Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Little House on the Prairie Moment

Back in the early '80s when my parents still had a say in what my sister and I watched on the boob tube, we actually spent quality family time in front of the television. At that time, Little House on the Prairie was still first-run and a relatively popular choice for all of us. Sissy & I spent most of the hour mooning over Almonzo. But the last ten minutes were spent in ridicule of my Mother.
Mama cried. It was one of those 100% guaranteed moments (rare in any life). She would weep openly, and we would laugh.

Now that I'm a Mama, I think I may have an inkling as to what was inspiring the waterworks.

I had one of those moments last night, staying up past my bedtime to watch this week's premiere on HBO, Spanglish. I think I pretty much blubbered my way through the last half-hour. Now, for those of you who are not into crying for extended periods of time as part of your entertainment experience, let me back up. It's not the kind of bawling one does watching Meryl Streep in Sophie's Choice (I actually refuse to watch this movie again; Streep is a genius but there is only so much gut-wrenching and perfect linguistics one can take). The tears I shed were soft, happy, and truthful. Which for me, is exactly what this movie is: soft, happy, and truthful. Every performance was touching and real. It's also worth noting that Adam Sandler kicked ass all over the place -- I knew he had it in him after 50 First Dates, but I wasn't entirely sure he could pull off something this...."straight." I'll spare a review; just rent it! At the very least, you might pick up some Spanish.

And after blowing my nose for five minutes, I called my Mom and apologized for laughing at her 22 years ago. And when I hung up, I somehow knew the cycle would continue. So when my daughter laughs at me during one of my predictably weepy moments, I'll just ask for the tissues, knowingly, anticipating the continuation of the circle somewhere down the road.

And the seasons, they go round and round
And the painted ponies go up and down,
We're captive on the carousel of time
We can't return, we can only look
Behind from where we've been
And go round and round and round
In the circle game.

"The Circle Game"
from Joni Mitchell's Ladies of the Canyon(1970)

Sunday, November 13, 2005

My Favorite Things

My Daughter, Cadence Mariana, born October 11, 2004.
[sub-category: kissing her cheeks at least 100 times a day, smelling her sweet breath, and listening to her almost constant conversation with herself and her world in that most adorable little babbly baby soprano.]
Laughing so hard my stomach hurts.
Learning something new.

Becoming so immersed in a book I stay up til dawn to finish it.

Singing in the car to Jennifer Knapp.
Trusting God.

Friday, November 11, 2005

The Therapeutic Properties of Bubble Wrap

This morning, when the sun rose fully over our property (around 8 am), I was struck by how blue the sky was, and how stark the trees looked. After three days of mild but viciously windy weather, they are finally bare. I loved watching them sway. It was like a bittersweet dance; they gave up their leaves so gracefully. The smell of their multi-colored offerings, burning, decaying, is now pungently spiking the air that wafts through my evening window. Perched on a hill, I can now, from the vantage point of our kitchen windows, see the road below clearly.

Now that the end of Fall looms ever-nearer, I find myself in the same place year after year. I have done little, if any, Christmas shopping! Each December 25th, as I pack away my own booty and sigh with relief that I don’t have to do any more last-minute shopping, I make this ridiculous pact with the commerce gods: This year, I’ll shop early and be done by Thanksgiving.

But it's not just the stress of getting my sh*t together (as woefully un-together as it is). I dread negotiating with commercialism and exchanging gifts with relatives who really don't need any more bloody stuff. I know I don't; there are days when I'd rather nestle a few grenades in strategic corners and clear the decks.

Here's a fantasy: my family and I have a serious sit-down, in which we pleasantly agree that anyone over the age of 30 bows out of the exchange. All the money we would normally spend on each other, we'd pool together and donate to The Red Cross, or an equally deserving organization. A Festivus with a purpose ...

Shake it off. Reality is closing in fast, and making me grumpy. Thanksgiving decorations are awfully slim; it’s all given way to Christmas. But in place of a mass for Christ, it's a mass exodus to Wal-Mart.
And the commerce god said, let there be a blue light special, and he looked upon it, and knew it was good.
*phbbbblt* I categorically raspberry the commercial behemoth that drives this capitalist soul-less spinning ball ever closer to its doom.

I need some bubble wrap.

Bonfire of the Blogging

Thor's hammer! I feel salaciously self-absorbed. Oh, the vain reality; who really wants to read what I have to say?
A thirtysomething first time Mommy suffering the lingering effects of post-partum depression well into my daughter's twelfth month (I've never had the impulse to smother her, but I have wanted to smother my husband now and again). I have a sense of humor and self that is at once dark and idiotic. Quirky political views (as I'm sure I'll display in time). Fits of temper and ribaldry, paired with a religious fervor not many people can figure out. In one day I will listen voraciously to NPR and then watch Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle. In between, I might smoke a bowl and read scripture. I embrace my inconsistencies!
In the soundtrack of my life, the over-riding theme would be Switchfoot's "This Is Your Life" (hence the blog title).
this is your life, are you who you wanna be?
I don't think I am, so that's what I'm working on right now. Better Mother, better Wife, better Human Being. Maybe a better writer and thinker along the way.
Or maybe not. The beauty of this whole thing is, I could post pictures of the wart that I just recently discovered on the bottom of my foot. Or I could passionately discuss my love of the tea cozy. Somebody out there would weep and laugh at my exploits.
Here's hoping I can stir a few embers. . .fan a few flames. . .or copiously stoke a wild fire. The Bonfire of the Blogging has begun!