m wood pen

illustrator of books, cocktails, travel + more

m wood view from a gondola

as my creative brain, not unlike the hard drive of a computer, gets all clogged up with the unfathomable facts of this long life, it seems harder than ever to recall many things. i tend to play my own version of that kevin bacon ‘six degrees of separation’ game, certain that one glimpsed memory will trigger the next, and next and next.

that’s why, on the auspicious day when my ex-husband turns 50, i’m finding myself tripping happily down a sort of memory lane, watching the time fly by from my inverse telescope, from all those years ago when we were young, before the haphazardly navigated days of aiming in different directions. oh what wonderful days!

he and i found ourselves in venice, just in time to celebrate his 24th birthday. what a magical, mysterious, lucky place to be, despite the scary alley cats and those creepy masks.  i remember, on our train pass jaunt through europe, that the plan was a joie de vive sort of strategy.  traveling in january and february, we had escaped the chill of london for the warmth and earthiness of italy, thanks to my falling in love with the just released, “room with a view” which finds judi dench, professor mcgonigal, bellatrix lastrange and the newest incarnation of abraham lincoln traipsing around the tuscan world.  our late january days in venice stretched by nature’s cue: each morning when we woke, if it was sunny, we stayed.

how’s that for a clock to live by?

for a time, our lives were the same and from that sprung three amazingly incredible children.  and to top off the 25th year after of our oh so optimistic european jaunt, our oldest two children shared a sibling bonding few days in, yes, venice.

i’m nostalgic to the core. in pretty much everything. blame my mother, not my dad who is known to tear out each day of the calendar as it’s ending.  his motto, “don’t look back”.  for me, i love every bit of the life i’ve lived so far, as patchwork-quilted as it’s turned out to be: all sums add up to the whole big adventure.

so, in honor of my children’s fathers 50th birthday, despite our living apart these many, many years, despite life rolling so far beyond the final shores where we parted, for this day, i’m eternally grateful.

happy birthday, brian.

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