Friday, January 30, 2015

I Am Here

Wallingford, CT.  The usual stuff: trying to keep tomorrow from burying today. Atlanta already slipped past me.  And January, all those unmarked days.

Monday, January 19, 2015


The good thing -OK, one of a cornucopia of good things- about your child's nap is that it re-sensitizes you to the value of the pause.

Which is a plus, because we haven't really done well by the pause lately, we humans.  Yes, we have an unprecedented ability to bend life to our timetable- we can hit the pause button on our streaming TV, or whatever it is we've DVRed. But what do we use our "pauses" for?  Usually to check our phones or otherwise busify ourselves.  And we're increasingly intolerant of the enforced pauses- the train delays, the long lines, or, God forbid, the buffering.

The nap is a gift. It, too, can become a race to accomplish ALL THE THINGS- or at least ALL THE THINGS that are better done without a twenty-pound, inept miniature human hanging off of you. 

But it can also be a pause in the truest sense of that word- a brief hitch in forward momentum, when all you can do is stare at the wall and think-


Saturday, January 17, 2015


It's come around again-  that familiar morass of self-loathing and self-betterment I cal January.  I halfway enjoy it, as I halfway enjoy most things that demand I gaze critically at my own navel (taxes!  insurance forms!  to-do lists! oh my!).

The truth is, January is the only month during which we self-flagellators catch a break.  For a brief span of thirty-one days, we're not longer pessimists or self-saboteurs or Debbie downers. We're warriors!

Accordingly, here are my two January resolutions.  I'm on day two!   Did I mention the evils of procrastination?

1) Write (for fun, not for pay) every day, but only after I've finished writing for pay and thus don't have much energy or time or brain space.  And in any case the ability to generate my own topics has atrophied now that someone else is generating my headlines, so my list of future writing topics looks like this:  Why I'm not writing.  Cats.

2) Embark on a hideously ill-advised 30-day fitness challenge bearing the embarrassing moniker of "the hook" (am I a suburban gangster?) and consisting of a series unending (fifteen-minute) video interval workouts led by a dangerously perky 12-year-old (mother/fitness guru) who has somehow succeed in enticing me to use my own money to torture myself.

It will, of course, be impossible to succeed- but then, failure's an old February friend.

Friday, January 16, 2015


So basically I can't anymore.

There's an unpleasant stew of reasons- Facebook's nownownow, the yammering of email,  and oh, yeah, the kid-

who may wake up at any moment, who may cry at any moment, who interrupts thoughts and meals and plans and sleep.  Why commit to an activity if it might be torpedoed?  Why hop aboard a train of thought if it might derail any second?  And when I'm finally -finally! alone- how am I supposed to choose just one solitary activity when I want to stuff every possibility into my mouth at once?

Even my metaphors slink away from themselves, ashamed.

I have trouble writing these days, trouble reading, trouble making myself work.  I skim.  I jump around.  I am called away or lured away and I can't seem to figure out how to come back, sit down, and dig until I stumble out, blinking, on the other side of the world.

For escape, I vaguely remember, is focus's paradoxical gift- for a minute or two or sixty, knuckling down to fly free.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

I Was Here

The whole-body enthusiasm of a baby, as if every cell were thrilled to its core. 

File under: Insufficient warning.

Meanwhile: Charlottesville, VA; Staunton, VA; Amherst, VA; North Garden; VA.