Falling with Teacups

3:51 am. Insomnia has staked a claim on me, put its flag into my fertile potential for sleep and said “You are mine.”

3:53. I worry most about the children in Syria, that polio has returned, also measles. They are dying. I can do nothing about it. I worry about their parents, too, seeing them in mixed dress of drab colors and dirty bright scarves, but mainly I worry about the children.

3:57. Then there are the half million Palestinians in refugee camps in Syria. I read that they are the most abandoned, harmed, and isolated. Aligned with Assad for decades for relative safety, now they are the least safe. Could they be accepted on the West Bank? Israel would have a conniption fit first.

4:01. I worry about Israel, I worry about the West Bank, I worry especially about Gaza. I cannot imagine inside Gaza. I want BSD (boycotts, sanctions, divestments) applied against Israel. I realize with a small shock that I’ve come off the fence. I want the Israeli people to wake up, but they are harmed – more, they HAVE been harmed – to such a point that it seems unlikely that fear and denial will soon loosen their grip. Being heartbroken over Israel is not helping me get to sleep. I don’t want them harmed, I want to tell them they are safe and loved, so stop it!

4:07. I pet my dog, sleeping fretfully beside me, what with the light from my iPad and the wind they say will take away our two days of bird song and rising tulips.

4:10. They tested my ears today for hearing loss. There is some, high tones especially. Both ears. They talked to me about a hearing aid. I said “Not on your life!”

4:12. I worry about not hearing, I worry about never typing my computer code in right the first time. I worry because I left the trunk door up on my car in the street today when I returned home from taking my dog to the vets.

4:15. I worry that I fell tonight, missed the bottom step while carrying a box of my mother’s teacup collection that arrived yesterday with other items from her estate, the cups I remember as the most beautiful things she had.


I know them by heart, those with roses, those with thistles, those in gold, those with violets. They were divided among several of us so when I fell with them by missing the bottom step there were only six in the box, all more or less wrapped in plastic to go to my daughter.

yellow4:19. I fell, the fear of every woman of a certain age. I was only thinking two days ago that it had never happened, at least not from miscalculation. Now it has, the first time is over. My mother broke her hip when she was younger than I am, water from the dishwasher on the kitchen floor. She had to have a pin put in and use a walker. I compare my body with my mother’s. I come out way on top.


4:23. My grandson is being put into the after-school chess club, grades 2 to 6. He’s in kindergarten. I’m concerned if he can hold his social skills together to make it work.

4:27. I start to panic counting the people I owe emails to, and that I need to file Mom’s final income tax, and ….  I stop thinking about this, it doesn’t help me sleep.

4:32. The house where I lived with my ex-husband is being put on the market, gutted and floors sanded and walls painted. It turned into something resembling a college dorm after I wasn’t there, so people said. I remember the nooks and crannies of beauty, and of beautiful moments, gone. Surprised how little I care about the house, surprised that nooks of love survived the crash.

rosebuds4:37. When I fell, I hit with both knees on the slate floor, my upper body followed. Anyone walking by could have seen my prone body through the windows, immobile. I wanted someone to see, wanted someone to come, but no one did. I heard the teacups in the box clatter as I held them forward, safely, even as I fell. The sound was so loud in my ears, like life as glass breaking. The teacups were in my care for one day.

4:42. My last lover (or whatever that was) freeze-dried and rehydrated and freeze-dried and rehydrated and freeze-dried and rehydrated the feelings between us so often that I’m not certain they exist in real time now. I slip into the sweetness of what it felt like – what it, in fact, feels like now except that now it holds hands with a hollow ghost that also exists. Not his fault, … well, being bad at friendship is mainly his fault … but not his fault that it was impossible. I worry that knowing I could feel this powerfully could become a curse if it never happens again, but … whatever, I don’t know, I worry that …

4:49. I pet my dog, and imagine the next time I would see him (the man, not the dog). I imagine saying, “You are a lousy friend.” I worry I might say that.

4:52. I really worry about the lack of abortion clinics now in Texas. People having root canals or laser eye surgery don’t need to go to places fully equipped as hospitals. I think women are being hunted. I think the Inquisition has tentacles.

4:58. I think I read something on FB by Maria Shriver and how much weight she lost. Was it really 115? No, it must have been 15. I’ll have to check tomorrow.

yellow flower5:01. Soon as I could move, I reached out, still prone, to feel the teacups in the box. I thought this was the pose in cartoons of men in deserts reaching for water. The teacups felt okay, as though nothing was broken. I, too, seemed unbroken.

5:04. The melted bag of frozen peas I used as a pack on my left knee is on the floor. Has it melted? Will it leak?

5:07. My dog leans into me. I worry about the Syrian children.

5:10. 4% battery left.

5:11. I open the window. The wind is blowing.

5:13. 3% battery left.


7:30 am. I wake from a tense sleep and recurring dream. In this variation of the dream, I have a short time to find and leave with the small things of beauty that I own in the overflowing storage rooms of small things of beauty inside the Smithsonian Museum. It is separation time. SMITH SON (daughter) MUSEum. Will my muse stay behind? No answer.

I am in a dulled reverie from seeing, one at a time, objects of purest crystal and gold, small as ivory netsuke and Limoges pill boxes, exquisite – the last a small faceted crystal globe held up, embraced, by Atlas who looks as though he was poured, liquid gold, into his kneeling position.

AT LAS holding crystal, from the Greek Krystallos for “frozen light.” At last.

4 thoughts on “Falling with Teacups

  1. Breathtakingly shattering, I held my breath. How well I understand those early hour times.

    An Jungian analyst I know has a somewhat unique interpretation of dreams that’s different than many. He’s sees them of portents of positive beginnings.
    Of course it’s more complex than that.

    May your mourning be easy as you slip, yet hold the legacy you carry and will pass on.

    Warmly in sisterhood.


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