October 30, 2009


I made this fox mask. I really like it. I thought you should know.

It made me want to find poems about foxes...
So here are some poems about foxes:

fox, by Lucille Clifton
can blame her for hunkering
into the doorwells at night,
the only blaze in the dark
the brush of her hopeful tail,
the only starlight
her little bared teeth?

and when she is not satisfied
who can blame her for refusing to leave,
Master Of The Hunt, why am I
not feeding, not being fed?

Reflections of a Fox, by Christian Langston Davidson
It is in my nature, I suppose.
They let me out, so I run off into the thicket.
I've got to see how deep I can get into it
Before they catch me again

As long as I've been doing this, I've never gone uncaught
They are masterful hunters.

Standing tall on the top of the hill: they surround me
Crouched in the bowels of the valley: they uncover me
Hidden deep in the depths of the cave: they overwhelm me
Stuck stumbling in the lair of rattlesnakes: they rescue me
Trapped in the jaws of greed: they free me

Daily, exuberance dawns on me to lure me away;
Nightly, humility settles me in a magnificent palace
I can bank on that more than my own skin.

from Fox Sleep, by W.S. Merwin
What I thought I had left I kept finding again
but when I went looking for what I thought I remembered
as anyone could have foretold it was not there

when I went away looking for what I had to do
I found that I was living where I was a stranger
but when I retraced my steps the familiar vision
turned opaque and all surface and in the wrong places

and the places where I had been a stranger appeared to me
to be where I had been at home called by name and answering
getting ready to go away and going away

October 27, 2009

Lodged (Robert Frost)

The rain to the wind said,
"You push and I'll pelt."
They so smote the garden bed
That the flowers actually knelt
And lay lodged - though not dead.
I know how the flowers felt.

Thank you, Robert. I think I know how the flowers felt, too.

October 22, 2009

fairy tale endings

I have been reading alot of fairy tales lately. I appreciate that when the hero finally gets to the happy ending, the Bad Guys are summarily dispatched, and without a hint of pity -- because they are the bad guys. (It only makes sense: Bad. Guys. Hello? What possible reason would there be to keep hanging out with the bad guys? Why on earth would we let them live in our house, or sit at our table, or come to our parties?)

I like that the wicked stepmother and stepsisters aren't invited to Cinderella's wedding, that victories and celebrations can't be tainted by antagonists because they are just completely out of the picture now, goodbye. Real life should be like that too, I think. But so few people are strong enough to say: "No! That was not okay and you will NEVER treat me that way again -- you won't have the chance."

I always thought I had to have the people who had hurt me the most around forever, that any happy event would have to be shared with them, even though I knew deep down that they would overshadow it, and suck some of the happiness away. I felt like I owed everyone I ever came in contact with a piece of myself, for some reason. So to realize -- rather suddenly, at 25 years old -- that I have a choice, that I don't have to share myself with anyone I don't want to share myself with... well, that is huge. That is having my life handed to me.

October 19, 2009


It's nice that you want to take care of me; no one has ever wanted to take care of me before.

Oh... Oh, that makes me sad.

Me too.

October 17, 2009

the pieces

I see them both, over and over, in my mind's eye. I want to calculate the months, the days, but I stop myself. Would it matter? Could it help? Yes. No. Probably not. Well, maybe. Yes. It might. But still, I stop myself.

I have nowhere to put my pain, nowhere to put this love... so I am making a quilt. I am laboring over it, bringing it into being out of scraps of nothing, working in my mother-love, my hope, my imagination. I am doing this for myself, so I do not drown. So I do not choke. So I do not die.

I pieced it together from scraps like I am piecing my heart. I will stitch the pieces into rows, and the rows into blocks, and I will layer it and quilt it and bind it and finish it. And later, when I have a husband and a house and a dog, when I have two more girls and a boy, and we are sitting in a heap in the evening with a good book and a fire in the fireplace, I will pull this quilt from the pile in a basket I will have by the couch, and without tears or twinges of sorrow, I will wrap it around my youngest child, and finger the place where I've emroidered Noah. And I will smile, and say: "Once upon a time..."

October 16, 2009

big and small

How are you feeling today?

I feel like shit.


Because I don't have a family.

Oh. I know. You never really did have a family, did you? But you can see it now, and feel it, and that makes it fresh and awful all over again.


I had to get you out of there, you know. I could see what it was doing to you, being around those people still.

I know. I didn't want to be there, but I didn't think I had a choice. I didn't think there was anyone else.

I'm going to find you a new mommy and daddy.

A new family?

Yes. But it might take awhile. You can stay with me until then.

Okay. Will you play games with me?

Sure. What kind of games?

Word games. I love words. I want to be a writer. I want to write stories like the ones in the books I read. Better than the books I read!

That's great! I bet you can. You write down anything that pops into your head, okay? Any little thing could be used for a story someday. You write and write and you keep on writing. I bet you’ll be famous one day.

You think I'll be famous? Really?


Will it be hard?


Will it make me cry?

(pause) Maybe.

It will it be worth it, though, right?

Oh, definitely. Don't you think so?

Yes, I think so... But I'm glad you think so, too.

Yi Peng

In the northwest region of Thailand, they have a celebration called the Yi Peng Lantern Festival. On the night of the full moon, they make huge hot air balloons to carry their prayers up into the night sky. As each balloon is set adrift and floats away, it takes with it the hardships and troubles of the person who made it, leaving room for good things to come...

October 14, 2009

the heartbreak moment, on repeat

It happens often. In the tub, or getting dressed. As I wake up in the morning, or when I'm going to bed. It's when I wrap both arms protectively around my belly and, vaguely surprised, I find no tightness there, no gradual slope, no movement. I am confused... and I remember, then, why this upsets me. There should be a baby. But there isn't. There should be. But there isn't.

But there should be.

October 13, 2009


There are times I feel haunted, or stalked. When it seems heartache lurks around every corner, monstrous, ready to pounce. My heart beats heavy and erratic, and I start at nothing and shadows of nothing, and try not to think. Turning the lights on can't quiet the silence, or stop me from flinching every time darkness descends with a blink.

October 5, 2009

do over

I was thinking rather dismally this morning about some of the myriad of painful things I've been through in my short life, and if any of that grief could have been spared, if I had the chance to do it over... and I was startled to realize, strange as it seems even to me, that I would not take back those first few months of the summer, and my second round with J, as heartrending as it was -- because Noah came from that.

I tried telling myself I wouldn't know the difference, if it had never happened, or even if I just hadn't known. It hurt like nothing else to lose my baby, and is another checkmark on a long list of traumas... but I wouldn't trade those precious weeks with my first son for anything.

What the fuck was I thinking?

note to self, twenty years too late

Katie! There is not a single person on this planet that you are not allowed to say "NO" to. You can say "NO" to your mom, your dad, your teachers, your friends, your neighbors. You can say "NO" to anyone, anytime. You do not belong to anyone, you are not owned by anyone, and you don't owe anyone anything.

Listen to that voice inside of you when it says run, run, run! Run far, run fast, and don't look back.

October 4, 2009

Heartache of a Stranger (Paper Face)

She wanted to scream until her lungs collapsed. Scream and scream and scream until someone heard her. "My heart hurts," she wanted to say, "I'm here, but I'm not. I have a name, but I feel nameless. I feel like I was born yesterday and inherited all the heartache of a stranger."

via Paper Face

October 2, 2009


a light; sweet; noble

comfort; rest; peace