February 27, 2012

the tree of life

Oh my freaking goodness! Can't wait to see this when it comes out!!

February 20, 2012


Been having very strange dreams again of late. Set in real places that I have never set foot in before in my waking life. Full of people I love and hate, cyclical conversations and revealing scenarios reminiscent of the past, leaving me angry or confused or both.

Here is where one of them happened. It's an amazing church-turned-bookstore in the Netherlands that I'd never seen or heard of except for when I dreamed it a few weeks ago--and then again when I startled myself by accidentally stumbling across this photo of it on the internet yesterday:

I knew the Davenport Hotel too, years before I ever visited it. Knew where to find the grand ballroom, a particular portrait, the stairs to the rooftop, a place behind a potted tree where I had hidden in a dream. I've recognized intersections, a new friend's back yard, the view from an apartment I was visiting for the first time. I sometimes wonder if every place I ever thought I had imagined really is out there somewhere.

No point to this post, really, except that it's on my mind.
And my shoulder is hurting again. Badly.

February 18, 2012

role model

We have a consultant at the office for a few weeks.

I was very nervous to meet her, but now I am so grateful that I have. She is such an inspiration to me, not just in her line of work but as a person as well. And I feel that I owe a whole new debt of gratitude to my Aunt, who brought this person into my life, for my good.

When I was a kid, and a young adult, I could never answer the question, "Who is your biggest role model?" I didn't have one. There were a few people in the world that I loved and even admired, but I couldn't say I wanted my life to look like theirs. I couldn't say I wanted to make the same decisions they had made. Long ago I had simply set out blindly, in a direction I could only hope was right.

But now! What a lovely surprise, to find someone I truly want to be like, someone I wish to emulate as a whole. It is wonderfully encouraging to see in her that it really is possible to be the kind of wife, mother, co-worker, and friend that I have always hoped to be.

February 11, 2012

the rhythm you started

A nice, cheerful song for this wintry afternoon. Happy Saturday, dear readers!

February 7, 2012

on pearls and oysters

Someone told me once that I am
like a pearl, and tried
to explain it to me and
at the time I smiled
wanly, I'm sure
and nodded and thought it was
a nice, if somewhat empty, thing to say.

Now I think I am not at all
like a pearl, or at least
I don't really want to be
for a pearl, at it's heart
is sand, and sand
is broken rock, worn down
to nearly nothing, grey
or brown and dull and I hope
my heart cannot be described with such
dreary words as broken, grey, brown, or dull.

I hope that I am more like the oyster,
whose pain created the pearl.
The oyster, who did the hard work despite
the wounding foreign shard, who
wrapped and wrapped a grey and dull and
hurtful broken thing in
silky iridescence, covered it in
layers of beauty and mystery
and the joyful surprise of discovery and yet
will never forget that yes, there is
a secret bit of brokenness
at the heart of this lovely thing it has made.

February 6, 2012

In my dream, he has a red coat.

In my dream, he has a red coat. A red coat, and a striped scarf, and tiny black mittens and tall green boots.

I lift him out of his car seat, and he cheers and wraps his arms around my neck. He is big enough to walk, but I love the smell of him, love the way he rests his cheek ever so briefly on my shoulder, love how his hand wanders into my hair, despite the mittens. And so I carry him. Because I can.

It is cold here. Our breath leaves us as wispy white ghosts, making us giggle. We whisper together excitedly as we walk up to the apartment, and knock, and wait to be let in. My brother whips open the door and we are welcomed with that enveloping enthusiasm that never ceases to startle and amaze and comfort me. My brother is all enthusiasm, all quick movement and noise and taking up space and I absolutely adore him for it. Noah hides his face, feigning shyness--but we all know better. Soon enough he is laughing and playing and running around with R, and they are ridiculously cute together, and it is good, it is so, so good, and we are happy.

We are so ridiculously happy.


Sometimes I wonder if this is happening, right now, in some alternate universe. I hope it is happening. I hope it happens again and again and again. I hope there is a place where my baby is alive. Live, baby! Live, my darling. Live and be happy. Play with your cousin and grow and live and be happy.

And you too, other me. I hope you can live, and be happy. Just like in my dreams.

February 4, 2012


Sometimes I like to pretend that I know you. That you call me up just because. That you are proud, as I am, of the things I've accomplished.

I like to pretend that when I was small, and so often sick, you would test my forehead with a kiss, that you would read me stories and make a pot of soup from scratch, just for me, your presence and your undivided attention coaxing me back to some semblance of health. It's all I ever needed, to get well: the smell of soup, and knowing someone cared. It's still what I need. It's still what I never receive, except for the one time, and then not from you.

I like to pretend our house was always clean and dry and full of light. That it smelled nice, that you smelled nice. That you smiled more often than frowned. That you loved me. That you loved anything at all.

My mind is strong. Even I can say that, and with confidence. I didn't just erase the bad things, as they happened; I made up new and better things to take their place. Not much better, but a little better. Rational, nearly palatable. Just this side of horrifying. Bearable, you know? Bearable, I thought. But I don't think that, anymore. I think I know exactly how Peeta feels when he says, "Real, or not real?" Dreading the answer, either way, for neither memory is a welcome one.

I wish you were real, and not a story I made up to keep my heart from breaking. I wish I knew I'd have a chance to make my stories true for someone else.