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
Another liminal stage of this unexpected life. Ah, nothing like a perfect word. (Thank you, Anne, for giving it to me.)
First note, when we moved to Madison twelve years ago, it was to be our permanent home. David and I had given up an east coast replant and saw Madison as the just about perfect midwest place to be for-almost-ever. Okay, there were the winters (100 inches of snow our first winter here) but other than that, it has been pretty perfect place for the three of us. Continue reading
So much change, so fast, none of it bad but all of it pushing over the edges of comfort. I start and scribble and then leave it. And then, change again, making what I scribbled about before irrelevant. Compassion, especially for myself, is my current practice. I need to go to the gym, pamper myself some, we need to go to the movies and indulge in ice cream. I can understand Julia’s ups and downs; I need to understand my own.
Julia, by the way, has good and bad days, needs to check every day that we are taking all of her books and stuffed toys, and that she will finish the school year at West High, but she is doing pretty splendidly.
Right now, I am always tired. Transition is exhausting. Continue reading
When I go to open the journal/blog file and it is not in the “most recent” list, I know for sure it has been too long. My fingers ache with my scribbling deficiency but my head is stuffed with Earth Science facts, easy algebra and a lesson on loving myself from James Baraz.
Lately, I have not been happy. A bit overwhelmed and second guessing myself about my big decisions. Dissatisfied and pining for a different life. This morning, life is good! Continue reading
I make resolutions. I have know people who have not approved of this habit, some pretty vocally. And I still do it. I like setting goals and I am not undone failing to reach them. I’ve lived in Julia’s therapy world for a long time and when she does not meet a therapy goal set within the prescribed time, it is either carried on or modified. So too, my resolutions. Certainly, the resolution to consider or contemplate home which has been on my resolution list long before I began posting resolutions is a perfect example. From the time I left NYC for the midwest, I’ve puzzled over the idea of home. NYC was home. Now, the pieces fit. Home is simply where the love is—family and friends and warm community. Madison has been home, first because it was where David and I lived together and then because I was determined to reclaim life and be a part of the community. Of course, I’ve known this intuitively for a long time—such a Dorothy moment. And these days, my eyes are fixed on Boston as home, a home as precious and satisfying as Madison has been. Continue reading
I meant to write a few days after the last entry, again last week, again during the weekend. But I did not. Funny thing about that. Not writing, that is. Use it or lose it. How many abilities, gifts, talents is that true for? On a day like today, it feels like everything! Today, the ability to catch a thought, to fashion a phrase and to punctuate is a labor like getting on the treadmill months after the last gym visit. Use of imagination, like a good run, will take warming up for a few days. Or weeks. Continue reading
It was cold last night, only a few degrees colder than it was the night before. At least, I think so. And the thermostat was not set particularly low. But we shivered through supper and homework. Julia had had a moderately challenging day—she was late for study hall, her stomach hurt during reading and she still couldn’t present her earth science project due to some IT problem with her powerpoint. She had math and earth science homework and a Death of a Salesman test to study for, and it was admittedly harder than usual to catch her attention. Once she was working, she was fine, though her processing speed slowed to a half crawl at times. But we got through it all. She was incredibly tired which has become the new normal more than half her days. I’m not sure if it is that without the ADHD meds, her body runs down sooner, or that she is exhausted from working harder to concentrate on any form of work throughout the day, or something else. Continue reading
Loneliness, as in an uncomfortable emotion, passes and I am left alone in the house with Julia back at school and feeling really okay about my aloneness, as in the state of being with no company apart from my own. And the cat.
Quick meds update: Julia is still off her Concerta. Friday night we went to Overture to see School of Rock, a rather kid noisy rock musical with a very enthusiastic cast including about a dozen kids. Julia enjoyed it. So much so that when the kids sang, “Stick it to the Man” (The chorus if not the name of the song), Julia was ready to get up and join the cast on stage, and if not on stage, at least stand up and raise her fist and wave her hair. My hand had to rest gently in her lap to keep her in her seat. We were in the balcony which may have helped keep her in her seat. Had we been in the orchestra . . . Continue reading
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