Monday, July 28, 2014

how i live, now......


i imagined i would write this post after the hay had been cut and baled but summer rain is delaying that. i imagined i would write this post after my garden was in and the pickles were made and the canning was done but that seems rather far off. i wanted to present a blog post with my new life mapped out. i wanted to wait until i had my shit together but that seems unlikely. i missed this place and the people i've met here. then i feared that all the people would be gone and i would be alone here - but i must take that chance and record the tale that needs telling.

this new life remains a slow dance. i see the world through my veil. i awake some mornings not realizing right away things are different. i listen for the sound of the tea kettle, wondering if my husband has made me tea... then i remember and i take a deep breath and crawl out of bed. some days are so happy, light, i laugh with my friends until my ribs hurt. some days i am like a robot performing my tasks with only muscle memory. those days are long, everything reminds me of how it used to be. i imagine his work clothes covered in tractor grease and cow shit. the stains i couldn't get out and how much thought i put into that task. i remember them blowing on the clothes line and how vexed i would be that my laundry failures were on display. i don't know what to do with the book he was reading before he died, do i take it off the nightstand or do i continue to dust around it. it seems somehow unlucky somehow to put it back in the bookcase - because at night i still dream of him and perhaps that shadow of my husband looks for the book and won't return if its gone.

life does go on. things are getting done. the cows calved, the garden planted, the lawn mowed, and on and on..... we seem to be moving forward.  we seem to be coping. time will tell if my child and i can run a farm on our own. i imagine time will tell a lot  - but right now i'm telling time that it may not completely rewrite the blueprint of my life. i will hold onto the remains of the day.

i took a knitting course in february and it has stayed with me. hours and hours since then have been devoted to learning and knitting and knitting. i knit in the evenings and watch british tv on bootlegged dvds. i am a tiny bit obsessed with: on the knitting side - brooklyn tweed and jared flood and on the tv side - the great british bake-off and graham norton. it is a happy time for me. my worries and grief get worked into ever lengthening shawls and wraps, sometimes if you look closely you can see them sailing away from me in tiny ships on a sea of wool.

we went on a holiday of sorts in june. we went to see my mother. i am very pleased to report that my mother continues to treat me as if i'm nobody special. for 10 days i was reminded of my many, many shortcomings and failings. it delighted me really........ but what is it with old people and counting. maybe i've mentioned this before but my mother is like the geriatric rainman. she counts everything, especially food on a plate. how many clams did you get with your order, how many pieces of lobster were in the chowder, how many biscuits were put on the table. i could write for 2 days and not cover everything she counted during my visit. i would wake in the morning and hear her on the phone recounting to my aunts the number of bottles of water i had drank the day before and asking "if they had ever heard tell of anyone going through that much water" she counted the number of cars i passed when driving, how many times i said "jesus christ" in a day. the number of times i rolled my eyes at her......

i returned home inspired. i had seen so many small businesses run by women - of course i won't count them for you but trust me it was enough for my heart to catch a clear glimpse of ways of making this new world order work for me. a framework of hope. it is enough for now. because for now there are carrots to pickle, jam to stir, hay to bale and a need inside me to return to this world and tell my tale

bev xx
ps. to those of you i have neglected over the last months i am truly sorry. i thought of each of you so often. sometimes i would lead all of you on an imaginary tour of my home and life. please bear with me as i make my way through the stories that i have missed and the voices i have not heard.

46 comments:

  1. My heart breaks for you, for your loss. Knitting is a comfort, isn't it? The lull of rows. Cancer is a thief who steals our time, our lives.

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    1. thank you lois. knitting has calmed the whirlwind that surrounds me. it is my eye in the storm.

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  2. Oh yay yay YAY -- dear Bev is back! I have thought of you so often, my friend, as I deal with own loss and grief over my father. It is such a joy to hear your voice again.

    And I would like an exact report of how many bottles of water you drank and how many times you blasphemed, missy. Could your mom contact me?

    (ha! ha!)

    So much love heading your way from mine!

