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and i think of you

January 22, 2012

From my new year’s poem, which I am still trying to finish and send to a few friends:

I pour the new year’s first cup of coffee,
gather eggs and bread for breakfast
and think of you.

May we love one another
for many years to come.


For all its bullshit, 2011 laid the groundwork for the biggest beginning of my life. It’s the chance to require more of myself and of the people in my life. I enter 2012 missing several attachments/layers (may it make me more agile). I enter 2012 hoping to care less about what people think about me and shatter some myths I hold about myself. Among them – that I can’t cook, that I am destined to be a fat girl, that I don’t know how to love.


No, this isn’t a belated New Year’s posting, though I can see where you may be confused. I am just pushing things out there at the snail’s pace that they come to me.

Never in my life has my mind been so unfocused. It’s extremely unnerving. I can’t write. I can’t make art. I can’t see the connective tissue between things that I used to be able to see. I don’t trust my imagination anymore. It’s impossible to concentrate on anything. I lose interest after just a couple breaths.


One of the most terrible things a person can do is make a woman feel like a bad mother. It took me a long time to recognize that the story being fashioned had nothing to do with me. Thank goodness I figured out how to stop contributing to it.


The photo in this blog post is taken from the inside of my car on a morning before work. Just a light frost on the windows. Deb has this really terrific photo of frost in which the ice crystals look like birds in the sky. And so I try to capture the same thing here. But I get something different.

And I like it in its own way. It occurs to me I have several pictures from the past 12 months or so that capture light. They have an abstract quality to them. Maybe I should line them all up and see what I have.


It occurs to me as I write this that right after saying, “I can’t make art,” I said, “I have several pictures … maybe I should line them all up and see what I have.” This has been on my mind: document whatever unfolds instead of predetermining what it will be. I have been so afraid to say what’s in front of me. I have been terrified to represent *that* pissed off woman whose marriage has failed.

And so I have been censoring. And prejudging: “No one wants to hear about that.” And “If you say that, you’re going to hurt someone.” One of the reasons I had to leave was because my art/poetry was resented. What a ridiculous irony that I am holding back now, shushing myself.


So it’s the year of the dragon. And apparently, the year of the girl with the dragon tattoo. That’s me. Not that other girl. This is my year.

Now what?


You can’t make this stuff up. As I am writing this post, my youngest son, who is painting his clay sculptures in the kitchen (small apartment, limited workspace) says, “It’s really hard to paint them.” I can see how disappointed he is. He first draws his creatures, and then he sculpts them. He spends a lot of time imagining what they’ll be like and what he can do with them. He’s the kind of kid that dives into worlds of figures and manipulates them and names them. They have hierarchy and competition and family.

And so in painting them, they aren’t quite meeting up with how he imagined them. I tell him, “It’s tricky because you have this idea and it’s glorious in your mind. But then you take imperfect materials like clay and paint and even your hands and it’s impossible to use those imperfect materials to make it identical to what’s in your mind. So what you might do is think about how you can decide the sculptures are different than what you imagined but not any less interesting. If you think of them as something new, they don’t have to be exactly like what you imagined for you to enjoy them.”

Sounds good when I say it to someone else.

  1. January 22, 2012 11:46 am

    Judging from the last paragraph here, I’d say you are a most excellent mom!

  2. January 22, 2012 12:19 pm

    “Life is the poem.” — Vincent Ferrini

  3. January 22, 2012 3:22 pm

    This sounds really good. Rebuilding a life takes a lot of doing. xo

  4. Kimberlee permalink
    January 22, 2012 6:25 pm

    Love ya!

  5. January 22, 2012 8:11 pm

    Wishing you well. You sound wise and inspiring to me.

  6. January 23, 2012 7:33 pm

    It’s good to see you back; for the new year(s), I wish you no more doubts.

  7. January 24, 2012 11:48 pm

    (I love your picture.)

    “… for many years to come.”

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