Today is my wife’s birthday. She is 53. We met in Virginia when she was 18 and I was 24. One day I asked my roommate’s girlfriend if she knew any beautiful women. “I do,” she said. “My roommate.” And she giggled and walked away.
The next day after classes, I climbed the stairs to my apartment, messed around in the kitchen, and then stepped into the living room. And there on the sofa was a woman: shy, thin, smiling, beautiful. Her name was Serita.
I don’t remember what we first said. But I do remember that I immediately sat down on a chair opposite her, and that we talked and laughed, and that talking and laughing (and looking at her) was kind of otherworldly.
A day or so later I saw her on campus and we talked again, and that evening we went walking on the hill behind the college dorms. We walked up and back, then sat on a bench, and then I walked her to her dorm room.
Serita and I have been married for 35 years.
(If you scroll down, you will come to a post titled “Wherein My Wife Takes a Turn.” It’s a video. Serita shows up in the third feature.)
It’s July, high summer, and there have been rains and days of blue sky and at night the distant back-and-forth calls of the Barred owls. The yellow beans are foremost, the sweet onions, and soon coming the heavy-set tomatoes and yellow sunflowers. Quetzal and her friend Christine have been swimming at Lucus Pond with the dogs, baking shortbread, and we have been to the ocean in the early morning and likewise at night.
This morning a crow dropped into the garden for a duck egg I tossed out days ago. He landed, cocked his head, triangulated, hopped across a few furrows, crouched–and drilled that egg through. When I looked with binoculars I could see egg-shine across the length of his beak. And when he lifted and banked south toward Pawtuckaway Mountain, I’m almost certain that shine was his only load.
Last night after dinner, my wife, daughter and I circled around the table and knocked out signs for today’s Women’s March in Portsmouth, NH. This is what I came up with:
This Man For Women Everywhere Continue reading
I wish I could say straightaway that my mother was an original, that she had remarkable insight into the issues of her day, that she served in the Peace Corps and loved to snowshoe, that she once toured the country as a green-eyed ballerina.
But I can’t. My mother was not an original. She was born and she grew up. She married, loved her husband, had children, loved her children, grew ill, grew old, died. There is a story in this sequence of events, a worthy and beautiful story, to be sure, but in large part it’s the old and often-told story of reflection. For to see my mother was to see who or what she stood next to. Invisibility was my mother’s gift. She was a natural. She disappeared as her personality and life journey dictated almost every day of her life. Continue reading