Posted by: carolyn / through a widow's eyes | July 30, 2014

three things

Astrid Bowlby says: “Now, if I need to invite someone else to post their three things of current fabulousness, I choose Carolyn Stephens who is always up for poetic gratitude. Take it away Carrie!”



•Currently I am loving the bird feeder by the kitchen window, where I sit to drink coffee, eat dinner, check email. Bird TV makes me unaccountably happy. This morning I coughed beside the open window and whole flocks darted away, startled. But they were soon back, showing me how they dexterously open one seed at a time with a tiny tool of a beak, spit out the chaff, let it fall away, and gobble the meat. Thanks, birds.

•My garden brings me great happiness, messy, unfinished, and needing of care as it is (metaphor, anyone?). And bouquets. I make lots of bouquets, always bringing the outside in. These days the star of the show is Big Bird daylily, Jeff’s favorite, a palm-wide beauty of luminescent creamy pure yellow fading to a pale luna moth green in its throat. It is sweetly, discreetly scented, like good cologne on a good man – lightly intriguing, evident only when up close and personal, not overpowering. Brings me closer: I always lean in to breathe deeply and appreciate. In bouquets, the daylily is elusive and transient. This morning one blooms brightly amid blue hydrangea. Last night t’was only a bud, and yesterday there was only the sticky remains of the previous blossom. Tonight this lovely thing will be gone. Maybe tomorrow there will be another.

•I’ll be contrarian and say I’m grateful for F*cking Cancer, the great teacher.

“And cancer, the great teacher
Has been opening schools
Downstream from every factory
Still, everywhere fools 
Are squinting into microscopes
Researching cells
Trying to figure out a way
That we can all live in hell”   -ani difranco

Cancer is the monster we get in this day and age – the monster we no doubt deserve. In another day it was dragons, or wooly mammoths maybe, or plague. Easier to fight or fear a dragon or a monster, than to realize we’re all mortal, for real.
Today cancer is here, here, and here. One lost, another lost, news of yet another, one soon to leave us, one struggling, one saved. Still, I’m deeply grateful for making us clear on all we’ve lost and are losing, for making clear what is important enough to make time for, and what we can let fall by the wayside. You don’t come in contact with the great teacher without coming away changed. And so we are.


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