Saturday, March 30, 2013

Bewildered by so many flowers

I woke up this morning, literally thinking, thinking that I needed to call on Monday and change Sophie's doctor's appointment from Wednesday when she'd have to miss school, to later in June when she's out of school. I thought about Easter, how I had no plans. I wondered what machinations of the brain had happened in the moment before that thought, how I'd gone from sleep to wake to thought to navel.

Navel-gazing -- I've always hated that term, probably because I do a lot of it. I lay in bed this morning, mourning Easter and the fact that I have no plans. I have no plans because I've made no plans, other than the filling of Easter baskets for the children. I won't be the Catholic that goes to church on Easter Sunday, but I will be the person who thinks deeply about the day's meaning in our culture, about the love reborn, about the spring.

Thought lies heavy in the morning over the navel. It depresses the bed beneath it.

There's this:

The Palm at the End of the Mind

After fulfilling everything
one two three he came back again
free, no more prophecy requiring
that he enter the city just this way,
no more set-up treacheries.
It was the day after Easter. He adored
the eggshell litter and the cellophane
caught in the grass. Each door he passed
swung with its own business, all the 
witnesses along his route of pain
again distracted by fear of loss
or hope of gain. It was wonderful
to be a man, bewildered by 
so many flowers, the rush
and ebb of hours, his own
ambiguous gestures--his 
whole heart exposed, then
taking cover.

--Kay Ryan


  1. oh elizabeth. i am in a similar place. i have made no easter plans and i am lonely because of it. i wish someone would call and fold me into their plans. i feel at such as loss. i will go to church with my church man who is doing the flowers in honor of his mom, and then the long empty day after, when i imagine everyone else is in lively company, celebrating the rebirth of everything. i do hope your bed gets less depressed as the day wears on. My love to you.

  2. Easter was fun when my daughter was young. No church for us, ever, but always the dressing up and the egg hunt.

    It is always a shock when a holiday sneaks up on you and you find yourself unprepared. You have today to employ the boys in helping you make the holiday. Do they like to dye eggs?

    Best to you.

  3. Your Easter dilemma is very familiar to me. Maybe we could incorporate a little Holi into the holiday?

  4. Elizabeth, so often I read your words are have nothing to give to you. You are such a wise woman and you have not been dealt an easy life. It is filled with joy and a good one, but not easy.
    All I can say is just allow the heavy heart to come and it will pass. It always does. Holidays are a crappy time.
    When are you going to Victoria?

  5. I have no plans either, Elizabeth. I've been sick all week (spring break, so I didn't have to miss work), and now Daniel has it! Damn it! I've been wallowing today. Tomorrow I will probably take my daughter to a buffet around the corner and then come home to brood. I'm starting to really dislike holidays!

  6. Easter is so utterly off my radar. It was a big deal when I was a kid and got an Easter basket, but as an adult I've never paid it much attention. If you filled baskets that counts for something, right?!

    I thought "The Palm at the End of the Mind" was a Wallace Stevens poem. Or is this writer alluding to Wallace somehow?

  7. Nothing wrong with navel-gazing. Although I prefer the term "self-awareness." Probably because I do it a lot. I hope your day was peaceful and pleasant.



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