I’m on a porch in Napeague between Amagansett and Montauk, between a swim and walk and I’m staring at the hocean. My Grandma Cohen who emigrated from Russia–“the old country”she called it– and spoke with an accent put an ‘h’ before some words beginning with vowels. The ocean was the hocean. Ate was hate. It took me a while to understand her. I thought Cousin Eileen’s real name was Hileen.
Staring at the ocean makes me think of August weekends at Grandma’s cottage at Crystal Beach, Ontario, my Fire Island group houses, other summers and vacations by the water. Mostly I am thinking about my family of origins and my present, loving clan. It includes the most precious little boy in the world who calls me Grandma now.
I’m thinking, too, about my non-relative families: loyal friends and long term students. 5 current and former writers in my Wednesday homegroup checked in last week: one with a picture of her baby boy born August 18. Another had a piece accepted for publication. A third recently got married in the Dominican Republic where she’s been living and wants to return to class upon moving back. A fourth shared private news and passed along some information. A fifth, due with her second baby—a boy—asked if she could invite me to the bris. I can’t wait. I actually called Student #5—a poet and writing instructor with whom I’ve developed a new relationship–to discuss work and a personal matter.
I’m thinking about the new Woody Allen movie, “Magic in the Moonlight.” I found the negative reviews rah-ther harsh. Allen’s movies–even the lesser ones–are to my mind not unlike how he views pizza and sex. To quote him: “Pizza is a lot like sex. When it’s good, it’s really good. When it’s bad, it’s still pretty good.”
I’m thinking about Robin Williams’ death, our lives, our demons, our choices, our paths, and the illuminating piece Ann Lamott posted on Facebook. That a stigma is still attached to mental illness is heartbreaking. Awful. Ongoing help for mental illness and addictions is available.
I’m thinking, too, about lunch at the Clam Bar where I’m heading after my walk. The lobster roll and sweet potato fries I got yesterday will probably be a repeat. I h-ate it all.