Saturday, December 31, 2011
Trying to come up with titles for a memoir to cover this year. Here are a few contenders so far:
Friday, December 16, 2011
Sunday, December 11, 2011
Saturday, November 26, 2011
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Friday, November 04, 2011
Doors red, blue, brown, white standard sizes, white one skinny closet door. one blue with window and glass, I collect doors but can't take them! 10 each
That is an actual line from a Craig's List ad. The person was moving and listing a variety of things for sale. After the hand-painted boogie board and before the list of mirrors was this list. Doors.
Collecting doors? Maybe he or she didn't want to miss Opportunity. It might knock on the beige one with the half-circle of stained glass at the top. Or, it might favor the steel door, impenetrable though it may seem. The screen door, flapping gayly open and closed through summer nights might be where it comes to call, or the one painted white and red with the ornate handle.
The call and the challenge for the writer is to notice. Through this year of chaos, I try. Often anymore, it is the only thing I can do. I can't seem to do anything about things, either because they are out of my control to begin with or because I notice them while walking a fussy baby, or while falling into bed, exhausted.
Before I moved, I had started on a longer work, now temporarily abandoned, that deals with my mom's passing and my tendency to search for and, by turns, embrace or reject what might be signs of messages from the other side. One of the main things I am grappling with in writing it – or should I say grappling with and so writing it in hopes of at least (and this is no small part) laying bare the questions though the answers may never find me – is even if I were to find what I believe with all my being is a sign, so what? A sign of...? The meaning of which is...? Because of it I'm supposed to believe...?
That's where the noticing comes in. For now, I just notice. It is what it is, as they say. What to do with the information, I have no idea.
I just notice, for example, that my mother declined open heart surgery before she died. And that the last time I saw her was in a cardio ICU unit. I just notice that a year after her passing I had a baby that requires open heart surgery. And that I will be spending time with him in a cardio ICU unit.
I also notice that I have bought a house with a lot of issues regarding doors and passage ways. I refer to it regularly as a Feng Shui nightmare. None of the doors to the rooms close right, entrances are obstructed, unnecessarily complicated, blocked. If everything in the world wasn't at the top of my priority list right now, from buying winter boots to scheduling surgery, I'd say I'd have those doors fixed ASAP. My baby, born to this house in so many strange ways – born at home the night we moved in, his middle name meaning “new house...” -- has passages in his heart that are blocked and other spaces that are open where they aren't supposed to be. Just noticing.
I laughed and laughed at the door collector when I first hit upon it. But really, why should this hobby be any odder than any of our other neuroses? French doors teeming with possibility. Barn doors with their two halves swinging independently. We live among closet doors, pocket doors, solid wood doors with see-through key holes. All the while, looking for a way out
Thursday, October 27, 2011
Just wanted to clarify, since several people asked me...Rhys and I had to stay overnight for some tests, we are not doing surgery yet. Present tense as a stylistic choice and always a lag time in real time vs posts. Thanks always for reading.
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
It was my first night in a hospital. I have spent the day standing on a cardio cath recovery floor because we are "overflow," the third "high risk" baby of the day. Rhys got to do his echocardiogram and I only had to force feed him foul-tasting medicine that put him to sleep first. Almost like a party. Nine hours after we arrived we got to talk to the cardiologist. It only took the surgeon 8 and a zap to the pager.
Now, Rhys and I are settled into our charming accommodations where his monitors sing to us about numbers on blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate, and oxygen saturation levels.Any time I lift him to nurse, we go code blue. It's not unlike a car alarm - no one pays attention anymore since they are always set off by accident. Beyond the curtain there is a 2-week old and his mom. The little guy has already had surgery for his time in our world and has yet to breathe the air outside a hospital wing.
In place for a night of monitoring, I am thinking of making a leaf rubbing of the springs on my cot. A handsome man breezes into our room around 10 pm or so and introduces himself as Dan. Hi, Dan. He looks like he just walked off the set of one of those medical drama shows. Dark chest hair curls out of the top of his scrubs. He has an easy manner, quick with the jokes.
"I'm the doctor on duty for the night," he tells me, and by way of further jovial explanation: "It's my job to keep everyone alive overnight."
"Mine, too," I say.
"Really?" he inquires, all earnestness and curiosity. "What do you do?"
"I'm a mom."
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
We are a people who, approaching an intersection on foot where 2 or 3 people are already standing waiting for the walk signal, immediately press the button, assuming, one is to believe, that the other people forgot to or somehow did it wrong, thus, their continuing stance at the corner.
However, we are also a people who are perfectly willing to believe that a surgical team can saw through the breast bone, stop the heart, empty it of blood, cut it here and sew it there with the ultimate in precision, presumably repairing, without risk of error, what is already the ultimate in perfection.
Friday, October 14, 2011
|Rhys: over it with the doctors, but still trying to stay balanced in the yin and yang of it.|
Thursday, September 29, 2011
I have been reading emails from friends. And friends of friends. And friends of friends of... Well, you get the idea. I put out a call to my peeps for anyone with information, connections, or personal experience with Tetralogy of Fallot and what I got back has left me dazzled.
So many people went out of their way to try to help us. So many words of encouragement, from all the crazy corners of my life. The poets and the doctors; the lawyers, the teachers, the pray-ers and the skeptics. I love you all. Thank you.
Any of you who've followed this blog over time may have gathered that our Isaac -- from here on out to be known as "our first-born," just because it amuses me and feels charmingly cliche and like something I'd never say, ever -- is a rather intense little person who demands a great deal of our time and attention. And while he is still that and in all likelihood will always be that,
Isaac our first-born has been doing a fabulous job of busying himself lately. In fact, he never stops being busy. Ever.
