Tuesday, March 5, 2019

The Small of the Back

Some Venus

The folds of this ancient goddess' stomach. Her foot's low arch.

A memory:
When I hear the crunch of steps on gravel, outside the apartment, I know it's not him because he is so quiet. I lie there on the bed, wrapped in sheets, waiting. It is warm. The plastic blinds click together as the breeze runs through them. The word rustle. Later, his hand on the small of my back. A hand on the small of the back is a beautiful gesture. Resting there. On the small of the back. 

I wrote this down in my small blue leather notebook:

The new way to live: reading and reading and coming up to take a look around

I don't know if I heard that or thought it myself, but it's a good one.

I'm dipping into Toni Morrison's new book The Source of Self-Regard, and I've just begun Say Nothing by Patrick Radden Keefe. I'm finishing Sigrid Nunez' novel The Friend, and I've loved it. Sigrid was at Hedgebrook with me, finishing that book. She is a lovely person, someone I wish I knew better, especially after reading her book. It's curious and funny and sharp and original. I wish I could finish my book. Maybe I will later this month when I retreat to Mexico with the Bird Photographer. Immediately after I type that, I feel I need to explain. Explain how I can go to Mexico, explain how I can get away. Do I need to explain? I have a free place to stay, a generous gift from a dear friend. Sophie's father and Saint Mirtha will take care of her while I'm gone. I am determined to get away, to take respite when it is offered, by whatever means I can. Yet, I explain. We define ourselves by how much we can suffer, and who am I otherwise?

In other words, I'm reading and reading and coming up to take a look around.


  1. I hope your well-deserved retreat to Mexico goes well, whether you finish your book or not. I love that statue. It's fascinating to see what a goddess looked like a thousand or more years ago.

  2. No need to explain1 Go, have a wonderful time and be refreshed.


  3. No need to explain, you need a break. I hope you have a lovely, restful time.

  4. Would a man need to defend or explain how and why he's going away?
    I don't think so.
    Let's be goddesses and take what we can from the riches we may be offered. It is our right.

  5. Any parent of a child with disabilities needs no explanation. Enjoy your get away as much as you possibly can.

  6. Everything I read and see here makes me happy for you.

  7. I'm so glad you can get away. Do it, do it.

  8. Read, read, read. Anticipating Toni Morrison's newest book.

    XXX B

  9. You have no need to explain. I think I shall adopt the new way to live (in between the obligations, sigh).

  10. You don't need to explain, but I know the feeling--I feel it too. You will finish your book in its time. You so deserve a retreat to Mexico. And that sculpture is everything beautiful, isn't it.

  11. Caregiver respites should require no explanation, yet we often do. I suppose to assure others that those in our Care are okay in our absence... as if!?! I'm just not sure why we do offer explanations of our Get Aways, our very much NEEDED respites of escape, it's a curious thing. I am delighted you're going to be having a lovely one, in Mexico, with your Love.



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