Sorting through a kitchen cupboard I came upon this,
If I can weave them together, the pieces that took form as I looked at the dish seem to be about comfort, simple acts of human kindness that make a difference; about what endures - in friendships, in iconic or treasured objects, in memories, in tradition; about the swiftness and brevity of it all.
I see Jane, bestower of Beatrix Potter, helping me paint an iron bedstead on our porch in Sierra Madre Canyon, steps away from her house. I see and hear her chuckling at Ratso, my vintage rabbit fur coat, one of many hippie-esque remnants that seeped into the 1970s. She was not one to offer the sip of camomile tea, her comfort took other forms. Freelance assignments, enticing me away from a state of semi-exile (with low rent and great weather) to a real writing job and the unrealized promise of an assistant back in my hometown, unequaled generosity and fine humor. She could not have been called sentimental or mushy.
Without checking the date, I would not have realized how long ago Jane died. With my imperfect memory, I'm not sure if I've written about her in other years. I do know any mentions would not have included the Peter Rabbit illustration. I may have missed the mark, trying to find a point in all this. The closest I can come is to note we are reminded that forward is really the only direction, persevering is the indicated action, holding on, sometimes lightly, but holding on nonetheless may keep up from drifting too far off course, our anchors as fragile as memories or photographs or a child's china plate.