Showing posts from December, 2020

tops of 2020

Seeing year-end round-ups and reflections makes me feel as tired as just about everything else in 2020, but here's mine because hypocrisy, because tradition. No philosophizing, though. I've been scared, exhausted, grateful, irritable, and productive most days this year. My productivity has, at best, kept me sane, hopeful, and employed. At worst, it's contributed to my irritability and made me extremely unpleasant to live with for the two people who cannot escape me (and honestly the neighbor girls aren't big fans of me at this point either)...all while being futile! No baby, no book. Yet? I don't know whether it's optimism, entitlement, or pure Aries stubbornness that keeps me believing a baby and a book could still happen. And there are still six months without school ahead. But maybe "only" three or four without childcare of any sort?  Till then, I will keep my head down and stick with my mantra, which is I need more coffee.  With that preamble out o

iduna remembered

They tried shutting her away: their strange blue-eyed girl who brought ice to life, but they’d read enough fairy tales to know stone towers don’t hold. Agnarr erred  on the side of concealment. He had a kingdom to consider, not to mention  their younger daughter, not his heir, but always  his favorite. Iduna remembered the forest of her birth, how the leaves turned plum and rust each fall and the reindeer’s coats  grew thick and musky.  She knew the weight of carrying another world curled inside your cloak. Their strange girl belonged to neither fjord nor forest, and it frightened them.  How to prepare her to use her own power when Iduna herself scarcely understood it? How to prepare her  for the ways fear could curdle into cruelty? It was dangerous to sail in winter, Agnarr argued. It’s dangerous not to, Iduna said. She had a map, a song, a memory of nursing a young man from another land  back to health.  If it was so wrong  to choose the unfamiliar over the soft moss and dense furs 

what child is this

I understand a little better this year, when the air is thick with phlegm and desperation, the impulse to look up and ask for a miracle. Urgent case in California, begins the email from the adoption agency. A woman due two days before Christmas. I picture us racing up the coast guided by starlight playing the song our son danced to  last December, parents packed shoulder to shoulder in the auditorium. He'll nod along and then he'll nod off.  His eyes look more like his birthmom's  when he's sleepy. We'll talk giddily about TV shows, high on gas station coffee. None of this comes true.  Like the Christmas story, it has been tainted  by the teller. The woman chooses  different parents for her baby. Photo by Magnus Östberg on Unsplash This year our son is obsessed with his Christmas list: night vision goggles, L.O.L. dolls, a plastic waffle maker. He has discovered the power of wishing but not, yet, its limitations, which lurk at the edge of the frame. When he rages a

things i have smelled to prove to myself i don't have covid (knockonwood)

Redwood trees Camellias Chipotle bean dip Soap and water on my son's skin My own unshowered skin A veggie hot dog with onions Canola oil blistering in the pan Sheets, peed upon by aforementioned son A billow of kid-fart Mown grass A flurry of leaves, startled by a blower Exhaust, the start of someone's commute Bacon wafting from a Craftsman Unidentifiable flowers, the way perfume  is supposed to smell and never does Pasta water Shea butter shampoo, the good stuff I'd never buy myself My cat's fur when he comes home each night, having dodged cars and coyotes, having befriended new neighbors, his return as reassuring as the moon