Sunday, November 27, 2016

Also incomplete, and a year and a half old. Something like that.

He tried to clip my wings again.

I'm ashamed to admit that it felt like he succeeded.

I'm ashamed to admit how long it felt like that.

I'm ashamed to admit how much it felt like my fault, that my first reaction was to look at my conduct, my appearance, even after all I know, even after all these years.

That when I came home to the facebook message helpfully informing me that I had "really turned him on tonight" and that he had "just wanted to bend me over in that skirt," my secret, fearful thought was that the skirt, and therefore I, really was to blame.

That I had somehow let my guard down enough that, instead of being a clearly undesired attempt at reestablishing a long-lost control over my person, physical and otherwise, he had a plausible case for believing his comments to be welcome.

I am ashamed to admit that, instead of blasting him with enough incandescent rage to leave nothing but a scorch-mark on the earth where he stood, I asked my child how transparent my skirt was.  I checked the degree of cleavage revealed by my double-layered tank tops.  I thanked heaven for my forethought in layering my shirts, thereby shoring up my hypothetical defense against a nonexistent prosecution. I mentally scanned the imaginary transcript of my idle, inattentive conversation, the conversation I'd kept up, while wishing I was elsewhere, in order to keep myself from losing my mind through irritation and boredom.

For A Person Raised By Wolves, I Think I'm Doing Pretty Well

Or, well, at least ok.
When I was growing up, we had no tv.  We did, however, have a record player (yes, I am that old), and an extensive (to my tiny self) collection of children's albums, including Sesame Street Fever (disco-themed, natch).  I went looking on youtube for Oscar the Grouch's disco version of "I Like Trash" recently, but no dice.  Also that's not the point.  The point is, on another album, nameless, at least in memory, was a song sung by Big Bird.  The refrain went like this: "Everyone makes mistakes, oh, yes, they do ... your sister and your brother and your dad and mother too.  Big people, small people, matter of fact, all people.  Everyone makes mistakes, oh yes, they do."  And then at the end, the big finale: "Sooooo, if everyone in the whole wide world makes mistakes, then whyyyyy caaaaan't YOOOUUUUUU?"  
A valid question.
A central tenet of child-rearing is that children will internalize the messages to which they are exposed.  Repetitive messages obviously have more impact, with a few exceptions.  One introduces an idea, then bolsters it by revisiting, reiterating, re- ... I can't think of another re-word, but a group of three would have made a nice rhythm.  The more matter-of-fact one can be in the delivery, the more effective the message.  I like to think of this as brain-washing.  One can brainwash children to do anything: take out the compost, finish their homework, believe in themselves ... 
I must have heard that song a thousand times growing up, or at least several hundred.  Even after the death of the last record player, my mother would treat us to a rendition at least every several months.  All that repetition should have led to internalization ... right?  Shouldn't it?

Thursday, June 9, 2016


I never cease to see humor in the tiny tab in the lower right-hand corner of this screen, labeled "Complain."
Why is it that throughout the day, I long for nothing more than the chance to sit down and write, and then when I find myself in front of the computer, with the blog post or the document open in front of me, I long for nothing more than to be doing anything else?
I mean, this is a real, extraordinary chance.  The kid is home sick, and he's still occupied enough that I have the mental space to concentrate.  I had a post in mind, a good one, all about vulnerability and how much I fucking loathe it.  Mine, that is.  Everyone else's is just fine.  Healthy, even.  But mine is terrible, dreadful, full of terror and darkness and loss of perspective.
It was pretty, that post, and poignant.  It would have started with the toads I was seeing on the way home a couple of nights ago, frozen in my headlights in a pugnaciously defensive posture, so defenseless against my tires and the tires of the cars that would come after mine.  It would have gone on to explore how utterly without armor we are, really, in the face of our darkest fears, our least likeable traits, and how silly it is to pretend otherwise.  It would have been deep.
Instead, I'm stuck, distracted and overwhelmed, wondering why I seem to be the sole support, wavering between huddling in a corner with a mindless phone game, taking off for a walk, or pushing through and knocking out the responsibilities piling, endlessly, endlessly, on my shoulders.  Metaphorically, of course, but I feel it literally, too.  My shoulders ache, my neck hurts, my back twinges.  I, with the perfect dancer's posture, find it hard to sit up straight.  A walk it is, then.  Thanks for listening.  Glad we had this chat.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016


