Saturday, November 27, 2010

"FINALLY ALIVE" by Marce Weibel

                      Look at me, look at who I am,
I’ve stopped hiding.
Open your eyes, bare witness,
No longer naive am I,
Leading an unexamined life. Time to care for the woman,
I know myself to be.
Lanced wounds, unbraided events,
Channeled through an inner most shift.
Pulse stirred, countenance billowing,
A chaos of color -- delicious joy.
Deceptive rhetoric jettisoned,
No longer a derailment,
But a prelude to today’s zenith.
My soul is soothed,
The purity of my beauty authentic
Brave and strong
My essence discovering equilibrium.
See me -- see inside of me,
An aliveness, a zest.
I stand balanced upon the threshold,
Living my life as it's meant to be.

Friday, November 19, 2010

"40 and ok" by Paula Scherer Price

When I turned 30 I had a mid-life crisis.  I started panicking because, in my opinion, I had nothing to show for myself.    I was still going to school part-time and it was taking me forever to finish.  I was in a lukewarm relationship with no real future.  I was living in the middle of nowhere without friends or family around.  As a result, I reassessed my life and took inventory of what I wanted to change.  I decided to go back to school and just take the lumps as a poor college student.
Now looking through the lens of time, I see that all of those things that I felt were disadvantages, (living in the middle of nowhere, no friends or family, lukewarm relationship), actually were all things that helped me so much in reaching my goals.  When I started school full-time, I could focus completely on school because I had no friends or family to distract me.  Because I lived in the middle of nowhere, my cost of living was totally affordable and I was able to work part-time, still pay all of my bills, and attend a wonderful private university.  The lukewarm relationship that I was in taught me so many valuable lessons on independence and managing my finances.
Now that it is time for me to turn 40, I’m not panicking like I thought I would.  I received my Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science in 2003 with a cumulative average of 2.97, (I usually round up thoughJ). I ended up moving back home to Maryland and met the love of my life, I’m married and I have a beautiful angel of a baby girl.  She loves me and the first and only words that she has said for the past two months non-stop is Mama!  Mama mama!  Over and over again.  I never grow tired of hearing it because she says it with different intensities; sometimes very low and soft, and sometimes very loud with passion! 
I have “outted” myself to co-workers and friends about my age and the genuine shock that I have received in response makes me feel good.  So I write all of this to say that I’m ok with turning 40, I do have some other goals that I would still like to reach, but even if I am never given anything more in life, I will be happy with what I have at this very moment. 

Sunday, November 14, 2010

"Wanted: Cast Iron Sink with Drainboard"

My time in front of the screen is limited.
The pixies are playing, but one has begun to smell like something gone rancid.
They have taken out the kid-safe flatware, and are moved on to adult forks and spoons.
I have minutes until the knives emerge, so I hastily search for farm sinks.
I run my finger over the screen where the white cast iron's gone rusty.
And picture the cottage where it might've been first installed.
The babies bathed there must have been quieter than mine.
They must have played the piano with skill, no vague slamming of the keys.
They surely never splashed, and if by chance they did, their mothers laughed,
Wiped up the mess, and never hollered about days like hamster wheels.
They never had tech phones, and babies never flung them over banisters.
The babies smelled like buttermilk, and fed chickens from plump palms.
They never took their socks off posthaste upon mounting their carriage,
And if they did, mother simply kissed their toes like grapes for wine-making.
They wore bonnets, and dresses with home-sewn smocking, all in white,
Scrubbed with smiles in the sink against a washboard like replicas on my wall.
But the sink's edges are soft and curved, like the contours of my fantasies.
They lack the corners where I might bump my hipbone, getting me a sweet girlchild kiss.
The babies in that sink never had occasion to smile with sparkling-mischief eyes.
Squeals of delight, certainly, but not at moments of fleeing my grasp in public.
Not parroting chagrin-giving curse words at toe-stubbings--not the children in that sink. 
Not scaling the sofa as I type with plans of leaping into a pile of put-together puzzles.
My time in front of the screen is limited.  And I like it this way.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Death is No Thing Where You’re Not.

I sit on the deck, and the silence taken off from a breeze brushes my cheek.
I must be cubbied just so beneath the eaves of the house.
It is not nothing, cannot be nothing, there is something in that stillness.
Something warm and static, the negative space
That defines the small and large things that I am.

Cradling and holding up my face, the air all around me.

I get up and walk to the house, having to pull hard on the sliding glass door.
It must need oil, but I still don’t do those kinds of things.
And I let up when the space is just large enough to pass through,
The relief in my neck and shoulders is immense,
Inaudible—that lack of tension is something too.

The moment after I crack my back is one of our greatest times.

I pour a cup of coffee, but like it lukewarm, so it’s way too hot for drinking.
In the minutes I wait, steam pouring from the mug,
You are there--in the time I am forced to accept my own silence, and my moments
Ticking by, and how freshness rubs me the wrong way.
I curl my paws around the steam, hot and vital.

But I prefer the outsides of my hands, the bony crust left to motionless room air.

(This poem is "to be continued."  Also, it is of note that it is inspired by Marie.)

Monday, November 8, 2010

"A Good Reason to Eat Dairy."

