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.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Young Man, Your Time Will Come

Mr. Curry and I took Dakota to a therapy appointment today in the warm small evening of San Diego California, our little patch of Earth to inhabit, the place we hoped was safe for our children. When what you hope for your children is not what is, you can retreat into denial. You can thrust into rage and fear driven control. Or. You adapt and bend and wind and wiggle and do every damn thing you can possibly do to help your teenager make it through intact. And therapy is on that list.

Dakota is 15. He is the kind of complicated, introspective, intelligent competitive, aggressive, shining personality that attracts people and makes life very hard for himself at times. He is, I'm betting, going to be a person whose teenage years prove to be the most tumultous and painful of his life by his own hand, and someone who will, in adulthood, evolve into a particularly interesting, dynamic, soulful, large hearted person who will be a joy to everyone who loves him.

I remind myself daily: It is my job to know that this will happen for him, to believe it, and to show that I believe so in my dialogue and actions with my son. It is my job to know and to believe in the best of each of my children when no one else, especially not them, can see it.

Things have happened to someone that Dakota loves very deeply and who is irreplaceable to him. Bad things. And Dakota has suffered for it. When he was a little boy, we watched Star Wars over and over. He loved everything you would imagine a young boy loves about Star Wars, and we often discussed the characters and plot. He asked me ' Why is Darth Vadar so sad, Mommy? ' I told him that when a person has pain and keeps it all inside, they slowly hurt themselves over time, and that hurt turns to rage. Dakota responded, ' And that is why Darth Vadar is dark and black and doesn't show his face. ' Yes. And now Dakota has to find the way to express his darkness so that he does not become faceless and dark and lost in the galaxy.

So many boys do. It's a tremendous loss, when a young boy loses his soul to the incohate dullness of irony, apathy. The front page of The New York Times today broke my heart. A sixteen year old boy, walking with a look on his face I recognize from my own wild son, when his heart is broken and his spirit is battered and he just can't find solace, when the brute work of life is too much and he slackens into apathetic, bull headed shock. This young man had the lost shock hardened by repeated exposure to violence. He was flanked with serious eyed policemen, who I am sure looked at this young boy and thought of their sixteen year old selves, the boys they had been who had gotten through teenage years without murdering another human being. This young man did not.

More common is the slow subtraction of self esteem, when a young man does not fit in a comforting box, when he is not a sports fanatic or a math whiz or a computer geek or --. When, for instance, he has an IQ anyone would be proud of but cannot sit for six hours a day in a classroom taking in facts and discussions and correctly mark down the required two hours of homework and then return home to eat a snack and sit and struggle through the two hours of homework. When the natural and obvious intelligence that has been remarked on by every teacher he has ever had begins to crumble underneath the weight of the lack, the lack of fitting in the right boxes, the lack of successful learning in a school environment, the years of sitting and sitting and sitting and feeling a wild heart and energy and intellectual curiousity turn into bitterness and anger that is, of course, eventually directed inward, to the heart, to the core of self, where the answer rings out like a finger pressed to the doorbell: You are stupid, a failure, and will never live up to your parents expectations so why, why try? And before this you had been as close to your mother and your stepfather as any child could be, before you were convinced that you would fail them, and continue to do so. Before that certainty turned to despair.

Most teenagers who commit suicide do so before a report card.

Most teenage boys don't know where they belong or how to be men in this world.

Did you know that Dakota is offered drugs at least once every day in his high school? Did you know that most of his friends parents don't follow up to see if their boys are where they say they are or are doing what they say they are doing or engage them in dialogue about their friends and their lifestyle and their opinions, to the point where Dakota's friend's mother said to his friend ' I worry that you might know kids who do drugs? ' If you do not know that your child at age 15 knows other children who are doing drugs in a large public high school, then you don't want to know. That's what that is. I want to know. Even though knowing, at times, is literally heart breaking, and even though knowing what is real for my son and his friends, what they see and hear at school, has at times left me sobbing into Mr. Curry's shoulder for an evening. Because to see my baby boy, who I nursed until he was two, who I coslept with until age seven, who still holds my hand- to see this boy turn into a young man stepping into a world full of pain and drugs and loss - it is the hardest thing I have done so far as a mother.

