Saturday, May 31, 2008

Subscription Options

I hope I didn't just blow up my blog. I noticed that my daily visitors are hopping up a little bit and so I added a "subscribe by email" thingy on the side bar. And don't worry about the spam thing, it's all automated.

So, now you can use an RSS reader or get posts via email. Because really, who would want to miss this magic?

Ok, and also: who keeps finding their way here by Googling my name? Because you should really say hi. Especially if I haven't seen you in awhile.


I cried at a dance when you played the theme to Say Anything, avoided your eyes during
Is she really going out with him? You played and wrote and made music and I loved you first.

Friday, May 30, 2008

A related to but not x365 post

I am getting a lot from this writing project. It provides an opportunity to reflect and remember and connect. It's short and usually very quick. The challenge is in writing about certain people. In some cases too much to contemplate. Sometimes a great temptation to say more. Knowing just what to pick out from either years of stuff or a brief foggy moment. So it's not always simple, but I think it's good for me.

My list can use some editing and I've been doing that a little. I was admittedly scraping the bottom of the barrel (not with Ron) but with the waitress at a restaurant I go to with the girls.

I love reading what others are making or made of their projects. The original x365 is Dan's and he paints a pretty picture. You should read his words.

And here's what else I am thinking about: Judgment: a seemingly constant struggle. Kindness: too often a struggle. So there is that.


Your married boyfriend hit you often and hard. You lived with me with black and blue pride and a bleeding sense of self. I called an abuse hotline. You came home with flowers. I was 20.

Thursday, May 29, 2008


You married your husband in your apartment wearing your pajamas. I don't know why. Your father wore a suit. We talked about the children you might have and the word divorce was always prefaced with if.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


I walked in to see you, your thinness heavy on the bed. Closed down for days you opened and spoke and held my second son in the cradle of your limbs. A day later you died.

Sometimes there is so much more I want to say about a person.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


She made you pee on your young son's leg because it's said to take the pain of the jellyfish sting away. And on our wedding day you drove alone and arrived late but not too late.


I missed yesterday, but technically I didn't because I thought about this in the ER:

I was embarrassed with and for you and the young religious educator when you asked what it meant that Mary was a virgin. I knew just enough not to ask. But now I await the question.

Saturday, May 24, 2008


You walked in to the party like you were walking onto a ya-


You wore black and white garb in a black and white kitchen and I stood behind you in the buffet line. You fit in, but when I pointed it out they gasped. Because nuns shouldn't laugh.


A severed life of troubled sadness. Marked by ink and drink and cigarettes. Less than handsome, more than light. Feigning danger. Your aunt found me in Boston on a warm spring day because you were dead.

Friday, May 23, 2008


We met in 9th grade, my first high-school crush. We flirted boldly in civics class, even after the teacher separated us. At our last reunion you were neither handsome nor tall and you bored me.

Thursday, May 22, 2008


Gray haired volunteer of kindness, leaning in welcome, meeting his eye with warmth. In a voice thick with years of tar and maybe gravel you said, "You must be Clam." But my son's name is Clay.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


You found your voice in Pennsylvania, overcame the common grunt to speak with clarity, confidence and humor. Now you're unpacking a suitcase of hangovers from 4 years in college and looking for a place to fit.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


The bad ass who came to the beach at night with Marlboro Lights and a sweetness undisguised. I was drawn to you. Then, when I was gone you lost a brother. I never found you again.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Focus: x365

A comment link at GNMParents led me to a new blog, Carolyn is doing a project whereby for a full year she writes a short vignette about a person each day. Her project led me to x 365 and I began my list.

So, here begins my own 36 x 365 whereby I will attempt to write 36 words about 365 people over the course of the year. I am doing this because reflecting is good. Because focus is good. Because daily writing is good.


Before you died your breath was heavy. In a half embrace, I needed you to feel me. My mother held your other half, and guided my good-bye. Her mother, her daughter, herself. Her last great loss.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Webby Fiction

There's a girl who lives up the block. She wears a lot of purple. Purple socks or a dress or a t-shirt or a ribbon in her hair. She passes by our house on her way to the bus stop. She's in second grade. When she climbs on the school bus she sits in her assigned seat and stares out the window singing purple rain.

I made that part up. She's far to young to know Prince, or even the "artist formerly known as." But she stares out the window and her lips move in song.

When she gets to school she walks in a line and writes on the lines and colors inside of the lines because she knows how to follow those rules. She is quiet and neat and never silly. Her teachers pass by, smiling in her direction. Because she does what she's told.

