A lifetime seems to pass in days. This time, the time travel is due largely to my son’s graduation from college. My amazing son Henry, I believe has many of my brain maladies, or learning disabilities, in my house we call them learning differences. I am dyslexic and Henry was diagnosed with visual perceptive disorder, in short he said things would spin in front of his eyes. After second grade Henry could read only the words Pizza and Henry. The silly principal told me she believe he was “ wired wrong” I told her she was, well I held back, but I wanted to tell her that it was obviously she who was badly wired if she couldn’t see how bright and capable Henry was.
Since I saw his gifts, and knew how to decode my own wacky brain, my wonderful husband suggested I take the summer off from working on Wall Street and teach Henry to read. I did. In fact the first story I sold was to Parents Magazine; it was Henry’s Triumph www.wickiworld.com/henry.htm
Forward fast 13 years and here we are watching tall, wise Henry walk across the stage to collect his cum laude diploma, and History honors. It drained me. I was weeping or leaking tears all Saturday morning. And then there was the bio dad or sperm donor. I saw him for a heartbeat or seven in the parking lot when we returned to pick up the kids and their sweethearts after the planned picnic. I glimpsed him walking to get his car and I said Hello or Hi. I said something. I had the temerity to acknowledge him and he just rolled his eyes at me. Still hateful. Still dismissive.
And I let that take me somewhere else in the midst of the splendor of that moment. But today I had a wonderful wrenching back to being loved, special and sought after. When I completed teaching my class for the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council the program director there, a wonderful friend, said she visits my blog when she misses me. It touched me so. She asked how the poetry was going. And she offered that if I wanted another walking buddy, she was all in. She even proffered the idea of us walking for a cause so we could raise funds. This was after I shared that I am better when I think or know I am doing something for someone who is NOT me. But I left class and rode home full of joy, feeling loved and proud to have friends.
I had been contemplating why do I make pronouncements in public, meaning here in the blog and then I am forced, sort of, to live up to them or to fail in full view. But for tonight I want to say, I am trying. I couldn’t sleep last night and I recited poems from John Donne to May’s Philip Larkin with Anne Winter and Subramania Bharati in between. And again I stumbled at the same lumpy memory places, but it did take me off to dreamland.
Tomorrow I promise me, only me, to walk and see if I can find the beauty in the tiny rhymes and unfolding foliage, which is now in full bloom along the Hudson River.