Thursday, December 31, 2009

A Decade In Our Family

The birth of Lola Moon. February 7 2002/ Best Start Birthing Center, San Diego, CA. Late evening, stripped down naked, first on bed, then floor, then bathroom floor, finally in the tub, grunting and moaning, howling, pushing her out into the water, candles flickering all around in the darkness as if I were birthing her into the sky surrounded by stars. Her cry. Her blue eyes, nursing mouth, my daughter. Dakota cut the cord.

Marrying Mr. Curry on the shores of La Jolla Beach. My grandma Elizabeth and Grandpa M.D. both still alive, standing stiffly but joyfully against the cliffs, wind in their hair. Lola, an infant, in my arms, eating the rose petals from my organic bouquet. Ian Oliver and Dakota Wolf, 6 and 8 years old, awkward but thrilled, suited and brothers at last. As it was meant to be. My second mother, Corinne, asking me If I do and responding 'I do! I definitely do! ' Mr. Curry and I, best friends since I was 7 months swollen with Dakota at age 19, together at last. As it was meant to be.

Losing Mr. Curry after one year of marriage. Breakdown, swift descent. Fear, failure, confusion.
The slow understanding. The stubborn, stubborn healing. Love blossoming fiercely in desert conditions. Adapting. Surviving. Thriving. Healing not only the immediate rift, but deeper, unspoken and childhood rifts. Becoming each other's sanctuary. A deeper, more profound and mature understanding of love. Peace.

My first publications, but more importantly to me, the rejection that gave me confidence. Submitted my novel in the most stupid, unprofessional way possible: fiction not even completed,several chapters in, still raw, a mess, but I too eager for some kind of outside response to wait:Submission to the major fiction agent on the West coast, Sandra Dijikstra:Waiting.The slow realization I had been a fool, an idiot, a child, to submit so soon, without completion.Then the mailed rejection- personally written by Sandra. Her assertion that I had talent. That the writing was very good. My disbelief. I email her, asking ' Did you really write this? ' And even more amazing, her email back ' Yes, I took the time... ' and more! I have the letter saved, the email saved, to remind me both of my stupidity and of the hope that I can make it. I ruined my chances with this novel and this agent, but her words gave me confidence when I needed it, after years and years of completely isolated writing with no response. I don't join writer's groups. I read, I write. So this human response from this particular agent-- gold.

My sister Lura, moved away over 7 years ago. I haven't had any contact from her since. I wrote her for a year before realizing she didn't live in the apartment anymore, and hadn't for who knows how long.

Mr. Curry building his own business. The long hours, the hard work, the paperwork, the IRS,the pride, the employees, the money. The laws change: workers compensation goes up fivefold. Mr. Curry loses the business.

Our family vacation to Nashville, Tennessee. Lola is 2. She is an angel the whole trip, dissipating my worst fears about the plane trip, the waiting in airports. Tennessee works it's dark Southern magic and we all fall in love. My Aunt and two cousins welcome us into their home for five days. We visit the Jack Daniels Distillery, the thermometer registers 104degrees . Homes cost less than half of what they cost here in San Diego, WITH land. Mr. Curry wants to move. The last day we spend at the Grand Ole Opry Hotel, with it's no holds barred jungle enclosure inside the hotel, complete with birds. We swim in the hotel pool, eat at the restaurants, shop, order movies. The sound of cicadas follow us home.

I am diagnosed with endometriosis, Stage 4. Two years of chronic pain and health issues are revealed as an autoimmune disease which has taken part of my left ovary. I change my lifestyle. We begin to eat almost all organic. I remove all parabens and chemicals from cleaners, laundry detergents, shampoo, soaps, lotions. Three surgeries follow, eventually with a specialist in San Jose for a final and successful surgery. My ability to get pregnant is unknown.

I become pregnant with our much wanted baby. June, 2009.We lost the baby

I get and keep a preschool job that is the best working environment of my life. My boss is an Orthodox Jewish woman born in South Africa who is in her late fifties and more energetic than I, in my thirties. She is brisk and intelligent, conservative and politically my opposite, but I love and appreciate her integrity, compassion, honesty, work ethic, devotion to her staff. My work is close enough so that when I crash and total our car, I can walk to work in fifteen minutes. I am allowed to bring my children to the school whenever I like. Lola attended Pre-K there while I worked, before moving to kindergarten. The girls I work with are fantastic. I have insurance through my work. I love my job.

9-11. I am pregnant with Lola, walking down the stairs, when I see my Grandfather with his hands on his drawn, drooping cheeks, watching the news, my Grandmother with tears rolling down her face. A building is collapsing on the screen, over and over. The camera cuts to the male reporter, who stands with the microphone at an awkward angle, running his fingers through his hair over and over. ' What? I- I- it appears... ' he cannot get himself together. I know something enormous, something horrible, is happening. The single most lasting impressions of that day remain the total confusion on the faces streaming through the streets of New York amidst clouds of toxic dust and fire, and the small, black specks falling through the air- I soon after saw, in a magazine, a close up of one of these images, revealing the very blurry details of a black woman, her skirt, her build. I will never forget her.

