fancy like that

Tonight Nels wants to throw a party. He’s making invitations up for all this friends. It’s about 5 PM.

“But Nels, you have to give people a heads-up – they can’t make it on such short notice,” Ralph tells him.

“But I’m using ENVELOPES!” he retorts, in total confidence.

***

I am tired and ill, but I am grateful. I am surrounded by loving children, a good partner and husband, kind-hearted and inspiring friends, and cats who’ll sit on my lap and allow me to give them pleasure by petting them. Our house is warm and our cars run (although I need both brakes and an alternator – and Ralph needs brakes and a new driver’s seat – yikes!). I am patiently sewing and knitting away on gifts for others.

Today Ralph mows the lawn, probably the last for a good while. The grass is lush and verdant and soft and spongey and deliciously green. I come home from volunteer work at the treatment center and he’s cleaned the bathroom, shining up the tub for me to take a candlelit bath should I wish.

The winter sets in early but we are safe and loved.

better to travel well than to arrive

At times it is almost agonizing how lovely some of my readers and friends and family can be. At a certain point I can only say, simply, “thank you” – thank you to the people in my life, thank you to the Universe and the power that flows through me and every being on the planet – just; Thank You. There’s no way to give quid pro quo for what has been given me. Deepest, deepest gratitude. Humility. A joy in living. A real life to live.

I have received so much support from so many since I began disclosing my journey in Recovery. As pertains to this space, I wrote a brief post and received some wonderful email (and it’s still coming). I opened myself up, I gave myself in honesty, and in turn others have shared with me; supported me and stood by me.

My friends who aren’t in Recovery, who I’ve shared with over the past months – well, they’ve given me so much too. I was at a party the other night and every woman there was drinking a cocktail or a beer. And for a moment I felt a panic – not that I would drink, but precipitated by how alone I felt, no one would notice if I slipped off into the deep end. Just then my friend D. turned to me and said, “How are you doing? Does this bother you?” She looked right at me and she was calm and she cared. I answered her (truthfully) I was okay (no individual or circumstance can “sabotage” my sobriety), and I thanked her for asking – but the important lesson was:

I am not Alone. People do care. It is Unrequited Bullshyt that they don’t. I’m only as Alone if/as I segregate myself.

By the time I stopped drinking I’d become about as limited as I’d ever been. And yes, in an essential way hidden even from myself, I believed I was alone. I knew I was sick but didn’t now how, exactly. I didn’t think anyone could understand, nor help.

So anyway, I wanted to clear up a few things. Regarding my online journal, my sobriety, and my recovery, those in any 12 step program know it’s group policy not to share publicly what happens in the rooms. For myself, when not implicating or fucking about with others’ lives, I can still write and I will. Or as I wrote in an email response to one of my friends:

“I’ve always felt I owed it to my readers to be as honest as is possible and practical. I need to start talking openly about Recovery because it is such a big part of my life. I only hesitated for so long – well, primarily – because I can’t write the things I hear in the rooms (according to AA traditions) – this is also due to the fact locals read my blog and stories/people might be recognized. I’m sure that makes sense. I will be writing about myself and my recovery as long as I know it’s within the bounds of what’s appropriate! Not always easy to know.”

I’m treading with caution.

On the flip side of the coin, my problems were – and still are – physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional. The moment I admitted I was sick, the power of any social stigma became laughable to me. Still, I don’t owe a performance to anyone. Last night another dear reader wrote me, in part:

“I see from that [Ebert’s article] it’s enshrined in the practices of AA that ‘nobody has to speak.’ I am glad that you staked that claim for yourself in today’s post; it should be as true of the blogosphere as it is for that intimate room, and maybe even more so. Your blog is already a very, very generous document. Nobody should be going after any sliver of you that you’re not willing to give.”

What a lovely and supportive thing to say!

