Tag Archives: Boston

My Time

I can remember, clearly, the first time I was able to talk about it being months since. I was being chastened, as always, on a trip home from my grandparent’s, or maybe it was my uncle’s house. Anyway, once again I had not behaved badly, but not behaved well enough to not to be lectured on the way home. As this was a fairly regular occurrence I was not as chastened as I should have been, and Mom probably knew that. Because she slipped up. I remember when Mom declared that once again I had embarrassed the relatives. I shot back that I hadn’t done that in months.  Ha! Months! I must have been about ten or eleven, and, yes, you may think me a little slow, not that I was, it’s just that I really didn’t pay attention to time. Unconscious! That’s what my mother used to say, I was unconscious. And, she was right.

It made for a splendid childhood and a young adult hood. A total disregard for the meaning of time and the impact of what time passing can mean, except.  I can remember turning forty and thinking I could never be that unconscious person, not necessarily unaware, because I was always aware. I read everything–magazines, newspapers, cereal boxes, books, encyclopedias. I was always into current events, mostly in politics because history was my great love. I could study the history of anything I used to tell my Dad–paper clips, mud, walking dolls, presidents–anything. But I realized at forty I could never be unconscious because now I had children, and responsibilities and a life. It is no longer days or weeks, months or even years, by forty you definitely have a life!

When Meghan was about six my boss at Bank of Boston retired. Eric was a gentleman in the tradition of the old Bostonian. An educated speaking voice, a mild manner, a love of story and an understanding of the gift of relationships. He and his wife Mary were at our house to pick up blueberry bushes. We had about one hundred fifty in our back yard. They had been planted with care so that they peaked in waves, the first row ripe in late May early June, and each succeeding row peaking three weeks later so we were picking blueberries through August. It was awesome. Eric wanted blueberry bushes for his place on Mere Point, near Brunswick, off the coast of Maine, that had not been open for new housing since the 1930s. The island’s main claim to fame was a huge rock with a plaque that commemorated the arrival of an army flight in 1924 that was supposed to land in Boston, but due to fog ended up on the coast of Maine. Mary’s brother or uncle, I forget which, guarded the plane while the aviators slept before taking off to Boston the next morning.

Anyway, back to Eric. We had the blueberry bushes all dug up and the roots covered in burlap. It was early November. Plenty of time for planting them at the cottage on Mere Point before winter, I should say WINTER, because it shouts in Maine, set in. We invited Eric and Mary into the house for a little wine and snack and talk. Eric and Meghan were sitting at the table next to each other and have a grand chat. Meghan, quite the conversationalist, loved talking to adults who took her seriously and Eric would never be so ungentlemanly as to not. Then Meghan excused herself and left for the basement and play. And Eric mentioned that he thought the circle was the best way to describe life because, in truth, he was sixty-six and Meghan was six and they had more in common that he had with lots of adults.

Now I am amazed at how I can talk about time, my time. I can think in terms of decades. The decade and a half we spent in Boston, the decade and a half we have been in North Carolina. The almost four decades married to Tom. Is he my soulmate? I have no idea, he’s the romantic in the family, not me. I do know that we laugh at the same things, he smiles when I yell back at the TV or the radio, we both like drives and ‘long cuts’ and that we have an amazing life together.

My time? Good time!

imps, cobwebs and Boston

Is it just me or do you feel like you can’t take one more hit? That your psyche is almost in shreds? That you see the words, ALERT, roll across the bottom of a screen, any screen and your brain squeezes a little, you feel faint and you think, What? Again? Really? Seriously? And like it or not you are riveted, attached to the screen by some invisible string. A string you can’t break, no matter how you try. It’s just there. It’s there whether you have a connection or not. It’s there because it has become, what happens to one of us happens to all of us.

Back in 1957, GE Theater ran an episode, Imp on a Cobweb Leash.  I can’t remember the story, if it was a comedy or if it was a drama, I just know that it came with a twist and a moral tag at the end. Very Babbit-like, and not very subtle. They were much better at that in the 50’s, they were willing to say there was right and there was wrong and show the difference between the two.

Originally, I held an image of an imp as mischievous, a wink and a nod prankster, but harmless. Maybe in 1957, but in 2013? No, not so much. When I see the news, this latest being the bombing at the Boston Marathon, I cringe. And, I see that imp, somewhere in that picture, and he’s not harmless or mischievous, he’s vicious. I think of him more like Wormwood, in the Screwtape Letters, he is deadly earnest, serving the Great Father Below. He’s out, trying to take souls.

That imp, be it Wormwood or any of his compatriots, is out to terrorize us all. Sometimes I feel like I can push that imp away, ignore it, maybe it will go away, but it’s that cobweb? That’s tougher. It’s hooked between me and the news scrolling across the screen, incessantly, demanding. Not that immediate posts have value, well, they do, sort of, only because they hold only vestiges of truth, more often it’s speculation and one-up-man-ship, trying to outdo the four million other news outlets. Those posts are pieces of the story, and we’re awaiting the truth, maybe not the whole truth, but some truth, and that takes perseverance, fortitude and time, mostly time.

Now, in the second decade of the twenty first century, the social sharing is hooked to that cobweb, our collective need to share, to post, a recognition of the horror we all feel while gazing at the pictures, the horrid, horrid pictures.

I’m looking to remove that cobweb, no better than remove, destroy it, and that imp. Something that will let me recognize evil in the world and know to pray, not watch, because somehow watching seems impertinent. Something that will comfort me, not scandalize me because I am fearful of what each new imp can do. Something that will reinforce that good will win, no matter what the odds, because my faith tells me that is so.