Monday, October 06, 2008

What I Miss

I find myself inspired by so many other blogs these days.
Videos. Poems. Songs. Movies. Stories. Books. Quotations.
They make me smile and laugh and groan and weep.
I am taking more photos. I spend more time outside.
I pour my heart out in overwrought emails and then wonder if I overwrote what I was thinking and feeling.
I am writing in my journal so much that my carpal tunnel syndrome flaired up last week.

I am being inspired to inhale.
And think about the things and the people, the places and the events I remember and miss terribly. There are so many.
Here is a partial list of who and what I miss.*
In no particular order.

1. Spain, especially Madrid.

2. Italy, especially Roma.
3. Standing at caffe bars in Rome, sipping espressos served in tiny cups and spiked with too much sugar.
4. Walking up Broadway in Manhattan during the summer of 1985, on my way to meet up with the dancer from Portugal.
5. Walking on Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn with Evelyn, each of us eating our own pints of ice cream from Baskin Robbins.
6. Being a student at Poly Prep.
7. Being the field announcer for varsity football games at Williams College.
8. Crouching into the blocks before running the 100 and 220 yard dashes in high school and college.
9. Running from the finish line to the throwers' circle for the shot put and discus throw.
10. Walking through the Prado museum for the first time in 1986 and weeping at its overwhelming beauty.
11. That first taste of homemade paella.
12. Waking up one morning and realizing I had dreamt in Spanish.
13. Jorge.
14. Limon granizado.
15. The smell of Ducados, Spanish cigarettes, in bars and restaurants.
16. Being a student: elementary school, middle school, high school, college, and grad school. I miss being in school. Book bags. New pencils and notebooks. The lunch room. But not gym class - I don't miss gym.
17. Deciding if I would walk to or from the public library in Brooklyn; my parents would give me only one token for my round trip adventures during the summer. Sometimes I sold the token for cash, bought candy, and walked both ways.
18. Not having to worry about allowing a teenage girl to walk alone in a big city.

19. Rainy days
20. Driving back and forth to Wesleyan University. Taking graduate classes while my children were babies. How quiet and solitary was that 75 minute drive!
21. Standing in a tiny village and an open field in Nicaragua surrounded by children, wishing I could hug each one, hear every story, bind every wound, and dry every tear.
22. Sunrise in Rio, drinking coffee out on deck.
23. Standing at the end of the world, Finisterre, with Antonio.

24. BlogHer - and all the love we shared there.
25. Giving birth to my dear children, holding them that first time, nursing them. Sitting with them in my arms for hours every day. Reading my grad school books with each of them propped up on a beanbag nearby.
26. Seeing the leaves change in Connecticut and Massachusetts.
27. Amy Kelly and her amazing family.
28. Wagamama noodle shops in London.
29. Sitting on the other side of the car while riding on the other side of the road in England and Ireland.
30. Deciphering train schedules between Le Croisic and Paris, North Hamptonshire and London, Paris and Madrid. Backpacking alone during the summer of 1986. I was too naive to be afraid.
31. The rainforest that backed up to the beach in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica.
32. Sitting in airports awaiting flights. Journaling. Imagining what I would see, eat, and experience at the other end of my journey.

33. The writing group in Connecticut
34. Sleeping late.

And last, but certainly not least...

35. I miss when I knew nothing about things like the stock market, mortgage rates, partisan politics, presidents and presidential candidates and what they stand for, credit card debt, global economics, multinational corporations and their policies around the world, theories of just and unjust war, genocide in Africa and elsewhere, the UN, carbon footprints, green living, global warming, abortion, homosexuality, same sex marriage, teenage pregnancy, racial and socio-economic disparity and prejudice, socialized medicine, HMOs, Hummers and hybrid cars, organic fruits and vegetables, eating meat, drinking alcohol, Oprah, FOX News, Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, the role of women in church, the moral majority, the role of women in the home and in marriage, the tension over and between homeschooling and traditional schooling, just to name a few. I miss when I had no idea that people's perceptions about me as a citizen of this country, as a follower of Christ, as a woman making my way through life on this tilting planet would be shaped by how I feel about those topics. And I miss when I didn't judge other people based on how they felt about those topics.

Deep sigh.

I think I'll go make a cup of non-organic tea on my electric stove and drink it out of a ceramic cup that I am sure is laced with toxic chemicals that will certainly kill me. That is if the agave syrup I add to sweeten the tea doesn't do me in first. Then I will turn on the electro-static producing television set in our bedroom and watch the morally reprehensible, supremely violent, suicide-honoring film version of Romeo and Juliet with my two impressionable, and obviously misguided children (after all, they have to listen to me rant and rave about my predetermined views on everything in number 35).

Again, a deep sigh.

In all seriousness, my life is blessed. I am blessed.
All is well. All is well. All manner of thing shall be well.
So be it.

* Apologies to all who undoubtedly have been offended at having been left off this list. This list has already taken me too long to pull together.
I do have to get back to homeschooling...


Lisa said...

My goodness! What a list! Whew!

How amazing to see these glimpses into you and the life you lived up to this point! Just more reasons why we love you and the incredible, amazing, beautiful, rich, stunning person you are.

We watched The Bucket List last night. I'm sure several of these items are worthy of a list like that - and how cool that you've already lived them...the 'big' ones and the 'little' ones.

Thanks for sharing the images, the stories, the glimpses, the longing. My afternoon will be richer having read your post. In fact, I think I'll make my way to the kitchen here at work and brew some STRONG coffee and eat some chocolate in honor of your list! (It's not Italy - but hey - we work with what we have, right?)



Amy said...

I love your list and the candle in the photo! I think sometime within the next year, we should meet in Greensboro and stay at the "green" Proximity Hotel. My dad lives outside Greensboro, so I could combine it with a trip to see him. We'll touch base on that.

jmgb said...

you. make. me. smile.

Smell Goods Lady said...

You are so cool! I often think about the things I miss too and share them with my family. It is amazing how some small, but significant thing can still build up so much passion.