Showing posts with label COVID-Vivid. Show all posts
Showing posts with label COVID-Vivid. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 22, 2020


A floor-to-ceiling balloon bouquet from JG showed up at dinner time. I mean--I can't even get a good picture of it, it's that huge. We can't celebrate in person, but we have a walk-and-talk planned for next week after the Christmas excitement calms down.

In the meantime, a loooong trek by myself today: I feel somehow aligned in mind and body.

Monday, December 21, 2020

I used to do it for hours in fancy (yoga) pants...

I used to do it for hours in fancy (yoga) pants... but today I did it in my jammies, for 15 minutes and I feel good... at least about restarting my yoga practice. You know when it would have been most useful? Every single day I didn't do it, probably.

Made a winter solstice meal (stew, roasted veggie salad, biscuits, and apple cider hot toddies with brandy) to share with BS and EM for good cheer. We'd planned to build a fire in the firepit, but it began to hail, so we lit some candles indoor instead. 

LB and TB were having their own solstice celebration and I was supposed to head over after dinner, but I stayed home, had a long boozy chat with EM and then Zoom-ed into JL's book club meeting of Mexican GothicI hadn't read it, but no one was talking about the book anyway. We haven't met in so long and everyone's hair was SO long!

I'm inordinately excited about yoga, and hangouts, and the two minutes of extra daylight we'll get tomorrow. 

Sunday, December 20, 2020


I must have a million versions of this picture, but I love family meal times. Even when the menu is uninspiring (as it was today) and even when we're not actually at the table.

A quiet day with quiet tasks (rearranging the the snack drawer, watering all the plants, laundry). Then I finished Mrs. America with At and Nu after dinner. Wow/Ow: it was tough to watch all that second-wave momentum entropy like that...

Saturday, December 19, 2020

Expiry Date

I want so much for us as I wake this morning

wordless--moving only heart, breath 

surprised at how steadfast

for much goes missing all the time: plans or

a present or something that lies, dead

as a future kindness unsaid.

I lose my sense of self, my words; I have

become that one actor who played 

that part in that one movie--

Do you remember? How much bigger could I 

have been, how much bigger my role, 

my words trawl empty

yet full of yearning; and errant words return

sad, humble. I need an army--an armor--

...I'm too numb to concede

our decline of tenderness, as every sign of 

bitterness witnesses us forward,

begrudges us to a deadline.

Friday, December 18, 2020

Light, Lighter, Lightest

Tenured and promoted! Yay! It took more years to get 'on track' given all my travels and moves and life choices and tangents and missteps. I'm way behind so many of my cohort, BUT--I'm relieved and so very thankful. I can feel my shoulders settling and the weight lifting.

After I turned in my portfolio, I felt so strongly that whatever the committee decided, I did deserve tenure. I have zero imposter syndrome, apparently. What I do have is survivors' guilt knowing there are so many equally--or more--deserving peers all over the world trying to make it in an unjust higher-ed system. Also moments of sadness knowing that it won't be what I dreamed since JG and KB, two of my besties on the third floor of SAC, resigned this year. 

The "celebration/crybaby" present Big A had been promising for weeks turned out to be... a new laptop. Whomp, whomp. I tried to fake my way into being gracious and enthusiastic about it, but honestly--it feels like a "vacuum cleaner present." I had imagined a big ol' massage chair or a hot tub or something indulgent... Ha. 

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Minding the Gaps

Our Nu had been plying everyone with drinks that come with pull tabs so they could gather more pull tabs for a project. I found them a piece of white elastic to pull it together... Not only did Nu dye the elastic an edgier black, but also wove the whole thing together in a most impressive way... I'd wear that piece of jewelry! I used to wear a tab on my ring finger for a while when I was a teenager and expected some similar haphazard maneuvering, not this!

My Nu is amazing and I'm so proud of what they can do when they set their mind to it. 

Speaking of minds, I gave the kids fidget cubes and personal copies of If You're Freaking Out, Read This as a Pre-Christmas/Hanukkah present today. If ever there was a year to pay attention...

