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

Saturday, January 15, 2022

Everybody likes to party


For a few hours it felt like the before times... 

While everyone was tested, masked, etc., this was still pretty risky. I'm glad I went because it was a very special moment for some very special people. 

I am, however, feeling a bit nervous about consequences. I had a headache later in the evening (probably because of WINE!!) and a tummyache too (cheesy food!) and I kept asking Big A if he thought I might have Covid. Let's see.


Friday, January 14, 2022

treasure (noun and verb)


Bookclub yesterday at JS's. Everyone took a rapid test before we headed over and it felt delightful to *see* everyone and catch up on news and nosh. 

We'd read The Lincoln Highway (which I didn't love) and as is my wont, I made a dish featured in the book--this time it was "Sally's Casserole," which was actually this although I, naturally, subbed Impossible meat for the beef. I had however, mentioned to L that I was thinking of making fettucine mio amore, another dish mentioned in the book, and L came up with the author's recipe! Then I spent way too much time going down the rabbit hole of other recipes based on mentions in books.

My most favorite part was the tour of JS's treasures from walks and hikes--pods and nests and dried flora (pic). I love how JS (a poet) finds treasure everywhere. Such a lovely evening and a memory to treasure in the months to come. 

Thursday, January 13, 2022

in and out of the woods

We made a decision yesterday about Big A's university offers after our tromp through the woods. We mulled over the same series of circumstances and determinants and possibilities we have for weeks now and decided to go for the offer closest geographically and to his dream position. 

It means he'll spend 50% of his time in Milwaukee with the coming academic year.

Yesterday, L kept texting little things to show she was thinking of me, I had a good cry with my mom the day before that, and today--I told people at work so we could start brainstorming strategies to make single parenting possible in the Fall when I go back to teaching.

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

"catch my drift"



The Michigan Department of Transportation's list of snow plow names is adorable. Here's the full list... my favorites are "Mission Implowssible" and "Catch My Drift."

Looking at yesterday's first real day of time tracking really helped me see (a) I ought to prioritize work (b) separate emails from deep work (c) make time for work (d) I haven't yet a clue where this time will come from.

There are a lot of hours spent hanging out with the fam and hiking and soaking in the tub, but Non, je ne regrette rien.

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Grid Life


Day 1 on on the Laura Vanderkam time tracker challenge (since yesterday was mostly travel and touring);  Day 6 on Wordle (100%, Baby); and Day 0 of finding ways of minimizing administrative duties. 

My lovely colleague-mentor L had suggested that I disengage and use the sabbatical to good use--and I pared down campus engagement. But just today I got asked to join a search committee and a journal review board--and I said yes. It can't be helpful to anyone if I keep taking on every opportunity that flits across my timeline. 

Monday, January 10, 2022

sunrise


Sunrise over Lake Michigan on the Northside of Milwaukee (Atwater Park, maybe?). This was just lovely although the rest of the day was a drag. 

If we could afford to live overlooking the lake, I might move. But we can't, and I won't.

Sunday, January 09, 2022

sunset




A beautiful sunset over a stretch of industrial sludge outside of Chicago.

We're headed to Milwaukee to check out one of the places that offered Big A a research gig... and I already feel like nothing good can come of this trip.

Saturday, January 08, 2022

"little talks"


1)    This past week, I've had some tough conversations with Big A (diminishing family time); Nu (screen time and schoolwork); At (patchy/magical Covid protocol) so I'm glad Scout thinks I'm just the greatest. 

2)    B.E.S. asked if I would officiate at their wedding reception... I love B.E.S. (student>colleague>friend) and am beyond honored... but also have also have no idea how to go about it. 

3)    Scheduled a professional WGS talk in March--I'm more confident of doing alright with this.

4)    Lots of phone calls this weekend--in the absence of real meetups, these are the talks I love best!

I do not like this song, but since titling this post, it's my personal ear worm.