I dunno. When I started journaling publicly years ago I thought it would be fun – and exciting, and a way to vent, and a place to be honest about the things I was afraid to be honest about. I guess this is all still true. But other things have changed so much over the years. I’ve received so much support, so much love, so many Thank Yous, and my sense of Independence is near shattered. This so-called “generous document” you’re reading now developed a life of its own. I suppose I know I will write as long as I’m able; but I was foolish to think others wouldn’t read, and care, as much as they have. I’ve been on the planet long enough to know how wonderful people can be.

The world can be a painful place to live sometimes, and so many are living miserable deep down, hardened and diminished by Fear and Fear’s panicky manifestation Anger; eaten up alive even as they walk and breathe.

But we are not Alone. I just want to impress upon you that.

Back to regularly-scheduled programming tomorrow; I hope!

***

Today, a river (sorry, no pictures). One year ago, a lake:

Sunset

Not Sure If They

desperate housewife

So I got stuck in Olympia with the kids at a late hour. Don’t ask me to tell you why or how, it’s a dull and yet painful story. I thought we’d have to stay (overnight or at least a long long time) and I was kind of panicked. I called people we knew in Oly but couldn’t get a ride. I kind of agonized and wondered around and bought things at Target and got the kids food while I went totally Flyhead about my predicament and couldn’t think straight. Let me tell you, those who know me probably perceive me as level-headed in person most the time, even when things are intense or when people around me are falling apart, but when it’s down to just me and the kids are involved in some way that seems unsafe or weird there can become a point where I get Crazy-Eye and my brain stutters and shudders. I’m surprised I wasn’t arrested on suspicion of shoplifting, I mean I was twitchy as hell checking out (with, I’ll point out, a credit card I wasn’t entirely sure would go through). Kids and I ended up boarding the last bus downtown because, where Target is, there’s nothing there you’d want to spend time with.

Lakefair downtown, things were a bit intense. The bus flew down the hill and I perceived the wondrous lights of a large carnival (large by my bumpkin standards anyway) so I knew where to take the three of us, for the Now anyway. I had only a few dollars cash – otherwise I would have dropped my rent money on two bracelets so they could go on every ride they qualified for. As it was they still had fun; watching a breakdance group and running about while I phoned some more. I sat by the lakeside vicariously enjoying their fierce little lives.

After finally getting ahold of Ralph and arranging a meetup I had enough cash for one carnival “ride” for the kids. Understand this was like, seven dollars I think, for the kids to go in this kiddo funhouse (their choice). The local who’d been hired on was amiable enough to conversation, or was rather a captive audience, to be more accurate. Turns out he’s a musician and living like a sardine can in a rental with others, trying to get by, thinking about going to school, not sure what he’ll do next week for employment. We talked music for some time and my feelers went up, as Ralph is still trying to get connected with Oly musicians and the fellow sounded talented or at least versed in many interesting instruments.

The kids played and played (bless this young man for not being a dick) but soon it was time to go. I sat my bundles of Target Fuckery and a McDonalds bag and my purse and whatever in the grass, and took out my card and wrote down my husband’s name and circled a number and wrote “Music / Helsing” (the latter re: the K Records festival each year). By this time two huffy carnival pros – that is, the fellows who travel with the outfit, not spareboard – were all over the young fellow and hustling him to close up. One of them was yelling into a walkie talkie, “I have some real important stuff going on,” and then proceeded to shout-command the young man in a brusque and not-entirely-thorough way. And shit, I get it, these people work hard, I’ve worked in that kind of scene, so I just slipped the card into the young man’s pocket (unobtrusively enough, or so I thought) and said, “Good luck,” (meaning, with everything) and then –

the guy who’d been yelling into the walkie talkie jerked his head at me and said, “Jesus,” with all the disgust you can manage mustered in a voice. I seriously wish you could have heard it. You’d think I’d taken a shit on the green. I am not sure what he meant but, I haven’t been addressed with that much vitriol and hate for quite some time. It was pretty busy and I had no immediate response to being perceived as A Piece Of Shit For Reasons Mysterious so I merely bundled up the kids and the bags and gently floated across the grass, trailing the final partiers fleeing off to bars (Oly was rowdy tonight, for reals).

