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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Baptism by Fire

I've been baptized now three times. Once on Christmas Eve, 1963, at a Unitarian Church in Philadelphia. Unfortunately this was not recognized by the Episcopalian Church when I wanted to be confirmed by my God Mother in Williamstown, I had to be rebaptized in 1983, which I was with holy water, and Confirmed by the Bishop Wisseman, also in Williamstown (MA, 1984). I was also married in the same church (8-1-1987), surrounded by friends and family, and God. Grandaddy, owing to the hour (noon) opted for a seersucker Brooks Brothers suit with a Marimekko tie (one which my brother wore often while teaching English in Vietnam 10 years later).  Isobel and Cannon's father was in cut away (horrors) and I in my Great Grandmother's gown (much altered for the 5th wearer). We flew that afternoon to JFK from Albany to join an Air India (don't ask) connection -- which was "overbooked". Our luggage was sent to the "lost luggage basement" and I dissolved in tears. A nice Pan Am (shows how old the story is took pity on us and asked me for both tix and both passports (like I would hand them over now). He put us on a flight to London in the Morning, and then down to find our one bag (needle in a  haystack). We called Charlie Olson (yes, the one who is friends with Izzy Horowitz's Beastie Boy father in Gloucester) and  he drove us back to our Brooklyn apartment, where we drank for several hours, and then back to JFK at 4 am..... what a day. We spent our first night in a castle (damp, mouldy walls) in twin Shannon.

---> Today I was baptized by fire by an unknown angel, St, Jude in hiding. Whoever managed to muster enthusiasm from Cannon to whoop Tuscon in the weight room and hit 37' with the 10 lb shot, I owe you my  debt of gratitude eternally. This morning his grades arrived,  straight F's. Thank you.  Please keep him engaged.  Its so nice to see him smile and laugh. He's just a little boy and don't let his size trick you. He and Isobel are scared. S******s. I have to hold it together for them.

This Alex Grey (Breastfeeding) along with Wonder have changed my life. About 12 years ago, I was introduced to his work, and even got to see some originals. They are amazing. Since then I have encouraged Cannon to feel his "third eye" (from his earliest memory) and pet between his eyes as if he is a lobster about to be boiled. Give me strength.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

As a child, visiting my Grandparents in snowy or hot and  humid Philadelphia I never dreamed that I would take these solid symbols of daily ritual (my Grandfather's favorite three-footed salted roasted nuts to go with cocktail hour) and my Great Grandmother's dish that we used to have summer blueberry or currant pudding in (or hard sauce in winter) -- I have repurposed them both. The nut dish now sits over my head on a windowsill (where the cats can knock it down showering over my head) full of ginger and butterscotch candies (anti-nausea) and the other sits on the bathroom counter full of the multiple prescriptions I have to take every day just to get past noon. Today was a really hard day. I did not ever anticipate feeling as sick as I have done this past week (getting the flu on top of it all did not help) and I have a new found respect for my Auntie Nanny who endured chemotherapy for a decade (my Uncle says "you get used to it"). The children were rude and sniping, and I never wanted them to see me so out of control in tears and collapsed in a heap on my bed with tears pouring down my face -- hot on my cold cheeks (I cannot seem to stay warm, even with the heat on and a roaring fire). I remember lighting a fire for Nanny on the 4th of July weekend before she died (in Boston)... it all makes sense now. I hope I have the strength to endure this for my children, uncomplainingly. It seems unreasonable to ask them to come out of their teen-age self-centered shells and look at life from my perspective. I will march on. I am a brave soldier.