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Archive for September, 2017

good company

D’s 5th birthday

Three years ago,
my oldest son celebrated
his fifth birthday
with friends.

I was
so thankful
he didn’t know
what it meant to be
one of the odd ones.

Today,
he celebrated his
eighth birthday, still
side-by-side with
the little boy
from his 5th
birthday
pic.

He’s lost touch
with the little girl,
but:

It’s okay.
He’s not
keeping
track.

He’s here,
now, and just
so happy to be
here, now, in such
good company.

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Categories: Family, Parenting Tags: , , ,

We Know the Way

Three months ago, I wrote in “wild” how much I love Disney’s Moana.

You might imagine my love’s decreased since then. That I’ve stopped having Moana dance parties with my three-year-old, or started mentally groaning in protest when he turns me into a Moana album DJ while we’re driving: “Little Moana, please. No, other little Moana!” “Now ‘Thank You.'” “Crab song!” “The big boat song, again and again! A wot!”

Alas, this thirty-eight-year old yours-truly continues to blast Moana in the car. Somehow, “the big boat song” (track #5) and “We Know the Way” turn my commute into an adventure. They bring me into right now, and the sense that the road ahead might yet surprise me.

Today, I rolled down my driver-side window and belted along with Moana tracks 10-12. I did this three or four times, stopping only when I pulled into my driveway. I was a little sad to turn off my car, but, hey.

The CD’s there and ready to play the next time I drive.

I’ve written a lot about what saddens and frustrates me the last year. It’s time now to start writing (a wot!) about the opposite: what invigorates me and makes me glad simply to be … even if, sometimes, that’s about something as seemingly silly as an animated movie targeted at children. 

What’s bringing you hope today?

quality

As I watched
my little boys wrestle
from inside one of
my favorite shirts,
I was certain
I’d never
wear the shirt
again.

Lo, it was not so!
I’m wearing the shirt today,
and it fits just the same
as if it hadn’t been used
for a wrestling match.

That, my friends,
is quality.

Categories: Family, Parenting Tags: ,

a happy-enough ending

A year or two ago, a friend told me a real-life story that broke my heart.

The story began with one woman she knew saying, “Man, that lady is so lucky!” and the women around her replying, “Say what?! You’d only think that if you didn’t know what she had to endure to be where she is now!”

In this case, “that lady” lost just about everything–everyone–she loved in a single night.

With the terrible space that created, she eventually made room for other people who had suffered greatly.

Now, they fly together, all of them having lost so much … but all of them also having found each other.

It doesn’t make their story happy, but it certainly makes it less lonely and more full of love.

Maybe that, when it comes right down to it, is its own happy-enough ending.

Categories: Love, Uncategorized Tags: ,

Between books and life

[audio]

Library audiobooks were supposed to save me money.

Unfortunately–or is it fortunately, for other reasons?–I happened to check out Nicholas Nassim Taleb’s Antifragile two weeks ago. I only made it a few chapters in before I realized I’d need my own print copies to highlight, annotate, and reference.

The book was so much more illuminating than anything else I’ve read, I decided to buy the four-book Incerto series it concluded. I listened to two of the three other books, Fooled by Randomness and The Black Swan, while waiting for my Incerto box set to arrive.

Well, other audiobooks will save me money, I thought. So there’s that.

box set.png

The last time I was this excited about a box set, it had “Buffy” in the title

[vignette]

Last Monday, I left work sick. I briefly explained my concerns to a friend.

“Don’t be afraid to take medicine!” my friend replied. Read more…

better than the plan

I arrived early for yoga;
the teacher never showed,
so I:

sat pondside with another student
and did basic exercises
for a few minutes

went for a stroll
along dusty trails,
enjoying the crunching of
fallen leaves under squirrel paws
and the flickers of gray on brown
as lizards ran for cover

wondered what
a palm tree
was doing
there

settled under webs
of interlocking branches,
read from a book by
a now-favorite
author

en route back to
my car, reflected how that hour
hadn’t gone at all
as planned, but
how it was
probably
even
better
than
the plan

Categories: Reflections Tags: , , ,

cherishing now (and trees)

My childhood home stood on a corner. In addition to having a small lawn at its front, it had one outside the backyard fence along its left side. My mom once planted several small trees there.

A few years after she planted them, she happened to talk to a man who worked with trees. He said that one of the trees should be cut down, pointing to some kind of dark mark inside a gash and saying the tree was already dead. It looked very much alive to my mom, who argued there must be something she could do to save it.

Nope, he affirmed. It’s already dead. It just looks like it’s still alive because it takes a while to for results of death to be evident to the human eye.

My mom, whose mental illness was itself becoming more evident by the day, thought her neighbors had done it–whatever “it” was. They’d hurt the tree to hurt her.

I simply thought it was interesting.

A few months back, I walked across a courtyard and pondered grim political news I’d just read. I looked up at a tree nearest my destination and thought, This is an illusion. Read more…

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