Monday, October 13, 2014


I haven't been to yoga class in ages, and I've missed it. Still, when I went tonight I found myself a irritated by the guided meditation thing that this particular instructor was throwing in. Stillness is harder for me when I haven't been practicing it (and I haven't), but typically I find deliberate introspection uncomfortable even at the best of times. So she had us lie still in shivasana and picture light and clouds and this and that, and I tried but felt like I wasn't doing it right. Like I wasn't getting it.

Then she told us to look inside ourselves, or something. It was the type of instruction that tends to frustrate a literal minded person like myself, but I tried.

I tried, and I suddenly felt something happening. I closed my eyes and saw my tight little nut of a heart softening, swelling, and unfolding out of itself like a time lapse video of a flower bud.

I don't really know what happened there,  what it means, but I'd like some more of or.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


After a summer of wearing Rainbow flip flops (very comfortable; not at all squishy) almost exclusively, taking an evening walk in athletic shoes feels like heaven.

(What are these things on my feet? Springs? Maybe I can complete today's burpee challenge after all!)

Life, by the way, is rolling steadily along. Had quite a bit of drama in the family/close friends group over the past six months: a long hospital stay, a twice-broken ankle, a cancer scare (that is to say, it was indeed cancer, but it's been removed), a bipolar relapse...but things have been leveling out, and there are also several weddings coming up, and there's been a good amount of playing in waves and sand, and a couple of friendships restored and others renewed, and a new camping hammock, and more reading than I've done in quite a while. Things are good.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

A friend encouraged me to keep writing--I've known for a while that I needed to, but it never seems like the right time. Or never seems like the right thought. Or never seems nonthreatening enough. In good moments I have felt that I wanted to just live and enjoy it, rather than watching it through a camera lens, so to speak. But I think that running beneath almost all of my choices not to write has been fear and discomfort--an uneasy reluctance to turn my gaze too sharply on any part of my life. I still have not rectified this.

But lately there have been enough difficult moments to drive me back toward my pen, though I still have actually written very little. I have taken to carrying a notebook around to encourage myself to use it. 

I composed this in my head tonight on my way home from the hospital, and wrote it down in the driveway when I got home. I labeled it,

"April 17, returning from my 58th visit to the hospital in as many days."

It hurts too much to keep hoping.
Some days, all I can believe is violence.

I hear, in bright, energetic voices--
--too bright; they hurt my eyes--
--that honesty is all. That masks
only hurt.
I'll be honest: I've said it myself,
in better days.
But how can I believe it when I,
seeing my hero falter, wince, struggle for breath,
Feel my heart pound, and weaken, and sink into the ground.

It hurts too much to keep hoping.
All I can believe
is violence.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Hello, April

It was downright cold this morning, after a chilly weekend that followed a few days of record-breaking heat. This is all my fault. I took my winter coats out of my closet too early.

But the fresh-cut grass smells beautifully sweet this morning, and the combination of smell and cool freshness felt like a morning at Camp, which is always nice. Made me a little homesick, though.

This past weekend I made two avocados worth of gorgeous, chunky guacamole* and bought two bags of sprouted grain chips by "Simply Sprouted: Way Better" snacks. Both were surprisingly delicious, and I have just run out of guacamole. Really a shame.

In other news, I have temporarily ceased recycling (I'm quite ashamed of this) because our back door (which leads to the recycling bins) is entirely blocked by inchworms and webbing. Also the recycling, which needs to be carried through the house to be taken out, is covered in inchworms and webbing. Gotta love April under the trees.

*I make it wrong, always, but I love it this way: avocado, minced garlic, salt, and apple cider vinegar to taste.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Summer is coming.

I've spent the last two days working quite a lot--daycare in the early morning, then for my aunt in the late morning and early afternoon, then daycare again, then helping to renovate a house up the street. I sometimes dread such days, but it's been pretty great, actually. It's amazing how much more productive I am when my free time is cut back. My taxes are done, I've got some books from the library, and I'm heading to NYC for the weekend on Friday morning. I learned to use a circular saw tonight--we cut all the shelving for the kitchen--and now I'm covered in sawdust and my nostrils are filled with it.

And sometimes I just love working for my aunt. Lately family means more to me than it ever did when I was younger, and I love my aunts. It seems as though they just attract beautiful things to themselves, and it all swirls around each of them like a tornado of light. Really, most of my family is like that, actually, on both sides. I'll be visiting my cousin in New York this weekend, and doing some work for her. She has some similar tendencies, though they're expressed in different ways. (Emma, will you be around? Assuming you see this in time? I don't know if/when I'll be able to get away but I'd be happy to say hello if you were interested in such a thing.)

