A teeny-tiny life hack for me: It was also the day I seem to have realized that my lonely desk-picnic lunches needn't happen on breakroom napkins. My contract doesn't preclude me from bringing bright things to keep me company as I scarf my lunch down between classes. Ha. And actually, not so lonely today as there was a KCP virtual lunch.
Thursday, January 21, 2021
Wednesday, January 20, 2021
I didn't get to watch the inauguration in real time, but took in a few texts here and there and then a Zoom to toast the new admin so "things feel more real."
I so wish we could be together in solidarity and community again.
Tuesday, January 19, 2021
Monday, January 18, 2021
I'll rearrange for my fingers to speak
to the clouds
unfolding like a migraine confession
I mean, I mean
You've cried so much, your eyes
drop like pebbles
and wait to show you a way home
I try, to free
the mistakes I made as a parent
then I draw you,
my love, as a silent self-portrait
A detail from a mural in the Children's Garden (early morning walking date with L!).
Sunday, January 17, 2021
Talked to At on Twitter and chat today; and gosh--I miss him fiercely. Spent some time settling things in his room and ended up clearing out a decade's worth of video games, Popular Science, and Make Magazine. We've been in this house only four years and only four years in the Alma house before that, so this stash somehow made it through three moves. Yikes.
Also yikes, as I leaned to get another piece of mail from behind At's bookcase, I twisted something in my knee and it has felt progressively weird. It feels... feeble now, although it didn't when it actually happened.
Finalizing all the syllabuses and diagnostics for first week today. And I'm laughing at myself because the smallest things get me excited sometimes. My latest tweak is so superficial--I changed all the font to Garamond--and I'm so inordinately chuffed about it.
Saturday, January 16, 2021
Big A was mostly experienced as a napper in various settings around the house (he's coming off a spate of nightshifts).
This "Beam-Me-Up" action in the sky is from a long walk with Nu and B.S. and it made us chuckle. Lots of talk, sharing, support, and a huge, delicious loaf of BS's banana bread that Nu and I loved (i.e. have almost finished) this afternoon.
Rumpus Room sleepover tonight with Nu, Scout, and Huck, because At left for college this morning and this is how we cope.
Friday, January 15, 2021
Here I am, bookended by the two human babies who showed up randomly in their matching Christmas jammies for some Olympic-standard cuddling.
Thursday, January 14, 2021
This year, we got to celebrate in the sunshine and make our offering at a reasonable daytime hour, with fragrant narcissus and paperwhites rounding out the pongal rice and jaggery laddu on the offering tray. To the millenary vedic sun salutation sloka*, which I was translating for the kids as I went, I added a prayer for enough Vit. D to help us through the pandemic.
Cousin P had sent the cousin groupchat a set of truly lovely pics of their traditional celebration replete with sugarcane, outdoor hearth, and silk-clad kids. So I sent this pic back to balance things out.
Not pictured: The very un-Pongal looking kids, one in the Phoebe Bridgers limited edition Punisher sweater they got from their older sib and the other human kid in the pink Mean Girls/Karl Marx mashup tee I gave them.
Tamorim Sarva Paapagnam Pranathosmi Divakaram
[You radiant as the Japa flower, heir of Kashyapa, the creator of days
destroy my darkness and all corruption I pray to you, O Sun.]
Wednesday, January 13, 2021
is better than none; I am human,
I love as a reversible history.
You already know
If you call me "sunshine," I will answer
also: "they who love sunshine," try--
I've called prayers into every reverie.
Tuesday, January 12, 2021
Oh my little girl
All I ever wanted
All I ever needed
Is here in my arms
Words are very unnecessary
They can only do harm
In my head, the "little girl" became a reference to Nu who had just told their first lie and had been reprimanded, and was now sad.
Anyway--I was reminded of this because Tommy Raskin's life (yes, I haven't moved on) reminds me not of my own weltschmerzen, but of my children's and students' joy, their yearning for justice, for full lives, how the pandemic is the chief thief of joy RN, and their frustrations with the world... and it terrifies me.
(Pic from walk this afternoon with LB; Red Cedar River--the mallards followed me around!)
