finding her feet

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573DDFF9-13E7-4F93-A7A9-3FDC17E9DA0CSunday, second day of the Framingham PopCult Anime Con.

Spiky green hair or extraordinarily long pink hair, intricate foam weapons, knee high boots with lifts, tails and long gray gloves, short skirted Japanese school girl uniforms, maids and sword carrying warriors stalk the hotel halls. There are a few other functions going on in the hotel. Did the family reunion in the Concord Room know they would be running into imaginary adventurers?

Julia’s passion for My Hero Academia is completely in line with the many, many con attendees who are dressed as Hero characters or sporting identifiable tee shirts. Lots of bought costumes and some more original hand made ones are on display. A beautiful looking Howl from Howl’s Moving Castle won best costume of the con.  The character, Howl, is male; I am not sure of the con’s Howl. The gender of many bewigged attendees is a complete mystery and after awhile I stop guessing. So many of the anime characters could be either or both depending on the adventure, the plot line, or the preference of the composer. Boys in skirts and make up; girls as male warrior characters. Julia has gone from rigid identifications of gender when she entered high school to the ability to accept the fluidity of this gathering.  She declares that she wants to cross-dress but either I don’t understand exactly what she means or she doesn’t understand the concept.  She still wants to wear dresses and skirts all the time.  Now, how is that cross dressing? Continue reading

the goo of ambiguity

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Duy-Huynh_Freeform

Freeform by Duy Huynh

Last night, I was watching a youtube video entitled “Understanding Spirited Away: Consumption and Identity.” The author, Margarita, describes herself as a lifelong cinephile with an MA in film and philosophy who make video essays.  Spirited Away, an animated film by Hayao Miyazaki, is one of my favorite movies and tells the story of a 10 year old girl whose parents are moving her to a new city just as she is moving from young childhood to girlhood.  I haven’t watched the whole movie in a long time but the first bars of the soundtrack can strike an emotional cord at any time.  In her video essay, Margarita highlights the liminality of the story and of course, that peeked my interest.  Continue reading

perfect impermanence

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432344A0-42BB-428A-9AE6-065C84CA861D“The deeper that sorrow curves into your being‚ the more joy you can contain.” ~Khalil Gibran (Also, Sr. Francis said something like this to me when I sought her counsel after my first “true love” broke up with me. I have been taught the same lessons over and over.)

Writing around the photos from last week when I should be making phone calls. I almost posted pictures without words, thinking that energy should be put to the practical and useful.  I let that thought pass.

We made it to a beach on Friday.  Unfortunately, the beach itself was not all that hospitable. Revere Beach, which to tell the truth I had been warned might disappoint. It was low tide and the waves were smaller that Lake Michigan’s waves on a sunny day. The damp and wet sand was covered with a bit of sea weed and a lot of brown oozy stuff. I googled around trying to figure out what it was but the best I could find was a newspaper description of “yucky brown stuff that smells.”  Is it bacteria? Have I been away from oceans for too long to know what is normal? Continue reading

transplanting

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The great warrior cat, Muta, guards, protects and keeps cool.

Saturday. 4:34 pm. 95 Degrees F (35 C). 

The house is pleasant with the window air conditioner working in the living room and the portable air conditioner at the other end of the house in the kitchen.  We’ve been puttering all day, only pausing briefly to check outside on how hot the hot really was.  Julia unpacked our CDs onto the rack.  I rearranged furniture; consolidated boxes, put the IKEA tv table together, organized the electric cords for the tv, air conditioner and internet, put stuff that I have no room for on Facebook Marketplace and answered email.  It has been a productive day but strangely unsatisfying.

I have 10 boxes left to unpack (There are more boxes in the basement but most are storage boxes.  At least, for now.).  Inside the 10 boxes is art, pictures, and decoration.  Funny, I think I started with 10 boxes of art, etc., and I’ve unpacked a few.  Is the art multiplying? Continue reading

growing home

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“Emptiness refers to the absence of something that, for some reason, one expects to find—as when we say a glass, normally used to hold liquids, is empty even though it is full of air. The point is not that there is nothing there at all, but rather that what is there differs from your expectations.” ~William S. Cobb, “The Game of Go”

Expectations. Emptiness. What I hold on to that I don’t even form into thoughts, into the stuff of consciousness. Unconscious expectations. Ah, that is interesting stuff.

