APRIL SUNSET AND MAY THOUGHTS 1975

1975 APRIL THOUGHTS, A SETTING SUN, AND INTO MAY
April 27, 1975
At Prom Park on a cold, showery Opening Weekend. Miss Jo, having accepted the night shift, is ensconced in the bedroom where she’s staying for the season. We’re also working on Paige’s prom dress. I cut it out Friday night and Jo’s started on it already! I’ll make the jacket later in the week.
Driving home last night, I was treated to one of the loveliest sunset I’ve ever seen. Every turn of the road brought a new perspective. The panoramic cloudscape with its subtle coloration would have delighted Constable. The pale blue sky hosted clouds ranging from dark to purest white—the lightest gradually suffused with a glowing peach, while the underside of the heavier ones were edged with palest orchid. As I followed the line of the reservoir, a golden path of light plated the water. At the highway’s end, I felt caught up in a strange sort of exaltation, as though I was suspended in a vortex of creation, inhaling the very breath of life. The silhouette of the forested hills only accentuated the saffron glow of sunset, while the descending sun illuminated each cloud with a unique color, shape, and meaning. This vision was a masterpiece not to be duplicated—and, as I realized the brief span of the marvel before me, it was straightway enhanced—and I sensed the crust of eternity, which is the hem of God. What a marvelous feeling—to be permeated with joy and the sureness that Truth, Beauty, and the Almighty—the eternal questing of Life, was absolute, free of mortal doubt and filled with an assurance that all that we desire, pray, and hope for—that the pinnacle of our finest ideals and hours are but shadows of the wonder that casts them upon our consciousness!
April 28, 1975
Gray overcast this Monday morning in contrast to Saturday’s splendor. Paige went to school and I put the zipper in her prom dress and hand-sewed the inner waist band. Now I have only to hem it. Jo has taken over on the jacket. Will treat her to dinner at the Blarney Castle one day to say thanks.
Joey has a big lump on his head where the boat hook fell on him yesterday. A man pushed it aside as it fell or he surely would have been killed or seriously injured. I tremble at the vulnerability of my children. If only I could put an invisible shield around each one to keep them safe from harm.
May 8, 1975
Would you believe it? The sun is shining down from an unobstructed blue sky! My emotional barometer rises accordingly, and optimism pushes darkness into the background.
Finished Havelock Ellis’s The New Spirit after weeks of pecking away at it, and have come to the “Conclusion.” In this last chapter read, in essence, what I have thought and written in a previous journal concerning the meaning of art and music. Of course, he says it more clearly and with a beauty beyond my own daily scribbles; so I must quote part of it, regarding music.
“That is why no other art smites us with so powerfully religious an appeal as music, no other art tells us such old forgotten secrets about ourselves.
“Oh what is this that knows the road I came? It is in the mightiest of all instincts, the primitive tradition of the races before man was, that music is rooted.”
And now that I am about it, with the hurry of the day upon me, will copy a quotation from Huysmans that is included. It struck a note in me, providing a vivid, visual picture as well as the weight of intuitional understanding and sadness:
“Take pity, O Lord, on the Christian who doubts, on the skeptic who desires to believe, on the convict of life who embarks alone, in the night, beneath a sky no longer lit by the consoling beacons of ancient faith.”
Mother’s Day: May 11, 1975
Alone on a friendly stump by my roses under warm gray skies that open now and again to show their blue satin petticoats. Nushka is with me, and I have paid tribute to Chip’s grave with tears and remembrance, for it was his death a year ago that brought me Nush. And there is grief for my mother who is gone, and for myself who am alone.
All I know is that I have got to keep going for the children, whatever the cost or labor and if I survive, I pray there will come a time of peace.
May 16, 1975
Weariness covers me like a cloak that seeps into my bones, but I accept it, vaguely hopeful of its passing. How shall I manage work tomorrow? Must overcome this lethargy and get up and dress, wash dishes etc. and then trundle out to the garden like a good little mama.
Suddenly a swift, wicked thought—a wild stab of a vision! Nush and I off in the woods—me, dozing on the sweet grass of a small meadow while the birds queue up in the trees to serenade us, and all my thoughts go slow and deep…. Oh, could I but shake that nagging sense of duty…but if I don’t get my work done, it won’t be done at all—and it must. Pray God, the fastness of the wood will keep for me, and I will lie in that vast embrace….senseless, doddering, ancient with dust, encrusted with wounds, and yet, rising to bask in the light of its healing love.

Published in: on February 17, 2019 at 9:54 am  Comments (6)  

