Lolliblog

Everyday, noted.

Being You

Here’s a fundamental (and comforting) truth that I picked up along the way: barring a total psychological or physiological calamity, you will always feel like you. You go through life as the person you are and have always been, even as the external packaging deteriorates.

Growing up in the place I live now, give or take a few miles, I see people I knew as fellow kids who are now fellow middle-aged folk. Sometimes when our paths cross I don’t recognize them, so stunning has been their transformation. I, on the other hand, perceive myself unaltered by the hand of time, because I’ve been present for my own metamorphosis, which when observed day to day, it is sufficiently gradual as to be imperceptible. (Actually, from my POV, squarely inside my immutable self, it is non-existent).

I’m passing this along because I thought you might be surprised to know just how intact the essential you is. Emotions -hope, fatigue, anger, love-they feel the same. That wrinkled face staring back at you one day in the mirror will take you by terrible surprise because you will still feel like you do right now.

Feelings, the depth of them, the fullness of them, they don’t ditch you the way 20/20 vision and skin elasticity does. You will still have those moments when life overwhelms you with its sweetness. You will feel like climbing out on your roof and looking up at the stars, or doing a cannonball off the diving board. If you are lucky, you don’t quite catch yourself in time.

Five Mistakes I Only Made Once

Many of the mistakes I make it would seem I am condemned to repeat: the third beer, the fourth slice of pizza, the always, but always, saying yes.

But here are five mistakes I only had to make one time.

1.       Going to a Thai all-you-can eat buffet the night before a road race.

2.        Saying “sure” when asked by a sketchy guy at the corner bar if I want to see what he just got pierced. That’s the first part of the mistake. The second part is not shutting my eyes in time.

3.        Shouting “asshole” at the driver of the monster truck with the NRA stickers who just cut me off approaching a red light with my window open.

4.        Giving the Greenpeace guy in Union Square my credit card info because I feel bad that no one else will stop to talk to him.

5.        Telling the anesthesiologist I am fine to have the nervous resident perform her first-ever epidural on me.

These proponents of Women Against Feminism exemplify the informed validity of this ad hoc movement.

They say a rising tide lifts all boats, and I believe this includes those that appear to be having problems with their bilge pumps, and those belonging to those of us humans with penises. You make it challenging, ladies, but sisterhood is powerful- for all of us. #womenagainstfeminism@tumblr.com.

Wrong Number

2:09 a.m. Saturday morning the phone rings. It’s the land line, loud and generally used only in emergencies. It wakes me and Sam immediately, causing us to simultaneously stagger out of bed, groping in the dark for the receiver. Sam gets to it first. ‘Hello?” he says. “Hello? Who? Who? Okay. Yes. Okay. Bye.”

“Who was that?” I ask, over the pounding of my heart.

“A woman who apparently dialed the wrong number,” Sam says, climbing back into bed. He falls back to sleep easily.

But it is 2:30 and I am up. Micah is on a trip with friends. Jake is also out of town. My father is in a state of chronically precarious health. When the phone rings at 2:09 a.m., I assume the worst.

I lie there, awash in a tidal wave of annoyance at this woman I don’t know who has effectively disrupted my night’s sleep. But I will myself to calm down. I try to focus on my breathing, and after a while, my thoughts turn to unlikely gratitude.

Unintentionally, this stranger reminded me that there are people in my life I love so profoundly that a 2:09 a.m. call terrifies me. The depth of my panic is directly proportional to the depth of the love I feel for them. It sucks to be torn from peaceful slumber by a ringing reminder from the universe that we live, day to day, in an asteroid field, but knowing how much the people in my life matter to me is a gift, even at 2:09 a.m..


I came upon this pair of panties on the sidewalk near our house and wondered how they’d gotten there. Perhaps they were abandoned after a tipsy evening’s flirtation, culminating in the backseat of a car. Things got so wild that the woman- let’s call her Daphne- forgot all about retrieving her panties because all she cared about was her cell phone with the contact info of the object of her lust -let’s call him Cliff. Daphne is in love, or so she thinks, though she will probably feel differently in the morning when her hangover kicks in. That’s scenario one. Scenario two is that the panties fell out of Daphne’s laundry bag.

I came upon this pair of panties on the sidewalk near our house and wondered how they’d gotten there. Perhaps they were abandoned after a tipsy evening’s flirtation, culminating in the backseat of a car. Things got so wild that the woman- let’s call her Daphne- forgot all about retrieving her panties because all she cared about was her cell phone with the contact info of the object of her lust -let’s call him Cliff. Daphne is in love, or so she thinks, though she will probably feel differently in the morning when her hangover kicks in. That’s scenario one. Scenario two is that the panties fell out of Daphne’s laundry bag.


I want to forget them all, 
to be washed of them,
to begin again: where no one knows who anyone is, 
or what he believes. 
 
To give my attention to:
frangipani leaves uncurling, 
the smell of  jasmine,
one person helping another across a street;  
 
to the seeds,
to the beginnings; to one clear word for which
there is no disguise and no alternative.

This excerpt from “Poetry in Time of War” by Rosalind Brackenbury spoke to me of the conflict raging between Israel and Palestine. Revenge exacts revenge, not justice. The score will never be settled; the slate must be wiped clean, through reconciliation, or annihilation.

I want to forget them all,

to be washed of them,

to begin again: where no one knows who anyone is,

or what he believes.

 

To give my attention to:

frangipani leaves uncurling,

the smell of  jasmine,

one person helping another across a street; 

 

to the seeds,

to the beginnings; to one clear word for which

there is no disguise and no alternative.

This excerpt from “Poetry in Time of War” by Rosalind Brackenbury spoke to me of the conflict raging between Israel and Palestine. Revenge exacts revenge, not justice. The score will never be settled; the slate must be wiped clean, through reconciliation, or annihilation.


