May 31, 2013

Right Where I Am: 2013

Ailis - almost 6 years / Noah - almost 4 years

I don't track days anymore. I have to stop and count on my fingers, now, to be sure of the years that have passed. Ah, they would be so big! Kindergarten, for Lissie, can you imagine...?!

Alas, I cannot.

They have made me a mother but I am deprived of the experiences that make up the stories that make you friends on the outside. Prison terminology seems appropriate to me; babyloss is too much like a life-long sentence for the wrongfully accused, or maybe involuntary committal to a psych ward. Except there is no release for good behavior, no cure, and even if you escape, finally, on a rainbow, there's still a part of your life that almost no one will ever be truly comfortable hearing about unless they've been there too.

Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on

My heart is changed. It contains more than I ever thought possible. It is bigger on the inside than on the outside, and through its transformation I became half time-lord, half human, all whole. I have gained a perspective that is dizzying and grounding at once. The universe fits inside of me. Profound and simple and holy and profane. There is room for you too, and in you too.

Mama, mama, be calm. We know how to wait. We are not afraid.
Be calm, mama. We'll wait.

My children are extraordinarily zen. They cannot teach, but I can learn. I suppose that's rather zen in itself.

Into the air, into the earth, into the fire. I am with you.**

Peace. Love. Light.

I am not broken, and neither are you.

*You do not have to be good, Mary Oliver
**Xenocide, Orson Scott Card


You can read my previous years' posts here: Right Where I Am 2011 (Part I)(Part II) & Right Where I Am 2012, and link up with us on still life with circles.

May 29, 2013


When I get upset and cry it's not because I don't think I can handle whatever it is I'm upset about. It's not that I think it won't work out. It's that I'm tired of working things out. I'm tired of putting a brave face on, tired of being strong and intrepid, tired of persevering through adversity.

I wish the universe would go ahead and lay off the fucking adversity already. I am exhausted. It makes me needy and weepy and ensnared in murky memories of what life was like all the time before.

I don't need or expect anyone to solve my problems; no one ever has and I've made it this far haven't I. I just need someone to sit next to me and say, What the fuck, dude? This situation is bullshit. Super unfair. You must be really tired. And once I've cried myself out and I'm feeling better, I still don't need anyone to tell me what to do. I need someone to show some respect for an expert in misfortune such as myself. To say, I know you can figure this out, with or without me. But I want to help if I can. I'm going to be right here, the whole time, and you can tell me what the plan is once you've made up your mind.

May 22, 2013

out of reach

The only thing
I want from you
is the only thing
that you're






May 21, 2013

the root of it

I finally got some of my thoughts down on paper yesterday. I couldn't do it on the computer; the cursor flashes too impatiently, distracting and insulting at the same time. Not exactly conducive to vulnerability. I needed actual paper -- something that I could hold, and that I could drop tears on if necessary, and that I could crumple up and throw away if it did not please me. A pen is quiet, and polite. It will let you rest in between ideas, and never admit whether it thinks any less of you for it.

I had to do some digging, to get to the root of the problems I'm facing at the moment. Why the things that are throwing me off are throwing me in such varied and unexpected directions. The roots go wide, but not deep, so I have hope. I've been talking all week to anyone who will listen, but I am tactile and visual above all, and it helps me to better navigate when I can see my thoughts and fears written down, mapping my ephemeral geography, untidy but defined.

May 20, 2013

you do not have to be good

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Wherever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting--
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

Mary Oliver


This is my favorite poem. The calm it brings does not last much past the reading of it, if I am truly distressed, but when I need to I'll read it over and over and over until it sticks.

May 17, 2013

keep calm and press play

Just wanted to let you know that Josh Garrels and The Oh Hellos both make a lot of music that is very well suited to running outdoors / thinking deep thoughts / pretending you're in a movie montage. I find it uniquely helpful in circumstances such as these.

By the way, if you go to you can get albums like this for free or by donation, and also explore and access lots of other interesting music as well. This isn't a sponsored post... I just think NoiseTrade is cool.

