Posts Tagged ‘Jack’

I’ve been kind of sick for too long a while.  I’d rather be sicker and have it over more quickly.  There is simultaneously optimism and fear inside me – and a disheartened kind of grief.  A good, gracious man I know died on New Year’s Eve; he was only 61.  I’m not sure what’s going on inside my head but I need to watch videos like this and seek out information like you get here in order to continue to have faith in humanity

I have to remind myself there are so many amazing things. 

I forgot to bring my camera on my trip to see Jonah yesterday, so I’ll have to share older pics.  Jonah was a good boy.  He didn’t want me to sing, though, even though he was in a parroting mood.  Andy had on the radio and Jonah was humming snippets of the top 40 music and saying things to himself… then suddenly he’s quiet, moving his thumb easily and naturally into his mouth as he turns to look out the window.  It was a warm day – maybe even 40.  My mother and I were quiet on the ride home as she tolerated my music:  things like Kula Shaker, Paul Simon, Radiohead, and Death Cab for Cutie, this day.  I won’t subject her to Greenday or the Grateful Dead; I know where to draw the line.   It was a good visit tinged with the usual feeling that comes inside when you are driving farther and farther away from your innocent ten year old son. 

Today I made chicken cacciatore and M and I are watching Dick Proenneke’s Alone in the Wilderness.   It’s such an amazing documentary that tears come to my eyes as I watch it.  This man built a cabin in the middle of Twin Lakes, Alaska (where he was the only human) and lived there for thirty years, 1968-1998, until he was 81 years old.  He carved spoons and bowls out of wood in a matter of hours.  He could chop down 40 trees and shape them into useable logs to build the cabin, all before noon.  Amazing things.  He built carriers for food and moss.  Caught fish and avoided bear.  Somehow didn’t go insane even while so literally alone.

The things he accomplishes – the way he thinks, the way he moves through the world — it’s so mind-blowing sometimes I have no reaction but to laugh out loud in astonishment.

He builds tools, tables, chairs;  intricate, near-perfect hinges; neat, even boards for shelves and working surfaces.  He narrates most of the movie, sets the camera on a tripod and films himself measuring, building, climbing, chopping, carving, cooking, gardening.  Everything handmade.  A plane would come only, I think, twice a year to bring him very basic supplies.  Are there still people like him, people who know civilization but choose to leave it, with talent and skill and that true harmony with nature?  I am in such awe of it.  No wonder I love Laura Ingalls Wilder.

For me these people speak of possibility, and resilience, and determination.  

It’s good for me today.  So here are some random things while I make my exit to watch some more about Mr. Proenneke:



Silly Me

Silly Me




ScareMeNots recycle!

The Hudson River in March 2002Rhinebeck NY

Baby Jonah...Looking right at me.

Baby Jonah…
Looking right at me.

Gustav Klimt'sThe Kiss

Gustav Klimt’s
The Kiss


my child of the water

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“The bear went over the mountain, the bear went over the mountain, the bear went over the mooun—taaain…and what do you think he saw?”  ~ Children’s song

I’m the mama over the mountain.  And I can’t help but feel bad for enjoying the view.  If I keep speaking in riddle and metaphor, maybe I won’t have to admit there is freedom and a calm happiness to my life now, and I like that.  I’m going to visit Jonah again with my dad this Sunday, but I skipped visiting him last weekend.

Instead I unpacked boxes from the apartment, did loads of laundry, watched tree surgeons cut up the giant maple killed by Irene, and visited my friend D at dialysis.  I watched Almanzo and Jack get along unbelievably nicely:

Jack’s such a big lummox his ball toy is a basketball:

And Almanzo loves to squeeze himself into boxes he’s a bit too big for:

(Andy will appreciate that, if he reads this.  Put the cat in the box…)

I did normal people things, got a lot accomplished, and felt as good as if I’d rested for a long, long time.

I really miss Jonah.  I was okay with skipping one weekend.

Are those things mutually exclusive?

Either Andy or I call every night to hear how he’s doing.  Lately he’s been aggressive, but they sound like they expect it and it’s nothing they can’t handle.  They like him, even, I think.  They think he’s bright. 

He’s funny, his teacher e-mailed me.  He’s such a pleasure to have in the classroom.  I don’t even care if she doesn’t mean it.  To picture him laughing and learning is wonderful.  I want to know he is happy and not hurting others.  And I’m looking forward to seeing him again; I’ll bring a picnic lunch for Sunday afternoon and hopefully it’ll be dry enough to swing and climb on the playground.

My father wants me to help guide how often he goes to see Jonah, at least for now.  He’s concerned, maybe even over-concerned, about whether his visiting will impede Jonah’s acclimation to Anderson.   My mother, on the other hand, is different about Jonah.  Every ounce of her wants to be with him, as much as possible, all day if she could.  She’s more of the just try and keep me away from my precious grandson type.

The fact that Andy lives five minutes away is key to everyone’s comfort level about this whole thing.  His presence in the same town is more appreciated than he probably knows.

Sometimes I feel guilty because I dare enjoy this new life where I’m not attacked every time I see my son.  I’m the mama over the mountain.  Selfish, maybe.  Surreal, definitely. 

And what do you think she saw? 

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