Tuesday, October 25, 2011


October 25, 2011


It has always been my favorite time of year.  The days grow shorter.  Trees are dazzlingly brilliant.  Nature prepares itself for hibernation.  Protection from the temperamental  whims of winter. 

Tonight I hurried home.  There is nothing like a walk when my breath makes ghosts that lead me forward.  It is a clear evening.  I want to see Mt. Rainier, to stand in awe of this mountain that is bigger than me.  That was here before I was born, and will be here after I die.  It is the false promise of permanence I crave. 

There is no promise that cannot be broken.

I love Wikipedia.  Mt. Rainier is a stratovolcano.  Dormant now, it could blow at any time.  It is considered one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world. Because of its large amount of glacial ice,  this mountain that looks postcard picture perfect has the potential of producing massive lahars that would threaten the whole Puyallup Valley.  That would level everything in its path.

I tried to stop my medication.  The pills that keep me from crying in Starbucks because I have to wait for the barista to make my latte.  The pills that make it so I can sleep at night.  The pills that keep me from buzzing like high tension electrical wires. 

I never needed medication, for anything.  Until now.

Quitting made me crazy.  I am not ready yet.  I accept the fact I may never be.

Just as I am starting to accept the fact you will never be alive again. 

Tonight, back from my walk to Overlook Park, I sit here at my computer writing you this letter.  Stella is into something on the table.  I have a basket of shells I brought back from Whidbey Island.  They are there to remind of the beach and solitude.  I find comfort in feeling the ridges on the outer shells of the cockles contrasted by the cool smoothness of the inner shell.  Of feeling the roundness of the moon snails, big as apples, and reaching my index finger as far as I can into the inner chamber.  Of studying the different patterns and colors on the periwinkle shells.

When I turn around, Stella jumps off the table with a white cockle shell in her mouth.  She drops it on the hardwood floor, bats it till she scores a goal under the legs of the oak table.  I’ll pick the shell up later.  Put it back in the basket.  Stella will find another one she likes.  This is how she entertains herself.  Playing with the pinecones I bring back from the forest, shells I bring from the beach. 

I am gathering things for winter hibernation.  Pressing red, yellow, orange leaves.  I want to remember everything I have been trying to forget. 

Because that is what I need to do now.

Tonight I stood on a hill, looked out over the blue waters of Capital Lake, the dome of our state capital, the city of Olympia and the mountain. 

A mountain that rises quietly, majestically from the earth, fills the horizon, as magma forms and rises in places invisible to the eye.  When a critical volume of magma and gas accumulates, the obstacle (mass blockage) of the volcanic cone will be overcome, leading to a sudden explosive eruption.

My heart beats wildly.  There are things that I can learn from this.

Those things I learn, I can share.

Tomorrow night, I will have dinner with a friend.  It is something to look forward to.  For now, it is time to feed Stella her Fancy Feast—Sadie the leftover pork, potatoes and carrots in the fridge.  Fold a load of laundry, first burying my nose in nightgowns and t-shirts warm with the scent of lavender from Downy dryer sheets.  Then to bed with the latest copy of  O magazine and a cup of licorice spice tea.

And thoughts of you.

                      Love You Andie-