Friday, April 28, 2017

My 43rd birthday


Baz went on the big-boy swing for the first time today. It was awesome. You wouldn't have caught me dead saying that a few years ago, but I don't give a damn. It was crazy cool to push him and watch him hanging on tightly with his little hands, his feet swaying as he figured out how to kick to make himself go back and forth.

All kinds of amazing.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Self-Absorption and the Dharma

“People can seem like total jerks on the road. They can cut you off, drive dangerously, and be inconsiderate. This is challenging to deal with if their selfishness is directed intentionally at you. But even if it is, what does it ultimately have to do with you? Even if they are being completely confrontational, even if they have just sped up and cut you off and are screaming at you with veins bulging from neck and forehead, they have chosen you randomly.

“This means it has nothing to do with you. So why be reactive?

“Sam was actually making an error we all make at one time or another – the error of taking anything personally. The sad truth is that most people going through the day, actively pursuing their business, don’t have any idea you’re alive. Nothing is personal. They aren’t trying to wound you; they’re too busy protecting their own wounds. Often their behavior is unconscious. They are talking on the phone while driving, involved in an argument with their spouse, or overtired from working the late shift. You are incidental, inadvertently experiencing their ‘jerky behavior’ as a by-product of their inattention. It is only in referring every event back to “me” – what that person did to me, how they cut me off – that one’s personal suffering is created.”

- Arthur Jeon, City Dharma

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Energy, Returned

After two and a half years, my mojo has returned. It happened suddenly and after a serious period of energy drought. One day I was dragging myself out of bed; the next I was talking gardening and travel.

I attribute this to a few things:

- Bazzy is holding his own more and more. He's becoming his own little person (not that he hasn't always been; just now he's capable of climbing into his high chair, into his car seat, onto his changing table) and it takes pressure off of me. Not to mention that it's rewarding.

- I'm finding the strength I always had plus the resolve of being a parent.

- Something else that I can't remember.

It's nice. Seriously.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Love Versus Anger

More and more I'm convinced that love is the way. So why do I still hold anger and speak in angry ways? And is this anything I really need to work on? And why do I have more questions than answers?

I'm not even sure answers are answers so much as they are sort of guidelines in the moment. Those guidelines tend to be flexible. Flexible in the moment, hour, year, whatever. They move with us. They change with the seasons.

None of this is an answer. It isn't meant to be.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Posted on Facebook this morning

Just because someone is a soulmate doesn't mean you can't tell them to go to hell.

The long-lost friend who never was.

The emotional affair.

That's just naming two. Go to hell, boys.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Go A's!

Seeking material

So I posted this on Facebook: "Make me laugh and I'll write a blog post about you."

This is what I got, in no particular order: farts, grapes, glass, marital strife, a clutch of jokes, white folks, and my kid French kissing a Labrador Retriever. Man. I love my friends.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

To the couple pushing the stroller

Your kid is so little. Boy? Girl? All I see are blue eyes. You look calm in that we're-exhausted way.

I just want to tell you that I'm jealous. Yes, me. Eighteen months in and I'd do it all again in a damn heartbeat.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

The goodbyes

This week I said farewell to a pair of people who have played strong roles in my life. Both writers, both guys, one dead, the other alive.

Neither was perfect. Both pissed me off. Both meant something to me. These things are not mutually exclusive. 

There is not much else I care to say publicly about that, which is unusual for me, but exceptions may be made for everything. All I will say is that after a long time I made a choice, said what I needed to say, and now I have found some element of peace and closure.

Friday, March 24, 2017

My eulogy for Wesley

I want to tell you a couple of stories about Wesley. The first takes place maybe a year or so ago. I’d posted a picture of my son and I on Facebook. We were in the hospital. He was less than an hour old. Still had the clamp in his navel and everything. Tons of likes came in. Comments like aw, how sweet. Beautiful. Then came Wesley, written in all lower case: well, that’s kinda pukey. That was Wesley.

But Wesley is the reason I wrote my book. I told him about it before I told anyone else – including my husband – and he simply said, “Sweetheart, go for it.” Those four words have echoed throughout my brain for the last decade while I’ve struggled with this project, through the rejections and the acceptances, the failures and achievements. Sweetheart, go for it.

That was Wesley too.

I can still hear his voice, so how can he be dead? And yet he is, and we are gathered here in his memory. He’s up there with a martini in one hand and a cigarette in the other, and he’s probably telling at least a few of us to go fuck ourselves.

I hope I’m one of them.

But here’s the thing: for all the pain he carried, the pain that eventually ended his existence, Wesley was here. You Are Here, the name of his book. And yes, he was.

Thank you, Wesley. Thank you.

At a loss

I'm going to give a short eulogy for Wesley at the memorial today. I'm sure I'll find some words, but right now I'm not sure what they are.

What do I say?




Any of it? All? None?

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Parents who write

The fantastic Julia Halprin Jackson recently interviewed me for her blog. I'm honored to be a part of her project, which she describes thusly:

I am a writer and mother to a 10-month-old girl.

Sometimes I feel like these two identities are in conflict. Other times, they are one and the same. Who are we without our words, without our family? ...

While I grapple with that question, I decided to turn to a community of writers I know who have had children and ask them how they feel. I want to know if becoming a parent impacts the way people write -- if it rewires the way we think.

Thanks for letting me be a part of this, Julia!

Friday, February 17, 2017

How do you tell a story?

I'm working on revisions for Bearded Lady. there's so much material and so many suggestions and I'm trying to comb through and cherry-pick the stars in my constellation (as I've heard it described).

On a completely side note but perhaps related, I need a beer.