Monday, January 11, 2021
The instructions surprise: perhaps I will solve gravity or simply realize how unready
"pour the saliva" they say chorus my saliva's spectacle how random, how to unbait sighs
I once described a snake exist/lament/impact/about the junction of having breath back
'pouring' itself down a hole the scratching exhaustion having my back, trusting offspring
the kids were so freaked out of dying on tv every day to try to sidestep the cracks
Sunday, January 10, 2021
Kinda like I did with this holiday card, which I had printed but didn't mail... and probably will never mail at this point.
Apartment Therapy's astrology section forecasts that I will have a "fruitful social life" this year, so perhaps not all is lost? Ha.
Saturday, January 09, 2021
Friday, January 08, 2021
Waking in a labyrinth
with the outline of a lie
around us the dark blossoms
clinging like skin
hidden in sight like the dark
set aside like a dementing task
hurrying to meet our dark
corners of darkness--passion-
perversion--spill into you and me
returning to the dead lamp
you are furious as a rakshasa
engorged, incoherent as sirens
I'm as possessed as a pisasu
who possesses only you, and
can die for it. Or live. Or shriek.
Wednesday, January 06, 2021
At 3:00, Nu was on their daily online-school-accountability call with Grandma S, and were told that they really should go watch the news. So we did. Watching the storming of capitol buildings by white supremacists was surreal, frustrating, and infuriating. Activists from ADAPT and BLM certainly did not get the 'I'll open the gates, hold your hand going down the stairs, and take selfies with you' treatment from the police.
By 4:00, I was in a meeting with one of the finance guys at work who wasn't interested in the news and kept referring to higher ed as "our industry." I can't help thinking this kind of obliviousness and corporatization contributed to the mess we're in.
Tuesday, January 05, 2021
Off the top of my head, I do feel on the brink with: the inexorable pandemic, all the feelings uncovered by the Tommy Raskin tribute, the impending crush of work, and my lack of control over any of this.
Surprisingly, I was offered the Pfizer vaccine today--not because of teaching but because of my child advocacy gig; I said yes.
Monday, January 04, 2021
I saw the cutest snowperson when I ambled over to L's house earlier today! Their bangs are like mine, but even that detail couldn't detract from their quintessential cuteness.
Nu's back in (virtual) school today, so everyone is back to waking early so we can have breakfast together and build each other up... apparently, we do this with cuddles, and riddles, and jokes, and teasing putdowns.
Speaking of school... I miss my students. There're lots of meetings starting Wednesday and I started today by writing to every one of my advisees. It's re-entry time for all of us although classes won't start until after MLK Day.
Speaking of days... It's my Boss Day! My dinner pick was poke, which we made together; my entertainment pick was Veep... again!
After everyone headed off to their rooms, I found the tribute Rep. Raskins and his spouse wrote for their child Tommy and I weep to think that someone who brought so much joy and goodness to people didn't feel enough of it themselves.
(Related: I think of Aaron Swartz frequently. Sometimes I think about them multiple times a week--especially when my students are doing internet research. I resent that I was introduced to Aaron Swartz through his obituary--it's a particularly downhearted way to learn about an extraordinary person. I thought I'd written about this before, but a quick search revealed nothing.)
Saturday, January 02, 2021
Friday, January 01, 2021
(Yes, it was just down the street to wish TB a happy birthday before curling up cozily for most of the evening--but I'm counting it as a tiny win for today.)
Thursday, December 31, 2020
As we close out 2020 (with LB's food exchange, SD's Zoom party in MD, and calls and texts from all over the world), I want for all of us to rise up in every way in 2021.
And I'd really, really like to see my sister and parents.
James R. Kincaid, an English prof. at USC, has been writing in The Slate, and practically everywhere else, about how we are given to autom...
(Sorry to have been so solipsistic--although The Yunus Nobel and the Desai Booker provided the much-needed antidote to that : ) I have b...
Friends and old neighbors shutting it down in honor of John Crawford. _
Sunlight. arrogance sees, sleeps Now i understand: every thing you say. In the dark. heartbeat dee...
At had us pose for this pic up at Aunt R's place on Lake Huron so he could put it up in his dorm. "Don't tur...
Today is the birthday of the best sister in the whole world (mine:)! Happy, Happy Birthday, Chelli! [AA, my favorite aunt in the whole wor...
Yesterday at lunch with the awesome Pied Piper and an accomplished, pioneering writer whose anonymity we shall preserve, Piper turned to me...
She knows that the child and his friend --another child-- read her words. She hides small messages of hope and love ...