Sunday, February 18, 2007


Silas threw up this morning. I am pretty sure it's becuase he overheard that I was going to give him to the fairies. Don't worry, Silas, I will keep you.

Saturday, February 17, 2007


I am not a person who does more than one thing well at a time -- I am not talking about multi-tasking. I can easily talk on the phone, read the mail, feed Silas, cook something and make myself a drink simultaneously. What I refer to is doing more than one thing well that involves my heart and creative energy: When I was teaching, I felt conflict with writing; when writing, conflict with visual art; when raising Silas, conflict with everything else. It is hard for me to divide my passions...

Some people do not experience this, which I find fascinating (and perplexing too).

I have a child. There is no going back on that one. I like him. I love him. I stare at him for hours a day and laugh when no one can hear me. My skin gets the chalk-board-scratch-feeling when I think of anything bad every happening to him (which includes thickening skin with other kids and ever becoming a teenager).

That said, if a sparkly fairy appeared out of the blue and could magically *poof* him away to a happy place and make him instantly disappear with no pain or sadness --not die, mind you, just magically disappear --, I think I would kiss him goodbye on his mushy little cheek and let him poof.

Ben, of course, balked at this. But really, it would be sudden relief from this place where not only is there no turning back, but where I know I MUST continue to go forward. Silas WILL have to elbow his way through adolescence. And worst yet, sometime in the near future, I will embark on this whole thing all over again and have a second one. Why is this?? A very fair question. Being one of 4, my conscience simply won't let me raise an only child, despite myself. He must have a sibling to survive and laugh with...

So what I am wondering, as I sit here sipping rose bud tea that Sara sent for Valentines day (first taste is campfire, then roses) is what to do in moments of feeling transparent, of feeling like my life work -- not just Silas but all life work -- is a washing machine full of clean, warm, soggy sweat socks? what to do when the only idea that stirs the crackling current of aliveness through me is the idea of leaving tomorrow on a plane for France alone for 3 months -- travelling in Provence, staying in Paris on a houseboat or in an apartment with un petit balcon, which of course, is a complete impossibility.

But maybe that's just it -- the root problem -- that I believe in impossibilities...

Friday, February 16, 2007


I've been feeling "angsty," as my former student Elizabeth Ray would say (who just ate dark chocolate rather than milk to confirm that she is, indeed, angsty -- I love teenagers), and haven't found much to say.

A highlight of the week: on Valentines Day, Ben and I gave each other cards. And of all the cards in all the stores in all the world, we bought each other the same card.

I am thinking about coming back to teach here next year (currently am subbing an English class). Today, all signs point to yes, though it is hard to imagine being here without these kids whom I have grown to love the past 4. That is the thing about teaching and loving a school -- it empties and fills. It's malleable. Come back to visit and you are a stranger. Coming back here would be starting from scratch. Taking a gulp of air, diving in.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Books from childhood...

I threw a Couples Valentines Cocktails-Mocktails Baby Shower tonighT (how is that for a mouthful?) This is the game we played -- jogs the memory -- which kids books do you remember? Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, Ramona Quimby, Curdoroy the Bear?... Read the first lines and see if you can come up with the source.

I am exhausted and going to take a bath and fall into bed (yes, it is 8PM).


(some are chapter books some are picture books, some are popular now, and for some you have to think back to childhood … good luck*)

In the great green room

The night Max wore his wolf suit

Here are Paul and Judy

Once when I was six, I saw a magnificent picture in a book about the jungle, called True Stories. It showed a boa constrictor swallowing a wild beast.

how many workers are there here?

Chug, chug, chug. Puff, puff, puff. Ding-dong. Ding-dong.

Once there was a bunny who wanted to run away

One sunny day, the caterpillar was hatched…

On the fifteenth of may, in jungle of Nool, in the heat of the day in the cool of the pool…

One day, little Sal went with her mother…

Mr. and Mrs. Mallard were looking for a place to live.

"Where's Papa going with that ax?" said Fern to her mother…

Five little puppies dug a hole under the fence and went for a walk in the wide,
wide world

I expect I might as well begin by telling you about_____________, so whenever I mention her name, which I do very often in this book, you will not interrupt and ask, "Who is ___________? What does she look like? How big is she? How old is she? What color is her hair? Is her hair long? Is there a Mr. _______?"

"I am not a pest!"

Mr and Mrs Brown first met _________ on a railway platform.

On the cover, what did that say? Did that say there would be a monster…?

In an old house in Paris that was covered in vines

One evening, ___________ decided to go for a walk in the moonlight, but there wasn't any moon…

___________ is a bear who once lived in the toy department of a big store.

Here is Edward Bear, coming downstairs now, bump, bump, bump on the back of
his head, behind ___________.

Little Nutbrown Hare, who was going to bed, held on tight to Big Nutbrown

Friday, February 02, 2007


Well, Ben is out for the evening, which means I actually have an extended uninterrupted span of time to do some things (I owed Kirsten a poem yesterday), but it turns out all I want to do is drink wine, eat reeces pieces and watch "Anchor Man." What can I say??


Last night, Champagne Thursday, Ben, Amy and I toasted to life. Over the past couple of days, both Ben and I have waited to find out his mom's diagnosis -- essentially whether she was going to live or die in the next few years. Intense. And yesterday, she found out that she is cancer-free!

In light of this, I have been thinking about how to pray. How does one pray about cancer? Even if we pray, cancer might come. God does not promise that the body will be well or that life will be long. These are not his guarantees. Then when cancer is gone, we find ourselves saying, "God is good!" but the fact is, "God is good" whether or not the cancer is there...

God doesn't promise a lot of what I want -- like bodily safety for everyone I love (I REALLY want this)-- so it makes sense to know what he does promise and then ask for these things -- God is God, should be good on his promises. (sallie clingman told me this recently).

He promises to strengthen us when we are weak. That he will give us hope. That he can renew our thoughts. That he can make us new, give us second chances (and third and three hundred and seventy-third). That we are tasty and lovable in his eyes. That we can have peace -- a real, settled-in-the-gut peace that comes with knowing that regardless, God is God and we are his, a peace we can have in the midst of the most shitty times. That Immanuel -- God is with us -- always. I happened upon a verse this week that says, "She who has Jesus has life." And so it turns out he also promises us life. Life. Something to think about.

So, yes, cheers to Life.