Saturday, April 26, 2014

People In Your Neighborhood

Elizabeth is an old blogging friend of mine. Passionately informed, intelligent and with the spiritual honesty and strength of a warrior, she has written over the years of her children and her oldest child, Sophie, the same age as our Dakota. Sophie has a severe seizure disorder. Nothing has ever helped her until now. Cannabis is helping Sophie. In this article, Elizabeth is interviewed and you should hear what she says.

The most interesting article I've read in a long time: It's The End of The World As We Know It…and He Feels Fine

Eliza has a fatal disease. She is four, the symptoms will begin in the next year or two. There is a possible treatment, a possible cure, and they need money. #savingEliza

I read the last half of this crying. The force of love and touch is mighty and absolutely underestimated and under utilized in America, especially when it comes to children. This mother saved her daughter's life unknowingly, by carrying her on her chest as the baby cried and cried. Saving My Baby reminded me of when Ever Elizabeth was hospitalized with RSV, and Ed and I stayed with her through the poking, prodding and testing that apparently we were told, many other parents choose to leave the room for. We were with her night and day those nine days, and every night after the lights dimmed and the nurses left us alone I crawled into Ever's high, tiny hospital bed and lay next to her, my arm crooked around her, my breath on her skin. One night a nurse came in and saw me sleeping next to Ever. Ed looked at her, she at him, and she silently withdrew and shut the door, saying nothing. We violated policy and I would do it again every time.

"Painfully, with the shower drenching my hair and my new four-pound baby in someone else’s arms, I realized this: I would never, ever be able to control the universe." On Statistics 

My Aunt Gold Teeth, a short story in Paris Review

This is awesome: How The World's Most Brilliant People Scheduled Their Days  " Think your mornings are stressful? French author Victor Hugo would be "awakened by daily gunshot," before taking an ice-cold, public bath on his roof. " hahaha!

Two female war correspondents were shot in Afghanistan and one lost her life. 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

New Essay: When Nothing Can Be Done

When my son breaks through our front door and runs up the stairs crying in half boy, half man sobs, I just stand where I am in the living room, holding peanut butter in one hand and a book in the other. I have been cleaning up and getting my daughters ready for the evening rituals; this son was not supposed to be coming home anytime soon. Visiting from Long Beach, he was hanging out with one of his best friends for the night….

The essay at Purple Clover

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

I Got This

Life going in and out and through but less by and by-
More present now.

Ever started preschool, part-time
Like a champ.

My oldest son is asleep on the downstairs couch.
He called me

At 1 am on a Sunday night
to ask for help with a fucked up situation-

So what I'm saying is yeah,
I did something really right.

Fucked up? That's going to happen.
The call? That's not so sure.

You have to work for that call.
You have to believe

When others don't,
Stay up

When you're too tired,
be better than you think you can be

Face yourself-
the hardest thing parenting asks.

So yeah,
I did that.

Hell yeah.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Childhood Drowning

Ever went to the pool with Ed and I for the first time a week ago and I realized that I am somewhat traumatized by what happened last year. I hadn't felt like I was, but now that Ever is going to the pool again I keep getting flashbacks of swimming across the pool toward her, watching for those four seconds of her tiny body struggling under the water. She was underwater for maybe 8 to 10 seconds total. I did NOT HEAR HER FALL IN. It was silent. My MIL was out of the water in a chair next to Ever and screamed. I had my head turned for five seconds.I will never forget seeing her hands and feet working so hard and those were the longest seconds of my life. She was climbing the soul chilling 'invisible ladder' that children who are drowning appear to be doing while trying to surface.
My Uncle David, my mom's brother, drowned when he was 14 in a Mississippi Lake he was supposed to be swimming in.
An online acquaintance's toddler just drowned in their bathtub with his sister when his Dad went to go get their PJ's in the bedroom.

Ever is getting swim lessons started this month where they teach them first how to float and reach the pool side, but this doesn't make her safe, just safer.


Drowning is the leading cause of injury-related death among children ages 1 to 3

Nearly 80% of child drownings in the US occur when a parent or guardian becomes distracted. This can be a phone call, a talk with another adult, a book or even another child you are supervising.

A child can can drown in 1-2 minutes underwater. That is one quick exchange with a friend on the phone about where to meet and goodbye.

For every child who drowns, four children are hospitalized for near-drowning.

Stacey Grissom, a spokeswoman for the American Red Cross, said that organization advises all caregivers to practice "reach supervision."

"It's not good enough to be on the side reading a book or with a Walkman," she said. "You need to be right there so if something happens you can reach out your arm and you're no farther away than an arm's length from a child. ... You don't want to find out how quickly something can go wrong."

