Today I Saw Leslie

pink ornamental grass grasses hair 1 gallon flamingo tall pampas

Throughout my life I have looked to other people for knowledge about who I am—but only of the coarser kind, such as a beloved to have said, “I am sorry I hurt you” so before I could begin to know I truly had been hurt or such as a brother to have said, “I am sorry I hardly think of you” at all before I could begin to know I was worthy of living in another’s thoughts or such as a mother to have said, “I am sorry I never loved you” enough before I could begin to know I had not been much loved or such as a father to have said, “I am sorry I left you again” and again before I could begin to know I had been cast off. Then today, while in my car and stopped at a red light, I saw close by a wild patch of feather grass shielding a lone starling in search of a bug and, almost without thinking, thought, “I am that.”

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Tea for two

Two Teacups and Saucers

For quite some time I have been relatively silent here. I could say much has changed, but you would not know it necessarily: As always, I seek solitude wherever I can; typically wear loose, dark clothing, with black as a preference; and remain folded in melancholy, though generally I can keep a sense of irony about things.

I also remain steadfast in the love and devotion I feel for my daughter, and I still believe I am called to serve the fragile. If years back you had asked me how I felt about my father, my mother, and my brother, I would have said that I loved them but that I might have died from their dark betrayals. I would say the same today but would add that I am myself besmudged.

Still I have more and more come to accept my nature and my past: I have made so many grave mistakes, particularly in relationships. Yet, I do not think I could have done otherwise, and perhaps I should not have done otherwise. More and more, too, I am roiled by rage as I watch men (and, sadly, women) who do not seem to possess even a trace of self-knowledge hurtle us toward the end of days. But I am less and less afraid of my anger. In fact, I can welcome him in now and can delight in pouring us a cup of tea. We have much to discuss, he and I.

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