We buy our first family dog: Bodie. His family is military and moving to Hawaii and cannot bring him. We surprise Dakota with his dog. They immediately fall in love. Bodie becomes completely and totally and neurotically devoted to Dakota. Dakota is 8. Now Dakota is 15 and Bodie still sleeps on top of him at night, follows him around the house ( with Wolfgang, our next dog ) and mopes at the door while he is gone.

We enter a new and terrifying phase: life with teenagers. Letting go becomes a convoluted and blurry idea.

I stop Myspacing and begin blogging. I never look back. :)

Thank you all for blogging, for being there to read and for reading. I love this world we create together.

Happy New Year!!!!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

My Year in Mississippi

I grew up poor, at times literally poverty stricken- collapsed into tears over our lack of money for basic necessities, food, electricity, housing; we spent one year living, the four of us, in one room of a mousy beach hotel, and another in the four bedroom home of our best friends, which already housed their five family members, two dogs, birds and a few cats. My parents slept on the foldout couch in the living room. After that long, crowded year my mother moved my sister and I back to our birthplace in Jackson, Mississippi while my father stayed working in San Diego.

Lura and I took turns sleeping in bed with Mom, while the one out slept on the cot placed horizontally at the end of the bed. This was my 4th grade year: the year I read Pet Cemetery, made friends with Julia, whose father had died of cancer the year before, the year I moved into a home at the end of a cul-de-sac where my sister and I were the only white girls on the block. We were the only white girls for miles of blocks. The first day of school, where I was one of maybe three white kids, I felt no fear being the only white girl, just my personalized brand of constant fear, the companion of every year I could remember on Earth. I walked into the hallways bustling with black girls, chubby cheeked and bright eyed, hair glistening with scented oils, braided in fantastic loops on top their head or pulled painfully back into ponytails, girls who looked curiously at me, but not cruelly. My teacher was a soft spoken black women who bent down and looked directly into my face. I distinctly remember having the thought that she had eyes like crackling fireplaces. She smiled at me and explained how my desk and books would work, where I would sit, and patted me on my skinny freckled arm with her warm hand. I sat down and looked directly at the round, bland clock hanging on the wall for the next ten minutes, terrified to look around. Overt glances at my classmates showed nothing too terrifying, other than Jim McCracken picking his nose to third knuckle; Myrna Hellslinger appraising me dubiously. The rest of the kids were chatting, catching up after a long, hot Mississippi summer.

The only difference I ever took note of in that Mississippi elementary school was the use of corporal punishment. In San Diego, a teacher would be fired for laying a hand on a student, much less taking a thick wooden paddle, much like a ping pong paddle- perhaps it was a ping pong paddle- and laying it firmly into the submissive asses of pre-teen children. I still remember walking down the enclosed hallway, past the principal's office, and hearing Jessie Ketchinger, a sweet honey-eyed boy from my class I had a small crush on, crying out in a high pitched yelp after the short swish and smack of the paddle. I would never put gum underneath my desk.

Grandpa M.D. ( M for man, the D is a family mystery ) and Grandma Elizabeth lived at the end of a short cul-de-sac. The right side of the house had a side, enclosed porch with a screen door that opened to the grass, where Grandma and I would walk down the side of the house, to the backyard, to hang clothes on the line. The backyard was really more of a field of grass, with trees lining the left side as you faced it. The trees were tall and gorgeous and had been planted when my mother and her sisters and brothers were children. At the lip of the field of grass lay the forest, a sudden thicket of trees under which lay a carpet of leaves. Some of the most magical, carefree days of my life were spent in the field, that forest.

The black girls on my block were not as nonchalant about my white skin as the kids at school. A few lame, failed attempts to join their games of hop-scotch or jump rope left me confused. I assumed they could sense my otherness, and this was not being white; my otherness had always been born of my families secrets. I found I was wrong: It was that I was white- a white gurrl, as they said. I was thrilled! They despised me because of my skin color- This I could work with.

I decided to approach them one cold, overcast day. Five of them jump roped in the sloping driveway of the house next to mine. ' Can I play? ' The tall girl with two braids on the side of her head and a large, knobby nose shook her head, popped her gum. ' Nah, ' she said. I spoke up, ' Well I wanna. ' She stopped jumping and appraised me. ' Look girlie, you wanna play with us, you can fight us, each one like, in your Granmama's back yard. You fight all right, we'll play with ya'll. ' She gestured toward my small sister, on the porch. ' All right, ' I said immediately. These girls had run down homes barely kept together by rusting nails, bathrooms spotted in mold, tubs with brown and gold holes sprung in the sides like sores on a mouth, accents as thick as molasses and long standing friendships based on a culture I hardly remembered, and another I could never claim. But they were the only friends to be had, and I wanted them more than anything.

We solemnly filed to my Grandma's backyard. The girls stood in a small black knot, and I stood attached by only the hem of my dress touching the hem of Janice's dress. ' Ready? ' she asked, fists raised. Janice was chubby, with short hair and perfectly round eyes like buttons. But she looked kind. I raised my hands. Janice took a swing at me, hit my arm, I winced and tears filled my eyes. The girls laughed. ' Haw white girl! Haw! ' I filled with rage, plenty on hand in my little heart, the rage of the helpless and suffering, a rage I had carried like worms in meat for as long as I could remember. I screamed a half throaty shout, like a crazed bird, and pummeled Janice in her arms, her chest, her smooth soft throat. She made a cross with her arms, she was done.

