Sunday, April 20, 2014
Happy Easter, friends, lovers, fans, strangers...
This holiday is, for me, about eggs, chickens, spring and reincarnation (in the form of crocuses and budding peach trees). It is--blessed be--sixty degrees and sunny right now. The lawn is tawny, but greening. Flecks: here and there. There are peas in the ground. I pruned the peach (kind of) and the kids hunted for eggs (with friends) and I told my daughter, first thing, before anyone else was up, that there is no Easter bunny, that I am the Easter bunny, and this sent no ripple of shock through her body. There are miracles I want her to believe in and touches of innocence it will pain me to see her lose, but...What more of a miracle does one need in spring--what more of a reminder of rebirth and reincarnation--than crocuses amidst the brown earth after months of snow?
So there is no longer an Easter bunny here. The eggs came from our chickens. We dyed them with straight-up food coloring and devoured them with glee.
Right now my boy (last night, leaning up against my leg as we stood around a fire: "Mama, love me. Love. Me.") is asleep in the car and my girl is upstairs with a friend making worlds out of blankets and dolls. The world is turning. Alice Munro keeps me company at night, helping me know myself better. What more does one want from a writer?
I have been absent here because of a sore wrist but am stepping back with a new desk, a new keyboard, a new wrist support, and seeing if I can find my rhythm with this new set up. Hello? The line is connecting, kind of.
Happy Sunday, Passover, Easter, Spring, friends. It's all the same in my book: this green time of expansion, growth, opening, light. May yours be filled with all of that, and other good stuff, too.
Monday, April 7, 2014
My first MFA workshop at Vermont College was taught by two wonderful human beings. One was Larry Sutin, who took me aside the first day I was there, long before my story was workshopped, and in his quiet and ever-humble but when-he-speaks-you-believe-him-voice said, “Your story is really very good. Really. Beautiful.”
Thursday, April 3, 2014
It's sugaring season around here, which means this is the daily afternoon-into-evening scene: these four little ones, sitting on this old van seat next to the evaporator, chowing down on pretzels and sugar on snow and whatever other unhealthy treats they can get their super grubby mitts on.
They love each other, these children. And are getting to know themselves through one another.
For my eldest (the butterfly in snow pants) there is school, and the friends she makes there, but at the heart of her life is this family that loves her unconditionally for who she is; that listens when she talks; that lets her know she is an all-important cog in this extended family wheel.
There are all sorts of reasons it's groovy to make your own maple syrup--synchronicity with the natural world, time outside during mud season, affordable delicious nectar of the tree gods--but this family piece is another one. There is love in the sugar house. There is security in the sugar house. A "we are all in this together" steam-faced stickiness in the sugar house that can override some of the world's less loving elements.
So to my parents, who are not sitting by the wood stove with tea right now writing this, but are down the road lighting a fire in the evaporator and preparing for the next ten hours of boiling (2000 gallons of sap already and the day's run hasn't even begun!): a simple and inadequate thank you. Your little people are lucky.
Wednesday, April 2, 2014
15 most influential authors in no more than 15 minutes is going around on Facebook, and I've been tagged. Since I have an aversion to the aesthetics of Facebook (superficial, I know), I'll post here in a place that carries the illusion of solid ground.
Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Terry Tempest Williams
Oops, I think that was one too many. And I'm no doubt missing many others, but my fifteen minutes are up.
Yours, dear ones?
Monday, March 31, 2014
There's been an internal thaw, too. Hang out around this lady enough and you begin to believe that you can manifest, via clear intentions, the things you want in life. My rootstock is firmly planted in the soil of pragmatic skeptics, but I'm (again, thanks to this lady) dipping my feet in that different kind of water.
No matter the source, there's been a thaw. I spent my mornings last week editing someone's novel. My "office," thanks to a year of dreaming/scheming/inention-setting, was my grandparents' farmhouse up the road which our family has just re-occupied after six years of having (wonderful) tenants living there.
Ty and I hired a babysitter this weekend because, for the first time, we could afford it.
So. I'm off to work. In the house where my grandma's ghost reflects off every inch of woodwork. She was a badass woman, that grandma, who found a way to make money doing what she loved and was good at.
Her last words to her three grand-daughters: just do it. Whatever it is: do it.
Kind of like a Nike add, but very different.
Wednesday, March 26, 2014
I set up a website for myself. A shingle. Different than woodbird, but connected. I did so because I want to do more freelance editorial work--work I love, and believe I am good at--in the hopes that I don't have to go back to cleaning other people's toilets for a living.
I'll still use this dream trailer to sing my little morning songs. (I.e. there are chickadees outside my window at the feeder, doing their little chickadee dance, who quickly disappeared when I tried to snap their photo. Smart birds.)
Another way to write this post would have been:
Please check out my new site! Write me if you need or want help!
I admire you all.
Tuesday, March 18, 2014
If you've noticed a lot of pictures of this book in my recent posts it's because I've started a short story book club and this is our group's first selection.
We'll me meeting tomorrow night in my grandparents' farmhouse up the road (sans, sadly, sunglasses). But there will be wine involved, and friends and, hopefully, strong and varied opinions.
This is, in my book, the way to beat the never-ending-winter blues.
What's keeping you afloat, friends?
Thursday, March 13, 2014
Last night I read this article on place in fiction by Luis Alberto Urrea, a self proclaimed "place-harlot" like me. He wants to live every place he goes. Just as I do. It's one of the reasons I travel--to imagine me (or now, us) in other houses under other trees and other skies. It's also one of the reasons I write: to live those multitudinous lives, under multitudinous skies.
We don't get away often anymore. It had been two and a half years since any of us had been on a plane. We'd barely left the county. (Yes, county, not country.)
But doing so does us well. Seeing the ocean does us well. Dry, desert air does us well. My children's eyes brightened. Freckles popped. Their legs moved.
And then we returned home to our house in its woods: a place we love as much as (or more than) any other. My kids spent yesterday afternoon in the sugar house boiling sap with their grandparents and cousins. Expansion and contraction. Horizontal vs. vertical ways of knowing. Outward and inward. It's snowing now. There's tea by my side. But it's sweetened with avocado honey, from those other trees, those other bees. Ya know?
Saturday, February 22, 2014
Friday, February 21, 2014
I don't know how this happened but I am loving this winter. Not typical of me. Yesterday: a snow lady, a broken blue typewriter and sledding with friends. Today: ice covered trees, multi-generational cowboy boots, more sledding and more friends.
My children are wildflowers (singing, this instant, at the top of their lungs, and clopping like wild horses in said boots).
And the light? The light is back.
The light is back.
Oh my oh my the light is back.