Thank God for a writing life.

At least, in a sea of sea changes, I am anchored to something that is mine and not dependent upon other people or rising and falling fortune.  The past few months have gone by crazily fast and suddenly we are facing the holidays—i.e. in three and a half weeks, Halloween and then…..;
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Tempus Fugit, as they say. I have only recently adjusted to being 65 and now here comes 66.  I am not at all adjusted to Jack’s turning 73 this February, but God/Fate/Furies willing, he will.  I am not adjusted to being part of a third thing, one half of a whole that is a relationship playing itself out every day.
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But here we are, fresh off a packed weekend culminating with the last few shows in a Breaking Bad marathon, the flow of information and small events in and out of our lives, the fluctuation of the weather, the permutations and amblings and ramblings of love, how it seems solid one minute and I am terrified the next minute that I have been confused with a mature person.
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Love terrifies me; yes, it does.  It means taking off the costumes and the armor and the reservations and letting myself be close to someone.  Someone who doesn’t seem to mind being kissed by someone who doesn’t have any upper teeth—with whom the fires of intimacy are stoked once a week to a good burn and then permitted to die down again so that rather than being locked into each other we navigate in a parallel manner, less of the time upstream, and more often, with the current.
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Trusting the current of life is a big deal.  I have seldom trusted anything or anyone.  I find myself compelled in too many directions, often—for a time working on the translation of an Italian woman poet’s work for my blog, then getting back to the casserole or pie in progress, then getting together for a break and a fake beer or a glass of our beloved Martinelli’s—back to my manuscripts or drafting something new, then to painting and checking my e-bay auctions…in short, living very much in the present and winging it, almost as if I were a normal aging poet and not any longer, she who feared the future and remained mired in the past..
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Now two people I know have had husbands die suddenly and I have felt the impact of absence through them….the suddenness of it and the relentless pain that comes even if we project such a loss.
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A loss that is as inevitable as the break of day.  We can’t know when this dark thing in the background will stop being an idea and become an earthquake in the very floor of our home.  To think that the warm, breathing man next to me can become inert, devoid of life, carted away—is too much.
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But I let myself think of it because I have to feel that when it happens, I have the same strengths within me as anyone to grieve and mend.  Perhaps I will be first.  We have a family member who is critically sick and must face the dark thing; we cannot face it for him.  But we can provide solace and love, as we do around one another’s issues.
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Whenever I have these dark thoughts and feel a churning in my stomach, I remind myself that we can and must live on as vividly and wholly as possible.  We must each give ourselves to life and devour our days.  We must let ourselves love life, be in love with the mystery of being.
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It doesn’t last forever, and it comes with dark times for everyone. Tempis Fugit et Carpe Diem.
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Please check out the gorgeous poetry by Italian women I am posting at La Parola Vivace; both the Italian— and English, my translation. Current:  a delicious and intense meditation on the ineffable by the poet Rosalba Di Vona.   Coming up: a beautiful elegy by the renowned Sicilian poet Rita Elia for a journalist killed by the Mafia as well as a lyric paean to the sea from a friend in beautiful Calabria–the fishing village Scilla/Scylla.  Thank you, my sisters in the muse, for entrusting your stunning work to me,  all of those who read and comment on my work, accepting me as I am, to Professor Marco Giuffrida for his exquisite translation of my poetry into Italian–these poems should be available soon; all of this, the English and Italian versions are posted at La Parola.   Xj

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