Thursday, October 29, 2009

Creepy Half-Light Dream

12:24 a.m.
Late at night at the Memorial Building only not the Memorial Building.  I'm there and I'm messing around in the half-light created by the street lights shining in.  I get spooked and decide to go to the other building, which is maybe the Art House but more like another Memorial Building.  It's dark...more weird light cast by pale street lights.  I get spooked walking and decide to run.  I see that there's weird guy in a trench coat with a wrapped face like the Invisible Man off to my right.  As I'm running, I start to fly.  [Wow.  Haven't had a flying dream in, like, forever.]  And I fly in through one of those big windows...try to turn the lights on, but there's no power.  I start yelling for someone.  No answer.  And then I 'land' (I was flying, remember?).  I come down slowly (like from the flying equipment at the HS), but my feet are coming down on that creepy wrapped guy, who somehow climbed into the window just after I flew in.  In the dream, I'm struggling and fighting him and kicking at him and yelling and wondering why someone doesn't answer.

When I wake up from the turmoil of the dream, I'm lying perfectly still, holding onto John's wrist, but in my head, still yelling. 

Monday, October 19, 2009

On Being Fifty

Yeah, I know.  I turned 50 quite awhile back--in July.  But sometimes, like today, it just comes smacking me in the face.

Took the kids to Ball State.  Fun, fun.  They're SO excited.  Can hardly wait to get there.  On the cusp of their lives--their REAL lives.  And the place hums, just hums with opportunities.  Opportunities to learn, to create, to build a life around.  Opportunities that I can easily get excited about at 50.  But...they're not for me.  No, not at all.  The world is not for 50.  The world is for 18, and 25...30 even.  Not 50.

I'm not old.  Not on the inside, but isn't that what we all say?  Oh, please, we're just humoring ourselves and the rest of the world is, too.  I look in the mirror.  I see my face.  My hair.  I feel the stiffness in my hips, my knees.  I, who like to run and climb up and jump down.  It's  nasty trick that time plays on us.  It's so not fair.  Not fair.  There's a LOT left in me.  A LOT.  I still have much to give, things to finish, projects to start, creations yet unthought of, even.  Music, laughter, the beauty of nature, the joy of loving and being loved--there's a lot of that left in me.  Still.  But I'm on the downside now...more of my life has passed than there is ahead.  How can that be?

I don't regret a single decision I've made in my life.  Well...surprisingly few.  I haven't left a long trail of woulda, shoulda, coulda.  Lots of people who pass through this world do.  Not me.  It's a short list--counted on one hand.  I've had a wonderful life, full of wonderful people and wonderful experiences.  I've known just about all the joys the world has to offer; I've had blessings beyond expectation.  How could I be so fortunate?

But the world is not for people my age.  If we're lucky, we're treated politely.  If we're not, we're ridiculed, brushed aside, humored, cajoled, appeased.  Here's a BINGO card, Grandma, we're gonna go ride roller coasters now and we'll catch you later.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Ten Statuses for a Sunday Afternoon

Christine C. Schaefer...

1) …LOVES the smell of freshly mown grass…
2) …is cleaning out the receipts from her purse and realizes that she has spent a considerable amount of money on BEADS!
3) …loves the sound of the boys playing in the other room without the help of electricity.
4) …wonders just HOW many people actually still use a phonebook. They just dumped a bag load of them at our front door. I don’t think I’ve used a phone book in years….except to sit on. ;-)
5) …found four pairs of reading glasses, the first script for Steel Magnolias, eight half-read Newsweeks, Chris Vetters’ Fiddler DVD, two rolls of scotch tape, more bead receipts, half a dozen Spicettes, both Hits of the 60s CDs, and 38¢ in the middle basket in the front seat of her car. Huh.
6) …loves the smell of a cook-out!
7) …hopes that “9” is still playing NEXT weekend when her little guy is off for Fall Break…
8) ….is looking forward to spending the day with the young people tomorrow.
9) …thinks her husband bakes the world’s best cookies.
10) ….wonders if anyone ever reinstated Haley’s comet….

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Dream: 10/14/09

Well, it's probably not surprising that I had a bit of a nightmare last night. Almost fell asleep over the computer, my head on the kitchen table even. Got to bed really late. Our house is cold, the heat not on I scooted over and actually fell asleep under the arm--usually I end up moving back to my side before I drift off.

Dreamed that I was back at school, in a school principaled by the Magnet Queen (from John Marshall). I was in a classroom of student desks, empty except for her and few other teachers. I was sitting in one of the rows, one of the student desks, and was turned around talking to her. I couldn't breathe, kept passing out. When I'd 'come to', I'd ask her for help, saying, "I know you don't like me, but can you help me...I can't breathe right. I need help." She'd ignore me. I'd pass out again. This went on for awhile, until I woke up gasping for breath, of course.

Haven't had a school dream for awhile now. Weird.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Things That Make Life Worth Living--10/4/09 (3 a.m. edition)

1) Really really-good friends.
2) Small town parades.
3) Texting with Shazam.
4) Great ideas in the middle of the night.
5) Don't-look-at-me laughter in inappropriate places.
6) Discovering a new theme song.
7) Heartlinks.
8) Delighting in the talents of my Beloved People.
9) Sweater weather.
10) Poets and poetry.

Friday, October 2, 2009

All the Things They Are to Me

1) The person who laughs at me and ultimately makes me laugh at myself--hard.
2) The person who warms the bed and--if I come in late--never, ever complains about being wakened up when I move closer.
3) The person who makes me believe in myself more than anyone else I know.
4) The person who picks up my scattered pieces and hands them back to me in the right order.
5) The person who still holds hands with me once in awhile.
6) The person who understands that tears sometimes just need to be.
7) The person who knows ALL my faults and still loves me.
8) The person who has been there since the beginning of this journey and still is.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

First Frost

First of October.
5:30 in the morning.
Cold. Dark.
Over Frosted Cheerios, orange juice, and super-hero vitamins,
I terrorize my 6-year-old son
with a threatening breakfast table reading
of "Little Orphant Annie".
His eyes grow round and his brow furrows
with the visual imagery
of 'two great big black things a-standin' by her side....'
A questionable celebration of every Hoosier schoolchild's birthright
to hear, know, and love
these poems in the autumn of the year.

Hurrying out the door,
my husband's paintings stacked in the hall,
ready to be delivered to the Riley Festival art competition.

The van needs washing
for our appearance in Saturday morning's parade.
Defroster ad wipers cooperate
to create and clear slush from my glazed windshield.
My boy's ghostly breath hangs in the air.

Speeding to school along backroad Indiana.
not on sheltered front-porch pumpkins,
but in scattered patches across yards and fields,
a crazy-quilt of fragile, frozen lace.

I cross the overpass on the shoulderless country road
and look boldly into the brilliant orange orb of the rising sun,
tinted leaves burnished by early morning light.
Cars rushing under and on
their lights yellow eyes in the shadowed dawn.

We speak of cornfields and soybeans we pass.
Is harvest near?
Is there yet sheet of green in those husky, rusty tossels?
I reach awkwardly back for his small hand
and he meets me halfway.

What a fine thing it is
to be alive
on this first frosted morning of October,
and to live in Greenfield on the cusp of Riley Days.
To hold a warm hand in the chill of the air
and see the beauty of change.
What joy I feel with each brisk inhale.
How fortunate to be old enough
to understand and appreciate.

My rhymeless homage is unworthy of that great Hoosier poet
with his homespun homilies and sentimental musings.
I know not if I have captured his essence with these nostalgic words
but I certainly share his delight and wonder
of a fine, first frosty morning in October.

C. Schaefer