of the new year

I’ve spent the entire morning and part of the afternoon taking care of business—overdue thank you notes to friends and the cheer coach (I had to tell her about Julia’s wall climbing which the biweekly cheer workouts are responsible for (Eek! Ending with a preposition!)), emails to find providers for our current respite needs and to teachers to figure out how to best support Julia as she works on her first English research paper, queries about two new projects I’ve been promising myself for a long time and also about an idea to help Julia with independence, paying a few bills, ordering what I think is the perfect birthday present for Julia, and phone calls to change doc appointments and set up another round of house repairs.

Whoa, I am clear today! And very grateful for the clarity. I have been kinda’, sorta’ muddled and overwhelmed recently.  No good reason.  Holidays? Travel? The cold (not a cold but the weather)?  Since we’ve gotten home, I’ve had a slow ‘recovery,’ not from illness but from malaise, some not-quite sadness.  My usual trust that I would get back to a busy daily round eventually was beginning to wane.  Perhaps the muddle was here to stay this time. Continue reading

private truths

Recursive Dream Study by Day Huynh

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

movin’ may

4:00 p.m.: I’ve spent the day in the garden beds, digging up the last of the bulbs in the front terrace beds, transplanting ajuga from those same beds to the side in front of the fence.  This is a place where the worst weeds grow. Ugly, ugly, ugly.  I planted ajuga on the fence line last fall.  About a third of it took, so I’m trying again. Cutting back spent bulb plantings and weeding just a tiny bit. I have some mighty incredible weeds after our week of rain.

Julia is working on cover art for a class project while she listens to music. Kid bob mostly with a bit of classic rock mixed in. “I just love ‘Thriller,’” she tells me. How can I not smile indulgently?

For the cover art, Julia sketched the old fashion way and then transferred her drawings to an iPad app for coloring.  When finished, the enhanced drawings will all go into a collage app to be arranged on a background and titles. For a child who stumbles over simple directions, she has figured most of this out by herself. When she’s run into problems and asks me, which surprisingly she is doing with more regularity, she is patient as I figure the problem out and usually fully understands my solution about half way through my explanation. Continue reading


Art by Day Huynh

“You need only claim the events of your life to make yourself yours. When you truly possess all you have been and done… you are fierce with reality.” ~ Florida Scott-Maxwell

Last night I dream of David. I haven’t dreamed about him in a very, long time.  I was one of those real-feeling, ordinary-day-feeling dreams.

This last week has been intense and concentrated, filled with reading and writing and two long phone conversations with an old friend who reframed some sad events of the last few years. During the course of our conversation, my friend told me about a phone call that she had with David.  A call that either I did not know about or had completely forgotten. Either one is possible. It concerned her, not me any way. But hearing about it after all this time blew a little bit of life into the dusty ghosts of my imagination. Continue reading

behind a wheel

Po, the car.
Po, the car.

Today is very bright and the sky blue. Our pictures coming walking to Vernazza would sport a specular sky today, but I am quite happy with our grey day and muted memories from yesterday. My muscle memory is quite vivid. At the van stop at the top of Corneglia, a Japanese woman asks about trains and buses, and where they can walk from the top of this town and I give her the information confidently. I am a native of 42 hours. We eat in the little cafe I looked for yesterday–pan i vin– excellent cappuccino, focaccia i mozzarella and pan chocolate. And a very friendly barman.

We are picking up a rental car in La Spezia and I am nervous. For all of my bravado about wanting to drive in italy, I am terrified. When I announced so very bravely that I wanted to drive in Italy and planned part of this trip around where I would have to drive to what I really may have meant was that I wanted to ‘ride’ around Italy with some braver or more experienced soul behind the wheel. I am pretty sure of myself on buses and trains and if I could have, I would have abandoned this crazy idea.

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“Find out the reason that commands you to write; see whether it has spread its roots into the very depth of your heart; confess to yourself you would have to die if you were forbidden to write.”

Rainer Maria Rilke

Came across these Rilke words this morning as I looked for something else.  Rilke always speaks to me, from wedding vows (“. . . a good marriage is one in which each partner appoints the other to be the guardian of his solitude . . .”) to growing a spiritual life ( “. . . learn to love the questions . . .“).  I come back to, stumble across, have quoted back to me words that he wrote that always draw me deeper.

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