Thursday, September 05, 2013

new year

Well, it's that time of year again:

Rosh Hashanah. Another year begins. We kept the kids home from school, and went to the children's service at our synagogue. On the way home, we stopped for donuts.

I think September may be my favorite month. The long afternoons of summer are over, we get one or two days of cooler weather that remind me soon, soon we will be able to turn off the a.c. and open the windows. And then comes Rosh Hashanah, and the promise of a sweet new year.

The kids are settling in to their new school. I have moments of peace, but am still questioning what is the right thing for them. The whole school-decision-process has been an interesting one for me. I thought I was better at determining what I think, and what I want. Instead I flounder, going back and forth between options. Choosing one, reconsidering, choosing another. Crazy-making, and exhausting.

I was emailing with a friend of mine last week and she wrote: "I have the opposite reaction to stressful decisions. I make it and then I rationalize how I made the right choice and I typically don't look back." I was longing for that last week. 

Now that the kids are back at school I am making a to-do list of things that are easier done alone. Dentist. Hair-cut. Menil. I am adjusting to the early morning wake-ups. I spent a few hours just me and my camera the other day. Despite my best efforts, everything continues to change.

September, 1918 by Amy Lowell
This afternoon was the colour of water falling through sunlight;
The trees glittered with the tumbling of leaves;
The sidewalks shone like alleys of dropped maple leaves,
And the houses ran along them laughing out of square, open windows.
Under a tree in the park,
Two little boys, lying flat on their faces,
Were carefully gathering red berries
To put in a pasteboard box.
Some day there will be no war,
Then I shall take out this afternoon
And turn it in my fingers,
And remark the sweet taste of it upon my palate,
And note the crisp variety of its flights of leaves.
To-day I can only gather it
And put it into my lunch-box,
For I have time for nothing
But the endeavour to balance myself
Upon a broken world.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Countermeasures by Sara Miller

I wish I could keep my thoughts in order
and my ducks in a row.
I wish I could keep my ducks in a thought
or my thoughts in a duck.
My point is that we all exist, wetly, in the hunt.
The ducks are aware of this
in their own way, which is floating.
The way of the mind is brevity.
There may be other thoughts on other days
in the minds of other and better men
and their constant companions, the women,
but these same tidy capsules — never.
This is just one of the things
I noticed about my thoughts
as they passed easefully by.

Sunday, July 07, 2013

Happy 4th

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Monday, May 27, 2013

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Continuous Life by Mark Strand

What of the neighborhood homes awash In a silver light, of children hunched in the bushes, Watching the grown-ups for signs of surrender, Signs that the irregular pleasures of moving From day to day, of being adrift on the swell of duty, Have run their course? O parents, confess To your little ones the night is a long way off And your taste for the mundane grows; tell them Your worship of household chores has barely begun; Describe the beauty of shovels and rakes, brooms and mops; Say there will always be cooking and cleaning to do, That one thing leads to another, which leads to another; Explain that you live between two great darks, the first With an ending, the second without one, that the luckiest Thing is having been born, that you live in a blur Of hours and days, months and years, and believe It has meaning, despite the occasional fear You are slipping away with nothing completed, nothing To prove you existed. Tell the children to come inside, That your search goes on for something you lost—a name, A family album that fell from its own small matter Into another, a piece of the dark that might have been yours, You don't really know. Say that each of you tries To keep busy, learning to lean down close and hear The careless breathing of earth and feel its available Languor come over you, wave after wave, sending Small tremors of love through your brief, Undeniable selves, into your days, and beyond.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

my week so far

Last night I was sitting on the couch, working on my laptop, when I got the low-battery, plug in now or die warning. So I sighed, put my computer down on the floor [foreshadowing: there are no good stories that begin with "and then I put my computer on the floor..."] and got my power cord. The closest plug was behind the couch, so I had to pull the couch away from the wall. Did I mention I was drinking water? I was. So, couch pulling + water glass sitting on arm + laptop on floor = screwed. I am writing this on my ipad, which is irksome but only in a first-world, too many stamp options at the post office, why did they kill off Ned Stark, kind of way.

I had a dentist appointment this morning, which is a frequent occurrence these days. Apparently I clench and/or grind my teeth at night, and we know this because I managed to break two of my molars last year. So I am now wearing a mouthguard splint thing when I sleep, which kind of makes me look like I have a mouth full of Hubba Bubba, but in an attractive way. I have to go in every couple of weeks to have it adjusted, and after today's appointment I had an hour to kill before my sitter left. I drove over to the coffee shop in the old textile mill, ordered a decaf americano, and then picked a spot to work. Unfortunately, the table I picked was next to a loudly humming refrigerator case, hidden behind a curtain. I knew right away that it was a bad spot, that I wanted to move. But I didn't want to seem high maintenance to the guy working on his laptop in the corner. Or to the couple leaning into each other across the room. So I stayed put. Sure am glad I did that!

At dinner tonight, Miles listed for us all the current crushes happening in his class at school. As always seems to be the case, it appears that most of the boys have a crush on the same girl (although not Miles). He asked me to guess which girls he likes, so I called out names and he answered yes, no or maybe. He blushed a little at one or two of the names, which was just about the sweetest thing I have seen all week. Then Clara started offering up her own ideas, like "how about the rug?!? Do you love the rug?" Meanwhile Ruby kept asking to please be excused, but we had only just sat down and she had maybe eaten three bites of food. Each time I said no she put her forehead down on the table and moaned. Related: do you want to know how to make an almost-three year old mad? Ask her if she is tired.

We recently promoted our crazy part-time cat to full-time indoor cat, and so far it seems to be going well (although if you asked him, I doubt he would consider it a promotion, more like incarceration). He has stopped hissing and swiping his claws at me, and his cat-fight scratches are healing. I don't think he has fully adjusted to the litter box though, because this morning I left him shut in our room while the sitter was here (because otherwise he stalks around waiting for a door to open) and I came home to a three-days-worth pile of cat shit in the middle of my bed. Message received Marvin.

Yesterday Ruby and I walked out of her pre-school at the same time as the older brother of one of her friends. The brother was with his grandma, and I said to Ruby, "look, it's _____, [friend]'s brother." So then the grandma asked who we were, and said, "Oh we hear a lot about Ruby." Then somehow we got on the subject of Ruby's hair, and I told her "Ruby hates when I brush her hair." Grandma said, "[Friend]too. She throws a fit. But then ____[the mom, whom I know and like] doesn't care much about her hair." Now imagine grandma saying these words and smelling dog shit at the same time. Because that was the face she made when she said, "doesn't care much about her hair." I'm dying to know if the grandma is the mom's mom, or her MIL. I can't decide which is worse. Of course, I was standing there with just-showered wet hair pulled up in a bun. Because I also don't care much about my hair. Which is why my daughter won't let me brush her hair. Point to grandma.