May 16, 2013

feeling all the feels

I've been trying to keep it to myself, but you guys -- my life is a fucking shit show right now. I'm getting kicked out of my studio because the main house was sold, I'm close to broke and totally unprepared to move, my boyfriend is making long-term plans without discussing it with me until afterward because apparently he doesn't understand what it means to be in a serious relationship, I can't focus on work AT ALL, and I'm still super weak and tired and emotional from being so sick.

I feel like I am losing my fucking mind. Uplifting thoughts would be appreciated.

May 14, 2013

puerto vallarta

Here's a little handful of photos from Mexico. It turns out I really didn't take very many. I think if P and I went I would end up with a lot more, because he loves photography and would be more willing to stop and capture shots than the people I traveled with this time. I hope we can go together someday. I'll definitely be more careful of what I eat! Aside from the vile case of food poisoning it was a pretty fun trip. I really enjoyed speaking Spanish again and always appreciate being immersed in a different culture.

1. Mojito 2. On the beach 3. Bougainvillaeas e'rywhere
4. Taxis and flags 5. On the stairs 6. Flea market

May 13, 2013


This past weekend was beautiful, in every way. Hands down the best mothers' day weekend of my life so far. We went up to Live Oak and I'll say it again and again, I love my boyfriend's family so much! With every visit they are more comfortable and more welcoming. They made it pretty clear this time that they are hoping they might get to keep me.

Saturday was P's mom's birthday and we went out to a nice dinner with lots of relatives. It's my own mother's birthday as well, a date I've tried to put out of my mind for the most part, but D is worthy of celebrating and I'll gladly remember it for her. Sunday morning I gave her a birthday/mothers' day card and she thanked me and hugged me and told me I was one of her daughters, which surprised me enough that it almost made me cry. I told her I'd take all the mothering I could get.

It got really hot in the afternoon so I absconded with P's nieces on a secret mission to the Dollar store, where we stocked up on squirt guns, water balloons, and sponges, and then went home to recruit everyone into some backyard anarchy to combat the 98+ degree temps. The whole family dropped everything to play with us, and it was awesome.

All day, I did not think about sad things. I never felt pressured. Or uncomfortable. Or angry. Or depressed. I was surrounded by people who accepted and cared for me, people who were grateful for my presence. I was lavished with generous verbal and physical affection that had no strings attached. And it was all so easy. So soul-refreshing. I felt free.

May 10, 2013


I used to be obsessed with any injury I would get; cuts and scrapes and bruises from riding my bike, climbing trees, running through corn fields, hiding in barns, stepping on nails. Tears only elicited anger, not sympathy, so I knew better than to go looking for help where I'd find none. Instead I would sit down, quietly, wherever I was, and watch myself bleed. Encourage it, even. Squeeze the place where my insides had opened and examine the ruby red river as it pumped out, fascinatingly bright. How could something so luminous come from a place so hidden and dark? It was beautiful. Hopeful. Sad.

Don't pick your scabs, she said, they'll scar. So I hid, and worked at them harder. Because I wanted the scars, was desperate for scars. A collector.

Scars show what's happened. They leave a story behind. It was fascinating to me, that my pain could leave a story behind. But it was wretchedly unfair, too: these small injuries, which hardly fazed me, left their mark, but the far more terrible things that happened to me every day did not show at all. No one knew. My insides were lacerated, perforated, a tangled mess. No one could see. It would not occur to anyone to ask me if I needed help.

But if I pick, pick, pick at this, on the outside, if I make it last, someone might see. Someone might ask. Someone might notice, and sympathize, and talk to me. If only for a moment, and about a thing that did not matter. Maybe a scar could be more than a story. Maybe a scar could be a door.

May 7, 2013


Unfortunately the vacation photos will have to wait. I came down with a violent case of food poisoning on my last day in Mexico and am still recovering.

Worst. Flight. Of. My. Life.

May 1, 2013

¡Hasta luego!

I'm off on a surprise adventure to Mexico. Extra excited, as I've never been there before. No media while I'm away, just sunshine and beach and exploring the local markets. A true vacation.

I'll be back next week with photos.

xoxo - vera