Posted at 1:11 am , on October 4, 2018
It’s been a month now. I haven’t done much writing other than my morning pages. My practice of handwriting three pages as soon as I get out of bed and have my first cup of tea brewed is more therapy than creativity; a brain flow without any deep thinking, editing or re-reading with a critical eye. I let my thoughts and feelings fly directly from mind to pen onto paper. This daily ritual was my saving grace as I grieved for my Nana … pages of tear-stained anguish that eventually became sweet memories.
Posted at 12:28 am , on September 20, 2018
“Rabbit, rabbit, rabbit,” she said upon waking, a childhood ritual taught to her by her English grandmother. Folklore stated that saying rabbit thrice on the morning of the first day of the month would bring good luck. She was no longer a child but figured it couldn’t hurt and she could use some good juju on the long drive ahead.
She was playing her harp at a wedding gig in Napa and decided to drive up the night before so she’d be rested before the mid-morning ceremony. The highway was clogged with weekend travelers and she was barely moving. The mechanical voice on her navigation app notified her of another route and she took the next exit to follow it.
Posted at 5:55 am , on September 6, 2018
It was a difficult pregnancy with morning sickness well into the third trimester, swollen ankles and constant back pain. The labor was hard and lasted almost 24 hours before the baby girl came screaming into the world. She didn’t take to the breast easily and fussed the entire stay in hospital.
“Don’t worry, it will change once you’re home and she settles in,” the nurses told Beth.
But that didn’t happen and Joy didn’t live up to her name. She refused to sleep longer than two hours straight and cried during most of her waking time. There were no sweet coos of contentedness, no smiles and no joy. As she approached her first month, Beth and her husband, Michael, were at wit’s end.
Posted at 12:34 am , on August 23, 2018
I stood mid-span of the Golden Gate Bridge, gazing down at the waves far below. The site was infamous for suicide jumpers who kept the Coast Guard small boat station busy year-round. The majority achieved their goal of death when they hit the water at a force similar to running into a cement wall, or drowned from the severe plunge into the frigid, rough waves sweeping out to sea. Less than two percent survived the fall since the bridge opening in 1938.
A sailboat bucked against the current on it’s way out of the safety of the Bay into the ocean, the bow dipping into the waves and then rising back up and throwing great sprays of water towards the couple in the cockpit. It was just one single boat and not a fleet. It wasn’t a race and the wind was relatively light. Still, it brought back memories of exactly 20 years ago that day.
Posted at 12:03 am , on August 9, 2018
Another day with not even a whisper of wind. Mariah gazed at the mirror-like surface of the expanse of clear, blue water all around her, shielding her eyes from the glare of the unrelenting sun. It was the hottest time of the day, between high noon and sunset. She sighed and picked up her journal.
“Day 14, 1600 hours: Fourth day in the doldrums. No measurable wind and none in the immediate forecast. Again. I should be in sight of land by now but without wind I’ll continue to drift aimlessly. Seriously considering starting the engine but afraid that I’ll run out of fuel and won’t have it when I really need it. And I’ll be disqualified from the race. No distress. All systems working well. Solar panels and water maker are doing their jobs and I have provisions for at least another month, albeit I am getting tired of canned food.”
Posted at 12:01 am , on July 26, 2018
Hilary McKittrick was a precocious child. She had the run of her grandparent’s Belfast farm and loved exploring the large piece of land. She often told her parents about her friends and their adventures and they laughed at her vivid imagination.
She was excited to move to America but would miss Jackie, the little boy she often met in the barn loft. He didn’t talk but happily jumped in the hay and swung on the ropes hanging from the rafters with her. He always hid when Mother or Father came looking for her. Grace was a friend that only came out to play after dark when everyone was sleeping. She’d appear at Hilary’s bedside and tug at her covers and they would slip out to the garden to play hide and seek. Hilary hoped she would make friends in her new country.
Posted at 12:02 am , on July 20, 2018
Lack of food and water had taken a swift toll. She lay naked on the hospital bed, soft fleece blankets draped over her private bits and the white wisps of her hair surrounding her face like a halo. A fan gently blew cool air on her feverish body and damp cloths draped her forehead and neck. Her limbs were mere sticks and she had to be turned every few hours to prevent bed sores. The vibrant, quirky woman of only 63 was now reduced to barely more than a skeleton, eyes sunken in her face and breathing so shallow that one had to watch closely to see that she was actually still alive.
“Hey, Kitty Kat, it’s Heidi,” I whispered softly. I didn’t want to wake her but I also didn’t want to startle her if she awoke and found me at her side.
Posted at 12:01 am , on July 12, 2018
He tied the rubber tube around his upper arm, holding one end with his teeth to pull it taut. He made a tight fist, took in a breath and jammed the needle into the bulging muscle. Breathing out and releasing the tourniquet, he stared at the reflection in his bedroom mirror. Not big enough.
Throwing on his jersey and grabbing his backpack he walked through the kitchen as his mother called out, “TJ! Don’t forget your lunch. It’s on the counter. I’ll see you tonite after practice.”
He didn’t answer and shut the front door before he could hear her say she loved him, as she always did when he left the house or wrapped up a phone conversation with her. He didn’t want to hear it. He was a disappointment to her and to everyone else.