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. 


Saturday, June 6, 2015

Hippie Salad Hooray

We're headed to a birthday party for one of my old friends.

He is a musician and so are most of his friends.

It is a potluck and bring your instruments sort of thing.

"You better make enough food for us to have dinner, you know those fricking hippies never start on time and there is never any food. there's always that guy that shows up with like one small packet of seaweed, or some bullshit."

Is what Mark said.

He boiled eight eggs.

We made a lot of coleslaw with Moroccan herbs and dill.

I made pasta shells with sweet peas and homemade mayonnaise, Russian horseradish,capers and kale.

He bought a watermelon at the farmer's market earlier in the day.

I don't know if he intends to bring it with him, or eat it at home, tonight, after the party, while we watch a cooking show, or a movie.

That's our exciting Saturday night, most times.

Last year at this same friend's party, I brought shaved brussel sprouts with bacon and maple, mustard vinaigrette, and this stoned girl kept picking the bacon pieces out with her dirty fingers, and exclaiming


and sort of swooning and smearing it around her mouth,

Until I said

"keep your hands out of my salad!"

My friend's mother, who has known me for more than twenty years, laughed out loud, and the girl sauntered off, only to return with a friend and resume her pickery.

My friend said,

"Yo, don't mess with Heidi's p r e s e n t a t i o n." 

but by then I was satisfactorily annoyed enough to leave.  I only really came to see his mother and say happy birthday. 

I don't really enjoy those kinds of parties now that I'm a cranky old lady. 

I woke up abruptly at 6:30am this morning, from a nightmare.

I dreamed that ISIS extremists had mobilized and were traveling though cities abducting young men. 

They were driving around in big square buses, carting people off and killing them.

The buses were blue and gray and shaped like the buses from the 80's.  

I was  planning to hide Maxwell, in our attic. 

I thought I could stash him in the eaves, behind the built in cupboard in my bedroom, where there isn't a back wall. 

I was concerned about him falling though the ceiling into the living-room, and whether or not the bad guys would notice that the cupboard opened right into the unfinished attic. 

I suppose I was counting on them thinking that the craftsmanship of the people that finished the attic in 1916, was better than it actually was. 

I blame NPR for this nightmare, since I listened to a story about a large group of young Somali men leaving Minnesota to join ISIS. 

I don't typically worry about terrorists, or immigrants, or the end of times type stuff.  I have no idea where this came from, but it scared the shit out of me, and my heart was pounding when I woke up.

"I think we need a panic room."

I told Mark. 

"Does Rosie need to pee? Why are you up?"

I was rooting around in that little cupboard, trying to see if I would fit, or at the very least, if I could push the kids through the opening.

In my dream, I thought I would offer myself, instead of Maxwell, but I wondered if the terrorists would think of it as a square deal.

I regretted my lack of weapons in my dream and wished for something more powerful than a baseball bat, to keep under my bed.

When I woke up, I thought about people that feel afraid all the time.

I almost never feel afraid in that way.

I frequently feel outraged, sad, depressed and disgusted by people, but I almost never feel like shooting anyone, to protect my child.