Saturday, January 30, 2016

Flowers in a Pasta Jar

"Why don't you take a bunch of pictures while I'm doing my yoga," I said to Scott, who was splayed out on the couch after we'd eaten a birthday supper of takeout Greek ribs. "If I'm lucky, there'll be one I can post on the blog and say 'This is what 57 looks like.' "

He obliged me and took six or eight shots in the dimly lit room. I was doing the spinal twist. I set the phone to speaker when Emil called, and it stood on the coffee table in front of me. Balancing on one foot first and then the other, I did the eagle, the thumb of my curled palm touching the tip of my nose as I kept my eyes on the yardlight outside. My yoga routine lasts about 20 minutes. It's a series of my favourite postures, which I've chosen from all the possibilities for specific areas and organs — for optimum health.

The next morning I deleted the photographs. I like my physical self; it does a great job of making my life comfortable and I appreciate it. I feel good most of the time, and I don't even mind what I see in the mirror most days, if I don't look too closely or for too long at the face I barely recognize; it has changed so much in the last 15 years. I am what I am, and one can't get to 90 and still look 30. But in pictures? Not one bit. Me in pictures is a shock almost every time, and slightly horrifying.

One might assume it's a dislike of my aging face, but it's more true that I have never liked current photographs of myself. They've rarely if ever seemed to look like me, like the way I feel, like true representations. I sure as hell don't look as gorgeous as I feel. Hee! There are very few I've kept over the years.

"I didn't know where you keep the vases," he said when I came in the door.
There won't be one decent head shot to print with my obituary.  I'd prefer there was no obituary, now that I think about it, just like I'd prefer no funeral service and would rather Scott have friends over for a shot of whisky one afternoon instead. Will anyone respect these wishes? She's gone, they'll say; the funeral is for those left behind; the ritual helps them somehow. The obituary is for friends, acquaintances and the merely curious who love the life stories of other people. I'm one of those; biographies, autobiographies, memoirs and obituaries make the best reading.

I could always re-title this entry as "She Rambles On."


  1. Nice flowers, love the "vase". Happy Birthday!

    I haven't thought about an obituary, not even a eulogy. I did write a eulogy just after my first child was born, hmm... over 40 years ago, it could be anywhere, if it still exists at all. All I really envision is some people saying, she was a good old girl, she was a part of what we were, she is a part of what we are, and she will be a part of what we become, in completely different ways.

    I too love life stories, endlessly fascinating, high drama or low, it matters not.

    1. Thanks, Maggie.
      I think it's formal occasions that put me off.
      I dreaded Mom's funeral in our home town, as I don't like to be the centre of attention, which is what the bereaved family is.
      That said, in spite of the huge gross runny scabby cold sore between my upper lip and my nose (and I had to appear in public this way; christ), those who came to the funeral were lovely and I appreciated that very much.

  2. So far, I have been a minor member of the bereaved family at funerals, a grandchild, a cousin, a niece, not really at the centre of focus. One of my Aunts chose not to have a funeral at all, nothing, and I found that very difficult, that the family did not recognize her passing together.

    1. Maybe a gathering of some kind is helpful. I don't like church services to start with, so will never be won over, there. But when people make the effort to attend any of these things, in spite of the fact that no one is really comfortable there, it means a lot. It means you (the family) are not alone in recognizing the loss, maybe, when people care enough to show their support in this way. I was touched by the loving kindness that was extended at Mom's funeral. But it was still an ordeal.

  3. The only time I would agree to a funeral in a church is if I could use the building only and I were the one making the decisions as to what the funeral would look like and who would speak and direct the whole thing. I wrote and gave my mom and dad's eulogy and at the request of my sister, I also put together the whole funeral for my nephew which was held in the chapel of the funeral home.

    1. I admire anyone who is close to the deceased and can speak at their funeral. I am sure I would be overcome by emotion and not be able to continue.


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