Our rendezvous was with Ralph was scheduled for Sizizis (which, I found out, is closing down Sunday – boo!). Walking up 4th it was so many people and shouting and cutting eyes and the smell of booze and cigarettes and weed and all kinds of amorous behavior and fights and weird energy. And yes. A few people who returned my smile. The kids were great, of course, because they are tiger cubs running on sidewalks. We got to our coffee shop eventually (it really was a nice night for a walk). While I waited in line for my drink the kids got something cold from the cooler, grabbed a table, and set up chess. I stared a bit and wondered where they’d learned to play. I was feeling more collected, or so I thought. So I’m standing there and an amiable large man turns around and says to me, “Hey, do you remember the name of the boat from Moby Dick?” and I respond, “Uh, the Minnow… the S.S. Minnow.” then to my horror I realize my mistake and shout, “No! The Pequod!”

Oh good sweet baby Jesus in his golden fleece diapers.

At about 11:40 PM Ralph rescued me and I gave him the americano I’d purchased him and I got my ass out of Dodge. –

but, the kids had a glorious time.

Not Sure If They're Having Fun

no you can’t

NO NO NO

I have simply got to stop grousing, internally and out loud, about our bus system. Yes, it bugs me it takes an hour (sometimes more) to travel seven miles (from the HQX downtown station no less), the commute my husband requires get to the college. Yes, I think the bus system is not designed with any seriousness toward daily commuter needs – an environmentally and socially progressive mandate which would improve our lives immensely. Yes, routes have been cut. Yes, I think so much about Aberdeen and Hoquiam is as pro-car as one can imagine. Yes, I think about all the “bus people” and their needs and their lives and when I see busses leave late or arrive early and the callousness of some drivers I despair.

But I’m not ready to spearhead a campaign about any of this because I have my own life to sort out. So here I sit. It’s not how I long I have to wait (although this bothers me for reasons I won’t go into, here), the worst thing is the noise along what amounts to a highway, and the dust and exhaust fumes. The gawks aren’t that fun either because riding the bus here means there’s a large set of people who pity you or look down on you. For reals.

But whatever, fuck it. Seriously. Some of the people closest to me ride the bus and we can commiserate what it’s like and I can stop bitching so much. I actually enjoy talking to people on the bus and I enjoy helping the mamas with strollers and babies and saying “thank you” to the drivers, every time. It’s been a while since I’ve heard a racist diatribe on the bus although today I heard a man bitching about a couple toddlers who were up front. I turned my head and looked at him, is all. I still do not always know how to handle public asshattery, and I don’t always have the energy, especially days like today with too-little sleep and staggering menstrual cramps.

I walked home from the station. I enjoy walking whenever the weather isn’t miserable – and today it was fine. Most times I walk in Hoquiam I see hardly a soul. But today there was a festive air in town, driveways, block parties: graduation for many adults and young people.

Party Time

These celebrations seem remote to me although I remember the period of high school graduation well. I guess this would have been sixteen years ago. Having been given a tremendously trivial amount of freedoms up until age eighteen (like most USian kids), for me graduation merely meant more praise from grownups (as I had a great grade point and had earned scholarships etc), a pedigree of other people’s required accomplishments for me, a deeply fragile sense of self, a few very good friends, a lot of excitement in my heart, and a desire to party as much as possible. It wasn’t all bad at all, on balance.

It is touching to see famlies celebrate. It’s nice to see young people honored. It’s pleasant to anticipate more activity in the neighborhood now that school is out.

