Tuesday, February 28, 2012

honey, you, (!), are my shining star.

february 28.

tomorrow, you know,
is the extra day.

the 1 in the 1 + 365 = 366

what are you going to do with it?

how about you tell me?


Saturday, February 25, 2012

today, in brooklyn, with film from julia.


the wind today was so fierce, it was crazy.
we'd had a warm, long lunch at liz's,
the four of us.
and after we left her apartment
and had stopped across the street for a treat from mrs. lee,
the three of us set off in the car.

we drove down columbia and wove in and out of streets
safely in our old car.
a little tipsy,
and very happy.

but i had to get out of the car. i had to get out! there were pictures to be taken.

of sunny's, to begin with.
and the truck out front, with a group of friends trying the door, walking on.

the camera spit out the shot, and the wind took it. took it!

i believe there may have been a millisecond, a moment
in which i watched it blow down the street,
and i do believe i was thinking of not chasing after it.

and then, i ran.

i ran! the wind fighting me, using my hair against me.
running down the street, yelling to those people in that shot up there,
"am i really going to run after that polaroid? i sure am!"
and past a man heading towards me,
shouting, (with much irony i swear...) "stop that polaroid!"

now laughing and gasping,
i got to it once and it flew away again.
and i ran on
past chain link fences and parked cars and garbage and finally,
i got it.
stepped right on it.

i got it.


i got back into the car, laughing and gasping.

we drove around the block and i got out again,
to get another shot of the sign.

and then we drove around some more,
and stopped at the end of a dead end street
to get a shot of the view.

and there they were, the people from in front of sunny's.
and the man i had passed on my run up the block.

"hi." (hand extended. which i reached out for and shook.)
"i'm matt."

"hi...matt? do you think you know me?"
"no, i don't know you."
"i'm tara."
"hi tara. i'm sorry about that, back there."
(he was very tall, with glasses, and was looking right at me. i still thought he thought he knew me.)
"i didn't know what was happening. i'm sorry about the polaroid."

the others were around us now...
"he's my brother, and i didn't even know it was him. i would have shouted at him to help."
(this from one of the original four, the guy with the hat.)

me: "oh! it's ok! i got it, i got it. it took me a block or two, but i got it."

and a pause.

"but, thanks. thanks anyway."

and then the wind came up, and i turned towards the statue of liberty, and we moved on, all of us.

i ran back towards the car, and buckled in, and we were off.

we were headed back home.


thanks, julia. i cried when i read your note, and these are all for you.

see you this spring.

love to you, mrs. m.


Thursday, February 23, 2012

february 23.

from here i can see
paintings tim made long before
he met me.
and i can see a good, solid piece of furniture
my former mother- in- law
bought for, and with me.

i can see a picture of my parents kissing,
in black and white
at the old polo grounds,
and a picture of tim's dad in high school.

tim's dad died two years ago this month.

i can see chairs and tables and mirrors and shelves
that have come into our house from a friend
i can't imagine not having,
although i just (re)met her less than five years ago.

as much as i love these things from her,
i love so much more her smile and laughing and understanding.

i can see photos from friends i've never met,
that hang in prominent places around my house,
inspiring and reminding me of the breadth of this new world i've found.

i can hear girls, ready for bed.
the sounds of a family about to spend an incredible ten or twelve hours,
just quietly sleeping
and retreating into the safety that comes
from being a part of the same household,
with the doors closed and locked, the cats at our feet, and all of our days behind and before us.

more soon.


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

just this, tonight.



more soon.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

let me tell you about this day...

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so, it doesn't always go so smoothly.
you know.
(maybe you don't?)

at the end of the day, tim said, in reference to the kids:
well, everyone had their moment. including you.

oh, and i did.

you see,
we used to have a joke...not funny, not really joking,
but we'd refer to the kids,
on their way to or from some event,
or most frequently,
to or from one of the houses they call home,
as having
transition anxiety.

