22 October, 2014  |   1 Comment

October’s Wriggly Bits

This October is squirmy.

I put my knee on it,
to hold it down,
to make it comply with
ME

But October will have none of that.

So far today, 39 silos. Dorothy calls them ice cream cones.

We visited my family in Wisconsin.
October wriggled out of my grip.

James and family

My mom and her husband sort though hundreds of boxes of collections. They are moving. Assisted-living-2-bedroom-apartment and they couldn’t be happier.

I wish the American Way gave more aging parents this love.

Girls and grandma

There are more boxes to sort than there are years. I hate these boxes.

I stomp and whine
I don’t want to be faced with all the evidence of my bad decisions.

No one does.
October escapes me again.

Principals award

Boxes of high school and college journals, reams of letters and artwork.
Heartbreak’s long game.

Cousin's room

It’s not a sadness,
it’s more of the resigned sigh
halfway done with my life.

Poetry award

We returned Napa’s harvest bustle. Winemakers and vineyard workers work all night long. Grape trucks turn in front of you on the highway, dropping sticky purple fruit onto your lucky, lucky car.

Grapes

The air smells like wine.
Hundreds of thousands of tons of grapes being squished within 10 miles of my house and it is in the air.
October found a secret way out.

27 August, 2014  |   3 Comments

Wine Wednesday: Earthquake Edition

Napa earthquake at my office.

This is the office I work in — it’s in someone’s home. Yes, I totally agree with you that it could be worse, but you could agree with me,  you would be pretty bummed if that happened in your home office.

When I moved to San Francisco, my Midwestern rootfolk asked me, “But what about the EARTHQUAKES?”

I thought the likelihood of one happening to me was low.

Plus, my Midwestern people deal regularly with floods, raging hail storms, thunderstorms, iced over highways, tornados and lightning. They had it worse than me, in my book.

But no tornado was as scary as what we went through last weekend.

We are fine and our friends are fine,
they lost lifelong collections,
they lost dishes,
also they are not fine.


When you a part of a community that,
as a group, faced its inevitable mortality,
that community’s minds are elsewhere.

We thought, “Well, that’s it.”
Everyone thought that,
if they woke up.
And a lot of people woke up.

I noticed it’s the same for people who are moving.
Their minds are with their stuff —
where the detergent is,
the spoons,
when they’ll find that belt that they love.

And when you add coming face to face with certain death to losing most of the stuff in your home, I’m quite astonished at the number of folks in the Napa valley just back at work.

Tough people, these farmers.
Damage to our wineries is minimal.
You should come visit them.


Thank goodness it's just stuff, right?

This is my boss’ house. They lost a lot of stuff.

So move!
(I hear you say.)

Why live on a fault line?
(I hear you ask.)

Anything that happens to you from here on out is your FAULT
LITERALLY.

We’re staying because this is the best community for us, in the whole world.

We are aware this is our fault.
Our fault.

But we’re willing to live with it.

We’re willing to thrive with it.

24 August, 2014  |   1 Comment

The Gods

djh-lego3

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,
“WE HAVE TO SEE YOU WITH OUR EYES!”
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.
Right?

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.

4 August, 2014  |   Comment

On The Sads

The Gift of Tears
1. The Gift of Tears is on my friend Margit’s brilliant site TueNight. (It’s like we’re blogging in 2002, but with an editor this time.)

2. Read this brilliant post on ZenArchery: Everyone I know is brokenhearted.
Put your babies in Black Flag onesies, but make sure their stroller is more high tech than anything mankind ever took to the Moon, because that wolf is always at the door.

3. Quantum physics gives me hope (there’s another reality somewhere better AND worse than this one and that distinction is meaningless!).

4. My friend told me their conspiracy theory regarding the rise in apocalyptic fiction. They said it can be traced to a government wanting us to feel that fighting back is useless. Since the totalitarian regime is around the corner anyway, we might as well give up any expectations of privacy and mercy. This popular culture reflects our collective disillusionment with the future.

5. I see these fires of It’s Not Fair and It Never Will Be stoked in the comments section of everywhere. We compete – how much we work, how hard we have it, how our real life is realer than theirs.

They have it hard. Their real life is no realer than mine.

5. This isn’t to say, I’m not hopeful.

I start a new project today,
surrounded by friends,
thriving children,
enough water for us to drink,
sadness is seasonal.

6. We hope, we gather, we share some food. We remember that our egos can take vacations too. We get mad. Oh, it’s time to get mad.

 

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