Tag Archives: family

an impossible intimacy

graffiti of blue bandaids, one crossed over the other to make an x, on a brick wallgood morning good morning. I am in the aftermath of mom time. I am in my small room and trying to make sense of this life I am just now choosing for myself. In the dream last night someone was mugged, a woman had been hurt and we were doing a fundraiser for her maybe. I woke up and told the story of the dream to myself so that I would remember but all I have now is the word mugged, some sense of aftermath, people taking care of her, a sense of threat, we weren’t safe, it could happen again.

After I drop my mother off at the airport, I go to a coffee shop in a shopping mall, I order tea and sit outside in the breezy afternoon sun, I think I’m going to pour myself into writing but I can barely breathe. Next to me, a small family, a man and a woman and a very tall girl child. She looks like a great dane puppy, all muscles and flop, surely an athlete; she drapes herself over her mother, wraps her arms around her mother’s smaller shoulders. I wonder, what is it like to be the one trying for mother’s affection, to want your body in such proximity to the body that formed you, the body that drew you up, the body that let you go. What is it like to have that feel ok, to have such closeness be a welcome thing, to not have to shutter myself off inside, away from the vulnerability that opens in me just by being in her presence? Continue reading

letting them (and ourselves) be real

graffiti in red of a girl with a heart in a word-bubble over her headgood morning good morning! Oh, it’s late here — I set the alarm for 4:30, but when the puppy woke me up after 6, I looked over to see that perhaps that alarm had gone off, but my sleeping self had taken no notice whatsoever. After a full (and mostly offline) weekend, I guess my body took what she needed.

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Write Whole begins again this evening, and April’s Writing the Flood is this weekend (join us!) — lots more coming up, too, including a new daily blog project for May, which I’m very excited and a little nervous about! It’s going to be kind of like NaNoBloMo, with a twist.

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the souls have their day

graffiti of three decorated skulls, honoring the Day of the DeadGood morning, foghorns, tall candle, sleeping puppy. Good morning, quiet music, strong tea, warm toes. Good morning. How’s the morning feel where you are?

(This feels like a conversation — like when I ask that question, somewhere you’re answering.)

Today is Halloween. All hollow’s eve, the day we bring the old pagan ritual of harvest, of releasing summer and releasing/honoring spirits and ancestors,  of masking and revelation into the public sphere. We take these days to honor who we’ve lost, to think about all the different selves we are, have been and could be, too.

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we’d finally look at what we know

black and white graffiti of eyes watching the viewerHello Tuesday!

These posts have gotten a bit more sporadic! I’m sorry for that — I’m making some changes in my morning schedule which affects blog-writing time.

I shared this yesterday in the Writing Ourselves Whole newsletter: “Now that the workshops are on break, I’m doing a lot of work on a handful of longer writing projects (not least of which is preparing for the Tomales Bay Workshops), because I’m ready to be a Published Author with a Book. Will you keep some good thoughts for me as I work to shift my own and the puppy’s schedules so that I can rise between 4 and 4:3oam to write for a couple hours before the official work-day begins?”

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singing and sleep away

graffiti fromm Istanbul: two yellow hands holding the strings of balloon eyesgood morning good morning good morning.

It’s hard to be chipper in the grey, isn’t it? At least, that’s true for me this morning.

I’m having a longing for true (i.e., Midwestern) summer. Someone brought deliciously deviled eggs to our Write Whole: Survivors Write potluck last night (we have a potluck on the last night of each workshop, a wonderful chance to share food and a bit more of ourselves as well) and I almost got teary with missing cookouts, family reunions, home food. Maybe this weekend I’ll make some ambrosia salad, of course it won’t be even remotely the same, eating it without all my cousins, my sister, my grandma there.

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saturday nights in 1987

pen & ink drawing of a young woman in hot pants kneeling down next to brick wall

click the image to see more of Friend Called Five's drawings!

When the puppy is sick at 4am, the parents don’t get up early to blog, unfortunately —

(she seems to be better now — whew!)

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after mother’s day

watercolor of a smiling woman holding a baby up to her face

(check out more of Will Kasso's gorgeous artwork by clicking on the image!)

Good morning, all — good Monday to you!

Yesterday was mother’s day, which can be a straightforward celebration for some people, and quite complicated for others. Yesterday, I was thinking about those of us who can’t find cards at the Walgreen’s or at Hallmark that say what we really want to say to our mothers, who can’t take those flowery cards that say, “Thanks for always being there for me, Mom. Thanks for being my rock and my constant support. I know it was a struggle to deal with me sometimes, but you had faith in me even when I didn’t have faith in myself…” Those of us who are looking for the cards that say, “You were a disaster and yet I still find myself aching for a relationship with you” or “I wish I hadn’t had to be your rock and your constant support” or “I missed you for a lot of my childhood, but I’m glad that we can have a relationship now” or — what would your Mother’s Day card say? I always just go for blank cards these days, when at the store shopping for Mother’s or Father’s Day — the regular, pre-printed cards with that Hollywood-Mother message just won’t work for me, and my mom and I have a pretty good relationship these days. It’s just that we don’t have one based on revisionist history; we have one based on the facts of our lives, which are too painful for Hallmark to make pithy and flowered-pink.

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stubborn and curious and brave

stencil graffiti of a person next to a huge balloon bubble that says, You Are Beautiful!

I love graffiti like this

Good morning! Up late last night means I slept in today — Two hours for one means a little less sleep than I’ve been getting recently, and so this blog feels a little sleepy.


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my body still tries to become her body

graffiti: water + bread + home = basicsGood morning — it’s the day after the day after; it’s also the second day of Kwanzaa, Kujichagulia (Self-Determination). This time, for me, tends to be one of reflection: what’s happened in this year just passing? What are the possibilities, my dreams and visions, for the year to come?

(Aha – a prompt!)


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Yes: Hello, light!

Graffiti on long wall, of big round yellow sun, a white bird with wings spread wide, and the word 'peace'Good morning! Some places, today, it’s Xmas eve. Other places, for other people, it isn’t. However you are with whatever day it is, I hope you’re being easy with yourself this morning.

For me, for the people I come from, it’s Xmas Eve today. I’m not with them, but I’m remembering. I’m remembering how excited I used to get about what presents I’d be receiving the next morning (after having gone through the huge Sears catalog and cut out the pictures of the toys I wanted; my sister and I would create enormous lists for Santa on pages and pages of printer paper that my dad brought home from work (remember when the paper was all connected in perforated section? Yeah, that paper.), about preparing the plate for Santa (with carrots for the reindeer and cutout sugar cookies that we’d frosted and decorated for Santa himself — Santa always left us a note thanking us for our generosity, telling us how tasty the cookies were and how much the reindeer appreciated the treat; I learned the truth, I think, when I began to recognize my dad’s handwriting), about getting to go see whichever cousins we’d see that year, on my mom’s side or my dad’s side. There was something in this time of year (for awhile, at least) that made room for being excited about being excited, getting to live in anticipation (however painful!). I miss that big anticipation sometimes.

Now, though, I get excited about being in my home, about baking for others, about getting to share something new with someone who will appreciate it, about getting to reflect on the accomplishments and struggles of the last year, about connecting with cousins again (even just through xmas cards, it’s still a big deal).

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