Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Bowie Andromeda, 3 years old

At 10:17 pm, my Bowie Andromeda will have successfully completed her 3rd cycle around the star we call Sol on this pale blue dot we call home.

 Happy Birthday, chicken.

I could spend a lifetime trying to write about you, me, and this mother daughter thing we have going on. God, I hope I get the chance.

BAM 3yr old by candacemorris

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Interrogating talent.

In a daze I sat doodling.
Misery and angst boiling my blood. I could't write, I couldn't think.
Just doodle.

Who told us what we are good at?
Who told us what we are bad at?
Who told us we are what we are?

Talents, skills, limits, desires.

Like a resume of self, the attributes we've bought into, told ourselves, been told:

Good at details.
Struggles with big picture.
Bad at math.
Easily annoyed.
Too polite.
Bad dancer.

Challenging self-definition is a must these days. I don't know why it feels so damn imperative, but it does.

The last year, every time I sit to journal, I find myself in a reverie. I wake a few moments later and trees, leaves, swirls, skeletons, birds, doodles of all sorts somehow appeared on my page. And I hear, "You don't draw." And I say, "Maybe I could learn." And I hear, "No. That's what Kelly (or enter any other person) does." And I say, "She doesn't own all the art. She would never want me to not do something for that reason." And I hear, "But it's her thing." And I say, "What if it's yours too?" And I hear, "I would have discovered it by now." And I say, "How could you discover it if you never do it."

Everything begins some

And I wonder if I've held myself back for so long because of one word: talent.
And what if talent is total bullshit?
What if it's only ever about practice? Even for the most talented.
They all started some

What if it could be the answer to every question?
Every nagging bitch inside of me could be shut up by

So I think I will. Maybe teach myself. Maybe just try with no pressure or expectation.Maybe just do what feels good without any reason at all.

I have a good role model. I can watch Bowie and see how she investigates without any self-definition to yet limit or guide her inquisition.

And maybe just start some

As a wise friend said this week, "I'm not going to wait for perfection to start living."

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Weekenders: Oregon Coast Edition

Joel and I have long housed a prejudice against the state of Oregon. Not only did the expansive state make for an extremely long drive between Redding, California (where we attended college), and Seattle, Washington (where Joel lived), but Oregon has a reputation of being worst drivers with the worst speed limit AND you have to let someone pump your gas for you (read: talk to strangers!).

And you guys, Washington drivers are bad, quite bad. But not Oregon bad. 

But truthfully, we've not seen very much of Oregon. Joel has lived in Seattle his whole life, so I am not sure what his excuse is, but I'd never seen the Oregon coast either.

So we did. We hitched up Bowie to Gma and Gpa (she was not upset) and took off for a very long drive in a very short weekend.

There's totally something about the Oregon Coast. It's not like California, where I grew up. But it's also not totally typical PNW like Washington Coast. I wasn't expecting the accessible tides, reflective sunsets, surfers, and nearly perfect weather.

Oregon was a backdrop, a lovely movie set to our weekend.

We've made a way for parenting to be awesome. Basically, we still do what we want, but doing "whatever" we want no longer happens whenever we want.  It takes planning. But I'm a natural planner, so we've been pretty good about frequent dates, weekends away, and even longer vacations sans Bowie.

So it's not the getting away that I miss so much. It's the following our whimsy that we don't ever really get to do. On road trips, we don't just stop and enjoy lunch at a pub (sitting at a bar!) for an hour. Shopping trips are done solo or is planned during optimal toddler times of day, restaurants chosen accordingly. Going to movies? What's that?

With no plans at all, we stumbled into pubs for mid-day pints, wandered around stores, read books for hours, played with light and camera settings, and slept a lot. It was more restorative than I imagined it would be.


It's just that time never feels leisurely anymore. Is this desire to recapture how time felt as a child, like you had a ton of it to kill, is that not something we can have as adults? Only if we plan it.


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

You would have been 65 today

I attended your last birthday party.
I smelled the sulfuric remnant from the last candle you ever blew out.

