Time to Tear off the Roof & Take a Peek


When we tear off the roof, we open a new window on the world, Yes?  Last week my daughter and I visited the Portland Nordic Center’s Troll Exhibit and fell in love with this giant guy. What an amazing piece of work!  And his eyes …. Oh my Goodness!  This particular photo (my favorite) reminded me of  words about windows that I recently read by Pavithra Mehta.

“I believe windows are celebrated in direct proportion to the degree one is conscious of circumscription ….  A window is the infinite, framed in a rectangle of glass, granting depth, mystery, and the possibility of exploration to actors who play daily in very small, forgotten theaters …  If you do not have a meaningful relationship with windows, then it is possible that you have some difficulty perceiving grace ….”  

Last week I joined other writers and artists who share their work on Substack … another window through which I get to look out at the world and folks out there get to look in on me. Mostly, Light Waves will be the same in both locations with little extras thrown in now and then. For instance … reviewing my year of ‘words’, I came across one of my all-time favorites from 2022, September Elegy, the piece about “special needs & special gifts”.  With kids returning to school, I thought it was worth re-posting.

Then, less than 24 hours later I came upon this thoughtful article by a “middle-aged white lady middle school math teacher” and Daily Kos community writer. It’s titled “I Don’t”, he said quietly. In the interest of ‘higher’ education, I hope you’ll give it the few minutes it takes to read.

Working our way up the “rascal” line, make room for Connie Schultz, another substack writer with a regular column titled Hopefully Yours. Wait. What? Isn’t she Sherrod Brown the senator’s wife?  Yep. That’s the one … Connie Schultz, longtime feral feminist.

OK now.  Getting close to last but not least, that “dash of irreverence” I promised comes from my fellow aging rascal, and poet extraordinaire Carolyn Martin. “Blissfully retired in Clackamas, Oregon,” according to her lovely website,  “Ekphrasis: a Cadralor” is her latest piece in the Ekphrastic Review. Five remarkable stanzas speaking to a painting titled “Birth of the World.”  While I really like her 5th stanza line Self- Portrait of a Poet Aging as She Writes, my real favorite is #3.

In Jesus’s painting, the table is round.
Magdalene sits on His right amused by the Matthew/
Mark/Luke fight over narratives and the Peter/
Andrew/James row about the largest fish. John passes
bread around. The title? Judas asks. Jesus gleefully replies,
The Boss’s Dinner. Everyone nods. No surprise.

Finally, let’s not forget the men. A week before we said our sad Goodbye to Jimmy Buffett, who was so much more than just the Margaritaville man, Portland said Goodbye to our ‘unofficial’ but longtime poet laureate, probably the most outrageous rascal of them all, Walt Curtis.  And then …  life goes on. As William Stafford said it, in his poem “Tragedy”, All of this can’t stop for a person, no matter who.

So … here we are, last but never least. Time to tear off the roof, open a bigger window, take a deeper breath, get ready for a new season. And before we know it, a new year. While the New Year I celebrate won’t be here for a few months, Rosh Hashana is upon us and I wish my Jewish friends & neighbors, Shanah Tovah!

Until next time …  May we all share the blessing of Harachaman, and may each of us manifest mercy and justice in the year ahead.

Published by Sulima Malzin

This 'Aging Rascal & Occasional Writer' invites you to embrace the world through her open window of poetry, art, activism, music, and humor.

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I don’t either 🥲

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