Posts Tagged ‘spring’

Daily Photo: Start This Bitch Back Up

Monday, April 26th, 2010

me on 13th

I’m trying to do all the right things now: exercise; eat right; spend time outside and with people who love me; be still in each moment; breathe and breathe again, but not in a gasping, panicky way. This remains a shitty time; I’m in a deep well of waiting and I have to find ways to make that okay. I long for motion, though: my impatient mind goes to terrible places, my restless hands cannot stop fretting at the edges. (This house is the scene of so many failures, I can’t help but replay them in an endless loop of self-punishment.)

striding

After a gulpy, shallow-breathed weekend, I took my camera out into the nearby alleys at dusk a couple weeks back, stalking my winter-dazed neighbors, who were all outside wearing first-of-the-season shorts and tending their grills. The air was full of spring, all new green with top notes of lighter fluid and burning meat. We’re a porch and stoop culture here in the Near South, a neighborhood I experienced as a student ghetto twenty years ago, but which has slid into pockets of plain old ghetto in the years since. Outdoor living happens in front of the house here, not on the back decks and patios of farther-flung Lincoln.

Although I’m hoping to leave here soon, I mean to scour every inch of this hood for texture, shadow, interesting bloom and rot. Y’know, find the beauty where I am, even if it only lasts a couple glorious weeks.

bud

Wednesday Affirmations

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

Shit Bitch You is Fine

Listen up, you Titans of Internetlandia! It’s time to drop that pose of harried self-hatred and run from the glums!

>> So look in the mirror (ignore the badly dried bangs, the bruise-like eyecircles, the pallor of doomed fish) and repeat after me:

You are doing what you can, you who have so much, but feel such lack. These are trying days and you’re mostly fine. Everything else is just momentary wobbles and temporary fury. Try not to kick the dogs, even though their toileting has slipped and their behavior would irritate saints. Try not to come down so hard on yourself. Try to be kind and generous and infrequently alone. Practice the long view and if that doesn’t work, go la-la-la-I-can’t-hear-you until the mood passes. Don’t be your own enemy.

>> Now look at the screen (ignore the ratcheting misdeeds and hate-screeds, the fumbled opportunities, the crowing of the schaden-junkies) and repeat after me:

We can’t quiet the voices in our heads, but we can kill the voices on our screens. Take a break from the inanity, the insanity, the endless natter and chatter. We may miss an event or ten—a wrong move, a sudden scandal, a dire outbreak—but we’ll be shielded from the response, as well, the unending overreactions of all those galling twats who would make us feel less. Do not let them in.

>> Then look out the window (ignore the yellow dagger-cicles hanging from tired eaves, the filthy shit-bespecked snow, the relentlessly leaden sky) and repeat after me:

We’ve almost conquered January, the month that makes a witch’s tit look tropical. March will roll around one of these days and then we’ll complain about the rain. Even summer will come soon enough and we’ll wallow in the swelter, longing for the cooler north, just we dream ourselves south in wintertime. But better days are on the way: there will be warm evenings on porches with friends. There will be bike rides. There will be epic treks with dog and camera. Just hold on.

And what are you telling yourself to make it all better as we trudge into February?

via

Wishy, Itchy, Kinda Bitchy

Thursday, May 7th, 2009

everything you want

I feel like a hummingbird today, circling the surface of a thousand things, unable to stop and settle into any one of them. It may be the 40 cups of tea I’ve had already, or perhaps it’s the many and various times I woke up last night to scrawl now-unreadable ideas for the white paper I’m writing. So let me flit…. (more…)

Snowball Rocks His Body Now

Friday, May 1st, 2009

Why, yes, I am posting a Backstreet Boys video. It’s been that kind of week. But this bird’s got rhythm, and there’s something about his high kicks that just made the sun come out in my grey neighborhood. No lie! It’s gonna be a bright, bright sunshiney day, thanks to Snowball here.

I’m still recovering from my trip, and a possible swine flu infection. Or perhaps it’s the fact that I gone out every night but two in the past two weeks. (Me! A homebody so dedicated my couch has a me-shaped dent!) But really, has anyone sneezed in the last 5 days and not felt those fear-darts of inevitable infection inside? IT’S THE PLAGUE, the reptile part of my brain tells me, every time I get sniffly or fevered or nap-happy. Of course, that’s the same center of brain activity that lights up when people watch Glenn Beck or brandish Tea’d Off signs, so I try to keep reptilian conclusion-jumping to a minimum here at Casa Rudder. And videos like these help, speaking as they do to the higher brain functions of awww and adorbs. More cute, less Newt!

Luckily, a squadron of young misses with mops is here to bring order to the homestead. I came back to the same mess I left behind, with more dust and fewer ants (deadly poison, hurrah!), and it’s become quite clear that I need more minions. Perhaps I can find an enterprising young person who will help me paint the rooms that need painting and price the junk that’s been gathering in the corner, waiting for a wasted weekend of exchanging crap for cash. (Let it be a load on someone else’s soul, I figure. I’m almost ready to give up and haul it to Goodwill, though, which is my usual lazyass default.)

