Sunday, December 04, 2022

simply



A cold day, but beautiful. 

Walks with some of my favorite people: L, Big A,  me...

Pic: An icy Red Cedar River

Saturday, December 03, 2022

uff... life

Life is always bewildering and some days are just a big punch... even from a distance. 

Yesterday, YS friends were cheerfully posting links to Steven Bognar's documentary about Jazz DJ Steve Schwerner.*

By the end of the day, my feed was filled with news that Julia Reichert, Steven Bognar's partner, had passed away

I was lying awake sometime after 3 am thinking about Steve Bognar and how up and down and all around life is.... And then I started thinking about Steve Schwerner. And how his rich and meaningful life is always overshadowed by the immense sacrifice of his brother Michael's life and death

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*The documentary begins in our old Yellow Springs house, which we lived in after the Schwerners, and it was interesting to peek at a time before we lived there.

Friday, December 02, 2022

wildest dreams: Taylor, Judy, Betty, Nu

Nu had to come to Alma with me to see the dentist, so there was a lot of Taylor Swift on our commute. I really wish I could have scored some Taylor Swift concert tickets as a Christmas present for Nu, but the online lines were interminable and the price was prohibitive--more expensive than any present I've ever bought anyone, probably. After a point, I just gave up.

But one of Nu's other dreams came true today--he was able to spend some time with Judy and Betty--MB's brindled mice. Nu has always loved mice--until today only in theory and as stuffed animals--and was amazingly gentle and confident playing with them. Judy and Betty--named for the sisters in White Christmas will retire from their work as lures for the kestrels MB is banding--so their job is to act cute and tasty--at the end of Jan. At which point, MB would like to offer them to Nu as a present.  It'll be an uphill battle convincing Big A, but Nu and I together can be pretty formidable. (I'm terrified and ick-ed by mice, frankly; but Nu enjoys them so much.)

Pic: Nu with Judy.

Thursday, December 01, 2022

imagine: rice, flour, oil, sugar, and beans

I post some version of this reminder that food banks benefit most from cash donations every year. This is as much for me as for people I know. It's always tempting to add extra peanut butter-beans-cereal to my grocery cart to feed my "larger family."  It's always satisfying to imagine that some other children (and I always imagined they were children) would be able to make a snack out of things I'd picked up. And of course when the kids were younger, it was a tangible way to teach caring. But giving to food banks is not supposed to be about how it makes me feel. 

So I've been good about cash contributions. 

But when The Refugee Development Center in town started taking up in-kind donations for Welcome Boxes, I signed right up to bring rice, flour, oil, sugar, and beans. If I were displaced and in a new place, I imagine I could make something my family might recognize from those supplies. I would want to.

There is a passage in Robert J.C. Young* that always resonates with students--where we're asked to imagine ourselves as refugees, to imagine the break in the daily routines of living... like discussing the day's menu with a neighbor. I think about that passage often. 

Anyway, Nu and I dropped off lots of supplies this evening. I could have easily done it before I picked Nu up from their remedial (whole other story!) class at school. But I kind of liked the idea of doing something together that would get Nu out of their own thoughts and social loops for a while.

* Also, that book is the ONLY time ever where I'm listed right next to Homi Bhabha (in the "Acknowledgements").

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

storyteller

I wake wanting to be
inside the side 
you are on 
                 to step outside my body 
                                   threading through
                                   discarded stories                your departures guiding me
                                                                               through volcanic swirls
                                                                               so swaha / shanti
                                    I'm ready to swallow fire 
                                    unwrap smoke shapes
                                    hold revelation

when you nod, mouth "now"
I'll know how right away
to rehearse my life 

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

long way home

the poem is like a conscience
the poem could be a boner 
            like a sun moving in raindrops 
            its rainbow fires everywhere
but the halves of a lonely day
will just not come out equal
            you know, I know... I'm trying
             to walk us all the way back
but you pirouette like a planet
pledge I'm a continent adrift

Monday, November 28, 2022

dear diary,

Messy, turbulent reentry into the work week today = not a single photo taken. I'm trying hard to stay calm and remind myself of all the big, small, and daily crises people are facing so I can look beyond the forgotten deadlines and damaged expectations cluttering up this last week of instruction. I always forgive these, but staying compassionate does feel challenging sometimes. Mantra: I'm neither the target nor the source of all this; I can let it flow past me. 

Small successes in getting budget approval for books to gift to our capstone students; workshopping final projects; two important sets of e-introductions--a DEI one (SJ-EM) and one for our MFA (SS-WA); finishing up the last of Thanksgiving by folding the pumpkin gravy and the roasted veggies into a sambhar; and a truly lucky and important breakthrough in my CASA case (like OMG, it was mind blowing, and I now know exactly how to frame my report) . 

Went to work with sunrise; headed home with a sickle moon in the sky. But that's ok + these days are short. Dinner with the fam, a snooze with my Scout, and then to bed. (I stayed till Big A fell asleep and then crept out of bed to read... memories of doing this every day with the kids when they were littler made me smile. Guess I do this still with Scout and Huck daily...)


simply

A cold day, but beautiful.  Walks with some of my favorite people: L, Big A,  me... Pic: An icy Red Cedar River