(psycho-babble gives us much fodder for laughter around here.)

but about six months ago,
i said with a straight face to tim,
"you know, i think i actually might suffer from transition anxiety?!?!

i think there may have been some snorting laughter.

apparently, this is not news to anyone but me.


so back to today.

we had a plan. actually, our plan was to execute said plan twenty four hours earlier, but that never happened.

so the plan, albeit delayed, was...ahem...executed.

we drove in to the city.

we drove in to the city, a mere thirty someodd miles away, parked the car (for ten dollars! thank you, internet!) and set off.

good stuff ensued::

worlds slowest elevator up to the impossible project space, where everyone indulged-perhaps, even shared, if briefly-my love for polaroid.

some low-level shopping.

many, many photos taken by not just me.

hunger satisfied on spring street.

new boots! for me! (and such fun buying them. a full-on family event. felt so loved...will explain some other time.)

more patience and interest exercised at phaidon books than i ever could have wished for.

meeting a fellow at phaidon books with a rollei around his neck. inspiration ensued.

sweets, and tea, and bread - one of the baguettes gone on the ride home- from balthazar.


home now.

on the upper, upper, upper west side.

a room with a view,
and a nice, well appointed kitchen.
a stereo with a well curated vinyl collection.
fixin's for dinner.
warm blankets on the couch.
candles lit.
two cats and a borrowed dog.
feet to feet on the couch.


i'm feeling loved, lucky, in love, and tired.

thanks for reading.

Friday, February 17, 2012

friday happiness::


flowers! all over the house, left over from my birthday, valentine's day.
birds! i hear them now, for sure, in the mornings. and it's light out and yes, i know that we will get pummelled at least once before this winter is over, but for now, today, the air is sweet.
holiday! tomorrow, we sleep. as late as we please, and then amble around nyc for a while, and enjoy some visitors in the evening.
and then, do it all over again for one.whole.week!

more soon. i'm off to work.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

simple, complicated, excruciating, essential, indispensable.


a few words i would use to describe falling in love.
see also: unavoidable.

more soon.

Monday, February 13, 2012

bear with me.


i had this little baby,
and my past was all a blur;
i had my idea of what it was like,
being a girl.
being in the midst of a family of boys,
and parents who treated me like an only child.

i had this little baby
whose name i chose one night
in front of a fire lit in a hearth
in a beautiful inn,
historic and restored.
way more expensive than we could afford.
but the waiters treated me so kindly.
i was so young, and
so full up with that baby.
and maybe even they,
more than i,
knew that it was an odd confluence of events
that led someone like me,
at that age,
to be that pregnant
and dining in such luxury.

i think i just gave off the air of different.
i did not belong there.

but then that baby.
and i immediately, irrevocably, unarguably

everywhere that baby went, or would go,
i would be there.

she made me, that baby.
she made me
into me.


today, we leave the house to run an errand.
i say: where do you want to go?
she knows i mean: we can go anywhere you want.

so we go to the thrift.
we walk around separately,
and when we find each other in the aisles again,
i have two wooden bowls and a record for tim,
for my valentine to him.

she has found a sweatshirt donated by one of our boys.
and we laugh so hard about this,
feeling something just right
about finding it
and recognizing it as his,
both of us.

then, at the counter i see there on the shelves
a set of japanese dolls that were mine,
when i was little.
if they are not exactly mine,
they are the exact ones i had,
with the set of small wigs that are used for different ceremonies.
the box is broken on the back,
and callie asks if i can remember if my set had a broken box.
i can't.

so we buy (back) these things.

and we don't talk all that much.
we're just together.

and i'm all of a sudden pretty sure that we will always be ok.


Saturday, February 11, 2012


i've been taking a series of photos of things around the house. i'm very fond of this black & white peel-apart film; i have two different cameras loaded with it. one of them has some shutter issues, so i can only shoot in bright light, but it focuses beautifully up close. the other only focuses at a far distance, so i've been using that for a little series i've been taking on my drive to and from work. i stop at the pumphouse at the lakes that i drive around to get to the office, and scramble up the berm to shoot.

it makes me feel that i'm tending to myself, this stopping to take a picture on the way to work. sort of convincing myself that i won't lose my inspiration and creativity as a result of buckling down and getting a job.

may be silly, but it's just the little personal reassurance i need right now.


hope you're enjoying your saturday. ours is 100 percent lazy, and i'm not taking that for granted.
off for a nap before a fun party tonight.

best wishes,

Thursday, February 9, 2012

found time.

i was planning, hoping, excited about going, to the opening for the new exhibit at the impossible project tonight.

