Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Weapons

I have been stockpiling weapons in the kitchen cupboard.
Machine guns, pistols, knives, and clubs, some as long as one inch.
I find them around the apartment lost by my sons
from the Star Wars toys their father once collected in tribute
to his own father and childhood.

I used to throw them away, but now as my little cache
grows, I feel as though each one points to some
future crime they won't commit, in some future
world that does not love weapons--holy be thy gun.

Did you know, one says to me, in the Ewok Village
there are no stores. The Ewoks kill animals and eat them.
Then they make blankets for their babies with the fur.
People once lived this way, I tell him, though he does
not yet believe that people were ever another way
or that we ourselves could be different.

I find the two-year-old stuck under his brother's bed
at 3am, crying. I have to turn his head to pull him out
and then he cries for an hour and cannot settle back to sleep.
Open, open, open, I whisper to myself. Stay here.
Do not shut out sorrow whensoever it may come.

I am reading Langston Hughes and thinking about
how I fit the profile of the nice White
person who never believed "that man" could win the presidency.
I am the one who said it was all a joke.
What does this say about me?
My ignorance, my privilege, my shame, & advocacy--

O, yes,
I say it plain,
America never was America to me,
And yet I swear this oath--
America will be! 

In the woods beside the river, silence.
Alone I feel my breath like a mountain rising up in me
like the sea from which we all cleave--
If I can touch this soft and open hollow
If I can speak it into being and find another way
If I can sing even the humble lullaby of my feet
pressed against the earth, and see the birds lift in unison today
If I--

In the Ewok Village, my son tells me, some Ewoks have babies
and they pet the babies' heads and they fall right to sleep.
They sleep in baskets covered in animal fur.
Do you know how to wake a baby Ewok? He asks.
No. How?
You tap him on the head like this and then he wakes.




Sunday, October 16, 2016

Homeward






“All things on earth point home in old October; sailors to sea, travellers to walls and fences, hunters to field and hollow and the long voice of the hounds, the lover to the love he has forsaken.” 

―Thomas Wolfe





"Perhaps home is not a place but simply an irrevocable condition."

---James Baldwin, Giovanni's Room




In the morning at home, this room. 



Wednesday, October 12, 2016

The Museum Of Magical Things

Morning in October a sky of shade and trees ablaze.
My heart has been beating overtime lately.
The children cry.
In my mind the chrysalis begins to turn
black and orange, suddenly translucent to the body of the
monarch.
Later and before,
after the wings dried
and the boys let the two butterflies slip
away, away
all the way to Mexico,
I touched a wet finger to the empty
shells left on the mason jar
surprised by the strength of their stems
stuck fast to the glass.

The ache of my head
this morning. The beat of my heart
fast, heavy, heaving.
Fear in the red orange fire of the tree.
Fear in something I cannot yet see.
Breathe. Drink water. Breathe.
The children are crying fat tears at the breakfast
table. Slapping each other, stealing toys.
Later they will sit in the bath after night fall
with their father at the kitchen sink
steps away, washing the dishes. They will sit
in hot water and laugh and splash and be happy.

I will teach my class
exhaustedly, worried that I am failing,
think of the way my face is breaking
feel the thick web of time.
Think of the thin lines also on the faces
of my beloveds... sisters, friends, husband.
How we had never believed they'd be.
I think of the way they mark a history of expression.
The way they mark inwardly, a life lived.
The way they point often towards the sky.
I am trying to love
what I already have, what is already here
what has come of this life,
rather than the other stuff
of the yet evolved regions
of the brain. The want.
Trying to love the book manuscript
as it is, unruly and imperfect.
All the hours endless hours spent,
but ask me a question. What is the story?

Later, I will lay in my bed beside my husband
feet to head, head to feet. Speaking.
Listening. I complain. I feel the same.
Nothing changes. But everything does.
In the museum of magical things or perhaps
it is magical thinking in there & here,
all the sun filled days, all the snowforts of the world
all the stories we have told each other
in our weary attempts to stave off time.
In our love.
Our broken, imperfect love.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Wedding Poem & Morning Muse

Here's the poem I read at Bess & Adam's Wedding: September 10, 2016 Camp DuNord Ely, MN


Let the World Come

Gather devotion,
Gather radiance, light of light,
Gather the leaves in the wind,
Gather the children
Let them into your lap, into your being—
You came to change and be changed
You came to grow your hands open
And you will walk among the gods of this earth 
Until your fingers break and you learn
Your hands were never made to grasp in fist,
To mark what is and is not yours—
They are glowing stars, point them at the sky
Bend your knees and let the world come
Let it take you



...


Morning. We slept late and I hurried to get the boys to daycare and preschool. It's already 11 and I have been bumbling around my email and apartment trying to get all the work done that needs doing for tomorrow's class and Wednesday's class and weekend manuscript review. 

From my desk at the window I hear the geese fly over twice and the honking call makes me think of this past weekend, and my dear sister Bess getting married to her beloved Adam. The two have know each other for 10 years and have loved each other for many and have two sweet children. All together with my family in the north woods of Minnesota I was enamored with the woods and lake and love, good food and spirits and bonfires and music. Still so tired from the whirlwind trip Josh and the boys and I made to be there. But it was worth it. I adore these lovelies so much. Many blessings to them as they venture on together in life and love. 

Thursday, April 28, 2016

8 Years

3 years ago I walked to the park on this date with Moses. Tonight I went with Willem, roughly the same age as Moses had been then. 3 years ago it was warm and I ware an old navy blue knit skirt but tonight the chill cut into me and Willem and I wore our winter coats and hats. Willem climbed the slide structure, laughing, runny nosed, jolly. He slid down backwards on his belly and got off by himself. He bent to kiss me from up there, though he doesn't know how to make the smacking sound and just purses his lips a little and then smiles. Just as I had 3 years ago, tonight I pointed up at the sky and said clouds and he looked and I felt again the wonder of the world. I held Willem as we walked home with 3 books from the little free library box--3 really good books--and then I pointed to the tiny buds of green on the trees and I told him how soon they would unfurl and whoosh, bloom, and he said whoosh and threw his hands up at the sky and the trees.

Today, I left the boys with Ren and a pile of dirt for her garden and went to the coffee shop in Winooski, one of my favorites. I drank my coffee beside the window and read my manuscript through the end and felt the ache of wanting to make it really good, make it beautiful and the fear that it won't ever be good enough or that I won't find the time to really finish it. My biggest fear with this book, my first, is that it won't be as good as I know I can make it because I don't have enough time. I have been teaching myself to write a book these past 6 years, I suppose, while simultaneously learning how to be married and be a mother to these two magical little creatures-- Mo & Will.

It is about the magic though. It is always about the magic. The magic of the work of writing comes when I can hear it singing in my ears as I work and I know I'm onto something, I'm really seeing it and intuiting it and trusting the work. It is this way also with love. We know its magic and we seek it, if we are lucky, if we remember. Even when it feels like drudgery we keep at it because we know that a little sunlight or warmth or coffee or a sweet almond croissant with a gooey middle could turn it all around and we could be in the magic again, in the joy.

This is what my life is made of, what I have built it on... this magic and longing and love of creation, love of the joy I feel in seeing my children and husband and family and friends find the magic and the joy and the love.






Saturday, January 16, 2016

Winter Begins

Little loves.


Moses, December 2015

Music in January


Moses, Milk, & Little People

Willem, 2016



Willem, 2016