picture stories



An afternoon drive out of Atlanta, a patriotic rest stop, a Confederate flag flying over the Columbia, South Carolina Statehouse, an arrival at Mama's house on John's Island.

O Charleston, O Youth, O History of Long Ago. The marsh, the swamp, the salt, the breeze. Falling in love with the sousaphone player in the high school marching band who would grow up to be the piano man who would lure me to Atlanta, where I've lived these past ten years.

Yesterday we traveled, like we often do, to the place where we fell in love and parted from one another for 30 years, and then reunited when we were older and after we had found our life's treasure, what we wanted most in the world: music, family, home, good work to do. And now there would be love.

So we walked the Ravenel Bridge over the Cooper River this morning and waved at the Alzheimer's walkers, then came home and watched Donald pick the pears from the tree by the road, like he does every year. He showed us his haul of blue crabs. Jim made his mother a tomato sandwich from the last of the season's tomatoes. He made sure to use the Duke's and the pimento cheese, the way she likes it.

Then I settled beside Mom and showed her the little videos of her great-granddaughter in the wading pool with Grandma (me), making a cake for Grandpa (Jim), and the 15-second birthday videos of Jim -- her boy.

I'd put a chuck roast in the oven, and while the house napped, I sneaked away by myself for an hour. I returned with a "porridge cup" as the little label said, and its red-and-white saucer -- "I will use this for my yogurt and berries in the morning," I announced, and we ate our supper with Mom and watched The Roosevelts on PBS, but only after a re-run of The Voice, which I had never seen, but which Mom knows all about.

I like being in love. I like loving (and being loved by) a man, a family, my children, my work, my community, my struggles, my life. I am in love with the small moments that make up a life. I love the meaning they give my days.

I'm telling "picture stories" over on Instagram these days. Stories with a beginning, middle, and end, mostly in a circle, made up of small moments. I don't know what I'm going to do with them yet, but I like telling them. I like experimenting -- always -- with just what a story is, and how to shape it and tell it. These "picture stories" will find ther way into my teaching, I'm sure, but for now, I'm just curious, and I'm enjoying the exercise, the practice, and the surprise.

It's kind of surprising to be blogging again. I like that, too.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Howdy. Moderating comments to prevent spam. I'm sure you're not that. Thanks for your thoughts! Write on, warrior on. Make art.