Saturday, June 20, 2015

Mother Emanuel church in Charleston, SC

I was taking a photo of the moon over over church when I was there a few weeks ago. Just walking home around 10:30 at night after hearing Madeleine Peyroux at the College of Charleston Cistern (a beautiful outdoor starry night setting) Here, the church still had a lovely peace about it, just a simple white, classic African American church in the middle of Charleston. Always a city quiet at this time of night with the college kids (thankfully!) gone for the summer.

I'll write more, but just found this innocent photo moments ago. It is taken from the back of the church where the assassin parked. This is 1/2 block from our home - the site we pass when we walk toward Meeting or King Street or Marion Square for the Farmer's Market. The front of the church supports the beautiful steeple.

God bless you, Mother Emanuel.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Heart-break: Moment of being

My writing coach, Patricia Francisco, worked with me on the lovely, lovely concept of "moments of being." Virginia Woolf used the phrase in her work "Sketches from the Past" to describe those times / moments when we experience a deep knowing, understanding, insight or reality. She was, at the time, working with her own memories, especially from her childhood.

Little, big, in-the-middle sized memories of moments that are not forgotten because they become the architecture of a life. I appreciate how small the moments can be.

What I think is profound is to notice the moment as it happens - to be in the experience and to be observing the experience at the same time. Is that what forms memory? Do we have to be consciously observing to have it become memory? I don't know the answer to that.

I just know that this morning I had an experience that felt like that, and I wanted to write it down. Here it is:

I’m in my blue chambray pajamas. They are too big for me, but I like feeling smaller than I am because of that. They drag on the floor and the sleeves fall at my fingertips without rolling a cuff. I stand at the stove, stirring the spinach and onions in the black cast iron skillet. I’m making an omelet for Lee. He cleans out the Italian stovetop espresso pot, which is always a mess. He makes me cappuccino every morning. Today’s cup was perfect.
And now, from the area of my heart, I start to quake. A feeling begins to erupt, like a little bird nosing its way out of its shell, cracking softly. The spinach and onion blur as my eyes fill with tears.
“I feel so much emotion,” I say, naming the obvious.
Lee turns my way and smiles. “Here, making an omelet?” 
“I know I won’t be able to make you an omelet forever.  I know the day will come when we won’t do this together, here in the kitchen, quietly working side by side. Each of us just doing the simplest thing. For each other.”

He moves to put his arms around me and holds me there with my pajamas dragging on the tile floor. Then I go back to the stove and pour the eggs into the pan.