Just a few observations from the notebook
September 10, 2008
This morning there is a doe and her two fawns walking around in the pond. The doe is interested in getting a drink, the fawns want to play. They jump up and land with a splash, rear up on hind legs to take a little swat at each other, bounce around their mom trying to get her in on the action.
The deer do not know that my mind is racing. They aren't aware that I'm worried what tomorrow will bring, that uncertainty blankets me like a shroud. The deer just want a drink of water and a little fun—exactly only what they want and need at this particular moment. This is the way they live. It makes sense all the sudden...
Well, we have once again accomplished the uniquely American task of elevating a relatively unknown individual to a superstar status based on a quick quip—a 'regular Joe' kinda image. Except she'd be a regular Josephine. I'm referring to Sarah Palin, the new vice presidential candidate that just a few days prior to her convention speech was widely posited as a hasty pick by John McCain. Headlines: 'Vetting process in question.' Remember?
Before she let everybody know she's just a "pit bull with lipstick," it seemed the world (read media) was questioning her parenting skills, leadership skills, business practices, ethics, etc. etc. All this changes after just one speech. Today Diane Sawyer and Robin Roberts are falling all over themselves with the lipstick wearing pitbull and her 'first dude' husband. The birth of a new love affair—the type we're so famous for. Fleeting, shallow, here today, gone tomorrow...except in this case maybe not...
My friend Rick calls and talks to me about the joys of fatherhood. He became a first-time dad—and husband—at age 50 and it brought some unexpected perks.
"Now when I bring the baby to the beach all these pretty young women surround me," he laughs. "They're ogling the baby and for once I have a legitimate reason to ogle them."
The experience with Isabella "little Izzy" Bourbonnais-Metcalf is a little bittersweet for the former merchant marine who for decades lived out of a beat-up ditty bag. These days, his anchor is a bit more, well, ordinary.
"Yeah," he laughs. "I've got this bicycle with this baby carriage thing on the back and I ride around the neighborhood with Izzy and think to myself 'Man, I remember the days when I rode through here on my chopper scaring people...'"
My sister Dawn talks to me about her son David, my nephew who's serving in Iraq. It seems like he's been there forever, and in a way he has. This is his second tour of duty and he won't get out of there until December or something horrible like that. He called me before leaving for his second tour. It was right around this time last year. I saved his voice message and every fourteen days it comes up. It sounds sad and sweet, and tender like he was when he was a little boy. I will continue to save it until he's home.
Of course he's having problems these days—his living conditions are hellish, literally, and his working conditions are even worse. In the meantime he has business to take care of back here, which may keep him going to some extent. My sister helps him as much as she can in random cell phone calls from thousands of miles away. We worry about him a lot, and know that the worry won't be over when he gets back home. What this war is doing to the young people who are over there is not good. I believe we'll be dealing with it for years, perhaps even decades to come...
I'm so fortunate for so many things though I sometimes lose sight of that. My aunt always helps correct my vision. Here's something she wrote to me that I'd like to re-affirm to the universe:
"We send messages all the time by the way we talk, the way we walk, the way we dress, what we accept or reject. Others pick up those sometimes silent messages and treat us accordingly. We all have intuition and instinct and we all act and react from it. Some of us are more aware of it than others but it is always active in everyone.
The same way we 'know' who we can 'push,' others 'know' if they can 'push' us. When we know how things work, then we have choice, power and freedom to have things work for us—not at the detriment of others because this brings in a whole other mess of trouble—but we do what is best for us while treating others as kindly as possible..."
Now there's some timeless wisdom...
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