Monday, April 16, 2007

Just another day~

It's just another day. . . for me anyway. A state holiday, the day of the Boston Marathon, the Boston Red Sox played and beat the Angels. The tail end of a nor'easter wags like a puppy dog; the rain has stopped, the power is back on, and there's just a lot of chilly wind.

There's no school, the start of vacation week, no big plans-- grocery shopping, a nap, a little writing, reading, laundry, stuff and roast a chicken. A day like any other.

Then a friend posts a link to the Pulitzer Prize winners on the Internet Writing Workshop, and I click to check it out. I'm short on time, so I jump to the feature photography winner: Renee Byer. I'll start here, and check the others later.

I have no expectations. I click through the black and white photos of mother and son-- I'm a mother of sons-- and am overtaken by the stark honesty, the terrible honesty, sad, bleak, no-hope-at-all honesty in the pictures of the mother whose young son is dying of cancer.

I don't want to see this, but I can't look away, and I view picture after picture through a haze of tears that don't fall. They could, if I let them, but I don't. Maybe I should have. Stuffing them back is hard, and I'm left with a melancholy cloud that hovers. I think of that mother. I feel for that mother.

Later I click on the news while I prepare supper. "The Virginia Tech massacre . . ," I hear. And I sit and stare at the TV, at more pictures, pictures and words, that will wrench the hearts of thirty-three mothers, wrench the hearts of all mothers.

One of those senseless shootings, and thirty-three college students are shot, killed, and the innocence of many others dies as well. My tears are there again. I feel this.

I've seen these things before: death of babies, death of children, death of loved ones, if not mine, somebody's. If not in my country, somebody's. It hurts.

I stand beside my son David waiting for him to fish something out of the refrigerator, so I can put the butter away. He'll be off to college in five months. He's my baby. I want to grab him and hold him in an iron hug. I want to tell him to be careful, that I love him, that I . . . but he knows this. I just stand and wait. He straightens and walks to the table with the milk. As he passes me he pokes me in the ribs.

"Awwgh," I say. I poke him back.

Sometimes a poke is as good as a hug.
Pulitzer Prize Winners

1 comment:

shaye said...

What a gorgeous kid (man). And what a beautiful picture, you and your boy child. I didn't sleep night before last, thinking of those students, how stunned their parents must be. I don't understand and won't pretend to understand. It's nonsensical. I know why you didn't cry -- you can't get into this kind of thinking, not with David going away in five months. Too much reality to put into some kind of familial context. So much loss. He is going to be fine. He has a savvy mother. But it must be terribly disconcerting...

There's a discussion on another list about the implications of "watch-dogging" student's creative writing as a indicator of future violence. Already they are calling faculty meetings to discuss looking for "danger signs" of potential violence in student's creative writing in some schools here. Teachers and professors are already concerned where this might be headed. There are questions like, "What if some students lose this outlet for expressing themselves, their feelings of frustration and aggression, for fear of being suspect?" What if their writing is the one outlet that is keeping them from expressing their negative feelings in an inappropriate way -- and this too is suddenly snatched away from them and those feelings have nowhere to channel? There are already so many knee-jerk reactions to kids with "problems", and I'm afraid that this is just one more firecracker to throw upon the embers of bias that already exists! That makes me want to cry...

I was just reading about your resolution. I swear, I look at this picture and I'm just don't see someone who needs to lose a bunch of weight! Probably exercise is enough, Ruth! I'm not trying to diet but I did a funny thing. I purchased an Ab Doer. It was so much fun that I just jumped right in there! The next day I discovered that I have muscles where I never knew I had muscles. And God, are they ever sore. I think I will have to start out a little bit slower. Laugh. But it's fun! The best diet I was ever on, this is what I ate: pears pears pears, at least three classes of milk every day (2 percent acidophilus milk), a big baked potato topped with cottage cheese with regular unsalted butter or a Lean Cuisine for dinner usually, salad with any kind of dressing I wanted. I know, it's a very weird diet. Oh, I almost forgot, a bowl of cereal like Total or Special K sometimes instead of pears. And crystal light to drink. Other than my coffee and tea of course...have to have my caffeine. My big indulgence was peanut butter on celery. Celery is a natural diuretic. Seems like this diet was good for 20 pounds. I bet you have had a lot of advise. :-)