I’m not gonna lie, I was bummed I didn’t get the three-volume set of Van Gogh’s letters for Xmas. I knew my chances were slim. I mean, I am 36 years old and it was a little pathetic I sent a text to my brother of a short list of things I wanted. He did get me the nice hose reel I asked for and my sister got me the turtlenecks I needed. I just wanted to read those wild letters for a little while tonight.
The kids went to their dads this afternoon and the truth is this Xmas was better than the last. I knew my marriage was soon ending last year and even though my kids woke up to just me today, it was nice. It was peaceful. I wasn’t full of shit this year, living a life somebody else said was right.
I made the mistake of announcing I’d be seeing The Hobbit by myself tonight and my family didn’t like it, well, except my mom. She said I’d be doing plenty of things alone and I was fine. She was right, but my brother said he’d see it with me this week. So, after dinner I took an open bottle of red wine from my mom, drove home and resolved to start cleaning up my desk, a task I’ve been avoiding for too long.
I just threw out the clutter of decades of things like zip discs, ancient iMac discs, cords I do not know what they are for and I came across a disc of these vintage photos. They are of my family from Norway. They are beautiful. Thick suffragettes (my great-grandmother Borghild, also in the photo with the blessed cow, and her cousin fighting for women’s rights) in the 20s, my grandfather leaning on the tire of a truck while in the Nat’l Gaurd in 1948, my aunt with her piercing blue eyes at 15 in 1965 on her confirmation day, my mom as a baby with a pipe, even one of my great-great grandmother with a scarf on her head and my very favorite, my grandfathers whom I never met, play fighting in the road.
I like looking into the past. I like thinking about the future. It helps smooth out the steady adjustments that are being alive in the present, and all the questions I can’t answer.
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