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    1. OMG! you precious thing! i cannot tell you how many times i think of you. i am so sorry for the loss of your father. please know that you have a piece of my heart to carry with you and comfort you.

      and who knew that drinking water could be turned into something shameful. to know that she picked them out of the bin to count them somehow makes it better :) xxx

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  3. I smiled to see you in my blog feed this morning. I'm glad to read that you have hope, and that knitting is helping you find a way through the disconnect you must be feeling as time moves forward around you. I tried to knit once, it didn't go well.

    And my mother in law is a counter....drives me bat-shit crazy.

    I hope we hear from you again once the baling and pickling is done :)

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    1. jenn, i am an old woman and i have learned to knit. trust me you just need a stern dutch woman to teach you.

      i know the counting is crazy but doesn't it fascinate you just a tiny bit. who knew how many french fries were in a regular order. xxx

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  4. Bev, you're doing fine and fine is enough right now. The fact that you're keeping the farm going and coping with your mother's lack of empathy is admirable and I send you a huge hug from over the pond. Lovely to hear from you. x

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    1. thank you dear em. sometimes it feels as if i'm trying to glue a china teacup back together. i now know what fragile really is.

      and don't mind my mother, she has empathy - she just spells it differently :)

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  5. Wishing you heart's ease as you knit and purl the yarn of your new life. And summer heat to get that haying done.

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    1. my dear debra thank you. i think of you often. i don't say "come on bev, what would margaret atwood do?" i say "for god's sake bev, what would debra do?" xxx

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  6. Girl you are doing great! every day is unique and the way you feel right then is ok. You are allowed to grieve, in fact it is compulsory. The Victorians got it right when they insisted that mourning should last for a minimum of a year. Any shorter time that that and you are cheating yourself. I am sending you special Welsh cwtches. These look like ordinary hugs but they contain hiraeth, which does not have an exact translation. It's kind of spirit and soothing and strength and a place for tears too

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    1. how grand and kind you are. i think i'm feeling a little welsh hug right now. i cannot feel completely sad because i was blessed to have been loved so well and for so long. xx

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  7. There are not enough words to tell you how happy I am that you're writing. How much I've missed you. How much I love you.
    I will fall asleep tonight having a pretend knit-in with you ( we call them stitch-n-bitch around here.) We'll have a beer or two, giggle too loud, shout at the TV and curse like sailors when we drop a stitch. But mostly, we'll just be happy.

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    1. my dear sister, there is not a day that goes by that i do not think of you. how i wish that i could walk out my door and into your life. i would help with the bird chores and then we would knit, eat cinnamon toast crunch and laugh like hyenas. xxx

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  8. Beverly, it's always such a pleasure to read your words; so honest, unfiltered and exquisite. I have thought of you often and hoped you would return. Your description of the book on the night stand pierced my heart. And this phrase, "...sometimes if you look closely you can see them sailing away from me in tiny ships on a sea of wool." You have such a gift in your ability to convey emotion. Grief is always an uncharted path and sometimes all we can do is keep putting on foot in front of the other. Know that we are here sending you love.

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    1. oh jayne, how you words make me want to cry. i must feel this greif so i can move through it. thank you for the lovely words. i will send some out on ships to calm the winds. xxx

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  9. So happy to see you again, dear friend. Keep writing and knitting. I'm convinced that creativity keeps us (mostly) sane. With lots of love from the Bluegrass,
    Amy

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    1. dear, dear amy. yes, i am told "a mitten a day, keeps madness at bay"

      thank you so much for the love - i'll take it. xxxx

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  10. Yes life goes on, and taking it one day at time is all you can do and one day you will feel happier and more like yourself again but it takes time for that to happen

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    1. dearest jo-anne, thank you and bless your heart. i can no longer see into the future - one time i thought i could. but i can see the path in front of me it is lit with all the support i have around me. xxx

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  11. What a beautiful post, as always. Your writing is so---I can't even find a word. It just takes me right to you. Yes, one day at a time as Jo-Anne says and I always say to anyone going through unspeakable changes. Breaking and putting back together.

