Thursday, February 24, 2011

Full of broken thoughts I cannot repair

This is the choice everyone makes, when something has them trapped and hurting. I feel so much pain today for those that I love who are struggling caught and bewildered. I see all of that pain connected in a spiral: humiliation betrayal abandonment shame loss disappointment despair. I want to let them out, I want to let everyone out. At the expense of squelching the strength that could fill them if they decided to free themselves, I just want the pain and fear to stop. Because what if they are the ones who can't make it out? I torment myself with the idea that I could have painted a picture of the trap with words, to warn them, but that's impossible. I don't know enough. Don't I have my own scars, from my own lies? I'd like to believe I've left them all behind, but every now and then I look down and see the truth biting into my skin.
You can be free again, but you won't emerge whole. Not in the same way. And I am so, so sorry.

An Emblem of Two Foxes (Barry Spacks)

simply to breathe

can make him bleed,
the fox whose leg
is trapped, whose will
awaits the kill.
why should he flail?
moving hurts,
so he lies still.

around him walks
a prouder fox,
his severed leg
a homily
on going free.
as if to say
it hurts - it hurts
either way.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

And after he's been hooked I'll play the one that's on his heart

Here are a bunch of pictures which represent only a fraction of the fun we've been having. Speaking of fun, we are leaving for Sac-town to see the Pid's wedding in 5 hours, so this will be fast.

Last weekend was the birthday of KB-Toys and we had a casino night party. The official theme was "Luck be a Loveless" and the party's theme song was (of course) Poker Face. I was in charge of decorating the Commune. I felt super edgy doing so because I was taught growing up that face cards were of the devil. But Caleb is a veritable card shark, so a poker-themed party he had to have!
Sometimes when I'm feeling particularly incompetent and untalented, I remind myself that I want to make birthdays my hedgehog concept (don't ask. It has to do with my leadership and organization class, and trust me, no one wants to hear about that). I like to commemorate them with vigor and zeal.

Fabulous snacks and the poker table Jonny kindly procured by means of KSL.
Los Boys!

I don't really have casino style clothing (although what I lack in casino gear I make up for in brown downeast basic shirts) but I wore red (the blood of angry men) and black (the dark of ages past) so I could at least match the cards.

"The Jordans" are always so fabulous. Of course they had casino night costumes at the ready. I am going to miss them badly--they're such fantastically creative people and always so inquisitive and fascinated by things. The last Shady Chapel show last week broke my heart.

Under "fabulous" see also "Laurel Asay Lowe."
Birthday cake, in keeping with Caleb's Jewish tradition but also in line with the theme of the party :)

This was a poker game full of merriment. See how Star Wars is on in the background?

Sunday was so lovely...every time I can go outside and feel sun on my skin I feel like I've come back to life again. Jonny and I went on a walk in Hobblecreek canyon and then to the park with the Lowes.
Amish Father and Mother Lowe.

Bradley! Magical as always with his cute velcro ball and glove.

Under "magical," see also: "The Little Stranger" and "Racher's ability to walk around so disproportionately shaped and not topple over face forward."

I finally have another symptom of pregnancy to report. My belly button is disappearing! When I first discovered it I freaked out. I'm not supposed to be able to see the bottom of it! I'm okay with it now, though.

Monday, February 14, 2011

I swear I was born right in the doorway

Naomi gave me such a lovely poem on my wedding day: "Lucky Life" by Gerald Stern. I read it for the first time the day after, when we came home from the haunted bed and breakfast and were joyously opening gifts with my brothers and sisters (they clapped for every gift for awhile, until they got tired of it) . It was the sweetest afternoon, I remember the sun streaming in through the windows and the kitchen cluttered with flowers and fruit left over from the reception. I read the poem to everyone; it made me weep then and it still does when I read it out loud. Not many of my words are worth anything but when I feel that bittersweetness wash over me I wish so much I could write. I wish I were humble and smart enough to appreciate how much glory is in each day; even these gray ones that I'm wishing away in a graduation-obsessed frenzy, and even though it's probably blasphemous for me to think I understand anything about that poem at age 26. I wanted to say that the last lines are a constant refrain in my mind, in anguish and in triumph. What a lucky miracle life we have right now. So often I feel like pain sweeps around us and through us but never between us. It has been a beautiful 6 months.

Here are some cheesy pictures to accompany this somewhat solemn post. Here you have the portrayal of environmental neglect that is our living room, and a creepy glowy-eyed kitten. (I was trying to show you the balloons.) You can also see some of our pictures from the Dominican Republic, and my sister's Christmas gift to Jonathan, which was a portrait of him slaughtering zombies. Thank you Jonny for surprising me after such a wearisome day! I love you so much.
TOREADAS!!!! Benditos sean!!!!!
Lucky life isn't one long string of horrors
and there are moments of peace, and pleasure, as I lie in between the blows.
Lucky I don't have to wake up in Phillipsburg, New Jersey,
on the hill overlooking Union Square or the hill overlooking
Kuebler Brewery or the hill overlooking SS. Philip and James
but have my own hills and my own vistas to come back to.

Each year I go down to the island I add
one more year to the darkness;
and though I sit up with my dear friends
trying to separate the one year from the other,
this one from the last, that one from the former,
another from another,
after a while they all get lumped together,
the year we walked to Holgate,
the year our shoes got washed away,
the year it rained,
the year my tooth brought misery to us all.