This is Jake around the time we moved from our farmhouse in the country back to the suburbs. Our new neighborhood felt very safe, safer, actually, than the farm. We now had street lights and sidewalks and lots neighbors close by. Sam and I were happy that the kids would be able to walk places rather than relying on the car.
I recall that afternoon was typically busy. I was cooking dinner and trying to keep the triplets occupied and Hannah was at a friend’s house. Jake had gotten back from the neighborhood pool club and complained he was bored. One minute he was in the backyard on the swing set, and when I looked again, he was gone.
I figured he’d gone to go the open loft in our garage, which I told him not to do. The loft was accessed by a ladder and had no safety rail. I sighed, because Jake was impulsive and often did whatever he felt like doing in the moment. On my way to calling him in I got sidetracked. Maybe the phone rang or I started folding laundry, I don’t remember. But some period of time had passed when Jake came running in.
“Mom, can I go to the big lake to catch frogs with the man?”
“What big lake with frogs? What man?”
“I got to hurry if I want to go, Mom.” He was talking a mile a minute, faster than he normally did, which was crazy fast. “I was at the brook trying to find a frog and he stopped his van and asked what I was doing. He said he knows where a big lake is and if I get in his van he’ll take me there to catch lots of frogs. I told him I have to ask you first. Can I go?”
“Come on. I want to meet this guy,” I said, trying to keep my voice calm. Jake and I went out, across our quiet street to the quiet brook. The van was, of course, nowhere in sight.
Jake was upset. And when I finally released him from my stranglehold hug and stopped repeating how smart he was to come to me for permission and just to be clear, he must never, ever get into anyone’s car, I felt weak in the knees. 
Occasionally, the gut speaks to us and we listen. That’s what I believe happened. Jake listened to his gut, despite wanting very badly to go to the lake with all those frogs. I wish he had been able to, because that would have meant the frog-filled lake was real, and that Jake and every child in the world is safe; that every stranger they meet has only the best of intentions.

This is Jake around the time we moved from our farmhouse in the country back to the suburbs. Our new neighborhood felt very safe, safer, actually, than the farm. We now had street lights and sidewalks and lots neighbors close by. Sam and I were happy that the kids would be able to walk places rather than relying on the car.

I recall that afternoon was typically busy. I was cooking dinner and trying to keep the triplets occupied and Hannah was at a friend’s house. Jake had gotten back from the neighborhood pool club and complained he was bored. One minute he was in the backyard on the swing set, and when I looked again, he was gone.

I figured he’d gone to go the open loft in our garage, which I told him not to do. The loft was accessed by a ladder and had no safety rail. I sighed, because Jake was impulsive and often did whatever he felt like doing in the moment. On my way to calling him in I got sidetracked. Maybe the phone rang or I started folding laundry, I don’t remember. But some period of time had passed when Jake came running in.

“Mom, can I go to the big lake to catch frogs with the man?”

“What big lake with frogs? What man?”

“I got to hurry if I want to go, Mom.” He was talking a mile a minute, faster than he normally did, which was crazy fast. “I was at the brook trying to find a frog and he stopped his van and asked what I was doing. He said he knows where a big lake is and if I get in his van he’ll take me there to catch lots of frogs. I told him I have to ask you first. Can I go?”

“Come on. I want to meet this guy,” I said, trying to keep my voice calm. Jake and I went out, across our quiet street to the quiet brook. The van was, of course, nowhere in sight.

Jake was upset. And when I finally released him from my stranglehold hug and stopped repeating how smart he was to come to me for permission and just to be clear, he must never, ever get into anyone’s car, I felt weak in the knees.

Occasionally, the gut speaks to us and we listen. That’s what I believe happened. Jake listened to his gut, despite wanting very badly to go to the lake with all those frogs. I wish he had been able to, because that would have meant the frog-filled lake was real, and that Jake and every child in the world is safe; that every stranger they meet has only the best of intentions.


This,
This right now,
This second of this season
is my favorite.
I wish summer could last forever,
bare feet
sticking to the floor
chasing sweat-soaked sleep
on hot cicada din nights
broken by the crack of thunder.
But this doesn’t
can’t possibly
last;
summer’s fleeting an agony
that makes me love it all the more.

This,

This right now,

This second of this season

is my favorite.

I wish summer could last forever,

bare feet

sticking to the floor

chasing sweat-soaked sleep

on hot cicada din nights

broken by the crack of thunder.

But this doesn’t

can’t possibly

last;

summer’s fleeting an agony

that makes me love it all the more.

Passages From “To Kill A Mockingbird” If Atticus Finch Were More Like My Dad

patrickcassels:

  • “Kids, you never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view,” Atticus said solemnly. Then, the smoke alarm went off. “Ah, shoot,” said Atticus. He scurried into the kitchen, then came back holding a skillet of burning hot dogs. “I totally screwed up dinner,” he…

Pat Cassels, my literary humor hat is off to you, sir, and I am honored that you were once-twice, technically- our house guest.

I love this.


Here are Rachael, Eliza, and Sarah in the kitchen of our old house. My favorite days were days like this; the girls left to their own devices, which in this case involved weird dress-up outfits and balloons. 
I used to wish I could be one of those organized parents, all brisk purpose and strict schedules, but looking back, I suspect childhood is happiest when one errs on the side of bedlam.

Here are Rachael, Eliza, and Sarah in the kitchen of our old house. My favorite days were days like this; the girls left to their own devices, which in this case involved weird dress-up outfits and balloons.

I used to wish I could be one of those organized parents, all brisk purpose and strict schedules, but looking back, I suspect childhood is happiest when one errs on the side of bedlam.