Musings . . .

on the passing scene

Diverse Blessings

In Memoriam, Burton Heda, M.D.

Down at the Bay early this morning, the duck congregation was out on the water – buffleheads and Grebes, canvasbacks and ruddy ducks – their many-colored plumage reflecting bright on calm water as they drifted by. The walkers and joggers were out too, equally colorful in magenta shorts and orange headbands, hijabs and burqas. One young woman, in full head-scarf and skirts down to her shoes, greeted me with a bright ‘Good morning’ as she jogged past, going at a good clip even in her full skirts.

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Letting Go

“I must be willing to give up what I am, in order to become what I will be.” A. Einstein

for M.W.

Like everyone else, it seems, I’ve come down with this year’s bug: sore throat, coughs and contagious as hell! You don’t want to be around me.

However, I may be one of the few people who doesn’t mind being home sick.

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Transformations

for Christina and Jak

Many decades ago we built a deck out of old railroad ties just outside the kitchen door. It became the hangout for suppers and whispered confidences, naps and the carving of Halloween pumpkins. Winter rains took their toll and eventually the thick redwood ties began to split and then rot around the edges until, this year, it was clear the crumbling deck had to be dismantled before someone tripped in a hole and broke a leg.

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Survival Skills

“This was my house,” the man in the pick-up truck told us sadly as we surveyed the burned-out wreckage of what had been his home before the big fires this year in Northern California. “I’ve come by maybe a hundred times looking, and I still can’t find anything still...

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Right From Wrong

For Darryl, Kate, Jerry and Cassandra

Yesterday, I walked into the corporate offices of a Title Company and, signing my name a dozen times to legal documents,  liberated three acres of land from the speculative real estate market.

I was sent into an empty boardroom to wait.

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Stripping Down

I’ve been to three unrelated performances lately in which the male performers stripped down to their underwear onstage, not provocatively but to symbolically expose their hidden selves. As theater it worked, partly because the actors were all young and handsome, but...

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Fall Down, Wake Up

I sit here waiting for a call from the hospital to schedule an appointment with a surgeon, my body on fire and all my pain receptors on high alert. It turns out my aortic aneurism was not that at all, but instead I’ve got something called a paraesophageal hiatus...

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Facing Death

for Nicole, for the last time

I arrived home from Vermont with a tick burrowed in my thigh, and spent my first morning here in the Emergency Room getting it pried out. Since I was in the hospital anyway, I decided to take care of some routine tests I’d been ignoring for awhile, only to receive some totally unexpected results. It seems that I have something called an aortic aneurism; if it should burst, I am told, I could be dead in five minutes!

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Harmony and Hope

for Rebecca

Today I weeded the strawberry patch at my brother’s farm and it felt like I was weeding myself as well. Pull a weed, remember an emotion from childhood. As I toss it on the mulch pile, the memories crowd my throat and the tears fall.

It is early Spring here in Vermont, the world has turned a tender green, the waterfalls are thundering, and the weeds are trying to take over the gardens.

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Change!

in memory of Alan Balsam M.D.

By the cricks in my knees, the forgetfulness of my brain and the grandmotherly face that looks back at me in the mirror, it is clear that I am aging. Kneeling in the garden is a thing of the past and so is chocolate before bedtime.

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Photo of Carolyn North by Susan Wilson

Carolyn North

Photo: Susan Wilson