Garden--this is where I have been every day when the rains burn off and the children are restless. Hands deep in the soil, planting shrubs and casting wildflower seeds. On Saturday, I created a stone retaining wall from the fragmented slate of one of M.'s old projects. My back ached, my hands were smashed once or twice--I stood back and saw a tangible product of my labors, not like the hours spent slaving in a notebook. Real. A small stone wall where only dirt had been. Sinking myself into the Earth with every Bleeding Heart I plant, every daisy, every fern. Shaping this small patch of landscape while M. works beside me and the sudden gust of wind steals the children's voices.
Genealogy--my mother gave me this...
last week and I have been pouring over its contents ever since. It traces the line of my great-grandmother, Delia, who journeyed from County Clare to Boston at the turn of the 20th century. It doesn't escape me that, at ten, she was the only member of her family who could read or write...my namesake.
Gypsy--what I always planned to be...with a sturdy knapsack, and long perfumed hair, hoop earrings, bold colors, and a wanderlust not to be denied. Instead, now...why I write fiction--traveling through as many lives as I can, never resting in one place too long, my focus shifting with each new set of eyes.
Gin--tasting like lighter fluid in my mouth...after one wayward night of dabbling with the requisite palate of a fire-eater, I retired Gin. It remains M.'s drink at weddings and formal functions--but, I like my stars to stay in the sky, the ground to sit obediently at my feet, and not to pick drunken fights with strangers.
G.G.--my newest niece, wide-eyed, curious, and born just days before Rosie's second birthday. I watch the two of them interacting and imagine their close bond throughout childhood...two naughty little beauties with secrets all their own yet to be.
Garbage--what my writing feels like on "those" days. I found myself saying, "Can you justify the life of this tree with these words?" Then, I switched over to recycled paper and let the writing run wild again. At the end of the day, I'm the one I have to please with my expression--and that, I am learning, is enough.
Gravity--keeps me from floating out into the bitter blue...gravity is M. and his battered working-man hands; Petunia blossoming out of childhood and into pre-adolescence; Boy-o's zany humor and brilliant imagination; Rosie and her crooked tiara and muddy sneakers; My family and friends (near and far); a cup of tea; a long walk; vanishing in between the covers of a new book...losing my "self" I touch down.
Genius--To live inside a mind like my daughter's would be a surreal experience. From poetry composition at two and a half to photography ideas like these at nine...she is a profound teacher for me.
Gamble--what we do every day...the stakes keep rising, Lady Luck is a notorious charmer and we push it anyway for the curve of her scarlet lips and her breath in our ear. The cards fall how they may and we read them and move on...always waiting for a better hand.
Galaxy--the infinity of shells on the beach nearby, words on a page, fingerprints smeared on a revolving door. Ruth Stone's poetry from In the Next Galaxy:
Once I got up and went outside.
The trees-of-heaven along the track swam in white mist.
The sky arched with sickle pears.
Lilacs had just opened.
I pulled the heavy clusters to my face
and breathed them in,
suffused with a strange excitement
that I think, when looking back, was happiness.
This was "G" from my perspective...assigned to me by "F". The associations are endless, so if you'd like a letter to share from your point-of-view, just let me know...