I panted, sick to my stomach. The next girl, a petite and beautiful princess named Joyce, put up her brown skinned knuckles and smiled. Each fight afterward was playacting. At the end, we put our arms around each other in a circle. ' You all right now, ' Janice told me. And I was. We spent the rest of my year in Mississippi playing- swinging on incredible vines from trees into the rain made swimming pools of Jess' backyard, the spot her father had purposefully dug out to make a giant mud pool for the children to play in, or driving for ice cream at Baskin Robbins in the back of my Great-Grandpa's red Ford truck. I have pictures of myself with the girls, laying back in the truck, perched on the gutters, arms round each other's shoulders, best friends.

Germans In The Woods

Germans in the Woods from Rauch Brothers on Vimeo.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

A List

A list of letters, by Maggie May Ethridge

1 Dear Percy ( Percy the dog 1980-1990, died of unknown causes in our backyard, Shetland
Sheepdog, black white brown color, remembered for the clip clip clip noise of his nails on
the floor as he ran to my bedroom, the snuff of his wet nose, the retrieving of any sizable
object, 4am runs with Mom, licking tears of sisters faces while parents screamed )

2 Dear Lura ( Disappeared sister, born 1976, very high IQ, excruciatingly soft-spoken,
gorgeous, tall, tortured )

3 Dear Baby ( Lost Curry baby, lost June 2009 in the early morning hours at 13 weeks old )

4 Dear Unnamed ( Possible higher power, God, Allah, Buddha, Nature, unknown address
and existence )

5 Dear Bridget ( Former best friend from ages 13-16, boyfriend killed in drunk driving accident
at 21, last known qualifiers, meth addiction, alcoholism, despair )

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

i've got a crush on this woman

Frances McDormand
the name Frances *Francie* is on our baby girl list

she's in 2 of my favorite movies, ever:

and the fantastic, totally marvelous, compulsively watchable Wonder Boys, based on a book just as marvelous.
If you haven't watched either or one, I recommend,


she is just one of those people that makes everything three times as more interesting because she is saying it or she is doing it. it's the metre of her voice, the quirk in her eye, the intellect mixed with mysterious weirdness, the adult woman sexual confidence, the turn in the corners of her mouth, the frankness of her speech- her interpretation of life is fascinating.

Monday, December 21, 2009

People In Your Neighborhood: the amazing Fiona Watson

I came across Fiona's Flickr stream at Daydream Lily's lovely blog, and found Fiona's website through that

the etchings are amazing. i also love the beautiful names she gives her pieces.
'waterwings' is one of my favorites. it gives me shivers and ache, in the soul place.
tadpoles has a similar effect on me. how can a simple glass of tadpoles speak to the mystery and beauty of the world? well, just look.

In addition to her prints and etchings, Fiona also does commissioned portraits. I adore her work and will be visiting her images again and again. I think tadpoles might have inspired a short story from me.

Lola and Caspian

Santa Barbara, California

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Saturday, December 19, 2009

goodbye to all that

Goodbye then. Goodbye to all that, baby. baby. no. No more nurtsie momma. No more rubbing my flanks from behind when you are nervous, or tittering with the mole in the crest of my throat for comfort. No more kissy lips like fish. no more flubber. no more Pokemon and the endless recitals of each character's prowess, powers. but most of all, what is filled there. The anger not made in my body or my hands but brought up in the kiln and fired in the kind of blaze that burns to bone and then even deeper into the cells of the bone so that your bones are empty and you are knock-kneed and sock-eyed and left to fill yourself with what you can create in your cave with what he has given you which is all stone, and fire, and stone, and fire, and the way you fly into the air is on the lip of the flame. Which I watch in self absorption thinking ' how did this happen when I was so sure it wasn't going to happen because I did everything, everything different and in the name of love? and again. how did this happen because i did everything they told me and the therapist gave me four years and I went on bended knee to show the wrong of me and make it right, all in the name of love? and again. how did this happen when I begged borrowed and worked every day and every night to burn it down and build it right and give it to you? only so that you would not hurt like this. only so that you would not self-destruct like this. and again. ' How can I make what isn't mine or scoop the mud clay from your chest and replace it with something else, something that does not leak from your eyes and mouth at night and leave you calling out in your dreams for it to stop! stop. I hadn't planned on the other love of your life, sweet boy. I hadn't calculated the weight of a father. Me. Of all people. Me. Not calculating the weight of a father. It's the same great play and I blinked when his part was announced in the opening and coughed and yawned and thought only of my hand in yours on the stage, your eyes looking at me, your little spirit and mind so fine, so fine, and so safe in my care. Me. Of all people. Not calculating the weight of a father. Or the weightlessness without.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

i've got a crush on this movie

image via zoee.tumblr

“What came first: the music or the misery? People worry about kids playing with guns, or watching violent videos, that some sort of culture of violence will take them over. Nobody worries about kids listening to thousands, literally thousands of songs about heartbreak, rejection, pain, misery and loss. Did I listen to pop music because I was miserable? Or was I miserable because I listened to pop music?” - Rob Gordon, High Fidelity

Monday, December 14, 2009

things you desperately always wanted to know without realizing it

1 At dinner tonight, Lola and Dakota were picking on each other. Dakota made a haha on Lola, and Lola paused. Mr. Curry and I looked up from our plates. Lola opened her mouth and said ' Dakota, I hope you get cervical cancer in your brain. ' ..... hm. Uh. Yes. Well. All I can say is that the government is possibly a little overenthusiastic in informing the populous about cervical cancer, without informing said populous about what a cervix is. Exactly.

