“I wish I could show you all the places I lived and visited in Japan,” I told my fiancee last night. “I wish that we could hop in the car and be there in an hour. But of course, for you to see these places, we’ll have to plan and save for years.”
It’s worth it. We will save, and I will someday show him the places I called home, even if I’m unable to locate most of the people who made the places feel like home. I’ll take him to the schoolyard where I once danced goofy in the rain on a school’s webcam to make him smile. I’ll show him the little market to which I used to bike on my rusty, thirty-year-old bicycle, and–if it still exists–the tiny school up in the mountains that continues to make appearances in my dreams.
Last night’s conversation still in mind, I read this morning an article on the lessons of Gettysburg. One particular paragraph talked about the strange sensation of piling off a tour bus and wondering what you’re supposed to do for amusement in such a place. The words evoked my own memory of such a visit: to Hiroshima. Read more…
My body is growing strong, as I recently wrote in “Substantial.”
It’s thrilling, but I’ve been frustrated with my body, too. Once it could fall asleep in any position and awaken without a hint of stiffness, and endure without complaint just about any hardship I opted to put it through.
The last several months, I’ve dealt with extreme sensitivities. If there’s a hint of new plastic in a room or if someone on the elevator before me was wearing perfume, my body tells me so by swelling up. It’s hard to breathe, or to swallow, effects that persist long after a given trigger does. The worse the exposure, the more my body treats everything and anything in the environment as toxic, and the longer it takes to heal.
Days like today, I’m angry with my body for failing me. How could it do this to me? How could it make me dread every trip into the outside world as I struggle to find the magical formula to leave me inflammation free?
But then, there aren’t many days like today.
I awakened to tragic news related to a dear family friend. That news sprang to my mind as I cursed my body for not being as indestructible as I want it to be. I thought, too, of one blogger’s sentiment that some of us have more minutes than others.
My body has given me many minutes. If it breathed its last breath tonight, that final gasp wouldn’t diminish in any way those glorious moments preceding.
We walk around thinking our bodies are too short or too tall, too fat or too thin, too pale or too dark, too too too, or not enough. I hear and see dozens of signs of this every day. Much more rarely do I hear, “Damn, body, you done me good today!”
Why do we do this to our bodies, seeing what isn’t instead of what is?
I want to see what is.
This body gives its son a lap to sit on.
This body’s nose smells his hair. Read more…
My next post involves an honest-to-goodness epiphany. I don’t mean the kind I experienced when I was nineteen, when the comic bubble exclamation mark over my head disappeared almost as quickly as it arrived, but rather the kind that sinks deeper and deeper into me with every step I take away from the moment of insight.
I’ve been trying to fit one particular song into the post, but it refuses to fit. I’m sharing it here because it deserves–no, demands!–to be shared, experienced and lived. Don’t just listen, even if you tend to tune out videos as I usually do. Watch it and let it sink in. Better still, let it inspire you. Read more…
Dear Mr. Almost-my-mister,
Your impersonations crack me up.
It amazes me that you can juggle. And tap dance. At the same time.
Your quiet strength on Survivor impressed me, and reminded me to recognize it in our day to day lives as well.
Even though I watched you do it, I still can’t quite believe you converted a clock to the lamp that now illuminates your corner desk. In an hour.
But these things are mere trivia about you. At a much deeper level, I am awed and amazed by you, not because of anything you do but because of who you are. Your goodness shines through in your every smile and gaze, including the exasperated one you offer when I can’t find my laptop, or complain about being stuck in the car.
The love that lights your face when you look at our son sustains me; my all-time favorite sound is your laughter and his intermingled. Read more…
WordPress tells me I’ve written about 150 posts. Y’all know I have written more than 150 posts. So what gives?
About that . . .
A few months back, I got a hankering to review old posts and mark some “private.” Things that go out on the internet are never really private, it’s true, but I liked the idea of refining the blog’s outward face for newcomers.
I began reviewing my posts one by one, occasionally marking some “private.” I made it through about twenty before getting bored and antsy. Bored and antsy: a dread combination under which no important decision should ever be made. Ever. So, naturally, I set down my laptop and walked away.
Except not really. Read more…
What better way to start Father’s Day than with an argument?
I felt forlorn as I shuffled toward the market, mind cyclically returning to the argument and meandering away from it. I thought about my own dad, whom I continue to love–from a distance–despite his transgressions, understanding that the hardness he endured shaped the hardness he later delivered. I thought about my sisters’ husbands, and how sweet they are with their children. And, of course, I thought about the day itself, and the daddy in all my days now.
Every day should be Mother’s Day. Every day should be Father’s Day. Every day, we should love and celebrate the loving people in our lives regardless of what we call them. But then again, every day we are overwhelmed with chores and bills, tasks and talks that make it easy for the poetic to fall prey to the practical.
It’s good to have a day to be reminded to see what lies beyond the shuffle, and be thankful for it. On such a day, gift-wrapped presents aren’t important, not compared to presents of loving presence that can’t be bought.
Father’s Day, like all these Hallmark holidays, is a personal day of reminder–not purchase–for me. Where did you come from? Where are you? And there is choice, too. Where do you want to be? Read more…
Before my first date with my S.O. some years ago, I looked up his season of Survivor on Wikipedia. Although I’d teased him for participating before the season aired and never bothered watching, I wanted to know a little bit about that part of his life.
Wikipedia described his season as the least popular one ever because of what fans perceived as some pretty gross inequities between the teams. I waved that off at the time, calling it “just a game.”
But, oh man.
The season was finally made available for purchase recently, and I bought it. I’ve watched a couple of episodes and it really is horrible to watch. Basically, one team got shelter, food, utensils and fire for winning the first challenge. The other team got nothing. The show pans between shots of well fed, well rested people lounging . . . and shots of the other team’s members desperately seeking food and licking leaves for water because they are so massively dehydrated. It’s painful just to see the signs of their misery, like their rapid weight loss and totally parched lips, the same as it is to see those signs in anyone else anywhere else. It wouldn’t have been so shocking if both teams were subjected to like conditions, but the contrast makes it startling and horrifying.
Unsurprisingly, the well rested, well fed team won the second challenge. I think exactly no one was shocked and/or awed by that. It’s like pitting preschoolers against fifth graders in a shot put competition.
You might get some surprising victories there, but mostly, no one’s gonna be surprised when the fifth graders steal the victory. And while it might just be a game, inequity riles me up anywhere. If you’ve read my blog before, you know this about me.
On the bright side, it’s hard not to be tickled by my son’s delight at seeing his papa on the television. That part’s totally sweet.