Friday, January 07, 2022

"Powerful beyond stage and screen"

My parents were such huge fans of Sir Sidney Poitier, they had us kids watch all their favorites on VHS. 

I must have thought of them as documentary, so imagine my horror and surprise when I got to the USA and realized that racism hadn't been neatly resolved decades ago.

But in these past decades, I've come to appreciate what an amazing trailblazer he was even "beyond stage and screen" as Bernice King notes. 

Rest in Power, Sir.

__________________

Vaguely related: I gave At this this Desmond Tutu apron for Christmas and the Rev. died the very next week; At gave me this edition of In the Heat of the Night and now Sir Sidney is no more. How jinx-y are we?

Thursday, January 06, 2022

"change not closure"


I heard of ambiguous loss only last year, but it was one of those moments that helped me understand a lifetime. Pauline Boss who originated that term (in grad school!!) has a new book out in which they urge that we prioritize adapting to change instead of forcing closure. It was a day of making some tough decisions with Big A (out of state job) and Nu (school-related stuff), so this was a helpful read. 

I've heard other people say the same thing — that they were more adaptable than they thought they could be. I saw it during World War II as well. I was a youngster then. People adapted and were extremely resilient and came through it, the ones that were still living. I see it again now. I'm again pleasantly surprised at human resilience. It's not true of everybody, but it's true of, I think, most of the people. And so I say this to people: Pat yourself on the back.

*Patting myself on the back.* 

Wednesday, January 05, 2022

anniversary

 


Yup, the anniversary of the most insane and scary thing I've witnessed in real time is tomorrow. 

Anyway, Jamie Raskin's book about this week last year is in my checkout cart--but I'm not sure if I'm ready to read it. 

Just his brave interview on Fresh Air nearly crumbled me. 

I am still not over Tommy Raskin (I may never be).



Tuesday, January 04, 2022

an international call

 


If you called my extreme condition: you might 
diagnose sister love--but do you know  
about the side effects

when my phone tells me it's her calling
--nausea, dry mouth, anxiety, 
shortness of breath

she knows this and inserts a subject line 
even as I--"hello?" "All's well, Akka,
I just called..."

 international calls are ordinary yet hide
like a virus inside information 
 finding a way to threaten

despite the softness of my sister's voice--
noisy futures sometimes dance 
alongside the old world 

international calls will make me watch--
make me guess who'll partner next 
parents, cousins, other loves

"I just called..." she says "one million cases..."
she says "I wanted to tell you all
 to be safe and careful."

Of course there's no way to be careful enough
(home is: a high school student,
a fast food worker, an ER doc)

I'm in the literal woods now (the metaphorical 
end of the sea), until the sun unhooks itself 
from a cloud shaped like a headache

and sails into the sky without even a cough
just this high, bright, and bored god
bearing messages--but not for me

-----------------------------------------------
Pic: Sunrise at Baker Woods. The phone rang as I was taking this picture, and I panicked when I saw it was my sister as it was kind of an unusual time for her to call me. She was calling because we--the U.S.--topped over a million NEW Covid infections yesterday. She wanted to ask the family to be safe and careful. But how? 

Monday, January 03, 2022

dinner conversation

the earth tilts into evening
I can hold you forever--
in arms, in eyes 

in a solemn ministry of love
my mouth is a vow 
(all words are wow)

I know love like loneliness
like a rescue animal
diving through fog 

in your marrows of strength
the tenderness of words
the tenderness of wounds

for when you ask me questions
certainty lies--folded between
my hands like grace

_______________
Pic: Family dinner yesterday; a serious conversation about cartoons. 

Sunday, January 02, 2022

little


All I want to say about today is how much fun it was having a toddler visit us for a while.

Scout and Huck agree with me.