2 When you pour bleach onto copious amounts of dog urine, the urine fizzes. And pops.

3 One of the secrets to happiness is champagne.

4 Onsies for Babies That I Have Created In My Mind:
Emotional Terrorist
Life's Been Good To Me So Far
My Mother Has Fantastic Breasts
My Daddy's Sperm Beat Your Daddy's Sperm
Someone Cut My Umbilical Cord And I Haven't Been Happy Since

De Je Vu: Old Soul's Club

5 Another secret to happiness: erotic French movies. Hm. The French seem to have a lot to do with happiness. While America is swinging more on the wildly ' nihilistic and empty ' side, as Joan Didion said. Speaking of Joan Didion, if you haven't read The Year of Magical Thinking, and you are a person who is alive and might someday die or know someone who dies, you want to read this book.

6 Christmas is about a Savior being born. I am not religious but I believe in living a purposeful life. I believe the deepest meaning we can extract from life comes from what we nourish and love, and how much we do so. I am thinking as hard as my little beady mind can about what things to do this December to give to the world around me. We bought coffee for the immigrants in front of Starbucks and I plan on doing so for the rest of the month. I even risked humiliation by using my subpar Spanish to ask ' Quieras cafe con leche? ' I started a fundraiser for a Visa Gift Card for a young married mother of two young children who is going to die of breast cancer, and we will be giving her the card soon. My kids are donating toys to Goodwill and will be each picking an act of kindness to perform. I have not kicked my dogs today, even though Wolfgang snuck on the coffee table while Mr. Curry was in the bathroom and grabbed the entire butter jar with his white Wolfie teeth and yes, you know, it's true- he ate the entire carton of butter. Mr. Curry came out of the bathroom to find Wolfgang looking slightly ill and also sporting a large white pat of butter directly between his eyes.


Saturday, December 12, 2009


It is pouring rain. I have a stomach virus from four babies at my preschool that shot diarrhea out of their extremely small bottoms like miniature canons all day Friday, one by one they went home, bellyaching and cleaned head to toe each time the diaper didn't work for a living. Friday night we used a gift card and went to dinner at California Pizza Kitchen and picked our Christmas tree. It was my favorite kind of night to pick a tree, slight rain and cold but not windy. We stood in the rain for an hour picking the tree and then waiting for the thick stump to be sawed and the tree to netted. Mr. Curry pulled the entire tree manfully over his shoulders and carried it to the car. The boys tied up Lola with tree floss.

Lola gathered a small tree branch end and named it Ever, which happens to be ( so far ) at the top of the list for Girl names if Mr. Curry and I are so lucky to have another baby. Ever Elizabeth, the Elizabeth being after my Grandma Elizabeth who passed away a few years back.
It is essential for me to hear and feel rain. When I was a child if I was afraid, I would sneak out my window and hide underneath the big bushes and trees in our yard. I did this when it was raining. The kind of fear that darkness, rain and trees bring a child is a pure fear. It is not the same as fearing your father. I stayed in the rain and inside the leaves and I felt embraced by the world and it's cycles and fears and beauties, and that feeling took root in me and has remained a crucial part of myself ever since.
When it rains I take the family on a rain-hike at least once. We go into the canyons that Mr. Curry and I played in as children and hike in the pouring rain, mud, tree, dunk our soaked feet in the swollen river and fall and slip on the banks. It is a cleansing ritual and something to remind us we are alive. And we are together.

In Other News, Nie has a series of articles about the plane crash and all that follows which I highly recommend reading here. I am sure ( although it has not been said ) that the young reporter who has done all this research and personally followed Nie through her trials is planning on writing a book, and I will be first in line to read it.

Comptine d'un autre été: l'après midi

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

dakota wolf, i love you

Children require guidance and sympathy far more than instruction - Anne Sullivan

Babies, The Movie

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Monday, December 7, 2009

transcendence, today!

Today I was in my car driving and the sunlight came through the window in a thousand scattered flowers but still I was the blossom and unfolded and my freckles darkened and my blue eyes were bluet and I was at risk of crashing my car. Crashing always a risk in ecstasy. The sky was in my favorite form, violent, full fathom five, deep and morose grey blue. Some old song came through the radio ' I'm burnin, I'm burnin for you.... burn out the day, burn out the night...' and there were tossed on the wet face of concrete and pavement, thousands and thousands of dying leaves, just pulled and snapped from the branches of the only home they had ever known, into the fluttering open bodies of thousands of other leaves, to have their orange and red and yellow paints pounded into dirt, street, underneath the tires of my car, tearing down the road with the window rolled down, so that the rain came smacking and leaping and hitting on the right side of my body and face, so that I could remember that I am alive, I am alive. I felt my heart take a deep breath and turn it's tired self over, to face the exhausted and scared side toward dark, and rest, and the blood mouth filled red blossom toward sunlight, toward my eyes, which themselves turned toward the dim light in the sky, hardly to be seen past the rain. The wind was so cold. My skin and my arms and my breath leapt and I was aware that December had come with this great grand storm of pounding rain, rain, rain and wind and cold and leaves and offered me a redemption, and where I had seen only the dark and rolling tires, I could open my arms and eyes and roll clean out to the ends of my stem and see that I had again, just begun. Every time this happens and I realize this is possible, still possible, I have a deeper and more profound gratitude that I still, in the moment, live a life where I am capable of this. I do not take this new breath of life for granted nor do I expect that it will continue to fold and unfold this way, as it has for the length of my life so far. Yet I hope fervently that it does. If there comes a day when my mind , spirit or body is
' so beaten and so battered... ' not capable of responding to the world around me this way, I will be either a new person I am not capable of seeing or understanding now, or I will be gone.

