… and taxes, motherfucker.

My mother in-law, former mother in-law, friend for 30 years, is going into hospice this month some time, if not this week. I have tried to start writing about her, and have over the years, certainly, but it is currently too raw, and she’s not dead yet, and so i want to spend my time trying to get her on the phone. Real always being preferable to memory. always. i say. my heart is wounded and throbs.

don’t you say the real is more than the memory? don’t you? the touch? the skin? the shared space? laughing? hugging?

I was there last wednesday, dropping off a lasagna and I sat and had a grilled cheese sandwich that my 88 year old father-in-law made for me when he heard I was coming over. Her memory is shot so he wasn’t at all sure I was actually coming, or what day I might be coming. We talked about my family, her cousins, death. I actually brought it up because 1. i had been thinking about my own, and 2. I think we should all talk to our elders about it. Expecting it is a whole different experience, I think, and I want to know what it is like.

I said that, for myself, I didn’t fear it, as long as I could remove my thoughts of the kids from the equation. Worrying about them ruined it all. She agreed, saying something along the lines of ‘what the hell else can you do? You die? you die!’.

I am a thousand times certain that I have loved her and been loved by her for 30 years. How lucky am I ?


When all is lost, make a love list.

This is what I love.

  1. metaphors.
  2. the wind. how tricky it is. from breeze to gale. invisible, except for what it does. feel it in your bones. the rile.
  3. the word bones. how they are a building block and a nakedness all at once.
  4. makers, people who craft things from nothing. how does this happen? what sort of madness brings objects forth from paints, letters, strings? mad genius.
  5. the changeable nature of people. as much as i love color and wrap myself and my house in it, last week i purchased a bedding set that is navy blue. all navy blue. i am awash in the navy. it is an adjustment and i feel shock when i see the blank space in my room where color used to live. and i’m going for it. don’t know what made me do it, but i’m going to ride the navy, baby. (apologies to the armed services and… my gift for laughing innuendo is freaking unstoppable.)
  6. the way hot tea warms your chest like nothing else. from the inside out.
  7. hoodies. i think its genius that there is a hat and a neck covering sewn into a sweatshirt. really now. come on.
  8. i love writing. i do. when there are the things i cannot share here, i have a place to go dump it, and i’m so glad, and sometimes i’m even impressed by what i find there. in the dump, the things that matter rise to the top… and its not always what you expect.

That’s all. A big fat eight. I’m smiling though, so its a big win.

love you.



In which Distraction and Attention battle…

Cynthia Lee prompted this one: And I was amazed by how things got so blurry for me. Which one is the distraction? Where am I putting my attention? Am I even choosing?

I am distracted by, I pay attention to.

I am distracted by my children. The noise, the clatter, the emotional rollercoaster of caring for other people.

I pay attention too much, I am constantly looking for it, the need, the solutions, the worry, the worry.

I am distracted by the mess. But only a little. I can find myself quite cozy amidst it all, and not bothered. And then, there are those days when it’s a sign of my own failure, writ large upon the house.

I’m distracted by bad memories, and seeking vain glory bitter victories over stories of the ex. The sick feeling of not-happiness when my kids were complaining about their father last night at dinner. I hate it, it makes me sick to my stomach about myself. It’s hard to even type it.

I pay attention to the growing things in the house, the plant life, the people. I like to feed them, I wish I had a native skill that made food more enjoyable to make. I deeply do. I’ve been trying for a long time.

I’m distracted by the negative, I fall so deeply and so fast and no amount of head shaking dispels it. Thank god I have had so much therapy.

I pay attention when I am called to. The ask. I answer it. Even if I struggle on the inside with wanting to, being taken out of my own world of whatever it is that is going on.

I’m distracted by the kids. The need of theirs to be seen, witnessed. Twice now, I have had to stop the timer for them, its not even been ten minutes… ten minutes.

I pay attention when I’m called to. That one is giving me pause. Am I just following directions?

I pay attention to the hard thoughts, and what lies beneath them. My questions of worth and my questions about that.

I’m distracted by the to-do list, that is so long here, there and everywhere.

I’m distracted by make-believe conversations in my head, leading nowhere, in which I sound really good.

I pay attention to what is happening right in front of me.

I’m distracted by what makes me pause.

I pay attention to what makes me pause.


I pause.

*what are yours? Do you have a clear, clean line between them? I’m surprised by my blur here, i confess.

This was the worst seven minutes ever


In which I narrow it down.

I can’t say I did this on my own, but hello. I am a woman and probably pretty good at acknowledging that I am here on the heels and shoulders of all of those before me. I’m good with that. I can ask for help, I can do that without feeling diminished, even. (most of the time)

but I’m taking a class in which I am being asked to narrow down my dream, label it, pick it apart and label it again. What do you want? What is absolutely necessary to you? How will you know you’ve succeeded?

This is slightly out of the lock-and-step of how will you pay for things? and, how will you pay for things?

This is the dream before all the practicalities. They come later.

so here is today’s revolution, resolution, discovery, uncovery.

i want to love and to write.

yeah, its pretty much that simple.* so.

what now?

*bear in mind, in loving? unavoidable side effect of being around love, and loving, is that you get some back, in whatever shape it chooses. *in writing? no constraints on the type or practicality of it.

i feel an immense relief in having a baseline. isn’t it funny how just distilling something all the way down to its simplest form, brings you something you knew, and yet had never named?


what now?

unlocking things. the red door at the farm..

This is just a great photo of mine. Because the door is great. I do want you to notice that what looks locked? Isn’t.


in which I tell you what I am not writing about.

writing about things that i don’t want to write about, at any level? hmm. meta meta?

1. i’ve never written exact events in my story as i remember marriage. and i mean, anywhere. i never journaled about it, never took pictures, never captured it, except in my head and memory. and its my story, even if there were other players.

i’ve been challenged to write it, as a therapeutic tool. not here, not publicly, but in the world. because writing things down gives them power.

and also sets them on fire so they can float off.

2. i’d like to write about my mother-in-law. I’ve known her since I was 15. She was my first, most powerful example of the kind of woman I’d want to be, that I could be. I knew her long before I knew her children, or the father of my kids. She was my high school English teacher, and fierce. Unapologetic. Worldly. (she was from New York, after all)… I’m scared to write about her because I feel like its too risky, that there may be loss involved and I don’t want to get into it. I’m thrilled that I got to keep her in my life and I’m ever better for it. But I think if I start I will float off on waves of sadness.

3. Sex. I’m super at writing about it, and having it…but not here. I don’t really have a forum for writing about sex and relationships, because I claim this space as just my own, my own thoughts about things and I try not to include other people unless I am reacting or responding. BUT, its been pointed out that I am leaving so much unsaid that my story almost becomes untrue. And if I start? Hmm. That’s a whole different kind of blog, right?

Is that true, that leaving things out makes me untrue? I don’t think so. And yet, I’m caught on the snag of it.

And that’s today’s essay folks. love you, miss you, really want to kiss you. 🙂

What do you not talk about?

ash blaze bonfire burn
Bonfire sparks… Photo by Pixabay on