She's a good girl. And a good girl she'll stay. She won't drive without her license or smoke behind the backstop. She won't date a troubled boy or ever cut a class. She'll be polite to all her family and never say a swear. She'll apply to community college and excel in all her classes. She'll add up all those numbers and remember all the dates. She'll hand her papers in on time and a typo won't be found.

She'll do what she does because that is who she is.

Thursday, May 15, 2008


I haven't been writing enough. Hell, if I am honest I have not been doing enough of anything: writing, sleeping, thinking, pausing.

I won't pretend that it's because I am always running around tending to others.

It's a lot because my mind gets so cluttered that it's hard to pick out what needs picking. Like the meat tucked into the belly of the lobster. When you can extrapolate it the reward is sweet and tender. But sometimes it's too entwined with the cartilage and you end up chewing the plasticy parts. Completely unfulfilling.

I am very cluttered right now.

Unable to pick out any of the good stuff.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Politics and Kids and a Great Giveaway!

In case you missed it, GNMParents is hosting a book giveaway for my friend Sue's new book See How They Run.

Great book, great timing. Leave a comment at GNMParents today (please and thank you!)!

And, if you have a school aged kid please ask them to complete her quick KIDS SPEAK OUT survey.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

The Library

I don't know that many people who blog. Well, I know a lot of people who blog but I haven't met them face to face. And the few people I have met in real life who blog, began blogging after I knew them, or I met them in real life before I knew them through their blog.

Still, there are people that I've come to know, people I'd love to sit with and drink wine with and bake cookies with and walk with and most enjoyably talk with. Because this blogging thing presents us with a library. A place to browse and open to random pages, reading thoughts and stories and life philosophies. We crack the binding looking for words to pull us in and help us to learn and connect and grow. We look for words that allow us to spend time with others who inspire and entertain and comfort us.

But blogging offers us something library books don't. We have the opportunity to turn from page to page and not only read the author's words, but we're also allowed- no- invited to reflect and share and add our own words to theirs. Yet, I haven't spoken to most of these people. We haven't sat together or just been together.

But that's about to change. In two weeks the Honorable Reverend Swanson is bringing his bride for a visit. And so I will put a voice and a bunch of expressions to the words and photos I've been reading. And with a little duct tape to keep the kids in line we might even be able to have a "real" conversation. And I am looking forward to that. Although that implies our online communications are less than real, but that is not the truth.

We'll be reconnecting with the beautiful Brogan bunch as well, who we always enjoy seeing. We'll talk and eat and watch and listen and walk and who knows what else?

Or that's the plan.

I wonder if it will be at all awkward when Jon learns that not only does Rob not exist, but that I also made up all 3 punks and I am actually a 78 year old man living in Duluth. We shall see.

In other news, I took this photo of a big fat bee on one of my bleeding hearts today and the imaginary kids and I really liked it:

Monday, May 05, 2008


Yesterday I was killing time waiting for a prescription to be filled for Lucy's ear infection. I decided as a treat I'd zip through the Dreaded Donut line for some tea for me and sugar for the Punks. Typically, it was a very crowded poorly planned parking lot. And, tossing the donuts back to the kids, I had to stick the snout of my car out around a van that was parked on the street right next to the parking lot exit.

But the exit was a little hill and so I went out a little farther than I should have. And when I did, I stared into the grill of an enormous Mack truck, and a quick glance in my mirror showed with another car on my bumper, I had no room to back up. And the truck, close and fast, was set to hit my door. And then I would die.

And while they took me to the morgue, or the hospital or wherever they would take me, I was overwhelmed with fear for my kids. Because if I was dead and Rob was away would my kids sit, scared and on an adrenaline and sugar high in the back of a patrol car for hours until they found someone to come? And could 8 comfort 6 and 3? Would they huddle together or sit in silent terror?

But by the grace of God the driver was aware and reacted and stopped just in time. The truck jerking still. And by just in time I mean that if I rolled down my window I would be able to touch the truck's grill. With ease.

And I sat with my hands tight on the wheel and my eyes stuck on the truck. With the clouds reflecting on windshield I could not see the driver's face. And we sat until I pulled out of his way, and so I could park on a side street, repeating a prayer, shaking, reassuring, and crying with fear and relief and whole hearted gratitude.

And I shook for hours.

And at night, when I tried to sleep I couldn't breathe and I dreamed I got run over by a little white car.