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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Resurfacing

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21)
"Whatever returns from oblivion returns to find a voice," writes Louise Gl├╝ck in her poem "The Wild Iris." I think that will be a key theme for you in the coming weeks. There's a part of you that is returning from oblivion -- making its way home from the abyss -- and it will be hungry to express itself when it arrives back here in your regularly scheduled life. This dazed part of you may not yet know what exactly it wants to say. But it is fertile with the unruly wisdom it has gathered while wandering. Sooner rather than later, it will discover a way to articulate its raw truths.

Chew on that.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Risk and Romance

My dad, who is 87, is taking a trip this week, to New York city to see a ballet. My stepmother was a dancer in her early years, she danced with the San Francisco Ballet for a time before she returned because of emotional pressure from her boyfriend at the time. I don't know how talented she was but she loved ballet and she shared that love with my dad. Their relationship has changed over the almost 3 years since her stroke. He visits her almost daily where she lives, and depending on the weather he takes her out for a little stroll in her chair and fusses over her, something she always did for him. He cheers her up, sharing little stories and amusements. He is sad. He doesn't get so much back but he is dogged in his dedication. On the weekends he goes to the Ballet. Not the real ballet, the simulcast ballet, downtown at the Scotia Center. He loves it. He has fallen in love with one of the ballerinas and that is who he is going to see in New York this week, he hopes. There is always the chance that the understudy will be dancing in her place.

I heard about the trip through one of my brothers. I assured him the trip was likely a fantasy. Dad has some fantastic ideas these days but none of them come to fruition. He feels his age. Many years ago he and my stepmother went to New York and had a fabulous time. She took care of everything and they went to many performances of music and ballet and art. Dad described feeling "stirred-up". He sent me an email letting me know about the trip and I sent one back but it was too late. The trip was booked. He was really going to go. He bought his ticket to the ballet and had his travel agent book a trip around it.

It's crazy of course. An old man alone in the city. He is a perfect target for abuse and that concerns me. On the other hand he is a risk taker, he always has been. He climbed mountains, flew planes, skied, hiked, and yes, traveled to Manhattan and many other big American cities and lived to talk about it. My dad and stepmother traveled to France and Switzerland some years ago after she had been diagnosed with Alzheimers. They were both in their 80's and I was convinced they had a suicide pact and they would never be seen again. They returned home revitalized and excited. 2 months later my stepmother had no memory of the trip. Dad still talks about it as pleasurable and extremely difficult.

So off he will go. I will feel nervous for him but excited too. New York is a wonderfully exciting place. If he dies there somehow he will have been doing something he loved. He is not a baby, we can't wrap him up and protect from his desires. Who knows how much longer he has on this earth so why not be reckless and take a long trip to see a beautiful woman dance in one of the most vibrant cities in the world. In addition to being a physical risk taker my dad is a romantic and as long as that is alive in him he is alive.
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