Friday, March 30, 2007

Orange Sky

When I am alone
When I’ve thrown off the weight of this crazy stone
When I've lost all care for the things I own
That's when I miss you, that's when I miss you, that's when I miss you
You are my home
You are my home
And here is what I know now
Here is what I know now
Goes like this..
In your love, my salvation lies

Alexi Murdoch - Or...

Sunday, March 25, 2007

4 out of 5 dentists recommend I be committed.

I was brushing my teeth last night -- standing in front of the mirror, mentally reviewing my day and thinking about how well I am holding up in the face of adversity. How proud I am! Hanging in there! Organized and peaceful! And a healthy smile to boot!

Rinse, spit, etc. As I was leaning over the sink, I noticed that there was a little bit of gunk collecting around the metal ring of the drain. Ew. I finished brushing, grabbed rubber gloves and some Soft Scrub from under the sink, and tried to clean it out with my finger. No go. I keep an old toothbrush under the sink for just such an emergency, so I pulled it out, gave the drain a good scrubbing, and, because I was feeling industrious, walked over to the bathtub as well and spiffed it up. Returned to the sink, gave the toothbrush a rinse to get the crud off, and then, again repeating affirmations on my wisdom and strength, stuck that nasty-ass toothbrush in my mouth. AS IF IT WAS MY REGULAR TOOTHBRUSH.

It's a whole new kind of gross.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Four Immeasurables

May all beings have happiness and its causes,
May they never have suffering nor its causes;
May they constantly dwell in joy transcending sorrow;
May they dwell in equal love for both near and far.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Head of household, most of the time

One of the biggest day-to-day adjustments I’ve had to make since my husband moved out is relinquishing the freedom of having another adult in the house to attend to less pleasant tasks. Spider-removal, dog-vomit-cleaning, sump-pump maintenance -- these all fell under Matt’s sphere of operations. (To be fair, the man never once picked up a toilet brush, so it ended up being a reasonably equitable arrangement.) Over the past five months, I’ve become fairly proficient at not only the physical piece of getting the job done, but I’ve also surmounted the emotional hurdle; after I while I realized that if I didn’t catch that spider, no one would catch that spider, and it would spin a giant web that would span the whole of the house, lay thousands and thousands of eggs, which would hatch into offspring which would then run rampant through the house, eventually leading me to stop cleaning and cooking and washing my hair, and then the Animal Cops would come and feel sorry for me and my spider-hoarding illness and I would be taken away screaming and I would die alone. Therefore, I learned to get off my butt and stop waiting for someone else to take care of the jobs. They’re my jobs now.

The one place, however, where I part company with this outlook, is shoveling snow. I HATE to shovel snow. Just the sight of a shovel makes my toes cold and my back ache. When I woke up this morning to a quiet house, my first thought wasn’t about coffee and a magazine, or sleeping a few extra minutes -- it was about who the hell I was going to get to shovel the snow that the Nor’easter had dumped in my driveway last night. Not just snow, but wet, heavy snow. Back-wrenching snow. I don’t like this part of the arrangement.

Perhaps I'll just wait for it to melt.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Who I Want To Be When I Grow Up

This guy is truly amazing. I love this particular presentation. Especially the part where Clive Owen is looking RIGHT AT ME.

How do you like to go up in a swing?

Up in the air so blue?
Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing
Ever a child can do!

spring, I think…

Monday, March 12, 2007

In which we sell the house so as not to have to clean up

Calder has always been a tidy kid. I'd like to take some credit for that, seeing as how I'm the one who encouraged him to alphabetize his Matchbox cars by model, and to always put the crayons back in the box in a CMYK pattern. My mother-in-law, mother to four children and grandmother to eleven, told me once that she had never seen a child who was able to wipe his own face at two years old. Considering that her 37-year-old son still has difficulty doing this, I might not be surprised, but it is quite uncanny how at the communal toddler table, all the other kids have enough cracker crumbs and jelly smears and pretzel bits to sustain them through a week at minimum, and Calder has nothing but a wadded up napkin and a neat pile of mussel shells.

He's equally as neat with his toys, or he tries to be. We have a rule about putting one category of toys away before taking something else out, i.e.; put the puzzles away before you take out the playdough, stash the toy cars before setting up the train tracks, fold up the blackjack table and hide the bourbon before breaking out the fingerpaints. Most of the time we stick to this. Obviously I lend a hand and a shovel, but we manage to keep the playroom (which used to be called the living room until I had to decorate around the train table and a Fisher Price Farmhouse) in a constant state of able-to-be-picked-up-in 10-minutes-or-less. Since I am kind of a freak about this sort of thing, Calder and I get along just fine.

