Friday, December 30, 2011

They're gone, my children and my grandson, back to California. I wander around finding shoes, boots, books left behind. And the kitchen floor is an amazement of sticky, twiggy, bits and pieces of meals and detritus from the yard. So. On my knees to the cleaning god with my rag of fury.

Maya and I went to uh, a dance thing called Ecstatic Dance, which happens, apparently, every week. People come together to dance for an hour and a half to world music, blues music, etc. And it is a community. She's been dancing in San Rafael so she found a group here and she convinced me to go.

I sat on the side as people trickled in. Low lights. A large shiny new dance floor. Women in floaty skirts. Men in loose pants. Stretching and chatting. Then the music started, slow at first. The old hippe in me compelled me to get up and start to sway. Midway through, the music was jumping and so was I, sweat splatting to the floor. Then the music slowed down again until we were finished. Maya hopped around, bobbing and jumping.

I have no idea what happened. I might go back. I love to dance and I never do anymore. Except in my living room.

Cleaning the house after the family leaves. And a solitary walk.

Monday, December 26, 2011

The kinder have all left to find snow for the children to play in. First, there is the question of snow, which we don't have much of this year. But enough. Then no one has any sleds. So. They rent them in the Mountains but they don't have reservations for today. That means a trip to Target on the way. And there is the small matter of permits for two cars, which we, thank the lawd, could down load via the magic of the internet. And Eden didn't have snow clothes, coming from LA, so I gave her mine. Mittens and earmuffs and scarves.

Then I decided I didn't want to go. I wanted to stay in my bathrobe and read the paper from yesterday instead of breaking my leg in a sledding accident (or standing around in the cold watching others hurtling along and banging into each other).

Eden gave us the most beautiful photo of swimmers, wavery and blue and ghostly shapes. Dreamers in the water.

Last night was grand. Eden trashed the kitchen with her wild cooking. Nothing was safe, not even the ceiling. I was the dishwasher/counter clearer. Somehow, this morning the kitchen looks normal.

They'll come home later and eat leftovers. I think I'll make them a giant stew for dinner. Or my special lasagna. Or perhaps I'll do nothing at all today.

Right now, it's the katz and me. And the New York Times.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

When we had our theft in October...and my laptop walked away, I didn't see anything else missing. This morning, while making a bed for Milo, my grandson, I looked for the handmade quilt, just his size. I can't find it anywhere. I looked in all the usual places, then unusual places. It's gone, like my laptop. Now I'm imagining the thief wrapping my laptop with o so many hours of hard poetry work with the only quilt I've made for myself, hours of hand stitching all walking away from the house to become...a dog bed, a gift for a girlfriend, a disguise on the street...

The pattern is called 'birds in flight'. Fitting, don't you think?

I topstitch my quilts by hand. I know, I know, all those fancy sewing machines can stitch on quilts now. I see them all the time. They're cheating. The pleasure of quilting is quilting, holding the quilt on your lap and making each stitch by hand, thimble on your middle finger to push through the layers and pricking your fingers under the quilt to know you're all the way through. I've ended up with scarred fingers on my left hand after a long quilt making.

All my children have quilts I've made. I wanted one for myself. It's so many hours...

I have a partially made quilt waiting for me. Guess I'll get it out and begin again.

Sometime, visit a quilt show with quilts from long ago. Marvel at the hours and miles of thread. In the day, women quilted 12 stitches-10 stitches to the inch. A lot of stitches. And many spools of thread. Quilts were made at 'bees'. Quilts were made alone. Women would make a quilt with clothes from someone who died. To mourn. To remember.

Friday, December 23, 2011

This is what I love. Della is at least an hour old. We're doing her newborn exam.

Tomorrow the younger child arrives, trailing clouds of glory. I'm in awe of my children. They are beautiful and talented and so much more hip than I'll ever be. Ever.

Tonight the final two episodes of Dexter with my neighbors. We shriek and groan and hide our eyes. Naughty fun. A serial killer with a tender side. Just in time for xmas!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Why, when you have two scratching posts in the living room, do the katz insist on sharpening their claws on the rug (or the furniture). Why? I threw a pen at Hugo this morning. He looked at me like I was insane.

They were set here on this earth to DRIVE US CRAZY. It's working.

A tiny rant. I only subscribe to one magazine, The Sun. It's gloomy, the writing is often brilliant, there aren't any ads and the editor also publishes black and white photos. I've submitted poetry and a short story three times, to no avail.