Also, today I met a small kitten, a little black thing that looked younger than I’d think was decent to separate from his mother. His name was, improbably, “Puffy”, and he had not been fed recently, or at least – he was ravenous. I fed him a bit and in his zeal his tiny mouth bit me harder than I’ve been bit by a cat. I loved him up a bit more, eliciting a fragile purr, and then gave him back to the little boy who “owned” him and told him, please feed and water this little one.

And so life goes.

full-up love full

It’s 11:46 PM Sunday and we’ve had company, or been cleaning and cooking for company, since early Friday. Most the weekend we co-hosted Abi and her girls Olivia & Rosemary (they slept at my mother’s, a house with extra rooms); our latest batch of friends to feed and entertain tonight included ladyfriend A. and our feels-like-family teen boys T. and C. And I’m just out of the bath and have a cup of tea and feel like collapsing. So now? A photo-essay. Before crashing into bed in preparation for tomorrow’s roadtrip which includes five straight hours of driving.

Abi & Rosemary Skating. Abi & girls definitely struggled, but everyone had a great time. As for the Hogabooms, we are skating nrrrds so it all worked out (yes, Ralph and I even did some “couples” hand-holding but we got there too late for me to own the Hokey Pokey). I don’t think I’d been on wheels since Phoenix and Michael White’s “Unicorn Pegasus Roller Skating Party” (– and to freak myself out, searching through one-year-ago posts was kind of mind-blowing). I was almost taken out twice by super-fast and rambunctious speed-skating teens. They were very talented and speedy and when they’d crash it was Epic but they managed not to hit anyone else. Controlled chaos. I loved it.

Phoenix At Air Hockey

OWNd

Phoenix! Air Hockey!

Hot Dog!

Nels! Hot dog! And some odd grape “vitamin water” all four kids were avid about. I haven’t tried it myself, yet. I’m not a soda fan, but I’m loving all their drink choices.

Ice Cream

Kids! Ice Cream! After a big afternoon swim date followed by brunch at my mother’s (I would have loved to share pictures but I accidently actually went somewhere without my phone, horrors!), and just before we said goodbye.

Our Favorite Taqueria

A date! With Ralph! I need one! And soon!

In other news: the Conch Shell Deli enters our third week. We are already “full up” on Wednesday and won’t take any more orders for the repast: calzones with broccoli, olives, mozzarella & artichoke hearts, served with basil tomato dipping sauce; Waldorf salad; and, for dessert, pineapple & pistachio pudding. All paired with a lovely drink, of course (to be announced).

Busy? Why, yes.

The Bay

¡feliz cumpleaños!

Birthday Party Morning

Yesterday Phoenix woke up, recieved a custom-tailored hot dog for breakfast, then was hustled through washing up and dressing and out the door for a swim party. Directly after that she was whisked to my mother’s for a birthday / piñata / dance party / cake and ice cream / costume contest and ended her evening staying all night with Grandma and up until about 4 AM reading.

Definition of happy memories, methinks.

Piñata

I Don't Think You're Ready For This Jelly

It was an old school Kelly Hogaboom party, in that I had many friends from many different corners of my life Рthirteen children and sixteen adults, including a few out-of-town guests. I was weirdly exhausted from all this, but happy to see our friends. Between a few of us Рmost notably my mother, brother, friend Amore, and I, we put a fair bit of work into the party. My brother created an amazing pi̱ata (the turtle, pictured above, filled with copious amounts of rather posh candy) and Amore brought some extra-special food.

Lineup

We also had a wee costume contest with prizes, and goodie bags for the kids.

(My little Gulper Eel:)

Gulper Eel

Friendly

So let’s see, okay for food, we had chile and cheese tamales (with all the fixings), frijoles refritos, fresh chips, pan de los muertos, bean salad, “beefy” taco dip (everything was vegetarian so you know, not really “beef”), banana pudding, a jack, chile and corn cake, and Mexican rice with peas and coconut oil. Amore’s birthday cake and some Breyer’s Natural Vanilla ice cream rounded out the aggressive amounts of chow.

