Showing posts with label Diary. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Diary. Show all posts

Friday, June 18, 2021

shadow friends



When cousin P and I had a marathon chat last week, she lamented how all the people who were so amazing to us when we came to the U.S. as grad students: the kind, generous, progressive folks--who fed us, acclimated us, radicalized us--seem to have disappeared. 

Not true, I said--thinking of L--I walk with one of them almost everyday. 

[Pic: L and I being silly with our shadows in the Red Cedar on Farm Lane yesterday.]

Thursday, June 17, 2021

starting summer

No working stove yet, but I'm getting quite good at making do with L's electric skillet... I might even be thinking of getting one. Luckily, picnic-style food works great right now.

Finally got the kids' to share their summer fun lists. After weeks of begging ๐Ÿคจ. Maybe that's more of a "me" thing?

Lots of other little traditions are making their way into our lives. At, for instance, will share a reading and then schedule a long walk to talk about it. This happened quite organically, and I LOVE it. Right now he has me reading Shawn Wallace's The Designated Mourner. 

Monday, June 14, 2021

mixed



Had a welcome breakthrough on a work project and managed to meet a proposal deadline one whole day ahead of deadline.

Took a nap. Woke up because of a horrifying moment in a post-apocalyptic-style dream (someone had tumbled down some stairs because I bumped them and when I went to check on them, I was captured and they started pulling on my clothes... also, my dad was supposed to help me keep watch, but he fell asleep and didn't hear me when I was shouting for help).

I'd planned a "Summer Celebration" to celebrate the end of Nu's 8th grade year.... it literally got rained on after we set the picnic table. 

Ah well, watermelon tastes almost as good indoors too. 


Sunday, June 13, 2021

third wave


A lovely start to the day, going up the riverwalk with L... Then a chat with my sister who said that a third wave is expected in India by the end of the year... After that, everything felt very off for the rest of the day. 

I made a summer soup for dinner in the InstantPot (stove's still not working), but left everyone to their own devices and put myself to bed with a bar of chocolate.

Saturday, June 12, 2021

"and also with you"


MC's ordination today: KB drove here from Alma and then I drove us both to the church. It felt a bit like a road trip and I did all the chatting and checking-in my heart desired. The ordination was communal and loving and there was lots of singing (and cake afterwards). I loved it all.

My first car trip with someone outside the family; first gathering with strangers; first church service in over a year. You'd think I'd have needed and thus attended more services online this past year, but... no; I haven't. 


[Pic: Detail from St. Paul's in Jackson, MI]

Thursday, June 10, 2021

gaze




I begin to unpin guilt like it's hair
hold my own hand as it trembles
a stare still lies a bit out of reach
grows into a new part of my body

my body goes old young indifferent
time folding across like a clock-face 
and hands clap for what comes next 
texting alien syllables from my name

analog clock, digital face, so partial
to opening my heart all the way like
I once said I would in a secret place
we know where it stays dark all night

Wednesday, June 09, 2021

ablaze


This person I am--capricious, 
madness layering my mouth
breaks strangle words
swallow all loneliness

For nothing here is really mine
foreign country... alien tongue,
the lift in my heart merely
a mad end to a depression

Swimming lightly into this mirror
I become my eternal reflection
--cinders fly like insects
--their love a cartoon net


Tuesday, June 08, 2021

newcomer

 


our day is burning,
silence like smoke

light seems machine
in interim and enters

anyway, opens the door
to our histories of hope

in arrival--we are blessed
death is certain someday 

we get to live out survival
tithing... every happiness 

Sunday, June 06, 2021

a two-hike kinda day

I needed TWO hikes today.  

First was the usual one with L, getting to the MSU gardens just as the sun was beginning to skim the tops of the waterlilies and set off the frogs like blobby, plopping fireworks. 

Later, I managed to somehow ruin the stove when some lentils boiled over. Now I wouldn't be able to make the raw mango dal, a summer staple from my childhood. I made do by microwaving the chunks of mango and adding it to some canned cannellini beans. A heaping spoonful of turmeric, the tadka I'd made earlier, and a good potato masher... and I could imagine it came from a kitchen long, long ago untouched by canned beans, a potato masher, or a microwave. L showed up like a lifesaver bearing an electric skillet she had in her basement, and I used it to make aloo parathas later. 

I'm glad I made it to Ted Black Woods with BS after all that. The woods were lovely and deep--as was talking to B. I needed that.

(L doesn't mask outdoors, B does; I am ok taking my cues from whatever my companions are comfortable with now.)

Friday, June 04, 2021

"food for thought"

 

The wonderful ladies of "Food for Thought Book Club" down by the Red Cedar River in LB's backyard...


