Monday, April 11, 2011


My day off this week was truly just that. M took the car to work and though I could have driven him and had a sense of four-wheeled freedom, I chose to stay home. The fog outside was intense and close around the house drawing me inside myself. I found that after months of writing, research, deadlines and computer screens I rather enjoyed this solitude. Looking out the window I was reminded of the day several years ago I spent in Venice. My friend and I crossed bridges and walked over cobblestones in search of an artist who made tiny exquisite bugs out of glass. I also spent much of the day soaking up the atmosphere and visiting shops looking for a glass ring. I had been overcome with a desire to bring one home, and after much debate about color choice, I finally settled on cobalt blue. It had reminded me of a vase I once owned (coincidentally quite like the vase A featured in her very first blog entry.)

Looking though the jewelry box I find the ring where I knew it to be. Sadly it doesn't get much use for fear of breaking the glass. Putting Miles Davis on the stereo I let the notes of the soulful saxophone wrap round me as I get out my camera and photograph the scene. Sensing something is missing I have a mini epiphany. In a Venice state of mind I race upstairs to find the blue marble paper amidst my collection under my bed. I didn't get this particular paper in Italy, it was from the time 5 years ago when our little family had driven to the funeral of M's dad. On the way back home we visited one of the places where we used to live in Michigan and found this paper in one of my favorite stores. I haven't used it yet, no project has been worthy enough it seems. Yet laying it down under the other items I notice how the blue serves as a basis for the other colors, making them sparkle and shine.

After the CD ends I pop in something else and in a world of strange coincidences I see that the name of this CD is “The Blue Horse.” As the Be Good Tanyas start to sing I am instantly transported back to school when a group of lovely young women stood on a stage to sing about birds and not being too blue to fly. I wonder where they are now and if they too think about that evening with as much reverence as I do. Though I am reminiscing today, living in my own head and visiting the past, I realize that am not too blue to fly. I dance and move around to the music. Reveling in the joy that comes from movement and feeling almost effervescent at the thought of those looming deadlines that are now behind me. As the lyrics remind me, they are only in the past...

Looking out I see that the fog has dissipated and there are now drops of water on the window, blurring my view. The Tanyas are singing about rain and snow, which seems very apt for the world outside today. I wonder about the sun, and for a moment miss its place in the sky. Perhaps it too is taking a well deserved rest. I close my eyes and see azure, cyan, and cobalt. They conjure up vivid memories, like displacing the heat of the afternoon with a popsicle that stains your tongue and amazes your friends. Every time. Nothing about that image evokes sadness. There are many kinds of blue.

All last week I had the blues. Not because of my birthday, which was Friday and splendid in a quiet way. My blues was weather related and shared by much of northern New England, where it is still winter and has been for about three years. Last week was mostly gray skies, rain, and the added bonus of occasional snow. Last week dinners were uninspired, mornings were extra rushed, daytimes were marked by gusty sighs of certainty that the sun will never again warm the ground enough to promote green grass. Status updates on Facebook - which last week I checked way too often - were a chorus of meteorological despair. Generally I tend toward the cheerful and find myself lost in the face of the blues - I make a lot of lists and watch too much T.V. I drink more coffee than can really be healthy. I grit my teeth and remind myself, sometimes out loud, that everything changes.

The end of the week was marked by sun, but that's not what blew the blues away. The boys and I had planted two trays of seeds on the last snow day (which was what, a week ago?). We keep them in L's room where the sun is most likely to bless the window; he checks them every morning. Friday after breakfast he sent out a rousing call and the family gathered to see the new green shoots making their instinctive way toward the lamp we'd provided in place of the sun. Standing in various stages of dress we cheered, we marveled. We were almost late for the bus. And that day was sunny, a sweet birthday gift.


  1. Ah I love having a good wallow in blues. I can be resilient and cheerful generally but I have a good dose of melancholy too. So every once in a while I succumb and the bittersweetness is a lot like that cobalt blue. One of the ironic griefs of menopause is the loss of those monthly emotional puddles.
    That ring would be lovely with a square of fabric rolled through the middle. Happy belated birthday!