The end was near, we all knew it; we all wanted it by then:
Your daughter, your then-husband, your friend who brought cake, me.
You didn't want the fuss, but somehow even with a goddamnedtube down your throat,
you accepted flowers and attention and a cake (what the fuck happened to that cake, a cake you would never eat)
with poise.

That same poise erects your daughter's spine.
Bone and tissue made more by
Your spirit, a rod shooting upward from her pelvis to her third eye.

You'd love your life right now, had you been able to cheat death.
You have two born grandchildren,
Both wild and chubby and winsome.

You would be free from any man
Full of serpentine lies and any woman
low with pitiful betrayals.
But then again,
You already are.

What were your other birthday celebrations like?
I suspect you always disliked fuss.
But eyes sit on your shoulders as naturally as your freckles did.
You feel them, but they don't bother you.

Did you plan an epic 65th journey? Europe with Jessica? Hawaii with Joshua? The beach with your sisters?

I can smell the Chardonnay swirling in your glass.
Only last night I began to chop vegetables for dinner and heard you scolding me
To pour a glass first.
Somehow making an act intended for the nourishment of others
an act also intended to nourish me.
As if to say, I am here too! amidst all the hunger.
Am I saying it to me?
Or are you? Are you here?

I can see the mischievous secret in your sideways glances,
Always somehow knowing something no one else in the room knew.
I can see your half smile and mauve Estee Lauder lipstick.
I admire the elegant click clack of always manicured, rose-colored nails.
The skin that had begun to loosen around the knuckles and veins.

There's something I've been meaning to bring up with you, the next time
you came around.
There was a baton-passing we never discussed.

Sure, you always accepted me, but there was an initial distance.
A cautious, aloof detachment
while you sized up my intentions with your firstborn.
I'm not sure when we switched over
Or even if we really have.
(Is it me or is it you inside of me whose heart pumps cool water to quell her soul's inflammation)
(Is it me or is it you inside of me whose wings flap violently to conjure the wind so she can take off )
(Is it me or is it you inside of me whose hands are tied behind backs, watching her punch and be punched)
(Is it me or is it you inside of me whose knife caresses the skin of those who lied to us all)

I don't appreciate the helplessness, thank you very much.
I have enough of my own to deal with.
I don't need yours too.

Now that I think of it,
I wonder.
Where did all your feelings go? Like your ashes, were they also unceremoniously tossed into the ocean?

What happened to the time to enjoy it.
I'm still not over the cheat of it.
But this is about your birthday.

So we will gather, les femmes.
We will pour in your name,
Today, when you would have been 65.


Friday, April 10, 2015

How desperately I want to remember.

Throughout life, a lot of attention is paid to the "big" moments like birthdays and physical milestones. As kids, we slowly become more and more aware of our surroundings, but what's left when we are adults are usually only fragmented memories of childhood.

As we grow, hopefully we start to grow out of our addiction to birthdays and milestones. We start to see flowers and birds and a lovers' eyes as more important than getting a drivers's licence, graduating from college, getting married, or even having a baby. For those big moments are usually so jam-packed with a million little moments, we simply cannot grasp the enormity of it all. Maybe this is why these big events are important to capture.

I've always trained my eyes to pay attention to the big moments - hell, I've even somehow trained myself to live for them, to set my heartbeat to them.

It's becoming painfully clear to me
that you need a different set of seeing eyes for motherhood.
Maybe that's even too narrow of a scope.
Maybe you need a different set of seeing eyes for adulthood.

It is the Friday mornings of Bowie's life that I want to remember. And I sit in the living room, warming my hands with coffee as the computer boots up for the day of work ahead of me. Joel is taking Bowie to school today. I walked by a moment ago, and she stands on the bathroom counter while Joel wrangles her hair into pigtails. She has a toothbrush in her mouth, but she more bites it than brushes her teeth. She is singing the theme song from "Winnie the Pooh" and mixing up 'willy,' 'nillly', and 'silly.'

Bowie's first time drawing a 'B' on her own. We were dining at Via Tribunali in Fremont.

And this urge to make myself notice and remember these smallest of moments comes over me. And I realize I can't remember it all. And I despair.

The continued search for the profound
is buried in the details, it seems.