Monthly Archives: January 2011

sleepovers make me want to cry

{my BAM, self portrait this week, between two worlds}

We had a sleepover this weekend.  The girls had their cousins come stay.  Their cousins from their father’s side.   I cannot explain about their father’s family here as it would take too many words.  They don’t see these cousins very often.  Things are distant at best on that side.  So time being what it is and schedules being what they are we don’t seem to find the time to get together, but every year at this time we do, every year in late January.  When the girls came I sat and talked with my old brother-in-law.  We caught up on our lives.  I was glad to report that life is going well for me.  That I am happy and that I am in love and that I am in the process of thinking about combining my life again with someone else and he, the brother of my old husband, was sincerely happy for me.  I miss these girls, my first nieces, both born within two months of each of my own daughters.  I remember being full and swollen, both my sister-in-law and I at the same time.  I remember joy as first one and then two and then three and four, made their ways into our lives  and I remember yearning for the feeling of family.  I remember holding these little babes as peanuts.  Now last night we did makeovers, rolled hair in curlers and  had dance parties in my living room, keeping it in check by punking out to Green Day.

Ed called.  The girls all took their turns talking to him on the laptop screen and then he watched them make me over, lipstick and blush and sparkly eyeshadow, so close but yet so far away.   We made bets on when they would go to sleep, me guessing around 12:30 or 1:00 a.m., him guessing closer to 2:00 a.m. and obviously even with no previous sleepover experience he was the better guesser because by 1:45 a.m. the little ones may have conked out, but the two older girls lay side by side in the covers talking quietly.  I remember those days.  I remember sleepovers and late nights and curling up next to a cousin or a friend and whispering those conversations you can’t whisper to your mother.  Telling them goodnight and heading to bed I had one last conversation with Ed, but I didn’t have much to say.   I always have so much to say to him and I felt guilty for keeping him tied to the laptop when he had a motorcycle to put back together instead of staring at the girl 2,000 miles away suffering with a weird twisted heart.

I think that maybe one day he may tire of my emotions. Of this up and down.  I don’t know sometimes what to think.  How my life keeps changing.  Most times I want to fast forward past all this tedious stuff, the long days and nights when we are apart.  I want to forego the questions of where and when and how we are going to pull our lives together and just be. I want to cast aside doubts that him coming here will ruin the life he loves so much out there or that my moving there will wreck my family who love me and who I love so much.

You cannot make time stay still. You cannot keep your babies young.  You cannot stop life from changing.  You cannot wish the miles to push together and you cannot ease a transition that is certain not to be easy.  Last night in a house that was  full I felt undeniably alone.  The realization that my children are growing and they will not always need me and the realization I have made everything about my life about them.  As much as I thought my life before would not change, or as much as I was pleased to see how I came into this life on my own, or as much as I believed in three girls taking on the world, I’ve finally gotten a taste of what it would feel like for us to be a real family, something I have always wanted  that has always seemed elusive.  So now it is taking everything I have to try to take this world of my past and this world of my future and try to make some sense of it.  To move past the uncertainty of the where’s and the when’s and the plans  because there will be no arrow in the sky or some figurehead to say, “you should do this”.

This is the hard stuff and it would be so much easier to do this wrapped up in his arms.  The problem is once I got there I might not be able to get back out because that is my safe zone. and that is why this is so hard.

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hello today-i like you

 

 

 I liked today.

I knew going into it there would be no school and no work due to the snow.

The snow that I seem to like this year, who knew?

I liked having a lie in.

I liked tromping through it sometimes up to my hips.

I liked the way the cardinal feathers floated freely across the top skimming the crust.

I liked the way my body felt alive shoveling my grandparents sidewalk, warming me up so much that hat and gloves and almost coat came off.

I liked listening to my grandmother in her robe fussing at me to stop.

I liked hot homemade ham and bean soup for lunch.

I liked hours spent at the laptop working on a new idea I’m excited about.

I liked having this laptop.  I can work anywhere, my favorite perhaps my bed.

I liked drinking two and a half pots of tea a day.

I liked seeing real shadows falling across unmarked snow.

I liked seeing barn cats tenderly making their way.

I liked befuddled cattle not sure to brave the field, belly-deep in snow and buffalo that tear away and just go.

I liked an old husky dog that turns into a puppy outside.

I liked a boyfriend who called me at lunchtime just to hear my voice.

I liked little girls with pink cheeks and wild snowy hair.

