I stepped from Plank to Plank
A slow and cautious way
The Stars about my Head I felt
About my feet the Sea.

I knew not but the next
Would be my final inch -
This gave me that precarious Gait
Some call Experience.

Emily Dickinson, c. 1864

Sunday, November 13, 2022

Dancing statues and more

Grace and unnamed heron

I've been a fan of Grace for years now. She's a beautiful welded statue that appeared overnight on an ugly pile of compressed cans in Bellingham Bay. She was created by an unknown artist and was around for awhile before being removed from the site and disappeared without a trace. That was about a decade ago. The story eventually came out about where Grace came from.
After her completion, the anonymous welder didn’t try to sell the 400-pound sculpture or work with a gallery to exhibit it. Instead, an extremely risky guerrilla install on a dark October night placed “Grace” on the aforementioned island of compressed cans—and in the direct sightline of the many pedestrians, bicyclists, babies in strollers, dogs on leashes and other assorted two- and four-legged beings that daily traverse the scenic waterfront trail leading from downtown Bellingham to historic Fairhaven. (from Cascadia Daily)

Apparently she was removed by the City of Bellingham, since she was an "illegal." But eventually the welder and the city came to an agreement, and she became a legal resident and was re-installed in the same place. I found the above picture on the Seeing Bellingham website on Facebook. Grace has been back where she belongs for well over a year now, and I really hope I'll continue to see her, and her admirers (like this heron) who was serendipitously captured by a photographer while sharing a moment with Grace.

* * *

Nine days. That's all the longer I have left to wait before I will be heading to Florida for Thanksgiving and two big birthdays, one of which is mine. My sister Fia will be turning sixty in a week, but she is driving to Florida with her husband to be with the family in order to celebrate over the holiday. I will also be turning eighty on the day I will return from Florida to my home and beloved partner, so my special day will be spent mostly in travel, but I don't mind. There are few better ways to give thanks for my wonderful life than to have the ability to travel thousands of miles to visit family and return home to Bellingham.

I received some sad news this week; my dear friend and co-worker at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), Maria, died on the 9th, at the age of 78. We sent each other an email for our birthdays every year after I retired. Her birthday in April of this year wasn't returned with any email response, and now I wonder if she was too ill by then to say anything. It didn't bother me much, but I did wonder if I would hear from her on my own birthday, but now I know I won't. Maria has moved on from this life, and I hope that her memory will remain alive with her son Christopher and her life partner Mary. I always thought of the two of them as the M&Ms, and the last time we FaceTimed, a couple of years ago, she was happy and doing well. Apparently she has been ill from Parkinson's for a long time, but I didn't know that and was stunned to learn of her passing. Her mother lived well into her nineties, so I thought it would be the same with her. Dear Maria, I will always think of you smiling and laughing the way you were when we last connected electronically. 

Maria joins a long list of dear friends and family who have passed over the veil, from life to death and whatever happens to us, if anything, afterwards. It's a journey we will all make sooner or later, and I realize that my memories are all that I still retain of my beloveds. That, and dreams where they still visit me occasionally and give me a chance to open my heart to their love. My mother and son Chris are the ones who still visit me the most, after all these years. And here I am, still writing blog posts, still thinking of what my life was then and what it has become today.

The pandemic changed the lives of so many of us. I no longer attend the gym at the YMCA, but I consider going back now and then. I will probably join a new gym, however, since my favorite class is gone, and the women's locker room is still closed. My yoga studio is closing in a few weeks, and although I will still have some Zoom recordings from favorite classes, I will need to find another place. I've found some possibilities, but for right now I am just using the recordings. My focus is mostly towards my adventure heading to Florida. It's been three years since I've gotten on an airplane. You would think that someone who has flown in small planes for decades wouldn't have any anxiety about flying, but I realize it's there, just a little but sitting in the back of my mind anyway.

The only place I can find true solace these days in inside my own mind. I love routine, but the trip will squash that place of contentment, at least for a few weeks. However, I will be with my sister Norma Jean once again, and all the rest of the cacophony of a very large gathering. I'm hoping I'll have a few days of quiet with her after Thanksgiving is over. I gave myself almost a week of time after the holiday, when hopefully things will be a bit less chaotic and I can swim laps with her in the outdoor pool at her Y. And I will surely find many enjoyable events to spend time with my other siblings, too. We will all hug each other and spend lots of time feeling the love.