Isn't it the strangest thought of all, to imagine tires rolling down a wet road, leaves sticking to the black rubber, making that delicious scrunch-crunch noise on the tar...without your life on this planet to see them feel them or hear them again? They are there. You are not. Beyond my understanding. It leaves the echo of that noise in my head, as if death, instead of being a great void, is a great void between. Not nothingness, but the sound and crunch and move of those tires down the road, far away, where you can hear them and remember them, but never find them again. You either stay looking forever for those wet December roads, or you move forward to something completely new. I admit, I think I would stay a long time- I love moving cars on rain soaked, tree lined streets.

image, nikki jane

Saturday, December 5, 2009

There Are Some Things You Only Laugh About Later

Today was a thing, an entity in itself. I hold it up for you.

Today forgot to eat breakfast and slept in late. Everyone, especially Lola's 2cd grade teacher, knows that getting a late start sets everything off on the wrong foot.

I woke and stepped out into our Christmas explosion. The living room is inundated with kitch I inherited from my mother-in-law, half of which I am packing up and storing, but which is meanwhile making merry in my home. Mr. Curry lay on the couch, hoodie up, watching a TV documentary about the Colombian mass murderer and drug lord, Pablo Escaban. The boys, both of which were raised without toy guns or violent images allowed, played an M rated video game in Dakota's room. I could hear their howls of violent glee. The dog raised his head and barked at them before settling his head back into the couch pillow that is absolutely not allowed to be on the floor, which was next to the cream colored faux fur blanket that is absolutely not allowed to be on the floor either. Lola was still sleeping at 9:40am. We were supposed to be leaving at about 9am for taking the Christmas picture and buying the Christmas tree.

I washed my face and told the boys to turn off the game and brush the dogs. I woke Lola and asked her to get in the bathroom for a shower. I rubbed Mr. Curry's head and kissed the dog.

20 minutes later I rose my voice at the boys and demanded they get off the game, told Lola to hurry up and dry off and what WAS she doing with my makeup in the steam filled bathroom? and asked Mr. Curry if he was ready to leave. The television yelled loudly about the imminent death of many innocent Columbians in 1992 and I realized the dog brush had broken last week and the boys could not clean the dog coats for our Christmas picture and then I stepped in a wet spot on the floor and realized I had wet my last pair of socks on the kitchen floor.

5 minutes later I marched into the boys room and turned off the TV- which they are not allowed to have in their room as I have told them their entire lives- said in an even but POWERFUL voice that they should get up NOW and get ready. Dakota smiled at me. I felt the smile as a woman feels a 'friendly' slap on the ass from a man she has just cursed out. I licked my chapped top lip and the downturn of my mouth let tears leak into my eyes. I turned quickly before the boys could see them. I'm supposed to be even, in control. You don't let teenagers see you sweat. They are like sharks who smell blood from miles away in salty stormy waters.

Mr. Curry got up off the couch and Pablo Escaban was escorting his family to the airport in attempts to flee the Los Pepes who were killing everyone associated with Pablo. I escorted my family out the door and into the car. Lola sat between Ian and Dakota and yelled loudly at Ian for poking her in the side and Ian laughed at her and I told him to stop and Mr. Curry sighed very loudly but not loudly enough for the kids to hear. Just me. The sky was grey and overcast and wrong for taking cheerful ' California Christmas ' pictures, as our cards usually say.

We got to the parking lot of Wal-Mart and I hurried inside, purchased a dog brush and dog treats as bribes to get them to look up and happy at the camera for our Christmas pictures and hurried back to the car and as we left I realized Dakota had worn the wrong color sweater. I told you to wear black or dark blue, I said. Mr. Curry drove us back to the house and went through his own sweaters, found one for Dakota, who was loudly/softly ( this is the definition of passive aggressive in case you were unsure) complaining about how I was ruining everyone's day. Lola began to begin to start to maybe cry, because she was starving, because I forgot to feed her.