I liked seeing little heads bobbing through the snow towards next door for a visit.

I liked knowing this day wasn’t planned so why not sit down to another cup of tea.

I liked listening to Ed and the girls Skyping on the computer and how he makes them giddy with laughter.

I liked reading the end of  The Wizard of Oz with Karelyn.

I liked a hot bath.

I liked clean, warm flannel sheets.

I liked Ed telling me eventually I will have to let him take care of me.

I liked how a good yoga routine and some deep breathing can help ease aches and pains.

I liked the quiet and the darkness.

I like life, on a day like this.

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time, time, time

i’ve been doing all my writing at night.  and i’m tired.  it’s been keeping me up too late, but it’s the time i seem to really settle into it and get a chance to pound the words out.  some of my best words tie together at night.  bed, laptop, music, quiet, and away we go.  i still haven’t settled on a project.  again with the stick your toes in the water but don’t dive right in kind of thing.  i have a lot of people telling me TO write.  I want you to write, they say.

i write here….often, but not often enough.  i write emails to send to Colorado at 2:30 a.m. when it’s dark and i’m lonely and unsure of how we are going to make it all work.  those emails usually contain those great big bomb words i don’t want my mother to read.  Like, *&#* this is so hard, i miss you.  i’ve started a few stories, lacking in faith to put them together.  i’ve written a handful of poems.  then just when i think about it, i find myself back at the editor focused on the photos.

never enough time is there?  i want to write.  i want to take more photos.  i want to make a new quilt.  i want to learn to sew a skirt.  i want to start a new Etsy store. i want to clean out my basement.

all in good time.

i’ll keep writing.  maybe one day it will all come together.

no pressure.

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Just Now 1.21.11

 

current time: early morning, still in bed pretending to sleep to get a quiet moment before the day starts.

in my mug: the standby, cuppa earl grey creme/english breakfast with honey and milk

in my belly: nothing yet, proud to say i didn’t eat anything before bed last night, not even the girl’s honey graham-cracker bunnies tempting me. though i’m thinking veggie omelettes are in order this morning.

in my ears: Natalie Merchant, i forgot for awhile how much i loved her writing and her voice.  this song especially, i will write another post about.

on the nightstand: cell phone, hairband, flipcam, seashell, small red heart, a card to be mailed, a cup of tea, a Toys R Us receipt for Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans, two batteries to be recharged and a handwritten note from Ed.

on the editor: photos from the fields beside the sea from last summer’s vacation.  we’ve reached that time of year where i start my “i hate winter” posts.

last watched: three back episodes of Parenthood, God, I love those characters, they are so well-written and i’m not a big fan of tv.

feeling good about: letting worries go and letting the universe bring a solution.

feeling bummed about: having so much trouble getting myself committed to losing the last ten pounds from last year.

last thing that made me laugh: the ongoing travails of the stinkbug named Bob who the girls have made me sworn to protect and let reside here.

and think: paraphrased  because i cannot remember the direct quote from Nick Clooney on CNN last night that he hopes he raised his children “to believe  it was their duty to watch out for those who had less power and to question those who have more”

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in bloom

i worked on this photo tonight.  i have things to say about it but first i want to say that as of a couple of hours ago, i had no idea what i was going to write tonight.  i knew i had to write as too many days have gone by without a single post.  that i have not written at all in about a week.  it seems daily life has carried me away from this spot for awhile as i knew it would do from time to time.  life has been busy so there has not been as much time to sit and muse. 

so the photo.  i have A LOT of photos sitting in the library waiting to be worked on. photos from last year, photos from summer, photos from last weekend, etc, etc. i’ve been trying to choose a photo a day to work on and was considering another Nova Scotia shot or from the snows the last few weekends.  does anyone else have such a problem with snow?  i really kind of don’t know what to do with it, photography wise.

but in the end it was this photo that struck me tonight and it was a photo i had about given up on.  fitting really.  according to the helpful flickr stats i took this photo on July 10th of last year.  i messed around with it in late summer or early fall, couldn’t do anything with it.  it’s like a book almost, you have to be in a certain mood for it to click.  having been working with textures a lot lately, i thought i might be able to try again with it and it was tonight, when i started muting the colors of the photo that i hit on what it might be. 

