems are breaking fund raising records too. I was teasing him that I was going to sneak into Texas and put a Kentucky Democratic Party Rooster, not Donkey on their cars’ bumpers and a Lloyd Doggett and Beto ORourke sign on both sides of their huge, corner lot if he lectured me at all. I really don’t have to do it myself, my brother has offered to do it several times. So has JL’s wife and members of her family.
Fund-raising! That is what my husband was going to try and get this team to focus upon. I knew that was going to be tough, no one wants to deal with the money end of running for anything. People with money and connections, real connections know how vital it is. The truly innocent and idealistic not so much.
He was feeling fairly well that evening but when dropped off rather late, he looked pretty rough and his hands, feet and face were quite swollen and his breathing was terrible even with using the very expensive New COPD treatments. So maybe my voice will have to be used more, lord knows I can talk to anyone but I am very soft-voiced. Would snapping my fingers work? I did just fine with about forty people or so, no snapping of fingers or stamping my foot needed.
Not sure if this sleeping thing is going to work...my senses just will not settle down. Every breath, every muscle twitch or restless tossing sets off a rush of adrenaline and I hold my breath until it is past. Warnings that I must relax a bit just make me more tense. I waken so easily now and have for a long long time then take forever to fall into even an one-eye open, uneasy doze.
Medications too, one taken super early, no food, followed by another, with food and on we go. Two must be taken exactly twelve hours apart. Then the breathing treatments in between. Last one taken at ten, before bed. Keeping records of blood pressure, heart rate, oxygen, the spiking fever, another side effect, the drugs to treat the side effects fitted in. Relax?