each other

From my very first post here, I’ve written about how trauma has shaped my life.

Since before my first breath, I suffered the effects of violence from within my mother’s womb. This wired my nervous system in very particular ways even before I endured my first direct bodily blow.

I don’t write much about many of the specific blows I experienced. Most the specifics are lost to my thinking memory, stored instead in muscle, bone, and implicit memory.

Because most the specifics are lost to my thinking memory, I can be triggered–catapulted back in time, so that I’m confused about whether I’m in relatively choice-filled 2020 or choiceless 1988–without knowing why. Without knowing what sent me back.

A couple of days ago, my sister Rachael wrote “Meringue Pie & PTSD.” Continue reading “each other”

strange, sweet reminders

There’s a cicada husk in a very, very tiny jar on my dresser.

If this sounds odd, it is. It’s also, given a very particular set of circumstances, an incredibly sweet reminder:

My mom lived, and her living could be such strange fun.

On March 4, I posted “The Magic of Fighting Monsters.” I wrote about the absolute magic I’d experienced fighting monsters in an immersive theatre show a couple years prior.

That show had connected me to the experience of being with my living, breathing, horror-loving mom; in those moments about which I wrote, she was very much alive to with me. Continue reading “strange, sweet reminders”

young life

A few days ago, I noticed a hummingbird flitting around my backyard. I told my husband, who said she’s built a nest in her same old spot.

Same old spot? Somehow, I’d never once noticed what was, to Anthony, a predictable part of life at this house.

He pointed out the teacup-sized nest of twigs and feathers, nestled in a rosebush right at my eye level.

This morning, I saw the hummingbird darting all around the backyard. I wondered if there was life in her nest.

Sure enough, I soon saw tiny twin triangles of orange peeking over its top. Without getting too close, I snapped a shot or two on my phone.

Soon enough, the mom returned to her baby, perching protectively at nest’s edge. I snapped a couple shots of this, too–this time, from a greater distance so as to not send her flying too soon. Continue reading “young life”

extinguished

As a longtime professional contract negotiator,

and now-adult daughter of a profoundly impoverished, stigmatized single mom

who died because she feared the costs of U.S. doctor visits,

and newfound public health student,

I’ve been thinking a lot about

the word “deaths.”

A few times daily, I check the L.A. Times for its updates on measurable local COVID-19 impacts. I then check The Guardian for its broader US coverage.

Each time I close these pages, the word “deaths” lingers with me. I’m disturbed by how passive and neutral is the phrasing compared to the reality, which is that Continue reading “extinguished”

freshly remembered

Talking with a friend this morning, I mentioned “musical breadcrumbs,”
a post I’d once written on my phone while pacing up and down
a tree-lined street on a work break.

I wrote about this post here, two months ago;
it was one of five posts on my old blog
featured by WordPress.

It didn’t feel right linking the posts then,
so I didn’t.

But this morning, I went to find the post
to share with my friend …
and couldn’t, at least not
quickly.

When I did find it, I thought,
“I’d better actually link this post somewhere,
so I know exactly where to find it next time!”

So that’s what I’m doing:
Sharing a link to archives of that post,
and two others of my five WordPress-featured posts.

One, “Reading While Walking,” is not
quickly accessible via this archival copy;

the other, as I mentioned in March, is
not worth the effort of finding.

Here are the three worth finding
(and linking!) today:

What Report Cards Can’t Report
(December 18, 2013) Continue reading “freshly remembered”

a skateboard into the past

Today I rode a skateboard,
while remembering another one
I once barely got to ride.

When I was in middle school, my mom knew I was fascinated with skateboards. Since she was forever stuck with junker cars that lasted only a couple of months before croaking, she wanted me to have wheels that would last. She scrimped and saved for months before that Christmas to buy me a kick-ass board.

I was so proud of that board, I almost immediately showed it off to a schoolmate whose mom stopped by our house.

The schoolmate was so impressed, he immediately told his friends.

Within a couple of days, one of those friends broke into my home and stole the board.

I was crushed. I’d been building up confidence to really ride it, this rare and beauteous first-hand gift, and now wouldn’t even get that chance.

When school was back in session, my schoolmate told me who’d stolen my skateboard. Continue reading “a skateboard into the past”

where i’m from

My friend Ra posted a poem yesterday,
and with it she posted its template.

Years removed from
having written much any poetry,
I decided to fill in
these blanks.

Ra, me, and my husband, last June & an eternity ago

— where i’m from —

I am from sticky notes;
from black licorice & bare feet.
I am from melancholy & hope.

I am from Oregon dirt; I eschewed schews.
I favored grit between my toes.

I am from solid people of strange faith,
potluck casserole & enchilada pie.
I am from always waiting for
the man who’d never
seldom show.

I’m from steadfast,
and staying (when it’s right)
even when it’s scary.

Even alone,
I am from connections so deep
I’m never alone;
from the Oregon dirt–
me, but more: us.