Little Ramble #62

Dear ______,

     Mercury went into retrograde yesterday and apparently
will last an entire month, which seems a bit excessive to me.
A week is hard enough. Communications and electronics
will be more problematic than usual—your printer will jam,
your cell phone die and your boy cat will start yowling and
spraying in the house and hunting the girl cat and you’ll be
angry and think he’s a butt until you realize that something
is wrong and you wish he could speak English, and it turns out
he has a hard-to-treat infection and now you feel guilty and
you and your partner will have an awful fight about table
manners and you’ll forget to back up your hard drive, you’ll
lose a file and then misplace the keys to your office; and if
that weren’t enough you realize that you’ll be embarrassed
if you don’t live to be eighty. Things like that. For a month.   

     I just thought I’d let you know so you wouldn’t be hard
on yourself and you’d take good care and be gentle with
all of life’s daily difficulties, because the days are troubled.
The world is on fire.

                                       With deep affection,


Little Ramble #39

Dear ______,  

     A month ago there was a distressed hawk flying low,
shrieking all day and into the evening. A neighbor told us
not to worry, that it was only a juvenile hawk “sorting
himself out.” He must be sorted now as there is quiet
in the skies with only the occasional familiar call of the
adult red-tails circling slowly over.

     When I find myself caught in a “living-death-by-a-
thousand-administered distractions,” I wonder if it might
help if I started circling around, flapping and shrieking.
I would hope that my friends and neighbors would
understand and be kind: “Not to worry, she’s just
sorting herself out.”   

     Now that I am at a point in my life where both the
beginning and the end horizon lines are visible, I am aware
that I do have many things sorted: I do not want to die by
distraction or to-do lists. I cherish silence; I don’t like it
when I am mean. I get it about kindness: “It is a bit
embarrassing to have been concerned with the human
problem all one’s life and find at the end that one has no
more to offer by way of advice than, ‘Try to be a little
kinder.’” I know now that kindness is a worthy practice
for an individual as well as a nation. And, true kindness
has teeth.

                                       With affection,


Little Ramble #69

Dear _______,

     I just turned seventy. May 2, 2017. The lead-up was frightening.
But now it’s back to business as usual, paddling, head down,
leaning into it. Husserl said there were two ways to face the
existential dilemma of existence: one was to hurl yourself off
the cliff and trust that the ocean would be there to hold and
embrace you. I can’t remember what the second was. I have
always felt more at home in the water than land, Madam
Poisson and all. So off the cliff it is.   

     My friend/teacher/mentor has Alzheimer’s. She is watching
herself lose her mind. “I’m halfway there, enough to be able to
watch the process,” she says. “Can’t turn back so I might as well
be interested.” She tells me she is losing the alphabet. That her
memories, her knowledge are stored under each letter, but as
she loses the letters she loses her mind. “Fascinating,” she says.
Yesterday the email, “the L tetter you sent was so wondter. Hard
to write  all, Love to Canne.alas,the w riter”   

     I love this woman. She saved my life as a teenager and
is/was the finest teacher I have ever had. I decide to write her
every two weeks. She enjoys my letters. When I visit and we
hug, she nestles her head into my neck (she’s short) and rests it
there. She wants to make sure I know she loves me.

     For a few minutes I am the ocean.

                                       With great affection,


Lauren Crux

Lauren Crux’s irreverent humor and social commentary have found their way into a number of publications and onto the stage in solo performances as well as community based collaborative art performances. Most recently, she has been published in Brevity, The Colorado Review, Fourth Genre, The Scribbler, TRIVIA: Voices of Feminism, and Generations: a journal of images and ideas. She works as a psychotherapist and lives in Santa Cruz, California. She finds creative comfort in the Zen wisdom: “If you want your cow to be happy, give it a large pasture.”