One of this favorite things these days is cutting out snowflakes. You know, the fold the paper and snip holes kind. And while I might object somewhat to this premature winter filling my windows, considering I'll have a real, New England winter on my hands before you know it, I can't help but be charmed by my son's creations which include his very best writing.
Bundled into the center of his snowflakes are conglomerations of the words he can spell without thinking too hard, so that they usually say things like "IsaacMomDadRhysCatLove." And I take them from him and think, yeah, pretty much, that's it.
The authentic snowflakes are still a ways off for now, gratefully, but weather has been unusually rainy here these days. Downpours several days out of the week seem common.
Both my boys were born in the pouring rain. There is a sacredness to rainy days. I have always thought so. There is something to gain from the darkened scenery, the baptism of garden and asphalt alike.
All I can do is just move through this time with Rhys. Move slowly through.
Everything wants to be the rain.
The yellow maple leaves
pinging against the walkway
gather first to fall in a gold sheet
of sound. The dry grasses
bending in the wind
thirst to be like the rain --
how it can calm the most hassled
day, put us softly to sleep.
The traffic on the highway --
especially the traffic -- puts on its best
mimicry, longing as it does
to be instead the beat and whoosh
of contemplation that is the rain.
And as the rain streams now, down
the windshields of rush hour,
it does not mock or scold its proteges,
does not deny them their allegiance
as it might, but simply continues, steady
in its example.
Sunday, September 25, 2011
Monday, September 05, 2011
|photo could be better, took it on my phone.|
Saturday, September 03, 2011
Friday, September 02, 2011
Thursday, September 01, 2011
must update that sidebar.
Monday, August 22, 2011
Saturday, August 06, 2011
...just on the other side of our 10-year anniversary...the boy everyone was sure would be a girl...
5 lbs, 15 oz.
August 5, 2011, 1:10 am
Rhys = of Welsh origin, meaning "boldness," "enthusiasm"
Xavier = of Basque origin, meaning "new house"
(pronounced Reese ZAY/Vee/Er)
Monday, August 01, 2011
Meet the latest challenge in Emily's life.
As you may be able to divine, Lucy is a ferocious beast, ready to maul my poor girl the minute she gets the opportunity. She's all fang and slober and malice. She's...okay, she's a pile of depressed fluff because her family left her here while they go somewhere in Maine I can't pronounce. She took one sniff of cat from about 10 feet and ran the other way. The problem, however, is that Emily is oblivious to her power over this other animal. We are staying on the second floor, Emily's food and litter pan are in the basement, and in between there's...
And here she was thinking she was queen again. Sure, she smelled the cat that used to live here, up to just a few weeks before we arrived. Oh yeah, didn't I mention in my "the living and the dead" post a couple back that even my poor cat had to live in the shadow of death? Our host's cat died two months before we got here. He's buried in the backyard.
Times are tough, BUT! It's August. It really turned into August, like I never thought it would. Soon, these posts will include news of a house - our house! It's almost too much to believe.
August 1st = Our closing date. And everyone's happy on closing day, aren't they?
Here's the picture I have -- a bar, lots of dark wood, the TV monitors tuned to the Red Sox game but muted, the bartender drying out glasses or cutting lemons, a few couples eating at the surrounding tables. Now, over in the corner, near the waitress station, there are the realtors - ours and the seller's, their arms around each other, swaying. And what's that they are singing? "We're in the Money," I think. Their words are slurred a little, the shot glasses in their hands tilting out some of their moonshine. Before we pan away, several "Iloveyoumans" can be heard exchanged.
Oh! And look! There's the home inspector. He's given up the knee pads and the rubber shoe covers; he's looking sharp in a pressed white collar shirt open to his navel -- is that a gold medallion resting on his chest?? -- and he's leaning in toward the bartender, tracing his finger around and around the rim of his beer glass. I think he just licked his lips.
The loan officer from the bank is looking gooooood tonight. My oh my, I wouldn't have though she had it in her, but damn if she's not got that fishnet thigh wrapped around the pole on the stage in the back of the room. What would the underwriter think if she could see her now??? And she's stuffing hundred dollar bills in her own garter belt! Wow! Where could all that money that have come from?
Our lawyer is there, too, and, aw, gee, this is a little embarrassing, he's stripped down to his boxers and he's climbing up on the bar. He seems to be twirling his clothes around his head and gyrating his hips while occasionally letting out whooping noises and sucking down his vodka tonic."Easiest money I ever made!" he shouts over the jukebox (Bon Jovi's "Dead or Alive") and then rocks his air guitar. And of course the paralegal is standing nearby, his right hand man. He just called for another round for the bar on Kitty and Mike!!
So raise a glass tonight, wherever you may be. It's on us.
Friday, July 29, 2011
In most human cultures, birth is a social event not a potential medical emergency... - Geradine Simkins
When I left Monterey, one of the fabulous friends I left behind was my midwife, Maggie. She is an incredibly unique soul -- hilarious, insightful, grounded in layers of experience, politically and otherwise courageous, an amazing artist, an oasis of comfort.
She "caught" Isaac, as they say, and I wish very much she could be here for this baby. I got to spend the first trimester and a half with her.
She is one of the midwives featured in a new book called Into These Hands: Wisdom from Midwives, edited by Geradine Simkins. It is a compilation of the stories of midwives over the age of 50 who have been practicing for at least 25 years, how they came to be what they are and why they do what they do.
Thursday, July 28, 2011
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Monday, July 18, 2011
Sunday, July 17, 2011
Saturday, July 16, 2011
|My son is still a goofball.|
|Emily is still clearly traumatized by the trip...|
|And misses the port o' potty.|
|found a cool market for my farmer's market habit.|
|this sculpture was labeled "Birth" - Do I need to tell you the artist is a man?|
|One of several favorite doctored signs around town.|
|Indeed. - more amusing signage.|