JOURNAL JOTTINGS APRIL 1975

JOURNAL 1975 APRIL
April 1, 1975
April Fools Day. Wish I was still in bed, but that wish is not to be granted.
Business still slow at Hook.
Read to Joe all evening and finished “The Fellowship of the Ring.” The Two Towers comes next. Increased my afghan by only one row of new stitches.
The daffodils and hyacinths are blooming in the porch planter. They look so lovely, and spring timey.
April 3, 1975
Thursday finally. Didn’t go to bed until after 12—frustrating evening. Began work on the afghan and found I was 3 stitches short! Had to unravel 50 rows (a hundred really since each row is a double line) to catch the error! Over half of all that work down the drain!
Then big sister Phyllis called to scold me for being distant and not visiting often enough.
Tuesday, April 8, 1975
Answered only one letter so still have that particular sword poised over my shrinking neck.
Ev’s son very sick with mumps so spent a whole afternoon with her, trying to help where I could.
Finished the center section background of the afghan and began a side panel last night. Read to Joey for about an hour. Nushka is in love with a bitch on River Road and broke his chain again. Pete brought him home in the pickup. I bathed the smelly creature last night after work but am fearful he will have rolled in another dead fish or worse—such aggravation!
April 10, 1975
Sunshine at 9:15 a.m. I ought to be upstairs readying for work, but will take time to write a few more lines. Took Nush out on a leash yesterday between the end of work and PJ’s 5 o’clock ballgame. (They lost, though PJ hit the only RBI with a double). Ran Nush up across the bridge into the woods and saw the trilliums were in bloom! As were drifts of blue gorse—how lovely and pure their petals are—without blemish, their texture crisp, firm, and sharp-edged. It seems they cannot fade, ever.
In bed last night, I thought of Mama. I should be less surprised to “see” her than to “hear” her! When I brought her to mind, I could almost hear her voice, and the suddenness of it, the familiar timbre and inflections brought her to physical life so acutely that I was shaken. Perhaps we are so visually oriented and accustomed to photographic likenesses that the faces of our dear ones become unreal and one-dimensional. But the voice, the sound of them, and the heart is riven as if by earthquake!
April 12, 1975
Saturday—a blue and gold day! Must hurry as I’m to meet Phyllis in Portland. Intend to buy tapestry yarn to do the pattern on the afghan and this particular shop closes at noon today! Beautiful weather yesterday. The sun brought out the perfume of the hyacinths while I was occupied entirely in household chores.

April 24, 1975
Rain still falling so Opening Week-End will be wet as tradition demands.
Joey says a new girl came to school yesterday and he “almost died”—she is the prettiest girl he’s ever seen. He washed his hair this morning and donned white cords and a nice shirt to begin his campaign. The fact she’s an 8th grader doesn’t intimidate him!
Once again my trip to Salt Lake hangs in the breeze of financial fortunes. But! A wild currant is in rosy-red bloom—a seedling that’s come up by the house among the rhododendrons. Hurrah!
Making good progress on the afghan. Still reading The Trilogy aloud—now to both Joe and Paige! For myself, Turgenev’s FATHERS AND SONS, and quite enjoying it, as I do most Russian writers. Their descriptions are full of fascinating details. Their work is like needlepoint compared to American quilt making.

Published in: on February 10, 2019 at 11:59 am  Comments (6)  

JOURNAL END OF MARCH 1975

JOURNAL END OF MARCH 1975
March 28, 1975
“There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society where none intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in its roar,
I love not man the less, but Nature more….”
The above must be credited to Lord Byron, but God gets full marks for the woods and the sky over me. Nushka and I are back at McIver, and the sense of unease experienced on our last trek has evaporated. I drove to McIver from the top road and parked in a blocked drive—end of a trail we once hiked extensively before tourism claimed the area. The valley fell away before us as we drove down the entrance road—fingers of timber, palms of grass and ribbons of silver water to mark the river. Mt. Hood dominated the horizon, cool and crisply white against the sky, a tongue of white cloud atop her peak for mystery.
The breeze is chilly, but the sun leans warm on my back. Many catkins are out and I hear an owl and a towhee. Spring seems slow this year somehow, though, looking down, I see salt and pepper abloom.
Dad sent me a check for $100!! Intended for the family at Easter. Will give the boys each $10 toward their skis and Paige toward car repair. The rest will probably go for bills.
Began the 1875 pattern afghan with a white horse in the middle and roses in the corners. Am quite hooked on it if you will forgive the play on words. Want to go full speed and get it done so I’m unencumbered when I begin the book.
Have been reading the Tolkien Trilogy aloud to Joey. (Read it to Paige several years ago) We are about to begin the last section of the first book—“The Ring Goes South,” so that is another demand on my time and eyes.
Well, shall press on into the hinterlands
We are now in the “swamp bowl”—Nush laps the clear shallow water in the dappled sunlight. There are hundreds of hellebores, their tapering veined leaves illuminated in a delightful pattern of green symmetry. The broad marsh grasses are cropped short, probably by deer or the farmer’s cows—or both.
A tender flowering woodland shrub is all a’leaf everywhere it grows. Blue gorse flowers blossom in secret drifts. I saw one delicate spray of lavender spring beauties. A song sparrow serenades me.
March 31, 1975
A gray Monday to end the month. Rain fell in the night and the road is still wet. Have progressed on the afghan and am a little more than half through with the center section background. Watched the second half of The Ten Commandments on TV last night and all through my dreams, Charlton Heston strode in his robe of Levis–!!
I wake each morning and say—only x number of days to go. Counting days until Friday and the weekend. I don’t really dislike working so much. It’s the rush in the morning and the things not done at home. The yard is going to demand time—the housework, of course, is eternal—then there are the letters, other studies, and perhaps time for a dream or two…. The empty shape of longing.
We live in such tumultuous times. Drugs everywhere and the world in turmoil. Will I ever understand the things that occur in this strange world of 1975? I have believed that though times change, people do not—but perhaps they do. And not always for the good.
Cambodia’s president flees and refugees clog the thoroughfares of South Viet Nam, and here the recession and inflation continue. Never before have I considered the resentment that must consume people in every age, when wars and governments have stolen and disrupted their lives. I sense it in myself at times though I have not been truly or lastly thwarted. But I suspect its ultimate arrival.
The questions and paradoxes of this generation appear to reject so much of our heritage, and in so doing, overturn a previously sought balance between progress and tradition. But how can one person or even two, affect a society teetering on a razor’s edge? Shouldn’t there should be a wedding between the old and the new, a union between the best of both and not the worst? Where is the wisdom or power to choose? Expediency seems to rule the day and Wisdom is an outcast that few seek or honor.

Published in: on February 3, 2019 at 9:52 am  Comments (6)