Thursday, March 24, 2011

Mr. Kim Blogs - Perspective

Too many days at work for hours numbering into the mid-double digits gets me cranky and childish and self-centered and foul-mouthed. I am currently in the seventh consecutive month with way too many of these days, frequently back to back to back. Tonight, after yet another day of getting to the office at dawn and leaving well after 8 PM, I trudged to my mother’s house to fulfill a promise of helping her around the house with toting and lifting and yanking and holding – things she can’t or at least shouldn’t do any longer with her bad knee. I do not mind helping out, that’s what family does and especially what children-who-can do for their parents-who-cannot. But I was tired and after I finished my ten minutes of chores and was loading into the car a half dozen small plants she had kept in her garage on life support for me through the long winter, all I could do was complain about work. The hours, the idiots, the money, the uselessness of some of the things I do, the frustrations, the arbitrary decisions – it all sort of came burbling down like mud in a gully. She listened and waited for me to run out of air, and apropos of god only knew at the time, she offered, ”Do you know they are calling for snow flurries tomorrow night?” I allowed as I didn’t know that, that the weather was not something I had had time to keep up with. She looked to her flower beds, now in full bloom. “I guess I’ll have to cover those up, maybe they’ll make it.” Mom can make flowers grow from a pot of rocks.

“Come around front. You need to smell my hyacinths.“ This was not a request. She was already walking around the corner, not looking back to see if I was following. “Come smell them, they’re wonderful. They may well be gone tomorrow with the weather coming in so come smell them. You need to remember what is important. Not ‘smelling work’, smelling hyacinths.”

And she stopped directly over the front flower bed and suggested that I smell the pink ones as well as the purple ones. I bent down as close as I could get in my three button grey pinstripe suit, careful not to ground my knees. And I inhaled. I missed it at first but the second time the perfume just grabbed me. It really is such a pure thing. I stood up, and she looked expectantly at me. “Best smell in the whole world, don’t you think?”

I have much to learn.


  1. Saadi would have LOVED her.

    What the World needs:

    More Hyacinth-smelling.

    More LawnBoys in Three-Button Pinstripes.

  2. I just found your blog! I totally, totally love this blog and love your mother. Wow! What an incredible women she is. Did it snow? Is her garden ok?

  3. Welcome, Lynn! Thanks for visiting. Mrs. Kim is the main blogger here, and gifted she is, too. I just sit in once in a while when I have something to say or when there's so much dust gathering on her last blogpost that the government threatens to condemn the whole things as abandoned property.

    It did not snow but got plenty cold. We are in Virginia, and mid-spring is now revisiting the climate of the first days of springtime here. Typical, I am afraid. Flowers bloom, then freeze, then the next week we're at 90 degrees and wondering what happened.

    Mom is a great person. Taught me a lot as a kid about clouds and trees and flowers and walks in the woods and getting along with this world and each other. Sometimes I listened, sometimes I didn't and sometimes I forgot. No saint, she, and no hippie mystic either (read earlier posts here and you'll glimpse her chasing a dog with a butcher knife) but she has her moments of supreme clarity on What Is. She is equal parts pain in the ass and selfless soul. Yea, she's mom, what else can I say?

    Come visit often. Upcoming posts will include our prep for, experience of, and recovery from our very first trip to England together. Together meaning me and Mrs. Kim..... I love my mother, but if we went to England together I'd probably have to kill her.

  4. BTW, steelersandstartrek is Mr. Kim. Also known as Mike. Have a great day.

  5. Since I am allergic to dust I appreciate you popping in and giving us your take on things. You are both talented writers and I really enjoy this blog. Say hi to Mrs.Kim for me.

  6. Mr Kim, I agree with your mother that hyacinths smell wonderful. I don't know which plant God gave us smells the best, though. I have to place the lilac waaaay up there. Have a hybrid one with your/Kim's name on it, to see if it will grow in the shade. Can't wait to meet you two in person!

  7. Bev - thanks for visiting and a HI to you, too. I like this family blogging thing and wish The Child would get into the act here!

    Chesapeake - can't wait for y'all to come home so that we can finally meet!