Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Proust Questionnaire

The Proust questionnaire is something I heard about from Brain Pickings, a wonderful website about art, science, creativity, the mind, the soul -- everything worth knowing about (www.brainpickings.org). The site is written and curated by Maria Popova, who recently posted David Bowie's answers to the questionnaire. Vanity Fair has been asking celebrities and dignitaries to answer these questions for decades, including the responses in the magazine and a book published in 2009. The editors haven't called me yet ... weird, right? Still, it's a fun parlor game and I'm just about done with every personality test on the Internet, so here are my responses. The questions make for great dinner table conversation, if you -- like me-- have heard just about enough fart jokes.

1. What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Lying on the swimming dock at Camp Lake Hubert, cheek against the soft, old wood, listening to the water lapping against the posts, halyards banging against the masts on the sailboats nearby, and the occasional cabin door slam.
2. What is your greatest fear?
Loss of a child
3. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
My penchant for bleak thinking
4. What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Dullness -- I can forgive almost anything except boring ... or sanctimonious. I also can't stand people who talk about how much they work out. And oh, those center-of-the-universe bitches who stand in the middle of the street chatting when I'm trying to get through with the groceries and the bickering children -- obnoxious. And I hate passive-aggression -- so annoying-- and the tacky bores who are always talking about how much everything costs. I mean, GROSS. Lord, I don't like anyone, do I?  Also, I also can't stand misanthropes.
5. Which living person do you most admire?
It's a kind of person I admire, really. I admire anyone whose heart and mind both get regular use.
6. What is your greatest extravagance?
I have a cookbook illness.
7. What is your current state of mind?
Quiet ... I lost my mom in March of this year and I'm waiting for the world to come back into focus.
8. What do you consider the most overrated virtue? 
9. On what occasion do you lie?
No idea -- most of my lies are told to myself, so how would I know?
10. What do you most dislike about your appearance?
I generally like what I see in the mirror, but most of the photos taken of me look like Charlize Theron in Monster -- I blame the proliferation of digital cameras. If you want to take pictures of a 40-something who doesn't always feel like blow-drying her hair and putting on makeup, I'm going to insist you have a few photography classes under your belt and an intuitive grasp of light and shadow.
11. Which living person do you most despise? 
It's a toss-up between Ke$ha and Michelle Bachmann.
12. What is the quality you most like in a man?
I like a man who is as comfortable giving as he is receiving.
13. What is the quality you most like in a woman? 
I like a woman who is as comfortable receiving as she is giving.
14. Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
To other drivers: "No really -- you first, ASSHOLE. You ever driven a car before?"
To my daughters: "You can't live in Minnesota and be scared of bugs. It's impractical. Go outside."
To my son: "Criticism must be processed in your BRAIN, not in your heart."
To my husband: "That's a rational response to an emotional problem."
15. What or who is the greatest love of your life?
Unbleached all-purpose flour and strawberry Haagen-Dazs. You think I'm kidding, but I'm totally not kidding.
16. When and where were you happiest?
The year of my engagement was essentially perfect -- Minneapolis, 1999. The summer of 2009 was damn good, too -- Minneapolis and Lake Hubert.
17. Which talent would you most like to have?
I would love to have a soulful, bluesy, powerful singing voice -- kinda like a female Ray Lamontagne.  Music has an emotional immediacy that writing lacks somehow -- at least for me.
18. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
My tendency to hang on to hurt feelings and my fear of (more) trauma.
19. What do you consider your greatest achievement?
A few weeks ago, I wrote a eulogy for my mom and delivered it with dry eyes and a strong voice in front of a couple hundred people. I feel pretty good about that right now, though I have no intention of letting that be my greatest achievement ever.
20. If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?
I think I would make an excellent Hogwarts owl, but I would be equally content as a loon on Lake Hubert.
21. Where would you most like to live?
Minneapolis from September 1-January 15; somewhere warm (not hot) from January 15-April 15 (haven't decided exactly where yet --please stand by); Minneapolis again from April 16-June 15; Lake Hubert from June 16-August 31
22. What is your most treasured possession?
My writing -- essays, stories, poems, Facebook status updates, letters, emails from 1st grade on. I'm not universally proud of the content, but I'm proud of the volume.
23. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
When my daughter was just three, she had brain surgery to remove a tumor that had been causing seizures for several months. Two weeks before that surgery, we had to go down to Mayo Clinic for a "pre-surgical evaluation." We were told it would be 24 hours, so my husband went home after 12 of them to be with our other kids. I stayed for 4 days with our little toddler, wires glued to her head and connected to a battery pack that had to be within three feet of her at all times. They took her off of her meds cold-turkey to induce a massive seizure, then injected her with some radioactive substance and did scans for two and a half hours while I sat in the waiting room, completely alone. Then they put her back on the meds so she would (hopefully) be seizure-free for 24 hours, at which point they repeated the scans. I have never yet been lower than that. I hope I never am.
24. What is your favorite occupation?
Daydreaming. I can do it while eating a pint of strawberry Haagen-Dazs -- I'm that good.
25. What is your most marked characteristic?
I would like to say mind-blowing sexiness, but it's probably hyper-sensitivity -- or maybe my memory. Depends who you ask.
26. What do you most value in your friends?
Affectionate bossiness, cleverness, playfulness, boldness, insight
27. Who are your favorite writers?
Mary Oliver, Louise Erdrich, E. Annie Proulx (I have only read The Shipping News, but I have read it more than five times), J.K. Rowling, C.S. Lewis, Kate DiCamillo
28. Who is your hero of fiction?
Severus Snape, always and forever.
29. Which historical figure do you most identify with?
Probably James Joyce, since neither of us has ever been able to write a coherent novel
30. Who are your heroes in real life?
My intuitive dad, who talks about angels as if they were a rational topic and my steady husband, who talks about surgery as if it were a  whimsical topic.
31. What are your favorite names?
Persephone, Signe, Alec, Simeon, Josephine
32. What is it that you most dislike?
False modesty, math, the way chalk feels in my hand, being 
too hot, having to come up with something to eat for dinner every day, disloyalty, the damage money does to relationships, peaches that don't taste like anything, being called irrational, being proselytized, cynicism, invasions of my privacy, novels with hopeless endings, all the constant boring bullshit about people's workouts, passionless dullards, olives. This is not an exhaustive list.
33. What is your greatest regret?
I have never, not ever, been able to keep a maidenhair fern alive for more than three weeks.
34. How would you like to die?
In my sleep, just after my 100th birthday party, having finally gotten all the way through Gabriel Garcia Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude.
35. What is your motto?
In meo cordo ago -- "In my heart, I press on."  My dad, who taught Latin before becoming an Assistant Principal at my high school, came up with it. I love it.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014