Cake

Then there was a Dance Party which mostly involved Ralph, Shannon and I being way too into it (by other people’s standards anyway – & yes… we were sober) and a long chat with Jasmine, who arrived home early from work.

At the end of the evening – when I finally left my mother’s and all was calm and the party had been cleaned up (my mom, husband, and I share this compulsion) – I kissed my daughter goodbye and asked her, “Did you have a good party?” She looked up and me and smiled the most genuine, warm smile and said, “It was great.”

So, that worked out pretty well.

***

Today I stumbled out of the bedroom for a quick cup of coffee then an afternoon with our out-of-town overnight guests, Cynthia and her two dogs. Along with Nels and Ralph, we took a walk on the flats thanks to the sunny weather (Phoenix was at my mom’s, having stayed the night and reading Harry Potter hardbacks like a machine). Nels took a shovel and did some digging for precious gems.

Lineup

I’ve pretty much got the beauty of Hoquiam in my bloodstream.

The Flats

After lunch I crashed. I’m frankly disappointed in my low energy, but it seems it can’t always be helped. Today I took the opportunity to watch a classic B-movie which cheered me up more than just about anything else. Lovely, earthy Anne Francis! Leslie Nielsen in an Orlon jumpsuit! Mansplainy science! A sassy fucking robot! Lasers and monsters of the Id!

My heart was also glad at the sunshine, the cold but springy smell of the greenery, and Nels working along in the backyard (note SEKRET CAT!).

Mining

It was a good weekend.

(Do click for Ralph’s panoramic work):

The Bay

No party is any fun unless seasoned with folly

Last night my girl and I stayed up late together while Ralph and Nels slept; she and I watched Rabbit-Proof Fence. I worried this story would stress my daughter out. Instead it stressed me out, and it was the second time I’d viewed the film so I’m not sure why this surprised me (I think the epilogue is the most gut-wrenching bit). In fact Phoenix was an attentive and earnest viewer and I loved that when the Aboriginal characters spoke in their native tongue she called it “Australian” (I forgot to ask her what language she thought the white colonizers were speaking). It was kind of an agonizing film for me, but I stayed next to her and soon after we were asleep in one another’s arms.

My girl slept in, and after she woke I put a breakfast up for her while Nels and I ventured out. Phoenix had requested a present a day from her birthdate to the day of her party. Nothing would give me greater pleasure; my son and I traipsed over the – frankly, it must be said – slim pickings of Aberdeen. I finally found her ten pair of cotton panties, a few unique candies, and a bottle each of glow-in-the-dark and “mood” nail polish (in hues of blue, of course). As for the panties, I’m not allowed to discuss it with her but let me tell you, she had grown right out of her previous batch. The panty was quite scanty, as we’d been saying. A few minutes ago, out of the bath and squeaky clean, she modeled the new and improved scenario, wiggling her derriere the proper amount.

I’m ahead of myself, though. My trip with Nels was wonderful. He’s already charmed the ladies at the new coffee shop, where we first stopped today. Mostly because he is very friendly and tells them exactly what he’s up to these days. As he paid for my drink one of them leaned down and said, “Two twenty-three, do you know how much that is?” and he counted it all out perfectly. He then confided he had enough change the weight was pulling down his pants (true, as he seems to be getting thinner instead of stouter), so she gave him a little cup with a lid. For the remainder of our errands – to the fabric store, to get a hot dog, then a shake, to the mall – he carried and skipped and shook his little money cup, paying his way – and my way, occasionally – talking happily (“Oh! You’re so pretty you scared me!” to the JC Penney’s associate, who – very prettily – laughed quite a bit) and finishing up in grandiose fashion with a huge Skee-Ball win (he then packed the tickets back into the near-empty Tully’s cup and gifted this to his sister when we arrived home).