Vaccinated, unmasked, outdoors. 


I handled it.


I *enjoyed* it.


I'd forgotten how lovely communal joy can feel...

Monday, May 31, 2021

my *every*thing people


 The fam does their thing. 

๐Ÿก๐Ÿ•

Also: we watched Tim Robinson's I Think You Should Leave over a year ago at least, and we're still using so much of its dialogue as a shorthand for family jokes.

Sunday, May 30, 2021

reentry

This green in the woods felt unreal as we stepped in... so bright and lovely, it almost felt... fake? 

My post-pandemic--or at least post-vaccination--reentry experience has felt similar. Each decision and action--though intentional and deliberated--feels fraught and uncanny. My calendar is slowly filling up with long-awaited events, but I consider and reconsider and second-guess everything for ages.  

But that's probably for the best. Today I (zoom) attended the feminist book club after a hiatus. I remembered that the last time I was here, I bolted because I had a mystery panic attack. 

As EM said earlier today, it's "weird to be around other people." Even for me--living with a lovely houseful and having taught in person all year long--agoraphobia seems to manifest every time I consider an event/interaction/outing. Yesterday I hiked with Big A and didn't wear a mask. I had been persuaded by pronouncements that outdoor transmission is highly unlikely (+ did not want to stand out like a freak). But it took some stern talking to myself. And even admitting I enjoyed being maskless outdoors feels odd somehow. But I did, so there. 

Saturday, May 29, 2021

At's graduation redux!


At is in graduation robes again, the sibs are wearing ties, we got grandparents and family on FaceTime/WhatsApp...

It was a bit chaotic and didn't go completely as planned, but this international photoshoot is the closest we're getting to a graduation party this year.

๐Ÿ™‚

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

at tension



petition that pinch of admiration
tighten this twinge of distraction

pick dimensions of your denial:
arms are a bow, fingers quarrel

I think you may hit or miss now 
I think you may miss... this love

far is not unlovely, come beloved
fling open my arms and this exit

whisper confidence(s) like a seashell
maybe send postcards, wish us well?




* The bittersweet task of getting the eldest ready to leave the nest.
[Pic: lilacs and wild phlox from LB and TB]

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

not/normal

 

It's close to 2 am, and I'll (have to) be up again at 6 to get Nu ready (chat, cuddle, breakfast) for (online) school. 

I know I fell asleep with the puppies (and Big A who was writing up charts) just after Nu said goodnight. And then I woke up not twenty minutes later, heart pounding and panicky--for no reason I can think of. This happens A LOT. At least when this happened during the teaching year, there were deadlines and notices and tasks and grading. Nothing now--I've been consciously trying to vacation. I can't do much about the pandemic. What's up, monkey brain?

Anyway, at least I got to finish Olive Again. I'm feeling the lines Olive typed up: "I do not have a clue who I have been. Truthfully, I do not understand a thing." The second half of the book made me yearn to talk to my MIL and some of the older friends from UU, whom I haven't seen in a while, right away.

[Pic: Under the fronds of a huge tree--a European Weeping Beech--on the riverwalk yesterday.]

Monday, May 24, 2021

quiet



The kind of quiet time I usually don't expect on a Monday... I used it for a midday hike with L and reading what she's reading (Olive Again).

Sunday, May 23, 2021

easy like Sunday afternoon


For decades, the best summer afternoons have always been about lemonade, chatter, cards, snacks, sunshine, novels... Now I have puppies underfoot to make it even better. (And it's not even officially summer yet!)

(I needed this interlude today--I made an impulsive grocery trip to get some ingredients for Big A's Boss Day dinner and OMG all the unmasked people.)

Over on Scroll, a shortlist of seven philosophers who can help us build back a better post-pandemic world.

Saturday, May 22, 2021

passing/passage


The blue blob is me with Scout's face wedged into my hip and what seems to be his preternaturally elongated body is actually part Huck. 

At went to Alma to visit friends (he's post vaccination and also an adult ¯\_(ใƒ„)_/¯); Big A went to work; Nu had been irritable and took themselves off to bed early.

So this was me for the rest of the evening as I started and finished a novel--Brit Bennett's The Vanishing Half--in one long gulp. I read the parts about passing breathlessly--racial passing + gender/trans passing. And it began to feel like being an immigrant is also somewhat like passing--in the sense that you leave an old self behind, propelled as much by necessity and accident as by some form of selfishness/self-centeredness. 



Wednesday, May 19, 2021

context




breath is a hymn 
accomplishing joy
surfacing tree brown
I come back to my body
through the sacred,
absurd landscape
of patience

[Pic: Scout and Huck hanging out with me in puppy pose.]