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

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Breath Song

Your breath's so imprecise in meaning
I can barely make sense as it swells
like lichen or love, the secrets it tells 
in its hard-earned and happy prison

Drawn between its vague borders
I learn by tracing the link of veins--
times, tie them to how you hold me 
sweet/safe for a heart-beat/a life-time 

[Picture from my perch where I was reading in the afternoon sun; wearing a faded, stained--but still favorited--summer blouse; marveling how the cherry blossoms are here practically overnight.]

Tuesday, April 06, 2021


a suddenly unscripted day
disappointment like a slap
the window yawns 
alive--also awake

summing up the end of day 
admitting only small things
the clasp of malaise
the wake of a stare

for my old, younger self 
the rest is baited prayer 
speaking forever
holding peace

Monday, April 05, 2021


Jasmine and bougainvillea are blooming in the tea garden. Also, gloriosa, geraniums, violets, and begonias which have wintered safely inside for years now. (Not in this shot, cyclamen and pansies from the grocery store earlier this year.)

I'd gotten into a pattern where most of the time I spent in the garden was maintenance time.

There really wasn't time or much sunshine today, but I found a spot (of time and sunshine) and sat there with a tall glass of lemonade quietly by myself (no work, companions, books, music, crafts, etc.). 

Would recommend. 

Trying for the Buddha's "attadīpā viharatha attasaraṇā anaññasaraṇā" (“Look inward; be a refuge unto yourself; seek no other refuge.” AM's translation.)

Sunday, April 04, 2021

Hello, Sunshine

Sunshine and an all around golden day. 

At had headed home after his vaccination yesterday in case he needed cosseting (he didn't) but we had him until brunch today.

Nu got to spend time with At watching video clips and playing Goose and generally realizing that their older sibling needs clear requests and communication or else all their time together might be spent hearing the good news about socialism... or something.

The human kids did an Easter egg hunt in the backyard while the puppy kids followed me around for treats (pictured). It was fun making rhyming clues and hiding presents and generally babying my babies. 

Savory casserole and store-bought Easter cupcakes for brunch and biriyani leftovers from yesterday for dinner. I got to read a Mary Stewart AND fall asleep in the sunshine, so that's two things off my let's-get-happy list.

Friday, March 26, 2021

In Prep


I love my huge blue-light glasses, I feel like I'm in disguise... well, not quite disguise... maybe it's more like a carnival mask that obscures me so I'm not displaying every emotion as obviously as an octopus.

SO MANY meetings. But I'm now DONE for the week. There'll be some grading and a student-housing fiasco to attend to over the weekend. But first, I'm going to read a Mary Stewart or Enid Blyton or something else soothing I've read a million times in every decade. 

And then, I'm going to fall asleep with Nu and Scout and Huck later. Friday 'sleepovers' with the kids have become a pandemic tradition.

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

We're on

We're on dueling sofas. I'm reading; Nu's doodling me. Clearly, I'm happy :).

It's a good evening at the end of a very busy day where both my computer camera and I stayed on all day.

Tuesday, March 23, 2021


I drove myself into a bit of a panic today, thinking about how I've spent this whole pandemic year just not writing. Colleagues on social media have been productive and publishing all through, but not me. 

There's one article (book chapter) in the pipeline, but I've already claimed it on my C.V. and it went on my tenure portfolio too. I guess sabbatical (next winter) will be the do-or-die period to work on monograph ideas at least.

Looking around for some good news, I remembered that last week, I had been invited to serve on the planning committee of this year's NWSA virtual conference. The NWSA. Ok, a bit better now.

Monday, March 22, 2021


One way: I watch you ask 
each hunger for a name, 
then stay masked
and shy away
One more way to your woe
from the jinx of diaspora
its sudden tomorrows
and kind decay

They say the universe's
reasons are mysterious
but that's not reason--
so... anyway


I made myself go outside for half-an-hour this afternoon because it looked so beautiful and temps were all the way up in the 60s. It was lovely. I watched cardinals and robins and finches drinking from the pond... The water looks so dank; I'm a bit worried for them. 

