my occasional musings on life, love, art, perfume ... what else is there?


Ten Years Gone

Rest in peace, Diana.


A Decade Past

Even the most painful episodes in life should be honored, commem-orated.

This is the time of year, ten years ago, that I ended my 14 year marriage.

All I could say at the time was "I have done as much as I can, as well as I could, for as long as I can. I cannot do this any longer."

Even though it was my decision, that I moved actively toward my dissolution, it was one of the most painful, if not the most painful, episodes of my life.

In our culture, still, marriage is held out as the manifest destiny of a woman ... her highest purpose, next to motherhood.

After all the societal gains we seem to have made in granting women full humanity, marriage still remains the goal around which most little girls build their dreams.

I was no different. I can remember moving as an automaton toward that aim ... especially after I passed the age of 30, when a new sense of urgency propels women toward attaining the legitimacy of wifedom.

It's telling that my relationship with my own mother finally solidified when I married. It's as if I became real to her once I had passed that rite. That, as a wife, she could finally see me, that we reached a level of mutual understanding that had thus far eluded us.

I wonder if that is the truth of it now. That society still withholds the badge of authenticity from those women who refuse to be bound.

God knows it is difficult to be a divorcee. I imagine it will be as difficult to be a widow.

There is something truly awful about being a woman alone.

I know that I should qualify that statement in some manner. Perhaps I should say there is something truly awful about being a human alone.

We need to be with each other. To belong to the other and to have the other belong to us. Life is with people. It took my divorce to bring that home to me. I hope never to be that isolated again.

photo: Desolation Sound, British Columbia


A Place I Loved

In just about two weeks, Jim and I will be back in Ann Arbor.

Photo of East Quad by Emma Fosdick, UM Daily, 2001


The Charm of Public Transit

The law firm I work for has moved downtown ... so I'm once again commuting to the city. Getting down with the people. Communing with all walks of life. Supporting public transportation. Meh.

Remember, I spent years as an advertising writer ... six of which were dedicated to Metro of Seattle. (yes, that famous tagline: "More People. More Places. More Often. Metro." was mine. *preen*) So I know the ostensible benefits of the bus.

But let's get real: the bus stinks. You are crowded into people that you may not ordinarily wish to share space with. It can be hot (or wet), and dirty, and there's a high likelihood you'll be interacting with a paranoid schizophrenic or two.

But now that I am a woman of a certain age, I've found new freedom in my interaction with the younger set on public transit ... and I know they're enjoying it as much as I am.

Just last night, I get on the bus and find myself in front of a would-be 15 year-old gangsta (of the Eminem or Vanilla Ice genre) sprawled across two seats. I'm hot, I'm tired, I want to read my book and make the ride go as fast as possible. For this, I need a seat. For this, I must interact with the little homey. Currently taking up two spaces.

"Which side would you like?" I inquire brightly. Before shoving myself into the seat beside him.

Surly yet surprised, he pulls himself up and arranges his blousily low-hanging synthetic rapperpants (is that a word?) as he reslouches into his now-narrower section of seat.

I balance my bag on my lap and pull out my book. He proceeds to periodically twitch and grab at the crotch of his pants, as if to reassure himself his anatomy is still there.

I put up with this in the periphery of my vision for a while. This twitching and grabbing.

Until finally, I give one of my patented snorts, look pointedly at his crotch right after one of his self-grabs and I chuckle.

And it's a miracle, Praise the Lord! I've cured his itch! He keeps his hands away from his crotch for the rest of the ride.

See, I couldn't have done that when I was 20.


Here Comes the Sun

Little darling, it's been a long cold lonely winter
Little darling, it feels like years since it's been here
Here comes the sun, here comes the sun and I say it's all right
Little darling, the smiles returning to the faces
Little darling, it seems like years since it's been here
Here comes the sun, here comes the sun and I say it's all right
Little darling, I feel that ice is slowly melting
Little darling, it seems like years since it's been clear
Here comes the sun, here comes the sun, and I say it's all right
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes...


A Sixties State of Mind

Thanks very much to S, who shared this with me.

If you want more of that creepy sixties state of mind, watch the new TV show Mad Men ... a look back at the man in the gray flannel suit, circa 1961.

And exhale sharply, grateful that we aren't still living that life...

Wearing our burkhas with high heels.