what’s beautiful

hiking day

I look forward to the quiet

away from street noise and sirens

     distant construction and lawn care providers


I want an imperial freedom

meaning vast and unencumbered

I want to do as I please

or more importantly

live without the seeming hassles I currently face

this and that and always, always something weighing me down

there are many reasons for gratitude

the balance though, lies in the undone

what awaits, what is left 

all that I want which is unreachable

though some would argue that it is, in fact, obtainable

     it is if only

I am exhausted from the wishing

taking advantage of every falling star and chance to hope

my prayers are so often lists

or though I am not from the liturgical bent

a recitation of the same, over and over

stating daily my case to the Universe

sometimes wishing only for sleep

more often asking for what makes the least sense of all

then I question the audacity of my request

there is peace in no one knowing 

but God

people say it over and over 

it seemingly only works in the most convenient of circumstances

“hey, I got what I want and isn’t God good”

an obvious truth which is often mired in the everyday

my life is a mixture of the goodness and the reality of circumstance

all I want is ordinary even though I proclaim I disdain the norm


today though, is hiking day

just my daughter and I 

seeking much the same, the end of a story

     a chance to breathe


 Sometimes you just need a win.

I experienced a fairly large disappointment last evening. Something I wanted, thought I was capable of obtaining. Is not going to happen and the well meaning will say. Timing. It wasn’t right for you. All the encouraging words but yet. It’s the second go round in a matter of months and despite the reassurance all is truly well and I have much to be grateful for. I am sad. Frustrated. Confused. Which is, yes, how life presents itself at times. It’s hard though, not to be angry and jaded. Bitter as I look behind me and as I look around at the current scene as well. Though I know none of those words will get me very far so I am trying to release.

I decided back in the spring to begin watching Mad Men. I generally watch one tv program at a time. Maybe two depending on the season and if I feel I need a variety. But for the most part, I’ve been dedicated to Don, Peggy, Joan and the gang for a few months. Those are some of the characters in case you didn’t know. I occasionally mention what happened in my most recently watched episode to my son and his girlfriend because they have watched the entire series. What’s particularly interesting about this show is it details the characters’ work habits as well as their personal lives. And while it’s set in the 1960s, I believe there are many parallels to today’s world. Politics, racial strife and how women are treated. And of course the fashion and design aspects are fun. Sometimes though, especially after the last scene (which is often a doozy) I start to cry. Not like incessant bawling. Yet a few tears. My daughter walked into the living room last week and said, “Are you crying?” And yes, yes I was because of a scene. Which I won’t detail.

I have begun the last season, and a few nights ago I watched an episode in which Don and his early teenage daughter Sally spent a good deal of time together. A rarity for them. It was hard to watch because of their somewhat troubled relationship and the fact they’re both also troubled as individuals but it ended with her getting out of the car and saying, “Happy Valentine’s Day. I love you.” They play a song at the end of each episode and the songs are generally familiar to me, from the period. This episode’s hit me particularly hard and again, I cried.

The song? This Will Be Our Year by The Zombies. While that might seem a little silly and yes, I realize I am not living vicariously through these make believe people’s lives. I’ll explain. I picked this song at the beginning of 2020 as my song of the year. I even wrote a line or two and posted it on my hallway wall. I told no one. I chose the song for a few reasons but I really felt that 2020 would be a turning point in some areas of my life and also my family’s. I knew my daughter would graduate from NYU in May. I felt positive about other possibilities. Well, quite obviously 2020 was not “our year”. It came and passed slowly and with a vengeance. Thankfully we’re marching on through 2021 but again, this is seemingly not “our year” either.

Maybe that’s why the ending scene hit so hard. Nothing was beautiful. Lots of strife and discord and confusion. All the questions that roll around in my mind when all I want seems acceptable and positive. It’s ironic many of us appear to be in the seemingly prettiest of scenarios when in reality, it’s nothing like that. Key word being seemingly. What’s bright, glossy and vibrant is anything but once you’re truly inside. Which is partly why I proclaimed, if only to myself, things were looking better and would, in fact, be better that year. Here we are, still at the beginning of the second half of 2021. There is room for plenty of spinning around. Yet I am hesitant to believe.

What seems right though. For me at this juncture. Is to accept that what’s beautiful and highly regarded for most is not necessarily what I accept as such. I don’t have to obtain items on a list because that’s what my corner of the world deems as good, proper and acceptable. Maybe there is freedom in not obliging. Maybe what seems the most beautiful is anything but.


The warmth of your love
Is like the warmth of the sun
And this will be our year
Took a long time to come

Don't let go of my hand
Now darkness has gone
And this will be our year
Took a long time to come

And I won't forget
The way you held me up when I was down
And I won't forget the way you said,
"Darling I love you"
You gave me faith to go on

Now we're there and we've only just begun
This will be our year
Took a long time to come

The warmth of your smile
Smile for me, little one
And this will be our year
Took a long time to come

You don't have to worry
All your worried days are gone
This will be our year
Took a long time to come

Songwriter: Chris White


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