So, today you guys get an unfinished poem, because.  My conviction is still quiet, but as convicted/ing/whatever as ever.  In the past week or so, however, things in my life have run amuck, hair on fire, landmines exploding ... as things in my life are wont to do.  The result at the moment seems to be that I'm sitting here at ten after ten in the morning, struggling to keep my eyes open, having od'd on donuts last night, fighting to string two words together in a way that even slightly resembles something intelligent.  Beer good.  Fire bad.  Old poem, not finished.  Enjoy.*

You're looking for biddable?
I'm not it.
I tried that shit.
It didn't fit.
I burned it
Like the mythical, metaphorical bra
In a barrel in the backyard
Buried it
By the dark of the moon
And salted the ground over it

Take your demure -
I'll turn my fierce into
Something Sasha wouldn't know if it bit her in the face
Blessing and curse, phenomenal and commonplace

*I searched my post archives, and didn't see it, but I have intended to post this before, at least three times, so if it is indeed redundant, forgive me.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

To Blog or Not to Blog

Yeah, yeah, ok, we get it, you can quote Shakespeare.  Go you.
But really, is that even a question?
So how are you guys?  The nice thing about having a tiny readership is that when I ask that question, I have specific people in mind.  Yeah, you.  I'm looking at you.  I miss you.  What's up?
So since the last time I posted something here, lots of things have changed.  I moved.  40 miles.  In the dead of winter.  Instead of a mountain in my backyard, there's a stream.  No more fields and sugar shacks, but I'm enjoying the shit out of seeing what's coming up in the garden, and anticipating what's going to come next.  It feels good: cozy, like a hobbit hole, or a witch's cottage.  You never know, next full moon might see me skyclad under the giant pines.  The kid is in a new school.  The brother started school.  I took a semester off.  Jon Stewart retired.  Obviously, words cannot describe how much I miss him, but I honor his decision to get out before he became an embittered old man.  That would have been ugly for all of us.
I'm pushing to post more regularly here, and to write more regularly in general.  This is a secret, just between us, because I've seen what often happens when a writer returns from a long hiatus with big plans for blogging at high volume.  I don't want to set myself up for failure, so I'm whispering.  With conviction.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Alas! for my poor spinach

So my spinach seems particularly ill-fated this year.  I planted Bordeaux, a variety highly recommended by our local seed maven, and some combination of wet and cold and cold and wet and my procrastination led to seedlings that went straight to bolting.  However, I did not despair.  Also courtesy of our local seed maven, I have enough spinach to feed a (very small) army for a season, so yesterday I planted two more varieties.  Bloomsdale Longstanding and something weird that started with an "L," I think.  Lawa-something?  Anyway.  I had just watered the garden, so I sprinkled them both in the little square I'd set aside for spinach and called it good.  And I'm sure it was, until today, around noon, when the heavens opened.  Now I'm sure all the tiny spinach seeds are huddled up against the pebbles edging the bed, shuddering and crying, and I'll get one of those weird rows that results from such circumstances.  Oh, well.  I've always got more spinach seeds.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Fiddling With the Edge of the Bandaid

I've been feeling the urge to write something, anything, but I don't have anything particular in mind, so y'all will have to put up with my brain-vomit once again.  So gross.  You're welcome.

Things are intense here.  They're always intense.  I waffle between seeking to cope and seeking to escape.  Coping is more realistic, obviously.  Tools, frameworks, routines.  Hiding just increases the pressure.  Also, it makes me fat.

Summer time has its own ... I won't call it a rhythm.  That almost-annoying hum in the background is the child, fracturing my concentration when I need it the most.  You know, when I'm doing the all-consuming work of checking facebook and reading blogs.

My garden is short.  I'm sure we haven't gotten rain every day, but it certainly feels like that.  The spinach went straight from seedlings to bolting.  Something's eating the kale, probably slugs.  Or snails.  Whatever it is, they've got easy access, as nothing in the garden is over two inches tall except the peas.  And the weeds.  Those are growing like ... well, you know.

Speaking of snails, I've never seen so many snails outside of California.  I wonder how the Cali snails are faring with all the dry out there.  We drown while they desiccate.  Balance?

Today offers an opportunity I have no intention of grasping.  I have a deep-seated resistance to go-carts, acquired long ago through semi-traumatic experience at Disneyland.  My brother is visiting us, and, since it's his birthday, and since, at his age, "people want experiences, not presents," we'll be heading to the go cart ... range? course?  Anyway.  I could drive a go-cart and conquer this ancient prejudice.  Somehow, in this case, I have no desire to redeem the past.