Slash and Burn

by Sandra

I’m sitting in my living room right now, on this day that would have been my dad’s 68th birthday.  The Christmas tree that Elizabeth and I picked up earlier, still naked and unadorned is filling the house with a wonderful pine scent.  Growing up we were always “week-before-Christmas” people, so that the tree wouldn’t be dead and drying by the time the holiday rolled around.  I’m currently importing CDs that I bought at Cal’s yardsale.  One can always count on Cal having good taste in music and today I picked up everything from Miles Davis to Sufjan Stevens, Morcheeba and Jeff Buckley.  Cal’s leaving at the end of the year — probably for good as far as L.A. is concerned and she’s getting rid of as much of her stuff as she can.   What’s funny is that Cal was living at this house when I moved in March of 2005 and again I am struck by how quickly and unexpectedly life can change.  The human life is really all about change, and as time passes, possessions and experiences, relationships are accumulated and then stripped away again.  Without change, we are denied all the excitment and pain in life.  So in that way it is a necessary, and dare I say, good thing.  Marriage, death, babies, expired visas — what would life be without them all?  There’d be no room for new growth, new seedlings.  Still it is sad to see loved-ones go, whether they’re moving to another country, as in Cal’s case, or passing on, as in Dad’s.