meagerness / abundance

I have four singles in my purse, and one week until payday. Oddly though, I am not panicking. I have paid almost every bill we owe – well anyway, I have paid all I could. If we can keep gas in the car and food in the fridge we’ll make it to another check.

Another check. Yes sometimes the whole thing seems pointless. I hear you. I hear you.

So of course a feast is in order, a feast with friends – tomorrow. I juggle three separate cards with meager balances and buy: flour, dried beans, oranges, two kinds of pepper, zucchini, milk, eggs. Home and I bring out the elk burger T. brought me; thawing for tomorrow’s tacos. I knead up a double-batch of pan de los muertos. Making bread for my friends, for my children. My son zests and juices oranges, then eats the messy remains, sighing with pleasure. Baking feels very good. I cannot do all things but I can soak yeast in sugar and milk and need in anise and make an orange glaze and little tiny bone-shapes on top of delicious round loaves.

Small blessings, luxuries more meaningful than the ones people chase. The glittering sun outside and our pristine fall weather. A box of fabrics for clients’ projects; delicious yardages I now pretreat and hang, ready for sewing. My children remove the dog to the bedroom so we can give our little bunny a run in the living room. He is oddly handsome and I wonder, Is Bun Bun especially cute or are all rabbits beautiful? This little rabbit, five months old and the prettiest snowiest white and dusted grey, he has a new home now and is warmer and fed fresh things – broccoli, today, and carrots. He chomps down his fresh vegetables with a gusto you wouldn’t think a rabbit would have. He saucily lopes through my living room like a BOSS.

The kids bash the porch’s pumpkin to bits; home from a walk and the dog steals a bite, quickly. Nels makes himself a salad with romaine leaves and roasted pumpkin seeds (a simple recipe and the best I’ve had – butter and salt only). Going through the kids’ clothes and sorting, the children growing so fast: homesewn hand-me-downs off to friends, less well-made clothes off to the Salvation Army, a few things tattered enough to be thrown out. My daughter reads through her book again lazing on the couch, long legs in jeans and tennis shoes up on the coffee table, frank brown eyes following along in her quietude. I read a lot as a child but now it is my turn to wash the dishes, fold the towels, rinse the tub.

Practice, practice, practice.

Small Stone #1
White rag polishes the soft wood
Scent of fir
All these years later

"Wisdom Teeth" at xkcd

hey yo it’s pink Friday

This morning when I woke up I observed my daughter had found a discarded t-shirt of mine and slipped it on and slept in it all night.

Which I love, more than anything.

OK so, aw hells yes! Another Friday and I am scaling back my linkage, or trying to, still. And what-do-you-know, I’m still on some very similar topics. Well OH WELL, what can I say, I am just very excited about them all!

Parenting
“I don’t love you enough” by Jeff Sabo. This piece is a worthwhile refution of the “tough love” sentiment and just how bad things have gotten if you’re proud of “stalking” your child.

P.S. I emailed Jeff and he told me his blog should be up and for public viewing (earlier there were problems).

On the please-do-not-do-it-this-way parenting bit, here are some “treasures” from Love & Logic (a parenting/teaching philosophy fairly popular in my peer set which demonstrates the phenomenal and deep-level breakdown of trust that many mainstream parenting strategies perpetrate). Here’s their most recent update, on some “tough love” (same ol’ same ol’, although L&L seems to hold itself as something different than typical old-school punishment techniques) regarding shoplifting; then follow this with this delightful screed comparing children to “growling and foaming at the mouth” “rabid dogs”. Fun!

Sandra Dodd: Unschooling & Real Learning, a six and a half minute clip of a Sandra Dodd interview that I like (what she says between 0:50 and 1:01 gives me the shudders… because I have seen and experienced this firsthand). I like the word “unschooling” less and less – not that I have any problem with others using it. Maybe I’ll write more about that soon.

Health
“Iron-deficiency is not something you get just for being a lady” by Dr. Kathryn Clancy. Consider your blog FOLLOWED, Doctor-Woman!

“Lactate Your Ass Off (Or Not)”; JJ Keith drops some realities regarding breastfeeding and “baby weight”. I notice people brag about losing their baby weight (which helps other people feel terrible about themselves for this or that reason). What I know now is, that’s a pretty individualistic thing and people should consider STFU on the whole thing.

