December 31, 2009

new year's eve

Goodbye, 2009...
You were the hardest year of my life so far -- and that's
saying something.

falling in love at a coffee shop

Cissa plugged in the headphones and put them on, just for fun. I played some music for her on the computer and she stood next to my chair, leaning against me like she does, and hummed along to songs she didn't really know. "Here," she said suddenly, "I need to go talk to mom for a second. You can listen while I'm gone. You will like the music. It is kind of soft... and warm..."

Here is the song.
She is really good at describing things.

December 30, 2009

the paper people

C was so excited about Oona Patterson's art yesterday that he decided to try for himself...

Here is the inspiration:

And here is his work (in progress):

December 29, 2009


Oh my gosh!!

tiny gorgeous bookscapes by Oona Patterson (You must go and look at more. I insist.) discovered via mackinink, who seems to hand me something lovely every time I turn around.

December 28, 2009

it finally came

You must imagine that I am saying this in a raspy, barely audible, tear-stained voice:
Thank you, Pammy. You saved my life.


They didn't love me.
They didn't ever love me, not even a little bit.
Love doesn't act that way.

My tears are so hot they hurt.
They burn my cheeks like battery acid.


Sometimes it's like a passage in a book. You're reading along and you can feel it coming, some nameless thing, too awful to look at directly. You hope it won't be what you think it is, what you know that it is. You want to close your eyes, or skip ahead, but you know that if you do you will miss something crucial to the story. Something enormous and small. It's always stuck there, isn't it? The heart of everything, caught like a bunny on barbed wire, wide-eyed and bleeding.

December 27, 2009


I sat in bed all morning, watching lines and vees and zigzags of birds as they flew -- inexplicably -- northeast, toward the Decembered hills that slope unevenly across my view and up into Canada, heedless of customs agents or the international borders neatly drawn on human maps. Slate grey gulls and umber geese, starlings so black they're almost blue, and ash-white swans.

The shades were drawn all the way up; I don't often do that. But the light... the light was special, today. I watched it move and change the shapes of things, sometimes with my eyes open, and sometimes with them closed. I sat and listened to music and did nothing, for once, with my hands. They lay folded in my lap, inert, quiet and compliant and deceptively still.


I had a horrible dream this morning. I dreamed I was at the house where I grew up, and my dad walked in, so I immediately attacked him. He grabbed me and I was going to bite his hand, but then I had the stomach-turning thought that he might actually like that, so I didn't. I hit his stupid face, and kicked him and beat at his chest as hard as I could and screamed. And all the while he just held me off at arm's length, and looked pitying, and said infuriating things like "There, there," and "I know," as if he could soothe me. As if he were a good parent and I was a child throwing a silly tantrum, and when my temper was spent he would forgive me for my tiresome behavior and we would all go on as usual. And no matter how I kept screaming and hitting, and getting more angry instead of less, his face never changed and he never understood that I wanted him dead, dead, dead, and things would never be the same again.

I woke up thrashing and crying and mad. I hate him so much - but it hurts me, instead of him. It's so unfair.


The fences and the rooftops and the green of the grass were all pale with frost, and the new morning light that glowed along the frayed edges of the foothills was winter-pale too. The colors were all crystalized, frozen in place. The air was thin and clean and cold, and pricked at your lungs, needle-like, on its way in and out.

December 26, 2009


I'm all out of faith, this is how I feel
I'm cold and I am shamed, lying naked on the floor
Illusion never changed into something real
I'm wide awake and I can see the perfect sky is torn
You're a little late, I'm already torn

from Torn, by Natalie Imbruglia


I have that icky feeling, the one I used to get all the time as a teenager. Like I did something wrong, but I'm not sure what it could be. And now I'm in trouble, and someone is coming; coming to punish me. I feel sick and unsettled and a little bit scared. I'd hoped that reading for awhile would help. But it didn't.

I miss Pam. I wish my package would get here.
I could just cry for wanting it so much.

December 25, 2009


People observe the colors of a day only at its beginnings and ends, but to me it's quite clear that a day merges through a multitude of shades and intonations, with each passing moment. A single hour can consist of thousands of different colors. Waxy yellows, cloud-splat blues. Murky darknesses. In my line of work, I make it a point to notice them.

Markus Zusak, The Book Thief

(I got this book for a Christmas present, and I am already loving it immensely.)

December 24, 2009

noel noel

Merry Christmas, my doves...
I love you and I'll never stop telling you so.

December 23, 2009

merry & bright

photo via

little tree
little silent Christmas tree
you are so little
you are more like a flower

who found you in the green forest
and were you very sorry to come away?
see i will comfort you
because you smell so sweetly

i will kiss your cool bark
and hug you safe and tight
just as your mother would,
only don't be afraid

look the spangles
that sleep all the year in a dark box
dreaming of being taken out and allowed to shine,
the balls the chains red and gold the fluffy threads,

put up your little arms
and i'll give them all to you to hold
every finger shall have its ring
and there won't be a single place dark or unhappy

from little tree, by e.e. cummings

December 22, 2009

a heart, a home

When I told you the single most loving thing you could do for me, you laughed.

