Tuesday, September 27, 2011

i was sitting on a park bench, reading the extraordinary THIS SIDE OF BRIGHTNESS by Colum McCann.  it was an idyllic afternoon.  the children were running and biking, respectively, around the very large park and i was left with my book.  the eastern sky was threatening to storm, but it was still warm and breezy in the park.  an older male jogger was circling the park, making his route in the gutter, several feet behind me.  as he passed the first time i couldn't believe what i heard:  a loud and--dare i say--agressive, fart.  it startled me.  i turned and look at him as he kept on jogging.  surely he didn't know what he'd done.  i mean, couldn't he hear how loud and iconic it was?  he wasn't wearing headphones.  as he circled again, another one.  then another.  when the children finished their ramblings, i collected our things and as we were leaving i told them about the jogger.  perfect humor for my children.  and then, as if on cue, the farting jogger circles us again.  sure enough, he let one rip.  we couldn't help ourselves.  we laughed at his public display of flatulence.  maybe that's what he was after.

image found here

Monday, September 26, 2011

"it takes courage to grow up and become who you really are."  - e.e. cummings

also, to explain to your grandmother what a boner is.  i'm just sayin'.  i live in the presence of a courageous girl.

image found here

Saturday, September 24, 2011

dead meat

we took the train to santa fe yesterday.  there was a free, heartwarming concert by kyma dawson.  this song was my favorite.  then, new mexican dinner and a return trip on the train.  in the dark.  we were all tired.  but there was a high-energy rebel, a kid named james who is fed up with it all:  obama, wall street, child labor, coach bags, tuition hikes.  he was articulate and passionate and entertaining.  we all fell a little bit in love with him.  

then, there was an extraordinarily large sound all around and beneath us.  like a bag of rocks on the track.  boulders.  the train seemed to lift off the tracks.  i put both my feet on the floor and held my breath.  then the engineer announced that it was a cow.  we'd hit a cow.  and the smell seeping in through the metal and glass of the railrunner was like something burning or melting or spoiling.  

james said:  some people eat hamburger.  e said:  i think i may be vegetarian.  i said:  i hope the cow didn't see it coming.  then we were all quiet.

photo by sharon montrose.  found here.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

nature's love lesson #9

or welcome to autumn

9.  as soon as the sun backs off a bit, as soon as it's not shoving its hotness at you from dawn til dusk, not making you wince with its absolute constancy, then--and only then--does its heat on your bare back and hidden shoulders become excellent.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


the mister has his bday today.  there was a time i thought i'd never have anything in common with a forty-three year old man.  little did i know. . .

my mister is a perfect specimen of humor, kindness, passion, wisdom & forgiveness.  to my fourteen-year old self who would read this and think, seriously, ewww:  you can't even begin to imagine the goodness coming your way.  thanks, mister.  happy birthday.

Monday, September 19, 2011

". . .there is nothing you can buy, achieve, own, or rent that can fill up that hunger inside for a sense of fulfillment and wonder. But the good news is that creative expression, whether that means writing, dancing, bird-watching, or cooking, can give a person almost everything that he or she has been searching for: enlivenment, peace, meaning, and the incalculable wealth of time spent quietly in beauty. "-Anne Lamott

I wonder, as I read these words, if this idea is taught in schools?  Is it even considered when designing curriculum?  A nine year old girl that I met this weekend told me she wants to be a dentist when she grows up.  Cool, I thought.  I've never heard that from a child.  So I asked her why that interested her.  She said she'd heard they make a lot of money.  Sigh.  Surely some dentists are inspired and fulfilled by their work, but doubtful that they got into it for the salary. 

Sunday, September 18, 2011


i woke up at 3am with shards of glass in my throat.  after camping with t's 4th grade class for two nights, it was to be expected.  when i woke again at 8am, i was thinking about my father.  the bedroom was slightly cool as his was on the day he last spoke.  little t, then only three, toddled in and said, "hi, papa."  my father turned his head slightly, smiled a little as his eyes rested on t. "hey, t, how you doin'?"  it was the last thing he ever said.  when i woke up this morning i was thinking about the road my father's mind travelled after those words.  because i know he was still travelling.  still hearing conversations, still seeing scenes in his mind from his life.  but it was all his.  none of it shared.  his own private road home.  it makes me lonely, but also profoundly in awe of life and its unfolding.  there will always be the thoughts that are our own.  the things we'll never share.  and this thought makes the things that do we share ever more precious.  i can hear his voice, still.  that final question a gift like no other.  a strand of his concern that echoes over and over.  how you doin'?

image found here

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

not that i mind. . .

but somebody mistook my beloved, well-worn, bought at a gas station in carlsbad, california cowboy hat, for a sombrero.  i'd just like to use this space to show the world the difference.  top photo is a cowboy hat.  bottom photo is a sombrero.  

Friday, September 9, 2011

dipping my toe in the water

the morning is cloudy and cool, unlike any morning for so long.  maybe three months, even.  it matches the writerly insides of me.  quiet.  dark.  slightly gloomy.  tolstoy was not an academic.  didn't like school.  but in between visits to the brothels and bars and gambling halls, he taught himself twelve languages.  what a slacker.

t and i saw a woman speaking (?) super fast sign language in her car this morning.  the woman in the passenger's was wearing dark glasses and appeared to be blind.

that's all.

*except the photo is by my brilliant friend sacha, found on her flickr page.