We are not religous or living on a farm or a cooperative community. We exist in the bigger world, where all kinds of troubles mix with all other kinds of troubles. Dakota is coming of age in an America that is completely reinventing it's definition of manhood. Whatever adults speculate and pontifiate and study and research about teenagers, only they truly know what their insular teenage worlds are like. For boys, trying to understand themselves as young men, this is a combustive mix: confusion not only about who they are personally, but also about what society in general wants them to be, at a time where they desperately need guidance they are feeling left adrift. I set Dakota up to be a certain kind of man, and in many ways he has grown into this beautifully, with a caveat: when he left Montessori school, and entered public school in fifth grade, he felt tricked. Everything I had taught him was not valued, and the skills he had been left without were imperative. Not all adults listened to children, or cared about treating children well, or cared about children at all. Not all teachers were patient or good hearted. Not all adults told the truth or did the right thing. In addition, to his observing mind, he lacked social prowess, ' hardness ', and this combined with a lack of fitting in the before mentioned boxes, made him angry. He felt unprepared.

' You didn't prepare me for how the real world is, Mom, ' he said.

He still says this.

Nothing has been the same since he entered public school. I tell him about Bill Gates, Einstein, every male I can think of who is happy or successful and did poorly in school. I tell him my own story, Mr. Curry tells him his. We tell him about what success really means and is and more important we try to live that example in how we live, we tell him about the emotional consequences of choices we make and we tell him about holding your own even when it's lonely. And each day Dakota gets up and goes to school and turns down Oxycotin and Pot and Poppers and doesn't make out with girls for cred. and refuses to get into fights and each day he compares what we tell him to the world he lives in.

What if, I often think, Mr. Curry told me that I could go online and watch TV and see my friends and be happy only if I would go each day to a Computer Technican job and spend the entire day repairing computers?

I know I don't know anything about computers or have any instinctual understanding of their funcitoning to work with. I know math is my worst subject, in all the forms it takes. I know, deep in my guts, that I will never be truly successful at this job, no matter how hard I work.

I won't do this to my son.

One day he is going to be stopping by my home. Mr. Curry and I will be at home, maybe Lola will be around, and hopefully another child borne before Dakota moved out, playing on the rug. The dogs will bark. ' Dakota is here! ' we will smile. And his beautiful, broad smile will light up his face the way it does, his big blue eyes crinkle the way they do, and I will hug him so tightly that he will laugh, the way he does. And I will hold this tall broad man who is my son smiling into my arms, and I will not care that he flunked Spanish or barely made it through Science. I will not remember what grade he recieved in Junior Year Biology. I will remember how I loved him.

And Dakota will hold me and remember only that I did.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

My Poem Published

come over and read it in Blood Lotus

Monday, November 16, 2009

i've got a crush on this family

A Good Grief

I have been following Molly Jackson's blog, The Jackson's for some time now. Molly and her husband lost their beautiful daughter Lucy at 2 years old in the parking lot of their church, as she choked on an apple the size of a pea. Molly has now created a new website, A Good Grief to create a community of sharing and support for those who have lost a child AND for those dealing with grief or loss of any kind- divorce, miscarriage, change... Molly is so honest in her recounting of what life has been like since losing Lucy...I have been moved to tears over and over, both from empathy and also from amazement in the power of the human spirit, to keep attempting a climb that seems impossible.

On the site A Good Grief, Molly tells the story of the day they lost Lucy, beginning:

My Story

" Sunday, May 18, 2008. A beautiful Spring day in Park City, UT. I clearly remember standing in front of my jewelry box picking out the perfect accessories for my outfit. A deep turquoise silk top and short pleated black skirt with a dainty blue quartz necklace. I was proud, I remember, for having earlier prepared snacks for my almost two-year old daughter Lucy, which I had placed in my purse. Animal crackers, and perfectly sliced apples cut with the knife my mom had recently purchased for me. I was prepared. I was ready. And I wasn't even late. A novelty. "

Nie Nie recently contributed a short essay on the nature of change, and others talk about the loss and change in their lives and how it has been for them.