It was like I had handed you the key to my heart, and you looked at it -- such a little thing! -- and scoffed, and tossed it into the bushes.

But you still wanted in.

So you broke windows, and kicked at the door till it splintered, and then in a temper threw mud at the walls to make them look dirty and ruined, just as you'd done all along. (You could have walked right in, if you'd only kept the key.) But it's too late; now you've lit a match, and set the whole place ablaze.

When the fire burns out, I'll sift the ashes for the last hot coal, crushed into diamond, clear and beautiful. I'll grow a new heart from that. But this time, I won't tell you where it is.

December 21, 2009

one for you, one for me

I went Christmas shopping on Saturday, mostly for myself. I wanted to find some perfect gifts that I knew I would just love, to make up for all those gifts I received over the years that only served to show how little I was really known.

I chose the coolest little world map puzzle, for when I was seven, and a pretty turquoise sweater for when I was sixteen. I chose some cute fair-isle gloves and a fashion magazine for when I was nineteen, and a lavender scented neck pillow for when I was twenty-two. And for this year, twenty-five, I chose a teeny, tiny, orange and white striped onesie with a football on it.

It's what I would have put on him, to bring him home that day.

December 20, 2009

love, no strings attached

I cannot for the life of me remember where I got this.
But it is very sweet.

December 18, 2009


It's like my mum is walking away from me, like she's been walking away from me at a steady pace my entire life. All I've ever seen is her back. And I've been running, running and running, trying to catch up, but I can never get there on my little-girl legs. Not even close.

Sometimes I can hear her voice, and I realize she is talking to me, talking like I am right there by her side; but I'm not. I'm still behind her. Miles behind. And she doesn't seem to notice that I'm not actually there. She even has her hand out, as if she's holding mine.

I shout. I shout again and again, and I jump up and down and wave my arms. But it doesn't matter. I think the fantasy is more real to her than I am. She never even turns her head. And now... Now, I'm not running anymore. And she just keeps walking. And she is almost out of sight.

December 17, 2009

make me smile

I needed some cheering up.
So I listened to this. And this. And also this.

And it helped. For now.

December 16, 2009


I'm recovering from a surgery, so I feel tired and yucky and the ugly weather isn't helping any. I wish I could sleep and sleep like the bears do, all through the cold dark winter, till things are warm and pretty again.

lovely artwork by Amy Borrell, via cake with giants

December 15, 2009

life sneaks up on you

She had looked for his coming as warriors come,
With the clash of arms and the bugle's call;
But he came instead with a stealthy tread,
Which she did not hear at all.

Love's Coming, by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
via lovelyprettycheerythings

December 14, 2009

the Nutcracker

We went to the Nutcracker last night. I was very very tired, but it was still beautiful. I thought I would share some of the loveliness with you.

On our way home it started to snow, our first snow of the season.

Only the first two photos are mine. I wish the pictures of the dancers were mine too, but they're not...
All cast photography by Angela Sterling, via the PNB website.

December 8, 2009


I have been reading more than writing these days. Feeling weak, and needing to escape from my own thoughts into books, into other people's words and lovely other worlds, where things come right (or at least closer to right) in the end.

everything important about being alive

On their last few drives she'd spoken little and answered his questions tersely, trying to act more like an employee than a companion, but he'd sensed nothing. Oblivious, like all the antiques: her mother, Eudora's parents, Mr. Baum who sold her fabric and buttons, the fat geese who ran the village with their swollen middles and scrawny necks. All of them sure they knew how the world worked, unaware that their advice was useless and that they had nothing to say to her. What did they know about what she felt, what she needed, how the world was shimmering beyond these mountains, waiting for her to grasp it? They'd forgotten everything important about being alive.

Andrea Barrett, The Air We Breathe

December 7, 2009


I feel like I'm missing pieces of myself. Like I was shot in the chest as a child, and walked through life with a big hole blown through me, and nobody noticed. Nobody noticed! How could no one ever notice? I guess all they saw were the bows in my hair.

December 6, 2009

wish wish wish

If wishes were fishes we'd none of us ever be hungry again.

Hope and Bravery

Bravely bravely they told her. Life won’t destroy you. But after years of standing tall beneath the heavy sky, she began to stoop like a sunflower burdened with its fruition. At any moment she was going to snap in two and fall to the soft earth in pieces where she would be picked apart by hungry animals. And it seemed that everyone was hungry to pick her apart – to devour her out of existence. Sinking in the deep dark grass that hadn’t been cut all summer, she gave up. Her resignation letter was written carelessly on her soul, folding over against the weight of her words and placed warily under a star shaped thought blowing from the empty halls of her heart where hope used to be.

via Natalia, on paperface...
Sometimes I feel like she knows me.

December 3, 2009


The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts.

Bertrand Russell

December 2, 2009


The moon showed up tonight all huge and round and shiny-bright as a polished gold coin. I wanted to take it down and put it in my pocket for later. Then I could pull it out when I went to bed, and fall aseep with it clutched to my chest, warm with stored sunshine and still faintly aglow.

photo from here