I slept eight hours last night, though not consecutively. I struggled awake at 7:00 a.m., vaguely aware of having read for an hour before sunrise. Now, the coffee has not yet perked; the Metaxalone has not yet hit my nerves, and fog still grips my brain. A story that I meant to tell about Easter in the Ozarks eludes me.
But a few things must be said.
More of my life spans behind me than before me. I've promised to live until I reach 103, but awareness of the fragility of my body cannot be shaken. A young man who reads my writing and bears my surname warns me: If the message is spoken, it will be lost. But that same young man called me yesterday to ask me to re-acquaint him with "The Rules for Almost Perfect Laundry" which I authored and posted during his childhood. So perhaps he, too, will indulge me.
For today's musings share not a story but Mama Corinna's Rules for Almost Perfect Living.
Without further ado, my list:
If dessert is offered, eat it first. You don't know when a quake will snatch the fork from your hand, or the plate from the table. Or the table from the house, for that matter.
When a friend leaves her walking stick on your porch, take care of it. She plans to return.
Keep a volume of pleasant verse on your bedside table for sleepless nights.
Speak your love while there are ears to hear, breath to quicken with your avowal, a heart to flutter at the sound of your voice.
Stand before a mirror unclothed in the silence of your bedroom, with no one nearby, and study your image. Smile when you meet your reflected eyes.
Stretch your limbs before rising.
At least once each year, haul everything from your closets and sort through the mess. Return to the drawers and hangers that which you genuinely use and like. Give the rest away. Decline the offered tax receipt; tender the stuff freely, expecting and taking nothing in return.
Grasp any outstretched hand. Acknowledge but ignore your misgivings. Trust begets trustworthiness.
Surround yourself with joy but tread also in places where joy cannot be found. Bring your radiance to those dim and tragic corners.
Embrace your uniqueness; and delight in the quirkiness of others.
And breathe. Always remember to breathe.
I have Jewish friends celebrating Passover; Christian and Catholic friends celebrating Easter; and a whole bunch of folks like me who merely delight in the shimmering spring. My love goes out to each and every one of you. My life has been enriched by every person who enters it: those who linger and those who leave; the aimless and the purposeful; the loud and the lonely. I can only hope that each of you feels as blessed as I do.