Saturday, September 5, 2009

Willow, weep for me

When I was in high school there was a Chad and Jeremy song I loved called "Willow, weep for me." It went something like this:

Willow weep for me
Willow weep for me
Bend your branches green
Along the stream that runs to sea
Listen to my plea
Listen willow and weep for me

Murmur to the night
To hide the starry light
So none will find me sighing
And crying all alone

Weepin' willow tree
Weep in sympathy
Bend your branches down
Along the ground and cover me

When the shadows fall
Bend oh willow and weep for me

When this image called to me this morning, I thought it was lovely -- it reminded me of that song -- but I wasn’t sure what story it had to tell. And then I realized it was all about hiding -- "bend your branches down... and cover me"; that the willow branches resemble long hair, the kind of hair teenage girls often tend to hide behind. My hair may only be shoulder-length these days, but I’m still occasionally tempted to hide behind it, and this was definitely one of those mornings.

It all began because my husband really really wanted me to bring back maple syrup from Vermont, so I bought some. But it was heavy, and I didn’t want my bag to go overweight, so I (cleverly, I thought) decided to stuff it in my carry-on, because that’s small and they don’t weigh it.

Well, duh! You can’t take that much liquid on a plane! What was I thinking? Well, the truth is, I guess I wasn’t thinking. So when the security folks dug it out of my bag I felt terribly stupid and embarrassed. I didn’t want to ship the carry-on as baggage – it had my laptop and camera in it, and wasn’t particularly well packed, so I opted to mail the syrup back. But of course at 7:00 in the morning the mailing station at the Albany airport isn’t manned, so eventually I just gave up and threw the syrup away.

As I walked back through security, re-greeting all my sympathetic TSA friends at the checkpoint, a voice in my head kept smacking me and saying, “you’re such an idiot; you’re such a stupid bozo.” And of course I was sad not to be bringing my husband his syrup, which he dearly loves. Sigh.

It’s not the end of the world; it’s just a mistake. I am not so much an idiot as just forgetful. But it’s hard to forgive the waste of money, and disheartening to think that the forgetfulness could be yet another sign that I am over 60, and will become increasingly prone to such foolishness. How will I compensate for these challenges, and, more importantly, will I ever learn to forgive myself for such lapses?

If it had happened to anyone else I would surely reassure them and let them know I still love them. But the fact is that even after all this work, I still find it very hard to forgive myself.

Guess I’ll just have to work on that! Yet again, my weakness will be my whetstone...