Marching on with March 1975
Exhausted but with a nice sense of virtue. Cleaned house thoroughly and it rewards me with the shining, well-cared-for glow of a loved child. Stew is stewing and the only things left to do are folding towels and baking apple pies for Margret and Diana’s visit tomorrow.
A Strauss record is spinning romantic waltzes, and I find myself succumbing to a pleasurable melancholia like the ones suffered in adolescence. Ah, the pain of unrequited love! In those far off teen days I prayed for romance—I, whose outstanding mental characteristic is a need to analyze and understand. No, I longed then to be submerged in that delightful frenzy called romantic love. No crudities, please—only strong, despairing passion. Does everyone experience such infatuations? The melting desire called up by the curve of a mouth, the vulnerable nape of the beloved’s neck—a look of laughter or weariness.
I tell myself I’m glad to be done with such nonsense. But sitting by the fire I let Strauss revive old feelings. Me, 37 years old, and still susceptible to dreams. And stubborn fantasy colors my exquisite ball gown, as a handsome stranger whirls me around the dance floor. There is magic in his ardent eyes and smiling lips.
Of course, there would be danger in this scenario, a tragedy, for after all, our affair would be the stuff of Romeo and Juliet, Heloise and Abelard!
How silly that sounds now. But at 17, the future glimmered with possibilities. Here there is no future. Only the present that extends to the grave. Still, the naivete of these dreams does not dim them. Bright as the first snow, piercing as the cry of the first robin, they remain, jeweled as the dew drops in the heart of a rose.
Such is the power of first love, the feeling that one is part of something larger than oneself. Perhaps it also explains the core of sadness in all love—because, like the rose, its glory will fade.
So I muse that realists may be the fortunate ones. Do they not see life clearly, without undue expectation? Able to accept what comes to them, they are not easily dashed by life’s offerings. “Well,” they may ask the dejected romantic, “what did you expect?”
Yet I wouldn’t trade the heights for that pedestrian path. No, even though I plummet again and again, like Icarus into the sea. I’ll regrow my singed wings, because I fully expect to love again and go soaring upward to touch the sun!
Later: My romantic fit over, I look at the clock. One. Pete and the boys are taking off, leaving the coast clear for girl talk. Glad he didn’t back out at the last minute—but at least I feel more like the house might be half mine—equal rights and all. Paige just came home, whipping into the driveway like Mario Andretti, the race car driver!

March 9, 1975
Sitting atop a huge eroded stump overlooking the ruffled shirt of the green-blue Clackamas River. Nush and I came down to River Mill Dam in the pick-up this afternoon. The partially sunny day was too potent to resist but I didn’t want to squander my returning energy walking down River Road. As it was, I’m glad we didn’t, for we saw a lot of people and their dogs congregating about the newly occupied, but still tumble-down cabins. Where went the solitary lane of seven years ago?
Still, the shore here is the same. I see the “writing rock” from my perch and remember how Paige and I pushed Chip into the river from it. He thought we were wretches and wouldn’t come near us for most of the return hike.
As I thought about this, I noticed a crackling in the brush. Nush looks inquiringly in that direction. I catch a glimpse of a man rather aimlessly walking back toward the cabin trail. Nush growls warningly, and I place my hand on his collar. I shouldn’t feel so possessive about this little patch of wilderness, but I do—it’s where I can feel alone.
Above a white mountain of cloud, the sky is intensely blue, and the sound of running water is musical, rather like thin silver bracelets softly clashing together. We’ll go back up into the park and head for the Preserve area.
Later: In a grassy little inlet on a deer path. An owl flew lazily off to another tree as we approached, and I can still see him if I stand up. Blue gorse flowers bloom in the feathery green-gold moss at my feet. The Oregon Grape is studded with tightly curled blossom buds, while the leaves are polished as though with wax. Glancing up, I see that the sun has dropped a little closer toward the horizon, and clouds with bellies full of rain are gathering, driven by a westerly wind. Time to head for home.

Published in: on January 13, 2019 at 10:30 am  Comments (5)  

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5 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I always feel “righteous” after cleaning house, but I like your “virtuous ” feeling a lot better. Love, love, love your written word.

    • Thanks, Barb. You made my day. Thanks!

  2. Even in journal entries, where a mind can wander without thought to finding the “right” words, you are poetic in your prose. Amazing!

    • Laura, your kind remarks validate my continued slog through the past. Thank you so much!

  3. Poetic!

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