Tuesday, May 07, 2024

Ope--not what it seems

I woke up before my alarm went off this morning, glanced through the cloudy bedroom windows, and saw Max standing still in the middle of the pond. I dashed to the window, and it took me a few seconds to recompute. It wasn't Max. It was the work gloves I'd perched on top of the barrow, which looked like my puppy looking right at me--at least as I was opening my eyes after two hours of sleep.

Also: I was called in for an important meeting at work today and Big A was convinced that I was going to be offered a promotion. Umm. No. I was called in so I could be informed that someone else was getting a promotion. It's all good. This way, I don't have to do budgets, so we all win. 

Pic: I can still see how I mistook my gloves for Max, and it takes me back to that moment of waking up in a panic and my self-deprecatory chuckles soon after. It was nice to be so thoroughly woken up and in a good mood so early in the day. 

Monday, May 06, 2024

weirdness, madness, and freaking the eff out

Weird: I thought I'd gotten poison ivy on myself from digging up myrtle to transplant. I could feel the blisters forming because I saw those pointy leaves in clusters of five... until I remembered the rhyme was "leaves of three/let them be" and realized I was ok...  and wouldn't you know it, the blistering sensation went away by itself. What a psychosomatic weirdo. 

Mad: I've felt so strange all day with the news from Rafah. Online acquaintances have basically been saying goodbye because there is nowhere to go--this is where they were told to go to be safe! People in power (Egypt, Qatar, USA, Israel) in the meantime are offering/accepting/rejecting ceasefire terms. The dissonance is so huge. I'm grateful for Macklemore's release of their single, "Hind's Hallfor amplifying the issue. Is it great art? Is it even hiphop? But I ain't mad about that.

Pic: Freaking Out: Max and Huck in a prelude to what Big A calls "face-fighting" where they growl and groan and mouth each other's faces. They're playing--sometimes with toys--and they never clamp down or bite, but it freaks me out every time. 

Sunday, May 05, 2024

It's beginning to feel a lot like... Spring!

A full weekend! 

Lots of people: foraged for more morels with work friend TR; met Baby R with the whole gang of girlfriends today at lunch; celebrated At yesterday with the whole fam at dinner; chatted with LB, SM, JB, And JA at separate times when they stopped by; and got lots of FaceTime and phone-calls in as well.

Lots of yardwork: Big A and I worked for hours on the pond yesterday and today and are so close to closer being done. We both found the perfect place to find stone edging--Big A online and me from driving past the place on my way to work--and... it turned out to be the same place! I like working with Big A on this project. I guess we could have hired someone to do this work, but it was spend-y + I like that this way I will always remember us creating it together every time I catch a glimpse of it.

Pic: The backyard looks so green. I'm going to treat myself to a visit to the plant store tomorrow!

Saturday, May 04, 2024


Still feels unreal that At is now a 25-year-old, but we made it official with birthday biriyani, presents, and cake today. I think about all the versions of At and how much I love them all.

My love didn't falter even when At made us watch an Orson Welles documentary called Fake (I think! It had its moments, but I was so tired from continually being on my feet--for at least 12 hours by Big A's estimate--I had to frequently be nudged awake.)

Pic: At wearing some birthday presents (red rain jacket, silver hoops) and taking a bow before blowing out birthday candles. Nu, Big A, Max, and Huck are in there at varying levels of visibility too.

Friday, May 03, 2024

ordinary magic

all my winged things: birds, words
always seem to happen only
in momentous mystery

their maps ghostly with emptiness
layered on unknown and 
see-through cities

I wish for real things, the right things
with crescendoes heralding 
their difference

for rolling reflections whispering
the worth of wonder, love, 
forgetting, and loss

I hear someone singing too far away
to know their story, but I can tell 
they're keeping time
Pic: I was taken by the way the sun was sinking yesterday--through this solitary greening tree between two nondescript buildings...

Thursday, May 02, 2024

cheers to 25 years

It's At's birthday and she turns 25! TWENTY FIVE! I can't believe my baby is that old (nearly 30, my mom said rounding up in her characteristically comic way last month, and we've all been quoting it to At all the time since). And what's more, I can't believe I've been a parent for that long. Goodness! Where does time go?

At is out with friends today (I had a brief and raucous phone call), so we'll celebrate at home on Saturday. 

In the meantime, I celebrated JG's return from her 12-week trip to Costa Rica and Panama (she brought me gifts!), LB's birthday (I brought her gifts!), the Child Advocacy Art exhibition opening (where I met so many lovely people who care about advocating for children), and (after a quick dinner with Nu, Huck, Max, and Big A) ended the day at a wonderful guest performance by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra with EM at the Wharton. The Mozart was comfortingly sublime and the Piazolla version of Vivaldi--which I'd not heard before--was energetically otherworldly. 

Walking home through dark and empty streets after the concert with the music still in my head and the smell of lilacs in the air, I felt quite drunk with contentment.

Pic: Child Advocacy Art Exhibition with JG, MZ, RM, TV, NP, and more.

Wednesday, May 01, 2024

standing in beauty

I saw the most amazing early morning skies over the Maple River as I headed to work today, and had a feeling it would be the harbinger of a glorious day.

Actually... nothing in the day itself topped that glimpse of sunbeams breaking through the clouds and glancing off the water. That moment of beauty (what the kids and I used to call taking a "deep breath of beauty" when we made that trip daily) was in itself what made the day special.

And in fact, there were two pieces of disturbing news today.

First: colleague Sami Schalk who describes themselves as "a Black, queer, disabled professor" was thrown to the ground, choked, and had their dress nearly ripped off by the police as they were supporting their students at U-W Madison. Horrifying but inspiring. I much prefer Sami's earlier moment of renown, also inspiring, which was twerking on stage with Lizzo! (Article about her pleasure and disability studies activism here.)

And then there was news that Paul Auster had died. I came close to meeting him a couple of times when we lived in NJ, but didn't. I did meet tons of English grad students in the early part of this century who wanted to live in Brooklyn because he did though. He was a veteran of the 1968 protests at Columbia University, so there is some resonance with the events of this week. I love when he said, "The novel is the only place where two strangers can meet on terms of absolute intimacy." That the two strangers he had in mind were the writer and the reader, is just so perfect.

Pic: Early morning skies over the Maple River. I'm not a fan of the term "crepuscular rays," but they are so beautiful! I'd find ways to stand in their beams when I was a kid and feel like I'd been touched by the sky's blessings.

crossed lines

A long chat with my mom who is back home from staying with her newly bereaved sister for a week and everything is Just. So Sad.  My aunt wan...