Michelle Allison asked her readers what questions they’d have for her regarding food, nutrition, and eating competence: “how to eat in front of other people” was number one (this is quite sobering and sad). The pdf material she provided in response is incredible. Even if one doesn’t think they have any issues with disordered eating, a read-through is highly recommended.

“Real Quick: Actresses who eat things are FASCINATING” by Lesley Kinzel. Ha! Nail, hit on the head. Also, “fatassery” is the best word I’ve heard this week.

Make/Craft
Fringey streamers at Oh Happy Day

Guess what’s gonna be happening in our house this next week. KOREAN COOKERY!

Just Awesomeness

National Geographic‘s Photo of the Day, won’t you?

Minecraft + pharmaceutical humor! (WIN) (& – thanks, Ryan!)
"Wisdom Teeth" at xkcd

Three years ago, Valentine by yours truly (and yes, this still happens to me)

Back to the future by photographer Irina Werning. ZOMG do I love this times one hundred.

Action Figure Slow Motion Punches:

***

Of winter’s lifeless world each tree
Now seems a perfect part;
Yet each one holds summer’s secret
Deep down within its heart.
– Charles G. Stater

Love the one you’re with

Pristine

I’m a bit disturbed that in my once-yearly visits to Port Townsend I continue to be beset by ugly thoughts and feelings – each time I visit. Yesterday and today, in fact, I experienced the strongest negative feelings and thoughts so far. All my baggage, sure and whatever, and maybe I’ll write some of it out sooner or later, but that’s not my point. The oppressiveness of it all threw me for a loop. It was like my brain had all this static noise.

And I didn’t have much time to process. Within about five minutes of driving into town I was at a party and spent almost every waking second after this around other grownups. I didn’t have time to defrag. I did my best to be present for my friends, who along with their children are deeply precious to me.

The friends, the kids? AWESOME. I felt high as a kite to be around them. That might have been the Stumptown coffee, too.

Darts At The Undertown

After hot chocolates and hot coffee we walked down to the beach. The children played and played and played, showing no boredom and only a total interest in the beach and one another.

A Place of Interest, #3

And they agreed to assemble so I could take a group picture. This is because guess what, tomorrow they will all be about six inches taller and with more or less teeth and telling different stories and doing different things so we wanted to get them, just grab them RIGHT NOW.

Preparing...

Assembling...

Almost There!

El Grupo

El Grupo[grimacing]

At some point some of us had to move onto a warm place with hot food. At this separation, Phoenix cried mightily. But in the way of small kiddos she was very happy only moments later on our way to lunch, stopping for a comically incorrect-sized kiddie ride – one she used to ride on as a tot that is, I suspect, not much longer for this world.

Triumph

The kids sat at their own table and Cynthia, Jodi and I got to catch up. I ate this huge-ass chile relleno. I’d hoped for the Noodle House but that was not in the cards. Maybe next time.

Like The Punchline:

As we ate it got darker, and colder, and darker…

So my daughter and I said goodbye to our friends and to PT and warmed up the car to hit the road.

On the way home, the little girl fell asleep (“Mom, may I take a snooze without interruption?”). We’d sung the entire drive up (Jazmine Sullivan and Justin Bieber, volume at 11) but it was nice to have time to myself on the drive back and I was glad she got some rest. In fact, both drives were very pleasant for me and I usually hate having my ass in a car.

Andrew Bird, and the twisty-dark of Highway 101:

Ode/Speed

On The Way Home, Phoenix

24 hours and there-and-back.

I’m ready to take a hot bath at home and cuddle up to the warm and beloved bodies in my life.

Port Townsend Gloom

Beach
(Small Stone #21*)

Beneath my feet, deathly chill, the shock traveling up through my legs.
Today I don’t mind.
I’m one with the elements.
Cold and fierce.

24 Hours
(Small Stone #22*)

My son puts his arms around my neck and buries his face in my breast.
“You were gone such a long time!”, he sighs.

