Friday, August 18, 2017

Change is a Marathon not a Cakewalk

It's been a long since I've eaten cake. I don't eat flour or sugar anymore, which are pretty much the hallmarks of all things cakey.  Since I gave up starch/sugar, I feel better, lighter, clearer minded. So the idea of eating cake is counter productive for me.

However, there are times when the world stresses me out and I really think eating the hell out of some cake might make me feel better:

Ok, I probably will not join the Sheet Caking Movement. (Kinda hate to use the word "sheet" when countering people known for hiding behind them.....) But I can't help but think Tina tossed out a useful idea when it comes to dealing with rallies by former-sheet-wearing types with white polo shirts and large weapons and small minds:

Don't go. 

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Wednesday Poetry: Sonnet 55 - Love and Poetry outlast Stuff

It's time to reclaim my blog space. Far too much time has passed, far too many things have flowed under the bridge since I have written last. Time is fleeting, life is short, and I am not getting any younger. So, the time is now....

In resurrecting my blog, I have decided to start by posting poetry every Wednesday. Because... well.... poetry is beautiful. And transcendent. And my daughter is becoming a poet. I will do anything to encourage her in her craft.

I write poetry. I wouldn't say my poetry is beautiful, or even very good. But poetry is sneaky, its form and brevity belying a hidden strength. And an underestimated staying power. As true in our time as in the time Willy wrote this sonnet and every time before and since, when the monuments of wasteful war are overturned, love and verse shall remain.

Gian Paolo Panini, Figures Conversing Among the Ruins, oil on canvas, ca. 1760. 

Sonnet 055: Not Marble, Nor The Gilded Monuments

Not marble, nor the gilded monuments
Of princes shall outlive this powerful rhyme,
But you shall shine more bright in these contents
Than unswept stone besmeared with sluttish time.
When wasteful war shall statues overturn,
And broils root out the work of masonry,
Nor Mars his sword, nor war’s quick fire shall burn
The living record of your memory.
‘Gainst death and all-oblivious enmity
Shall you pace forth; your praise shall still find room
Even in the eyes of all posterity
That wear this world out to the ending doom.
    So, till the judgment that yourself arise,
    You live in this, and dwell in lovers’ eyes.

- William Shakespeare

Monday, November 14, 2016

newspaper subscription hell complete with daemons

Have you ever been so frustrated by something so petty that you're almost ashamed, except the thing frustrating you is something you really want to get resolved and you make a hundred good-faith efforts that get you nowhere except more frustrated and you just want to raise the window like in the movie Network and yell "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore"?

If not, I envy you but I'm not sure I understand you. We obviously don't even live in the same universe. How do you even know me....?

If so, hello old friend, welcome to my petty party, climb aboard.

Here's my gripe. (And it's not about the election. So relax...)

We have one real local honest-to-goodness traditional newspaper in this town. We have subscribed to this paper for years and years and years. Until recently. Not because we decided to un-subscribe. But because apparently they have "new subscription software" that is causing issues. And their issues are causing me issues.

Monday, August 29, 2016

wholehearted parenting

Lately I've been reading work by Dr. BrenĂ© Brown. If you aren't familiar with her, she is an author, speaker, and research professor who has spent the past thirteen years studying vulnerability, courage, worthiness, and shame. You want to improve your life? Listen to her talk about those four topics (like in the audiobook The Power of Vulnerability) and I promise you will hear yourself growing!

I think I like Brené so much because I am a touchy-feeley-empathic person who appreciates evidence, where she a sociologist-sciencey-research person who appreciates empathy and provides evidence in a language I can understand. Because I feel so strongly about the importance of her work, I will probably write more about particular topics that resonate with me. Today I am writing specifically about parenting.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

politics, musicals, and compromise

"You can't always get what you want."

A true statement and a great Rolling Stones song that was oddly used by one of the political conventions. Which is weirdly appropriate, because it is a GIANT understatement when it comes to politics. Especially this election year.

"You can't always get what you want."

Anyone who has lived past kindergarten has figured this out the hard way.

At some point most of us learn that to move forward in life, we have to compromise. Sometimes it's not that hard, like choosing between hamburgers and hot dogs at a cookout when you'd hoped there would be steak. Sometimes it's only a matter of giving up some minor standard or even choosing "none of the above", like refusing cake at a party because it's commercial cake from a grocery store bakery and we prefer only scratch cake made with pastured butter, free-range eggs and gluten-free locally-milled einkorn flour.

But sometimes we have to choose between A and B when we don't like either option and a choice HAS to be made. Maybe A and B are actually totally appalling to us and we'd really like to choose C or D but they aren't that great either and actually don't stand a chance in hell of happening. Sound familiar?

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

moon landings, birthday cake, and hope

Today is a special day - my brother's birthday. Ray and I are more than siblings. We're friends, confidantes, partners-in-crime, each other's best audience, best critic, best support, best humorist, best ear, best shoulder. In his honor, I am posting a story from my book "Leaving The Shallows", a story I wrote about his 2nd birthday. Happy Birthday bubba - I love you to the moon. And back.
It was the summer of ‘69. July 20th to be exact.
I was 5 years old. I lived in a small, safe town in a small, safe house, with my little brother Ray and with our parents, who loved and cared for us, who loved and cared for each other.

I was unaware of the tumultuous world outside, of Kennedys and assassinations and Chappaquiddick, of presidential elections and Zodiac killers, of Vietnam and civil rights, of sit-ins and bed-ins, of oil spills and invasions, of midnight cowboys or that Dorothy was dead.
I didn’t know people with darker skin were treated different from me.
I didn’t know people hurt each other. Especially not people in families.
But I did know two things: It was my brother’s second birthday. And it was a night when the world was going to change forever.