My mom died from lung cancer (no, she wasn't a smoker) in March of this year. Yesterday, we all gathered at the Minneapolis Club downtown to express our love and respect at her memorial service. It was beautiful -- perfect, really-- and I know my mom would have loved it. I delivered a eulogy for her (somehow without tears, though I lost my place a couple of times).  For those of you who couldn't be there and have asked to read it, here it is ...

The wisest mothers -- and mine was absolutely among them-- know that our ultimate purpose is to teach our children not to need us. To know and love us, yes, to respect us, absolutely, but not need. Carol Thacher was not the kind of mama who ever wanted to hear her daughter say "I would be lost without you." She made sure I would never be.

So you may be surprised to hear me say that the hardest part of losing my mom has been losing her protection.  If you knew her for at least five minutes, then you know hers was not a nervous, fluttery kind of maternal protection. It was way better than that -- more generous because it made both of us strong, not just her.  She was not here to shield me from the world, she was here to get me ready for it.  There were  a few times when my mom stepped in to fight a battle for which she didn't believe I was ready, but that was rare. For the most part, her protection came in the form of empowerment --coaching me towards independence, sharing her community, and showing me how to experience motherhood within the context of womanhood.

I did not come home to milk and cookies after school, unless I was at my grandma's. If I wanted cookies -- and I ALWAYS want cookies-- I was going to have to learn to bake them myself. So I did. My mom loved to talk about me as a 5th or 6th-grader, home alone after school with the television and stereo both blaring, teaching myself by trial and significant error how to follow recipes. In her office downtown, she would take a call from a client about a lease she was negotiating, then a call from me. "Um, Mom? Sorry to bother you, but my recipe calls for corn syrup and all we have is corn oil. I can use that instead, right?" Then a call from another client seeking her counsel about a tenant dispute, then another from me, apologizing for the egg white that dripped into the silverware drawer. She giggled at the juxtaposition and answered everyone's questions. She didn't tell me to stop baking and she didn't rush home to take over -- she let me make my messy mistakes, trusting that I would ultimately work it out.  I know there were -- and maybe still are-- people who felt sorry for me because she wasn't home with me after school, but I love what I learned to do on my own. And I love my mom for giving me the space and the trust to do it. I love her for sending me to Camp Lake Hubert for a month every summer, where I found my best self, and I love her for teaching me how to rescue myself instead of doing it for me.  She rolled her eyes on my behalf when someone was thoughtless or petty, but then came the smile, the slow nod. "I know you can handle this, Lamby." So I did -- sometimes well, sometimes not. It didn't matter. The point was that she believed I could and expected me to try. That is still the point now.

There was plenty of time alone in the house, yes, but I was never alone in the world.  From the beginning, she surrounded both of us with powerful nurturers, thoughtful teachers, creative problem-solvers, wise counselors --to raise us both, through childhood and beyond. She shared everyone : her big, loving, musical, complicated family; her devoted, brilliant, meddlesome friends, her accomplished, formidable, deliberate professional network.  I was welcomed and loved in your homes; GramBea's rice pudding is still my ultimate comfort food and I wouldn't DREAM of any other birthday cake besides a Sue Burritt's World-Famous.  Some of you graciously consented to interview me after college when there was still a chance I might turn out to be employable.  A few of you even bravely tried to teach me math. There you were, every time. And here you still are. You're checking on me, inviting me to the theater with you, walking me through the estate stuff, helping me plan today. You get credit for that, absolutely, but so does my mom. For me, your comfort and aid always were and still are an extension of my mom's comfort and aid. If she trusted you, I trust you, almost without exception. My mom died, yes, but I am not motherless. I have you, if you'll have me. The best mothering happens in community and communities don't die unless we let them. This is not to say that we all have to go to each other's birthday parties -- though you really should invite me because I make excellent birthday cakes now. What I'm saying is that all of us who loved her are torches lit from the same fire. We're related in this singular way, she brought us together,  so whenever we're together, I  feel her taking care of me.

She was my mother,  always. She was clear about that from the beginning. In junior high and high school, when describing one's mother as a best friend was in vogue , my mother would have none of it.  "There are elements of friendship in our relationship, but I am your mother, not your friend. You will have all kinds of friends throughout your life, but only one mother." At the time I resented it, because I  understood it was my job to resent EVERYTHING she said and I took that job very seriously, but it was a loving distinction, one she never abandoned. When Steve, my stepdad, was dying from melanoma thirteen years ago, I told her she should lean on me.

"I am a grown woman now and I have experience with this disease," I told her. "Just let me help you."
"No," she said. "I am your mother. You lean on ME. I don't lean on you."

I was frustrated -- and not a little bit insulted-- but she understood her purpose better than most, I think. Her job was to prepare me for life as a modern woman -- whatever that meant then, whatever that would come to mean.  She couldn't do that if I related to her as a peer.  Peers are the people who have gone no further than we have. She had gone much further. She was never my peer. She was my mentor, teaching by example the most essential and difficult lesson of my adult life: remembering to grow myself along with my family. For her, motherhood happened within womanhood, not the other way around.

Her great gift to me was allowing me to know her as a woman, the one she had been growing into all her life, long before I  arrived. She loved music, James Bond movies, raunchy humor, singing along with Handel's Messiah on Christmas morning, giving advice, finding the most efficient way to do anything and everything, her career, her friends, and travel (though not packing for it). She hated gravity and woodpeckers and being inconvenienced and losing her husband. She had a wicked little computer solitaire habit, she was disciplined, competitive as hell, and threw giant tantrums when she broke a nail but was a rock in an actual crisis. Because she was a loving mother, she shared her life with me. Because she was a strong, wise woman, she never handed it over. She would do anything for me except dissolve into me. Mom, I thank you deeply and sincerely for that -- not only because I got to know you as a real person, but also because I got to see what all of your hard lessons about independence and growth were for: they were for learning to live my life on my own terms.  I'm not quite there yet, but I understand.

