100 Words - Beauty, Meaning and Change

A half-lazy Sunday on the homestead divided between laundry and grocery shopping and cooking up an acceptable beef stir-fry without a recipe. All poked through with the deliciously lazy moments -- lolling by the slowly simmering fire reading about what's going on in Wisconsin and the Koch brothers, folding warm towels against my chest, eating Trader Joe's frozen Canolis with my daughter as she kavetches about the state of the refrigerator in a mock NY/Jewish accent. As usual she sends me into a fit of stomach busting laughter. It's so very un PC, but it's a moment that doesn't need to be correct, only enjoyed. This is the beauty of being a mother.

And I am reminded of different kinds of beauty as I settle in to reading your submissions and come upon this:


In search of meaning,

we travel our lives

contemplating the shifting images

of our mirrored selves--

choosing which survives.

And development

is an obsession--

teleological and somewhat vague--

as we choose between

the past and present

with aim for the future standard set by

the anonymous

unanimous. Yet!--

That changes every

tent to twenty years.

So, your mother has taught you to be who

your grandmother was

50 yrs ago.

But--since December

was a great version

of you, you go back forward in five months.

And you're at August

in May, withering

on the gate of change.


I pull an old favorite off the shelf, Essays of E.B. White, and my finger lands on:


From Afternoon of an American Boy - "And as my reply comes weakly, "Yes, sir," I hear the murmur run through the committee room and see reporters bending over their notebooks, scribbling hard. In my dream, I am again seated with Eileen at the edge of the dance floor, frightened, stunned, and happy--in my ears the intoxicating drumbeat of the dance, in my throat the dry, bittersweet taste of cinnamon."