Thursday, August 6, 2015

I worked a little with my friend Marta this week. 

She has a dreamy little school at the base of Mt. Tabor and we walked with the children up the steep hillside to the tip top playground each day. 

Playing away on the cool mountain side, reminding each other that this is a volcano, you know.

Today, as we made our way down, the steep grassy path, the smallest, and dreamiest child holding my hand, someone called "HEIDI?" from one of the houses.

"it's me, Joan, Joanie, Jonathan's sister!" 

And sure enough, it was Joan, Jonathan's sister, sitting right there, on the hillside, playing with three babies. 

"Are those your grandchildren?"

My mind raced to do the math, just in case I was making a giant faux pas.

" This littlest one is my granddaughter, and I care for the other two, I have been caring for babies for fourteen years." 

Fourteen years. 

"I'm still doing preschool!"

I raised the hand of the dreamiest of all, child, to demonstrate that I belonged to that group. 

"How on earth did you recognize me?" 

"I'm wearing my glasses!"

I did a quick inventory of my appearance, and even with glasses, I look a great deal different than I did in the 80's! 

I suppose she had seen me last in 1997.

The last time I spoke to Joan, was early March of 1999.

She phoned me, to tell me that Jonathan had died. 

He had been my mentor, my friend, my lover, my everything, when I was in college. 

When I was young and idealistic and ridiculously full of myself and hope. 

He had informed my world vision profoundly, and made me want to work with children in a more focused way. 

"How are Jacob and Sara?"

"They are well, Jacob is a chef, he has two children."

The last time I saw Jacob was at a birthday party for Jonathan's father, in 1997.

He was 12, or 13, and ecstatic to see me. 

We went to a movie, we ate pizza.

We remained friends, despite me breaking up with his dad, we all had FUN. 

The first time I met Joan, was at a Seder, at her home.

I was a bosomy, blonde 19 year old, scandalizing the whole family. 

Who brings a 19 year old to a family Seder? Is what I imagined the sisters saying. 

Who knows what they actually said.

Who cares. 

I ate gefilte fish, and drank the wine.  

"I don't give a shit what anyone thinks." 

Jonathan said often. 

"Fuck them." 

I didn't attend the memorial service, never got the details, couldn't bare to deal with all of those big feelings, and I had a brand new baby. 

I don't do well with crowds, with people, with curated events.

Jonathan would have understood.



 


Wednesday, July 8, 2015

In the grass is always greener news, I put my husband on a plane for Comic Con, for work, which after two decades he finds annoying, while to me it sounds much more exciting than shuttling small people to soccer camp and making toasted cheese sandwiches and walking the dog. He has been warned not to return home without making some kind of contact with Norman Reedus for me.

Monday, July 6, 2015

We only signed up for two camps this year, because camps are expensive and Freyja is doing some traveling and my mom is in town and it seemed like a good idea.

The camps are soccer camps and she is going with her really, super good friend.

The first one was at a Catholic school in North Portland, which seemed like a no brainer, except Portland has become a traffic nightmare, and you can't drive across town in less than an hour anymore, and once my mother got lost and was a half hour late picking up.

This camp this week was attractive, because it is at a local school, just over on 15th!

HOORAY!

So we picked up the good friend and drove to the school with the name posted on the camp sign up, and waited. 

We waited and waited and waited.

No one showed up.

At 9:46, I looked at my phone and googled the name of the school and "fields" and sure enough, there is a lone soccer field with that EXACT name, across town, in NE.

I was already moderately annoyed, because the camp never sent a confirmation, or any additional information, and that sort of lack of communication is really irritating to me.

On top of that Freyja had thrown the mother of all tantrums over putting on sunscreen, which made me want to rip out my hair.

So off we went to find this mystery soccer field.

Naturally there was no direct route, with Burnside and Sandy now being one way, and a giant delivery truck blocking Davis.

We drove and drove and finally found the place and ran to meet up with the soccer guy.

I told him what had happened and he said

"Yeah, we get that a lot."

Hmmm, perhaps a clarifying e-mail would be in order?

On the way home, I felt a twinge of guilt over getting so hot under the collar over the sunscreen, and decided to stop at Whole Foods, to buy some of the insanely overpriced juice pocket things that Freyja lives for, and I never buy, for her lunch the rest of the week.

As I pulled in a giant delivery truck pulled along side of me, blocking me, to I couldn't move, for about 15 minutes.  

I went into the store and the greeter asked me. "HOW ARE YOU TODAY?" brightly.