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

"The Long and Winding Road"


I know I'm a sentimental fool, but I'm always taken by surprise when the beginning of "The Long and Winding Road" makes me swell with emotion. I mean, "crying for the day" sounds just like me. LOL. There's no real reason I can fathom, and it doesn't remind me of any one person or place--just some general sense of beauty and nostalgia and malaise. 

Today: L and I discovered a new (to us!) walking path in the Eyde Woods just as the snow began...

Tomorrow: There may be some resolution on (one branch of) my long and winding road...

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Time Sheets

It's 5:30 am. Nu just woke up to practice the bass clarinet and catch up with missed school work. At was up late since it was the last day to help people file for compensation from CalTrans, and there's a time lag, and also I think I saw a tweet from him in the last hour. Big A has been doing patient charts post shift after napping in the early pm. I napped from 9-11 pm last night and then I've been up scrolling, working on a poem and other stuff. (I'm going to try to get a nap in before breakfast at 7.) 

I saw everyone at breakfast and dinner, but otherwise, at least one of us has been on right round the clock... 

Scout and Huck who snooze all day seem to be the only ones with adequate sleep and solid sleep hygiene around here.

Monday, December 14, 2020

Through my Head

My children's love passes right through me

(like an arrow, like a bullet)

My parents' love steeps all through me

(like a tantrum, like a blush).

I fear death; there are deaths I fear more:

My deaf father sleeps deep

through knocking, my mother and sister 


My tired children sleep past the blare 

of smoke alarms, heavy

I wonder if I can shake them awake

like a pair of dead batteries.

But the world does its singing, then

my body curls like smoke

plummets, coaxes with folded hands

draws doors in heartache.

So let me tell you how I scan the dates 

of people's lives, guessing--from 

the headlines of their last year--if death 

might have felt like a blessing.


Sunday, December 13, 2020

Tiny Notes

The tiny tree went up this weekend--powered 95% by At and Nu. 


While I was writing that poem about Chelli's moving day yesterday, I was trying to make the verses look like the many roofs we've been under, but it actually looks like a tree too!

Also, as she said after she read that poem, I completed it "so fast!" High praise indeed! 


Saturday, December 12, 2020

Moving Day 8000 Miles Away

8000 miles away

my sister is moving  

her furniture is being taken apart now

it will be put back together again, very soon.

She remembers how I arrived at her 

house in Delhi the week before she did,

how I cut my hand open unpacking boxes, how 

I made that a joke about my rakta dan--"blood sacrifice." 

I don't remember this story. But 

she giggles and so then I giggle and then 

we tell each other how much we love each other. 

When will we see each other again? (There aren't even plans.)

And I want to say: Take a break! 

Need to ask: Are you tired? Is that heavy?

But I look at the telephone; I just... miss you. 

There's more air than we can breathe between us.

Exile now feels like breaking--

like an earthquake--inside out, fragile 

as though an eggshell holding hatchlings,

a coming to--on the other side of worldliness.

There are stones in my throat all day

so I stumble. I speak slowly as though in 

a foreign language (all language feels foreign,

cannot say what I feel, clots like moonlight in my brain).

I just parrot from poems I read:

"Art thou weary? Art thou weary?" I dream you 

give the movers the address, but Bangalore traffic sounds

harmonize it into my name, send it--back in a whisper to you.


Friday, December 11, 2020

Out with At

I thought At would be embarrassed by my mask vigilantism while we were out on the riverwalk, but actually, he approved. He kept joking that I might have sounded more authoritative if he'd dressed better--he had to raid the hall closet for hat and gloves and has on a Doctor Who hat and flip-top mittens from Nu's elementary school days. Not quite intimidating enough despite the hammy pose in this picture.

We saw a license plate that said "DRKING," which the new 21-year-old misread as "drinking" and then wondered if the missing letter was because it mimicked how a tipsy person might slur their words. I pointed out that it was probably "Dr. King"--and we laughed about his misreading and over-reading.  

And then At: Well, either way, that license plate is probably going to get them pulled over. Regular cops/ Racist cops. [makes weighing/shrug/balancing gesture.]


