A Yankee's Musing

Sunday, May 04, 2008


Clearly I had so much I might have written that I have no entries.
It has been a rough year, testing my resilience and my sense of integrity.
I did not always pass, but I did persevere. Sometimes that is enough.
And now I am fixated on this glorious spring and my heart has already
migrated north. My body is tired and unwell, out of balance rather than attacked,
I believe. I need to leave soon to heal or I will physically collapse. I waver between grumpiness and spaciness (a word that Microsoft tools doesn’t even recognize, but I
bet there isn’t a person on this planet who hasn’t experienced it). A short time ago
my crown broke, and today my bathroom sink pipes sprang a geyser. Everything seems
to be deteriorating, including my eyesight, but I will attend to that this week. It is more than getting old(er), I tell myself; it is only a state of mind.

Up north was a mammoth year for snow, historical comparable to the winter of l968- l969. I remember it well, as if it were only yesterday, so what does that say about me? I t
was my last year of undergraduate studies at UNH. I commuted. I drove a lime green Valiant that I inherited from my mom’s passing the first semester of college. That event
certainly set the tone for my four years of turmoil. Historically, it was a tumultuous period, so my life found no surcease; I simply put all my energy in paying attention to survive. That winter snow kept coming, like the ocean at high tide. But it never seemed to have ebb to its flow. I remember some significant events connected to that winter: the physical struggle to survive, and the emotional struggle to move on.

I lived at 6 Richmond Street-a narrow “city” street that was always an afterthought when city plowing occurred. It connected to Washington Street, which the city did deem as a main drag for commercial trucks. That winter, more than once, I helped my father fill his pickup truck with snow to get out of the driveway because there was no place to put it since the bankings were so high. And once out of the driveway, we shoveled the street for about100 yards to be able to push and pull my car onto Washington Street. And then, going to Durham meant a 15 or so mile drive which had one major obstacle I always dreaded, a usual narrow two car width rickety bridge over the Boston and Maine railroad tracks which, because of the snow, was now barely one car width an always pure ice. Several times I skidded sideways across that bridge, kissing the wooden guard rail. Once I stopped right against the front fender of a bread truck. Every trip to college that winter required courage. My Valiant was never the same.

I also volunteered at the State Hospital in Concord, a good 100 mile or so round trip. I did art and writing with emotionally disturbed incarcerated adolescents. This began my junior year for a course project, but continued now because I felt it was my destiny to work there, to teach in a school there that didn’t exist, but might if Dr. Anna Philbrook had her way. My mother’s family did not approve. My father was so upset that he ceased speaking to me. I didn’t know much during the chaos of l968 and l969; but I did know I that when I was there, everything seemed to make sense if only for a while.

So yes, I survived the winter of 1968 – l969; and I have survived the winter of 2007-2008, (although it barely snowed here in NYC), unlike at my other home. But it was no less a struggle in many ways, just different, that’s all.

a corny poem that's not very good

April comes
a true spring
in the city
birds search out
a leafy bush
a building ledge
a jutting air conditioner
to squeeze in
a nest
sidewalks below
attest to many
aborted attempts
wind clears the air
each day a gift
tulip leaves litter cement
as pale leaves
unfold and wave
as April goes
and May
steps in quietly
before the inevitable
irrepressible heat that
will follow
all too soon.