The prompt of the week from Lisa-Jo Baker’s Five-Minute Friday: LOST.
The orange camera. When’s the last time I know I had it? Last summer, at the writing workshop, and then back home as Dad lay dying. I had thought I’d lost it before that, even went and bought another point-and -shoot, which was the thing that made it materialize somewhere I call myself looking several times: the dry bag I take kayaking.
(“I call myself” — do people outside the South say that? Meaning “I am almost positive I had done this, but evidence points otherwise.”)
Pairs of some earrings. One that my daughter gave me, a turquoise enamel dangling rectangle with dots of rust and navy on top. The Kokopelli flutist. Another she gave me, the Polish pearl shaped a little like a legless tick.
That photo of me hurdling over the hedge at home, leaping before I looked.
The packet of letters from mom that I tossed, not lost in the sense of irretrievably misplaced, but the ache of what I lost by ditching them in anger, knowing, even then, what a small voice told me: You’re going to regret this.
Memories that won’t unlock. Time I could have spent with people that I didn’t. Opportunities to speak encouragement and love into someone’s life. Opportunities to shut the heck up
Which leads me to the previous Friday’s prompt: RELEASE.
Once on a get-to-know-everyone questionnaire at work there was the question, “Pet peeves?” and I answered, “I believe peeves should not be kept as pets but released into the wild.”
Clever. But I have them. Dangling modifiers. The false range. People who take up two spaces parking haphazardly. Mayonnaise on hamburgers. Unnecessary hyphens. Foolish consistencies. And others.
Peeves, I release you. Scamper off and find another host. In trapping you, I thought to contain you, but you only grew fat on my attention. Go away. Go down by the river and look at your own reflection. Fall in if you dare.
I release the anger that keeps me thinking about something that happened years ago. I release the insecurity about ________ (fill in the blank). I release the scarcity twinges that someone else got something I wanted and misses the piles of good things I did get. I release the lament of what I did not manage to say before Dad died. I release everything that drains rather than refills life.
Release. The feeling of letting go. The explosion of laughter with my
longest-known friends. The way I can relax with my brother. Release of tension, of tears flushing something out of the system.
And two Fridays before that, HANDS.
My hands smell like chives, which smell like polite onions. Cut the heads that have gone to seed, for a bouquet of lavender pompoms. Cut the rest to dry. Amazing to me that they get cut off at the same hight, but in two days some will have grown taller than the others.
My hands smell like tomato plant, which is a different smell from tomato, greener, more intense, spicier. The hands have been picking off unwelcome bugs, tying the fruit-bearing branches up to the bamboo pole that supports them, caressing the little globes beginning to yellow toward ripeness.
My hands smell like lavender, just from one stroke of the plant from bottom to top, releasing enough to make me drift into nap, maybe, if I lie down with one paw under my nose.
My hands smell like dirt, soil, not the same. Dark, most beautiful when lightly rain-wetted, full of working things I cannot see that nourish all these plants that nourish me.
My hands like it when I wait a while to wash them blank again.
My hands smell like garlic, which I did not grow but
which teaches me patience as I leave the garlic press in the drawer and mince it with the Santoku knife.
I didn’t edit the sentence that forgot how it started by the time it ended. Because that’s part of the rules of FMF.
Also linking with The Sunday Community at Lisha Epperson’s place.