Sunday, July 28, 2013

what I did today

Could the title of this entry be more boring?  You're welcome.

To make this slightly (just slightly) more enthralling, I shall work backwards through my day (and cease from using the word "shall" henceforth. Or henceforth.)

I am sitting in my orange room (the office? the study? the nursery for my imaginary non-child?) gazing out the window, thinking about what was a very beautiful day. I mean, check out these clouds:

This was Boundary Waters Canoe Area level gorgeous skies. And this was the only photo I took (likely to Rebecca's great disappointment).

I am also eating a peach and a few Newman O's, despite having just spent over twenty dollars on dinner. Problem was, the food was less food and more presentation. Check out the pretentious plate:

If it's going to look that dumb, it should at least taste decent and not send someone running home to their Newman O's, amirite? 

Before my pretentious supper (with good company, luckily), I spent a few hours adding some perennials to my yard, mostly so I could occasionally look skyward and marvel at how gorgeous the day was. I also added a bird bath to my secret garden AND discovered my eggplant is finally producing:

I forget what variety eggplant this is, but I love the way it looks coming out of the bloom. I'll have to take a few more photos over the next few days so you can really see how oddly the fruit develops from this variety. 

I also am mildly obsessed with the possibility that I will get to witness a bird bathing in my new garden art. I AM VERY HOPEFUL (all CAPS hopeful).

Prior to spending some time in my garden, I spent far too long at a local garden store. So long, in fact, that I started to consider this might be a good idea:

Not a good idea. 

I also discovered a beautiful variety of echinacea:

I have a garden store problem. And, as a sidenote, I am always the youngest person at the garden center by around thirty years. Young people: do not give up the art of growing things! Please!

My computer has now decided it's had enough of me, so I shall quickly conclude by noting that I started the day at a lovely bridal shower brunch for a dear friend of mine (who loves cloud photos) and I learned something truly horrifying about marriage, which is: you cannot use the bridal shower gifts until after the wedding!! If you are as impatient as me, this is cruel.

Over and out. 

Sunday, July 21, 2013

hello: late july gratitude

Today was a gratitude-filled day.

I was grateful for the rain that came steady and strong this morning after I spent five hours yesterday afternoon in my garden. This is something a gardener longs for: rain after a day digging around in the soil. What a gift!

I was grateful for a morning naming ceremony for my friend's new daughter, Eliana. And I was just as grateful for the generous spread of lox, cream cheese, bagels, and kugel that awaited us after the ceremony. (I don't know what it says about me that these produced equal levels of gratitude...)

I was grateful for a peaceful afternoon of honest contemplation with my friend, Julia. When the rest of our women's group ("Our Circle") couldn't make it today, we came together anyway and had a most intimate and caring circle, just the two of us.

I am grateful for this very profound piece of writing, and for anyone who would be willing to discuss it with me.

I am grateful for burying hatchets and rebuilding bridges. Very grateful.

I am grateful for my weekly horoscope from Freewill Astrology, which I have read outloud to at least five different people, and plan to explore more in this blog at a later date. This provoked some good soul-searching and resonated with me on some soul-shaking level:

How close do you really want to be to the people you care about? I invite you to think about this with unsentimental candor. Do you prefer there to be some distance between you? Are you secretly glad there's a buffer zone that prevents you from being too profoundly engaged? I'm not saying that's a bad thing. It might be correct for who you are right now. I merely want to suggest that it's important for you to know the exact nature of your need for intimacy. If you find that you actually do want to be closer, spend the next four weeks making that happen. Ask your precious allies to collaborate with you in going deeper.

Finally: I am not so much grateful for this as I am touched by it, but how wonderful is it to see a picture of your beloved nephew (on his 2nd birthday) and flash back to a dear moment in your own childhood?


Pretty dang sweet.

Super grateful for the many reminders of a nourishing and ever-evolving life.

Monday, July 15, 2013

other voices: reflecting on injustice

I can't come on here and write about my improv class, or the pesto I'm making & consuming, or my recent work conference in Atlanta, or - speaking of which - my stupid job, or the flowers in my garden that are getting more beautiful by the day. Or any of the simultaneously important and petty details of my life.

I can't think about anything when my heart is so heavy with injustice and grief.

There are many people smarter than me talking about Trayvon and what the not guilty verdict means about America, our criminal "justice" system, racism and the lives of black folk vs white folk in this "great" country. I encourage everyone to read their words, as I'm still working out mine:

ThisWhen you have a society that takes at its founding the hatred and degradation of a people, when that society inscribes that degradation in its most hallowed document, and continues to inscribe hatred in its laws and policies, it is fantastic to believe that its citizens will derive no ill messaging.
It is painful to say this: Trayvon Martin is not a miscarriage of American justice, but American justice itself. This is not our system malfunctioning. It is our system working as intended

This: If Trayvon Martin had been white, he’d still be alive. What better real-world example of white privilege is there?

This: ...fear-mongering represents a deep white anxiety about black bodies on the streets, and echoes Zimmerman’s fears: that black bodies on the street pose a public threat. But the real violence in those speculations, regardless of whether they prove to be true, is that it silences black anxiety. The anxiety that black men feel every time they walk outside the door—and the anxiety their loved ones feel for them as well...

ThisYear after year and case after case it continues, with black life viewed as expendable in the service of white fear, with black males in particular (but many a black female as well and plenty of Latino folk too) marked as problems to be solved, rather than as children to be nurtured. 

And can you look at these photos and not have your heart break?

I'm a white, middle-class woman living in America. I don't think it's fair for my voice to drown out the voices that really matter in all this. I should have started here.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

update: list and links version

What I'm eating: Apparently, a lot of pesto-related dishes. In the order of my affinity: kalealmond, and wasabi. (Also, I now drink cucumbers, who knew that would be good?)

What I'm reading: Two books that are rather embarrassing to read on the bus, for obvious reasons.

What I am plantingBright colors and pollinator attractors.

What I'm thinking about: Travels to new places and a road trip through places I know well
and love. 

What I'm obsessing about: my closet and "so many clothes nothing to wear" syndrome; 
possibly addressing said clothing boredom with a few key pieces from Etsy (1 or 2 or 3);
needing wanting a vacation; how to beat the heat; will my backyard ever be the garden I dream of?

Miscellaneous Thoughts: How is it already July? Is it actually raining after I planted all afternoon/do the weather gods smile down on me?  Might this actually save a life, because I think it revitalized mine for a moment.

Monday, July 1, 2013

rabbit, rabbit, rabbit

The first day of July.

I started the day by saying out-loud: "Rabbit, rabbit, rabbit."

It's good luck you see. The kids at the farm taught me to start each new month by saying these words. The key is to have no other words leave your mouth before you utter the magical "rabbit, rabbit, rabbit." Doing so will guarantee good things happen throughout said new month.

Though I can't say definitively how my months that started with "rabbit, rabbit, rabbit" compare to months that started with other words, I can say that the months I have remembered to say these words I feel a certain, simple joy. Saying these words connects me to the farm, the kids, and my time there. I always chuckle that 7 years later (and not so far off from my 30th birthday) I still find it perfectly acceptable to honor this juvenile tradition.

Today, however, uttering these words connected me to the literal friend waiting for me outside my back door.

The rabbit, rabbit, rabbit that eats my garden, garden, garden.

I hope this month's chant isn't some sort of prophesy.