Tuesday, June 29, 2010

doing the best she can

When I first saw this nest last weekend I couldn't help but feel a sense of despair for the perfect quartet of eggs.  Why?  Because the nest is built ON THE GROUND, in a clump of grass smack in the middle of a clearing where gophers, chipmunks, mice and snakes abound.  What a dumb mother bird, I thought to myself as our dog nearly keeled over with the euphoria of the nest's scent.  But upon further reflection, maybe the mama bird is doing the best she can.  Maybe she wants to outrun her own troubled youth, to do everything differently than the way her parents did.  Maybe she has seen too many eggs lost in windstorms.  Whatever the case, best of luck to you and your little ones, renegade mom!  

Thursday, June 24, 2010

twigs talking to me

Don't hang your head.  You're doing fine.

I should do more.  Forty pages is not enough.

It's the fucking forest.  You gotta see through the trees. 

I can't see anything.

'Cause you're hanging your head.

fierce nature

We had a really lovely weekend away, but came home to such sad news.  Our friends & neighbors who were expecting their baby in just a few weeks had a stillbirth on Saturday.  A beautiful baby boy was already gone when he was delivered to his capable, loving parents.  I know their hearts are broken and words are totally inadquate to describe or convey their grief, but because words are my security blanket, I brought them a copy of this book:


If you know it, you know it is the kind of book that reminds us of the incredible capacity we have for loss and love and sorrow and strength.  Elizabeth McCracken is an author I admire, but this book made me love her.

Friday, June 18, 2010

fortune cookie

Towards the end of the second week of working on this new thing (hardly anything close to a book, yet) I had the good luck to  eat a cheap & delicious Thai lunch with the Mister.  Do most Thai places bring fortune cookies with the bill?  This one did.  And this was my fortune:

Not bad, eh?  After feeling like I'd written certainly written thirty pages in vain, the next day I actually think there may be a dim light shining forth.  So, we returned to the scene of the first fortune and received another:

Guess what?  We are indeed crossing the great Rio Hondo for a fun weekend.  You can read about the place here, where I revealed it as one of my favorite spots in New Mexico.

Monday, June 14, 2010


I was reminded that I never revealed the Mother's Day beads.  After shredding newspaper, boiling it, adding glue, drying for three days in NM sunshine, they looked like this:
Then, I painted them and strung them on elastic cord, and they look like this:

Sunday, June 13, 2010

growing through tight spots

Special thanks to this rose for subtle reminders about perseverance, hidden beauty, and following your own path.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

my location

Inspired by this lovely lady, I've created my own month of a writer's retreat.  Each morning I'm sequestered away and beginning what I hope will be a wildly productive time.  I'm going for the stark, clean retreat.  No internet, no toys, no distractions of any kind.  I read The Girl With the Dragon Tatoo on vacation and I laughed about the main character's impression of prison--kind of like what my girl thought when we visited Alcatraz.  Remember?  This is where you'll find me.


time to peel the grapes

beach bag

I made it the day before we left in a bit of a hurry.


I've been away so long, I hardly remember how to do this.  Let's see. . .We were a whirlwind of end-of-school activity and then we left for our family vacation just two hours after the last day of school.  If you don't know, my father was born and raised in Alabama and when I was a child we'd return each summer to visit his parents.  One week in the miniscule town where they lived in central Alabama, and another heavenly week at the coast.  The week at the beach is now a long-standing tradition that has bent and curved to hurricanes, deaths, teenagers' schedules, but it's been uninterrupted again for ten years now.  Even thought my father has been gone for five.  We just can't give up the memories, the white sand, the warm water, the time.

I know I should segue here.  Right into BP territory.  Right into outrage and disgust.  But I don't want to.  Is it the definition of shallow to ignore the things that interfere with your enjoyment of life?  There was no ignoring the oil.  It appeared on our beach the day before we left and the fumes were terrible.  The awful clinging stickiness of it was enough to send you into panic all over again.  But I want to show you all the beautiful things.  And I don't think they're shallow at all.

On our way:

To where we're going:

To jump:

And eat:

And walk:

And dream: