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Showing posts from October, 2015


I went and visited my grandparents' grave this past weekend, on my way home from Chicago.

I navigated by memory through the little town I was born in, to my grandmother's house. I thought to enter the address into my navigation system, but it took me quite some time to remember the actual street address, as I haven't used it in years. By the time I got there, I remembered the street name and number: 253 S. Garfield Avenue, Valparaiso, IN 46383.

I saw the house where my just-married parents lived in the in-law apartment under the same roof as my grandparents.

The house where we spent so many of my early Christmases and Thanksgivings.

The house from which I went to kindergarten.

The house where I slept the night before I got dropped off at my dorm at the University of Chicago.

The memory that came most clearly to me, however, is how my Grandma, Dorothy, until even the last time I saw her there, walked out onto the porch and waved goodbye from behind the screen door.

Grandma and Gra…

Long Walk.

It was a good day for a rambling, long walk through the city. I went from the Club to the Randolph Street fair, and then back. Four and a half miles on the loveliest fall day imaginable.

I thought a lot about perspective along the way. Perspective is hard in times of change, because, as all artists know, perspective is based on a fixed point.

In times of upheavalbreakdown spiritual awakening, the ground shifts underneath you, and so a reliable perspective is hard. And perspective, or the perceptions that stem from it can shove the dominoes over to action in an instant: You go from "I am lonely" to "I'm going to be alone forever" to internet dating in an instant. Or "I am lonely" to "I am hungry" to overeating.

Perception is the beginning, frequently, of action (or reaction). If I can manage my perspective, and my perceptions, I find that I can make some space for better actions, or even non-actions, that serve me better than reactivity.

I'm …

The List.

I've been told a lot that I don't have a "type" or a checklist of what I'm looking for in a partner.

When it's been said, usually it's a compliment.

It's been true, and it hasn't served me.

In the past, I think I felt if I had deal-breakers (some might call them "standards") it would make me unreasonable, difficult, and partners would leave me because of it.

Mustn't be difficult, don't you know? So I was super flexible, forgiving, and self-contained, and I gave a lot of love and care away to people who didn't give it back, weren't reliable, weren't honest and didn't show up when it counted.

It wasn't right, and I don't want my children to do the same, to think that having standards makes them "needy" and that this is somehow to be avoided at all costs.

But people have a way of meeting the expectations you set for them. It's reasonable to have standards, as long as I am committed to having them for…

Wriggling on the Pin

I don't know what I even want to say today, except Ouch, and Thank You.

There's a phrase I use to describe the feeling of being deep into the work I have to do, the unavoidability of discomfort: wriggling on the pin. Stuck-ness. It's reminiscent of late pregnancy, or labor, when you know the only way forward is forward, and you're the only one who can do it.

It sucks sometimes. It just sucks. But it's good work, and I'm grateful for it. In the quiet moments I feel overwhelming peace and have a clear sense that I am on the right path, MY path, and I'm grateful for it. But it's hard, damn hard.

It sucks when I've cried myself to sleep out of anger and frustration and loneliness that feels like a relief, like a dam breaking, because I've been holding it together so well for weeks and weeks and weeks on end, but I'm grateful for the release.

It sucks when someone says something insensitive and dismissive of how hard this work is. "First World P…

Standing Between Me and the World

I wonder a lot about relationships and what it means to be really a partner with someone, and whether it's reasonable to expect someone, anyone, to stand between me and the world.

That's the script, right? That men protect and provide? That that's what it means to make a unit, that you expect provision and protection. But what if that isn't the case? Where does equality fit into this?

I have needs for care and caretaking that I try not to judge. Needs that weren't met when I was young, maybe, or whatever. We all come into this world possessing abilities and skills, and also with areas of inability or lack of skill. What we can give and what we need, all as unique as we are.

This week I've been struggling to hold a lot of grief, about a lot of things: old stuff from childhood, things that happened in my marriage, very little of it to do with right now. Because right now is pretty OK. I have enough, I'm healthy, my kids are healthy, and we have all we need.

What …