Sunday, September 10, 2017

no more & no less

Quote from "Long Quiet Highway: Waking Up in America" by Natalie Goldberg -

"Real, solid growth and education are slow. Look at a tree. We don’t put a seed in the ground and then stick our fingers in the earth and yank up an oak. Everything has its time and is nourished and fed with the rhythms of the sun and moon, the seasons. We are no different, no more special, no less important."

Sunday, August 20, 2017

as for me and my house, we will find farts funny

"As for the silly behavior. Burping and farting is not funny at this house, I think it was at yours, hopefully it is not anymore. They think saying excuse me means they can do it over and over again and laugh about it. I tell them everybody burps and farts, but it is usually by accident, and they say excuse me. They don't do it over and over again to be funny. [boychild] likes getting laughs. I think he likes that type of attention. I am not 100% sure what to do about that yet, other than to keep telling him that school time is not a time to be silly.
On a very minor note, try to get [girlchild] to stop saying Poop or Poopie so much. I think, that is her attempt at being funny. She says it a lot."

Monday, August 5, 2013

postcard: tonglen tanka #2

I don't know these words
grace and mercy. forgiveness.
I wish them for you
to be kinder to yourself
and to the hearts in your care.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

cursory crime

Peter, Peter booming screamer
Has the wife, but he won't keep her
Georgie Porgie prepped the pie
Kissed the girl and made her cry
Mary Mary so contrary
Tends the garden, ever wary

Monday, June 17, 2013

postcard: skeleton in your closet

From 5th grade to 8th grade I was a bit of a kleptomaniac. It likely started in TX with my sister & a friend thinking it funny to have me walk out of a store with something. But then in MN, I stole money from my grandmother, shirts and cassette tapes (yes, tapes) from my aunt and cousins, clothes and tapes from stores... I recall stealing an Ocean Pacific tee from a boutique clothing store/tanning salon (BouJous? Terrible name.) where my friend went tanning. I stole sunglasses. I stole silver rings and jewelry from the local crafts fair. I stole someone else's birthday gift while at a birthday party. That time I got caught. It was in middle school and it could have gone badly and stayed with me, but they mercifully downplayed it. The last thing I recall stealing was $ from the till at my first job. Then I just stopped. It felt gross and dishonest, and I didn't want to be that.

Friday, May 31, 2013

own the mess

Tonight, I was tired. And frustrated. And overwhelmed. And a little pissed. The minute I got home from work, husband went (escaped) outside to mow the lawn, and I sat like a pathetic, sad lump with two children wanting my attention, wanting a lively response, and using more and more extreme ways to get it. I needed something interactive for them to do that would also get me engaged (even though I wanted desperately to lie down on the floor and stare at the ceiling)...and not a flashy screen, touch screen cop-out.
The house was an intimidating mess. Clothes and toys and toy related debris. Everyfuckingwhere.
Target: locked on.
I tried several attempts (polite requests degenerating into threats) to get my son to help me clean up. No dice. (When will I learn?)  And I could feel myself getting really pissed and Son could feel his manic success in getting a response.
Finally, I just started plowing all the shit, everywhere into one ginormous pile in the middle of the floor. Everything that had been pushed to the perimeter and the corners and under and on top of furniture. Then, after that satisfying exertion, I sat on a chair and calmly told Son that we had a pretty big mess here. We wouldn't be able to do anything fun together until we cleaned it up. Maybe he could think of some ideas of how we could work together to get it all put away. What could he tackle first? Say, stuffed animals?  And what should I tackle first? Blankets and pillows?
Next the big things with wheels.
Then the things that go in the play kitchen.
Then action figures (he stood them all up along the bay window).
Then cars (lined up along the ledge).
The final challenge was the contest: who could put the remaining miscellany into the toy tub the fastest. Of course, he won.
The other approach I've witnessed too many times to mention is to demand that Son pick it up by himself, yell and punish and get increasingly loud loud loud and angry, and get Son increasingly angry/sad/frantic until everything falls to shit and everyone feels wretched.
But this, among other things, completely misses the fact that it wasn't just my Son's mess. It was our mess. I played a role in it getting to where it was. I let night after night go by without setting limits or working with him to make choices and take responsibility and clean up. It became this daunting, scattered thing that no one could get a handle on and no one wanted to touch. So I piled it up. Got it all into view. And it became something that could be sorted and dismantled.
Tomorrow, I'll tackle the kitchen in a similar, though more glassware friendly fashion.
Maybe next, one of the other several overwhelming clusterfucks that I've assisted in creating.
And boom! There you have it: a metaphor for life.

Friday, May 24, 2013

us chickens

Whatever sense of life one has, it seems to me qualified by the literal biological thing we are, and by the fact that, though we may presume differences between us, we're basically, like chickens, not a wildly various life form. Our repetitions are bleakly notorious in every sense. But a world is, as it turns out, in the very word that says it, a "vir (man)-eld (age)," the length of a human life--and what one takes that as being, and what relations one feels it to have or works to accomplish: That's it entirely. If there is a world of insistent pain and poverty and despair, it is a human one. That I have never been able to forget.  
Robert Creeley in Take My Advice: Letters to the Next Generation from People Who Know a Thing or Two [Thank you, Ms. Popova]


I just caught myself thinking, "I need some motherfucking chamomile lavender tea."
Yes, I think I do.