My mom built an enormous, delicious, satisfying life for herself, full of the people, work, music,  theater, travel, and  causes she loved. Why shouldn't she?  She could have built her life inside of mine, engineering my every experience in terms of her own latent ambitions, but then we both would have turned out small.  By living her own life, by pursuing what was meaningful to her, she taught me how to do it too, to be a grown woman.  I don't always feel like one -- nothing has ever made me feel more like a child than losing my mom. But I know I can figure it out and I know I am not alone. I have a big, beautiful life to live -- different from hers but just as satisfying. I have a family to raise and a self to raise with them. I will not ever be lost without her. Because I am not without her -- she made sure of that, too.


Monday, October 22, 2012

Rules for Turning 40

1. Don't get cynical --especially about love. Stay romantic. Stay idealistic --for as long as you can.

2. Don't mistake fear for intuition.  When you have a gut feeling that everything is about to go to shit, try to remember that it could be because there have been a lot of times in the last 10 years when it has. If it's going to go to shit, then you can't stop it anyway. Keep a good supply of Cap'n Crunch around just in case and discipline yourself to enjoy the easier times.

3. Don't keep punishing yourself for your mistakes. Really,  a lot of them are understandable and all of them are forgivable. Chronic trauma makes selfish nightmares of all of us ...it's okay. You tried really hard.

4.  Stop being so grateful to people who only offer the bare minimum. You don't have to be angry with them, but they don't need all of your gorgeous love and attention, either. You'd insist on better treatment for your closest people, so start insisting on better treatment for yourself.

5.  Extend your hand in all directions --in love, in friendship, in understanding, in rescue, in peace, in humble gratitude. Build people up when they need it (this is where you can trust your intuition) ...it costs you nothing.

6. Keep returning to your essential self. Read, knit, sing, watch the BBC version of Pride & Prejudice, write, cook, bake, take care of your home and anyone who enters it. That's who you are.

7. You don't have to die on every hill --be creative. There are brick walls in every life, every relationship, every heart. It's okay ...let them be there. You don't have to climb them or blast through them, you can just move around them; they may be tall, but they're not wide.

8.  Stop saying "I'm sorry" when what you really mean is "fuck you." A lot of us women do that. Let's stop it.

9.  Keep laughing about as much as you can.

10. Let people take pictures of you. No, you're not seventeen anymore. No, you're not 22 or even 32.  You're soft in the middle and your knees make weird crackly noises every time you go upstairs. You often have dark circles under your eyes and it won't be long until your nipples start tickling the tops of your feet. But you're still pretty and it's important that you allow people to record your presence in their lives if that matters to them. Assume it matters to your children (it does) and assume that everyone sees beauty in you that you can't see yourself.

11. Keep taking risks --big ones. Take social risks, fashion risks, emotional and creative risks. When they work out, great --that's how you gain confidence. When they fail spectacularly, even better --that's how you gain empathy and understanding.

12. Continue to let people know how much they mean to you ...you would want to know.

13.  Stay connected to God. Sometimes you feel like He couldn't possibly be paying attention to you, but He is. He is writing this beautiful engaging story about you as you live it, filled with entertaining hypocrites to challenge you and tender heroes to inspire you. He is everywhere in your life, spinning you around the dance floor, working His magic. You're important to Him, so make sure He knows He's important to you. Listen. He is telling you your connections are strong, your family is whole, your shredded heart is healing. You are 40. That is wonderful.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Standard

"Are you proud of the work you do?"

This question, posed to me by the psychologist I go see to help me with my adorable-but-ever-so-slightly-challenging-special-needs-middle-child, immediately made me cry. I want to be...I probably should be. But I rarely feel like I'm getting it right. Maybe I made a beautiful dinner but left the kitchen looking apocolyptic; maybe Lizzie looks adorable for school but Caroline and Henry look like street urchins; maybe all the beds are made but I forgot to sign Henry's homework. So I suck.

Please believe me when I say I am philosophically opposed to how I treat myself. I lecture my friends --sometimes for hours at a time-- about feeling proud of their work. I scold them when they apologize for their perfectly lovely houses, I interrupt them when they confess that they haven't fed their children anything but peanut butter and chicken nuggets since school started. "You are doing a gorgeous, meaningful, creative, selfless job," I tell them (but not myself). "The standard is impossible."

Then I berate myself because I still haven't gotten around to alphabetizing my pantry.

I don't know too many men who do this to themselves. The back yard looks like it's covered in straw? Too much watering is bad for the environment.  Modern art? Doesn't look that hard --Mom said my paintings were just as good.  A few grey hairs, a paunch, and weird rashes here and there? Lookin' good.

