Monday, May 24, 2010


The best part about not being paid for a day of manual labor is the sitting in layers of my favorite clothes (thermals+sweaters) on the floor by my space heater drinking an enormous mug of chai+vanilla soy milk reading Clint Eastwood film synopses and getting my brain/life in order. And great convo over a lunch that includes lime juice. And that the sun is shining shining.

As of, it is official: I'm running my first marathon in September (Logan) or October (somewhere else?). And to celebrate defending my thesis (or something) I will run this.


And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach. Isaiah 4:1

I don't love dating at BYU. The old college try notwithstanding.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The why

I went to Fiddler on the Roof with my family a couple of months ago. It wasn't, like, the most amazing production of anything I'd ever seen (though it was Hale Center Theatre and good, and also my family is so great) but it didn't really matter. I felt myself misting up at the opening number ("The papas! Tradition!") and by "Is this the little girl I carried" and "Do you love me?" I was wasted, weeping openly.

Last night, too, I went to a show. The opening band (Lost in the Trees) opened, I think with this number and it was cooperative musical magic at its best. The french horn/xylophone/accordion player looked like there was nothing she'd rather be doing in the entire world and she kept making eyes at the lead guy--you know, signalling to each other.

That first chord was, and I'm going to overuse this word: magic. I felt all the tension in my brain and back rushing out of me, and I sat back and enjoyed enjoyed myself, let myself be taken up. And band number two (Plants and Animals) was much more raucous--but I danced because I wanted to dance and sort of let go.

And art. I keep trying to undermine the value of this stuff, dedicate myself to more practical matters etc. or convince myself that I don't like shows (loud! hot! mean!) or...whatever. But I need to stop that. The dynamic of people making music and people listening to music, participating together is important and beautiful. For everyone, but for me and my poor worn soul.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


I am avoiding things. I am sitting in my dirty work clothes avoiding showering thereby avoiding leaving the house for job #2 thereby avoiding the rush to Dr. Cronin's house for class thereby avoiding my study date which I'll spend avoiding thinking about a thesis that I'm sort of not avoiding since I've sort of started to think about it which is uncharacteristic but, alas, mostly faking.

I am avoiding making an appointment to get my windshield replaced. Thereby avoiding the calling around I should be doing to price check (apparently Techni-Glass price matches so a little calling around could help) thereby avoiding getting my Safety/emissions done, thereby avoiding paying my registration fees. I still have a week to get this done.

I am avoiding doing some apologizing and some pulling of my head out of my nether-orifices and so avoiding some people I love (hi there) and so spending a lot of time by myself trying not to feel like a terrible person. (Ben and Jerry's. Diet Coke. Napping/wishing I could be napping.)

I am, still and always, avoiding poetry, which has just about taken the hint and left town.


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Two Questions: balance

1. Do you think that conflict/contrast/opposition is a part of God? On the one hand of course obviously not, right, God=unity. On the other hand, a sort of fundamental part of our understanding of our purpose here is that there's opposition in all things, right? Good exists only where evil exists? And God exists but so does evil in some form. And they're co-existent. The more I learn/think about patriarchy, though, and the problems that spring from opposition the more I wonder whether opposition is the driving potentially creative force I thought it was. Or if it's just the way our Judeo-Christian heritage teaches us to see conflict and, ultimately, God.

2. When we first met, did you think I hated you?


Monday, May 10, 2010

I work outside

because it gives me time and quiet to think about things. After a while it would drive me crazy, but for the month, after my first year of grad school, it dulls the jaded edge of things, adds some clarity.

And some things I've been thinking about:

1. I think I'm girlier than I like to admit. I like pink and baking cookies and feeling pretty. Don't hold your breath--I think it's going to take me a minute to figure out how to disinter the princess I buried alive 20 years ago, how to make her a part of me in a way that I'm comfortable with--but maybe things will change some?

This is hard to admit. Because I care a lot about what people think. And on the one hand I've cultivated this intellectual dismissal of tradition and patriarchy and emotion to some extent, and on the other a careful pragmatism that doesn't allow for frivolity or openness of emotion. And that's the other wall I've put up: a measured stoicism, to distance and protect me from any roving betrayal or offense. But. But. I keep falling short of all of these expectations I have for myself and that I imagine everyone has for me. I feel like a fraud all the time and feel like it's better to be hated thank loved for what I'm not (I certainly did)?

And my realization today: I think I tend, naturally, toward the flighty and silly. But I have a life that's done much to stamp that out of me, or, and this I guess is the idea I want to explore, to mold that into something that I can feel really good about and respect. Again, I'm not sure how this is all going to go down, or if I'll change my actions, really, or just my motives, but. It's something.

