March 6, 2013

Palm Springs, and a Poem

You know it's bad when I go to Palm Springs and barely take a picture of the landscape. The one above was taken by my husband on Saturday morning, from outside our motel room door. (We stayed at The Curve, and I don't recommend it. The phrase "lipstick on a pig" comes to mind. But we had a group rate, and it sufficed.) 

Most of the photos I took were of my Odyssey of the Mind team. Saturday was the stressful cap to the past stressful month, and I felt like my head was detached and floating above my body all day and into the evening. There were smiles, laughs, nerves, high-fives, tears, and a fever.  There was the ever-present undercurrent of mama-drama, when you get that many women together, each with their own ambitions and expectations for their teams and kids.
On Saturday night I celebrated the end of it all with a fiesta-sized margarita, but I didn't feel celebratory -- just rattled and exhausted and done with other people's children. And other people, period. This introvert was ready for some serious isolation.

Now it's Wednesday and I'm still coming down off it all, the adrenaline and cortisol wearing off and leaving me grumpy and drained. I was ready to share my litany of extremely tedious, first-world bitching, when this morning I read a poem-as-memorial on Jenn's site. And I cried, because it's so beautiful and sad, written for a husband after the death of his wife after a long marriage, a member of Jenn's  family.

I won't quote the whole thing, but starting with this line, the end of her poem punched me right in the gut:
His favorite pastime was never golf or painting--
but rather choosing her again and again,
wherever they went, wherever they were. 
His greatest pleasure in this life has always been
studying the landscape and finding her there:
Well. I have nothing to say, after that. That thing, that love, right there? I've got that.  That is mine, here, in my house. Every day. 
I'm just gonna shut up now and go get some shit done.  

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