Small stone project

from the inside looking out, you can’t explain it

Today thanks to the invitation of my friend J. I find myself swimming with the children this afternoon. I’d woken an hour before, ran about doing laundry, packing swim bags, and finishing up a million dishes and packing a snack before bringing both kids out from a truncated sleep (Phoenix in particular was still up and texting at nine AM). It was hard going for her at first but by the time we pulled into the Y parking lot she had striped tiger eyes. She loves the water. (It’s a little after midnight and she’s remained equitable and loving all day, except for a brief episode with her brother fighting over rights to a kitten.)

In the pool a ponytailed man with his young daughter (or, possibly, granddaughter) compliments J. and I – in a way – saying it’s so nice to see parents actually playing with their children. I know what he means, but as I tread water across the depths I spend a few moments reflecting that I am not the most playful adult. Maybe that’s one reason why my kids are so delighted when I do engage in these ways. A few minutes later I float past them in the “river” while they “fish” with those float-noodles and I pretend to be, in succession, an alligator, an octopus, a great white shark, a blowfish (their idea), then finally a Tired Out Lady. I get all the kids laughing, even rather stoic T.

Ralph spent most of today and the day before recording a musician – efforts which were unfortunately partially sabotaged by rather inconsiderate grownups interrupting their rehearsal (many different people, many times). After my husband and I finally had our house and one another to ourselves, he and I took a date at our familiar and beloved Casa Mia and reflected on the last few days. Ralph and I have been, in final estimation, overhelping other people – not resting and helping one another nor ourselves enough. Some rest, respite, and dare I say genuine pampering is in order. If you think that means I’m going to finally treat myself to those octopus earrings, cherry read patent leather docs (okay, hell, also the teal pair), and that Pendleton blanket, you’re totally right. (EXCEPT I’m not, but let me just pretend I’m going to because it makes me feel badass. I’ll probably end up getting a big bulk scoop of Walmart cotton panties.)

***

Suprasternal Notch
(Small Stone #17*)

I’m transfixed by the water beaded on your flawless skin.
We hold one another very close, and for a long time.
You say:
“I should remember to listen every time you tell me about your love.”

A Visitor
(Small Stone #18*)

Linda’s voice is rich and deep,
Her laugh musical like a girls’.
She has dark skin and even deeper freckles
And large, brown, beautiful eyes.

Small stone project

haute cinema

The tide is high....
“The tide is high…” by Hoquiamite Mickey Thurman

Responding to a tweet last night for movies I would recommend, I now present a very hastily-thrown together list of films – imperfectly categorized – that I watched in 2010 and enjoyed very much:

Documentary
Protangonist, A Family Undertaking: POV, Not Quite Hollywood, “Addiction” (HBO), “When We Left Earth” (TV), The Celluloid Closet, Harlan County U.S.A., Stranded: I Come From a Plane That Crashed on The Mountains, The Business of Being Born, The Pervert’s Guide To Cinema, Man on Wire, The Thin Blue Line

Indie
La Mission, Revanche, Happy Accidents (LOVE IT… maybe one of the few romantic films I totally fell for), Chopper, Red (with Brian Cox), Dandelion

Thriller/Horror
Moon, Blue Velvet, Let the Right One In, Teeth, Slither, An American Werewolf in London

New & Old Classics
The Man from Snowy River, Night of the Creeps, Dial M For Murder (with Blue Velvet one of my fave movies ever), On The Waterfront, The Verdict, “Have Gun – Will Travel” (TV)

Action/Western
Appaloosa, Sexy Beast, Unforgiven, Lonesome Dove, Cutthroat Island (LADY AWESOMENESS!), Cop LandThe Edge

Introspective/Drama
After the Wedding, Gone Baby Gone, Hounddog (for Dakota, 100%), Letters from Iwo Jima, The Answer Man (best grownup/teacher conference EVAR), Sense & Sensibility, Bleak House, “John from Cincinnati” (TV), “Deadwood” (TV), “Prime Suspect” series (BBC TV), I’ve Loved You So Long (the film is well-done, but more to the point Kristin Scott Thomas is excellent and made me cry so hard I almost threw up)

Comedy
Fatal Instinct, The Other Guys, Elvira: Mistress of the Dark, Hot Fuzz, “Strangers With Candy” (TV), “Reno 911!” (TV), Fido, Hot Rod, Anchorman, Idiocracy

***

Cool Water
(Small Stone #15*)

I love washing and soaking beans!
Small sedate jewels
Nourishing my family’s bellies, for pennies,
Work by my hands

Hamilton
(Small Stone #16*)

The cat pads into the kitchen
With a pencil in her mouth.