This am while lounging in bed, I read Sy's notebook (the ed.) and he mentioned that he uses viagra, or the generic brand. Eesh. I don't care about this. Save it for some other publication, mister. I know he can write (and publish) whatever the hell he wants but jeez. he often talks about making love to his wife. That part is ok. It's the mention of drugs to 'enhance' that bothers me to beat the band (as my mother would say). Perhaps I'm channeling my mother this morning. In her world, such things were impolite. In poor taste.

Gawd. Maybe I'm turning into my mother.

The sun is out again so I'm going for a walk in the cold. We have sun this winter, very odd. Tomorrow, Holly and I will once again go hiking on Tiger Mountain. We found a trail called the Meandering Trail. We're gonna find out if it goes to the top. Or not. we're not goal oriented. We talk along the way about Buddhism and her ex girlfriend. At some point we decide to turn around. And hikers are usually a democratic bunch. No pushing and shoving. Unlike swimmers. Male swimmers. They have something to prove. They splash and knock you on the head as they pass. Because. They have to get to---the other side of the pool?? Whoa, as Keanu Reeves has so famously said in The Matrix.


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

I cleaned like a mad woman yesterday because Deb went back to work and I HAD THE HOUSE TO MYSELF. That's right. And I stayed in my jammies until 4 PM. Plus I wrassled the tree into the living room so now it smells piney and holiday-ish in here. No ornaments or lights, just a tree by the couch.

Every year (almost) I sing in the sing-along Messiah at the Unitarian church where they pray to the Unit. They are nice people, social justice and all, really very nice people. But kinda boring. I tried to go there for a while. They had great music and (snore) sermons and a whole lot of nice people. But. My darkness was too dark. Buddhism is dark and difficult, much better for me. Those retreats I go on...they're not like a sunny picnic day. You sit in a room with other silent people. For 45 minutes. Then the bell rings.
Then you walk outside for a while. Then you come back in and sit down for another 45 minutes. Repeat until mealtime or bedtime. The demons come, yes they do.

So the Unitarians weren't MY people, you know? However, they bake roomfulls of cookies and they make hot cider for all the singers who show up. We sing all the parts and there is an orchestra too with little kids on violin and a kazoo player and a trumpeter who mangles 'The Trumpet Shall Sound.' And there's a raffle and door prizes and it lifts my heart, it does, to fill up a room with glad shouting. I don't even mind that I'm among strangers. And I lose my place. And I can't sing very well. It's democratic. Just join in.

Oh, and the director is hot. That certainly helps.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Happy birthday, Keith darling!!!

We had four, count 'em, four births in 24 hours. Sheesh. And my midwife partner is at the birth center with yet another momma in labor and another momma waiting in the wings....

They all wanted an instant peer group.

Today we put up a tree in the house, the first time I've had a tree in ages. It's such a mess of needles but the guy at the tree place managed to put the tree in the back of my wee car so I didn't have to worry about it falling off the hood and causing a collision and ruining someone's Saturday with dented cars and the police and the like.

I bought Deb's 23 yo son a flying helicopter that runs on batteries. The boy toy department is so weird with transformers (?) and all manner of guns and space aliens.

I went to the yarn store yesterday and next door was a gamer place and there was a huddle of young people in black commiserating about some dark game. The girl among them was wearing six inch high boots and a a purple dress and a pointy-hemmed black coat. The boys just looked like geeks. But online they are flying wizards with impressive magic swords and mythical beasts who zap the giant sand spiders and segmented fanged worms. I had The Jungle Book and Little Women as a kid. However, my parents bought several books of Greek and Roman mythology which I read, because I read everything in the house. Medusa was a pretty mean gal, what with turning folks into stone and even in death, growing cacti in the desert from blood dripping from her neck.

I still wish I could fly.

The whole family arrives on the 25th. Then the house will be stuffed full of people and noise and food. We'll eat together and play Apples to Apples and visit the house around the corner with the zillion lights running on a generator and go to the mountains so we can play in the snow. Maya will cut my hair. I'll get to hug and kiss my dear ones with missing them mixed in because we don't see each other enough, ever.

Push the sadness down into a corner, at least for a while.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

I am waiting for my student to arrive so we can go to a birth at dark-thirty. I've been trying to avoid this situation for 2 days but we're having a baby pile-up and I can't duck any more. So armed with cough drops and wearing my sweats ( don't effing care that I look a mess), we'll wade in and grab that wee critter.

It's beautiful fog and dim lights now.