Molly and her husband Vic recently became the proud parents of another child, baby boy Peter who looks like the male version of his sister. :) He's adorable, and couldn't be loved more.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

animal farm

Lola is a magical age and I am thinking how do we keep magic alive
Even though I fail to answer this at times
It is important to me to care about the question

Our animals are a key to the magic
They do not ponder or ruminate and even their neurosis go unchecked by intellect
They are who they are and do what they do, astonished at times by the results
Very much like human beings
And very different all the same
So I pay attention to the way they live and I ask myself what I can learn from their lives

Bodie cares about four things

I know that I am blessed to be poor
If I ever have money I will understand it's value and meaning
I will never confuse it with purses, manicures, dog clothes or 100$ stationary
I will understand it is healthy teeth, organic food, water and heat, health care, travel to experience this world, therapy, well made clothing that lasts and keeps us warm the ability to help when help is needed in front of us - and the right kind of shoes for a hard working husband
Wolfgang would like a Bacon Bit Dog Bone, though. I think we can manage that.

Illuminated in Illustration: Melanie Rutten

I Adore These Collages by Melanie Rutten

Friday, November 13, 2009


wesley denis

all things historical stay in my flesh toned
casket. where i move furniture
through empty rooms-
each glimmer the wink of a splinter
each splinter the brand of my kind.

my hand leaves five times
two. i awake and each finger
swollen in it's casing
calls Autoimmune! Arthritis! Multiple
in their fat backed piggy voices.

the silent pinpricks blood-let
( 0 was the man who began her
she added him over time )

here: how chaos theory
came to squall along the river-vein.
one fire for the free,
one fire for the caged:
one illuminates, one destroys.
i must make it with both.

now to the time moon clock
against my breast, or my lower intestine.
i am not afraid of these images.
i could have been a surgeon
or a pornographer.

( 0 was the man who carved her.
she whittled over time.)

maggie may ethridge

Thursday, November 12, 2009

These Are The People In Your Neighborhood: Lovely World

I stumbled on the quietly charming blog, Lovely World, and found this delightful set of images from the home of the blogger's friend. With her permission, here's what she had to say about it:

"I visited one of my mother's friends last week. He is very much a homebody, and has lived in his large, brick Victorian house for decades. I couldn't help but notice that his home is a conglomeration of little vignettes. I especially love the castle that was drawn on the wallpaper above a dresser mirror and the little alligator hanging out on a window sill in the pantry."

Now I'm thinking: Where Shall I Draw a Castle!?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Bad Romance

Mr. Curry crushes on her. She reminds me of Barbara Streisand: the face beautiful but unconventionally so, the attitude spunky and bright and a bit OCD, the outfits over the top, the voice rich and the range wide, the sense of showmanship epic. She's agressively sexual though, which speaks to the times, who knows what Barb would have been like were she Gaga age. I just hope Gaga doesn't get any skinnier. She's lost the mandatory 10 pounds people do when they first get famous, and if she shrinks anymore she will lose her amazing body and be like every other emaciated actress/model/musician in Hollywood.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

My Scorpio Birthday

I was born today November 10 1974 in Jackson Mississippi

my favorite color is blue
my children are:
Dakota Wolf, 15
Ian Oliver, 12
Lola Moon, 7
we want one more (from my mouth to God's ears)
my husband is Mr. Curry
i live in San Diego California
i am a poet and a novelist,
writing my second novel Agitate My Heart
i love Milk Duds and dry champagne
i love wild mustangs, travel, wild places,
old houses, books, eccentrics, science, owls, the miniature workings of Earth
and illustrations of vegetables.
i love dirt in my toes (when I was little I ate a lot of dirt)
i would describe myself as
neurotic, deeply loyal, playful, ridiculous, passionate, curious, a fighter, fearful, stubborn
intellectually involved and spiritually motivated, open minded and weird.
what matters to me most of all is Love
and it's daily expression in action and small devotions.
i love Barack Obama.
my favorite poet is Sylvia Plath
for her unparalleled evocations of the inner world of a soul in pain
with metaphors as plenty and ripe and bursting as plums or breastfeeding nipples.
i love to listen to Oprah and Howard Stern.
i am irreverent and profoundly grateful, both.
the best friend i have ever had in my life is my husband,
Mr. Curry.
he is my soulmate.

i am very similar to my Scorpio sign
except i do not hold grudges deeply for long times.
i am not easily angered
and am quick to shrug off things that should be shrugged off

i love to blog.
thank you so much for offering me this exchange.
i love you.
(yes, you.)

