Posts tagged “life

Posted on April 13, 2014

  Seventy inches, maybe 69, all mine hazel eyes, moody hair, constellations of freckles this upper lip that gets caught on a tooth skin that erupts in chills at the sound of a stretched cotton ball a throat that tightens and eyes that sting more often as the years pass, sometimes from joy other times not I’m getting better with not with not fair and not my problem not like others and not ready yet   The gift of these years is this my 70 inches, or maybe 69, finally fit I touch each one, rather than shrink from I know the outline and color my edges I can stay in the lines or bleed beyond the reflexive snarl of my twenties—still there but…

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Her Loving Arms

Posted on March 26, 2014

The other day I shared about our house and our marriage, the thing that has stayed with me in reflecting on those closest to me, is that we weren’t alone. There was a tree in our front yard, it bore the battle wounds of telephone poles and Adirondack storms. It was very nearly split down its center to accommodate the lines and from the nourishment the bugs infesting it gave the pileated woodpeckers that rat-a-tatted morning and night. Shade and music were abundant in its limbs, and time and again we tricked the workers into thinking the tree was not to go. “Ma’am, we’re here to manage the trees for National Grid. The one out around back and this one out front are on…

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A Change in the Light

Posted on March 19, 2014

It’s been coming for a while now, though I haven’t quite been able to put my finger on it. It’s sinew in the musculature I’ve acquired through 10 years of parenting and writing. It’s a taut bit that pulls at me, keeping me from going as far as I might want in a certain direction. The other night as we crested the bluff near the summit, I looked away from the smattering of twinkling lights that are our little town and I turned instead to the back side of the mountain.
Sunset

 

I looked at the trees and drank in the colors of the sunset, the familiar pinks, purples, and blues of so many pictures that we’ve pinned to the wall or tucked away between the pages of cherished books. I looked over at Sean and felt my shoulders slip, wiggling out of the tense clothes hanger line that they so swiftly settle into at some blurry moment between racing to the bus stop and sitting down to my desk at work. He’d pushed for us to squeeze in a few runs; I’d lobbied to get the driveway cleared. We’d split the difference and done most of the driveway before heading to the mountain.

I second guessed the decision until halfway up the lift. It was just us. The film of guilt that so often sullies grown-up time, the indefatigable sensation that I am doing something other than what I ought to, was completely absent. Our legs swung as the lift gently rocked, my eyes stung as we emerged from the cover of trees and the wind hit. The smile of a dozen summers broke across my face as the air reminded me of poking my face out the window and of throwing my mouth wide open, allowing the gusts of wind to rattle my face and make sounds as they rushed inside.

Pushing off the chair, we headed for the trail and I felt the understanding sink in—our stories are changing, just as teeth are being lost and crushes are being lit, the rhythm of how we sway in the wake of our own momentum is new. Briar and I have talks at bedtime, the lights turned out, her sisters tucked away in their own room, we conspire—to learn, to laugh, and to begin the startling and exquisite journey to a place where the way she needs me is different, less predictable.

The times when all three girls are in agreement seem less, yet they have certain things that fuse them together. I am devouring all of it, while realizing that there are shadows cropping up, plumes of warning.

I cannot share every story and I cannot be present for every moment. We were supposed to get to this moment, despite the lump in my throat, at their ascent and my own racing heart; this is good. My clench is slowing to a pulse, allowing me moments of letting go—

“Sure, you can take a run without us, but please stay together,” I call to them as they disappear into the blur of neon ski coats, the other words about being super careful and not crashing into a tree fade at the back of my throat. They are letting go too.

We revisit before together, “Mama, ‘member how I used to always be in your arms?” Finley whispers as she strokes my face at bedtime.

“Yes, of course I do. You want to know a secret?” I ask. She nods.

“You are still there. That sweet, little Fin that you were, she’s always going to be in my arms. We get to keep each other together when we remember.”

“So even when I’m growed up and move away, but maybe not ’cause I might want to live with you and dad forever, I’ll still be with you in my baby time?”

“Exactly.” She sighs contentedly. I wrap my arms around her forever.

 

 

Making Passes and Taking Hits

Posted on March 16, 2014

This post is a first for me and I thought it needed a brief introduction. I usually keep marriage along the periphery of the stories I tell. The silos of parenting and life are not as concise as they can seem in storytelling, they aren’t silos at all; they’re brush strokes sharing space on one canvas. Marriage, two sides, a post in two parts—first, what you’ve come to expect here, my words and emotional take on something that happened; second, words from Sean, his perspective on the same thing. It’s personal and revealing.  Our kitchen is at the center of everything, not because of an open floor plan, or even because it’s “that place where everyone gathers,” our kitchen is at the center of everything because…

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Between Selfie & Self-Flagellation

Posted on March 5, 2014

When I was in high school I would pour through the pages of Elle magazine, carefully tearing out the images that spoke to me to tape on my wall. I created a collage that was equal parts aspiration and self-flagellation. I was not those women, but I might be able to be like those women. It was the era of the supermodel and I gravitated to the women who were boldly described as breaking from the mold of typical model. They were big and athletic. Yet in all my searching I never found a report of a model weighing what I did—big was crossing the 115lb threshold. Athletic was having a curve behind their shin, not shoulders that invited, “Wow, you must be a swimmer” comments.…

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