6 January, 2015  |   4 Comments

Peak Tipping Point

I’m turning forty this year.
I turn forty this year.
I’m not forty yet, but
I turn forty this year.

Lordy. Lordy.

#tbt Favorite vacation bartender.

I’m fully middle-aged. Much to polite conversation’s dismay, I do not want to live past eighty. That means that this year counts as my actual tipping point. From here on out, I’m really headed toward the end.

(And in a weird way, I’m thrilled about it.)

Recently, my favorite radio show, To The Best of our Knowledge, produced a wildly compelling five part series about death. I was thrilled/horrified.

The frank way the experts spoke about the practical [Read: We are ALL going to die and there’s a big industry looking to make it even stranger] was nothing less than a revelation.

I’m unprepared for it and yet totally welcoming of it.
You’re probably unprepared for it as well.
Unless you are, and then I want to hear all about it.

29 September, 2014  |   2 Comments

Sensory Evaluation Week

Smell the Glove.

In a way that’s different than when I was a kid, culture relies on images more than other sensory inputs.

Through photos, through graphics, through interface, that’s how we tell stories. These images inform us through screens. More pervasive than television or newspapers, this juicy visual shorthand is how we communicate.

Look at my pizza

As the tools to capture and share images evolve, these pictures absorb more of my attention. I scan, I scan, I skip, and I get really good at a never-ending lifetime game of Hot or Not, at a quick visual evaluation.

But the rest of my sensory evaluation is getting flabby.

Sight, that sense is all right, but I’ve done a rotten job at cultivating my hearing, smelling, tasting, touching, and that still-undefined sixth sense.

She helps with the beans

Maybe it’s because I have spent so much of my life online — there are no smells, no touch, no taste online — I halfheartedly listen to music, when I remember, but even that is a pretty narrow category (background noise, music from 20 years ago).

This week, I’m exploring our senses. From noses to guts, from fingertips to Tympanic cavities, I want to think harder about what I’m letting come in my face and how I think about it.

When I pay attention to something, it’s how I love it.
I want to love more.
I want to pay better attention.

Looking up. All of it.

In the meantime, I’d love to know this thing from you:
What’s your favorite sense? Why?

19 September, 2014  |   3 Comments

Check out my self-pity. It’s huge.

Been working out.
Base of my neck, working it hard.
Self-pity muscle.
Getting big.

getting ripped

Feel sorry for me.
Feels so right when my head hangs low.
Working the top of my spine, work it hard.

Gets so big it rolls up over my ears,
like a turtleneck,
Hearing only my own sad thoughts.

getting ripped

Work that muscle,
up over the back of my head.
A hood,
a muscle hood.

Narrows my sight.
Now, all I can see is one tiny spot that
shows me for certain
how much worse I have it
worse than anyone else.

getting ripped

Fully covered now.
I’m all self-pity.

It’s most unfair,
Most unfair.

getting ripped

24 August, 2014  |   1 Comment

The Gods


Where are the Gods?
screamed Dottie,
at 3:20 am,
when the beds rolled.

She meant Guards,
Being four,
it sounded like Gods.

Where are the Guards?
screamed Dottie,
at 3:20 am,
when the beds rolled.

I held her,
We were sleeping, I said.
I’m so sorry, we were sleeping.

Where are the Gods?
I whispered,
after they chopped his head off.
after they shot him, six times.
after my complicit neglect
buried us.

Where are the Guards?
I whispered.

I looked around.
I saw that they are us.

We were sleeping, I said.
I’m so sorry, we were sleeping.

We wake up now,
the burden of our care revealed,

We wake up now,
there is so much to be done.

11 August, 2014  |   1 Comment

Conquering our inner hobbits

Nora Lea kept climbing out on some rocks,
further than our comfort,
over seaweed slick boulders,
up steep hillsides.

Discovering new lands.

From the beach, we hollered
parental inanities like,
as she continued to sneak away.

Come with me to the grotto.

This disappearing made me grumpy.
Grump trumped discomfort,
so I climbed out on those boulders,
braving nature’s oogy glory.

Can you believe it?

There, an alcove,
three feet wide and 7 feet deep,
tiny waterfalls,
the perfect water princess lair,
Ariel’s grotto.

Ariel's Grotto.

The older we get, the deeper those ruts of our routine become.
The tighter I cling to perceived safety.

All of it’s safe, none of it is.

The last few months have shown our family a little turmoil.
Employment, health, life, family,
it’s all shaking up, changing in a way that feels unsafe.

Profoundly uncomfortable.

But that discomfort is the way to growth, right?
It’s that stretching that gets us where we need to go.

If it were up to James and me,
we would wake in our hobbit hole
to do the same thing, every day,
the way we did it before.

They tell me that we need to mix it up.
They tell me I need an efficient routine.
An ironclad routine.

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