#NewThisDay Writing From My Photo Stream
Out into the bright sun, it’s only 8:30, a.m., and as I pass the beach walkers with their plastic bags of shells, I am trying to quell any resentment I feel about the morning shells being lifted and carried off before I have a chance to witness where they washed up, which ones, and how they landed. I want to see this serendipity of the tides. So I just say, to myself, get up earlier, Kelly. Get up earlier, and then you shall see. So, perhaps tomorrow, I shall. I found great beauty in the wrack and the shorebirds and the windblown sand and the surf. And, I loved listening to Sharon Olds read and talk about her poems on the On Being Podcast, “Odes to the ****” with Krista Tippett. I’m listening so intently and happily, I’m surprised the podcast ends before my walk is over. Soon after I’m home, the oldest arrives with his finacee. Now we are eight. Now, we are complete. All three kids are here and their partners too! This is the moment I’ve been waiting for, imagining, being here in this house together. Everyone helps put on the birthday dinner for my daughter after swims at the beach. We watched a shark swim by along the shore, feeding happily. A harmless one, a beautiful one. An awesome one. I love this place. At dinner, we do our ritual: we tell the birthday person what we mostly appreciate and admire about her. Round the table we go, each of us giving our special short tribute of appreciation. Sometimes the newcomers to our ritual feel self-conscious or awkward, and grow into it. My daughter’s fiance, his first with us, dives right in, goes first. Love makes him brave.
“Exclusive (for my daughter)”
“I lie on the beach, watching you
as you lie on the beach, memorizing you
against the time when you will not be with me:
your empurpled lips, swollen in the sun
and smooth as the inner lips of a shell;
your biscuit-gold skin, glazed and
faintly pitted, like the surface of a biscuit;
the serious knotted twine of your hair.
I have loved you instead of anyone else,
loved you as a way of loving no one else,
every separate grain of your body
building the god, as you were built within me,
a sealed world. What if from your lips
I had learned the love of other lips. . .