Forest for the Trees

Consider this a love note to the man who squirms when I write about him.

My husband, he notices stuff.

When I watch movies, I easily suspend disbelief. That’s what I’m there for, to lose myself for a while. I grant shows and movies a wide latitude in terms of accuracy or probability. Precision in writing is one thing, but for movies, meh. Verisimilitude is in the eyes of the beholder.

Not Lance. He won’t appreciate my bringing this up, but he grasps that remote control and uses it frequently to pause a movie and point out its failures (of facts, of reasoning, of continuity, of imagination) until I’m forced to confiscate it if we’re to have any hope at all of reaching The End.

venn-of-marriageSometimes, though, what he notices and what I consider interesting overlap, a marital Venn diagram of the occasionally like-minded.

Like the locations of where many sci-fi movies are filmed. O Canada!  (Truly. Something to do with the variety and proximity of landscape and architecture, mixed in with financial incentives.)

I don’t consider myself an incurious person, but I never used to think about where a movie was filmed. It exists as a setting in a movie and I believe in it and there it ends. Thanks to Lance, I wander more.

Then there are the forests.

There will be a scene set in the woods, and he’ll say, Look at the trees. 

And I will blink at him.

Look, he’ll repeat. They’re all the same size. They’re planted.

Turns out, the forest primeval is dwindling. “According to the World Resources Institute, as of January 2009, only 21% of the original old-growth forests that once existed on earth are remaining” (Wikipedia).

This has ramifications for biodiversity, for the health of our ecosystem, and impacts the climate as well.

Who knew scenery had so much to say?

Thanks to Lance, I wonder more.





World Enough, and Time

A photo by Jeremy Thomas.

My daughter, when trying to go to sleep last night, asked me to hold her. “I want to be tangled like a knot,” she cried. As if that’s a thing to want.

Wrapped up in those wants and big emotions, she’s more articulate than I can manage.

This world is tangled, knotted by history and just as intractable. Those of us who need a little context should read this piece, “It’s Not About Race,” by John Metta, and try on a new perspective.

And if you haven’t registered to vote yet, what are you waiting for? Our fellow citizens need our vote and support now more than ever. Every voice counts. Raise yours against the orange buffoon of hate and ignorance. There’s no surer way to make a difference than to keep him from the Oval Office.

Fire and Ice

Robert Frost
Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

About that stress fracture

7 years ago...
7 years ago…

There’s nothing the universe hates more than a whiner.

Especially when they’re whining about what’s actually their good fortune. As in, I’m not in great pain anymore — I just feel ludicrous on crutches. 

So I have a stress fracture. Not the best thing in the world. Not the worst either. If I keep the weight off of it, my leg will heal. If I don’t, it won’t. Action, meet Consequence.

But honestly, this stress fracture seems like a pseudo-injury — no stitches, no cast, no gaping, seeping, or even visible wounds. I feel like an attention-seeking middle child clopping around on my crutches.

Not being able to move my body through the world with its customary ease is hard to take, but I’m trying to bear up. I don’t want to be that person. However, like many of you, I’m more comfortable helping others than asking for help myself.

There’s an egotism about it, a whiff of martyrdom. As in, I can take care of things ten times better than anyone else can, on crutches with my hands tied behind my back.  And blindfolded.

Plus, it’s selfish. Helping others feels good, and when you don’t let others pitch in, you’re denying them that heart-two-sizes-too-big sensation, the chance to be an everyday hero.

That’s what I told myself, anyway, when a couple dear mom friends rushed to the aid of my 4 year old popping a squat at the playground (“I just had to go, Mama!”).

And when another wonderment brought groceries to me and the kids while my husband was away for the weekend.

It takes a village, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Whatever my numerous flaws, I hope I’ll always have the grace to recognize and be grateful for my village. Thank you, friends.







The more things change…

Was it a blink for you?

Now we are four

Though they’re older (hello, preschooler, 2nd grader, and 5th grader!), this past long weekend was still spent catching vomit in buckets all weekend long.

I admit there’s less spatter and clean-up involved now that the kids are older. They’re pretty amazing about running for a bowl and not letting it fly where they stand. No small mercy, that.

So in the interim of the Great New Year’s Splash Fest of 2014 and the 2016 Labor Day Weekend of GI Labor, besides parenting the threesome, Tupelonian whatnot, and Collected Poets et cetera, I have

  • read many prose books (most recently
  • visited Seattle, Minneapolis, and LA (be glad you missed that story, this time my own GI debacle #thankyoufoodpoisoning) for AWP;
  • ran a few 10ks and three half marathons, and suffered a tibial stress fracture for my pains;
  • and enjoyed the company of friends and family without feeling the need to talk about it.

The stress fracture is current news. Have I ever mentioned that we live on the second floor? Luckily my kids are the perfect age to commence child labor. Silver linings!

What I have not done in all this time, besides keep this space active, is much writing of substance.

Finding a new direction since my mom died has been a struggle. Turns out not writing doesn’t help with that either.

So I’m hitting refresh. If you’ve also been stumbling, you do the same. Let’s welcome autumn with our own grand conflagration and begin again.  Begin again.