I'm telling you, they're on to something.

Yesterday morning, as I pissed away at least an hour and a half playing Bejeweled Blitz on the computer, I thought about what I want my life to express. Really, everything I value can be sorted into three categories: beauty, connection, and understanding. I figure that if I cover at least one at any given time, then I can look back on the day, week, month, season, year, and eventually my life and feel good --even great -- about my time here.

That means the Bejeweled Blitz addiction must go, but the yarn and cookbook hoarding are more than acceptable. I will have to give up anti-fantasizing about the next thing that will hurt me, but I can listen to as much music as I want.  I can take up whole mornings walking around Lake Harriet with Angie or Julie. I can spend hours on the phone with Mary or Michele or Jess or Betsy --I should. For one thing, walking around Lake Harriet is a good way to trick myself into exercising. For another, I get a lot of housework done when I'm on the phone.

But even if I don't, the connection matters more. I have enough life experience to know that having a perfectly clean house and immaculate children is not nearly as much comfort when things get hard as strong, loving friendships are. I'd rather be good at the latter and I am. In a few years, when my children roll their eyes at the merest suggestion of spending time with me, I will have hours and hours to clean.

But I won't. All those chemicals are bad for the environment.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Begging the Question

We do all the laundry. Imagine if the Alps, the Himalayas, and the Rockies were all connected and made out of inside-out sweatshirts, Pixar jammies, and tiny Hello Kitty panties. Now you have pictured most of our laundry rooms on most days.

We cook. We spend hours, days, weeks, months, YEARS collecting recipes, then shop for the obscure ingredients, then defend what we spent on them, then prepare the meal, then --most of the time --clean up. This is what we hear if the meal is fucking phenomenal: "Good dinner Honey!" Then someone farts, then someone burps, then everyone talks about how AWESOME that was, how they can't BELIEVE how CRAZY EXCELLENT that fart-and-burp combo was. AMAZING.  This is what we hear if it was damn good: "It's okay, but not really my favorite." This from our nine-year-old son, who tells us in the voice he will one day use to break up with unstable girlfriends.

We keep the house clean while our people work (harder than they're ever willing to work at anything else) to keep the place looking like a low-budget zoo habitat. Why is that sticky? What kind of crumbs are those? What is that weird smell? Best not to ask. Just use the education, the talent, the imagination, style and mindblowing sexiness that got you here, on this bathroom floor with this pee and these gloves (I hope) and this toilet, and get it done.

We civilize:
"That is a sofa, not a jungle gym. Please refrain from jumping on it."
"If my cooking makes you feel like you have to throw up, please do so in the bathroom. Thank you."
"I'd rather not see that far into you."
"I'm afraid you'll find that fart jokes, like houseguests and fish, start to grow old after about day three."
"Etiquette dictates that you should not finish your dinner before the person who cooked it for you has begun."
"The world is not your petting zoo ...there are some things (and people) we need not touch to enjoy."
"Try not to eat anything you found in your nose."
"You are not the center of the universe. That position is held by the sun ...the exquisitely silent sun."

This is not an exhaustive list.

We grow people. First we grow them inside of us, then push them out (I don't really want to talk about how that happens, but it's harder than it looks) and grow them on the outside. Some of us breastfeed, some of us formula feed, some of us do both. Either way, we're up several times a night feeding/diapering/burping/checking to make sure they're breathing.

When they get older, we read article after article about the scientific link between child nutrition and our shitty mothering, the scientific link between childhood depression and our shitty mothering, the scientific link between child stupidity and our shitty mothering. We make our own baby food with fruits and vegetables we grew ourselves (lots of spare time in this job) from heirloom organic seeds we found in the Sundance catalog for $700.00 per envelope. We harvest the vegetables, put them through a food mill, then a food processor, then a strainer, and finally into a ceramic personalized bowl that seemed like a great idea when we were pregnant. From there, our stupid baby (our fault) throws the whole mess on the floor.

Then we cry and give them a dusty jar of Gerbers, which they devour as if Thomas Keller made it himself.

We agonize over the right friends, the right schools, the right combination of athletics and artistic enrichment. We read to them, make sure they do their homework, sign them up for camp. We douse them in sunscreen and bugspray only to find out (at the end of the summer) that everyone else knew at the beginning of LAST summer that the brand of sunscreen we use is full of  potent carcinogens. Then we self-flagellate.

