settling in some more

NaNo_2019_-_Poster_Design_1024x1024So far I’ve written many, many words for 8 days straight for NaNaWriMo.  I would not vouch for the quality of most of them, but this is about getting words on the page and not fine literature or even hack pulp.  This month of writing is more about putting something of mine on the front burner which I have not done for a long while.  Arguably, a good deal of the last year, moving and settling into Newton, has been about me, but Julia is usually in the front burner pot.

For this month, I’m intending to add 50,000 words to a very old project that already has almost that number of words devoted to it.  It is an ambitious idea but it is a good time to try to do it.  Even after 4 months, I don’t have many connections here.  Community building is slow but sure, and I have time and energy to take on a solitary project.  I have two kinds of online support and I can go to the occasional write-in at my local library.  I spent October preparing an outline, reestablishing my meditation practice which has been slipping, applying myself at the gym and cooking large amounts of freezable foods.  I was going strong until last week. Continue reading

pluck

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Cheshire coxing her senior boat last weekend

The week’s notes. Morning. I live on a quiet street although . . . contractors are always working on someone’s home. Today, power saw, power staplers (nailers?) and hammer blows—re-shingling, I think. And there is the sound of traffic from a few streets over.  And the garbage men.

I am studying the light in my rooms at various times of the day.  My bedroom is very dark at night which is much appreciated.  The Madison house, on the corner, had a street light that shined into my bedroom.  Julia’s room, less dark here, needs some heavy curtains. I put up blinds for her which help a bit. I don’t like blinds.  I used to say I hated blinds, but I’m getting used to them here. I remind myself that this is a rental and will never conform completely to my wishes.   Continue reading

the practice of being a stranger

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On the steps of the Custom House.

Findings and observations, many without conclusions:

-I am making home and I prefer that I was done already.  Hanging pictures in the most compulsive manner.  Damn theses plaster, horse hair and lathe walls!  Small pictures need are hung velcro-y like strips.  Not buying them from Amazon but a “local” hardware store 25 minutes away.  Twenty five minutes is not too far to go for helpful advice.  On Sunday, I hung a large poster from a molding hook using fishing line. I may have to camp out in the living room all night to make sure the line does not stretch and/or break even though the hardware guy swore that he never sold a reel of fishing line to someone preparing to fish. I still have three pictures, big framed pictures, that I want to hang, that I cannot imagine not having on the walls in my home and I’m not sure how to do it.  I am used to banging a nail into dry wall, perhaps looking for a stud.  The patience of this house stretches me thin.  Continue reading

the goo of ambiguity

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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

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

“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

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

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

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