Tuesday, April 04, 2006


No, everybody, this isn't Cassandra. I don't have a photo of my muse-goddess readily available, so I have this one to share with y'all. (But don't tell Cassandra or she'll get pissed.) I've been rolling around the word "regret" a lot....and I've been thinking a lot about Michigan, and Saugatuck, and Grandpa's house on Silver Lake. It's been a few weeks since I've dreamt of his home, but it's amazing how many times I go there in my dreams and have the strangest of adventures. I keep hearing all these references to Michigan lately--on Rosie Thomas's new album, in Clive Barker's The Great and Secret Show--so I'm sure that has lots to do with it as well. As some of you know, Cassandra found a home with me while my family was visiting Holland--Java Joe's Coffee House, specifically, so cool with those antiques hanging all over the wall and one of the nicest women in the world helping us--and Cassandra was showing off some hippie '70s clothing and wasn't even for sale. She spoke to me, however; I knew she just wanted to come home with me. And she did. I convinced the woman to "sell" my muse to me, and Jordan, Aaron, and Mom got such a kick out of her riding in the seat with us on the way back to Grandpa's. Gosh, that sure was a special weekend....We'd sold the house (much to our sadness, but it couldn't be avoided) and we wanted one last kick-ass time there. We drank, smoked, listened to music, shopped downtown, ate delicious burgers at Wally's. I stopped in and saw Bill at the Old Post Office....So many memories flood through me about Michigan, and right when I had reached the age that I could enjoy its "adult" opportunities to their fullest we had to say our goodbyes.....But fun, fun times throughout all the years: jetskiing; parties across the lake; watching scary movies with Mike next door (The Company of Wolves sticks out to me); jumping off the pier (thanks, Grandpa, for rescuing me from drowning that one time the dogs knocked me off!); going into all the trinket shops; riding the dune buggies; smelling those old paperbacks in the used bookstores; going to the Tea Party with Jim in the woods behind the Dunes Resort (Jim--one of the coolest and most fun nights of my life, just so you know); running down the hills to Oval Beach; taking the ferry across the channel; riding on the pontoon boat (I still remember the time we found the dead swan in the water, wrapped up in some fisherman's net); jumping up and down on Donna's trampoline next door; playing cards; reading on Grandpa's couch or chair, some of the most uncomfortable furniture on the planet; stopping by to see Helen Molnar; playing hide-and-seek in the woods; sneaking up on the peacocks at the peacock farm; practicing gymnastics moves with Holly; Jordan naming the opossum Sparkles and "shooing" him off the road after Sparkles's foot had been run over by a car; buying gag gifts in the Drugstore; pizza at can't-remember-the-name-but-gosh-are-the-waiters-totally-frickin'-hot there; walking out on the frozen waves; literally jumping in the lake after Mom had figuratively said, "Go jump in the lake"; riding down that gigantic slide at the park; eating bread with apple butter at Crane's;....my list goes on and on. I mention these because up until recently I couldn't think of Grandpa's home without getting a huge pang in my heart and gut. I clearly remember driving away from it that last weekend in that February and Mom cupping her face and crying. And, while it's still sad, I've moved past the sadness of those memories into acceptance and love of what is and was. That's why I titled this entry "Regret." I think regret is the worst human emotion, worse than anger or hate or maybe even fear. We can mold and transform and recreate our other emotions, give them new meanings, use them to figure out lessons for ourselves. But regret is rooted in the past--and we can't change the past. Don't we all try, though? I mean, I beat myself up so much about decisions I've made--or decisions others have made that've affected me. But why? I can't wave my magic wand and make things different. I can, however, use the past to become wise for the present and future. That's why I'm trying never to regret anything. Easier said than done, I know. Still, in The Last Unicorn, she finally becomes just that--a unicorn--once more at the end....But she has brought with her a piece of her time as Lady Almalthea. That piece is the Regret Emotion, which now sets her apart from the other unicorns. Yes, humans run on instinct, have biological urges, feel primal urges surging through our blood. But still--and I certainly can't speak for any in the Animal Kingdom--regret seems like it's been stamped onto the human race, and it's our duty and right and mission to understand it, move past it, and embrace the Now. That's my Zen lesson for the day. In any case, I do think I'm getting better with this icky "R" word. Whether it's thinking about Michigan, or contemplating my job/career choices, or wondering about my decisions with my family and writing and relationships, I'm trying to stand up on the Inside and say, "Yep, it's done, I'm here, yipppeeeee!!!!" I'm still getting to the proverbial "yipppeeeee" part; I'm kinda stuck on "yip" before I say, "Whatever, screw that!" But it's the trying that matters. The want--and need--to make regret a thing of the past.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yippee from the Hippie. That was the world most uncomfortable furniture. I kind of regret that I didn't take the light fixture, but where the heck could I store that giant thing. We were lucky to have those fun times there. Good memories.
We will just have to look forward to having a haven of our own.
The Mom


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