Life is weird, write about it, paint about it, dance about it, and sing about it too. Use every language in your arsenal to sculpt the world you want to live in. Writer, educator, artist, and creative midwife--this is what I do.
The Habit of Love
Since November, I've been worried about myself. My only roommate, The Venerable Marshall J. Mellow, passed away after ten years of cuddly cohabitation. My family is a dang mess, though that is not new. A job I really enjoyed, ended at the beginning of February. My favorite neighbor moved away. The COVID pounds, which I was still glib about last year, keep inching up the scale. My hormones are participating in a 24/7 dance party.
Dear Grandma Maxine, I wish I could've known you. I wish you would've been here to rock me as a baby, sneak me cookies as a child, or help me mend my grown up broken heart. Your name feels foreign in my mouth, yet the stories of you are closer than my bones.
It was dark the first time they met. A sky so gray, it was almost violet, scrubbing willpower and memory from the air. But Elena was fierce as always. She felt the oncoming storm as a challenge. As she blustered out of the office that day on Davis Street, smoky black hair whipped effortlessly in a French twist behind her, she was fuming. Her client, a sixteen year old who had been in the foster care system for years, was being told that her new school district didn't have any aides that could sign for her in class. She could still feel her fingers buzzing from talking and signing angrily in tandem at the school district attorney. Her client sat next to her, sighing gently every few minutes. Why did some people have so much, and some so little?
How to be Alone
All week I've been thinking about what it takes to be alone. I've seen people who are marvelous at it, able to enter a relationship with even their darkest of shadows, and people who are perpetually running from themselves through addictions, distractions, and dramas. They are never able to connect deeply with others because they can't do it with themselves. You'd think we'd all be masters a year into a pandemic, but living alone is not the same as being alone.
I Don't Know How to Stop Choosing Bad Partners...
I've had my share of bad boyfriends. There was the guy who screamed at me if I wanted him to leave my apartment too soon after having sex, the guy who always "forgot" his wallet when we went out, the guy who lived in his teenage bedroom at almost 30, and a host of generally unavailable men. Like all of us, I stumbled into the dating world, ill-informed and needy.
My Secret Life As A Janitor
33 days is 792 hours, or 47, 520 seconds if you're counting. But who's counting... I am. I'm counting the seconds of unemployment as part of my attempts to amuse myself with way too much time on my hands. If I had lots of money saved, or maybe lived in a tent in the woods, I wouldn't try so hard to keep my days structured and proactive. I'd wake up at noon and walk across the street to take a nap at the park. When I woke, I'd pet a lot of dogs and walk home.
I spent the first 41 years of my life avoiding the dentist unless I was already in pain. There's not some deep, dark, traumatic dental experience that caused this. I was never cut, stabbed, or drilled in a way that made me turn and run when my dental office called, begging me to come in for a cleaning.
Slowing Down the Shame-Nami
Have you had this dream? A fun day at the beach, sun on your shoulders, sand between your toes. You're loading up on sunscreen, when suddenly, a rumble. A collective inhale sweeps across the beach as, quicker than realistically possible, you look up to see a tsunami almost upon you. You run, ankles bending this way and that. Sometimes you make it, sometimes you don't.
What Parents Can Learn From Distance Learning
It's easy to drown in fear, worry, and bone-deep tired. Almost one year into the pandemic, many parents and their distance learners have gone way past each others last nerves. Parents soldier on, because it's their job, and I watch as kids eyes get glassier with every click of the mouse. Some of you may be reaching the point of returning your kids to school, feeling too spent for this new transition. I won't try to tell you it doesn't suck.