Maggie May

Monday, November 9, 2009

you belong at the san diego zoo

...a mustache!

Carl's dad, family friend, Carl's mom, Maggie May, Grandma Trenna (Mr. Curry's mom), Mr. Curry and Mr. Curry behind me, Auntie Kristi (Mr. Curry's sister) with her boys cousins Jacob and Reef, Lola Moon and Uncle Carl

Sunday, November 8, 2009

small devotions

What you do for me...what I do for you...the emotions can be mysterious -

but his hand on my leg as we jolt in Blue Thunder, body pressed on me, heavy and long, as we watch a movie on the couch, his steady gaze as I hold a difficult conversation on the phone... these are not mysteries but small devotions.

Things are very hard right now for Dakota. He prefers, now that he's older, that I don't talk about the specifics of any troubles he has, so I won't. He is struggling- he is fifteen, and if you have raised teenagers, or remember is very well, you know that fifteen is perhaps the most volatile age, especially for boys, and especially when combined with hardships or pain. Mr. Curry is not Dakota's biological father, as you long time readers know, I became pregnant with Dakota at nineteen and met Mr. Curry in my third month of pregnancy- we were to become best friends until our falling in love, years later. Dakota grew up at first with Mr. Curry as an Uncle figure, and now as a Father figure, and Mr. Curry has not failed to rise to the very demanding occasion.

Dakota is one of those children who has a clearly obvious special something- a kid who adults always raise their eyebrows at when he begins talking, because he is so acutely observant, so well articulated, so emotionally intelligent, so passionate and so very warm. He loves people, and they love him. Mr. Curry and I love our bright shining boy and are using our emotional energies to push ourselves daily to grow as parents, as people.
And yet.

Watching my boy go through these furies, at times directed only at me, is very painful. We are incredibly close. This makes it even more turbulent for him to grow up and separate himself as a person from me, because to find the ME and YOU he must be very clear about what I am that he is not, what I do that he will not, what I think that he does not. The separation is not unlike birth. The little boy is leaving, and in his leaving there is a transition that is complicated by other factors as well. It's a natural birth, just like his actual birthing was. I grunted, screamed and pushed him into this world with a Pitocin drip on my arm ( creating more pain to induce contractions ) and no pain killers. The contractions were mind blowingly painful. And then he was put onto my chest, and his squalling purplish face rooted around my breasts, and I felt the peace of a purposeful life descend on me with a happiness that has never left.

In one of the books I have been reading on guiding teenagers, the author was discussing the idea that teenage boys, if given 'enough' space, (not too much, nor too little) will be much quieter in their struggles, while teenage girls, more typically articulate and having had more emotional exchanges in the family, will be louder, scream more, fight more. This is not true for our very verbal, emotionally expressive and communicative family. Dakota can argue his emotions and opinions to the bitter end, and does. Often. That is all I will say about that! It is up to Mr. Curry and I to be non-reactive. Hahahahaha!!! I'm sorry. It's just that the enormity and difficulty of our jobs as parents has temporarily rendered me a bit mental.
This is where marriage steps in and absorbs impact. I listen to Dakota's angry words, I reply without screaming back, I stay calm and repeat myself, (amazing how similar parenting an angry teen is to parenting an angry toddler) I try not to get in the ridiculous pattern of trying to convince my teen that our rules make sense, without shutting him down, and then it's over, and Dakota is in his room, or out with Grandma, and I am sobbing into Mr. Curry's chest as he holds me and says every right thing any woman, any mother could ever want to hear. ' He knows you love him, ' he says. ' That is why he can fight so hard, he knows we are unconditional, he's not afraid of us, that makes him louder and ruder at times, but he is doing OK, he's working through it, he comes and talks to you late at night and snuggles, he goes to school, he's not on drugs, he's just a struggling kid. You are doing a great job. '