"I feel like punching someone in the face."


Friday, June 26, 2015

I went to Lit Hop last evening, with my friend Karen, who is down for Rolf's birthday.

I know a fair number of writerly folks, and I'd hoped to get to see more than one reading, but the night was oppressively HOT, and the friend I'd come to see was from out of town and it felt tacky to listen and dash off, so we stayed for the last reader, a bombastic fellow with black curls and a LOUD voice.

His poetry was catchy.

He may have a future in advertising.

He writes hooks.

My friend is eloquent and smart and humble and he mumbled.

Way more writer, than reader, I suppose.

I sat at the bar between my oldest childhood friend, Julia, a woman I adore, but see rarely.

She has children.

There are women for whom motherhood builds community.

For me, and maybe for Julia, motherhood has shrunk us.

Boiled us down to the barest of bones.

Tony read a poem he wrote for me.

He read it last.

It wasn't sentimental, or lovely.

It was sturdy and a little homespun, I suppose the way he may see me.

The crowd was two hours into drink, and craved bombast and volume.

My poem with it's water, trees, and small town, was a little flat.

I had to drive, so I sat soberly, sweating, my arm touching Julia's cool bicep.

A glass of water would have been welcome, but I would have lost my seat, if I got up, so I sat, blocked in by a very tall woman, who was waiting for space to walk up the stairs.

A woman, who gave not one fig about poetry, or courtesy, her pointy elbow, nearly touching my face. 

Monday, June 15, 2015

Manifest like a mother


 I often say "it's proof of God's love", even though I don't believe in God in much of a way that you would think that he, or she would be proving their love to me, but one thing I do believe in with all of my heart and soul, is the power of goodness and generosity and kindness, I've seen the abundance so often in my life of all of these things not to be a stone believer.
 I belong to a couple of silly Portland groups on Facebook, and a couple of them revolve around found objects.  I am a sucker for found objects, having been poor as an underemployed church-mouse for, well forever, and when not totally broke, let us just say that austerity measures are needed to continue to live in my hella expensive home town.

I also just really like old things.

I like used things, with the exception of underwear, almost always, more than new things.
Last week was a shitshow of a week.

An emotional disaster. 

I'm feeling better, getting back to myself, but geez.

A member of the Facebook group mentioned finding a birdcage on the side of the road.

It was a real beauty, and at first I mistook it for a plant stand, which I had been on the lookout for, to get my collection of Christmas Cactus (cacti?)  off the little side phone table, they had been hogging for months. 

The very next day, the lady with the birdcage tells me she found me a plant-stand.

She finds things for people. 

I also find things for people, so it made perfect sense.

Her finding me this perfect, beautiful plant-stand made perfect sense. 

Her plant-stand went perfectly with my other found plant-stands, and by golly, it could not have been more perfect.

I met her this evening and she hugged me, in the warmest and most kind and sincere way, and I was so deeply moved and humbled and touched and lifted up. 

Friday, June 12, 2015

"Even though we don't have money, I'm so in love with you honey..."

So things got complicated and I quit my job.

Mark says "*&^% those guys" because he loves me.

"You are not good at doing stuff that you can't believe in"

and I say

"thank you for loving me"

and he says

"quit saying thank you, it's my job."

and then I cry and he says

"I hate it when you cry, I just want you to be happy"

 and  that makes me cry about ten times more.

Then I sing the chorus from Danny's Song and Mark says

" I will cut you a check right now, if you stop singing."

and we both laugh like crazy, because, if you don't laugh, you cry.

Monday, June 8, 2015

I scrapped the last of the fancy raspberry jam out of the Maman jar today, and immediately started to imagine what I would do with the jar.

It's a real beauty, as jam jars go, with it's embossed label along the rim and it's handsome gingham lid.

I, who am so strong, against material goods and advertising, can be sucked right in by a jar of jam and the possibilities of it when empty.

I have been this way for as long as I can remember.

A collector.

A hoarder.

An imaginer of potential.

My grandmother was that way, only not as tidy, which I suspect is what made both my mother and her sister something of minimalists.

As a child I was horrified by my mother's lack of sentimentality, these days, as she fills our house with doodads and sundry objects, I see that she probably simply lacked the time and money to accumulate a lot.

I thought about throwing it straight away, into the trash.

Be done with it!

Out of sight, out of mind, type deal, but it's sitting in my sink, soaking.

"You're growing up." 

I heard my Grandma Betty's voice in my head congratulating my feeble attempt to be less of a pack-rat.

I'm growing up, but slowly.