Nesting 2

So what is the draw of the front room? There was my first next.  Upstairs I remember only MA’s kitchen table…There seemed to be much space above me and around me but in the “garden apartment” lower ceilings and in the front room an overstuffed blue chair with wide arms and facing the front and only window.  From here I could see the world walking by and in the space between cushion and arm I could hide treasures.  I had a blanket and pillow and the chair became my first conscious personal space.  Here I had a degree of comfort and power.  I was in charge making the chair do my bidding.  What I would imagine the chair would become. A fort, a ship, a tent , a mountain observation point. A secret library where picture books were ingested and finally a place to take a nap. This chair did not have to be shared with anyone else.  It was mine.

This nesting, this private space need became and is still very important to me.


When I cast back two structures are caught by my memory.  One is a brownstone in an Eastern City…It could be New York, or Baltimore, or Newark for I am not sure.  The building had a flight of steps, to me very daunting as I was, well the best I can do is under five. Facing these steps and climbing them was a daily challenge as Ma Bevens stood at the top and my mother at the bottom.  Ma Bevens took care of me during the work day and I felt very adventury climbing those stairs all by my self.  Mom would be at the foot dressed for work, waving good bye and Ma Bevens at the head arms wide and welcoming.  I don’t remember her apartment at all.  Our apartment I remember most.

As one would face the brownstone to the left and two steps down were four cement blocks , that was my front yard, an iron railing stood between my area and the sidewalk. At the back of the ‘yard’ was the front of the building, a window , and a door to my first cavelike home., a shotgun apartment , at the back a door to the back yard with grass and a tree and flowers,(not sure about the flowers as I looked rather than explore the back yard because I liked the front room best.)

Some stages of identity

I was walking Jake this morning,a clear cool beginning, and musing on the choice for this blog.  Why prudent?  And I thought of  past lives in this go around. I have not always aspired to being prudent .  Until adolescence I was just not aware of aiming for anything. I was just a boy among boys and girls except when Dawn and I were Horses cantering over the plains(school-yard) and various other animals. I like many children just were.

Adolescence, among other influences, introduced Otherhood, and the competitive drive to aspire to a word, an abstraction such as Popular or loser, or Greaser, or nerd. Some illusion located outside my self, my own knowledge..For the first time I was not content with being just as I was.  Laughed at for liking classical music and reading. Taunted for being smart….news to me and for wearing button down shirts and cotton slacks..taunted by whom? The guys I wanted to like me.  They wore Brando black cycle jackets ,had duck tails rode motorcycles.  True they were headed for the army, and parole officers, and jobs in gas stations and I was slated for college but they had a style that outshone my peers. They were cool and we were ordinary. So my first aimed for persona was Rebel Without a Clue.  There were obstacles.  I had an Ivy League Haircut (a buzz cut in back longer over the forehead) the only haircut accepted by my parents…Also a dearth of Black leather jackets  in my closet and no hope of being gifted one.  My parents saw jeans as an item of clothing worn after school or on Saturdays.  AND their view of white tee-shirts was that they were underwear.  You see the problem. The other great obstacle?  I was an obedient son.  Others solved the problem by running away from home ala On the Road. Not an option …One can’t take one’s lps and books on the road and there was the problem of food and shelter that loomed ….Golly I am like Proust going on about falling asleep.   I will return to this later


If at first

At 76 my relationship with electronic devises is tenuous at best.  For example it has taken 3 weeks to get this far and I was so taken back that I forgot what I was going to write.  Perhaps a word about not giving up.  At my age there is temptation to say “enough already”  but I wanted a venue , an updated journal.  Yet here I am.  I am a reader so I will be mention Montaigne and Laotze, Epictetus and Marcus Aurelius as well as the Master  Henry James and Donna Leon and Louise Penny.  Coffee shops and backgammon,  My dog Jake and friendship .  Challenges as I approach the end of life. and other stuff.