Two Years To The Day

A few days ago, I let loose a rant, on you my unsuspecting blogmates, about stereotypes and prejudice.  Today I’m inspired by a comment made on that post by our friend Wazeau.  I’m glad to be feeling that way.  Our lives here in Bugland changed in a major way two years ago, to this very day.  So I’m glad to be going for the high notes.

I feel inspired when I think about how Wazeau has expressed her life as a declaration of independence.  Others may stereotype us, judge us, pigeonhole us.  For being women (for gosh sakes).  For being single.  For loving our cats, our birds, our animal companions.  Maybe our lives didn’t turn out the way the world expects.  Maybe we were full of aspirations that didn’t turn out the way we’d hoped.

We may feel some part of this as regret, disappointment, loss.  I do.  I feel a lot of that, to be honest.

Portrait of Virginia Woolf (1882-1941)

But when I think back on the lives of my forebears, I feel other things.  Women in those days – people, really, but especially women – had so few of the choices we enjoy today.  Virginia Woolf,Goldman joined Margaret Sanger in crusading fo...

Margaret Sanger, Betty Friedan – these women imagined our future.  They created our future.  And we got to step

Betty Naomi Goldstein Friedan (1921-2006)

into that future, and live it as best we could.  And it’s been a bigger life than we’d likely have had without them.

Here are some pictures of my forebears (myself amongst them, taken in a context of loss).  As time has moved on, after these pictures were taken, the lives in them changed irrevocably.  Many of these lives have passed.

This next one is an archive shot of Bugs with my grandmother Mimi.

Mimi was my savior when I was little.  In the end, as time worked its inexorable grind, she left a bitter legacy behind.  It’s not just me who suffered.

Viewed from one perspective, these pictures reflect loss.

But when I think that each person depicted in them lived life as fully and passionately and responsibly as was possible for them – given the constraints, the heartache, and, in some cases, downright trauma with which their lives presented them – and when I think how far we’ve come since those days – there is no loss.

There is respect.

I want to feel more than respect, though.  Let this picture express that “more.”  With the real Bugs ghostly superimposed over my dear father of blessed memory –

Let this picture express so much more than respect.  I feel that respect – and I feel the love for which I yearn, too.  I feel that:  Immense, enormous, invincible love.

Bugs wants to know:  How could it be otherwise?

I came across this poem, the other day, in SOME KIND OF RIDE by Brian Andreas.  Here’s an excerpt:

all the generations
gathered around her
in that small kitchen
& held her close

& they would have
blocked the light
if they had not come filled with
their memories
of love

What if that were true.  What if I could make that true, in my imagination.  That once our lives end and we pass, and our material selves are buried, dispersed, what’s left behind is only memories of love.  So the light isn’t blocked by the other stuff.  What’s left behind, in the small kitchens of the heart, is the memory of love.

Of course, though — it wouldn’t be me without adding this other poem, a few pages later in the Brian Andreas book:

I mainly want someone
to tell me I’m right &
then pay me, he said.
Is that too much to
ask?

& I said as long
as you’re living
in a dream world,
you might as well
make it work
for you.

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About nadbugs

Anita loves cats. This must be because she, too, has had nine lives. She’s been dancing since she could walk, she was a commercial artist and advertising producer, she earned a third-degree black belt in Aikido, she is a drummer with the Afrique Aya Dance Company, she is an attorney, and she’s a meditator and a devoted student of Nonviolent Communication. She also spent one lifetime sidelined with a devastating back injury in 1992. Since then – FELDENKRAIS METHOD® to the rescue. The FELDENKRAIS METHOD is all about dreaming concretely – thinking intelligently and independently by way of a gracious and kind physicality. The work affords all who study it a process by which to reach, with movement, into the mind and the heart, to make nine lives into one whole being.
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17 Responses to Two Years To The Day

  1. Dianda says:

    I don’t know what to say. I’m blown away. I really like this post.

  2. Anne D says:

    I never knew my grandparents, they died before I was born, but there are a couple of pictures which span time and space—one of my father’s mother, a little old lady at the time, in her back yard with her chickens, and another of my mother’s father, a newly arrived immigrant from France, taking a break from work with his buddies in front of the streetcar barn on Canal Street in New Orleans.

    • nadbugs says:

      What a lovely little window into a world that, but for these two slender links, might have been closed to you! Thank you for writing this. Wonderful to get the picture in the mind’s eye.

  3. Oh my! In a past (married) life, I had a bunch of stuff by Brian Andreas. Loved his art. Just stumbled upon some of his stuff in a gallery recently. Wonderful. (But I like people to pay me before I tell them I am right…)

    Death has been quite a part of Life with me lately. I love to read your heartfelt feelings and eloquent thoughts. So good to take a higher perspective on the whole thing.

    All is love.

  4. All of life is a lesson, what for I’m not quite sure, as I’m something of a nihilist. But I do know that learning helps make future events easier to bear and shine through.

  5. Your father has a wonderful smile. Thank you for sharing this with us. I also really like the 60′s/70′s photo where everyone is caught mid-laugh. It makes me wonder what was just said; but I get the feeling it was something so silly it didn’t matter why they were laughing, only that they were laughing together.

    • nadbugs says:

      Man, Spidey, I sure wish I could remember what was said. I do remember it was taken in front of the American Embassy in London. I think I was getting my passport renewed. In my married name. This is one of the only pictures I have of my husband (on the left). I totally cherish it. And I’m totally happy you spotted it. So — you went straight for my two favorite guys. Father and husband. How lucky I was.

  6. MTVA says:

    What a deep and thoughtful post. Being pretty well frittered away by the workday, I don’t feel equal to the deep comment it deserves. But here is one little saying I found at a lovely kitty blog (Misses Peach’s Meowz) that I’ve taken to heart, and it seems to fit here:

    “Only in our tomorrows will we realize what we had in our yesterdays.”

    Often I’ve felt that our thoughts and memories are all we every really have.

    Mainly I wanted to comment on your two years with Bugs, and wish you many, many more! You two are so good for each other, in spite of the rough spots, and it’s a lovely pleasure to come here and thoroughly enjoy your postings, whether deep thoughts or crazy cat antics!

    • nadbugs says:

      Oh boy. What that quote brings up, for me! Like — it was so so true, in the case of my husband.
      So, in remembering that, I am just so damned determined to enjoy what’s going on NOW NOW NOW. The last sentence of your wonderful comment is so helpful for that! THANK YOU!! Deep thoughts and crazy cat antics. In a nutshell!!

  7. minlit says:

    Reincarnation LXXXV11:
    She gathered all the little lights that never stood a chance and kept them in her ever-expanding heart, where they flickered like so many fireflies. Through time, there were so many that the light became a constant glow, and it was very pleasant to be near her on dark evenings.

    I wrote this a couple of years ago. It seems appropriate. Long and happy life to you both.

  8. Wazeau says:

    Thank you so much for your post, your pictures, your philosophy, for sharing your mind and self with us. You are a remarkable person. Bugs, Sir Remarkable himself, and you make a wonderful pair and I hope for many many more years for the two of you to be celebrating together.

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