On the Road in Oslo by Maggie Scratch

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It was after showing dozens and dozens of baby pictures to Gabriela as we ooooed and ahhhhhed our way through my new granddaughter’s amazing features, that she spotted this pic and insisted I post it. So, okay. I love good graffiti, I love Bansky, I’m obsessed with documenting the moment. Sadie and I were walking to Wayne’s Coffee and when I saw that wall I asked her to stop a minute under the hot sunny Norwegian sky. Capture the moment, I thought. I really am here! I’m in Oslo! I’m walking down the road with my daughter and my granddaughter as if it were the most natural thing to do. Everything comes back to me! The heat, my daughter’s shining face, beautiful little Milla tucked into the Angel Pack, the warm love, the motherhood, the daughterhood, grandmotherhood, babyhood, childhood, writerhood, backpackinghood…it’s all there, in this picture. Oslo. I flew there, I lived there, I loved there, I worked there, I slept there, I ate there, I walked there,  I walked in the Norwegian woods with my family, there I was, I was there!

Back in Barcelona Unwinding With The Screamin Demon by Maggie Scratch

 

 

steven-tyler-says-aerosmith-will-go-on-a-farewell-tour-next-year-09.JPGI don’t usually listen to rock. In fact, I love silence, but you never know when lightning will strike. It struck me last night lying on my couch. So I put the headphones in, far in, and went down a hard rocker’s road. It wasn’t hard at all. It was like I always knew this voice, this guy from Boston, my alma mater, my alma, this unbedded fellow beast, this soul mate of words, this Joe Cocker creature, his gray streaks and chiseled face, this reinvented rebel with cause for fame, this father, this son, this singer, this man, this twin at heart. I guess you could sum it all up and say I love  his voice. But it’s more than that. Steven Tyler is my coach. My mentor. My guide. He’s a total inspiration for an old fart grandmother. Here I am, about to look at 32 years of my life, starting with my daughter’s bedroom. I will start with her closet. She is never coming back to use this closet. She has her own closet in Oslo but she still has all these clothes on hangers, shoes stuffed into bags, bags of stuff on the closet floor, all kinds of gauzy skirts that she made or collected,  stuff hanging out of duffle bags, paper bags, bags and bags and bags of her life. I really don’t want to go in there, so I don’t. I look out at the plum tree. Look! The blackbird is back! Can that bird hear the water I splashed into the dish this morning? Can the bird smell that I’ve returned from the north? Something is up! What’s up is that I am now living in the pre-new-now. The new now is what I’m trying to get my mind around. That’s why I’m fascinated by Steven Tyler. That’s why I’m starting with my daughter’s bedroom. The combination of Steven Tyler’s voice screaming at me to get my mind around the fact that something is up  and the act of cleaning out my daughter’s closet is no coincidence.It’s lightning striking twice. It’s reality. I was lying on my couch trying to unwind and Steven Tyler  wound me up.He’s still winding me up. I need this guy to scream at me louder and louder and louder, dream on, dream on, dream on… and finally, as if he were an axe — he makes a dent. Right, I don’t want to miss a thing either.  Two outstanding tee-shirts have walked by me recently. First, Now Or Never. Then,  Get Over It. How does anyone  know what will happen? Freud says: “You know everything.” But, I, for one, need a dent to realize what I already know. I’m about to stare 32 years of my life in the face. At least today I get it. The past is done. Get over it. The new-now is promising. It’s true what Freud said. I know everything. Deep deep down, if I really think about it, I always knew this would happen.  I always dreamed it. It’s all good. I’ll start with the closet.

Milla, My Norwegian Granddaughter and The Big Picture by Maggie Scratch

Here I am in Oslo. I have to pinch myself because life is such a mystery. How did I get here? How does the trickle of my blood run in Milla’s veins? Ok there are some easy answers, but I’m looking for the big picture. As big as the Norwegian sky. I show that sky to Milla. That is the sky she will know. I will leave that sky. I will return to another sky. And on the other hand, sky is one sky, isn’t it?  This is the big picture I’m looking for. Lately I have been accused of not being political enough. People want me to vote in the US elections. They say I must take a stand. I DO take a stand. I stand for the big picture. Beyond countries, beyond flags, beyond borders and races and religions and sexes and TV and body shapes and hairdos and languages and the circus that is the political arena. My stand is ridiculous I know. It’s completely not doable. I do it anyway though. I stand here under this Norwegian sky rocking my granddaughter to sleep in my arms, her newborn smell of  milk and cookies, kissing this boundless creature and I take a stand to protect all living things, to be the boat and the bridge and the passage for all the sources of life everywhere that reach until the ends of space.