When we got back this afternoon I wrapped my daughter’s gifts and whipped up a few clues and stealthily planted them. Our friend Sophiea had come over by then and was quite impressed with the treasure hunt, such as it was:

Now let me remind
we’ve a present for you.
Venture to find
a shoe with a clue.

Nothing too showy,
a gift that’s a token.
Now look high and low-y
where things go once broken

Your gift is so close!
A good hunt you’ve led.
Now follow your nose
to where we store bread.

You’ve scoured our home,
looked low and looked high.
Once more you should roam:
find clothing that’s dry.

So my day was lovely, although I got a bit distracted. I have a lot of food to cook, friends and visits to arrange, some costume-sewing to put together. Friends stayed over late and even while in the midst of much-enjoyed conversation I could feel the paralysis of Too Much settling on my chest. It’s 2 AM here and anxiety, now, hits me like a truck. There’s so much I have to do. A handful of families did not RSVP – at all – which makes food preparation tricky and means there will likely be extra, so if anyone wants to crash, please do.

But the guest issues, difficult as they are, are not what really bugs me; what bugs me is the pressure I put on myself (see, if I *know* how many people are coming, it is one less thing that feels out of control and confusing). One might think that’s how to get things done, but if anything pressure seems to immobilize me. As I alluded to before, typically I have great plans and forge ahead, then as game time approaches I begin to feel like I’m wading chest-deep through molasses. This time at least I’ve been brave enough to ask a few people for help, and brave enough to admit – here, and other places – that I often have a hard time with even simple tasks.

Giving up is not an option at this point, but if I did no one could blame me, right?

fête

Phoenix Fire Hogaboom Turns 9

Phoenix Fire Hogaboom Turns 9

Phoenix’s ninth birthday is coming up. I want to have one hell of a shindig. I’m concerned though. I worry I’ll think of great details and lose steam as the date approaches. This has happened before. The trick, for me, is to plan and work for a nice event but remember, life goes on afterwards – no need to obsess.

So right now I’m planning the menu, which is going to be a vegetarian dinner, not party snacks but an awesome dinner including foods that make you want to punch yourself in the face, they’re so good. I have some help from chef-extraordinaire Amore.  ALSO I must wrangle the music, decorations and the prizes. These latter two categories is where I can lose steam. I do not want to buy a bunch of plastic or Dollar Tree provisions; I love to create with recycled, upcycled, and recyclable or reusable accoutrement. I also want my mom’s house (where the gala will be hosted) to be a big fucken undersea kingdom. Yet adornment is not my strong suit. Have you seen my house? I have three pieces of artwork total hanging on the walls (my favorite is probably Phoenix’s bloody fossil, marker and paint on cardboard).

I loved how our invites turned out – Ralph and I have so much fun with stuff like this. If you want us to send you an invite, wherever you live, let us know, as we have a few extrys.

Blue Dragon Egg Jacket (Plus, Lady Ralph)

I told myself I’d finish Phoenix’s new coat for my birthday. And I did.

Blue Dragon Egg Jacket

Sly

(& yes, that’s right, I lined up the front perfectly). What’s cool is I designed the whole thing. HECK YES. All of it. Including the pleated hood and the ears:

Happy As A Clam

Hood, Pleats

And the double-layer sturdy pirately cuffs, and the ruched pockets, and the two-fabric sleeves with ruched sleeve heads:

Ruching In The Sleeve Head

And yeah, it was my idea to line with sateen. This TOTALLY works well and (I predict) will stand up to children’s more rugged uses of clothing.

Lining, Facing

I came up with a lining/underlining method that was quite easy to pull off. In fact I made much of the coat yesterday while we had a family over and their kids chatted with us and used computers and ate homemade veggie fried rice and I traded theories with the seventeen year old, exactly seventeen years younger than I, about the film Inception.

