Peel ’em back.

I was sitting to do my meditation this morning, and had to talk to myself the whole way through, again and again. . . which is not really the ideal meditative state, just in case you were unclear.

usually, I listen to a guided meditation which quiets all the chatter, but today my phone is charging in a room far away. its a nice break, but my brain. good lord, my brain, was knocked loose from its chassis.

i did get the chatter of my bits to subside for just a few minutes, and “I” was able to float around in there, telling all my bits how much I am grateful for them. The old ladies by the fence, who protect and guard me from the past? They’re not old really, just bitter and loud about it. They have good hearts though, very good ones. Yeah, I waved. (they can be a little toxic, as they make opening their gate a bit less enticing than anywhere else.)

They come from a lady named Jackie that I worked with when I was a teenager. Big woman with her tissues tucked in her sleeve or into her bra. Tough. Not blown away by my whimsy or my lovely smile, I’ll tell you that much. She was one of the first times I really had to work for someone’s favor, not by being a tool, but by working hard and not acting like a highschool flippant little girl. I’m not sure I ever fully got her approval but then she was a grown woman and I was just the high schooler working at her side. I do think she knew I could work hard though. ANd honestly, the way it mattered so much what she thought, and still does, even though she is long off this earth, it really shakes me how much value I place in what other people think, even though it is clearly about them, and not me. When does it become the kate show, all about me? my decisions my own, my actions for me?

And yes, this is where my brain was, drifting onto people from the past, despite the women at the gate…, onto the ways in which I’ve always spent my life living for others, living on their praises and critiques like butter on bread. . . the layers upon layers of story I’ve got floating around in there! Some of the bits are pretty seriously anchored in, some want to be, and some are blissfully unmoored.

And it made me think some more about the newfound interest I have in being unmoored. Its been a constant in these last few weeks, and I wonder if its just dreamtalk (the no-action-intended dream talking) or no. I feel like no.

What if I get my last child through to graduation from high school and then just take off?

What if I do that? And I don’t even mind it….

what if that is REALLY who i am, not this domesticated mom-type figure who does laundry every day and is constantly sweeping? or am i both, the dedicated and devoted mom, but unmoored… what if that is me?

What if I just take off?

(the kids can have my phone number, i promise.)

All me.




wood landing stage boat lake
i can live on toast and beans. maybe even on a dinghy. Photo by Skitterphoto on


I’m good at…

What are you good at?

In my mind this week, I’ve been writing a whole post on what I’m bad at, because I’m awful at so many things. Like breakups, and shame. So bad at them, and also, the math. But I need to switch it, don’t I? Can I live like that?

I’m good at looking at things and appreciating them. the shape, the line, the light. The beauty in the minute, the large, the fantastical and the mundane.

Sometimes I am good at capturing it in type.

I’m good at being with kids, making them feel loved. I’m good at making brownies, from a box, but good at it, still.

I’m way fantastic at self-deprecation, which needs work, surely.

I’m good at making clutter, and tidying it, and letting go of things. I’m good at staring quietly off into the corner, good at making the most of a pregnant pause.

I was good at being pregnant. Feeling my rotund self amidst the madness of the rest of it.

I am good at color, filling the house with the things of whatever the season, color beyond belief. The circus-ing of things.

I am good, mostly. Though it makes my eyes well up, I think it is true. I try, I try to be right with the world, this green and blue breathing thing, full of creatures.

I am good at reading c.s. lewis, and good at ignoring the bits I don’t like.

I’m good at being stubborn. Oh yes. Another problematic one, but still, so good.

I’m good at making baked ziti. And collecting santas.

I’m good at brewing nice coffee. I’m good at growing things, tending things, nourishing things.

I’m good at piling on blankets, and wood, and sweaters. I’m good at feeding the dog, the cat and soon, the baby chicks.

I’m good at seeming to lose control and reining it back in. reeling sometimes, in all the ways, another thing I am good at.

I’m getting better at saying no. the opportunities to practice coming more often lately.

I’m good at being cozy. I’m good at needing so little, despite the ‘so much’ around me.