Anyway, my aunt's house is beautiful, and spending time with her was just another beautiful piece in a beautiful week I've been having, really. Here's what I scribbled in my notebook this morning, favorite pieces of my week so far:

cold grapes on a hot day
sprinkler spray through a car window
a bottle of wine down by the river, in the dark
a rain of flower petals
polishing silver in the shade on the side porch

Also, I think I should move. I hesitate to write it down, because the more I talk about things the less they tend to happen, but here it is, just for the record. For my future reference.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


Ian, sweetheart, texted me to make sure I'd eaten dinner. I had, but it was, as I told him, some utterly unsatisfying (though filling) leftovers. And I kind of wondered about that. What made them so terrible? They tasted fine. But I pulled them out of the fridge, scooped them out of their plastic containers, microwaved them for forty-five seconds. And then I ate them alone, hunched over my bowl on the sofa in the dim living room, watching a computer screen. And there's no joy in that. There's no life or satisfaction in that. After a night like this one, where the things I eat are nothing but necessary sustenance, I find I can better understand those people who find no pleasure in food. I can see how a life of microwaved and/or prepackaged dinners might do that to a person. I was raised on homemade lunches and dinners, because my mom is awesome and found the time to make them--and thus these days my most satisfying, most pleasurable meals are those that I cook with Ian or my roommate, and those that I eat with my loved ones. The food is second to the ritual of brainstorming, prep, cooking, talking, cleaning, and second to the community it fosters. After experiencing that kind of richness, eating alone in an empty house makes everything seem very grey.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Spring forward

Things have been better and things have been worse, in general, and in turns. Lately and always I guess. I have come to that place where everything rankles: my living situation, whatever it may be, my job, whatever that may be, my character flaws. Change as I may, those flaws are hard to shake.

I haven't been sleeping well or enough lately, but the weather has been growing nicer. I've seen a few more sunrises lately, thanks to daylight savings time. I took Ian to DC for his birthday and we spent Friday night and Saturday with his best friend Yuriy, and we all had a really nice time, despite my exhaustion, and the weather was nice. The weather was incredible, to me at least, given that every time I've been up there in the past decade or so it's been freezing, snowing, windblown, somewhat miserable.

We've been watching Walking Dead, and I've been reading the first volume of Game of Thrones, and I have zombies on the brain. Last night I watched a little video from Ian's birthday breakfast Friday, and I thought to myself, "it will be so nice to have this, to be able to show it to my children and help them understand how carefree things were before everyone had to be constantly worried about being eaten by the undead."  And then I laughed at myself, and told Ian, and he said, "Marie, batteries will be long gone by then." "yeah. it's a shame. clearly that is the single biggest problem with this scenario."

Then I went to bed and despite two benadryl I took hours to fall asleep again. It wasn't too bad though; I got up and worked until 9:30 am and went to try to nap just like I did yesterday, but this time I succeeded. And REM sleep after (or, as it may turn out to be, during) a bout of insomnia is the most delicious thing. I just don't know any other word to describe it, which is okay I guess, because "delicious" is probably the perfect word.

Regarding the anxiety in my feet: have I mentioned this? I write here so seldom that I can't remember what I've mentioned. I have this anxiety issue that I think everyone close to me knew about, and naturally they assumed that I knew too, but I didn't, because I also have a denial thing. Incidentally I have also had this tingling issue in my feet since 2008 or so, which, as it turns out, is anxiety related. And this happens way more often at night when I try to go to bed, because, as you may understand, insomnia leads to fatigue, fatigue leads to increased anxiety (read: unbearable, unstoppable tingling), anxiety (tingling) leads to increased insomnia, and so on, forever. Go figure. So I've been trying to figure out ways to break that cycle, and while bedtime is still tied to God-knows-how-vast amounts of repressed anxiety, I have been making some progress on the wacky physical symptoms. Lately the most successful tactic has been to point out that there isn't anything the matter, foot, so calm down and shut up. Cessation of the tingling doesn't necessarily mean I can fall asleep, but it does make lying in bed for hours significantly less miserable.

I didn't mean to be so negative. Lately a lot of the things I write seem to come out that way though, regardless of my intent. Ian's been very sweet though, and patient with it. Probably more so than I would be. I think there is a lot more kindness in him than I sometimes realize. The other day he said that we should go to the park so I could sit and be outside and write poems, because he thought that might make me feel better. And it probably would. I felt like it was one of the most thoughtful things anyone had ever said to me.