2. I'm a hopeless, hopeless romantic. I feel like everyone knows this about me but me. But how hard is it to look at my life right now and let myself hope? That those dreams and expectations I've held so near could possibly possibly resemble, in any way, my actual life? And it might turn out that all of those hopes are dashed and crushed or drastically altered or whatever, but it might be dishonest to pretend I don't hold them, that they don't motivate all the things I do.

3. I want to do things. To help people. To travel. In big and important ways (or at least influential ways....or something). This is one of those deeply held desires that I'm not sure how to get done. Another that I've sort of buried.

So. There is my soul for you. Toodles.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Mother's Day

My life was a pretty normal one: divorce+working mom, and that means that I, by necessity, spent more time relying on and being formed by women who weren't my mom. This was wonderful. Looking back at the women and men who stepped in and stepped up I feel sooo lucky and watched after and blessed. I want to thank those part-time, emergency, and adoptive moms a little, as well as Connie of course, for being themselves. For helping me be who I am. Happy happy mother's day!

Mom #1: Connie. An old pic w/grandkids: her favorite people.
My mom-for-real. The thing about Connie is this: she finds beauty everywhere. Where she doesn't find beauty, she makes beauty. She is a talker-to-strangers, a rescuer of strays, a laugher. Our dining room table, when I was a teenager, was staffed with siblings and in-laws and distant relatives, with friends far from home, with people Connie met on the street or at work. And the table was never that big. Connie works hard. She gardens. She taught me to love good (and beautiful) food and nice clothes and just to love too. And lately she's teaching me scary and important things about repentance and forgiveness. From her I inherited a lot of my neuroses, but also my empathy, my hand-talking, my love of feeding people.

Mom #2 (a tie): Rachel.
Rachel is my oldest sister and she, over the years, has gone above and beyond in looking out for me. Rachel is the most responsible person that I know. She gets the stuff done she says she will, but manages to balance her drive with a remarkable sense of compassion and balance. She does everything she does with taste and flair; she loves modern art and architecture, she loves doing things well. The thing that Rachel taught me though, and continues to teach me is that my life is in my own hands. Through her decisions and perseverance and with her lovely family, Rachel has made herself (is still making herself) into the person she wants to be. If only because she hates being bossed around even more than I do, Rachel has taken her fate and personality into her own hands, has come out a kind and responsible and hilarious and lovely person.

Mom #2 (a tie): Anne.
My other older sister. Anne's a kind of remarkable example, too, of becoming the person she wants to be, and she inspires me all the time to become a better girl. She's a ridiculously hard worker, and as creative and competent as anyone I know. (The things she makes! Her beautiful house!) She's devoted to her family and friends and would do anything for anyone of them. She forgives. She sees the best in people. She encourages me to be temperate and kind and the very best me. She is unfailingly thoughtful and generous and just kind of a hard act to follow/the best older sister ever.

Mom #3: Diane.Diane with her real family, also some of my favorite people.
My foods teacher. My FCCLA advisor (I was the state president of FCCLA, nee FHA, did you know?). Cluff's was the place everyone that mattered to me in high school congregated. It was kind of like that neighborhood house where everyone ate cookies after school, except it was at school. And Cluff fed us and yelled at us when we were dumb and laughed with/at us. I visit now and wonder, sort of, at how she knew me better than I knew me back then and at how she had the capacity to mother all the dozens of us she did.

Mom #4: Becca. Becca was a savior-mom. I babysat for her kids (like Anne did before me and Melissa after) and she her house was always home. Because that was her priority: Becca put, always, her family first and made her friends her family. I went and sat and played cards and ate cupcakes the size of my skull and read and was safe and loved and home.

Mom #5: Becky. I've been writing this for years. Because Becky died suddenly when I was just out of high school and she was such an important person in my life and I've never been able to articulate why precisely. The first time we met I was barefoot and nearly feral and she told me she liked my hand-me-down overalls. And yes I was wearing overalls (and my hair was messy and I had a kool-aid mustache) and no I wasn't living in the backwoods. Becky saw in me (and all the frantic broken souls she collected) our talents and she spoke them. And made them true. Becky told me I was a good writer. And complemented me for liking exotic food (spicy tomato couscous!?! Yes please.) And gave me diet coke and played Ella Fitzgerald and showed me what it could mean to be a smart, confident, loving mother. Amazing, miraculous woman.

Mom#6: Janice was my stepmom only for a couple of years. Once when I was living with them she insisted that I come up out of my room, where I was hiding and reading, and sit in the living room, where my dad was hiding and reading, and have a conversation with each other. It didn't last long, by her iconoclastic attitudes toward my dad shape, still, the way I see him. And I'm indebted to her always for Thievery Corporation, Yo La Tengo, and tofu.

And to the rest of you: amazing. Thanks and happy Mother's Day!


(also, I totally pillaged all of these pics: let me know if you want me to take them down? :))