Friday, March 19, 2021

The Incredible Giant Effing Crybaby

I'm starting this post at 2 pm--there's a departmental meeting in < 30 mins, and I wanted to say I've already had two crying jags today + (merely) teared up a couple of times in a drafting meeting. Yay, me. 

I can't even attribute something expansive/altruistic/noble to the last jag. I've had an infected spot that remained even after a two-week course of antibiotics, and I'd made an appointment to see my doctor on April 20th, which seemed far enough in the future that I didn't have to worry about it for a while. Big A thought that was rubbish and said we needed to go to urgent care TODAY. That was terrifying. He promised his hand to squeeze if it hurt and to buy me Taco Bell if I went. So I went. (He wasn't able to be in the room--Covid rules--but I got lidocaine and it didn't hurt as much as I had feared it would.)

I've discovered Taco Bell late in my immigrant life. People were raving about the return of the fiesta potatoes on my social media and earlier this week, I finally understood their adulation. Fiesta (potatoes) forever!

[Pic is some rainbow flashes on the library walls from all the crystals in there.]

Wednesday, March 17, 2021


I relive volumes about preserving all these hours
as though a summer's worth of sweetness swims
under the surface in the hopeful brine of memory. 

What if there are instructions to make the moment?
What if I practiced each moment before it came--
in the long, lonely present, folding in love, alone...

Open to my destiny as a nomad in this desired body,
understanding? O, I would say in wonder and dismay, 
returning over and over again like a peal of laughter.

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Staying alive

At had kind of not been ok, and I thought a green comrade in his dorm space might be nice for him, so I gave him a potted dracena on his 'Boss Day.' At the last moment, I stuck a fake succulent stem in there too. 

Yesterday, he texted to ask about its watering schedule--and while he was watering it...

At: This succulent is fake. lol

Me: I promised you you could keep all this alive. I wanted you to feel good about yourself!

At: Love you lol

Me: Love you <3

At: How often should I water the real plants?

(The picture is a real succulent L gave me last year... I'm bad with succulents, actually--I overwater, and they have no restraint and drink everything and then individual leaves get too heavy and plop off...)

Monday, March 15, 2021

Days are Short

 I've been balancing my days using color codes for work (blue), family (green), home (orange), and personal notes (pink) for maybe over 10-12 years now? It's helped me focus on balance in specific areas when necessary while giving me a sense of accomplishment for things I manage to do. At a glance, as they say.

The last couple of weeks have looked 'off' calendar-wise--two weeks ago was birthday week, when I wasn't allowed to do anything and last week was the one where I basically developed a 48-hour episode of amnesia after the second Covid shot. I'm looking forward to a string of nondescript and colorfully ordinary weeks from here on out. 

Sunday, March 14, 2021

DST Sunday

Time feels so strange anyway right now, that an hour's early start... on a Sunday... should make no difference, but even in the pandemic, DST still makes things disruptive. 

Being told why DST happens had some odd drama to it as a new immigrant: the implicit trust that this new world ritual had some higher-order rationale that I would eventually appreciate, but in the meantime--here's this "Fall back-Spring forward" mnemonic to keep track. Remembering Chelli's friend MH waiting up precisely for 2 am to turn the clocks still makes me smile, and we just talked about MH this weekend, and they're still best friends. 

But what a lovely sun-kissed weekend, nevertheless. No coats, so much outside play, the melt revealing the abrupt way things had suddenly ended with the one big snow. Family sushi, Puppy playdates (BS and JL), a sleepover with Nu, a movie via Zoom with EM (Bombay Rose, HIGHLY recommended!), a marathon phone call home, and now a ton of work waiting for me. (I feel 100% recovered from the second shot, BTW.)

Friday, March 12, 2021


I am buttoned tight inside a world
made mostly of sounds and words
for my name will soon get forgotten

you may add small tears to the sea,
to the wind, all the liminal seasons
don't wear out my name with wails

I started my own tribe of wanderers 
who'll need my name for new ways,
promises, festivals, and kindnesses

Thursday, March 11, 2021

I'm Coming Up

Woke up not at 100%, but knowing I just couldn't take any more time off. My email box was terrifying, and it took hours and hours to take care of things that had piled up in 48 hours away and get back to a zero inbox. Did I use my "BinBox"liberally? You bet I did.

