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August 2005

I have a hammock. It’s my happy place. I make a point of getting into it most every day. Something about the rocking takes me back to a place of complete contentment ...not bad for the $18 it cost me in a Costa Rican market.

So I crawl into it and pull on the string I’ve tied to the deck railing ...and rock. I watch clouds scudding across my sky ...their movement enhanced by my own. I’ve always liked looking at clouds, photographing clouds, following clouds. Nothing changes quite like clouds do – the ultimate free spirits.

Had lunch on the deck with my husband today. He doesn’t much like hammocks. Thanks goodness, really, wouldn’t want the competition for mine. When I dragged this one home from CR he whinged all the way: “We have no place to put it. I’m not drilling holes in the siding. You don’t understand, we have no place to put it.”

But we did and he did ...even though there are now four neat holes in the siding. Proof of his abiding love, I think.

After we’d eaten I climbed into my hammock for a post-lunch rock. The clouds were amazing. They looked like White Rock sand at low tide when the wind has been whipping the surf ...wave-patterned ruts trenching deeply into the beach. That’s what it looked like, but the illusion was created by the deep deep blue of a perfect August afternoon and the whispy white surf of a cirrus formation.

I told him about it so he looked at the sky, head tilted back from his chair at the table, and he couldn’t see it. Not from that perspective, just couldn’t see it.

Later this afternoon one of my boys came into town from Alberta and popped into my office for a catch-up. Marc is one of my son’s close friends – a boy who lived with us through some of his difficult adolescence. A boy, now a man, who kidnapped this mother’s heart to become one her own.

We talked of this and that ...catching up. One of my friends is trying to effect a marital separation/divorce and we happened on the topic. It’s a topic Marc is an expert on. First his parent’s divorce as a very young boy, then his father’s and stepmother’s tortured relationship during his adolescence, have given this 23-year-old an intimate perspective on marital relationships.

He listened to me talk about my friend’s tribulations with a husband who is fighting over every penny of the divorce settlement. But every dollar she concedes just results in a new barrier being thrown up. Another ridiculous demand being made. It will never end. He won’t settle. She is at her wit’s end.

Not Marc. “If he settles, it’s over. Money is the last connection he has to her, the only subject he knows will still get her attention. The only way to maintain his connection to her. It’s not about money.”

Never occurred to any of us. This fellow has always been obsessive about counting every penny ...we assumed it was all about money. But of course, it isn’t.

Another perspective ...

And I wonder, as I rock into the clouds again this evening,how many perspectives there are out there that I’ve never considered. Things I think I understand ...but don’t.

Carolyn Usher