Thursday, April 19, 2018

My Heart Leaps Up

Taking all kinds of inspiration from Patricia Lockwood's essay How Do We Write Now? There's so much that's good here.

"That your attention is in one sense the most precious part of you, it is your soul spending yourself, to teach you that there’s always more. 

That your attention is a resource that can be drafted, commandeered, militarized and made to march — like youth, passion, or patriotism...

That if you sometimes try to comfort yourself by thinking, Cows don’t know about him, you’re not alone."

Plus, the reminder that looking at a screen, and through that screen at the Interwebs and social media is maybe not the best way to start the day. I like this too:

"The single best way to give the morning back to myself is to open a real book as I drink my first cup of coffee. I’m not sure why real books are best. I think the pages remind me that I have fingerprints. I think I like to see what I have read lying sweetly by the side of what I’m about to read, like a wife."

In a hotel in Maryland with one little dog, drifting off to sleep at 8:40 PM. I'm going to try listening to Max Richter's Sleep all night long, just for fun. 

Monday, April 02, 2018

Past // Future

When I carry a cup of tea up the stairs, I think of the time I fell carrying a cup of tea up the stairs and ended up with a spectacular third-degree burn on my arm, and the way various medical professionals asked me what I interpreted to be variations on the question, "Are you safe at home?" including the question, "What kind of tea was it?"

And every time I go down the basement stairs (often holding a laundry basket), I feel I am being given a glimpse into the future to foresee a time I fall down the basement stairs swearing and crying out and end in a crumpled heap at the bottom.

Sunday, April 01, 2018

Rabbit rabbit!

This rabbit is sitting on a knife for no particular reason except perhaps that APRIL IS THE CRUELEST MONTH.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Look around

(Jeannette took me to see Hamilton!!)

I keep thinking back on Hamilton, and remembering how even when I was watching it, how sharply aware I was of it as a fleeting moment.

Also, while watching, I kept imagining Isaac watching it and wondering what he would think of those silly musical theater tropes (someone swoops in with a chair, sits on it, pretends to talk to another actor, dances off, the other actor twirls away with the chair...) I mean, I love them, but what would he think?

Come to think of it, 21 year old Isaac might scoff a bit, but nine or ten year old Isaac (I can't believe I'm not remembering specifically how old he was) was a superstar on the stage in Oliver! Singing, dancing, the whole nine yards. He really was great, in a role as one of the pickpockets with one line that got laughs, as I (his proud mother) recall. That was an era of Cockney accents and little tweed vests and hats and urchin shoes around here. Not just Isaac, but Zoë and a few of their best friends too.

They were urchins for Halloween that year.

A bunch of pickpockets.
Don't tell Isaac (right) I said that he is still this adorable.

The guy who played Fagin HATED the kids who played the pickpockets. They cast so many of them, so there were hordes of rascally children running around the theater all the time, and more than once Fagin had strong words, mainly directed to their MOTHERS specifically.

So, actually, that kid has some experience with twirling around with props and posing stage left, etc.

Also, Hamilton was just amazing. It totally lived up to my expectations. I feel like I had one item on my life list (I will not call it a Bucket List because it's against my religion to use that phrase), and now it's neatly crossed out. Not to say I wouldn't love to see it again.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018


My maternal grandmother's habit of saving all types of plastic containers, including yogurt pots and flimsy bowls from microwavable dinners, and using them to eat from every day despite having cabinets full of china, has inspired me to do the opposite. I know my mom would say the same—I'm pretty sure that she began using "special" dishes and cutlery all the time, instead of saving them for "special," soon after the time we stayed in my grandmother's Kansas house and helped her move into an assisted living place.*

Aww, spoony spoony.

I've done the same thing, especially since we were able to remodel and simplify our kitchen. There is one silverware drawer with all the silver we've collected over the years, and one with mainly stainless steel but also a cache of (unmatched) silver teaspoons. I love to use those spoons.

Our next door neighbors moved out abruptly last week. Well, it was abrupt from our point of view, but who knows. To them it may have taken forever. They were renters, from the elderly owners (who moved in with a daughter in Illinois years ago, and may or may not still be living. Before they left, the German retired philosophy professor, famous for scaling ladders and trees to paint his house and do extensive pruning well into his 70s and early 80s, gave Zoë a beautiful typewriter with a German keyboard). Yesterday there was a man with a metal detector combing the yard. I wonder if he was looking for something specific (A lost piece of jewelry? A time capsule buried years ago?), or if that's just a thing people do when they move, just in case. I am imagining the house will be sold. I am really going to miss hearing the kid next door practicing his bagpipes, and yes I mean that sincerely. Mark and I referred to him as "Wee Piper" despite the fact that he is now in high school, because of his mom's vanity license plate, which read WEEPIPR. Also, he was a Boy Scout and sold us an affordable and lovely Christmas wreath every year. And once, he and Mark teamed up to rescue a baby squirrel. They probably lived there for five or six years, right next door, and those are all the interactions I can think of. My neighborhood is weird.

*Mark was there too. We were children, practically. It was fun, and later we found out that there was a carbon monoxide leak in the house that had no doubt put a madcap, lightheaded spin on the whole thing.