We drove to the park, got out, and Dakota began to very slowly bruuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuush the dogs. Hurry, please, I said. He shrugged, and bruuuuushed the dogs. Lola began to collect the large clumps of dirty dog hair in her hands, while jumping like a bunny on the very dirty parking lot cement. Lola stop that, I said. Dakota I'll just do it, I said. I brushed the dogs and Dakota snickered at me. Ian began to also snicker at me, because Ian is 13 and thinks that Dakota is pretty much the Boy that created Boys. Lola kept hopping and playing with dog hair, ignoring me. Why are they ALL ignoring me! I thought. Lola that's enough! I growled, and grabbed her by the arm, pulled her toward Mr. Curry. Go to your dad, right now! Lola looked at me with surprise and hurt and I felt like a piece of shit. Mr. Curry, who was feeling very bummy and sad today and trying to take perhaps a few hours off of being an enforcer ( which he has more than earned, trust me ) leaned against the car.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Thanks A Bunch

San Diego, California 2009 My cousin Amalia who I have loved more as a sister for all my life, brings her son Elton from LA where she lives with my BIL Tim ( who is to graduate film school any day now, look out world! ) and I get to hug the beejezers out of her. Amalia is one of those very special people who have what I can only describe as purity of heart. She has a shining, clear goodness about her that has survived many a hard place in her life. She is a true good heart and one of a kind, and I love her so much. You can also see she is GORGEOUS!

Elton is too cute for me. I can't stand it.

Ian, Dakota, Amalia, Elton, and Lola sneaking round the corner.

No, really. I can't stand it. And Elton is clearly terrified by my affections. I suppose I'm turning into THAT AUNT. The one who kisses your cheeks and smacks your hiney and says you are cute, and you would like to die, on the spot. But look at him!! Also witness the state of my nails.

Dakota and Mr. Curry eat while laughing. Dangerous.

Ian is notoriously hard to photograph. He hates it, and is usually covered or making a very grim and dire face as if he were waiting in line for prison food. Here you see part of my family in collapse from Thanksgiving overload. Also, Lola licking her plate. My children have excellent manners.
They also have two dogs.

Lola's Galleria

Lola took the following pictures. I think my breast looks unfairly diminutive in this photo but place it here all the same in accordance to Lola's rules of fair play.

Lola's Self Portrait, Age Seven

Grandma Mary

Peace, Peace xoxoxo

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

the good green earth in home

These are some of my most cherished images of home living I have ever found. I adore green in home. I added a large leafed fern in pot to Lola's room, a green plant in a beautiful planter to our kitchen, and I'm working on a fern project I plan to post here at Flux.
I hope you all have had a beautiful day. Today was the Due Date of our lost Curry baby. We mourn today. It has been long and hard and deeply sad to have empty arms today, and blessed beyond words to have my children and my Mr. Curry to fill them.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Kitty Jazz Hands

Lydia at Writerquake posted this video and because I have a SOUL I have no choice but to share it here. To keep you all from seeing kitty jazz hands would be unforgiveable.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

six vials of blood

A quiet and terrible stillness has overcome me. Mr. Curry went to Arizona Friday to Saturday night and I felt slow, slow. I played dolls with Lola in the bathtub. We were marine biologists discovering new crabs that lived between giant sea rocks (my toes).

Lola made her list for Santa and decorated the list and the envelope. She asked what Santa's cell phone number is, and could we please call him? I replied he's very busy right now. Lola Moon will be 8 this February. Can you believe it? No. We can never believe the passage of time happens to us. Lola had her friend Jocelyn spend the night and they shrieked and we made gluten free brownies and they made a giant art project magazine. The television was on for a short while. I could not get my DVD player to work for my work-out so instead Lola and I put on the 80's cable music channel and I danced around like a maniac for a half hour, remembering to include squats and lunges and horrible things like that. Lola said ' If Daddy was here he'd jump on you and kiss you all over because he loves you so much. You and Daddy just have that special something, you just fit together, I don't know Mom, you just fit. ' I swear that's what she said and it made me so happy.

I don't know what is wrong with me but something is.

I can think of a million things to do that would be fun but I don't want to do them. The baby was due in December and I can't be sure how much this is weighing in here. I miss my sister. I miss my gone baby. I can feel the weight of mortality and suffering from around the globe pressing me down into the dirt like a horrible gravity. Mr. Curry is home and that is a sanctuary. I feel less afraid of life and death when I am in his arms.

My animals have gone Bat Shit Crazy ( tip my hat to Ms. Moon for her phrase ). They are shitting and peeing everywhere to a point where I am going to sit and cry hysterically the next time I have to figure out how to clean up poop that is not only in the carpet but wedged in the crack between the moulding and the wall. Our kittens are striking against the cat box and although I clean it they prefer to find a corner of our sunroom and piss there, frantically scratching the nothing around the pile of pee as if to cover it up. Our dogs are very upset that Dakota is a young man and not around at times, and when he spends the night out they sometimes crap all over.

You can imagine that our house smells like angel's breath.

It is the cuteness of kittens and babies that keeps us from rejecting them when they are making us insane. I think this is also a weapon I have with Mr. Curry.

I sit paralyzed in front of this computer today. I am tired all the time and the doctor ran a bunch of tests and found nothing wrong so he thinks it's my medication and we should add another pill and I say NO. Not going that route. My right hip and butt-cheek hurt like small devils all the time now. It's been on and off since the baby and the last week it's been constant. The doctor says it's sciatica but I don't know. I worry I have another autoimmune disease because I have two already and that makes me much more likely to be the lucky winner of another. I have symptoms that flare and go away that remind me of lupus or some other fun game in my body but I can't prove it.

