Tuesday, June 21, 2011

As Yet Untitled

What is in the missing of some one that tears the heart out so slowly?

Is it that time speeds by—so much to tell you, so many things happened since we talked last—or that time stops—you are as I remember—has nothing changed?

I never stop missing.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Crown Jewels and All, but Don’t Drink the Kool-Aid

What if I can’t find a job? Like, ever? Whole Foods wouldn’t hire me. I know because I have applied and have been rejected.

Do people still live in communes? Is it too late to start one? My thinking is thus: if I can’t find a “straight” or traditional job, then I would like to write full time. But, if I am writing full time then who will watch/play with/love on/discipline Baby S? So, if I start a commune, then maybe, I can write full time and have some other folks around to watch/play with/love on/discipline Baby S. I can help with their babies/pets when I am not writing. One day a week I can make dinner and we can share other responsibilities. Like on Big Love, except without all the creepy polygamy.

Is there a non-weird way to do this? Can we all live in Clintonville with our own homes, maybe just be next door and house-behind neighbors and then share childcare, dinners, and gardening chores?

I know that I am not alone in the feeling that I am doing all of this by myself. Yes, of course, with D’s help and my mom’s help too (at least once a week, which is more than a lot of people get), but it isn’t enough. I hate to say it takes a village….

Maybe we should move somewhere more hippie? Like Ashville, NC or Portland, OR or Yellow Springs, OH.

Here’s more: It might also be better if I had siblings. Being an only child is wonderful in many, many ways, but if I had a sister or brother or both, I might have a small community of people to live with—to commune with. Here’s the rub…I keep thinking that Baby S is going to be an only child—am I setting her up to feel the same way I do when she is grown? Maybe we should have another baby.

Too much for today…I am going to go finish my really good library book. Ann Patchett State of Wonder. Read it.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

In honor of father’s day (insert tongue into cheek)

My father, sarcastically “dear old dad”, was not around. I can make excuses for him—he was young, he didn’t know any better, he didn’t have a good male role model, blah, blah, blah. Truth is truth: he was a coward. Thankfully, my grandfather was not. My father figure was a man 56 years older than me. Grandpa is a good man, a good provider, a good story teller, good with his hands, good at many, many things. He took me places with him. He held my little hand and told me stories. We took naps together and went to the hardware store. He pulled splinters out with tweezers and taught me how to play pool. I am thankful that I had him in my life as a young girl; he filled the daddy-is-a-loser void and then some.

My husband is a new dad. Baby S is only 9 months old. She adores her father already. He is the funniest, and most fun; he is the giver of baths and unusual treats, like banana, Nilla wafer pudding and first slices of tart and tangy lemon. My heart is filled to overflowing with love for my husband as I see him becoming a father to Baby S. I know it takes time for a man to become anything. I wish for myself patience and generosity for my husband…to give him the chance, the time to fill the shoes of a father, of a husband, of a man—the chance to become S’s father. I suppose it may take a lifetime of becoming to get it down—to really know how to be anything—a mom or a dad seems like you are always learning new and better ways to love your children. I can’t wait to see it unfold, each year a new place in their lives together. Oh, my little family, I am so in love.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

From the Mental Archives

I remember a pencil sharpener in the laundry room of our basement. I loved that pencil sharpener. I remember thinking that it was so cool to have a real, wall-mounted, grade-school-issue pencil sharpener. You could adjust the sharpener for different widths of pencils and it had a barrel to collect the shavings—which I dutifully emptied. I don’t think I ever told anyone how cool I thought that was (oh, the mockery.)

As a child I lived with my mother, grandmother, and grandfather. The basement of my grandparents’ house had green and black swirled tile on the floors. The basement was always cool and often slightly damp. When it rained water would stream in near the steps. There was a pool table and a piano and a dehumidifier and sometimes a full bedroom and living room set up, other times just boxes and discarded furniture and knickknacks—French-looking little boy blue porcelain statues, a cornucopia from Thanksgiving, a metronome.

My grandfather’s army fatigues and camping gear had a nook underneath the stairwell and across from a gross, moldy, creepy shower stall that was always closed off by a thick plastic shower curtain printed with cherry blossoms in 60s psychedelic colors—did anyone ever use that disgusting thing?

Some days the basement was creepy; at other times cool—an escape. It varied from day to day and certainly from year to year as I grew older. As children, we, my cousins and I, used to play in the basement often. Sometimes a pool game, or hide & seek.

I remember the squeak of the basement door and the sound of Grandma’s flip flops on the linoleum steps. I remember trying to learn (teach myself?) how to play the piano. We would always bang around on it. I liked the sounds. I loved to sing. I remember listening to Madonna’s True Blue tape for the first time in the basement on my Grandma’s little boombox.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Birds of America

Yesterday my sister-in-law came up with a great idea for a business. One that she thought--correctly—that I would be interested in. My major objection to starting a business or working in general is that I won’t have time to write. Since I had S, writing has once again become a lifeline for me—Write or Die. So, in an attempt to focus my writing a little bit, I have decided to spend the next amount of time (not sure how long) working on some writing goals. I may or may not share all of them here. Just wanted to write this out-loud, put it out there for accountability’s sake.

I’ve started by re-reading Bird by Bird. I have been reminded thus far to start writing from the beginning—revisit childhood memories, to get the out, I suppose. I didn’t really do this in college writing classes, so now is the time. Also, once you have a kid, childhood memories come flooded back into your mind…songs, dance moves, more songs, snacks-both loved and hated-people, games, general feelings about times of day and movies watched, etc.

In BbyB, I was also reminded to start small (to attack my work (book?) one subject, one inch at a time—or bird by bird if I were like Lamott’s brother who waited until the last minute to write a huge report on all the birds in North America—Lamott’s father told the boy to start writing “bird by bird”—i.e., not to get overwhelmed by the whole story, just start writing, start small, start somewhere.

Some of these exercises might be reflected here. I have noticed that I am not writing fiction. I am writing memoire mostly, although right now, I am writing memory, which is not quite memoire yet….

I would love to start a business with my sister-in-law. I wish I could do that, stay at home with S, writing beautiful memoires and still have time to cook and eat and spend time with my husband. I am just not sure that I am that organized. Wait, let me rephrase, I am sure that I am not that organized. Maybe…

Bird by bird.

Selfish Thought of the Day...

Please stop crying so I can write. [Going to] Hell seems so close some times.