the wall

I added to my collage wall today. It’s been a long time since I’ve done that. I’ve stepped into the last year of my ninth seven-year cycle….I move into the beginning of a new seven-year cycle next year. The base of this collage wall is a drawing made sometime in my forties, when my internal life resembled a trek in a fire-ravaged forest, no green visible anywhere. Atop that is life since then, anything that has attracted the magpie in me….pretty ribbon, words from friends, beautiful art cards or wrapping paper, a few photos. I can see it from where I work, and sometimes I’m amazed at all that’s pinned up there, amazed that I really no longer remember much of the fire.

I’m moving into an end game in this journey. I don’t write that to be dramatic, but to be soberly clear with myself. There may be less than one seven-year cycle left to me, or I may attain more. What do I want to do with this long or short season left? Health, for one thing, as I watch Alzheimer’s take my mother. A live Robert Earl Keen concert instead of just listening to the mix my son made for me, that’s another, but small. If it doesn’t happen, I won’t really care. I don’t long for foreign lands, but I do long for meaning.

Time for another bucket list, a deeper, gutsier one….what’s yours? What would make you say, today, today is a good day to die?




5 responses to “the wall

  1. A gusty bucket list…reading, writing, painting, living by hand, being with really top notch people…I feel ambitious internally but know better by now than to need external recognition. The end feels real…

  2. marlene mesilla (brandt)

    i read before versailles in 3 days-it is well & beautifully written-your passages about the dog belle are so lovely..i believe you are the worlds greatest writer of historical fiction–i am waiting for the next book about Barbara–my birthday is aug 22 it causes me to do much thinking-so many regrets

  3. Karleen – As you know, I was diagnosed with a rare cancer in 2006. I expected to live a couple of years. Here I am feeling better than ever. (Due to many expensive interventions, I must admit.)

    My old bucket list still has a major unrealized item and I have set out again to learn what happened to my sister who disappeared at age 21 in 1975. I located her daughter (who was provided for adoption) and she is like my daughter. Her four children are like my grandchildren and I am ever so grateful. The old bucket list included a book about this unusual turn of events. Guess I’d better get busy.

  4. Wow. Nothing would make me say today is a good day to die!! I’m living the best years of my life and I don’t want to cut a single day short.

    As for that fire–going through files of old writings and personal observations from a time when my life was a desert, I felt desolate. I wanted to use them in a creative way, but revisiting unhappiness isn’t worth it. LIVE!

  5. A third “Barbara” book need be somewhere on your list. My best friend’s husband recently disgraced himself while o was reading book two. After I found out I read the quote about honor once left you can never return. Weird how well timed quotes can be.

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