I’m good at dreaming. I’m good at making do.  

A good ten minutes of freewriting, that’s all that was. Thank you Maddie and Pippa. We all should do a little focused action on what we are good at. We . ARE. GOOD.


Despite our best plans…

Silver or gold. A prompt.

I wrote this in twelve minutes, you try.

Silver or gold? Is it a question, or a statement?

What do you think? Is it the wealth of the boat ladies down by the shore, you’d expect gold but it’s the class, the class of the plain silver, the ‘I’m so wealthy and have been for so long, that I don’t need to do anything ornate. I’m a New England Smith for goodness sakes.’ the gold is for the Italians, the Jews, the flash.

Silver or gold? The friendships, the new ones, the old ones? I don’t know which is which, I think I probably have some of the new England boat lady in me, although I’m sure they’d dispute me, but heavily mixed with the chicken shit and mud of the maine dairy farmer, and my friendships range but none are pure. None.

Silver or gold? On the tree, a mix of both. It’s the sparkle for me, the way in which the light catches and is reflected and yet also stays in place, static and kinetic.

My kids sparkle.the dog does not. He’s a solid peace of lead. Lovely for what you need, but leaden. Don’t put your tongue on him.

Silver or gold? Both. A slurry, that molten mercurial slither. Harry potter on audio. A night alone to make a fire and look at a tree and watch truly terrible but pretty movies.

Silver or gold? snowflakes hang around the kitchen . I think they are the evergreens, despite their whiteness. Did she just call snowflakes the evergreens, despite all evidence to the absolute contrariness of that sentence? Absolutely. (third person self-referencing just temporary, i swear)

Silver or gold? The singing snowman puts them together, no ‘or’, but an ‘and’. Both, inclusive.

Silver or gold? Maude is in here somewhere? The slurry perhaps. The mixing of metals and the melt into a new form.

The visiting room at the facility, the ways in which the lovers of the newcomers cling to their patients, not knowing anything but relief that the crisis is past, that they have survived it, unlike all the people who were not here. Who didn’t make it, who didn’t get found in time.

Silver and gold? The earrings that dangle in the ears of women, the bells, the come see me, the decoration at the heart of womanhood. What is it to refuse them? to not have silver or gold, anywhere, just flesh and fabric covering bones and blood. Nothing more.

Silver or gold? Working? Plaid shirts and Vermont in mind. Mountains and old guys in pickup trucks. Which one is that?

Hey there. Do a prompt. See what you get.

love you, do.


person holding gold and silver round coins
Photo by RODNAE Productions on

ITs the 21st, of December.

It’s the winter solstice, yes, but. . .

It’s in my mind, every waking moment. Did I get equal amounts? Did I forget someone? is there a huge hole in one of the lists? When do i decorate the kitchen? How’m I going to get the freaking yard candycanes out? I do not know, man. I really do not know. Certainly not this morning. The coffee was heated up from yesterday. I need more but I’m still recovering from last night’s frigid farmstand and my body is a goddamned pain wheelbarrow. I’m a sick sad fool and I’m trying to save money over Christmas so there is no coffee bought on the road, and no donuts purchased. What kind of sick bastard does that to herself at this time of year?

I think I’m done. I’m not sure I’m done. There is food here, and that’s 60% of saving Christmas. Yes, it is. (Say anything different and I’ll do the whole screaming thing again. Don’t do it.)

i love the sparkle, i love the preparation for winter. I loved the grocery shop i did yesterday because I could feel the depression-era part of me just thrilling at the pantry staples I was buying, the extra bag of kindling guaranteed to help us be toasty and together in the kitchen. I started a cookie dough that has to chill for a bit so I’ve got an after-school project. I took on an extra eight hour shift this week so not working next week much will be more okay. These are the things I can do.

O I like the sparkle. I like the three recognizable songs we’ll sing at Quaker Meeting on Christmas Eve. Quakers are lovely but they do not understand the awesome power of a song everyone knows being sung together, and they regularly introduce us all to very very old hymns on Christmas eve. Yes. Sigh. I roll, the kids roll.

