"We must


we harden."


photo: home of johann wolfgang goethe, weimar
[taken in early winter, 2011]


today, for one minute, measure something only with your heart. [on the twenty-sixth]

today, it seems, is a day of milestones. arrivals and departures.

always i wonder: how to honor life as you go along, how to mean it.
not just live by rote.
not just calculate reality. calculate the incalculable. live.

the sun outside, an almost-sheer sliver of leaf on the white rose
just past my window, the cool metal of the ancient tiny scratched
kitchen table currently acting as my desk: that's what's here now.

and us, we are here. you are reading this, i wrote it.

how to honor all these things, and people? you. my dear friend and her
mother, the sun beyond the window. the man i met 33 years ago (today)
and married 29 years ago next week, the birthday he celebrates today.

the calculus of love. what's to measure? what life brings?

we are such a rational society! we seem to want to measure everything.
it makes it more real. if it's real, we can use it. no equivocating. it's on
paper, it's online, it's on a ledger, it's the astute observation of an expert
in the field. it's a fact. is that how we measure life? (as if we know what
will happen next!)

today, for one minute, measure something only with your heart. measure
the translucency of a leaf, or the white of the rose, or maybe how many
miles high your love for someone is- would it reach straight through the
center of the earth, come back again on the other side, fly off toward the
sun & go beyond? 33 years. he called me on the phone, and we talked
for almost an hour. about what? it was pretty unusual for either one of
us. there was some discussion about my scrapbooks. (scrapbooks?) paper,
old-style scrapbooks, pieces of life. rather odd. he listened. very wonderful.

he is still listening. we have created, now, a hundred thousand memories.
scrapbooks? in a sense. no glue. well, lots of glue. the glue: love. the scraps:
life. no books. just moments. a hundred thousand moments together, with
our children, with our parents, with our family. with our friends. with love.

so much in our society is calculation. what's wealth? a bank book? a
scrapbook? a vault of art, locked away? we are the richest people we
know, he and i. the treasure? our children, our families, our friends; our
life together. time is the real wealth. and love. time spent with care.
care spent with love.

how to honor this (or any) moment? the sun rose today. you and i are
here, others gone. we've got now, we've got the love they gave us, we've
got love to give. as far as i can see, that's it. no hidden art in a vault.

spend the time, calculate the cost. measure life.

but measure it with only love.