Showing posts with label Conversations. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Conversations. Show all posts

Monday, August 02, 2021

bits of the day


Out early today to Alma for a seminar/workshop and it was so good to see and be with people--many of whom I haven't seen or been with for a while.  A few people were wearing masks indoors and although we're nearly 100% vaccinated as a college community, I wore mine too out of respect. 

Work, work, work, and then I headed home with JG on the phone to keep me company on the commute home. 

Low: Heart heavy with the looming eviction of millions of families in the middle of a pandemic.

High: Hearing The Foo Fighters' cover of The Beegees' "You Should be Dancing" live from Lollapalooza on the radio. Apparently it's something they've been doing for a while? Anyway, it was the bit of disco silliness that helped me get through the day.

Pic: An early bird posing for me with their accessory worm (yesterday at the Horticultural Gardens).

Saturday, July 31, 2021

what goes around




I'm in despair with the pandemic rubbish all over again. Thank the universe for people making creative memes...

In other not news, August starts tomorrow, and a look at my summer list tells me that we're doing alright. I even got to do one of my big maybes--sit by the ocean. But things I threw in there thinking we'd definitely get to them (hammock camping, firepit nights) haven't happened because it has been such a wet summer.

 Still a few precious weeks left...

Friday, July 30, 2021

today in vignettes

An early morning walk with L after SO MANY days. Between her travels and mine, it's been way too long. The Radiology Gardens (where I snapped this pic) had a fundraiser, and we bought a giant planter of coleus each and lugged it around with us.

At took me to the car dealership earlier in the morning to drop Bluey off for a two-year service. When the check-in person asked if I needed a loaner or a ride back home, I felt so proud telling them that I "brought my son." The son in question was amused that when he stopped to get gas, I hopped out to help him, but was so lost around all the slots and buttons after two years of plugging in Bluey.

A boozy cousin B called as we were getting dinner on the table. A bunch of cousins are getting together at his new beachhouse in Pondicherry and he MISSED me. I've been seeing pics on cousin chat since, and everyone is talking about a big reunion in December. Today I'm pretending (even to myself) that this might actually happen.

And today is officially the day Nu picked their new name. We had tried a name that started with "N' for a while. But then one day as I was getting dressed, I saw Big A's money clip with his initials, and the thought that At would be able to use it one day slipped into my mind...  I wanted that for Nu too. Nu's new name begins with "A" too, so they'll still be the "Baby A" who debuted here in 2007. And even better, it kind of starts the same way as their old name, so I can course correct before I reach the end and avoid slip-ups. 

Thursday, July 29, 2021

our mother would hate this poem

I dreamed I was listening to my
parents' fight from decades ago 
when they were fighting always
and always passive-aggressively

my father sounding patient
my mother sounding smart

neither of them listening to each other...
from our room: my sister and I listened,
grading them--not on how right or wrong 
they were, but how not mean they were.

our mother lost our ratings
for our father lost the fights

afterwards, he wouldn't talk to her for days...
every time she happened to be in the room,
he'd be whistling or humming something 
to show how he didn't care and didn't hurt--

like at all--not even a little bit
even we kids didn't buy it



Sunday, July 25, 2021

some more (travel)


Once more into the skies and on to D.C. where a long postponed conference-workshop awaits. 

Big A took me to the airport at 5 am, the plane took off at 6 am, and when I got to the hotel around 10 am-- they gave me a room right away.

Like me, it seemed everyone else too was grateful and eager for connection and collaboration after the pandemic hiatus, and people at our table lingered over half-full glasses of wine long after our formal welcome and orientation concluded. It turned out that one of the new people I met is an IRL friend of the fabulous Sarah from Harry Times. We were discussing academia and motherhood, and I had mentioned how seemingly effortlessly Sarah excels at parenting FIVE kids with an academic job and a spouse with a high-profile job--unsurprisingly perhaps, it appears there's only one of those 😀.

Speaking of kids--I haven't missed my kids since I kissed the human kids sleeping faces and the puppy kids furry faces at 4:30 am. 

[Pic: A nearly full moon at sunrise.]

Saturday, July 24, 2021

"memory-keeping"

Ten days ago, photographer Danish Siddiqui was killed by the Taliban. I know people who don't know his name, but would recognize his images right away. What images! Siddiqui's image of the Rohingya woman keeps showing up in my dreams a lot lately (I've been rereading Sea of Poppies and I think my brain's conflating things). 