And when I'm not, when I start to crack under the pressure and my voice begins to rise or my left eye begins to twitch, Mr. Curry guides me like the dance partner he is into the kitchen and whispers in my ear, ' Let me get this one. ' And I do.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

i've got a crush on this woman

The hilarity begins at 1:24 but it's funnier if you watch the whole clip. We watched this movie last night for Friday Night Family Night and I laughed so hard I literally cried. Then I rewound it three times and made my family watch it three more times while I laughed. I love the beat in the actual song, for one, and It's the part where she's singing ' let me see you get low / you scared you scared ' that makes me come apart. She's so adorable!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


I have a quiet privacy. It is the hush in my eyes when I am asked a question or the hesitation in my answer. November comes and changes me. I close in around my family and my heart. I desire fire and light. California tosses and turns in her bed, heat comes and goes, some days are frigid. I might have an autoimmune problem, I think, looking at my hands. They overreact to the cold. The fingers hurt and their stubby ends turn red. I don't have beautiful hands. I already have two autoimmune problems: hypothyroidism and endometriosis. Both prompted me to dramatic dietary changes. We eat nuts, peanut butter, whole grain breads, vegetables, fruits, yogurt, milk, goat milk, chicken, egg. Whole foods, largely organic. We take vitamins. We eat junk on Friday Night Family Night. I ate gluten free for the better part of a year. Still my body struggles to maintain energy and health. A childhood of terror wormed it's way into the cells. This is what happened to me. It is what happens to everyone. Our cells react like fetus in the womb. Abuse, constant fear, these loud screams outside the womb, and our cells kick and turn and their tiny mouths open and close and they are changed forever.

Winter approaches and I am slower, less sweet, less ripe.

I can feel the world moving around me and I am fascinated with it's workings. I stand in line and listen to the talking around me. I shut the door to my car and watch a couple of crows repeatedly drop a hard shell, trying to split it open on the asphalt. At work the babies cry and catch my eyes before taking another breath to scream, making sure I am watching, making sure I care. At home my children move as quickly and strangely as always, unique and totally separate from me, never separate from me. Mr. Curry moves toward and away from me in the tide of marriage. We cleave. The Hispanic workers play penny games on the concrete in the sides of alleys. A woman in the car next to me opens her mouth as wide as she can at the stop light. Maybe she is worried she has the flu. Maybe she is checking for herpes. Maybe she has dry mouth or lipstick on her teeth. The park is full of birds and their cries scatter with the leaves as I move through the dirt path. At night the TV talks and dances and I feel the quiver of the arrow as it hits its mark.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Christmas, I'm All Over You

With three children ( not to mention a huge extended family, much of which lives in our area ) I start thinking about Christmas at the end of September - making mental notes on gift ideas, scribbling tentative budgets, scheduling in the little red book that lives in my purse, and eying the house for what needs deep cleaning.

My initial gift ideas for Lola Moon look like this :

This tent canopy is from Pottery Barn Kids and would be so fun for her in our sunroom over her art table, or over her kitchen set as shown here

Lola is huge into art of all kinds and could do a ton with these stamps from Magic Cabin

Magic Cabin rocks! The purses are so sweet and the fairy furniture below would be perfect for the fairy area I'm creating for Lola in the front outside of our home.

I'm thinking of setting up the canopy with her toys underneath it by the Christmas tree. She wants a cupcake maker so I'm looking into that, and thinking about Barbies, wooden food for her kitchen, a new tea set, and art supplies. Mr. Curry always gets Lola a special jewelry piece every year- not expensive, just special :) I'm going to do another post on the boys. This helps me stay organized too! ;)
Meanwhile, I have to figure out how to also budget in almost 300$ for Dakota's two cavities, 100$ to spay our cat Hermione before she gets in the family way again, 50$ to deworm our wormy cats (ewwwwww), 50$ car smog, 50$ DMV fee, 200$ for some personal necessity, $100 for the jackets and shoes the kids need and! keep up with all bills and payments.
Not to mention, Lola apparently needs 800$ worth of 'eye therapy'.
That will have to wait until January.

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