Saturday, January 21, 2012


I've been in a very soft mood the past few days. Like a stick of butter at room temperature. Warm room temperature. I still have shape but it feels like I'd give way easily, and I've been very careful what sort of music I listen to in public. I feel like a teacup, overfull. Maintaining all right, but one little tap and the water could give way.

Some dear, dear, dear housecleaning clients of mine have sold their house and are leaving. The circumstances are extraordinary. I do not wish to go into details here just yet. For now let us just say this: is as though they are moving from a humble farmhouse on rough land into the gentle, loving hands of the creator herself. They will spend the rest of their days in comfort, entertaining people who revere them as honorable people, and shall want for nothing. And it is right that it should be so. They have done a lot of good and it is very satisfying, touching, wonderful that things take this turn.

The sadness comes from a purely selfish perspective. These people are my favorite clients. About the age my Grandparents were during the time I was around them most. The woman is an exquisite storyteller and told me so many wonderful things about her grandchildren, her own children, about the people she’s known over the years, and the strange and wonderful things she has seen.

This will not end by any means -- I fully intend to keep in touch with these people because they are dear to me. But what does end is the monthly ritual. The smell of their house. Watching their life unfold, the mundane delights that make a life a life. It's harder to share that with someone when they are long-distance friends. You tend to focus on the news, the larger picture.

I'm trying to paint all this and it's strangely difficult. The feelings are so huge, so raw. It's hard to really look at them objectively and sort out what would depict all this in the most satisfactory way. Should I go in a literal direction? The cup of tea we took in the living room, empty of everything, using a U-haul box as a coffee table, the cookies she bothered to put on a little plate, the teapot, the spoons, the four choices of tea. Or perhaps a more imaginative scene, inference based on what I felt. The three of us crying by ourselves shortly after I left. Me in my car, the mister in his car, and the madame at the kitchen window. The house abstracted and half-see through, the red geraniums in the window box. Or just this, the investigation of the feeling itself. This strange pull between happy and sad.

What works best and why? I will keep exploring. I'm not certain I'll find the answer, but it's not critical that I do.