Neither can my blood. They took SIX VIALS of blood last time looking for problems with my personal factory but I came up at the top of my class so I am confounded.

I am writing my novel and I am terrified TERRIFIED it's trifling smuck and this terror makes the water freeze when it could be flowing and knocking down tree trunks and instead I get caught in the log jam with my arms broken and my neck in some crooked angle and I cannot write another word to save my life and this is why my novel is only a little more than half finished after three years.

Mr. Curry is the love of my life and lately I've been so ridiculously gaga over him that I'm pretty sure the Universe is going to make me pay for this kind of happiness and trust and devotion in spades. Plus the sex is smoking. SMOKING. Whoever said marriage kills sex wasn't trying hard enough.

I feel darkness over my shoulder and then when I look it leaps into my mouth and now it is inside of me and perhaps I am making myself ill. This time of year. This light through the trees. This cold wind. These rains. A wildness fills me and I need to be trudging through mud and rain and hungry and challenging my cells to cowboy up and deal with the elements. I am trying to volunteer at the old folks home where my grandparents stayed and died and apparently they are just CHOCK FULL of volunteers because they aren't responding to my application. Even though the last time I stealthily walked through the urine smelling halls there were rows and rows of old people with crooked faces and vacant eyes and trembling mouths who could use someone to hold their hand and talk to them GODDAMMIT. This kind of suffering is intolerable.

Mr. Curry and I visited his mom who had had back surgery and she happened to be placed in this same ' Assisted Living Facility ' and we visited her and as we left there was a elderly fellow in suspenders in his wheelchair and he looked up at our greetings to him with the sweetest, saddest smile you could ever imagine and both Mr. Curry and I smiled and him and touched him and walked away crying.

Some kind of force of Nature is moving through me and I feel like a boat sitting in a storm just rocking.

David Hamilton Photography

Saturday, November 28, 2009

two girls in a darkening room

' Gin? ' The light moved with her arm.
' What? ' This was drowsy, her breath invisible, potent.
' I'm sick of the rain. '
' So turn up...whatever this is. '
' Mozart. '
' So turn it up. '
' No, I want to hear the rain, too. '
Twilight flickered over the thick comforter. She curled her legs to her breasts, looked over. ' Gin?
' Ymmh? '
' I can't imagine what we'll do now. '
Ginny opened her eyes. The green inside was emerald, impossible to believe in until you saw it. Small children tried to reach their fingers past the thick lashes, touch the color. ' I know. But I can. That's my job to do...don't worry. '
' I am worried. ' The rain pounded it's workshop, hammer, hammer, hammer.
' Stop. Stop talking. ' She pressed her feet against Ginny's feet, her toes working. ' Stop that, you're freezing. ' But Ginny didn't move.
' Mattias is drunk. ' Silence. ' Gin? Mattias is drunk. He's completely sloshed. '
A sigh. ' I know. That's what he will do...and we will take care of him. That's what we will do. '
' But he's sleeping with that piggy slut! The one Mom said was married to her first cousin when she was 20. Gross. '
' Well.... '
' Well what? '
' Well, yes, he is. '
She turned her head but pressed her feet harder against Ginny's warm, long toes. Ginny pulled the comforter up to her chin. The rain took a step back, quieted enough to hear the long leaves of the trees being pulled downward in the wash.
' Gin, Mattias is gay. '
' I know, Sepphie. I know! ' Gin turned her body toward the window pane, away from her, pulling the covers just off the side of her arms, hips, so that goosebumps ran from nipples to ankles. ' He can sleep with who he likes, he's practically a grown man now, you are being a child, stop it- I can't stop him, and I don't want to. I have to take care of you, and I have to think, and I can't think when you are constantly talking. '
' OK. ' She pulled the covers back violently. ' OK! '
Ginny put both her long white hands in her long white hair. ' It doesn't matter who Mattias is with right now or how much he's drinking. At first, these things don't matter. Trust me. All right? ' No answer. She moved one bony hand behind her and touched her shoulder.
' I know. It's just... And that Sara, she thinks he likes her. He's punishing himself. '
' Sweetie. ' Ginny's voice was as heavy as the rain, the twilight, the covers over their bodies.' Please stop. It's not the time to say all these things out loud. '
' I'm sorry...' and then, in a flash, ' I'm NOT sorry- Ginny! I'm not sorry! ' And she suddenly turned and slapped Ginny hard on the side, through the thick comforter. ' I hate this, I hate this! ' She was crying into her pillow, talking. ' You are making it worse...'
Ginny's eyes rolled behind the translucent lids. ' I'm not. It can't be worse. The only thing worse is to lose each other. That is why Mattias has to sleep with Sara, and why I have to lie here with you and listen to this depressing fucking dreg. '
' It's not dreg, you can't say Mozart is dreg, you philistine.' But she was faintly smiling.
Ginny licked her cracked top lip. The room smelt slightly musky, like a closet filled with dresses not opened in months. ' Let me see, can I remember? ' She cleared her throat: " Old Mozart was a genius they say / from his first birthday / but Chopin is much better than this / his was an human genius. " '
' Poo. '
Now the room was completely dark and filled with these things: two sisters, the smell of musk, the sound of rain, and the abiding of grief.
' Ginnypenny. ' said she.
' Slipkins, ' said the other, and both groaned in mock disgust. Though the memory was precious.
Downstairs they could hear the thumping and moaning of their brother faking an orgasm, and the scraping mice in the boards. The rain fell on the house as if it knew what had been lost, and the steady metronome of that keening let them finally rest, the rain keeping watch for their grief.

