a soft, fierce animal

It’s been nearly two years since the small wild thing began to visit again. At first, he was crafty. He snuck in without my noticing, drawn to residual warmth from being close to loved ones; he crept into a grey-blue dewy mornings next to my coffee and fried eggs; he materialized with tiny sharp fangs behind bracing wind, the kind that makes you suck in sharply and feel alive. He was skittish at first, came and went as he pleased. But over time, the little animal (call him Love or Affection or Yearning) started to linger.

The feeling is familiar, like something I lost and learned to get by without, but haven’t forgotten. At first I didn’t think I wanted to remember what it felt like to love that way, but something in me decided I did, and I (weak soul I am) put up little protest.┬áSo when this wild feeling came around, instead of turning towards Business At Hand, I started to feed him a little daydream or sweet memory and he grew bolder.

The warm, growly fellow is now a regular guest, barging in at inopportune moments, associating himself with people and situations where he doesn’t (yet) belong. Last Saturday morning, out of the blue, he nestled up inside me, filled my belly then chest so he couldn’t be ignored. By the time I got home, he’d dug his claws into my throat til it was hard to breathe and my eyes got wet. I curled up in bed for the afternoon and placated him with poems and nostalgia.

It worked, but it’s clear this soft, fierce little orphan creature needs more to thrive.

For now, we’ll make do with brisk mornings, writing, the ocean, more red wine than is typical, listening to good music (gongs!) with our eyes closed, and lavishing attention on people and things who make us feel deeply. When the going gets especially rough, we’ll feed ourselves on busyness.

November 25, 2012   2 Comments

Daily Logs: October 18, 2012


October 18, 2012   No Comments

Block Parties

When I was small, every once in a while, my parents would shuttle the three of us kids — me, my little sis Becky and little brother, Cam — to one of our grandparents’ houses.

Generally these weekends were full of fun, fun and fun. We got to eat Kraft Mac & Cheese and Cheetos and Oreos, we made trips to the park to picnic and build dams and catch pollywogs; we went to the movies where Grandma Evie would smuggle in candy we had agonizingly chosen at the drug store; we went down the street to the schoolyard to slide and monkey on the bars.

At my Kong-Kong (grandpa) and Grandma Sharon’s house, I would do experiments with my chemistry set, tumble rocks till they were smooth, and play dress up with out special bin of scarves & costume jewelry. We had season tickets to a special children’s performance at the symphony and afterwards, we would go out to dinner where I would eat a full rack of ribs, a baked potato (hold the greens!) and a “Pie-in-the-sky” for dessert.

Our trips varied predictably — the same activities in different orders — but a few weekends stand out in my memory. One such weekend was the weekend of the neighborhood block party at Kong Kong and Grandma Sharon’s. There were fireworks, there were hula-hoops. I think there was even a magician. But most of all, there was food. It was the middle of a Southern California summer, and hot. Everybody brought out their oven-fried chicken legs, their weenies and potato chips, their potato salad and watermelon. I remember roving from house to house and getting food handed to me along the way.

I don’t think I’ve ever been to a block party since then. This is an American tradition that really needs reviving. With all the labels and “do-nots” surrounding food issues these days, it’s nice to switch to the more positive once in a while and celebrate the bounty we do have. Sharing food in the community seems like the right venue to get conversations going about our values and what we care about in food for our neighborhoods, families, planet.

This seems to be a modern-day take on the “Block Party” that’s been taking place in some big cities across the world. Cool idea — we have lots of potlucks on the island, but maybe I’ll try to put something bigger together on the farm.

April 16, 2009   2 Comments

My sparkly mini Christmas tree and drying underwear…

… are currently decorating my kitchen counter-top.

Today I washed a load of “delicates” in my kitchen sink and now they’re chillin on the counter looking like some sort of strange kitchen-themed lingerie shop.

And then, for some reason I just starting thinking about this website that I built when I was 12 or 13, and how awesome it was. I had one page that was just flashing gifs; one — obviously — of photo; one of those funny surveys that we used to forward around (What’s your favorite color? What are your nicknames? Who was your first crush?) and so on for at least a hundred questions.

I think I’ll try to look one up and fill it out. I wonder if those kind of flimsy awkward definitions are sort of the best you can get. Or maybe that fleetingness, (or in kinder, gentler terms: “adaptability”) is just me and I shouldn’t be so freaked out.

I tend to like bulletin boards and clothespins and mobiles because I can shift them around as I shift around.

Thinking about that website also makes me think about how much I buzzed with naive lust when I was young. Since this so-called public journal is just starting out, I’ll spare the details, but I can remember dreams with (always) thin, dark-haired boys and prancing around in a silky Japanese dressing gown that my grandma probably bought me, taking my hair up and down and pouting my lips in front of the mirror.

December 18, 2007   No Comments