“There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.”

-Leonard Cohen


making like a squirrel

The kiddo’s hoarding acorns again…


was the 30th anniversary of my father’s passing. I didn’t realize the milestone until my sister T. had pointed it out. In my head, the years stopped passing at about fifteen. Most of the time, it seems like a year…or a month…a week…ago. My emotional point of departure always lingers there, I guess.

This snap was from a recent trip this summer, in which, as I’ve mentioned previously, the kiddo and I haunted a pair of old cemetaries. And in which the kiddo tossed some big questions at me. She was saddened to see the headstones of mothers and fathers. Probably scared for her own sake. She insisted that one pair needed some flowers, and plucked a few posies to lay upon their stones.

I believe our children come to us to teach us a thing or two about a thing or two. One of my minor complaints about parenting—occassionally—is the lack of alone time. I am a person who prefers the peace of solitude. Summer doesn’t allow for much of that. This child will not leave me alone. I like to think it’s something she’s teaching me. And I pray she never feels  alone, either.

“Every man’s memory is his private literature.” -Aldous Huxley

This is from David Hollies, who has Alzheimer’s. He wrote:

Lost and Found

The first few times
Being lost was frightening
Stark, pregnant
With the drama of change
Then, I didn’t know
That everywhere is nowhere
Like the feeling when a ocean wave
Boils you in the sand
But as time goes by
Each occurrence of lostness is quieter
Falling from notice
Like the sound of trains
When you live near the tracks
Until one day
When a friend asks
“How often do you get lost?”
And I strain to recall a single instance
It was then that I realized
Being lost only has meaning
When contrasted with
Knowing where you are
A presumption that slipped out of my life
As quietly as smoke up a chimney
For now I live in a less anchored place
Where being lost is irrelevant
For now, only when there is a need
Do I discover where I am
No alarm, no fear
Just an unconscious check-in
Like glancing in the rear-view mirror.

“I’m afraid we live at the mercy of a power, maybe a God, without mercy. And yet we find it, as I have, from others.” —Philip Levine

if heaven had a window…

Shit, piss, spit, and vomit. These are the things that rock my kid’s world right now. I think this is the closest thing to having a boy that I’ll ever know. I have opened her Calvin and Hobbes books to find pages and pages edited to add illustrations of projectile vomit spewing forth from open mouths. Her  ever present cute and sweet stuffed kitty, Georgette, has the bladder the size of a pea and sprays everywhere, unselfconsciously and without couth. Last year, at my family’s annual vacation at the lake thing, she took an unofficial survey of everyone’s “throw-up” sounds. Wouldn’t surprise me if she still remembers everyone’s. But I’m pretty sure she’ll re-query, just to make sure. Know your vomit sounds, everybody.

We spent a lot of time together on buses on a recent trip. Mercifully, no fellow passengers were  questioned about their body functions.

Ipods come in handy, I have found, on such trips. With a pair of earphones clapped around her little head, she can listen to Maroon 5’s This Love againagainagain to her heart’s content, and I can listen to my own stuff without her making fun of my taste in music.

We boarded the bus to Boston and she got pensive. She looked at me. I braced. I know that look.  I sucked in my breath and looked back  at her, waiting.



“Remember when we were talking about heaven last night?”


“Well, what color is it?”

“Any color you want. Heaven is anything you want it to be.”

“Oh. What color is yours?”


“Oh! I want blue! Wait, no! I want a RAINBOW heaven!!!!”

O.k. So now she is obsessed with heaven, thanks to Tom Tom Club’s Genius of Love, her new favorite song, and a coupla days hanging out in old cemetaries, pondering the big questions. And I think that’s pretty cool, though somewhat unnerving when she asks me why she can’t go to heaven RIGHT NOW.

Yesterday was my late sister’s birthday. Not that she knew that.  She’s dancing, with a rubber snake coiled around her head, appropriately, to Lady GaGa.

“You know Mama…Aunty Paula’s in heaven….”

“I know…”

“Why should SHE be having all the fun?!?!!!!?”

Oh, sweetie.

thinking about “her”

ever notice how “heroin” begins with “her”? just thinking….

March 2019
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