We check daily for lice, rashes, viruses, depression, tumors, drug abuse, seizures, eating disorders, anxiety, and whatever else is going around. We volunteer at school (but not too much), we get involved with sports (but not too much), we show up at every poetry reading, tipi-making event, book club, swim meet, hockey game, glockenspiel recital, and gallery opening to cheer and take a thousand digital photos, which we immediately put into custom photo books for the grandparents. We forget to order one for ourselves.

When they're sick or injured --whether it's bad or not-- we read and sing and carry them, though they're much too big to be carried and we'll need months of chiropractic work afterwards, for what feels like miles through schools or across fields or malls or museums or hospitals until they feel better, falling asleep in our shaking arms. We hold them down for immunizations or IV inserts or basic dental work. We crawl in bed with them at 3:30 am to scratch their backs while they cough so hard they almost throw up. We tell them for the thousand-and-tenth time that they're safe and cozy in their beds; the funder won't hurt them.

We do all of this --or most of it-- gladly, grateful for the experience, for the infinite expansion of our hearts and minds. But it does beg the question:

Why, whywhywhy, WHY, when people ask us if we work, do we keep saying no?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The First Season

If I were in charge of seasons, Fall would come first. I am not just saying this because I look impossibly sexy in Fall clothes (though that IS a reason). I am also saying it because it makes more metaphorical sense; for me, life begins with death.

You don't have to make that face --I'm not talking about being Saved. I'm talking about the way nature works, both in the physical world and the human psyche. If I start with Spring, with babies and tender shoots and open windows present from the start, then I am taking it all for granted; it's merely the scenery, a given. But if I start with the death of an aunt, whose high musical giggle returns in the baby, if I start with a withering plant whose seed is at the center of a fresh plant, or if I start with  a closed window that someone or something must open, then there is no mere scenery because everything is always growing, connected, telling the story. That feels true to me.

Something is always dying back --sometimes dying altogether-- so that a newer, more resilient something, fed and strengthened by whatever has been lost, can grow in its place. A bird, a tree, a daffodil whispers everything it has learned about survival to the egg, the seed, the bulb and then falls back, generously gives way to the new thing.

The same evolution happens in a healthy human spirit, right? Ideas, relationships, plans and philosophies die back to engender new ones, which die back to engender new ones, which die back to engender new ones. That's us growing, even after we stop growing taller. Everything that's living --in the world and in us-- is made up of everything that has died. That's much more hopeful, if you think about it, then the idea that life, the moment it appears, begins winding its way inexorably toward death. That's depressing.

If I were in charge of the calendar, Spring would be the third season. The warm sunny days, the baby animals, the soft colors, the daffodils would mean almost nothing if they didn't follow Winter's blank, frozen months. The snow, the chill --that's what gives Spring its context, its value.  We open the window, we watch to see what grows back to reassure us, what grows fresh and new to delight us. We remember what was there before and are grateful to see its influence, its contribution to what has grown in its place. Spring is as much an ending as a beginning.

And Fall is as much a beginning as an ending. I'm seeing the trees begin to change color, the plants and flowers starting to dry out and die back. I'll be watching to see what's new next Spring, even in the trees, which we humans regard as constant. They are indeed more constant than a lot of things, but they still allow their leaves and dying branches to drop every year. They still allow themselves to bend, to fall, to be struck by lightning, to burn, even to die if that's what it takes to grow something new.

Fall is my favorite season, my new beginning every year. It is the season of letting go, which I am never very good at, so I learn from watching Nature, who is very good at it (just think of all She's lost). Every Fall, I practice dying back: I stop trying to revive withering plants outside, I let dying branches drop. I close windows. I allow parts of myself to bend, to fall down, to be struck by lightning, to burn, even to die. It's fine, it's good, it's the beginning of something new that will grow there --a fresh idea or relationship or plan or philosphy. Every fall, I am the bird, the tree, the daffodil, whispering what I know to the egg, the seed, the bulb. I am also those. I am growing, connected, telling the story.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Post Day Change

Dearest loyal readers ...

If you are one of those lovely people who checks my blog on Fridays for new posts, please note that I am switching to Tuesdays. That gives me the weekends to think and Mondays to write.

Thank you so much for reading. I wish I could express how reckless and gratifying writing can feel and how reassuring your devotion is.