I’m having a hard time writing. With all that is swirling around in the greater Madison/ Wisconsin/USA world, with pipe bombs and the massacre in Pittsburg and the killing of Kroger shoppers in Kentucky–all just in the last week–I find it hard to take the petty concerns of my days seriously. Can we all vote now or on November 6? Can we vote for Democratic candidates no matter how we’ve voted in the past? We need to break the choke hold that the current administration has on the rhetoric of our nation. I’m sorry to ask good Republicans, moderates, fiscal conservatives to betray your party. But really, is it your party? I find it hard to believe that the Republican judges I worked for and those I knew in the legal Indy community approve of what the Executive and Legislative branches of out federal government are doing. Or saying. It is horrifying to see a major American political party welcome Nazis, White Supremacists and misogynists into its ranks. It is appalling to hear a president’s speak so disrespectfully of people, institutions, agencies that are vital to our way of life. Today’s insult, to nullify the long-accepted constitutional guarantee of birthright citizenship in the United States via executive order is absurd. He must know that. It is, however, a great way to rally the racists. And when it proves not possible, he will lie and say he never said it and those same racists will believe him. How can you stand his lies? 3084 since his inauguration, some possibly not intentional but for a president to lie unintentionally is no excuse. It just means he didn’t both to find out the truth. Continue reading
I began this two days ago and wrote more in the morning, the day after Judge Kavanaugh complained the his “family and  name have been totally and permanently destroyed.” He also said what goes around, comes around. I believe Christine Blasey Ford. I believed Professor Anita Hill. These women have showed courage beyond my wildest dreams. My thoughts of the season pale beside their actions. I honor them.
Still, I write.
Ah, the turning of the season! Last week or late the week before, I noticed a few fringes of red on the trees I see driving on the Beltway. Why don’t I know the names of trees? I could say the oaks are redding, the maples show scarlet. Maybe one day. Not today. Closer to home, the ashes are yellowing and dropping those tiny yellows so that the street gutters are looking messy with yellows and greens and browns. I love that clutter. Every year at this time, I remind myself never to buy a house in this season. The colors, the wind, the crackle of cold air, the smell of first logs in fireplaces and the clutter of leaves lining the gutters in streets—I would be romanced, swept off my feet. I would not make a sensible decision. Continue reading
It is Thursday and we’ve been out of internet range except for select minutes for days. I have many pictures to post from our incredible hikes in the outback, the center of Australia. There is no way they will upload on hotel internet but I will have access to better soon.
Today is the eighth anniversary of David’s death. I wrote what comes next earlier today.
I never understood the church year and as a kid I wondered why from year to year the stories did not change because some of the repetition bored me. Now I have my own liturgical year, March to July, transplant to expiration. I can relive it in an instant, scenes with vivid recall like yesterday, clearer than yesterday. Eight journeys around the sun so far. Those early ones when the best I could do was to find care for Julia while I allowed for a good long wallow in pain. Then, the years of Miyazaki movies and Chinese takeout. First just the two of us and then with friends (Bless them for their indulgence).Then sitting in piazza San Marco with gin and gelato and observing in NYC with Cheshire and Indian food. Today, waking up in a cold tent, cuddling with Julia for warmth under heavy blankets. Traveling the Australian outback with a group of people we didn’t know three days ago. Last night, arriving at a camp site not set up for us, we made up beds and cooked a noodle dinner together, eating so late that Julia’s eyes were closing. No way I could have imagined today eight years ago. No way could I have imagined the company we would keep this day. Grieving, observing, and one day, not quite yet, celebrating the years and the life I/we share with David. Continue reading
A line from one of my favorite songs (“Is Anybody There?”) in one of my favorite musicals (1776). It is running over and over in my head, the voice I hear is, of course, William Daniels, the original John Adams.
