Monday, May 28, 2012

this is a long one. read at your leisure.


when i was eighteen i met a boy,
and when i was twenty-three i married that boy.

i had never had a dog,
and i wanted a baby.

but we didn't have the money to have a baby.
or so the story went.

but we could get a dog.

because apparently, once you graduate college
and get a job,
and a brooks brother's suit
and a house in connecticut,
and a briefcase
a wife...
then you get a dog.

i was skeptical about the dog.
although i'd bought the other eight yards.

and so we drove.
up 95 to the breeders.

on the way up
in the car ahead of us,
there were two heads in the front seat,
and then
just one in the drivers seat.

one of us thought this was great and funny and cool.
one of us, who suffered then (as now)
from acute transition anxiety
(among other vague and specific anxieties)
did not think it was cool.

one of us was looking for a way to fight their way out of this worry.

we didn't speak for hours.
we arrived at the breeders.
there were adorable black and yellow puppies falling over each other.
i took lots of pictures.
(film! in the days when that was all there was!)

when we'd made our choice
and signed the papers
and it was time to go,
i sat in the passenger seat.
the woman with the puppies carried
a black velvet sack of labrador over,
placed him on my lap,
and said
"here you go, mama."
i'd just gotten my baby
after all.


sam died ten years,
two houses,
two kids,
and one marriage


from the moment i saw him,
through each and every chaos,
sam was my comfort.
after he was gone, i would wail into tim's shirt:
"i want my dog back."

it was the closest thing to the raw truth that would come out.


this last saturday,
we drove up to connecticut.
we took the back roads...(tim is a master at finding the prettiest way to get somewhere.)
we had three kids of six,
a car picnic,
avett brothers on the radio.

i had a bit of transition anxiety.  there was some nervous bickering.
we arrived.
i relaxed.

the minute i saw him come out of the crate,
i knew.
i knew i was not going home with the yellow girl.


it all rolls along.
and i keep a running list of what is coming up that i need to worry about;
what just happened that i need to fix;
what i need to do right now that i'm not doing (and not doing well enough.)

but this new puppy,
this sweet charlie boy of mine (ours! (?))
he doesn't stress me out one bit.

he's my sweet boy.

more soon.
(most likely more charlie photos...)

Saturday, May 26, 2012

yes, we know all that.

may 24.
may 25.
may 26.

and yet we did it anyway.


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

but do not take those days for granted.

some days, you get it right.


plus:  spectra film.  back in action.  oh, do i love that sound!


Sunday, May 20, 2012

hi from sunday night.

may 18.

and we roll along, from one scene to the next.
letting so much go, and reining in some.

all of a sudden, the days control us more than we them,
for it's light out late
and people are out front calling from the street,
coming through the back hedge.

the kids come and go.
come and go
and not just on the schedule that we
and they,
(the royal they)
have set for them.

the kids come and go,
come and go
on their own.

i call after them,
call their numbers,
call their bluff.

(tim and i decided in tandem a few weekends ago
that no matter what,
we will come get them
when they ask.
even if it's now just because they're too lazy to drag the
bookbag home,
or because even though they could walk all the way in
to town to get pizza and ice cream
they are now completely at a loss
as to why-what?-how
they should walk home?

because all we really can do,
if we can do one.thing.
is to make them feel that
we will come
when they
call us.)

file this under:
things we've let fall apart,
things we're keeping together.

best wishes this week.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

hi from sunday (afternoon.)


and just like that, it's been a week since i've been here.
a week of days strung together;
days which felt very long
and yet went very quickly.

mother's day.
we daughters who are mothers know
that this is not our day

but i did wake to hugs and kisses,
and a tray brought up
by miss little,
and the school made card,
and the purloined flower bouquet.

all very well.

and now
the table out back is set for ten,
and the rice is on,
and the wine cold,
and the cheeses not so,
and the kids are in the creek.

and i wait,
to shift from mother
back to daughter,
and open my home and my arms
to the two women
who brought tim and i
a little bit along on the path
that led us to this.

i feel lucky.
i will remember to thank them.

best wishes to all of you,
mother, daughter...whichever hat you're wearing today.

more soon.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

hi from sunday night.

may 5.
dresses,  black and white.
may 6.

in the course of one day
i go from the delusion that everything is going to be a-ok,
to the certainty that everything is lost.

and the truth of it is that neither of these things
hits the mark.

i don't have any answers, or not even a dead-on observation.
but i'm just wondering,
what is it that makes us need to box things up?
that it's either a-ok,
or hopeless?

or maybe you don't do that.
maybe you've found a way
to navigate around the rocks,
and bail water when you hit one,
and still recline and look at the blue sky
when the water is still.

(as when the water, on lake huron,
in the early morning hours
of an august day,
is so very perfectly still,
as to appear
to be

i've had a few of those moments,
even recently,
and i do think
i can still recline,
and see them,
in the midst

more soon.
best wishes on this sunday night.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

the motherless house.

may 1.

coming home from work today,
(every day, now,)
i never know what to expect.

i brace myself and tell myself to relax.  that even if there's a mess,
(gasp! godforbid...)
that i should step gracefully around it and kiss the ones i love
and be grateful that they are,
at the very least
(the very most)
well taken care of and intact,
for one more day
in my absence.

it's the narcissism of motherhood.

i truly believe that the house might crumble while i'm gone.
or that someone goes untended, un-paid-attention-to.
that things will be half done and half noticed.

and i have a good man.
the best sort.
and i know, i know, i know.
that what he offers is so different but completely of the same caliber
as what i offer.
i'm able to admit that.

but what i offer them all
has-had-become such a part (the defining part)
of who i am,
that this is a rough change.

i like being away.
if not from them, then perhaps away from me with them.
i'm able to admit that.

in any event.
i came home tonight to this newly motherless house.
and all was well.

i'm pretty sure no one was surprised
but me.

more, whenever.