but i bailed. i so did not want to bail, but at 4:08, with work, and calls to the school, and a run to target, and school pick-ups, and back to work, and another pick-up ahead...
i bailed.

i would so like to be the one who can run into the city on a thursday night for something fabulous that i want to do or see.
but i'm not.

i'm old, and lame, and tired.

ok. that's...as my dad would say...painting it on a little thick.

but...i'm staying home tonight. or actually, as the kids are cooking tonight (thursday!) across the street, i'm sitting here now, waiting for the call that soup's on. (or, tacos, as the case may be.)

and tim is washing the car. (yes. it's february. what?)
and one is at work at the ice cream parlor. (see above.)
and the rest are scattered around the 'hood.

and as lame as i feel that i bailed, i'm also feeling like i've been given a few extra easy hours tonight.

and that maybe i needed a few extra easy hours.

don't we all.


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

oh, i nearly lost it tonight. too many people talking to me all at once. and not all that politely, i might add.

but in the end they went off, saved by the good cop of the moment, tim. (i played good cop this morning; his turn.)

i still kiss anna on the lips. does that have to end at some point? when did it end with the others?

even the cats depend on me.

apparently my lifelong practice of eating lemons is an issue for some people in the household.

i don't believe they really want to go there.

in the mornings already, i hear birds. i swear i do, although this makes no sense, as it is february in new york. but you hear them, too, right?

i haven't been to church in so long, but picking up the donations for the food pantry this afternoon, you would not believe how quickly i threw out the "catholic" card to the priest.

or how much lindsey really enjoyed the whole thing...the priest, the tour, the carrying. perhaps, just the being with me?

somehow, i will always identify myself as the girl i was, from the family that took me in, and by the way that i was raised.

we are not just, only, who we choose to be. we are also defined by who loves us.

ain't that the truth.

more soon.



Monday, February 6, 2012

fill in the blanks.

i stood at the counter at the camera shop, in front of my friend, (a boy half my age: he's keeping up. i just got older, so did he...) and confessed what i find it hard to say to those who know and love me so much more than he ever will: i want to be an artist. i want to be better; a better photographer, a fuller person.

i stood at the counter at home, shredding chicken from the roasting pan with my bare hands, and all of a sudden my cats were my best friends. i considered making them give me a foot rub before they were given a small dish of scraps.

i've been doing a lot of sunday cooking this monday: the aforementioned roast chickens, the stock on the stove, the triple-batch of tomatoes roasting in the oven. i am ready for the week: for tomorrow, i go to work.

today, however, i was too sick to rally. and yet, rally i did. for there were three sick children and an un-well husband. so i found myself at the doctors first thing in the morning. then at the camera shop (film, above!!!), then the grocery, back home, sixteen bags unpacked. dinner begun, hugs and medicine distributed.

i am the mother.

today i looked in the mirror at myself on one of the trips back down the staircase, and had a thought: the girls will not so very far in the future tell someone they love that "my mother used to...." or "my mother had this..." or "my mother would always say..."

fill in the blanks.

who knows how they will fill in the blanks?

so the best i can do is my best, and be me, and hope that those spaces that i leave for them to decide about, to process and let fester or grow, nurture or quench, will somehow leave them feeling loved, and loving me.

i'm the mom.

more soon.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

i would have been yours if you had asked: i did: then maybe we both knew you didn't mean it.


i've been having the craziest dreams, lately.
some of this may have something to do with the nyquil i've been popping,
but that only accounts for the last two nights.
it's been a while now
since i've been falling hard and fast asleep,
and waking up with my body near paralyzed, and my head still in the realm of night.

this morning, early, an alarm went off in another room.
it woke me out of a dream and i said out loud to anna and tim:
"i'm at a flea market across from the farm."

i knew exactly what i meant.

and yet, i still made my way downstairs as i do every morning,
hair sticking out all directions and feet slipped into old ballet flats.
i start the kettle,
and feed the cats,
and turn off the front light,
and bring in the milk,
and rouse some girls.

and while i'm dropping no less than four black tea bags into the teapot,
i'm still thinking about the words in my dream
that i was speaking
to a boy i knew so long ago,
standing in the middle of a house
my husband and i used to rent in the summer.

and it all
to make sense.

if only until the water boils.

more soon.