We'll never get a tree for the house at this rate. I'm planning to spend more time in bed. It is SO inconvenient to be sick

Friday, December 16, 2011

Came back from retreat and promptly got sick. Croaking and coughing. The retreat center was in Silver Falls, Oregon, very beautiful and cold. My cabin was either the frozen North or 80 degrees. But there were many hikes in lovely old growth and icy trails. A bear sighting in October so I didn't take the long way around. Imagined a bear huffing up behind me and chewing off my head. The largest animal I saw (heard) were raccoons growling. In the blackest black night. Whoa, black night.

the fam comes next week. My younger has informed me she'd like a slouchy knitted hat, just finished the socks/hand warmers for the older child. Sigh. So I'll go get some wool and whip up a problem.

However, there are two women in labor today and I might have to prop myself up and go to a birth, snuffling and cough-y and all. Cough drops. A face mask. Inspires confidence for sure.

It's midday but I'm gonna sleep in case I'm called away. In my clothes.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

I've been too busy at work so all I can do is come home and lie on the couch. But yesterday we put up lights and they look purty.

If the cat barfs up all her dinner, does she get to have another dinner? I remember nursing a child or other and she'd barf up her whole meal. Then she'd want more. Fortunately, I always had more but I'd think, lordy, what a waste that last half hour was.

In other news. I go on retreat tomorrow for 4 days. And we're riding the train, oh joy oh rapture. The train is the best form of travel ever invented. I'll be watching for cormorants and hawks. They like the train track pathways. And there are the poor little houses along the track. And the people who live in them. Their lives and stories and red shoes.

Monday, December 05, 2011

A fat girl born this morning. Surrounded by both grandmas, friends and the poppa. Mom was kneeling on her bedroom floor and I gotta tell you. My knees aren't what they used to be. I think someone should make me a leetle stool I can sit on in front of/behind the momma so I'm not squishing my knees and hobbling around after.

Abby was still practicing at 68. I wonder if she sat on a stool or wore knee pads like carpet installers. Of maybe she made women get on the bed so she wasn't crouched down on the floor somewhere. This is why we have body workers and hot tubs. And ibuprofen. And young students.

I had my young student do a bit of exam this morning. So she could feel the baby coming down with pushing. She was excited to feel this. I love this part of teaching; watching students do something thrilling for the first time.

The baby came out with her hand by her head, like she was waving at us. Beside her fat cheeks. Beautiful and pink. Women are stronger than they know.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Today is brilliant sun. My dearheart is in pain from surgery and headed for a nap. Or a lie down on the couch. I've dressed warm for a bike ride on the Interurban trail, a long, straight bike trail next to the train tracks. I have a handful of almonds for a snack.

Today I'm gonna dedicate my ride to Abby and Geoffrey while my heart pumps and my legs push the pedals. Our brief life. How did we spend it?

Then Deb and I will put up xmas lights and cheesy plastic candy canes. I've always refused to glitter up the house but this year, what the hell.

However, I can't compete with my neighbors who run a generator for their light extravaganza deluxe cheese fest. (see above)

Saturday, December 03, 2011

For right now, I'm gonna go for a walk along the lake and look for unusual birds like muskovey ducks and golden pheasants. I'll pretend I live on an estate where we collect exotic animals and we have an arboretum full of orchids. We have tea at 4 and dinner at 8 where we dress in tuxedos and evening gowns. There are butlers and servants. I have a dresser who helps with all the hooks and eyes. And I wear my hair in a big floaty pouf with real diamonds on long pins.

You never know if you'll see someone you love again.

Why is it when someone dies, people say that person is with Jesus or is in heaven or both? I don't find that comforting but I guess some people do. Please don't say that about me when I die, okay? Or if you do, be ironic.

Jesus was a guy and heaven is the botanical garden on Oahu near the North Shore. I swam under the waterfall there. They have Buick sized philodendron growing up trees. And tropical plants from SE Asia. Dream flowers. Plants with arms and hands. No cherubs. Not one.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

I feel so sad I could eat paper. Instead I ate two brownies then I felt sick. There is no cure for this sad, this desolate, this loneliness. Abby was my family, the one who didn't throw me out. She kept me and cared for me and told me I was ok the way I was. After all this time, I'm trying to believe it. All the meditation and incantation and poetry can't take away the shock the cold the ghosts who haunt and point and turn away.

Abby, dear woman.

I will never disown a child of mine. Never. What kind of mother does that? How hard must her heart be?