I’m trying to talk to myself a little bit about some of the things I do not like, besides the obvious financial strain and pressure to ‘make it’ something… Christmas prep, decorating and wrapping solo really does suck. I’m not quite able to festive my way through it, and it bothers me, both the alone part and the inability to control my mindset. I’m just bothered and I get a little unhappy. This year I am going to have Thursday night and Friday night (after basketball games) to get it done, and I’ve got to make a plan to assuage my monsterous mood. I’m hoping to put on a favorite movie and eat some of the cookies I’ve made. Maybe I’ll turn the heat way up for a little toasty nest feeling. I don’t really drink but maybe I’ll set some mulled cider to cook, or one of those random scent pots that people do- cinnamon and oranges and stuff. ?

what am i, a pilgrim?

Anyhow. Happy Solstice to you all. The longest night. Rest up, set your intentions. Be good to each other. Love you much. Always very thrilled to hear from you, so bring it.

The New Year is coming! The New Year is coming!

-love love,


anise aroma aromatic blur
Photo by Pixabay on

That car is mine now. Zippy.

Well, mine and the bank’s. And it is super zippy. So deliciously zippy. I can honestly say that ceasing the anxiety of driving a car with every emergency light on has been amazing. Her favorite thing to do at the end was stall out at a stoplight. So much fun. Only in letting her go did I ever give her a gender. She did her job. I drove her until there was no more drive.

And I can honestly say that 98% of what spurred me to get the car I did was exhaustion; exhaustion from anxiety and exhaustion from ceaseless car research. My mother let me borrow her car for several days in a row and it was heavenly and almost necessary that I drive her car, which has 287,000 miles on it. I just surrendered. Car salesmen got me in the chair, and I would have given them my children just to make it all stop.

I don’t think I got taken advantage of, by the way. Because I had a little time when I knew I’d need a new car, I’d actually done a shit ton of research. So I don’t think I’ll be unhappy with my purchase. Maybe when I realize that the bills will just not stop. Ha. But that is probably true when any damn big purchase is made, I suppose. I always expect to be turned down. Where the hell does that come from? No idea at all. But there it is.

and now, the rush.

…And I’ve just finished my FAFSA, to begin the whole shebang of kids in college and all that foolishness. And I bought an easel off Facebook marketplace this weekend and I’m wildly in love with it. I just keep looking at it as an object. Maybe I should’ve bought an uglier one. It’s like a perfect notebook, that you don’t want to write in because it’ll get ruined.

well. idiocy.

And what else? Plant watering is getting away from me and I worry about my houseplants. Pulled up all my dahlias to carry them through the year and now I have no idea how to store them and the whole livingroom is full of what looks like bulbous dried turds. I have a friend who’s son is a chef and I got one of the best meals of my life this week. Holy salivation. I made the call to a home health aide place, and they’ve put me on their list for aides. I don’t know if that means anything, like: will they call me?, but I’m wondering if I get more hands-on experience, I’ll have more of a notion if I would like to make a life around taking care of the elderly, until i become so, i guess. Made my daughter watch the Muppets Christmas Carol and I was bored out of my head. Gah. Gonzo is the only one I love. And also, two of my favorite people got great new job news this week and I’m jealous, I mean, not in a horrible way. Maybe jealous is the wrong word. I’m curious for myself, I think. I’m over the moon for them both and small slices of me slide into contentment at hearing other people’s joy. Great feeling of bubbling bliss. I miss my friend Pam, another bubbler of bliss, and she’s just a damn phone call away. Why aren’t I calling out for more?

and i wonder what the heck is my next movement of joy as regards work? I’m not especially adept at waiting, i confess that much, and i’m not necessarily working towards anything, or it doesn’t feel that way. just muddling. maybe its the doldrums of a seasonal worker? Gargh. So, when allowing things to happen organically, and being impatient, and recognizing actions are necessary, one feels all vitamixed up and choppy.

Yeah, man, I don’t think I should publish this either.

but then .

reality of a bullishly stubborn person… here it is.


An old beginning and some new ones.