Thursday, April 11, 2024

last day/first day

And that's a wrap on classes until August. There are exams and meetings next week and task forces that will meet through the summer and new course prep, and I hope I work diligently on my writing projects... but the teaching schedule will be on hiatus. First day of the non-teaching schedule!

Pic: None. It was grey and rainy all day and I realized to my dismay on my way home that I'd forgotten to take my customary last-day-of-class pictures with all three of my classes. I thought we did some solid learning, had some good times, and I loved all three classes--I would have loved to have the pictorial memento. It's also a moment of bonding and levity in a stressful week as students sometimes yell out fun stuff to make the group smile or pick goofy poses and I'm sorry not to have shared in that this year. 

Ah well, onward!

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Eid Mubarak

Showed up for moral support at a student advocacy meeting with the powers that be early in the morning. (I found myself picking pants over a skirt as I got dressed because I feel I'm taken more seriously when I'm in pants. This is probably true, but I hate the internalized femmephobia of this.)

I was so proud of and so moved by the students who showed up, spoke up, held space for others, held their ground, and held us accountable. I may have cried a bit when it was over--they were so brave and amazing. And also, so young and so deserving of not having to spend their time and energy and wellbeing on meetings like these. How is it that we're still working so hard for basic freedoms decades into the 21st century?

I got so much support from the fam on this. From BD supporting my decision to prioritize conscience over diplomacy and career security, Nu's disdainful anger and outrage, and At's organizational chops and doc review. I'm a lucky duck.

Pic: The moon at sunset yesterday. So much celestial activity this week! Growing up in Chennai I remember the Eid date determined by whether the local imam sighted the new moon or not. So friends wouldn't know if they were ending their fasts that day or the next!  This year, I'm celebrating the end of a successful Ramzan with friends across the globe. May there be hope and joy and goodness and good works. 

Tuesday, April 09, 2024

how to make friends

If you're Max it means you just follow the person you want to befriend until they get tired and flop down. Then you can flop down really close to them or on top of them. It doesn't matter if they're smaller than you. You're just a baby. Then they're your best friend. And when someone else comes into the room, you can do the same to them so you have a lot of best friends. It's also called family.

I don't think Max gets consent, we'll have to teach him better. Big A is reading The Bee Sting now and both of us chuckle with horror (is that possible?) at how clueless 12-year-old PJ, one of the narrators, is. 

Pic: Huck submerged under Max early this morning.

Monday, April 08, 2024

solar eclipse of the heart

I'd never seen a solar eclipse before... I've watched live coverage on television, but haven't looked directly at one. 

Like the Hopi Indians, Hindu Indians believe the eclipse is a time of meditation. So usually, I just sit in a dark room. But we were in the path of near totality (96%) and this could be my only chance in this lifetime unless I chase one down through travel (unlikely). So I decided to get solar eclipse-safe glasses and peek out.

I'm glad I did; it was pretty cool. Through the glasses, the eclipse progressed as though a set of illustrations in a science textbook. But when I tried to take pictures, it looked like a normal picture of the sun. 

I felt tense in the moments before the eclipse started... Big A was in a meeting with students and residents, Nu was in school, At was at work... I would see them all later in the day, but it was weird being the only human in the house knowing an event of cosmic significance was taking place. I sat with all the drapes shut in the rumpus room so Max and Huck wouldn't accidentally sear their retinas. L and some other GFs were texting to share our experience.  Nu came home just before peak totality (around 3:00 pm) and (superciliously 😛) helped me understand why my phone camera wasn't picking up the eclipse.

On social media people have been raving about how it was a transformative experience for them; I must admit I was underwhelmed. Since I'm transported by even fairly low-key natural phenomena like new grass or birdsong in the city or a regular sunrise, I was really expecting the eclipse to unlock something in me... but nothing happened. So that's my eclipse story: 4/8/2024; I was there.

Pic: The sun is about a quarter of the way through the eclipse here. (Not what I thought my eclipse picture would look like.)

Sunday, April 07, 2024

because now is everything

our day loosens itself from 
a cocoon of cold 
step by step the earth opens
to push us beyond

sacred oblivion, for here lies 
a heathen hope 
this dance--survival or riddle 
whose time is come

in the surreal syntax of seasons
the ones you love
have heart-to-hearts, break hearts
uncatchable as rain
__________________

Pic: Geese on the Red Cedar... they're vicious when I meet them on the path, but so graceful in the water. The light was just lovely today.

Saturday, April 06, 2024

[pause]

I have answers at the beginning, of spring 
as breezes lift my thoughts

restless with birdsong vicariously, leaving
imprints of desire in the air 

and shy things are whispering, in the hedge 
questions lost in their play

enclosed in the diamond of my legs, a book
for me to read now and again

while refrains fold and fade to close, I learn
to love myself, with your mind 
_________________
Pic: Eastbound along the Red Cedar on the new bike path. Big A in the distance. I simply had to stop to take a picture of those fluffy clouds in the open, blue sky. How beautiful is the every day, ordinary world..

Friday, April 05, 2024

the calling

some days everything is sacred
the name is the thing

on days Aaron said he had to  
"go run some errands"

our toddler thought he was saying
"go run some Aarons"

those were very Aaron things after all 
I think of how we all

could heed the call to run away, freely
doing things for ourselves
_________________
Pic: The Red Cedar on a bright and breezy day on a walk with Big A. Trees are beginning to visibly bud! We stopped midway through the walk to call in our sushi orders to pick up on the way home. It was very nice timing!

last day/first day

And that's a wrap on classes until August. There are exams and meetings next week and task forces that will meet through the summer and ...