The words that changed (one week of) my life

I knit a whole hat!

I knit a whole hat!

As soon as I read the words, I wanted to slam the book shut, take it into the backyard, and burn it.

The book was The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, the cult classic about how to commune with your “Creator” and unblock your inner artist. I’m still not entirely convinced I have an inner artist, but the book was only 10 bucks on Amazon. Who knows, I thought, maybe it will finally inspire me to write my great American novel.

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Summer’s slow fade

Summer’s slow fade has begun.

I can hear it in the mornings, when I sit quiet with my coffee. The cricket’s song still thrums outside my window, but it is muted now. The percussion section is gone, or maybe it’s the bass.

The last firefly has flickered out. The pool is shuttered. Our late evening walks to the park have been replaced by the routines of school: homework, piano practice, showers … and nagging. So much nagging.

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For mom, with love

In honor of Mother’s Day, let me tell you a few things about my mother:

MomShe is brave.
She stood up on a stage and told a roomful of strangers one of the hardest stories of her life: suffering a brain injury that ended her teaching career. She speaks at funerals. She stands by her friends when they are sick or suffering. She put an Obama sign in her yard, even though all her neighbors are passionate Republicans.

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Things I did today instead of writing the piece that’s due

  • Took my computer to the coffee shop, on the belief that I wouldn’t allow myself to procrastinate in public
  • Bought giant coffee, to give energy for writing
  • Checked Facebook
  • Read knitting blog, even though I haven’t knit anything in years
  • Talked to friend I ran into at the coffee shop
  • Checked Facebook
  • Daydreamed about the meal I ate last night at Stanbury
  • Emailed co-worker about my meal last night at Stanbury
  • Checked Facebook
  • Read blog about funny cakes
  • Bought giant Rice Krispie treat, on the theory that I would feel so guilty about eating it that I would have to write something
  • Felt sick from eating Rice Krispie treat
  • Felt self hatred for eating Rice Krispie treat and failing to write a single word
  • Checked Facebook
  • Skipped toning class I was planning to take at the Y, because I still haven’t written one word
  • Decided to write this list instead of the thing that’s due at work.

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On Monday, I fell in love

wild&precious

I was driving to work on Monday morning, listening to a podcast to fill the time. It was a conversation with Mary Oliver, a poet I had heard of once or twice. During that 30-minute drive, I learned that Oliver, now 79, has spent most of her life on Cape Cod, strolling the woods and fields and beaches with a notebook in hand, writing the most beautiful observations about nature — and human existence — that I have ever read.

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