Thursday, December 10, 2020

On the Road

Early morning run. Frost. Today. I will 

love. Everyone. Like I'm long lost

family, prodigal,

like you're special. I'll stitch love to 

even your lack of care, neglect,

share a request--like

tossing a small wish, easy as pennies

into some mall fountain--please,

can you wear a mask?

It lingers in our air--your answer is

irritable, the road rifts, rebels

at your insolent stride

I follow that script, know that road

I sift regret from the open

arils of the day 

I still. The road calms, a dove coos

I know now it is "mourning"

not just--"morning"

Wednesday, December 09, 2020

Berries / Koi

I chuckled at myself because I thought the berries (early everywhere this year) were koi... but the day was bright enough to see the little fishies from closer up. I wonder if they planted to match. (MSU Radiology Gardens)

Whole Foods pizza night over here as I was supposed to be doing scholarship interviews at dinner time... Still waiting to hear faculty personnel deliberation results... still wrestling with Nu's schoolwork.... etc.

On the done side: I have finalized Christmas presents and have stopped compulsively adding to everyone's gift baskets. And I have stopped stalking MCM furniture on Facebook marketplace. I scored a pair of Mersman step tables for 60 last week, and that was probably my peak + we really don't need more stuff. 

Also: We weren't going to do holiday cards, but now I have one prepped and ready to print. 

Something is clearly going on, and it doesn't need a genius to see I'm filling up my time with distractions and side projects instead of writing. 

Tuesday, December 08, 2020

Monday, December 07, 2020

Sitting Pretty

Grades are in! Ahead of schedule! And they're decent--generous in a pandemic, but not inflated. 

I prioritized weekly assignments rather than a grand final project; that resulted in really solid foundational applications and a high rate of completed assignments. Extensions were available on request, Canvas was configured to allow later submissions, and email submissions were enabled for people who didn't make it. 

The research students graded themselves ("ungrading"), and that went really well. They need the practice for grad school and teaching assistantships anyway, and it gave us some good discussions on the rubrics and objectivity. Speaking of teaching assistants--best email today was from AS, who graduated last year, with the subject heading "office chocolate." I miss pre-pandemic office culture so much.

All that, yes. But my own school child seems to be slipping quite badly. Big A took down one side of our refrigerator collage to post Nu's sad report card as a goad. (I'm not a fan of this, but was vetoed.)

Sunday, December 06, 2020

Leap of Faith

I'm attracted to gravity, the weight of it

the way it settles into a palimpsest 

of belonging 

Children   best friends   puppies   homes 

friends   in-laws   all them totems 

of becoming

Yet: new laughter moves me, old words 

bend my mind--press guesses 

into being

We can enter spaces where time fades 

earth freezes or poles thaw us

into belief

Saturday, December 05, 2020

Early to Bed

I started the day with a backache, developed a headache, and then the heartache came. 

So here's me putting myself to bed with my chocolate and hot tea before the sun goes down.

(I'd made dinner early. AND took some over to L&T. AND showed the kids how to serve themselves around 5. And then, I left everyone to their own DEVICES. Haha.)

(When I woke up later, I found they'd put the leftovers away and started the dishwasher. 💕💕)

Friday, December 04, 2020


Nothing much today. Freaking out a bit about work and writing a rec letter for a colleague, so I procrastinated by doing a ton of things unrelated to work like checking on the delivery dates of my Bookshop orders. I'm trying to find the zen of ordering and waiting for the order while muttering a mantra about how I'm not contributing to Amazon Inc. I did get the proofs of an article sent back to the eds. Yay, me!

It's the 4th, a.k.a. in these parts as my "Boss Day" =  a round of Sansu Sushi delivery with the fam and then falling in love with this song in a language I don't speak.

I want to record that I'm feeling well rested these days despite my polyphasic patterns/sleeping disability. Also: I've managed to delay my health followup by almost ten months. I'm alive, so it can't be anything too serious, right? Alright then,

Thursday, December 03, 2020

Palate cleanser

They were being so cute together while I made dinner--I asked to take a picture... and then they totally hammed it up. My kids are all irony and cheese (and honey). 

(And yes, that's ANOTHER whole pumpkin pie L brought over because these guys loved the first one so much.)