Amazement, and what is pleasure anyways?

  1. I’m amazed by a lot of things, truly. like, comically almost. There are days I’m just stunned by the incredible luck I’ve had in my life.

My kids are freaking ridiculously cool.

Its been one of the real pleasures I’ve had this past year, spending all the time with them that I have.

(This is not to sugarcoat the exhaustion of having big kids home full time for ever and ever, hollah pandemica.)

2. I’m amazed that I can write and write and write, and highlight and its just all gone. and I just did that now, on purpose. It was just blather.

3. I’m amazed by how quickly my yard, and yours, has gone from simply sticklike, to lush, verdant- overwhelming in its pulse, and thrust.

4. I’m amazed by how much it means to me to have little conversations with friends.

5. I’m amazed that I live in a beach town and I rarely get myself to the water. This week was different.

6. I’m amazed that it took one smart person to make me realize the deep difference between respite and pleasure. And how I’ve been forgetting to get real pleasure, while my tools to relieve exhaustion, give myself respite care, have been wearing thin. Its the difference between maintenance. a bath to clean my body and give myself a hot 15 minutes alone? This is pleasurable, yes, and I dig it. I’ve got candles, and bath salts but its just maintenance, it is. And the reason they are wearing thin, is that I’ve got a significant deficit in pleasure. And, besides men, I don’t really know what my pleasures are, so it is a grave imbalance, my lovelies. so grave. (i’m laughing, kind of.)

But its not the same as joy. Its not the same as something which fills me with elation, makes me remember the light I have glowing inside of me. Are joy and pleasure the same? Related?

its been a year. we all know it. longer than a year, if truth be told.

The weather has turned, the yard is wild, and I’m pretty damn ready for some pleasure.

bring it, dogs.




JOY LIST. (February, of course.)

I’m positive there is a part three coming, but this is an interlude, to reassure my lovely friends, neighbors and sister, that I’m fine, just overly thoughtful and occasionally morose. 🙂 I’m fine. (and i adore you, so thank you for reminding me of that adoration.)

Here is my joy. Mostly from yesterday, because today is still new.

  1. The ways that the sun will make a 20 degree day somehow feel sparkly, clean and not deathly.
  2. The way your lungs feel when you walk out in it, quickly, so much cleansing going on. The lungs are happy.
  3. Choosing to wrap a blanket around my shoulders rather than turn up the heat. Makes me feel old and wise, and that’s a fine feeling today.
  4. Pouring out the sweet alcohol drink that I had last night that gave me a headache this morning. My mornings are more valuable than that. The sugar rush is not worth it.
  5. When bundled up, I feel like a mystic, a fortune teller, a rotund mystic of laughter and possibility. (i think this is part of why i’m so much more myself in winter)
  6. All the amaryllis are putting up greens except one, poor thing. I’ve decided to stop watering him. But all that green!! I’m so hopeful.
  7. the kids are gone now through Monday. I’m not at all sure that I won’t cry during the empty spots. But I’m good with crying, I am. And it is good for me, a challenge that I will survive. (look, it made a joy list after all, the kids are deliriously happy right now, and i wouldn’t ever take that away)
  8. The kitchen table is cleared off, and man, it seems so simple, but that’s a real joy to me. Ok, there ARE things on the table, but a jug of fading flowers and a circle of candles, wait. and a seed catalog and the watering can. but man, for me, that is cleared off. (does this worry any of you type A’s?) laughing.
  9. More snow came last night, just enough to coat things again. And I’m going to meet a friend for burgers and fries tonight. I’ve been trying to eat healthy and I’m just hungry all the time and so a burger and fries might provide the inspiration I need. I think I may be going about this in a backwards fashion. but FRENCH FRIES!! THEY ARE A THING OF GREAT GREAT JOY!!
  10. Last night I ate some chocolate that I bought for my kid’s late valentine celebration. I felt really guilty for many reasons, but then realized that I can buy candy for them ON SALE! CANDY ON SALE!! A GREAT GREAT JOY!! (also, possibly problematic- but this is a joy list, thats it. nothing more. look away.)

kitchen tables and candy, thats what its all about.

love love,


fried potatoes
French fries in a bowl . . . Photo by Dzenina Lukac on


Joy bubbles, January

Its time for a joy list… joys and some dips, because that’s how it is.