{ It's raining here and I'm feeling restless and unable to work on my novel so I spit this out.I like to do quick shorts inspired by photos. This reminds me of teen fiction. Maybe one day :) }

Maggie May Ethridge
* image by David Hamilton

Friday, November 27, 2009

the house of fairy tales

click^ for the magic

Letter to Lura

Thanksgiving, November 2009, I am missing you somewhere in my chest, and my guts- almost as if you were my child, instead of my sister, the way the hourglass of my torso reminds me of your absence. Before dinner I wandered Mom's house, and came across a picture of you. Maybe you were 19. You were laughing, one incredibly elegant and long fingered hand held to your chest, the other spread out like a cream colored bird. Your enormous blue eyes like stars. Kneeling down, seeing that picture in the dim lit hallway, it was a blow to my body. I cannot touch you, or talk to you, or hear your voice, or notice the details of your sweet face and figure, the imperfections in your speech that I adore, the flashing smirk of your eyebrows and lips. Lola reminds me so much of you. She is long legged like a colt, enormous blue eyes, chin drawn in a sharp curve, long blonde hair, and more than this, her movements, the tilt of her jawline, these things that are bittersweet reminders of you. I cannot believe my life is being lived without you. I cannot believe that 7 years have gone by without you. It is so impossible to comprehend that truly, I don't. I don't, until I see a picture of you like this, and my rib cage was relaxed and open slightly in a position of vulnerability, and the reality of not-you makes it's way into my body, and am stunned and saddened in a way that leaves everything weak and heavy and gross.

One day, I will search for you.

You know me. You will not be surprised when I do. I will put away my life and my children will be grown and I will simply - pause - everything, and come to find you.

I love you,

your Sister

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

i've got a crush on this woman

Helen Mirren

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

St. Vincent

Monday, November 23, 2009

there is no arguing with you

i'd like to speak to my dead baby, please.
the one without a casket, birthed
without my witness.

they said ' don't look '
and i'm glad i did not -
i was afraid of my own child.

the tubes where there would be ears
or - the ears where there would be
tubes -

i don't know.
i've never seen a dead 13 week old baby.
i never saw mine.

i don't know if that was a penis
curled tight like a dirt covered frond,
or a vagina

in it's tepid pinkish bud.
the beginnings of things are hard.
this is the way

of everything but love,
which must be birthed easily,
bearing so many hardships after all.

' what does it look like? '
i cried out. no one answered me,
not even my sweetest husband.

' don't look, don't look '
i sobbed.
the doctor sheepish, pale

watching over my shoulder
as he carried our baby away.
never answered -

and i never expected him to.
like God
all knowing,

and perfectly silent-
carrying all those dead babies
up to wherever dead babies go.

i'd like to speak to mine-
but there is no arranging
this kind of meeting.

who to ask?
the priest doesn't believe in me.
the devil doesn't care.

i speak into my husband's mouth
where the words gurgle miserably.
this December

baby was due
to be born.

baby was due.
and i fall short,
having no life to offer

this baby of mine
who i never saw,
never heard,

never felt.
only the grinding yawn of contraction,
the purplish torrents of blood

announced this child's existence,
marked the place of birth.
gone as if waiting to be placed

in my arms the day i die.

These Are the People In Your Neighborhood: Jinny Blom

About Jinny Blom

" I began with life with a mixed European heritage of musicians, sculptors', artists and scientists, an unconventional Liberal Arts education and a bohemian family who loved travel and looking at things. I then trained in theatre design, ran my own delicatessen and trained lengthily as a Transpersonal Psychologist and Psychotherapist and had this as my principle career for twelve years, working with deeply psychologically damaged people. Many people cite 'life changing events' when changing career drastically and I am no exception. In 1996 said event, like a river bursting its banks, altered my course into garden design and now, eleven years later, I have found my metier.

I have just been nominated to become a trustee of Gardening Leave, a truly great charity that oversees horticultural therapy projects for ex-Servicemen and women who are struggling with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or other mental health problems. I have also agreed to become a board member of the Therapeutic Landscapes Resource Center in Beacon, America. This is a non-profit organisation that provides information, education and inspiration about the relationship between Health, Well being and Landscapes. In hard times it's good to be reminded of the real root of why we garden. "

These gorgeously textured black and white shots are from a book you can view on her page

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Sheltering Sky: Glamis, 09

Ian is 13 and rides with a smarty-grin. Ian does most everything with a smarty-grin.
Dakota is 15 and ponders his greatness.
' Meister-burger Buuurger-Meister, ' he said all weekend.
Mr. Curry resumes his place in the dune buggy...
he took me for a long ride in the dunes right before sunset.
and it was gorgeous.
Lola runs after cousin Jonathan
Everyone is hanging out at the campsite, in a circle. At night we circle the fire and make Smores and drink and laugh late into the darkness.
Lola wakes up rarin to go
Mr. Curry decides I don't have enough embarrassment in my life.
And we leave, dirty and happy.
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