Back to the coat. Phoenix was so appreciative as I sewed it. When she awoke today she asked me to snuggle and we talked a bit. I then told her I’d finished the garment just now. She whispered, “Thank you,” and hugged me. She wore it to the drag show and we immediately began to get praises for it. At one point after I used the bathroom and returned she said she was getting stares and she’d fielded more compliments. I asked, “Do you like that?” (meaning the stares) and she nodded Yes. “I want to be a movie star someday,” she told me. I responded, “Well, you should let me sew for you, because people will look at you if I make you unique clothes.” Let me tell you, she was a treat at that show and very proud of her father’s performance (I think a video may emerge from this so, stay tuned).

Pointing Out Cat Hijinx
(Pointing out cat hijinx. No, I don’t want to look.)

There are more pictures of the coat, including construction details, at the Flickr tagset.

The drag show was fun, and so was the dance afterwards. My lovely husband post-act (much of his make up had worn off):

Post-Routine

Signing memorabilia for some fans:

Lady Of The Evening

For now, I’m tucking into the following: a homemade sandwich with fresh mozzerella, homemade Italian dressing, olives, and a lovely birthday wine from Jasmine. Hot, hot, hot bath to follow and a b-movie. Tomorrow a birthday dinner with friends and family, and (I think) Wednesday a spa date up in Tacoma.

w00t!

The trouble is, I can’t remember if it’s the thirteenth or the fourteenth

The couple sitting across the restaurant is drunk. Very drunk. Having, according to them, a “wonderful time”. Due to the history of my alcoholic family of origin and my as-yet-in progress healing, I am not relaxed around drunk and rowdy people. I’m only waiting until someone asks them to please move on, or please do not grab my ass, or whatever boundary is communicated, before a sudden sodden viciousness is levied against those who’d oppose their asshattery or dangerous hijinks.

But in this case we, the public, get off easy enough. The man of the couple manhandles the waitress, which she suffers as best as she’s able, but mostly they seem in the “friendly” category of drinkers (which is as far as I’m concerned often only a temporary phase; many who drink habitually to excess, I believe, are often self-medicating deep suffering and a hair trigger away from destructive behavior). Later I find out these two were on a blind date and finished two bottles of champagne before paying up and moving on to find a bar proper. They certainly have one thing in common at least. I wish them the best.

We had stopped for a pizza after attending the Washington State Ghost Society’s audit of the 7th Street Theatre, a closed event. We had bundled up in blankets and listened while Nels, disinterested, whispered in my ear loudly about his latest computer programming aims. Phoenix evaluated the replayed EVPs and read the Society’s report, cocking an ear, then levelly auditing their presentation efficacy while drawing monster after monster in my moleskine.

**

Today news reached us of the Tucson shooting which killed at least six people and injured twelve or thirteen (at the time I type this) in an anti-government mass murder. The youngest victim was a nine year old girl named Christina-Taylor Green, born on September 11, 2001 (yes, really) and recently voted onto her school’s council. Christina-Taylor was, in words of one family friend, “brought by her family to meet the congresswoman [Giffords, likely a target,] to see how government works”.

I don’t have words for how this has affected me; deeply. I feel so incredibly sad, a deep devastating sadness that permeates my every action today. This isn’t a left or right political issue (please watch the brief video of today’s statement made by Arizona Sheriff Clarence Dupnik). This should be a call for peace and for democratic, responsible and measured responses in our language and activism. Tonight I take a break from my Twitterstream where so many activists I typically respect (and as are my proclivities, are left-leaning) have today and in the past levied so much vitriol and violent language against those they oppose. Anger is a natural emotion and one that lets us know something is wrong; however, rehearsing that anger and revelling it and acting from that place has brought so much sorrow and suffering and devastation upon so very many (and is precisely irresponsible to those unbalanced or vulnerable). Today Christina-Taylor and the many others killed, wounded, and traumatized (as well as their families and communities) paid a terrible price.

Beacon
(Small Stone #8*)

Bridge lights and the illuminated structure
In the blue-black inert night
Rendered distant and cold
Close enough to touch

Small stone project