  1. When I put down the dish soap and a little bubble escapes to float around the sink. I love that.
  2. Sparkling eyes. I love that. (In these days of masks? Sometimes its all I get. But you really can see the sparkle, even if that’s all you see.)
  3. I love the possibilities that I am coming up with when I think about overhauling this house. Two bureaus on the curb. At least. Purge. Purge. Purge. (and I am daunted, amongst the joys, too. There is so much overwhelm here. And in life. So much.)
  4. I’m writing a story called fight crab. I kind of adore the ridiculousness. (I started well but finishing? Ah. The rub, the dip.)
  5. As much as I love color, I am sitting in greys, grey pajama pants with stars, grey sweater and I feel like a Swedish hug. Like, come see me in my Nordic tiny house glowing under the aurora, I am here. I will make you a fire and a magical drink.
  6. Geraniums, by god. The smell of them clarifies the whole damn thing. Last summer I bought five babies after the season was done, a dollar each! And I have so much. Take a walk in my nook. (3 steps.)
  7. Non-sequiturs. I love the way my mind can jump ship and swim for a minute and still catch the boat before its gone, or not. It might be hard to follow, but not for me.
  8. The piles of books around me are maddening, but I’m filled up by looking at them. The chaos brings the possibility that one of them will be a great love. Or take me off to dreamscape #4258. And I haven’t been there yet.
  9. My kids when they sneeze. It makes me see their youth and remember their sneezes as babies. Is there anything cuter than a sneezing baby? (I am such a mom. And so proud of it. And its not going anywhere. And oh my god, babies.)
  10. I appreciate already, how much laughter I bring into the world. My kids are better for it, and I am better for it, and I’ve gifted it to them, and they to me.

*by the way, on my night of restorative sleep, the dog decided to wake me THREE times. THRICE. motherfucker. So, i was up early. I make a joy list in retaliation. Is that questionable? I do not know. but it is Saturday, and as you know, we have no plans. so i will nap. i will.

brown cottage under aurora borealis
EXACTLY. Photo by Stefan Stefancik on


There is nothing wrong, January.

“The pleasure of abiding. The pleasure of insistence, of persistence. The pleasure of obligation, the pleasure of dependency. The pleasures of ordinary devotion.
The pleasure of recognizing that one may have to undergo the same realizations, write the same notes in the margin, return to the same themes in one’s work, relearn the same emotional truths, write the same book over and over again – not because one is stupid or obstinate or incapable of change, but because such revisitations constitute a life.” –
Maggie Nelson

This quote. This thing settled down on me like a net, slicing through me in geometries.

Its not, repeat and repeat until you finally learn the lesson, its not ‘cycle after cycle of the same lesson’ because you just cannot get it, you are so thick you fell for another addict…it is the revisitation that constitutes a life.

i’m not stupid, i’m just living.

JESUS. Pleasure, not trial.


I mix my hedonism with practicality, i do. but i wish more people could lighten up. get earthy with themselves.

there is so much in there, and i don’t even know how to begin to dig it up, to unearth it for you.


go find some.

i’m going to organize another raised bed for myself this spring. I might go wild and plant all flowers again. my kids don’t flipping eat vegetables, so what is the point of spinach? Maybe a pepper or two? I’ll have lavender to sell this year, barring pestilence.


Pleasure. run your hands through a bowl of rice if you have to. climb under the weighted blanket, or lover, or dog. whatever you got.

that quote. man, i am sliced.

slices of red orange on white background
Photo by Any Lane on

there’s nothing wrong with you. you’re just living.