this little white flower, i have no idea what it is, a weed flower really, was growing as one of two stragglers pushing out of the corner of the garage. it had just rained which is always one of my favorite times to take the camera for a walk, everything is so vibrant and there is something i cannot resist about water in general, especially little water droplets that reflect the whole sky back to you.  i caught sight of this flower on my way back in.  it was there, the other one pretty much beaten to the ground by the rain.  the sky was overcast, the ground a deep wet brown, the garage behind it a weathered green.  the flower was not showy, it was a little bedraggled to say the least, but there it was all the same, pushing it’s way up out of the cracks mustering up as much whiteness and brightness as it could, still standing as tall as it was able.

i feel a connection with this little flower as i sit here and look at it tonight, as i saw how with the right tones, with the right surroundings it shines.  there is still a lot i would like to do with it, looking back now, i want to mute more of the background and contrast it a little more, something to go back to, because the words in the photo came so quickly and distracted me.

because in the weird way that time works it seems like it has not been that long that i felt myself fighting to be what this flower has become for me tonight.  in a way it also seems an eternity ago, but that’s time for you.  tricky thing. 

i remember a time sitting in a place where there was no color, little beauty.  where the conditions were harsh and the skies always overcast, looming with threats of disaster.  i remember holding onto a little piece of myself who saw this online world, who read blogs, who perused flickr and thought how amazing it would be, how lucky, how inspiring it would be to be one of those people who reflected their life in color, vibrant colors, and in words, words that expressed so much whether they were about toast in the morning or the complexities of life.

it seems the rains can beat you down.  it seems you can live in a crushing, defeating situation and yet you can reach.  you can stretch.  you can push with all your might get through the hard parts and find yourself gathering all your strength and resolve to show that you have that beauty inside of you, it just needs the opportunity, the right situation, the right surroundings to truly….bloom.

from what you might have been ready to scrap could come something that stands out for you.  so i processed this photo in about ten minutes.  then i talked to my mother about the random craziness in her life.  a person who i fought so hard with who has become one of my greatest allies.  i realized how nice it was to have a conversation where the drama surrounded her being on crutches versus my life falling apart. 

then i went on flickr and saw the words of those women out there, the ones who work this self-portrait journey and are helping me to see the beauty inside me, to accept it,  never in my entire life have i taken so many photos of myself then i have in the last six months.

then i spoke at length with a man who told me i was amazing, who asks me about what my hopes and dreams for the future are, and then on top of that listens and processes it.  he tells me i am amazing, but i cannot help to wonder how this amazing man has somehow made his way into my life. 

i no longer feel like i am struggling, i feel like i have just about reached full bloom.  and it is so nice now to have the photographs to document it, to have words that flow so freely that i cannot stop typing them even though this post is going too long for anyone to want to stick around and read, and it’s too late to still be up. 

to be alive.  to be happy with who you are. to be proud to be living the life you have handcrafted.   to have made it through the hardest part of the journey.  to have so many amazing hands to lift you and let you reach for the light.  to sit in bed with good music, and a laptop and a cat curled up beside you to keep you warm, and the softness and scent of the man you love in the t-shirt that was shipped across the miles to you at your lovesick request.  at peace with yourself, and your present and all the promise the future is sure to bring.  tonight i felt that, and heard it in the words of others and saw it in this photo of that little weed flower i was about to give up on.

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Silly Girl.

 

You know those annoyingly in love people.

The ones with rose colored glasses.

The ones that cannot stop talking about how in love they are.

The ones who do all the cliche, cheeseball things people who are in love do.

I’m really trying to not be one of those people here right now.

But it’s really hard.

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Away.

(Ed’s please fall in love with Colorado shot)

 

March 24th.  

The airline tickets are booked.  BWI 7:20am, I’ll be there 12:29 Colorado time. 

I’m going away. In about seventy days. 

SEVENTY DAYS. 

That sounds like an eternity.

It’s probably not.

I’ve never left the girls for more than an overnight.  They have left me to go to the beach house for the week with their grandparents, but in almost ten years I have never went away from them.  This is a new thing.  So now I need to make arrangements.  Where they will be and what they will be doing for those whole four days I’ll be gone. 

Four days to not be the mother, the fixer, the dictator, the nag, the keeper of the house.  Four days where I get to be me separate from being a mother.  What is that?  Will I remember how to not listen for their footsteps at night?  Will I be looking for them around the corner where they surely are not?  Will I not know how to act when I have no one to be responsible for?

Late nights.  Lazy mornings.  No obligations. 

A man  I miss so very much.

I’ve figured it out.  I’ve got roughly ninety hours.

I think I’ve said it before.  Best not to waste a minute.

I can’t wait to fill up those hours.

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