Monday, July 31, 2006

Back Then and Now

Back then I could count to 100 and feel satisfied. Could spell Mississippi with all the Ss. Could cross the orange kitchen tile and cross the world.
Back then I learned to drive and crashed neatly 7 times -- something almost predictable to the destruction. Back then I bought shades made of reeds and a white paper lamp.
Back then my outline was scrambled and fuzzy and I rarely held together well.
Back them my car was green, my love yellow.
Back then I wore wool sweaters. My car door froze, the key broke off in the lock.

Now I am in flip flops and call 80 degrees hot.
Now I have a small boy and a recent man, a cat shaved like a lion.
Now I try to hold fears in my mouth like objects and speak their names. Now I sit with an iced mocha and a brown paper-covered table.
Now I wait for something to clear -- for the sun to soften or clouds to settle or something like song to call me. Now I understand hardly anything after today.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Yesterday morning thunder rumbled in the muggy morning sky. But it didn't rain. And rather than the clouds cooling, the day became stickier. This morning the clouds cleared early and the heat settled in.

This is the reason I am sitting on the floor of my living room right now: My cat had a vet appointment this morning. I could not carry a baby and a cat in a box to the car at the same time, so I went in shifts. First I took the baby down to the garage, buckled him in, turned on the car light, gave him toys and locked the car. Then I climbed the stairs to find the cat. She was no where. I whistled, called, hunted. Nothing. Walked back to the garage. The baby was playing in the car. Relocked him in and searched for the cat again. Nothing. Back to the garage. Getting fussy. Gave more toys. Back to the cat. Whistle, call, shake the bag of food. Nothing. Back to the garage. Getting fussier. New toys. Locked the car. Called for the cat. Scoured the house. Nothing. Back down. Baby having a breakdown. Checked time. Late for the vet. Nap overdue. Took out the baby. Climbed back upstairs. Whistled for the damn cat. Nothing. Put the baby to bed. Cancelled the vet.

Still no cat. A happy sleeping baby. No rain but the sound of sprinklers.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

A few finds...

Thanks for visiting my blog.

Here are a few things of my recent discoveries:

1. Snapple nectarine white tea

2. J.LOHR pasos robles merlot

3. Mason Jennings

good things...


Living in France, I learned that many cheeses taste better at room temperature – the flavor unlocked. Never again have I eaten refrigerated brie. Ah, liberation!

Today, however, in Southern California with only a neighborhood grocery store (the ghetto store) in walking distance, with a fidgety 4 month old squirming on the floor who should be napping, there will be no jaunting to the French market for cheese. Piling a fat, heavy baby in the car one more time and piling him out at the grocery store, shopping, and repiling and unloading is all too much to ask for cheese.

Instead, I have settled for packaged, pre-sliced, lowfat Swiss, sandwiched between pieces of ham (because I also have no bread). While preparing my less-than-gourmet lunch, I discover that it only takes 5 seconds in the microwave to soften a thick slice of Swiss cheese just enough to bring out the flavor and take off the refrigerated edge. 5 seconds and hard, cold cheese is transformed. Why, I asked myself, can I not soften up so quickly?

I am notorious for taking a small thought 0 to 60 in 2 seconds – suddenly my husband, 15 minutes late, is in a fatal car accident on the highway; my best friend, delayed in returning my call, has discovered me and cut me from her life; a creak in the hall and a mass murderer has crept into the second floor of the house ETC. It is exhausting, really.

Today it is my mother. We are damaged and distanced and not talking. (Not talking for us, I should add, is counted in hours or days, not years). Today our lack of connection -- for that is the problem, many words and little depth – weighs heavily, and I am sure there are deep seated mother-to-child patterns that I will inevitably duplicate with my own children and that the best solution is to excommunicate myself from her.

When I run this by Todd, my teacher friend, he tells me our biggest job in life is “to do the thing” – whatever that thing may be. That doing is where there is Spirit in our lives. That doing equals living. And I know that especially when you live as I do, always on the brink of some violent end or mass abandonment, he is right – there are only two choices: fear and embrace -- and embracing is doing the thing.

So here in the corner of my living room, baby on the floor, tea with lemon at hand, a pounding headache and far too little sleep, I decide I will “do,” and take my heart out of the refrigerator. Putting it in the microwave seems a bit rash, violent even,, so the counter will have to do. And then I will wait. Sometimes this is all we can do – take the first small step and watch the cold edge soften and hope the flavor will rise.