Thursday, February 24, 2011

to the romanian woman who feeds me and asks me where I live:

Near the water, but not on it, with a lawn of moss and black eyed juncos till May. June, and hornets are in the rockery. Too late in July I tried to grow vegetables: my carrots did not sprout, but I had many radishes. In August the grass grew dry and poked the pads of my feet. We had grosbeaks, but they were gone by September when the air abruptly turned chill again. In October I expected the harlequin ducks and western grebes back to the bay. The November winds brought a birch down in our yard. All night the trees swayed and danced and I was very afraid. Cool stiff winds all December, but little snow. I sleep January through, fight a cough. In February I pull back the mulched leaves in the garden to see primroses. March and I am older, the yard is soggy and grey, many black eyed juncos. My heart feels sore. April, patches of sun on the deck and a pileated woodpecker on the old cedar stag. The juncos are replaced by many yellow birds, some purple finches, a few grosbeaks, the hornets in the rockery.

for the bird voyeur in me

and i think i am going to have to get this for myself for my birthday. i instantly fell in love with these tiny binoculars on a necklace. so perfect.
from MySelvagedLife, a beautiful etsy shop

these are just some things i do to avoid writing

skagit valley is heaped in snow right now, leaving me with two full snow days with nothing to do but craft, eat good food, study algebra, and look at pretty things on the internet (a bad addiction).

the "Fo-bot" robot i made for Forrest's birthday- today!

my late winter, early spring wreath, the fox and the pussy willow

Saturday, February 12, 2011

i am sad when my friends say they don't believe in love

with discussions of flowers for a friend's wedding that i will be doing in july, and with valentine's day fast approaching, i have been pondering love a bit more than usual. like long, hard, love.

this is a beautiful photo series by lauren fleishman of couples who have been married a looong time. i like these stories. these people. it reminds me of my grandmother and her story, of when she met my grandfather. i wrote about it in the eulogy type piece i read at her memorial:  

The Importance of a Destination
My favorite of my grandma’s stories about people was her own—the story of how she met my grandfather. As she told it, she was living in San Diego in 1952. Her girlfriend called to say, “Marge, I have a navy lad you have to meet. He just might be your destiny.” After some hesitation, she went down to the bar to meet him. Her friend hadn't mentioned how handsome he was. I like to think that she swooned when she saw him. The next day they were going steady, two weeks later they were engaged. My grandfather sat my grandma down in his lap, “Aren’t I too heavy for you?” she asked. “Well how much do you weigh?” he responded. “112 pounds.”  (And this is where my grandfather leaned in and said, “You’re just right for me. Marry me, Margaret.”) They went down to Arizona and eloped. That is how is how she told it. Sometimes I want to control my own fate. I look for clear signs, a road up ahead reading “Destiny: 7 miles,” a slip during speech where one word becomes another. Other times, I think perhaps wherever I am going I am already there.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Little Map


The white pine

the deer coming closer

the ant
in my bowl
—where did she go
when I brushed her out?

The candle
—where does it go?

Our brush with each other
—two animal souls
without cave

thrift score: finds from my recent scavangings

this one has a little sentimental value. we had a matching one at the mason street house and in our apt for a while.

cute fabric sheet, i have a matching pillow case

adorable deer for crafting/ or other

groovy party invites

a collection of landscapes

north idaho in winter

birch bay winter
eastern washington in late summer

brewster, early fall

bellingham bay, summer

north idaho in late summer

nooksack river trail, summer

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Thursday, February 3, 2011

on stuff

the other day, in first grade, we were reading a book about a little bear who found himself on an island all by himself, and then a wooden horse washed up on the shore and the two became best friends and they spent all day playing. they went to sleep under the only tree in the island. and then they woke up and the little bear found all sorts of things floating in the water. he said, "i do not know what these things are, but i need them all!" and he became very preoccupied with collecting all these things. soon there was not very much room on the island so he told the wooden horse to get out of the way. he made the horse stand on a desk/ or a roof of something/ and the wooden horse fell off into the sea! the bear did not notice for a while, but when he did he was very sad and said that he did not want all the things, he only wanted his friend. so he tossed everything back into the sea and sat on the beach of his island and cried until the horse came back. 


the next day we read a story about Grandma Prisbrey who collected pencils as a little girl. as she grew older, she collected many things, like bottles and more pencils, and then she decided that she should build a house out of bottles, for her pencils. and then she decided to build a village out of bottles for herself. and it ended up being pretty spectacular. this is actually a true story! 


then today, we looked at a floor plan for a recycling center. we read about a robot who collected junk and everyone said "why do you have so much junk?" and Rosie the Robot said, "i am going to make something new with these things!" and then she made cool springy boots for her brother and a reading light out of a lampshade and flash lights. 

anyway, we were reading about stuff and it all felt very relevant to my life. some days i feel like i am on the fast track to becoming the next Grandma Prisbrey (or maybe just my father who has recently converted my old bedroom into a museum). other days i am like the bear. i want things and then i want to throw them all out to the sea. some days i feel bogged down by my things, immobile. i am not Grandma Prisbrey yet! i want to gallop around. i want to be footloose and fancy free. i don't want to worry about where i am going to put my vintage thermos collection! (but i love them!) 

maybe i will get a storage unit. 

maybe i will move back into my father's museum.

maybe i will build a house for my things out of my things, somewhere safe. 

all in all. i think i love the new reading program at school. the interconnections and themes of the stories are wonderful. but! but! there is no tutoring plan.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

my love affair with Louise Glück

Early December in Croton-on-Hudson

Spiked sun. The Hudson’s
Whittled down by ice.
I hear the bone dice
Of blown gravel clicking. Bone-
pale, the recent snow
Fastens like fur to the river.
Standstill. We were leaving to deliver
Christmas presents when the tire blew
Last year. Above the dead valves pines pared
Down by a storm stood, limbs bared . . .
I want you. 


When I woke up I was in a forest. The dark
seemed natural, the sky through the pine trees
thick with many lights.

I knew nothing; I could do nothing but see.
And as I watched, all the lights of heaven
faded to make a single thing, a fire
burning through the cool firs.
Then it wasn't possible any longer
to stare at heaven and not be destroyed.

Are there souls that need
death's presence, as I require protection?
I think if I speak long enough
I will answer that question, I will see
whatever they see, a ladder
reaching through the firs, whatever
calls them to exchange their lives—

Think what I understand already.
I woke up ignorant in a forest;
only a moment ago, I didn't know my voice
if one were given to me
would be so full of grief, my sentences
like cries strung together.
I didn't even know I felt grief
until that word came, until I felt
rain streaming from me.