Monday, March 25, 2024

a handful of hope

U.N. ceasefire in Gaza. (Just for two weeks with the U.S. abstaining). But... we have a ceasefire.  

Big A is much better.

Forsythia is coming up everywhere.

Snow seems to be gone, and warmer temperatures are incoming. 

Conference proposals are coming along nicely.

Students are making such lovely progress on their research projects.

Loved reading through the applications for MacCurdy, the feminist house I advise. 

Pic: A forsythia bush on my walk yesterday. I think I described Forsythia as the "hinge to Spring" once--I feel the weather starts looking up when they're in full bloom.


if a mouth wails of never
do the lifted eyes count
to hold the world close 
to call it done... a day

crushed easily as a flower
we've said less this year
I catch the light, press 
in one more goodbye

had you remained forever
I could have loved more
yet owe thanks for our
time here ur-gently


Pic: Max frolicking. His rascally, trusting eyes and floppy ears are my favorite. This darling turned one today. This was also the week Scout took ill last year--he'd be gone in exactly a month. Somehow, it always feels like Scout arranged for me to meet Max. I know looking after Max and watching his antics lifted me from the depths of so much this last year. Love you, Maxie! I hope you enjoyed your banana and peanut butter pupcake, extra long walk, and the new squeaky toy you've already disemboweled.

Sunday, March 24, 2024

Happy National Puppy Day!

Happy National Puppy Day!

Max turns a whole year old tomorrow!

Huckie always looks like a puppy...

TIL that Chopin's Minute Waltz was inspired by a puppy chasing its tail. In fact, it's even known as Valse du petit chien!

It was a cold day, with snow still on the ground, but we played outside under blue skies and sunshine and then napped like champs. (I'd done all my weekend chores in anticipation of being out of town, so there was nothing to do today but make chicken soup and check in on Big A now and then.)

Pic: Max and Huck in conversation.

Friday, March 22, 2024

the hellebores of yore

I took a picture of our hellebores coming up yesterday, and a good thing too... today they're blanketed in about five inches of snow.

The snow wasn't going to stop us from heading to Yellow Springs for a long overdue visit to Grandma S tomorrow...

Except Big A seems to have gotten the flu from patients (lots of Flu B out there, people)... so I guess we're not going after all.

My poor MIL! this is our much delayed and postponed CHRISTMAS visit! The post title sounds like an old-timey lament, and that's exactly how I feel.

Pic: Hellebores/Lenten Roses in the backyard before the snow.

Thursday, March 21, 2024

small planet, big feelings

Usually on teaching days, all I do--all it seems I can do--is teach and then head home to veg. But today, despite some kid-care challenges, I managed to have tea with BOL and then walk over to the Wharton to see Small Island Big Song with EM. 

When EM first asked if I wanted to go to "Small Island," I thought it was a dramatization of the Andrea Levy novel we both love--it isn't. It turns out to be a beautiful cross-cultural collaboration between musical artists from about 16 islands dotting the Pacific and Indian oceans. I didn't understand a single word... and I didn't need to... the music was so joyous and transportive. I loved the artists' camaraderie and synergism. And their final song about the danger to the Great Barrier Reef sounded sorrowful and (rightfully) angry and nearly brought me to tears.

Things I thought about during the concert: 

1) How my last set of season tickets at the Wharton was pre-pandemic and I need to see about getting tickets again. They have Six playing this weekend, and I would have liked to go. 

2) Because I couldn't understand the lyrics at the concert, I thought about how much my mom likes Nelly songs (esp. "Hot in Here" and "Ride Wit Me") although she probably only gets about 50-70% of the lyrics (because of slang and accent). The kids find this HILARIOUS. (I mean I do too... my mom has never smoked anything in her life let alone an "L.")

3) I hadn't yet finished The Bee Sting at that point in the evening, but its climate grief really connected with the music in Small Island Big Song. One of the characters in The Bee Sting rages about how strange it is that poets keep writing about birds and flowers and so on as though whole species aren't disappearing every day. That is SO true! (10/10 for The Bee Sting, BTW.)

Pic: Small Island Big Song in concert. I'm off to see if I can find their songs on the internet. 

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

"Ting-Ting" / The Bee Sting / Spring things

Nu's much-loved lovey, Silky the Bee, used to go "buzz-buzz, ting-ting" back in the day. We still use Nu's toddler-ese "ting-ting" to refer to bee stings.

I've been chuckling over that while reading Paul Murray's The Bee Sting--a book both At and Big A gave me copies of at Christmas! (I've since returned the copy Big A gave me.) I was savoring this novel, frequently chortling out loud, as it was delightful in a Derry Girls kind of way... but things have taken a disquieting turn and the sexual violence is quite terrifying... I can't wait to be done now.

Pic: Huck and Max got a Spring haircut and look a bit strange. The bows on Huck's ears make it look like she has ponytails! Outside is somehow snow AND flowers.

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Poetry Hour: Mosab Abu Toha

I tuned into the Mosab Abu Toha event for an hour or so during a convenient break between classes and meetings. 

It was an amazing outpouring of solidarity and poetry. He read from Things You May Find Hidden in My Ear and talked about the new sounds he could add to his titular poem.

Pic: A friend grabbed a screenshot of me in a tile right next to Toha's. Something to treasure.

last day/first day

And that's a wrap on classes until August. There are exams and meetings next week and task forces that will meet through the summer and ...