SV, who's quoted in this New Yorker article, calls his work "memory-keeping, at a time when we have lost our capacity to think or remember." Here are some other galleries of his work in remembrance

Friday, July 23, 2021

an ordinary happy



why not stay awake           
watch                                
today's felt blog post         
become                              
just yesterday's ghost        

to a moment, wonderful
right now
becoming extraordinary 
as memory
as witness, totem, story




-----------------------
Pic: Nu and At playing Super Smash Brothers, a game they acquired the weekend Big A and I were away in Seattle. They had so much fun pretending they were going to invite someone called "Smash" over to the house while I was gone, and I had so much fun pretending to be horrified by the idea. It was only later that I discovered that they didn't know I was pretending. "How did you even know it was a game?"--they asked. I don't know.

Thursday, July 22, 2021

"How to Live in a Burning World Without Losing Your Mind"


Today I'm really feeling Liza Featherstone's essay in The New Republic: "How to Live in a Burning World Without Losing Your Mind."

"I’m in no condition to receive this news. I can’t tolerate more worry, death, sickness, sadness, or pain—more mothers and grandmothers dying, and maybe even less bearably, children.

I’m not alone.

We are in the middle of another wave of horrific climate news, but many of us are too traumatized to pay attention. The more loss and horror we’re facing in the rest of our lives—whether from the coronavirus and opioid pandemics, economic upheaval, or the ordinary awfulness of cancer and death—the less equipped we are to take it in."

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Saturday, July 17, 2021

building


A normal kind of day--normal chores, normal outings.

Went to check on the Arboretum's yearly peacock display with L before the rest of the family woke up. I love the purple spikes they've added to the begonias this year. 

And yes, it's syllabus building time again.

Friday, July 16, 2021

three in a row


Scout, Huck, and I hosted bookclub while Big A, At, and Nu did their own thing. I'd planned to have a garden party, but rain was in the forecast and mosquitoes were out in force, so I moved it indoors. And just like that we had our first indoors party since the pandemic started.

Here, Huck, Scout, and I (L to R) are spooning in blissed-out collapse after dinner.

[Pic by Nu, reflected in the glass door.]

Thursday, July 15, 2021

"look for the helpers"




 I had so much help yesterday:


from the scummy

Nu skimming off pond scum








to the yummy 

At making a strawberry, arugula, feta salad

Monday, July 12, 2021

island times


Off to San Juan Islands --> 
Friday Harbor --> 

Day tripping to Cattlepoint, the lighthouse, lawn games, barbecue, dancing, laughing and snarking on cousins' old Chennai stories about 27D (bus # not Apt. #), cousins learning to play the parai, slideshows, baby cousins, laser-point astronomy demos, and chatting until I fell asleep on someone's couch... 

I have this seascape with the seagull on "loop" mode on my phone and know that I'll come back to this when I need a mental/emotional breather.


Saturday, July 10, 2021

Loveliness


It has been magical. This gathering of happy faces and hugs... congratulations, commiserations, reminiscences, and sweet sillinesses. Turned out, seeing A+M getting married was the cure to my pandemic year.

So much group dancing practice, group dancing, dancing with Big A. Turns out I still remember all the words to the Spice Girls, and when the DJ slipped into Bohemian Rhapsody for a minute, Big A and I promptly decided... it was a slow dance. Ha. 

Wednesday, July 07, 2021

the wild taxonomies of family chat






"Baby deer," read Big A's title of his portrait of Hucky on the picnic table faking a height advantage. 







Not to be outdone, Nu (a.k.a The Chicken Daddy) titled a group picture of their growing chickies--"dogs."

Monday, July 05, 2021

Saturday, July 03, 2021

our times


I felt like I was in a real live Yelp review. 

I had just invited At to go to the farmers' market with me over breakfast. 

He turned to Nu and asked: "What's it like going to the farmers' market with mama these days?" 

Nu said (and I quote in full): "It's ok." 

At turned back to me and agreed to go.

Is that even one star? I mean...

Thursday, July 01, 2021

Summer again

 

Finally, another summer day. I took advantage of our first no-rain day in over a week to putter around the garden and prep for a picnic with Nu and AC--a wonderful former student who babysat Nu years ago. I was so surprised to learn that AC is turning 30. They grow up so soon!

One of this year's WGS guest speakers (KH) mentioned how they were doing social work because as a WGS student they'd been inspired by AC's presentation as a guest speaker--I loved that so much and enjoyed passing it on to AC. 

This last year has been tough.

[Pic: Robin with cherries]

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

child


"Guess what I am,"
says the child
snuggling next to me
fists under their chin
trying to--"look cute."

And so I guess: A baby bunny rabbit?
A kitten? A puppy?
Nope. Nope. Nope.
I'm so wrong.

They are, "A Baby Praying Mantis."
I guess I've always 
known they'd keep  
making me smile.




Words: Nu; July 31, 2012. 
Pic: The trans-flag kandi Nu made today.