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  • Writer's picturemaggiehsmith07

Oh No I See


In case you missed me whining about my cold and cough, newsflash: I have one. Of each. The cold and the cough. I’m lucky like that. This meant that I spent my entire Saturday in pajamas and watched movies. I seldom watch movies and I can’t offer you an explanation as to why. I hate being sick for all the obvious reasons but also because when I’m sick my emotions are just (and I mean just) below the surface. So movies and my lame ass emotions were a recipe for more Kleenex and I’ve already been using more than my fair share of those. One of the best movies we watched this weekend was 51 Birch Street. This is a 2005 documentary film that originally debuted at the Toronto International Film festival. Filmmaker Doug Block’s elderly mother dies suddenly of pneumonia and three short months later, his dad announces he’s marrying Kitty, his former secretary from 35 years earlier, selling the family home & moving to Florida. In the process of helping dad clean out the home, Doug finds decades worth of journals that his mother kept. This movie isn’t all what you think it’s about based on that description. The story isn’t the story you expect.  To say more could potentially ruin it so I’ll stop there and beg you to watch it on Amazon Prime. I will say it’s about love, relationships, the life we accept as our own. It’s about how we perceive others - Doug’s perception and experience of his mother being very different than that of his two sisters. How well do we really know others? And they us? 51 Birch is a beautiful story. I’m fairly certain I would have needed tissues even if this gd cold wasn’t ruining me. We also watched Lady Bird - which I felt was an accurate portrayal of the complex relationships between mothers and daughters. I had to laugh recalling how my own dad would be completely bewildered at how my mom and I would be screaming at one another in one breath and laughing together in the next. Oh dad, mind your own business. My dad would be all the more bewildered on the rare occasion when he raised his voice at me and I was devastated because it was something that seldom happened. I was immune to my mom’s yelling. My dad’s? Craziness.

Do you ever notice how there’s moments in your life when you’re more aware of your mortality than others?  This isn’t because I have a cold - even I’m not that dramatic for God’s sake.  It’s these moments when you’re just suddenly very aware of just how fast it all goes by.  Recently, a friend was on Facebook planning her son’s high school graduation announcements and I thought, “I was at your high school graduation party.  How can this be?”  I can only imagine what she’s thinking.  I’m not depressed - just aware. Today we set the clocks forward an hour and the promise of more daylight is the only thing that’s saving my thin, thread of sanity. The forecast for Tuesday is a moving target (translation: they have absolutely no fucking clue) but calls for snow all the same. I’m as tired of snow as I am this hacking cough. Somehow, in their own time, both winter and this cold/cough will release their grip. It seems improbable, but it’s true.  My emotions will retreat once more to deep below the surface.  

Oh no I see A spider web it's tangled up with me And I lost my head And thought of all the stupid things I said 

-Coldplay


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