Struggling for Words

That is something that doesn’t happen to me often.

I went away for a week and had great adventures. I came back and immersed myself in my children. My eldest son had a minor surgery last Tuesday but a surgery nonetheless and the trying-not-to-fear-the-worst consumed me. And then after, I fell into bed with him at 8 o’clock on Tuesday night, so relieved that he was fine.

And then what?

The rest of the week ticked off like an oven timer and then it was the weekend and a holiday and I just fell into the velvety richness of my children surrounding me. A warming calm Shabbat dinner, then tranquil, inspiring services the following morning. Lunch with my grandmother after and swimming and a July 4th barbecue with friends and a party with old, old friends that culminated in fireworks high over Rackham golf course in Huntington Woods.

And so my life is full. All the lines drawn in vibrant hues and the music playing loud and the moments so dear that I didn’t want to waste one, musing.

But this blog. It is my mouthpiece and my journal and my wandering and my journey recorded. In a way, at least. And so I don’t want to neglect the words nor the page. Hell, I write so many words for others that I must reserve a most creative piece for myself.

And so here I am.

When I was in graduate school, I liked to begin a poem midway through a thought or a scene so the reader would immediately grip on and catch up to the storyline. I liked beginning with incomplete sentences and punctuating in unexpected ways.

I adored W.S. Merwin, for the challenge of having to read aloud his lines two, three times to understand where the breaks were and the emphasis.

There was a certain thrill of the page to do these unorthodox things and still craft a brilliant vivid poem.

Isn’t that the meaning of it all? The unexpected and the trusted, together? The stopping to inhale the scent of a moment so that you’ll always remember it? Committing to memory a feeling, a texture, the sound of a favorite voice.

I realized, walking along the sea wall at Vancouver’s Stanley Park that being beside, amidst or immersed in wild waters is the ultimate salve for me – all at peace, thoughts silenced to a degree, and the breeze tasted as clearly as a drink of water after a rigorous hike. 

The other night, on a cool day when rain threatened from dark gray clouds, I took the kids to a lakeside restaurant for dinner. We sat on the deck, but in the covered part, and my children kept jumping up from the table to stand at the rail and watch the reeds in the shallowest part below. Swans came close, with their ducklings, all soft white fur and smooth slow progress.

When the rain began, we were already into our food. It was enough to see the repetitious music of drops we could neither hear nor feel break the surface of the water, evidence that they were there.

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