Today we had one of Calder's buddies from school over to play. N. is a great little kid with good manners and a happy demeanor. His mother and I are getting to be very good friends, and I truly enjoy hanging out with her while the kids play. For no particular reason, we usually play at N's house, but today the action took place here; three hours later and I don't know whether to start drinking or calling around for a frontloader. I know kids in the 2-6 range have a propensity for checking out each and every toy at their friends houses, but this sweet little kid managed to unshelve every book, deploy every last wheeled vehicle to a location under the sofa, fling all the cards from CandyLand to remote outposts in the house, dump out the carefully organized buckets of legos, animals, people, rescue vehicles, rescue vehicle accessories, pretend food, pretend doctor tools, assorted Crap from Other People that we have yet to throw away, and scraps of construction paper that are supposed to come in handy for a holiday project but are really just more Crap. It was in drifts across the floor. The dogs were perplexed. I needed GPS to find the children when it was time to go home.

His mother, while graciously offering to help "pick up" before she left, looked at this apocalypse with mere disinterest rather than the staggering bewilderment of her host. Now hear this. I get that kids are messy, and that not everyone has the same one-in one-out process that we do. I even know that my methods might be considered a little, well, tight. I've had plenty of experience with the detritus of a toddler playdate, I've just never seen such a massive effort made by one tiny little person. I would like to know what N. has for breakfast.

It may take me a month to reconcile all of the various puzzle pieces with their respective boxes. Maybe longer to re-alphabetize the stickers (D for dinosaurs, S for stars…) It will only take a minute, however, to open this bottle of wine and decide to leave it all until tomorrow.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Sometimes I Like Living Here

Throw something. Feed me something. Scratch my butt.

I need this kind of life.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

He's come undone

Calder was a mess when I dropped him off at school this morning -- crying, clinging to me, asking to go home, begging for his daddy. Despite my recognition that this behavior is probably going to be part of the process, and is likely to continue for some time, it still rips my heart out each time I witness it. His teachers all give me that knowing glance and do their best to usher him in to the classroom, where he ultimately settles down to the serious business of preschool, but they’ve also let me know that he often requires time away from the learning and playing so that he can sit with an adult in the corner and just be hugged. That I’m not the one there to do the hugging is difficult for me, even though his teachers are wonderful and highly qualified to comfort him.

Matt hates to hear me say this, but I just can’t see how this is in his best interests. I know, I know, there are hundreds, thousands, even, of children going through separation, divorce, etc. In some cases, it probably IS the best thing for the children. Violence, abandonment, sexual abuse, abuse of drugs and alcohol -- fine. Get the kids to a safe place where they can have a happy life. But Calder, man, he HAD a safe life. He had two parents who not only loved him to pieces, but who lived in the same house as him; who were there for him whenever he wanted them to be, with a child-friendly predictable schedule. Weekends with his parents and his dogs. His red shirt hanging in his closet when he wants it, rather than at the “other house.” His stuffed animals waiting for him in bed at night, not at daddy’s house where they lay, forgotten in the transport suitcase. Three-year olds aren’t supposed to have suitcases -- unless they’re on their way to visit grandparents in sunny places. I feel helpless to save his childhood. I want to be strong and to know that we’ll all get through this, but on days when I have to watch the love and light of my life cry and wail for something he wants so badly but can’t have because of adult emotion, it makes me want to scream.

Monday, March 5, 2007

Monday-Morning Warrior

Metta Sutta

The Buddha's Words on Loving-Kindness

Who seeks to promote his welfare,
Having glimpsed the state of perfect peace,
Should be able, honest and upright,
Gentle in speech, meek and not proud.

Contented, he ought to be easy to support,
Not over-busy, and simple in living.
Tranquil his senses, let him be prudent,
And not brazen, nor fawning on families.

Also, he must refrain from any action
That gives the wise reason to reprove him.
(Then let him cultivate the thought:)
May all be well and secure,
May all beings be happy!

Whatever living creatures there be,
Without exception, weak or strong,
Long, huge or middle-sized,
Or short, minute or bulky,

Whether visible or invisible,
And those living far or near,
The born and those seeking birth,
May all beings be happy!

Let none deceive or decry
His fellow anywhere;
Let none wish others harm
In resentment or in hate.

Just as with her own life
A mother shields from hurt
Her own son, her only child,
Let all-embracing thoughts
For all beings be yours.

Cultivate an all-embracing mind of love
For all throughout the universe,
In all its height, depth and breadth —
Love that is untroubled
And beyond hatred or enmity.

As you stand, walk, sit or lie,
So long as you are awake,
Pursue this awareness with your might:
It is deemed the Divine State here.

Holding no more to wrong beliefs,
With virtue and vision of the ultimate,
And having overcome all sensual desire,
Never in a womb is one born again.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Wiser Time

No time left now for shame
Horizon behind me, no more pain
Windswept stars blink and smile
Another song, another mile
You read the line every time
Ask me about crime in my mind
Ask me why another road song
Funny but I bet you never left home

On a good day, I know it ain't every day
We can part the sea
And on a bad day, I know it ain't every day
Glory beyond our reach

Fourteen seconds 'til sunrise
Tired but wiser for the time
Lightning thirty miles away
Three thousand more in two days