Friday, 26th of August, 2016
I really had the sense I had played the game right. The game of life. It isn’t a game though, but you know, if we are all just players, trying to win, win our own game, and win our game together, then we did it. Nina and I did it. We somehow fit together perfectly with expectations and capabilities and generosity and ambition. We are different, oh so different but there were levels, these levels that were the same. We each made big efforts towards one another, and those efforts were always appreciated, naturally so, and that is what made it work. We reciprocated in kind over and over. We just really liked each other. And her Mom Helene and I really liked each other, and the girls, well, gosh, they just wrapped their arms around her always.
It never crossed my mind before moving into this house that we would have a neighbor like that.
Nina came over to say goodbye. I almost cancelled because I was tried and it was late. The girls really wanted to see her so it had to happen. She had spent all day working at the film studio in Brooklyn, she is a producer and works very long hours and she had texted to say goodbye could be tonight when she got home, or tomorrow when leaves again for work at 6:30am? I said “Come on over when you get home,” Which ended up being 8:30pm. Our front door was open and she came right in. After she was here for a minute she zipped back to her house and then returned with a folder. The folder was filled with drawings and thank you cards and notes, some felt purses the girls had sewn, and other things that the girls and I had given her or slipped through her mail slot of the years. “Oh my goodness!” I said, looking at all the things we had given her. “Nina, there is so much, and you saved it all!” The folder was overflowing with five years worth of connection. I picked up one card, and in Maya’s neat, but immature writing it said. “Thank you Nina for the giant pomegranate.” Tonight she turned up with a tray of figs.
I could write a long list of things Nina left on our doorstep. She would arrive with fruit or vegetables, or a game, or some hand-me-down item from her son who is now grown and married. A book, or some art supplies. Spring bulbs, a hummingbird feeder. Once she turns up with some crazy plastic crystal door decorations from a Justin Timberlake music video set. Lots of times she brought us things left over from the set.
We got to go to visit her at work once, when the girls helped out in an ad being made to stop human trafficking.
Our relationship was real, and whole too. We were able to fully share. We even had arguments, which I see as a good thing, growth you know. Once we had a very serious discussion about her giving us too much stuff, and our girls coming to her door and disturbing her husband. We sorted it out and she cut back and was more selective about what she gave us. You know how careful I am about what we bring into our home, for the environment, for the children’s minds. We also had to established that she comes to our door, not the other way around. Communication is everything, but you have to want to do it, and be brave. You have to appreciate the effort it takes to grow together. Then when Nina became like family, well then I had to let her know… no plastic please. Then more recently we had another tiff – which was totally my fault. It was when she came to the door late one afternoon suggesting I give the quails more worms. I was looking after another neighbor’s quail chicks and Nina was trying to help and I became perturbed because I had spent all day digging and turning rocks over to find slugs and worms for those birds. That’s a whole other story.
We had an open door policy with her, she could just come to our door and call out and come in, without even knocking. We rarely went in her house though, she had a crazy dog, that could not be trusted not to bite us. Tonight though, the dog was at the beach house, and Nina invited us in to have one last visit before we moved.
Elle ran around her house counting the bathrooms. They have 3 1/2
Maya played the grand piano.
I yawned. I am always more tired than the children.
Nina’s basement had a Herman Miller Eames chair I coveted, wishing she had lent it to me. “Your Mom has good taste.” she said to the girls. Then I plonked myself down, picked up a book, and started reading. There were two books sitting out, right there on the edge of the shelf. Of Mice And Men, and The Catcher In The Rye. I read a sentence from reach. Yep, it felt like an elliptical moment.
There were things in her house that we had given her too, as we walked around she pointed out more from us. Around the place there were the May Day cones, and a paper-cut bird picture in a frame, and a rainbow window star. I always give everyone a window star.
The girls did not want to leave, but it was 9:30pm and I could not keep my eyes open any longer. When we left she called out, “I love you.” from the doorstep. We had said it to her lots of times over the years, and here she was, as we said our goodbyes, gushing it out across her front yard in such a sincere way.
What a great goodbye that was.
Don’t you just think it is wild that so many lives happen at once? We are all living this life, this moment in time together. So many stories overlapping each other. While you were sleeping, I was doing that, but it was all happening at the exact same time. It is mind-blowing. It makes me want to zoom out. I start imagining myself leaving earth’s field, you know just to step away and see the bigger picture of life, on earth. Just to chill out in space, where it feels slow and quiet. Earth is so busy and full-on with all that lives. Together, at once, simultaneously. The vibration is mega. Sometimes I think I have to get away form that, just for a moment. I want to get higher, where things are lighter. Imagination is so good for floating away, leaving all that behind, just for a little each day you know, you have to go so deeply into yourself.
Then back to living this life. Could I get any luckier? I don’t think so.
Tomorrow we are going to visit friends at Saugerties, just outside of Woodstock.
Thank you for reading Magnesium Blue