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    1. thank you so much lisa. i sometimes feel like i'm trying to put together a jigsaw puzzle without the picture. the pieces look familiar but they longer fit where i think they should go.

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  12. Bev, I am so happy to read this and hear how you are. A world of fans, followers, family and friends have been waiting for your return. Your words are filled with resilience, strength, gratitude, and sadness, but most of all...a sense of hope. Thanks for bringing your wisdom and wit to the page and sharing it with all of us. Oh...and for the record, my dad has been counting my glasses of water. If I was tossing back glasses of wine he wouldn't question it...but somehow water is weird. Go figure!

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    1. oh, my sweet annie dear. how i worry after you. i think we know in this little family who is the strong one chickie. but thank you, thank you.

      she also timed my showers. and she would say things like "you must have been some dirty"
      much love and hope to you xxxxx

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  13. I've missed you, Bev! I've recently set knitting aside and taken up cross-stitch - for now anyway. I agree with Amy about creative pursuits. They can be incredibly therapeutic. Sending you so much love!

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    1. oh katie bell, you are growing up and becoming old women like amy and i. (sorry amy). what do you cross stitch pictures of?
      i have missed you and carter too! xxx

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    2. Right now, I'm cross-stitching a sloth. I stitched a picture of the Golden Girls for Miss Amy. And in between, I'm working on turning one of my friend's comics into a cross-stitched pillow. :-) Carter sends his love as well!

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  14. My reaction was like everyone else's. "Oh good!" I thought when i saw your post. You make grieving sound like something women can do. Not such a shameful thing to admit after all. Or maybe it is just your wonderful style of writing that comforts me. Anyway it is good news to read that your Mom is in fine form!! :)

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    1. hello lovely francie, "you must do the thing you think you cannot do" (is that eleanor roosevelt) and i think you must try to do that thing with grace, love, humour and a bit of mom on the side.xxx

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  15. I have thought of you often and sent you my love too. I started knitting 3 years ago, it gives me great comfort and I know it will for you as well.

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    1. dear unknown, it feels sad i do not know your name. we could share knitting patterns and stories. thank you for your support and feel free to email and reveal your identity. xxx
      bevy@telusplanet.net

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  16. Dear Bev, I was overjoyed to click on your name today--which I have as a bookmark--and to discover that you are posting again. I've been away from blogging for six weeks and so it is only now, on August 12, that I'm reading this inspiring and deeply felt story of survival.

    I've never been married. And I'd lived a distance from both my parents for many years before they died. And so I've never known the day-li-ness of being with someone and of being reminded by movement or sight or smell in the house--by ritual--of a person's closing the door on this life and entering another.

    The woman who was, I think, my soulmate, died of cancer in August 1998. For twenty-five years I had called her every Saturday morning so we could discuss our past week. That became a necessary and beloved ritual.

    After she died, more than three years passed before I stopped waking up each Saturday and thinking, "Oh, I've got to be sure to tell Annette that!" And then came--like sudden thunder that pierced me asunder--the awe-ful and awful realization that she had died.

    Please know that my thoughts and my heart is with you, Bev, as you refashion your life. I think you are finding such unknown strengths within yourself. The strength simply to live the day is one of great beauty. Peace.

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  18. so glad you're back and hanging in there.You can do this.xx

    dreaming is believing

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  20. Hello Bev, Just to let you know that you touched my heart today.........I am now a follower !
    Hugs
    Chris Richards
    xx
    http://ellascraftcreations.blogspot.co.uk/

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  22. Sorry about above - misspelled something.

    I would like to sit with you today and knit a lovely mauve shawl (previously wrote "shaw") because it is getting very chilly here.

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  24. So many knitting ideas... So little available yarn... xox.

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  26. Came to check on you, as I've done a few times over these past months. It would seem I've stumbled across a poker site. You're being spammed :)

    I hope you're well. I miss your words.

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  27. Remember Bev we are women, we can do anything with nothing and if we can't change it, find a way to laugh at it. So glad we are becoming friends. Your words inspire.

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