Wednesday, March 11, 2020

La Carona--

the beast and fear of the beast are indistinguishable.  E returned from France and we are all much sadder than we should be for the reunion.  Her trip interrupted, her experience far from over.  Yet this, too, is her experience.  Part of the lore of her life.  We are living the story, unaware where it begins and ends.

For me as I sit in the middle of this new draft, it melts around me.  Beginning, middle, end are all such fabrications.  And yet, we yearn for them all the time.  I yearn for a clearness, an X on the map of where in this mess my cursor actually is.  Am I miles away?  Years?  Or just below the crest of the hill with clear skies ahead?

Wherever you are, call it a beginning and forge ahead with all the hope and energy and freshness that requires.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020


I made some really great chocolate chip cookies before our retreat to Taos.  I wrapped all of them in foil, knowing that there is nothing like mountain hunger.  My brilliant T saw the cookies in the foil and immediately placed one or two cookies on a piece of foil and laid it on the Jotul stove that warms the big room.  Between snowshoeing and reading and debating the merits of pulling the goalie, it was the delight of those cookies getting slightly melty and recovering their just-baked status that punctuated the weekend.

Time is becoming more poignant as I feel its threads pulling at me.  How can it be that our baby is eighteen now?  I embarked on my first novel when he was three months old.  The only career I've had, I've had as a mother.  My writing life existed before them, but not publicly.  Somehow, these two endeavors--the two most important projects of my life--are endlessly interwoven.

When in doubt, find a way to slow time down.  Go to the mountains.  Observe the tightly wound, brilliant red buds hidden by the winter snow.  Watch the trickle of water coming, still coming.  Listen to your favorite song that didn't exist before it did.  Notice the way your breath feels in your body.  Imagine how impossible all of it seems until it happens.  Eat a warm cookie.

Monday, January 13, 2020

we belong to each other

Forget the rest of it.  Let go of the way it's been and start with the way it is now.  Solid advice.  But this is the month in which I will cease to have minor children.  And I cannot help but see in each of them their four-year old, ten-year old, fifteen-year old faces.  It's true, of course, that if their trajectory continues as it should, they will soon both be legal adults.  Utterly independent.  Entirely separate.  But I witnessed their faces greet this world for the very first time and I know the sweetness of their beginnings.  In some parallel universe, we are all just starting this journey and I've no idea how much I'll love them.  It is laughable now to imagine how little I understood about the power of these two children.  What else am I missing?

Summer at the Harwood in Taos.  A deep-set window.  A tin chandelier.  Judy Chicago quilts hanging on plaster walls.  Ode and homage to the women whose bodies work to continue this human chain.  Small, intricate stitches turn threads into statements, craft into art.  A reminder of this sacred work for which women are built that is all too often ignored or punished.

The right to choose motherhood when and if it's right should not be a privilege.  It should be embedded in our very existence.  Bring along the ones you want.  That's how sweetness is made.  Alas, as we begin this new decade, I believe in the power of all of us to love each other as though we can see each other's four-year old face.          

Monday, January 6, 2020


Welcome to a whole new decade. Is it me, or does the state of affairs in this crazy world continue to feel more and more desperate and debauched?  I'm finishing a book this year.  You heard me:  finishing. And vowing to love with a little bit more intention.  Really feel that love muscle quiver and stretch.  Also, this dog.  This desperate little creature loves as though love is the door through which all good things come.  Food, walks, belly rubs, naps.  He knows a thing or two.