2010Posted: January 1, 2010
Last night I became one of my sons. There was a time a few years ago when one would run down the stairs at ten p.m., grab his car keys, and head to the front door. Where are you going? I’d say, dressed in PJs. Going out, he’d say. It’s bedtime, I’d say.
Times have changed. On a Christmas visit to the older son, I discovered that he turns in nightly at 8:30. I guess that’s what twins will do to you.
And last night, New Year’s Eve, I left home about 8:30 to go out. Years before, that’s about the time I’d be getting back home after a lovely anniversary dinner at Valentino’s in downtown Nashville. But the old has passed, the balance has shifted, the world is topsy-turvy.
Last night, it felt good to sit in the darkened narrow room that is Douglas Corner, sipping a rum & coke, clapping and grooving to the music, a good friend on each side of me, a friend on the stage singing. Colin Linden has been singing the blues for more years than he or I want to count. He knows more about the Mississippi Delta and Delta blues and Delta blues giants than I do, and I grew up there. He makes a pilgrimage there every year, he has met some of the greats, he has studied under them, and you can tell he loves what he does because he plays with electrifying energy. And when he plays, it sounds like five people are playing guitars. He makes it happen.
The friends and I were eager to listen to Colin, and to Whitey Johnson, eager also to kick 2009 out the door, with good loud blues and laughter. It had already taken two of our mothers, a grandmother, a father-in-law, a good friend we shared in common, and a friend we didn’t share in common. Those were on top of losses of the previous few years — a husband, a lifetime friend, another lifetime friend, two mothers, a father…it has all become overwhelming. So much so that my body and mind and soul have constructed a shield around me that won’t let any more bad news in, but there’s still that sinking-gut that is waiting for it. Life is a tornado, thundering, destroying, and sucking up everything and everyone in its path.
Yes, there was good in 2009. I could make a list of “good” if I had to. The twin grandchildren sit at the top of it. Two publishing opportunities…a new friend who is also a friend of an old best friend…a new boat… um…is that it? There was decidedly more bad than good, and my fingers tremble as I type that because it goes against my nature to think such.
I’ll never again have the stable, easy, carefree days that were the past, and that’s okay. But in 2010 I would like some normalcy, some evenness, no more roller coasters, grief managed in a healthy way so that I can look up and see sunshine.
Sunshine. I want sunshine in 2010. There’s been far too much rain. Rain is good, rain has its purpose, rain serves to cleanse and heal. I bought that yellow boat to help get through the flood. Now I need sunny skies to paddle it in.
God, let there be some sun in 2010.
And to my friends <holding up glass for a toast> let’s go for that ride again in 2010, with Susie driving, me as navigator getting the turns right this time, Chance in the middle of the backseat fumbling for his seat belt between Colleen and Currie, with an outpouring of laughter, making sunshine on a dark night, letting go of what we left and being there in the moment.
God, please let there be some sun in 2010. God, can we please have some sun and some time in between the bad so we can keep our balance. We’re losing our balance, God. Please, a little sunshine, and we can make the rest.