Saturday, January 01, 2022

respairing

Honestly? I think I'm wary about 2022; I was way more sanguine about respair last year

Nu had some friends over to celebrate NYE at home; At went out with friends; Big A and I noshed while the puppies went between pets in the rumpus room (Nu and friends) to naps with Mama and Dada. Also: We pro-conned and discussed a job offer which would take take Big A to another state. 

We were supposed to do a whole family dinner tonight, but At's car ran into a curb and there's a weather advisory, so it'll be tomorrow (hopefully). I'm grateful everyone is okay-ish even while I will myself not to be superstitious about new year's day.

I'll carry myself into this next year 
conveniently mad
you know I've done what I could 

Happy New Year! Happy wishes!
2022, please
don't open and return these to me

we can be civil--here, take my hand 
shake it, I mean
don't like... coddle or confiscate it

__________________________

Poems from January 1 over the years: 

new year  

once more 

often 

nodes 

Jan 1st 

I took my kids to yoga today 

______________________________

Pic: The soapstone sculpture LB and TB gave us for Christmas. It looks like a very loving couple, and I think that was their point. (It also makes me blush a little with its intense intimacy.)

Thursday, December 30, 2021

a better next year


Everyone told me not to do any work over the break: I took their advice; I'm bored. 

This week--with its radio silence on my work email--reminded me how much of my workday is responding to scheduled events and corresponding about projects. I'll need to shift out of that mode over sabbatical so I have something worthwhile at the end of it. I really, really, really need to get in the zone with my writing projects. 

Despite the seemingly universal experience of having 2020 drag and 2021 sprint, I think I ought to compartmentalize more effectively after two years of practicing pandemic panic. That's going to be my big goal for 2022. 

Drove up to the office today to collect some books, water my plants, pick up mail, etc. and I had a lot of time to reflect. (Also feel like I'm on the verge of a big cry--but that could just be from loping through Bewilderment and being too tired to cry at 2 am or whenever it was that I finished it.)

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

the writing on the trees

night always comes to inherit earth
light follows faraway--hopefully

from emerald to ash the borer hies 
pressing leaf into shadow

tearing through wood with a reason
writing hieroglyphs in hunger

seeming a cousin to cave scribbles
as madness is all to madness 

would you go on a walk with me
through seasons of damage

we can bless the falling of pillars
whittled from feral feasts

recorded on stoic skin and bones
etched into fasting flesh

for every time we've been reduced 
by some primitive scrawl of loss 

___________________________
Pic: I had to step across this tree trunk, which lay in my path in Baker Woods. And it looked like there were some primitive cave-painting-type etchings on it. A Google image search taught me that this is what damage from an emerald ash borer looks like.

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

abecedarian for 2021




                           OR

Anyway, innocence is a thing I overcome
By becoming a small offering of silence, 
Certain so many things never end at all.  
Destiny--these paths forking to multiply
Erupts into our endings and beginnings
Frames all the lessons I just won't heed
Unfolding in tedious, untidy symmetry

Monday, December 27, 2021

up and down

So many of my Lansing/MSU friends have started using this screenshot as their profile picture, so Nu and I had to watch Don't Look Up, which is the usual Adam McKay genius with many, many moments of cringe and chuckles. It's kind of an allegory for climate change, but works great as a read on the pandemic too. 

Speaking of which, Big A felt a bit symptomatic and we've quarantined him. We tried to order home tests, but of course nothing's readily available. I asked around, and the lovely SH who was saving some for the baby shower let me have a couple. 

He tested negative, but perhaps it's too early? I mean does one have to wait a while? This feels like taking a pregnancy test the day after sex.

Friday, December 24, 2021

the night before


I mean... 'tis the season and all, but I wasn't expecting At to look so much like Jesus...

Dinner was later than our usual time because At was delayed at work, but we got in some new pajamas and books to read in bed before goodnights. 

No candlelight service this year, not even a luminaria drive, but hey--Nu and At and Scout and Huck have matching togs! I'll try to get a picture of all four tomorrow.