Friday, October 20, 2017

last words (with berries)

 These days I often think about dying, and death. Which also makes me think about life, and living. I've been close to what feels like a lot of dying people, people I loved. My father, my mother, my dearest friend, my stepmother, my brother.

I was with my father exactly when life left him. My stepmother was out, buying him a Jamba Juice, the only thing he would eat those final days. Boysenberry. I held his hand, he held my hand, and his last words were, "Stay." Pause. "Stay." I did.

I wasn't with my mother at her moment of death, but when I left the hospice for the final time, her last words to me were, "Give us a hug." The hospice people were lovely. They brushed her hair and remarked how pretty she was.

The last day I saw my brother, in the hospital he never left, a week before he died, he wanted Trader Joe's Kombucha and frozen strawberries. The only other thing he wanted was his old radio, so he could listen to baseball games. His last words to me were close to my mother's. "Give me a hug."

Dying is profound. The most important thing I've learned in that realm is you never want to let someone die alone. They want to be touched, held, remembered, loved. They might want berries too. Isn't that what we all want? To be touched, held, remembered, loved. (And eat berries.)

So, the part about dying making me think about living. After the first few deaths I had that, "seize the day" urge, and did the crazy thing of opening an antique store four hours from home, because I thought it would be fun. (It was and it wasn't. It's how this blog got started.)

With my brother's recent death, I've found a different tone. It has to do with love, and being present.

To be continued. Maybe.
Photos taken at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

Friday, February 17, 2017


Brooklyn, New York

                                                                  Hello, my friends.

I've been away for too long, but, as the saying goes: 
The more things change, the more they stay the same. 
(Or something.)

Kawasi Hasui, 1923. Seen at the Clark Museum, Williamstown Massachusetts

 I've discovered an era of Japanese prints that I love--Shin Hanga, from the first half of the twentieth century, moving away from traditionalists like Hokusai, toward modernism.

Sea roses, Portland Maine
 My love for flowers and the world of nature continues. 
No matter how much I look, there is always something new to see, 
or a new way of looking at it.

Teddy Bear Cholla, Tucson Arizona

 I try to remember to look up, to look down, 
to look wherever I am not looking. 
To investigate tree bark and ditch flowers.

Ice, Andes New York

I get absorbed in watching ice form, water flow, the colors of wild flowers. 
Can perspective be a saving grace?

Greenpoint waterfront, Brooklyn

 I hope that you are well, I really do.