Ah yes, the love. I feel surrounded by it, most of the time. I have my wonderful dear partner whose presence in my life is better than I have any right to expect. And I have my friends, and soon I will be reminded of the love I share with my family.

Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage. Lao Tzu

Love is abundant in the universe, and I intend to find more and more of it to share with my loved ones. "For true love is inexhaustible; the more you give, the more you have. And if you go to draw at the true fountainhead, the more water you draw, the more abundant is its flow.(Antoine de Saint-Exupery) What a wonderful thought! I will continue to find and spread the benign virus of love, as long as I can, to as many as I can. It's one reason I love the internet so much: I have found loved ones I will never lay eyes on, some who are as precious to me as family members. That includes you, dear reader. 

Whatever this day and this season of Thanksgiving brings into your life, I hope and pray that it will soothe your soul and give you the abundance that you deserve. You are loved, don't ever forget that. And now that my tea is gone, my post (such as it is) has been written, I will turn my heart towards the rest of my day. Dear Partner still sleeps quietly next to me, and I am filled with so much love that I will spread out into the world today. Until we meet again next week, I wish you all good things. 


John's Island said...

Since your last Eye on the Edge, I encountered a few things that might be of interest to you.

First, an email from WebMD about aging. They listed 18 things to watch out for as we age. And, on the bright side, they listed 3 things that are “mood boosters” for seniors: Pets, Laughter, and Volunteering. A search on WebMD will probably reveal the full article.

Secondly, you’ve recently talked about opening up to more spirituality. I found a short, 4-minute, YouTube video I think you’ll find fascinating by Dr Bruce Lipton … Energy is Everything.


Last, there is new scientific evidence that meditation has proven beneficial to the human brain. It’s all good! Have a great week ahead as you get ready for your upcoming travel!

ApacheDug said...

First, I'm very sorry for the loss of your friend & former colleague Maria, DJan. Just a decade ago I would've said 78 was a long life. Now I see anything before 90 as too soon. Secondly, I love Grace! You live in a progressive place for sure. Third, I'm excited for your trip (esp to see Norma Jean) and last but not least I very much enjoyed Rian and John's Island's comments. You have some pretty thoughtful readers here, but you know that.

Anvilcloud said...

Have a LOVEly day, and I hope the preparations for the rip go smoothly.

gigi-hawaii said...

It is wonderful to feel loved and to extend your love to others. Love is there. We just have to tap into it.

Marie Smith said...

I hope this is a wonderful week leading to your trip, Jan. May you experience the love of family at your destination and the love of home on your return!

Elephant's Child said...

Grace is gorgeous and I am so glad that the artist and council were able to come to an agreement.
A BIG yes to love from here.
I hope your trip away is wonderful, and look forward to reading about it in the fullness of time.
And my commiserations about yet another loss.

Arkansas Patti said...

"Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage. —Lao Tzu" I love that and it is so true.
So sorry for the loss of your long time friend. I am glad you have such wonderful memories of her and hope she visits you in your dreams. I know when that happens to me it is such a treasure.
Have a wonderful time with your family in Florida.

Rita said...

I am so glad Grace was returned. Wonderful to hear.

Doesn't seem like three years since you have flown. Goodness time is a speedy thing!

Love Is All You Need
The Beatles

Makes an excellent ear worm. ;)

Far Side of Fifty said...

It is hard to lose friends...sometimes it seems unreal that they are gone. My sympathy to you. You will be just fine traveling...relax and have a good time!! I suppose you are all packed except for a few last minute things:)

Red said...

Having things to look forward to in life keeps us going. You find many things to bring you joy. You search and look for things to make life worthwhile.

William Kendall said...

I'm sorry about your friend.

Tabor said...

We have lost not one but two Master Gardeners this year in our volunteer group. Both were a surprise. Once again, your post has inspired me to be a better old lady. May your trip be both safe and filled with good memories.