Getting things done helped me keep my energy levels up and I'm glad I work with caring/forgiving colleagues. Tons of advising, opining, advocating, celebrating, and mediating on the student front. 

An invitation-only workshop that was postponed last July has been rescheduled for this July, and despite being vaccinated, I just didn't feel ready to commit. My response surprised me, because I thought I'd be excited about travel... I'm a mystery to myself.

Oh. And I made sure to enjoy the surprise hyacinths popping up all over the house from the bulbs I pressed into assorted planters at the beginning of winter. 

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Wiped Out

Totally missed my 8 am meeting because I slept through it.

Did not expect to be wiped out for so long--I planned for Tuesday's set of classes, but what about Thursdayyyyyyy???

Rallied for bestie KB's talk, then back to bedddddddddd... (Full disclosure attended from bed.)

#Catchup Post

Friday, March 05, 2021

Very Sari

I wore a sari to work yesterday because I felt festive + I want to normalize saris and the difference they embody on my PWI campus. It was one of the intentions I had shared at the beginning of the term with my WGSS class, so when I showed up all floaty and colorful, they seemed quite happy and proud for me. 

I may have tied it too high ("where's the flood?"--the snarks at my high school might have asked), but for the most part, I was comfortable and didn't trip. The tripping thing has been one of my most frequent excuses, so I had to re-evaluate why I don't wear saris to work. 

Other Indian aunties are wearing saris to everything from construction jobs to yoga to designing spacecraft. Why don't I?  I really do think it's because all the ones I have are gifts and meant for festivities and too shiny or drippy with zari/fake pearls/pompoms/gems/stonework. I need a sari wardrobe for work--but I feel weird buying stuff for myself so soon after a day when I got so many presents.

This one, BTW, is a 'house sari' discard from one of my mom's visits. In fact, it was from her first visit when At was a newborn, so it's nearly 22 years old. Very nearly vintage. Wild. 

Thursday, March 04, 2021

Happy Birthday to me!

My birthday usually falls right in the middle of Spring Break... Except we started a week later this year, so for the first time I was teaching on my birthday. I got all excited about this and stocked up on birthday treats like I was in elementary school. And my students, for whom the treats were meant, were so sweet and wrote happy birthday notes on notebook paper and asked if they could sing for me. 

I love my students. 

I was supposed to go home after that last class, but I was hoping to get a birthday hug from At before I left for home. I sent two texts--including one that read fairly desperately: "Birthday hug: yea or nay"--because it's At and he's completely capable of forgetting my birthday in his gentle, absent-minded way. He texted back that he was very busy, couldn't meet, but would explain later. I was pretty crushed, and remember thinking he could have at least said "Happy Birthday" before he brushed me off. 

Yes, he's in that picture--he'd driven home to have birthday dinner with us. 

I'd asked to be surprised for dinner and it seems like Nu, At, and Big A had each picked three things I like to eat so there was an incongruous all-you-can-eat buffet situation with sushi and green curry and poke* and pao* and a glorious olive oil cake* with raspberries, lemon zest, and pistachios (the last asterisked three by Big A and his kid helpers). AK and KB had dropped by at work, LB and EM dropped by at home, so I have more presents than I deserve.  More books to read, notebooks to write in, so much chocolate, and so many bath bombs.

At had parked at the end of the cul-de-sac because his presence-present was a surprise, so I got in a magic walk by starlight when I walked him to his car. And then some magic--albeit smelly--cuddles with Scout, Huck, Nu, and Big A to end the day.

Wednesday, March 03, 2021



It turns out that ignoring symptoms for months on end doesn't make them go away and your doctor may freak out and send you for emergency tests when you finally show up after months of reminders. In between radiology and ultrasound there were about 45 minutes when no one needed to look at my body today. 

I was so exhausted from everything, I curled up on the examination table, and somehow had one of the best naps ever.

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Robins in the hood

Although we're still wintering, we have a lot of robins. We had a pretty mild winter up until that snowstorm, so I imagined they had overstayed.