This year was a crisis. I knew it when we pulled
the car onto the sand and looked for the key.
I knew it when we walked up the outside steps
and opened the hot icebox and began the struggle
with swollen drawers and I knew it when we laid out
the sheets and separated the clothes into piles
and I knew it when we made our first rush onto
the beach and I knew it when we finally sat
on the porch with coffee cups shaking in our hands.

My dream is I'm walking through Phillipsburg, New Jersey,
and I'm lost on South Main Street. I am trying to tell,
by memory, which statue of Christopher Columbus
I have to look for, the one with him slumped over
and lost in weariness or the one with him
vaguely guiding the way with a cross and globe in
one hand and a compass in the other.
My dream is I'm in the Eagle Hotel on Chamber Street
sitting at the oak bar, listening to two
obese veterans discussing Hawaii in 1942,
and reading the funny signs over the bottles.
My dream is I sleep upstairs over the honey locust
and sit on the side porch overlooking the stone culvert
with a whole new set of friends, mostly old and humorless.

Dear waves, what will you do for me this year?
Will you drown out my scream?
Will you let me rise through the fog?
Will you fill me with that old salt feeling?
Will you let me take my long steps in the cold sand?
Will you let me lie on the white bedspread and study
the black clouds with the blue holes in them?
Will you let me see the rusty trees and the old monoplanes one more year?
Will you still let me draw my sacred figures
and move the kites and the birds around with my dark mind?

Lucky life is like this. Lucky there is an ocean to come to.
Lucky you can judge yourself in this water.
Lucky you can be purified over and over again.
Lucky there is the same cleanliness for everyone.
Lucky life is like that. Lucky life. Oh lucky life.
Oh lucky lucky life. Lucky life.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

And we share a name, and some picturesque grace

This is hilarious, also horrifying: The Utah Baby Namer. Don't worry, the Little Stranger's name is found nowhere in that fascinating/dreadful index. Neither shall he have a name with a suffix of "aden," nor shall his name sport superfluous 'y's.'

What do you think the ramifications are for a gringa using Spanish names? I know I don't have an obvious reason to do so (like a husband de la raza or raices) but I think so many of them are so beautiful, especially ones with the short "i" sound, like Israel, Isai, IsaĆ­as, Sarai. When I told my family about one of these names I liked over Christmas, they hated on me so profoundly, so scathingly, that it sort of soured me against it.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Come as you are, as you were, as I want you to be

This is my Jonathan. Today I love him for the sweet email he wrote me, for doing the dishes before he went to work, for comforting me when I was wailing about hating Utah, playing cards and watching SVU with me, for singing to our fetus, loving stories about my childhood, being so gentle with the zies, for wanting to do a homebirth not just because I want to but because he understands, and it's important to him, too, and for forgiving me in the same instant that I offend.
Here are our sweet Christmas zies! (Short for kittenzies). They are adorable. My little brother Tanner suggested we name them Amber and Sage, for their respective brown and green eyes. I love those names because they sound like teenager names to me. Amber and Sage are sisters, and horribly delightful. I never thought I could like a cat so much. I have almost entirely vanquished my phobia. Sometimes when the kitties make prolonged eye contact with me I get nervous, but most of the time I love cuddling them and watching them play. It makes me so happy how much Jonathan loves them. He is a sweetheart about all animals.

Birthday boy, breakfast, balloon. Brilliant. :)
With the winners of the Jonathan Birthday Style contest! Jordan won best style (which is his birthright as a hipster) by drawing his own hair on Jonathan, and Crystal won the novelty prize with this lovely creation inspired by Adam Lambert.
David won Jonpardy with an impressive 6400 points! He even got the final Jonpardy question right (which was "Who is John Galt?"). Here Jonathan is awarding him a box of chocolates. Sorry the pictures are blurry. I need to find someone to teach me how to take/edit good pictures before I have an adorable Stranger to photograph.

Tribal Gathering

Look! People really came to visit us IN OUR HOUSE! (I couldn't be in any of the pictures because I had body dysmorphic disorder due to the disaster which befell the Miami Beach Cake).

For Celeste! Who is the best! This is the tile, before it was finished, but you can kind of see how it turned out.

This is the most fantastically artistic picture I have ever taken. Haha. Look at cute blurry Jonny coming in the door next to me.
I struggle with these pictures. I never know what to do with my arms, or my face. I'm short, fat, proud of that. It really is okay. Sometimes I get stressed out about gaining weight, but the other day I read about someone I knew in high school who had to have a total hysterectomy (at age 24!) and it both horrified and humbled me. It must seem so indecent and revolting to complain about something really as trivial as weight gain to women who would give anything to be pregnant. I don't want to take this for granted. It really is a marvelous thing. I hurt so much for those who would have it be and it's not so. I know I can't comprehend that kind of pain, but I can at least be careful about my words and my thoughts, and recognize that this is a gift.
I was talking during this one, but it's kind of still my favorite.
I can feel the Little Stranger moving now and then throughout the day. It's nothing dramatic like Alien vs. Predator (which is what Toot asks me) but it feels like a gentle pop or blip against the side of the goldfish tank. It makes me feel so happy, like I have a sweet secret. I love knowing I can keep him completely safe for now (except from the flaws in my diet...I hope you enjoyed those hot cheetos today little guy!) There are only 4 months left! (Although I don't really believe in June. At this point, it's difficult for me even to believe in April.) If every pregnancy is this easy, I will probably have a thousand kids. The only adversity I've really suffered so far (I am 22 1/2 weeks as of today) is having to pee more often. And insensitive comments. Which really give me a lot to think about. Maybe I'll write more about that later. Hasta ver!