Small stone project

“we need to do this again soon”

We weren’t invited to one friend’s Christmas or New Year’s party this last season (although we were invited to an end-of-year birthday party which we regretfully passed up as it was in Seattle). I know, it’s kinda funny. There were a few galas open to groups we’re involved in, and we elected not to go to those for a few reasons. The season passed joyfully for us with much family love and fellowship. But the social and friendship aspect gave me a minute’s pause. A few weeks later, and two nights ago after a breakdown of intense sadness and many tears, I have come to see there is something amiss for me. I think I’ve begun to sort it.

I know many people take a lot from my life, my friendship, my writings (here and elsewhere), and my example (as wife, mother, social thinker, and whatever else). Lately I’m not sure how much I’m getting served by those I give to, those I think on so much, and the efforts I make to help (however effective – or non-effective! – they are). I feel a deep sadness when I think on this. I know I am loved by many people and liked by many people. I have only once in my life genuinely been rather friendless and that was such a breathtaking experience of pain and crystalline awareness I feel, today, a deep gratitude and awe when I think on this episode in my life. I am not “lonely”, not only because we are very social, but due to the quality of these many exchanges. Friendship, however, is sometimes elusive and trecherous terrain.

Sometimes I wonder if some people deliberately stay away.  In saying this I don’t think I’m being overly neurotic or self-obsessed: think on it, if you wrote as often and as publicly as I do on (occasionally) very radical ideas and you knew you were read by many, you would probably wonder too. But without concrete evidence I can only guess if my impressions are true. I know many people think of me as “intimidating” (#1 adjective levied against me if not discussing my busoms), “smart”, “inspiring”, “open-minded” and “compassionate”; and many people will speak with glowing praise on my writings. I sometimes wonder if they keep me at a distance because they are as self-described: intimidated (I have done this myself in relation to some people) or threatened or angered or scared by my passions. As if all I am are the passions I write about.

But these are guessing games on my part. In the meantime, there is no shortage of “positive feedback”. Besides the explicit Thank Yous I receive, the words like those identified above and the thoughts many share with me on what they’ve read let me know I am appreciated. I believe I am very fortunate in that I’ve always taken praise with a grain of salt. Praise is not about me and my quality, it is about what was ignited within the individual receiving me. When my writing is praised I have the opportunity to learn a bit more about the one praising or thanking. It is a joy, a bone-deep joy, to know and believe those who tell me I’ve helped. I’m very fortunate to have helped many. But I’ve never taken it to mean I was something special, because I know I’m not, really. I’m merely a writer. I was happy to write before I knew my reader statistics and before I opened comments. I’m happy to write still. I will write until I can’t anymore, no matter who is reading and responding.

Appreciation is a positive experience for me and I do not want to belittle its role in my life, nor my gratitude for those who take the time to express it. I thank them then and I thank them now.

But being appreciated, admired, serving as helpful, and serving as a mentor are not the same as experiencing friendship.

Friendship is being together. Without conditions and without praise. With love. Love is simple. And scary sometimes.

Friendship means spending time. As I’ve gotten older and not only experienced family life but observed my friends and their young children, I have heard many, many say they don’t have time to see those they love, that they miss them, that they have to make more time for them – someday. And here I will get very personal, because this is where the sadness really hits me. When I hear this from my friends it injures – every time. My heart simply breaks and childhood hurts swell up inside me. It is not my friends’ fault. At all. It is something I have not yet moved past. My own mother, so dear to me, struggled with being so pinched she was often fleeing rather than being with me (my brother often does the same). She loved me and she paid for me but I sensed she was never There, her foot always half-out the door (ask my half-sister more about that, too). Her inability to be with me wasn’t about me, a little child who needed her, and then a growing and grown woman who wanted to be friends. It was about her feeling of claustrophobia and her fear that any commitment would limit her, her bargain that “busy” and earning money and Good Girl performance would make her worthwhile in the eyes of others – a bargain that served too-often as the lash against her back. It was, in final estimation, damage done her as a child in repeated and subtle or overt ways, within her family, sure, but within the narratives of a patriarchal culture built upon the suffering and hard work of and oppressions heaped on so many women and carers.

