• Bridge Ladies

    Bridge Ladies When I set out to learn about my mother's bridge club, the Jewish octogenarians behind the matching outfits and accessories, I never expected to fall in love with them. This is the story of the ladies, their game, their gen, and the ragged path that led me back to my mother.
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How Can a Loser Ever Win

The eternal battle: creative work v. life, mini-golf, grilled swordfish, a walk below a rusted train track, a young boy running with a fish as if all the world was caught between his two small hands. Mother in the hospital saying go home which means stay just a little longer. Lady in the next bed screaming abuse, constipation, never sick a day in her life, now in my life with her emoji eyes, her knees bulbous like an old mare. This contract, that headache, internet down, my own constipation a metaphor for what. My own hospital bed. My own head.

How do you clear the decks?

15 Responses

  1. Sometimes you have to wait it (life) out before you can clear the decks. Or sometimes you can only clear the decks for 15 minutes at a time.

  2. Yeah life swallows you up, A vortex in the matrix. It entangles, envelops, encompasses, stifles, overtakes, conquers, devours, kills!!

    No clearing decks.

    Family, friends, more family, shit and goodness, both. Me? Greet the caretaker, the caregiver, the hostess, the sanest, the steadiest, the anchor in the cove, the buoy, the matriarch, the harbor.

    All the while, Art weeps.

  3. When I am home, every morning starts with coffee and a short trip to the water to stare, listen, and feel while the dog runs. Yesterday we arrived in the dark, before the false dawn, long before the sun. There was thunder, one long bolt of lightning, and a faint cool breeze. Home in less than an hour, I worked.

    At noon I returned to family, friends, the world and stuff.

    Today was the same, but a later start and different water, no thunder or lightning. I’m still working, except for this short break.

    Tomorrow will start the same quiet way, but less writing will follow. Then it will be time to put these hands on a hull, fix this and that, and maybe get on the water. But the decks are clear.

    For now.

  4. My decks are clear of ancillary bullshit. My gunnels are above the waterline, barely. Heading toward the horizon, this week anyway.

  5. Well, normally I would advocate self medication with some weed that looks like it was powdered with sticky sugar dust, but sometimes that just makes it worse. I pretty know what I have to do, it’s just a matter of doing it. I guess for me a good walk in the woods is the best bet. And when I do sit down to write, I always think, why the hell didn’t I just do this to begin with?
    (“…now in my life with her emoji eyes…” That’s a wonderful, descriptive line that you never could have written five years ago.).

  6. “How do you clear the decks?”

    I insist on it. Sometimes the passengers or crew have needs I cannot ignore, but in so far as I am able, I clear at least a little deck space almost every day.

    I hope all goes as well with you as possible, Betsy.

  7. The deck is always over capacity. Sometimes you just need to throw something overboard. If it floats, you can decide to go back and retrieve it later.

    Hope you and Roz are both hanging in there.

  8. Layman’s science thoughts. Thoughts about life as a many layered fabric, where the fact that it exists outweighs mundane worry, outweighs anything that can happen. Might be a primitive self-hypnosis or prayer like state. If that doesn’t work, drinking. And cayenne pepper.

  9. A week in the mountains, sitting in a lawn chair under a pine tree. Listening to my almost grown children sleep. Howling at the moon. The constant rush of water over rocks from the creek behind my camper. Reading a book by flashlight or phone light. Coffee boiled in a tin coffeepot. A hike in the woods to see a river disappear under a mountain. Alt. Delete. Reset.

  10. Last year, I felt the deck was stacked against me and was going to crush me to death. On a daily basis, you must find the small moments. Getting rock star parking, dancing in your car, listening to your kids laughing. I also need to retreat to my “Wa Space”. It’s a beach chair listening to the waves. Everyone needs their “Wa Space”. In those moments, you have to take a second, no matter how bad it may be, and enjoy what you can.

  11. I swab the poop… deck to keep it clean from all the moss or whatever might grow on a poop deck. Also, a poop deck is not to be confused with the box of ass-gaskets one might see on the wall of a toilet stall in a Walmart.

    Just as long as I don’t get caught up in any sort or form of Witzelsucht, I’ll be good with just joking about things as they come up.

    I like to remember what Douglas Adams once said about deadlines. There are just TOO many deadlines in our lives. He said, “I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.”

    I think, believe, feel that most of our problems are caused by deadlines. Some are relatively important… ummm… just like all the rest of them.

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