We leave for Sydney tomorrow evening. I have a list, albeit short, to accomplish and two therapy appointments today. If I finish what needs to be finished before the middle of the day, we could see a movie tonight but I am not depending on that extravagance. Continue reading
Not much of that the last two weeks. The city is tearing up my street, both streets on my corner. The crew port-o-potty adorns my terrace garden bed. From 6:45 a.am to 6:00 p.m., 6 days a week—scrapers scrape, diggers dig and hit stuff in the ground, pounders, earth movers, buriers of huge pieces of metal and all of it beeps mercilessly when they back up. I complained to whoever listened and grumped to myself often for days. Then I stopped insisting that my daily round remain the same and got out of the house as much as possible. After awhile the persistence to hold fast to my daily round and the desire to escape as much as possible settled into some middle space—I stopped complaining and reclaimed the house when I needed it, mindful of my tolerance. I needed to open windows and turn on fans and welcome (almost) the road dust. I started greeting the crew outside my windows and they’ve been helpful making some space for me to get my car out of the driveway and out of my street. I am on the verge of baking them muffins. Continue reading
“Life changes fast.
Life changes in the instant.
You sit down to dinner and life as you know it ends.
The question of self-pity.”
With a very big sigh of relief, I count another mother’s day over. My feelings about the holiday remain the same as they were four years ago and I am still not proud of them. Of course, I am not proud. The feelings are still all about self-pity. Which is ugly and such a damm nuisance.
When I first read Joan Didion’s “The year of magical thinking,” I did not understand those first lines quoted above. I rather shamefacedly admit that I didn’t understand them for a very long time. What was so bad about some very well deserved self-pity? Continue reading
This is a picture of Julia walking to class. Her case manager sent it to me yesterdy. He wrote: “Hey, I was following Julia and a peer in the hall, talking like best buds. Not sure who her friend is, but I’m happy she has made strong connections with reg ed peers.”
It is a great picture.
When I looked at it, my first impulse, after a good hearted motherly smile, is to race to the story of Julia making a friend, going over someone’s house, talking too long on the phone, telling secrets to someone (not me), going to a sleepover, having a party. And then, I stop. Continue reading
Thunder and lightening and rain last night. Just before bedtime. This morning everything is moist and cloudy. The bird and squirrel sounds come to my ears as if through fog. Sitting on cushioned wicker on the back porch, I listen to the uneven hum of the ceiling fans. Temperatures predicted to be summer like, so I open all the windows and turn on the fans. There is a disconnect between the wide open house and the gold-brown and worn green leaves blanketing the gardens. But the disconnect, the tilt, the slight unevenness of my world’s tectonic plates feel . . . right, correct, just as it is. Continue reading
Six hours at the Dane County Airport waiting for weather to clear in Newark, New Jersey, to take for a short, direct flight is enough to make anyone a bit of a philosopher. That or go nuts. Because I bought this summer’s tickets with credit card points and used the voucher we got in January, I sprung for flying out of our little, low key facility. Lines are short, seats plentiful but there are fewer food choices and what there is comes with NYC prices.
Julia did all her home work and her puzzle exercises and some extra of each. She worked on coloring a new dragon picture in her art app. If her cello had been here, we would have gotten in a good practice. Now, she is listening to music on her phone and watching videos of kids dancing and singing. She has not even cracked the sketch book or dot to dot book. The kid has learned to wait. She is developing patience. Continue reading
Feeling like a super mom today. Exhausted but endowed with power and magic. Today is never easy. 7 years. Another anniversary of the beginning of my unexpected life.
I have long entertained the idea that the cells of the body are recycled bit by bit every 7 years. Where did I hear that? I have no idea, but if it were so, there is no cell in my body left that actually knew David. Could that be? Even if it was the general rule, I imagine my cells clever enough to bypass such ignorance. They might have whispered and conspired, perhaps saving one very, very old seven or eight or nine year old cell and sitting at her “feet” to listen to stories of when I was not lonely. And really, there was that time when I knew joy without effort. And maybe in the stories of that old cell is the seed of a coming time of such joy. Just maybe. Continue reading