I can know in an evaluative way how my mother let me down, and I can forgive her for that, and I do (I think). I can know it in no way negates the many positive attributes of her character nor how much she loved us (it is a myth that parents who fuck up in this or that way have less “love” for their children). It also would be a false picture not to point out her commitment to earn a good wage and work hard to support us were valuable parental enterprises that kept us safe from many hardships (although more, I suspect, served her sense of “security” – something we can never really have, but so many seek out fervently). Her work served us one way, my father’s presense served me another. My experience of my father’s presence has been the greatest outside source of strength in my life. I wonder if it is his absence I feel so keenly, leaving a void in my life; I wonder if over these last couple years my sadness in some friendships is an echo of that pain.

But the hurt I experienced through my mother, it is still with me. I don’t know why. I blame myself now (there’s no point in blaming her). And I don’t understand; and I wonder if I’ll ever be free of those childhood hurts.

In light of my recent reflections and my feelings of sadness I’ve experienced anew a gratitude for the time I’ve recently received from friends. Thinking on it now there are more than I’d realized. Several dates smoking on the porch or getting a cup of coffee or sitting in our living room talking comic books and homestyle cooking; shopping at the thrift store and laughing until almost peeing; even the brief conversation in the parking lot when I know my friend is really there, really seeing me. IM conversations and email exchanges where my loved ones take time out of their life for me. The candy date in Olympia just last Monday. And last night being invited to our friends’ (Ralph seriously bogarted baby Easton) where we caught up and talked and experienced nothing more than fellowship.

People who read here should know (or be reminded) I don’t use this space as an attempt to communicate with someone indirectly. My thoughts here are not directed at an individual or a few individuals. I comb through my every sentence in an attempt to avoid this. This caution is something necessary in a public journal that wouldn’t be in a private one – but it also helps me avoid externalizing my conflicts while discovering what they are, deep inside, where they are often more complex and yet, in the end analysis, simple as a kitten on Christmas. I sometimes wish I could do all this “growing” in private, air these vulnerabilities without making myself vulnerable. But: there it is.

What I’d wish for anyone reading here, near or far, is to consider those in their lives they aren’t spending time with – and why. What is being served by missing someone, by loving them from afar? Consider telling them you love them. Consider spending time with them for the sake of seeing them. Compliments and thank yous can wait another time. Don’t assume anyone you know isn’t lonely or rattled or sad or needing support. Don’t assume those who appear “strong” do not have hurts and deep sadness. Don’t assume they know you like them, or love them. Assume instead you might not see them again (and you might not). Take back your life. It’s yours, just now.

I will be doing the same in the next few days.

And now? I’m going to get up from my computer now and go sieze that precious, flavorful strawberry.

***

Small Stone #13*

My children
love the way I smell.

Small stone project

Stand-In
(Small Stone #14*)

Family Meeting!
But father is asleep
I identify the fluffy and small kitty as his proxy.
Giggling, satisfied smiles all around

Small stone project

Ralph, his Zappa, & kitty Harris

Team Mustache Dad

I make an effort to write even when I’m busy. And I have been busy! The candy-making date with Amore on Monday went wonderfully. It’s snowed a bunch then it rained all away. Car-less I attempt to get out, go running, do my shopping. I cook food and more food and it all vanishes.

I’m working on a sew-intensive project and I’ve been missing my kids and I don’t want to be back in my sewing room SO I asked Ralph to put my sewing table in the living room so I could put on some “television” (Netflix through the computer) while I did my thing.

I can’t put on anything too good while I’m sewing or I get distracted; however if it’s no fun, what’s the point? So this time around I’ve been doing some serious camp!

Ralph and I are both huge Elvira fans. Sex-positive, quick-witted, corny, goofy – and some awesome one-liner double entendres, all in addition to her other obvious attributes. What’s not to like?

And then:

Not the funniest Mel Brooks comedy but one entirely adorable and served well by the straight-man slapstick of Leslie Nielsen. Speaking of which, I have yet to watch Forbidden Planet (1956) and given the recent demise of both Francis and Nielsen a memorial viewing seems entirely appropriate.

