Note the ND sunglasses!!! I am about 35 here, Peggy is probably 10, Donna next to her is a couple years older.
Peggy had a great post on Valentine's Day about the lost art of letter writing. Lots of people bemoan the advent of e-mail as the cause of fewer letters being written, but I think it's not even related. E-mail is its own art form and is alive and well. What has killed letter writing, I think is the CELL PHONE...blahblahblah, yakketyyakkety....You've already said everything that's on your mind, so why take the time to write it, too? Blogging seems to be bringing letter writing back, largely because most blogging communicates over vast distances....the same kind of distance that soldiers and sailors used to experience between themselves and their loved ones.
Just about every word of communication comes to me through my eyes. My phone calls are typed, ditto the TV programs I watch. I've got several suitcases full of letters that I began to write after I lost my hearing. What strikes me now as valuable is what I recorded of my life in those days as a young mother.
Here's a sample:
From me to S., no date:
Gr - [short for Grendel, after Beowulf]
I am taking a bath surrounded by the spoor of small child bathers--soggy towels, broken soap, bubble pipes, Legos in the drain, filthy socks kicked behind the toilet. An image for eternity. At least it shuts out the demise of the green plant. And the cutting-down of 100-year-old cottonwoods to make room for a crane. (Across the street.) You had better get here soon.
My mother is home from Texas and moaning about the quiet, but rather evasive. I think she has a boyfriend somewhere. In Texas, that is. She really needs someone to direct her.
People are getting gloomy about the world. More & more the simple people are really comforting.
Our garden is 1/8 planted with 100 lbs of seed potatoes in. Too cold for anything else, as yet.
Went to May devotions for the 1st time in many years. So few people. Highly emotional, despite the editing out of all purple phrases from hymns to O.L. [Our Lady]. Funny, how the religionizers decry the emotional coldness of modern Americans, and yet perpetrate the felony lest anyone accuse them of sentiment. The same religionizers who rhapsodize over the Search and Cursillo can't bring themselves to sing "Our hearts are on fire." Oh, shit....
The kids are waiting for you. You'd better show up.
from where I live
Another letter, dated only "Sunday"
Lest you misunderstand (not the right word) when your package arrives...it was hatched on Thursday afternoon during a pouring rain--I didn't feel like working--and mailed Thursday night. In other words, long before your letter came yesterday about myths. I have been laughing out loud periodically for a day now. And I'm beginning to be spooked. [I made her a "de-mythologizer," a device I shall explain sometime when you can see a wastebasket, etc.]
Quite a week. The path of g.r. [greatest resistance--a convent phrase, as in "take the path of greatest resistance"] was pretty steep, but I gained some ground, despite all the backsliding. As additional therapy I went downtown and bought a few new garments, got the hair cut & curly: the works. Now that Donald has recovered from the shock, he really enjoys the new look. And me, too.
Friday I saw a little boy who had been struck by a car. Terrifying: four squad cars with lights flashing, a mob of fascinated children, and in the center of the street a little fellow covered by a plaid blanket - he with hair the color of barley staw, and pale, and wiping blood from his eye. Both legs broken. Took the long way home - slowly.
Mother: I saw a little boy hit by a car just now.
Children (eagerly): Was he killed??
Yesterday afternoon we went to a buffalo barbeque at United Tribes. Afterward, after a brief nap, we went swimming where Thomas swallowed some water and promptly threw up in the water. I wish you could have seen the sleek teenagers lolling at pool's edge, viewing the whole scene with disgust. I hauled him (protesting) out as the entire pool turned milky murky and left the Youth to cope with the bits of watermelon floating by and the beans, bright and brown, bobbing singly.
Last night the girls and I went to a pow-wow, scheduled for 7 p.m. We arrived at 7:30 feeling guilty (o jeez) for being late. However, by Indian time we were three hours early. When we left at 10:30 it was just starting to roll. The girls spent the three-hour wait tripping back & forth to the concession stand with an Indian friend--arms around each other, faces anointed with orange pop, lips spewing peanut shells. And Mother sat on the bleachers and grooved with the evening. Sky like pearlescent plastic, wind in the microphone like thunder, an old brown dog rolling in the wood shavings spread out on the dance floor to protect elegant white moccasins fitting like skin. The beauty was overwhelming, and ancient: chant and drums, new flesh - boys bobbing, men swaying, happy women with divine serenity moving, moving. Dignity and unity and community. It was a hell of a lot better than going to church. The girls joined in for two dances. Over the microphone the Indian version of Little Big Horn handed down by the speaker's grandmother. Thus: the white brothers started the fight on the way home (cowards, but no fools) by shooting an Indian in the back. And Custer was not scalped (true) because the Indians respected him (false) but because he committed suicide, as did most of the other white brothers. That is, he was no trophy since he had not fought.
So, you see, all is not as it seems, and yet the Moment survives, is now, and ever shall be.