This time last year, my husband introduced me to the 2006 music video “Shoes.”
When the video began playing, I couldn’t imagine why Anthony shared it. WTF was it, even?
By the end of the video, though, I was laughing. Hard. I couldn’t remember laughing that hard, or feeling so very-not-serious about anything, for years.
My kids and I ended up watching dozens of videos by the video’s maker,
Kelly Liam Kyle Sullivan. Our favorites were “Muffins” and “Kelly’s Hollywood Meeting.”
When my late October birthday came around, my husband bought me two gifts: a Kelly shirt emblazoned with BETCH (Being En Total Control of Herself, natch), and another with the proprietor of Cunningham Muffins at her very wildest, muffin-loving best. Continue reading “even so, or: “shoes””
As my mom often told it, she was ten or eleven years when she first began losing her religion.
It wasn’t that Mom was faithless; she was, indeed, built to believe, as evidenced by her lifelong search for a place to express her deeply felt faith.
It was, rather, that she didn’t—couldn’t possibly—believe a woman’s sole path to heaven was being called there by her husband. That she could envision believing herself worthy of welcome in every single room of buildings of worship, instead of being prohibited from entering many for her audacity to not be born a man.
By the time she could talk about all this with me, I was myself ten or eleven to her thirty-ish years of age.
She’d left her religion an eternity ago, by my reckoning, and it had been—naturally, for things that have happened eternities ago!—a clean break. Continue reading “worth more”
This morning, my sixth grader, my first grader, my husband, our dog, and I all gathered together on our futon. This uncommon magic lasted for almost ten whole minutes.
To capture a fragment of the moment, I took pictures of my first grader and our fourteen-year-old dog together. The picture captured only a small part of that heart-filled moment, from the outside.
From inside the moment, though? It captured everything–most important of all, what might be some of the very, very last moments my older son is willing to snuggle.
You don’t need to see those moments for me to be able to see and feel in them all their heartbreak, and wonder,
In my last post, I wrote about growing seeds, both literal and figurative.
As for the literal seeds, I wanted to report back for any other SoCal parents wondering how to keep their wee ones engaged in this physical world. Some of my family’s newly planted seeds are faring much, much better than others here in south Los Angeles County!
Within two weeks, we’ve witnessed growth as follows: Continue reading “unexpected abundance”
A few weeks ago, my six-year-old and I planted seeds in paper cups.
We stuck the paper cups outside and committed to watering them. Daily, ish.
With such a vague “commitment,” we watered them every few days. In the intense heat of August in SoCal, the seeds failed not only to thrive, but to show even the merest hints of growth.
Last weekend, my six-year-old and I planted new seeds in paper cups.
We planted green bean, watermelon, and tomato seeds. We committed to watering these each and every evening. Continue reading “to reach for the sun”
Today was my sons’ second day of (online) school this Fall.
Anxieties have run high among the adults in my home the last week or so: “What?! We just got the hang of COVID summer. How are we supposed to adapt to school now, when Summer just started … it did just start, didn’t it? Wait, is it still 2020?”
The first two days went pretty well, actually. I was able to collapse the chaos of virtual school-plus-work into a spreadsheet, and then … reality actually conformed itself, more or less, to that spreadsheet!
(That seldom happens, so I take time to savor it when it does.)
The best part of day two involved a summer assignment my older son finished a little late: “As a family, talk about an event in the news and how it relates to your faith.” Continue reading “to show up”
Yesterday afternoon, my sister shared with me a video that gave me words. In doing so, it took a load off both mind and heart.
Before I tell you about the video, I must first tell you about the load …
about which it will, I’ll caution you, likely be unpleasant to read.
— the load —
I’d begun the morning reflecting how completely I abhor the private corporation that is the Democrats—not those who vote Democrat, no, but the Democratic machine itself. By this I mean those with the power to draft its platforms;
those who routinely take actions that benefit people with massive power while further depriving the economically powerless any prospect for structural dignity;
those who call themselves the good guys while epsteining as a way of life.
As I’ve been clear about here, I grew up in deep poverty. That poverty paved the way for predation; as members of the vast U.S. underclass, my siblings and I were preyed upon by numerous predators. As I wrote in one post on my old blog, “The poor mom who cannot afford to feed her children cannot possibly afford an attorney,” a fact on which predators gleefully act.
Coupling my childhood learning with ample book learning the last four years, I am crystal clear on the many ways that machine has long acted to increase the suffering of those already suffering most. Continue reading “to vote and”
One of the formative experiences of my life—testifying, as a child, feet away from a home-wrecking pedophile—taught me a great many things. The most important thing it taught me was:
You’ll only be believed if you behave, and speak, exactly right.
Four years ago, I realized I could state what I believed, but that I’d never be believed without cold, hard facts.
Maybe, I contemplated, I’d be believable with them?
I started reading. I read more than a hundred books annually to learn not only the cold, hard facts, but also to learn their contexts: the very specific histories in which they were birthed.
Continue reading “to become learned”
For most my life, I’ve been told I was a great learner.
I always took it as a great compliment.
For several months, though, I’ve been coming to understand:
Being a great learner can come
with great downsides.
I grew to learn well, and quickly, in childhood,
where the stakes were, daily, very high:
If I do this, I will be beaten for it. I’d better not do this again! Continue reading “great learnings”
Early yesterday morning, I took my sons for drive-through hot chocolate. Rather than heading straight home afterward, I drove surface streets for a few minutes before hopping on the freeway.
Even for a Friday morning in pandemic times, traffic was unbelievably light. For a few miles, then, we got to do one of my favorite things in the world: unhindered by bumper-to-bumper traffic, fly down the freeway in SoCal sunlight.
My heart soared, despite the outward mundanity of the act.
I grinned as I told my kids how much I loved the feeling. I’d only just voiced curiosity about the source of this feeling when I found my answer, which I shared with my kids. Continue reading “possible”