27 June 2007

Jack Kerouac stole my camera (and welcome to the world, Friday!)

On Monday, our best friends in the whole wide world had their second son. Above is Tenessa (and the soon-to-be-born boychild), from our adventure at Clare's Well two weeks ago (Clare's Well post to come later). Isn't she gorgeous? Then on Tuesday, $haun and I celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary, and thirty seven years ago today my parents got married. Whoo-doggies.

My point is, this late June time is just ripe with happiness. (Unless you're in the Benoit family, but that's neither here nor there. Though I don't want to get into this, I must say that I'm concerned that the Benoit family ordeal will be attributed to pro wrestling or steroids, and though both of those may have contributed, it's clear the man went, as $ likes to say, "bat-shit crazy." Mental health is not so easily explainable, and certainly I know a lot of depressed (treated and untreated) folks who have never harmed themselves or their families...but nobody just hauls off and does what Benoit did without serious, tragic imbalances).

Right. I did say I didn't want to get into that, didn't I?

I've heard from lots of people I love dearly lately, many of whom have commented on my lack of posting here. Das tut mir leid, meine liebchens. I ....well, I lost our digital camera. In Boston. Er, on a trip to Boston, wherein we took a detour to Lowell, Kerouac's hometown, to see the amazing scroll upon which he originally typed the first full draft of On the Road. It was so breathtaking, so tingle-making, I walked away from over 100 pictures of my first trip without family in seven years. I was optimistic, at first. Left my name and number with 5 different people in Lowell. I figured anyone who cared enough to come to the Boott Cotton Mill in Lowell, Massachusetts to see a Beat Generation historical document would be the kind of person to turn in an inexpensive, already far outdated Kodak C330 digital camera with over 100 dorky tourist pictures on it, including about 20 of the interstate between Boston and Lowell. But no. Apparently Kerouac attracts the sort of folks who walk off with a nice Minnesota girl's camera.

Plus, they had free beers at the reception, and I managed to get four of them. I really blame Boott Cotton Mills. To make a long story slightly less long, it's hard to post when I have no fabulous pictures to show. It's sad to think about what some crazy Beat jerk(that sounds dirtier than I mean it to) is doing with my Kodak C330. But I love you guys, and apparently a few of you are out there. So I'll do the best I can with what I have.

So here's V, two days before I left for Boston, concentrating really hard on pouring water from her cup into a variety of buckets (and eventually on herself). I like the different white shapes behind her, her deep concentration, and the way her feet are spread apart to keep her from falling down. 21 months is a good age for this child.
Finally, here is the last photo uploaded before I went to Boston. A peony from our backyard. Like my Kodak C330, the peonies are all gone now, too. Sniff.

I fully intend to post something less pathetic in the near future: it would help if I knew how to get photos off my phone onto my computer. Send tech help, if you would.
Until then, peace out.

06 June 2007

The most fertile soil on the planet

When I was a little girl, my parents (my mother, mostly) had a huge garden: half an acre or so, with potatoes, carrots, radishes, pumpkins, squash, cucumbers, zuccini...Until I was ten or eleven, I didn't know stores even sold potatoes. I thought everyone either grew their own or got a grocery bag full from someone like my mom. By spring, we were eating the last of them and still had enough left with sprouting eyes to plant for the next crop.
My sister and I (and many of our cousins and friends) worked hard in that garden (gardens, really, since there were 2 in town and a giant one on the farm), when we were still so small the shovel handles whacked us in the head each time we jumped on them to dig. Now that V is mobile and fascinated by everything and everyone, I think of those days spent gardening, and I want her to experience at least a little bit of that joy. And sure, there's a part of me that looks at her and thinks "When I was your age, I was already weeding crabgrass and plucking potato bugs." So there's a little bit of an impulse for her to suffer as I've suffered. Mostly, though, I just want her to love the feel and smell of dirt between her fingers, and enjoy the strength in her own hands and the warmth of this soil. Is that too much to ask?

01 June 2007

Not entirely about us, for a change.

I love blogland, despite my occasional rants to the contrary. Lately, I've been a regular reader of Sweet Salty, this amazing woman who just had twins at 28 weeks. That's really, really early, for those of you who haven't had 37-40 weeks of your life devoured by a fetus. At any rate, she writes with clarity and brutal honesty, and it's just the most dramatic, compelling, moving story I've ever read. If you'd like to experience this, start here.

The thing is, these sort of stories are what terrified me before we had V, and what keep that baby-urge from returning. People don't hesitate to point out to me that, at 34, I should really be thinking about another pregnancy/baby before too long, if we're going to do that. And most people make it clear that we really OUGHT to do that. My favorite are those childless people who have strong opinions on the drawbacks of only children. (that's a funny plural, isn't it?).

Sweet Salty and those with stories of her ilk are also moving and inspiring in the whole "triumph of the human spirit" vein, and unlike the morbid fascination people have when, say, driving by a terrible accident, the blog format allows strangers (and loved ones, too) in to a deeper, more personal, more interesting place. It's ten thousands times more effective than those sappy People Magazine articles, and I find this use of a blog--to share burdens, to provide clear, honest prose on human experience in a day-by-day format--to be the most impressive, even honorable, use of what can often be a fairly ridiculous, self-involved medium. I mean, certainly, Sweet Salty's blog is self-involved. But she cuts through the banal with such honesty: maybe it's that, more than anything, that impresses me. I've read so many blogs that delicately try not to offend anyone (including Great Aunt Louise, who can't even turn on a computer, much less read your blog) or that provide humor and avoid truth. I understand the compulsion to both options, but I prefer to read clarity and honesty.

I also enjoy blogs that share information or inspire: for me, that's mostly craft or design blogs, like SouleMama, Inside a Black Apple, and Print and Pattern. When I first started blogging, this was the sort of thing I hoped Languishing would become. But I don't have the energy or desire for that, and I don't have the cajones it would take to be as honest as Sweet Salty. So instead, Languishing remains small, intimate, as a way to quickly get updates out to people I love (much like the paper version of Languishing, started so many years ago, original was meant to do).

I guess despite the title of this post, it really was about us after all. Languishing seeks her place in blogland, and enjoys many of the different voices in this choir. Happy first of June. Count your blessings. Be kind to only children.