Sex, lies, and knitting*

“Where are you off to this fine morning?” the barista asked.

“Knitting. Stitch and bitch with some friends” I said.

“Oh! So Zen and relaxing. Enjoy!”

I smiled and my third eye beamed beneficently, my inner yogi at peace as I floated my way to Saturday morning knitting. With my fair-trade coffee in an earth-friendly mug, I floated with effortless grace out the door. Ohm. Continue reading

Needles*

FirstPub
The blogger gets published

At first it wasn’t about the needles. I wanted to be productive while sitting with my daughter as she did her homework. She didn’t really need me there but my presence was wanted for moral support so how could I say no? The difficulty is that I am a fidgeter. I find it impossible to sit still and moral support no matter how vociferously provided is an inactive, passive role. My legs would twitch, my toes tap, my butt shift in the chair and I would exude irritability with every movement. I needed something to do in between the regular dishing up of “You’re doing great, kiddo!” Continue reading

Temper, temper, sugar, sugar *

“Who ate it all? My one treat at the end of the day. You know it’s mine. Why did you eat it?” The vortex of anguish was accompanied by the freezer door opening and closing, opening and closing as I looked inside again and again in disbelief. Anguish escalated to anger. I’ve got a sugar-coated monkey on my back.

The kids know the signs – slightly jerky movements, the voice edging an octave higher, words tumbling out too fast. She’s gonna blow! They retreat from the kitchen, seeking safety behind the dining room table. And they watch. Continue reading

Suzanne and A Boy Named Sue

My name is Susanne and for years Leonard Cohen, Johnny Cash, and Shel Silverstein taunted me because of my name. Cohen wannabes stalked me through high school corridors mimicking his edgy baritone –

“Suzanne takes you down to her place near the river
You can hear the boats go by
You can spend the night beside her
And you know that she’s half crazy…”

I smiled and tried to look mysterious and worldly, like a woman from Montréal, Cohen’s hometown, might look. With hair like the top of a teased cotton swab, this effect was hard to achieve. Jimi Hendrix had hair like mine but it didn’t work so well on a gangly white girl with fishbowl glasses. Still, I was pleased to be thought of as that kind of Suzanne – alluring and half crazy. It sounded tragically romantic. Continue reading

10,000 Steps

“The river flowed both ways.”*

Memories. Boy, can they fuck you up. Lead you down a path you never would have gone if you’d just been sensible and forgotten.

Then there’s everything you HAVE forgotten. Someone reminds you of a long ago event. Oh ya. I did that. Oh God. Did I do that?! Maybe that’s why I have forgotten the people to go with the memories. The cringing memories. The stomach-knotted, bowel-clenching memories. The strawberry wine-vomit memories.

There are memories you’re not part of but wish you were. Like me and my siblings. I came along later than them and they have shared battles and woes and horror stories of youth I wasn’t there for. I am jealous of those ones. I can’t reminisce with them. Left out, waaa, poor me memories.

Flashbacks. Triggers. A smell, like Coppertone Suntan Lotion and suddenly you’re gone. You’re four. You’re in Hawaii. Sunburnt. The lotion lied. Scottish skin doesn’t tan. You’re lost in a market, hot and scared. A big hand grabs you and you run to your mother who smells like Ponds face cream and Chantilly perfume. She is crying. You’re laughing. You were found.

And there are other memories too. The secret memories, the therapy memories. Yes, they stay locked up and given only to your priest, your therapist, your Buddhist friend, to take away the sins of your world.

Happy memories? The balm to restore balance. To make breathing easy. To meditate and contemplate and be grateful for. Baby days and canoeing. Long walks and making love on a sunny rock.

Regretful memories. Forgetful memories. Joyful memories. They pull you backwards even when you’re stepping forwards. Like the river that flowed both ways.

All this flowed through my head as I walked 10,000 steps  – an hour and a half of traipsing through soggy snow, muddy streets. The head is a noisy place.

*This is the opening line of Margaret Laurence’s The Diviners. A line I never really understood until I hit about 50. There’s one good thing about getting older. Literature starts to make sense.  

(“10,000 Steps” is a Sue redo from a previous blog.)