"This is Cobryn Matthew Wright. He drowned at 4 years old, June 3rd 2013 while with his mother at his aunts enjoying his first swim of the year, which also ended up being his last. Cobryn's mom found him at the bottom of the pool, he was revived at the scene but lost him again on the way to the hospital. On June 7th he was announced brain dead, Cobryn's mom, dad & step mom decided to donate Cobryn's organs and on June 9th that's exactly what Cobryn did. Cobryn's 5th birthday was July 14th. He'll forever be 4 years old Cobryn has 2 older sisters 14 & 12 by his mother, & by his dad he has 1 older sister who turned 5 the day after his accident & 1 younger sister who just turned 1 in January & recently found out Cobryn will be a big brother again but for the first time to a little boy who will arrive in a few short months Please share Cobryn's story so another child doesn't lose their life to something that's 100% preventable. We miss you little man"

Corbyn's Facebook Page for Drowning Prevention and Awareness

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


day four migraine desert
hot sun, blown pupil-
core the vessel from
the blood diamond

every vein clogged
stiff as a cock
erect underneath
the thin thin skin
of my forehead
and scalp

hump, hump, hump
little desert apes
fuck my skill

nothing stops their

the sahara is crowded
with skeletons
bleached bloodless
in the heat
i am on the bakers rack
across the highest
point of dune

carry my head like 
trophy on stick
huyahuyahya chanting
my eyes bulge
from the platter

yes, i watch my own demise.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

to train up a child

everything makes me feel someone's suffering.
this is the truth of myself for as long as 
i can remember:
the endless porous repeating knowing
of another's deepest pain.

in the bath i think of a little girl i read
her story in the news
one silent Sunday morning
her mother 
drowned her in a bath so hot
she could hardly hold her under.

i'm not asking if i need to think of this
or that horrible 'should'
if i could
have a choice 
i'm not even sure what i'd do

this is how i've been as long as 
i can remember:
my closet stays open 
so i don't remember all the children
who at the pulse of this hot now
are locked alone in closets.

also the babies left to cry-
i'm telling you,
the chorus of their weeping 
is a soundtrack in my life.
i  hear them above the calling of Saturday
morning birds,

i hear them begging to be held and loved
to be freed from fear.
fear of being alone
abandoned, hurt, etcetera, etcetera, ee
i think of all the mothers who 
put gates on the suburban doors

of their toddler's rooms-
toddlers, we agree, are babies with 
faster legs,
but still babies, the rounded belly
feet, hands, cheeks and foreheads,
the universal open eyes
the cellular expectation to be nourished.

we are animals, we work to forget
but i rarely do
forget we are animals
and animals are not created
to be born and put into a room
with a gate
and left alone in the dark for hours.

this to me is a fundamental truth
and i can't make friends 
saying it
but nevertheless-
these babies and children 
weeping, until

one mother said on Facebook
in a humorous post on the amazement
she feels
that toddlers will cry until they vomit
after being left in their locked rooms
to 'learn how to 

well yes
i guess we must learn how 
to sleep
and did you know
i heard that many adults in America
have insomnia and did you know
i heard
that many adults have insomnia
because they are afraid of the dark

well i suppose
this is a better incarnation-
metamorphosis of this memory-
than being afraid of the mother

well yes,
i might have mentioned to her
that i have cried until vomiting
from loneliness and despair, also

although i was lucky enough
to do so 
in front of locked doors
not behind them.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

make an enormous colorful mess

It is in the shelter of each other
that the people live.
-Irish Proverb

Friday, April 4, 2014

People In Your Neighborhood

Mitchell was a little boy in your neighborhood of human beings. He was three when diagnosed with the fatal disease duchenne muscular dystrophy and ten years old when he died at home, with his mother and his father.

Mitchell's dad has a beautiful way of expressing himself that touches the basic truths of what he experiences and feels. He made a video series about his son, and this, 'Nightfall', he reads excerpts from the essay he wrote about the loss of his beloved boy.

I found it profoundly moving and inspiring because he speaks so honestly about the horror of death- not something you hear most people saying, even those right next to it- as well as his belief that the love of others is a meaning itself. In my life, an 'accumulation of tender mercies' has absolutely saved me.

I watched this with tears streaming down my face. I intend to keep these words close.

Mitchell's Journey

Tuesday, April 1, 2014


i like the grainy pixilated photo capture, right now, i am acutely aware of every role i play- mother, wife, worker, writer, self caretaker, housekeeper, perpetual organizer. everything is deconstructed from one morning to the dark blue evening, and then it falls on me to reorganize, categorize, soothe, elucidate, call, write down, clean up, buy, cook, wipe, erect, construct, a whole lego world, or a whole pixilated world, take as you like, but many pieces and never finished in life. when i take hot baths late in the night and the house is all asleep and the sweat slides off my fingers onto the pages of the book i read, i am being deconstructed. 

the questions:

what is my life going to look like now that i work?

how can i continue to be a 120% mother?

can i write? can i complete my novel and have an almost full time day job?

will i ever finish my novel?

how much sleep do i need?

does it matter what i need- can i get what i need? 

where will we be living in three months? our lease is up and the owners are selling. i can't talk about this right now. it's too hard. we all love this place more than any place we've ever lived. we all love the street we live on- a street with houses but also an old style veterinarian clinic, coffee shop, liquor store and old fashioned park complete with piazza, a stream and a running train- more than any street we've ever lived on.

i still dance to music in my house and car. i still get ridiculous on the regular. i still eat gluten free cookies and drink too much milk and get a stomachache. i still mourn and worry and consider what i can do every day for abused and neglected children and human beings. i still pray and i still cry in my closet. i still watch West Wing with Lola every night. i still read. i still lick my lips too often. i still sit with my back scrunched up. i still feed the dogs and the children. i still talk on the phone to Dakota and FB with Ian. i still love Saturday mornings. 

but i feel so different.

something is happening, a shift, and if i were a bird, i'd incline my wings and go with the wind wherever it took me.

i went on a run late in the day today and the light was gorgeous. it rained all morning. i ran in the filtered sun and the entire world looked scrubbed new. i talked to my dead friends and grandparents. i ran and ran. and i inclined myself and flew.

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