Got a broke nephew or underemployed offspring? Let me know in comments. Ten bucks an hour, paid in cash. I’ll even supply pizza on the final day, if there’s been any sort of attention to detail AT ALL. Anyone considered, and I’d be willing to host a visitor, if you’re itching to see Lincoln. This ain’t a bad time to visit, what with the better weather and all the trees in ridiculous bloom:

tree in bloom

Yes, that’s taken from my front porch. I think it’s a Red Bud, although perhaps the Subtle Father could weigh in with the proper make and model?

PS: Upon 8th viewing of the video, it occurs to me that Snowball’s leg action reminds me of the extravagant back kicks Stella does when she’s peed on some other dog’s pee. It’s an in-your-face fandango of top doggery; very West Side Story cut-a-bitch. I’ll try and capture it on video for your delectation.

Video seen here

Let Us Go Then, You and I

Monday, April 6th, 2009

A while back, when we were feeling less frivolous (we being me, of course, your subtlest rudder), before spring was in our crosshairs, and we were being dazzled by daffodils and the hope of warm nights and neglected jackets, I wrote a post about, oh, politics, I guess. (Perhaps screed is a better word? Or invocation?) Whatever it was, that was back when I was being all thoughtful (thoughtful and silly seem to be our two operating speeds), while these days, I find myself as serious as a sack of kittens.

I was reminded of my earlier post, because the same words that have been taped to my monitor through five years and two houses came across my screen in needlepoint form, like a dire reminder from A-Linc:

kalman embroidery

And don’t let the homespun swoops disguise the slicing knife. While the Obamas just wooed the world with some American exceptionalism we can believe in, the opposition is manning the embattlements and calving off crazies who play shoot ‘em up in places where people get stuck: nursing homes; immigration centers; churches, even. And the economy, still she craters, although we’re a nation of blessedly short attention spans: Our dollars flow out the bottoms of our pockets, but have you seen the daffodils? Tra and la, and any day now, we shall wear the bottoms of our trousers rolled.

Still, it’s near-spring and the snow will stop falling soon (I make no such promise about the sky). So listen to the mermaids singing, each to each, and go on: dare to eat a peach.

Stitchery by Maira Kalman, from her wonderful series on Lincoln, via Hello Bauldoff.

I Can Haz Neckrub?

Monday, March 23rd, 2009

slumping on the red dog

Here it is, Monday already, and I’m still all skittery-focused and fever-headed. Part of that is the lingering cold—which has gone from unwanted guest to permanent lodger, and about which I will cease the bleating—but another large wedge of my fragmentation comes from the silver beast I’m typing on, and this sticky net in which we’re all enmeshed. I need a month off. It’s too hard to focus, my reins are being yanked from all directions. I can’t go deep into anything, since I skim the surfaces of so many things. The quilts I’m working on make me slow down, at least, although the process of building them is twisting my spine into sailor’s knots. (more…)

Ford’s First Walk

Thursday, March 5th, 2009

ford's first walk

I stole some time out of the middle of yesterday to enjoy my family and the near-spring weather. Although my sister lives across town, near where we grew up—a place I like to call “Bumfuck Eastside,” since it’s too far to drive for a quick nip-in to see the nephew (I’d be there every day if I could. I’d haunt their family room and armwrestle dad for a chance at lap time)—I saddled up the mice and we went out to Amy’s house for Ford’s first walk.

It was a big success: he got a little fresh air, soaked up the vitamin D, and caught some Zzzzs. It took four adults to get him ready, of course; to change his diaper and outfit, to roll the blankets so he’d be tucked in securely, to fuss over how much sun he was getting (lots, we decided. You need 20 minutes a day without sunglasses to stimulate your hypothalamus, which keeps your brain supple and your mood good).

My mom suggested we stop in at her friend’s house along the way, and I could tell that showing off this moveable herd of kids and dogs and her much awaited grandson was a kind of psychic payback for all the friends’ grandbaby pictures she’s admired over the years, all birth notices she’s posted on her fridge, all the gifts she’s purchased and the baby shower games she’s played. That’s a lot of Goodnight Moons and Osh-Gosh-B’Gosh overalls, and way too many candybars-melted-in-diapers. And so much wishing and waiting, she’d nearly worn out her hope engine.

Her friend wasn’t home yesterday, but I think the act of strolling past was enough. There will be other walks—today’s supposed to get to 73, so no one in town will be able to stay inside, we’ll all emerge, pale and blinking, into the shirtsleeves sunlight, dreaming of days without coats, of farmer’s markets and garage sales and Zesto opening for the season—and she’ll be able to pilot Ford past all her friends’ houses, where they’ll admire his hair (so much for one so young!) and marvel at his grip and his expressive little face.



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