Sunday.  Julia is up first, watched some tv, folded her clothes and taking a shower.  For days, her lack of independence compared to her typical peers has been what I see and I have felt such sadness.  For me, for sure, but more, for her.  Listening to her move around our new home, sounds that are unfamiliar and not easily identified, I see, ah yes, I see, expectations.  For all that I preach, to myself and others, about natural unfolding and patience, I am still comparing her to peers. I am comparing peacocks to robins. Continue reading

oops

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Small adventures.  A visit to Newton-Wellsley Hospital for help applying for Julia’s MassHealth insurance and then hours at my desk filling out the supplemental disability form.  Done and mailed and waiting.

A visit to the MA Registry of Motor Vehicles on Monday to get (1) my license, (2) MA plates and (3) a non-driver’s license ID for Julia.  I didn’t bring sufficient documentation for my license and I don’t yet have sufficient documentation for Julia’s ID.  And Oy, registration and plates.  I need my title to change registration and I don’t have one.

It’s a long story, a perfect example of the perils of procrastination.  Continue reading

notes from the spiral

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The Newton Living room/Dining room 

A week and two days.  Hold tight.  This is long.  I’ve taken notes.  I am really tired and last night Cheshire and Justin brought over an “extra” air conditioner to take the edge off the heat.  We’ve made it though the loading, the drive, the almost catastrophe, the arrival, the delivery, seeing our new home, a measure of unpacking, and our ninth death day celebration.  Lots of being here with some worry on the side.

Beginning last Thursday.  Closing on the Madison house and the journey out here were, as in any good transformative tale, challenging.  My buyers hesitated and complained a bit. Wedding jitters? This might have been their first old house buy or their first buy together.  My cleaners were responsible for some of the anxiety—the middle burner on the stove top probably still wet from cleaning did not immediately light and the cellar floor, still wet from a wash, suggested a wet basement.  Then, the central air did not immediately switch on and blow out cold air, but I hadn’t run it yet this season and directions needed to be followed.  Does anyone read directions? Eventually and with some realtor help, signing happened.  I worried and fretted from the road and was happy and relieved that I had pre-signed what I needed to do last week. Continue reading

hand up high in the air

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5F64E1D8-9108-43E6-A05B-2CB997BB54D7Yesterday. Two more sleeps. 

Today. One more sleep. How many times did Julia and I do the “sleeps” countdowns when we were getting ready to travel?  This time counting sleeps is for me.  Are we really going?  Will Boston really be there?  Next week, this time, with a bit of luck, we should be in a house I’ve never seen, unpacking.  

Today is our last quiet morning.  Tomorrow, the movers come.  There are still so many measures of uncertainty—no idea of what time movers are coming and so, what time my clean up crew can start.  The buyers want to walk through at 2:30, or rather the buyer’s agent named that time.  I’ve been visited by half of the buying couple twice to measure for a washing machine and to show her the garden, and I suspect that she is not pushing to do a walkthrough before the movers are finished, but who knows . . .  The window for deliver is still July 1st to the 8th. With some luck, they will close that window up tomorrow.  If it is the 1st to the 3rd, we will camp out in the new place starting July 1. We will be connected to the internet by noon on the 1st. Cheshire has two air mattresses, I have 2 camp chairs, swim towels and our picnic stuff in the car.  I have reservations for our travel nights and a plan to see Seneca Falls on Saturday.  Passports and the cat’s certificate of health are in our travel folder. Continue reading

packed and put away

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0FAFD24A-F622-4366-AA49-EF120EA48B68I am finished!  Now, perhaps the words, a few thoughts will come.  I have described the last two or so weeks as “not writers block.”  Really, I always have something to say, some of it not incredibly inspiring, perhaps most of it not very inspiring, but usually cogent.  However, recently I sit down at my usual writing times and discover that the words come slowly, are forced, and trite, are almost stupidly simple.  “I’m having a hard day,” was the start on Tuesday and then nothing after that.   Continue reading