I take you to the food court for lunch, slinking between oldsters shopping
and other parents looking to make it to naptime.
It’s an expensive way to pass the day, but it’s worth it to treat ourselves
to pretzels and pizza on daddy’s dime.
You beg me for ice cream, it’s a special occasion, the chocolate looks heavenly,
and you both need a post-carousel sugar rush.
I acquiesce, I’m a quick sell, and with enough dark chocolate, you might
stay up until I settle you into your beds.
As I fish for a five dollar bill, I dream of the moment I lift you from the car,
your heads on my shoulders—you might survive the transfer.
Two kid-sized cones please.  Hand her the money.  She pops—pop— her gum
and hands me the cones without looking.
I hear small feet beat rapidly on the marble floor of the mall, tap tap tap tap,
the excitement is contagious.
We sit down on a bench, you with your sleeves pulled up and small hands
opening and closing in anticipation.
I am armed with baby wipes when the moment arrives, tongues like tiny
fans flicker and slurp, you yell, Brainfreeze! Bayfeez!
Your palettes hurt, so you slow down.  It’s understandable but I urge you on.
I’d like to avoid the shame I’d forgotten.
Your ice cream begins to drip, slowly onto your shirtsleeves and patterned tights.
Slide.  Drip.  Plop.  I look around.  Panic.
I want to scream, I don’t eat dairy, Out of principal, but I know that would
be a shade crazier than what I’m about to do.
I make a slight scene, saying too loudly to kids too young, Too bad mommy can’t have ice cream.
I circle the edges of your cones with a wipe.
I am aware that I look batshitcrazy.  That mom with the near-buzz-cut looking back and forth,
talking in an outside voice,
tidying up cones with
a cloth untongue.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

"Only for a Niece, from her Aunt" by Jean Marie Gelso

The spaces between the birds still chirping
(my eyes unopened)
The feeling in my tendons as I stretch
The warmth of shower water pulsing
The movement of a breeze through trees
(closing my eyes and hearing it still)
The smell of cold and pine needles
The lightness of a drifting leaf or of a coasting bird
The sound the stars make moving through the sky
The loneliness a pensive moment brings
(or the moments in between)
The words I never bring myself to say
(to anyone
not even myself)
The relief I feel when tears still come
(the comfort they bring as they warm my cheeks)
The desire I have to visit you
The tightness in my chest that stops me
The repetition of your name and your soft face in my mind
The hope you showed up in my dreams and I just didn’t remember
The fear that time has gone by
The questions that are in my mind
The thought of you every hour (of every day)
The strangeness in knowing that no one else knows that
The secret I hold
Is you
My sweet
How can anyone ever know
I do
I really do
I hold you with me
Deep inside
In corners unexposed
In crevices dark (uncovered)
Where I remember you
Not mine to claim
Not mine to discuss
But mine only to remember
By others
Who don’t understand
My love for you my sweet
My one I’ve never known
Never felt
So these are times (private)
When I remember you
They are mine and yours together
And the only secret bond we share.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Thank you.

I've mentioned the support I got on Halloween of this year.  These supporters are too many to mention.  But, I've just posted a poem I received from Marce Weibel.  This poem mirrored my own feelings, a sense of full circling that I know will ebb and flow over time.  I hope you enjoy it and feel vicariously my own joy at having received it. 

I also got quite a few pictures. 
One that my hubs took on his phone
of me and Ellabella visiting Sophs.
and a beautiful butterfly from Melissa Durst

and candles burning at the
homes of Stephanie Cole

and my close, wonderful friend
and fellow traveler, Andhra.

I also got an amazing poem from my sister, that also traces the development of her own auntly feelings for Sophie.  Sometimes, the feelings of our sisters are the hardest and most wonderful for me to handle.  They are raw and as vulnerable, complex, and personal as mine.  It means the world to me that they not only remember but feel and wish and imagine.  That poem will be going up later.

All my love.

"Empty Arms" by Marce Weibel

A baby, a bit of star dust
       Blown free from the realm of the sky,
Upon the breeze of mystical magic,
       To become the joy of a new day.

Sophie’s journey, a trail of innocence,
       An exquisite purity -- always.
Her memory -- the sweet sounds of wind chimes,
       Forever stirred.

Your little girl
       A sonnet unwritten
       A symphony not heard
       A painting unfinished.

Tears of color bleeding onto
       The canvas of your heart.
Silently, oh so silently,
       Rocking with empty arms.

Lancing through the wounds of despair,
       An evolution of dissipating grief,
Allowing for a spring time’s promise,
       To be planted and nurtured.

As a butterfly’s chrysalis opens
       Revealing nature’s wonder,
So shall your love become
       A syncopated ballet of hope.

New days come,
       Cries are heard,
Your arms empty no longer,
       Feeling the profound joy or your children.

                                               Marce Weibel 10/10

I'm here, and breathing a little.

Well, I have to be honest.  My October IMAGO project really wore me out.  I loved it.  And I think I produced some writing I will really value.  And it helped focus me.  And to emote all along.  And I was able to focus my creative energy in important ways.  And I had to write, which is 50% of wanting to be a writer.  But, at least an hour a day of writing, plus school, work, the kids, a broken computer, being sick, and a very busy month, November 1st came, and I crashed.  But, I'm gearing up to get back in business.  Soon.  Thank you all for reading, I'm amazed at the support I've gotten via email, facebook, in person, etc.  It's felt wonderful.

And as for Halloween, we had a wonderful day.  We went to the cemetery, and the day was sunny and clear.  Just like the day of our sweet girl's funeral.  And our other sweet girls played and talked about stones and boxes.  It was just their way of understanding.  Eleanor tried her best to get it.  Of course, she doesn't understand death, but she listened to me and tried to speak to my sadness.  She told me not to be sad, because Sophie was just in a box.  And she would get out if she could, but she couldn't.  Just because she is a baby and babies can't climb.  Well, that is kind of an upsetting thought.  But, from a three year old's perspective, it shows the infinite feeling of existence.  And of course I want my kids to know the realities of things.  But I don't see any reason to impress upon her the many sad reasons people are in "boxes."  If her only association with inability to rise is newbornness, I'm happy for her obliviousness.  And Josephine put candy on all of the graves.  And didn't even try to understand anything.  And that's ok too.  It was lovely.