Monday, November 17, 2008
yard sale on saturday was fun and fruitful, but as soon as i got home i saw a lot more i could sell. maybe we'll have 2.0 sometime this spring.
feeling grateful, inspired, and only a little bit exhausted. the cool weather seems to be bolstering my spirit even as i wrap in wool to escape it.
talking with my best friend revealed a lot of fears i hadn't voiced or even entertained and now they are ghost fears - out in the air and out of my head. she's good like that.
unable and unwilling to rein in my imagination, as broad as it is around this little non-descript, faceless person growing there under my swelling belly.
wishing he or she could have met my namesake, wishing the same for pretty much anyone. wondering if she'll show up in this new life in some way.
happy that i can be home and really be there without a thousand things on a to-do list, real or imagined, when cooking dinner is the epic task in front of me.
always dumbfounded by the generosity of people that grows out of their excitement over new life, and how this makes me so hopeful for the world. we still celebrate babies.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
juice in the morning, over ice. heartburn be damned
the written word
time away from my desk
savory things, mushroom tarts and curry
being in school
my husband’s new(ish) daddy persona
cool, sunny afternoons
brothers who cook
my mom and dad, more than ever
the occasional smell of wood fire in the air
bright blue skies
real obligations, within reason
what I need from the grocery store
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Monday, November 3, 2008
If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, "thank you," that would suffice. - Meister Eckhardt
my house in fall – white siding, black shutters, red door, nandinas, and scarlett–tipped dogwoods
time with friends in the kitchen or on the deck
babies walking for the first time
how blue the sky looks behind the yellow and orange patchwork of leaves on my drive to work
seeing the outline of mountains when those leaves start to fall
brisk sunny days
reading to my belly
cold, crisp apples
organizing closets and simplifying
working on a pomegranate and savoring the rubies inside
thinking of spring and how different our lives will be
hope that catches in my throat
Monday, October 20, 2008
Monday, October 6, 2008
How much I know.
How much I care.
How lucky I am to be able to read. Really read. And enjoy it.
How I’m a bit off-base teaching English and maybe I should be teaching something else.
How important it is.
How I took my teachers and professors for granted.
How God provides.
How planning can only take me so far. A lesson I continue to learn.
How a few, real intellectual connections are worth all the bored sighs.
How I know I’ll always do it, somehow.
Monday, September 8, 2008
It's Fall somewhere, I just know it.
I'm ready to say goodbye to a blazing hot steering wheel and wardrobe dysfunction (hot outside, frigid at work), and to hurricane season. We need rain, but does it have to come in such a violent way? I'm ready to relinquish the self-tanner on my pale legs and body dysmorphia in general.
I'm ready for burnt orange and blazing yellow leaves. For my Nandinas to turn crimson. To sleep with the windows open and burn pumpkin-scented candles. To stir huge pots of chili and layer under light sweaters. For big, sweet apples and family gatherings. For the anticipation of Christmas.
Come, Fall, and briskly.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
"All human beings should try to learn before they die what they are running from, to, and why." - James Thurber
Monday, August 11, 2008
"Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self-confidence" - Robert Frost
Almost every day I feel like I've just begun learning. I hope I never lose that feeling. MLA 08.02.08
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
People turn 30 all the time. But this is the first and last time my husband turns 30. I think he's about the coolest guy on the planet and I'm thankful for him everyday.
To the next 30, to our dreams, to our one-day home up there in the mountains. We'll get there. I know it. I love you, John.
Monday, July 21, 2008
"Among those I like or admire, I can find no common denominator, but among those I love, I can: all of them make me laugh." -Auden
Monday, July 7, 2008
Where I’m From
I am from Genesis 9:1.
I am from highways and rest stops,
from the VW bus with calico curtains and sticky vinyl seats
(I can hear the soft rip of summer skin pulling away from them).
I am from living room forts and stepped-on Legos
from trampolines and flickering porch lights.
It was too late if the streetlamps had come on.
I am from singalongs and family meetings around the butcher block table,
from the corner of each closet where I hastily scribbled
Goodbye, house. Til we meet again.
I am from clapping crowds, shouting for Jesus,
from secrets only sisters can share
on bunkbeds or creekbeds.
I am from laughter-tears and throat lumps,
from squeezed hands and mumbled prayers
from pregnant pauses
and whispered amens
I am from that moving target:
I am that knotted-up family.
The miles run through me
The prayers echo
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
“You probably wouldn’t worry so much what people think of you if you knew how seldom they do.” Olin Miller
How boring and tedious I must be.
In my recent fiction workshop, I brought each draft to class begrudgingly. I felt like I was presenting, to a field of my peers, a worn and tattered blanket of words and images carelessly stitched together to fulfill a requirement, instead of with the love and attention they rightfully deserved. Each time, when the drafts came back and the class discussed a piece I’d written, the mirror was there. Held in front of me as evidence of my personal irony. People responded and related to what I had written. People praised me in ways both general and specific. People saw me as a writer.
After the first workshop class, I slid away from campus, my face burning bright from shame. Why can’t I believe that anything I do is good, or worth reading? It’s not false modesty. I hate false modesty. I decided that day that I have a character flaw. There is no other explanation. My parents were two amazingly supportive, challenging people who, though they expected excellence from us, did everything to encourage and support us in achieving it. And they put value on our effort when the results weren’t always stellar. They were/are great parents. It can’t be a result of pressure from them.
What is the genesis of my perfectionism, then? My lack of confidence? I simply don’t know. I’ve lived 28 years faking it – as I do daily at my job, in my home, with my friends. Maybe the real me is a hybrid of the fake me and the frail me. Maybe that pretend confidence isn’t exactly manufactured. But my wish, always, is to have a real sense of who I am and what I can do. Part of being real with myself is recognizing and owning up to my weaknesses, and working to change the things I need to change. But I truly believe that the other side of that very heavy coin is to recognize and own up to my strengths. To the things I’m good at doing. To the goodness and gifts I’ve been given. To stop cowering from challenges when my confidence is shaky. To give the good away. Isn’t that what it’s all about?
Master to-do list for teaching English 101:
Gather writing prompts
Get grade book or work up a spreadsheet for such a purpose
Finalize lesson plans
Be ready to learn when you fail
Believe what everyone else already knows
Practice using peripheral equipment with laptop
Talk to boss about telecommuting on the day job
Tour library on campus; make a librarian friend
Look for a good bag/case/cart for transporting supplies
Organize home office
Find comfortable shoes