In other news, Ralph decided to shave the beard. OK, fine. I get it. He didn’t like its itchiness and maintenance and thought it made him look dirty. Now I thought he looked really handsome and mysterious and rugged but, OK. I even told him (truthfully) that the full beard gave him a less-bald appearance, the hair on jaw and chin compensating for thinning up above; I hoped his self-consciousness about his hairline might cast a more friendly light on the muttonchops. But he never liked the beard much and it was clear from the outset this ferocious display of hirsute manliness would be a short-lived, fleeting winter wonder.

So first he shaved down to a Zappa ala Phoenix’s request:

Ralph, his Zappa, & kitty Harris

(Ha, I love how PISSED Harris looks. AS PER USUAL. Angry and obese, what a great cat.)

Nice enough, eh? Sinister but sexy.

But then. THEN. He went too far.

Ralph's Filthy 'Stache

Yes. Really.

And finally – after 24 hours of the above abomination, tonight’s foulness – the meager and failed attempt at an iconic actor and persona.

The Non-Vincent Price

And after he did this of course he wanted a kiss. GROSS.

I throw up my hands.

And – I’ve been writing in my One Line A Day Five Year Memory Book. And I’ve been writing my small stones. I have some saved for you.

Melted Snow
(Small Stone #10*)

Melted snow in my husband’s beard
Diamonds, icy cold
As he just steps back inside

Hush
(Small Stone #11*)

Low light
and very late night,
up until dawn sometimes.
You and me and you.
Our own world,
Quiet and new.

Repairs Needed
(Small Stone #12*)

We’ve lived without water pressure in our kitchen for a year and a half.
I miss the bold rush of hot water.

Small stone project

They see me rollin’

Tonight I’m doing a little packing as tomorrow I’m up to my friend Amore’s in Olympia for crafting and candy-making. I KNOW, right? I’m borrowing my mom’s van and planning on listening to the 80s XM station all the way up, possibly quite loudly. And drinking a criminally-caffeine-loaded coffee drink. And I’m pretty sure Amore will have something delicious on for lunch. Who knows, there may even be some sunshine outside.

This is the closest I get to a “vacation” or break lately, and it’s a bit brief. Still, I [gladly] take what I can get.

Lemon Meringue
(Small Stone #9*)

Richness of yolks and lush citrus
Trembles before your fork
At midnight.
Satisfied sighs & low lights

Small stone project

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

you are what you love not what loves you back

Today I was published in the January / February issue of Life Learning Magazine, found my work extensively quoted on HoboMama, and named as “one of the most compassionate persons on Twitter”. I am imbued with a sense of gratitude I am reaching the people who find me helpful. Especially in working with the magazine. Editor Priesnitz is one of those real-life mentors I actually get to work with in, you know, real life. What a world, this inter-netz!

Speaking of Priesnitz her blog entry today, “How to Work (Learn) in a Sausage Factory”, is its usually compassionate, insightful, whip-smart example of acute brevity. Contrasted with the condescension of school officials expressing the importance of teaching high school students the value of “rules” (high school! My kids knew what “rules” meant long before kindergarten age and you probably did too!), she has this to say:

“I would imagine that by high school, kids have either learned most of what they’re ever going to learn about following rules or not (and it’s likely a bit different than what the school folks think they are teaching). What these young people really need is to learn how to make their own decisions, including how to decide which rules are still relevant and which not; how to democratically collaborate with others to change rules and policies; and how to challenge disrespectful people trying to enforce arbitrary or insulting rules – without losing their livelihood.”

Um, yes? Yes! The breathtakingly good news is, many young people are finding their way despite this sort of (endemic and oppressive) business. Writer Idzie Desmarais has collected some wonderful interviews of extraordinary young people who are hitting it out of the park. That collection of interviews is even better than Cute Overload for lifting my spirits.

Ergonomically Positioned

My kids’ weird positions they adopt while on the laptops is very amusing to observe. They are as dextrous lying on their backs with the laptop against their chest as they are sitting up. Nels dances and moves around and stretches and hauls cats while he – guess? – plays Minecraft and studies online tutorials.

I don’t normally say goodnight in this journal but – Goodnight!

Delinquent
(Small Stone #7*)

Fanning air out out the bathroom window
It’s too cold to smoke outside.

Small stone project