one, two, three

we count, some of us, to keep track, to order, to line up.

we count, some of us, to make sense of the sweep of history.

we learn to count on stubby, chubby little fingers, fingers so plumped-up there are dimples where the knuckles ought to be, will be some day, before the gnarly knots set in when we are old, very old.

we count, early on, with cheerios. or raisins. or pebbles on the sidewalk. we count watching clouds scuttle by. we count our eyes, our nose, our toes. we learn that we are whole while counting.

and then we go to school. we learn to count forward and backward. we learn that numbers jump and leap, crumble into bits, and hurtle ever higher. we learn there is no end to counting. we try. anyway.

we count as if to shove tidy, sharp-edged bookends on the sloppy shelves of our lives.

and so i count.

and here we are, at three.

three years ago this day, my not-yet-highschooler, pushed me to the edge of where words and screens came tumbling into this new odd invention, the blog. sounds like someone burping, that word.

you should do it, mom, were the words, as he shoved me off the diving board, into the deep waters of the world of clicking buttons in the dark, in the quiet of this little room where i type, where you, all of you out there in readerland, you find those words, give ‘em a taste, swirl ‘em around in your mouth, maybe in your heart, and then, through a mix of alchemy and voodoo, we are joined. our hearts march along a little mountain trail, together for a while.

closest thing to friendship some days. you can wrap your hands ‘round a mug of steaming tea, or you can click a comment box, send words, connect.

too often, maybe, we click.

maybe there’s not enough time made for teacups at kitchen tables.

but we are living now in the chapter of the in-home computer. in-home, heck! on-person. there are folks, i know, who haul their little box to bed. tuck it underneath the pillow. who knows, maybe news comes in the middle of the night.

for one whose father long long ago now, once said, “you have a sense of history,” leaving me at the time puzzled, a bit let down, this blog that sounds like burp is in fact a blessing. think of all the sharpening of pencils it saves. and the reams of paper.

then stop and think of all the places and the souls to which this world without wires has carried me. and us, the lot of us who make the chair a stop along the way.

makes me scratch my head, and count my lucky stars.

it’d take a lot of postage stamps to get to all of you the old way.

so here we are: three years later.

there’ve been births and deaths and diagnoses this year. there’ve been friends i love, wholesale fired, shoved out the door, their worklives packed into boxes with other people’s names already scratched out.

i no longer get to work where i live. no longer get to simmer winter stews while i talk to smart and newsy people. can’t run out and peek in on the tree peony, minutes away from bloom. don’t mark my days by the way the light pours in. don’t hear my little one bounding in the door, ready to spill the stories of his schoolday, now a third-grade day.

but still, despite the changes all around, i’ve cleared my friday mornings, made this a time to type the keys, watch what spills, sometimes wonder where it came from, sometimes wonder if the words are even worth sending on their unseen voyage.

but send i do.

and i am grateful for the chance to reach out and grab a swatch of life. to try, with all my heart some days, to lay out what it looks like, feels like.

like catching butterflies, or moonbeams, the art of trying to write your life. or at least wisps of it.

some day, long long away from now, someone with ties to me, might look back, and read, come to understand this time, this heart. mostly, i think, i write for my own two boys. i write to leave them a record of how they were loved, how they lived in the old house where they grew up with a mother who was always watching, always looking out for their hearts, their sense of wonder. who tried to stitch the beautiful into their everyday, and somehow found her own salvation.

i write for all of you, kindred souls. you who take the time to trace your eyes across these words. you who write back–or not. i write because in this wee small circle we’ve discovered that we’re not alone. not always anyway.

in a world with not enough teacups and kitchen tables, not put to good use anyway, i write here so we can all–all of us who long to share the good company of our tender hearts–i write so we can, each of us, pull up a chair, find the closest thing to joy and gentleness we know how to offer.

thanks for stopping by, all these many many weeks—156, and counting….

no questions, today. but listening, as always….