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yes is a worldI’ve sat down to write at least half a dozen times this week, and I’ve started about a half dozen posts (well, the same post, a half dozen times.) When I said last week that writing again was like a (re)birth, I didn’t realize how right I was, in so many other ways. It’s not like you just pop out a baby and everything unfolds easily and organically thereafter. Tending to babies – real babies, word babies, any kind of babies – is hard. It requires attention and focus and involves a lot of sleeplessness. There’s a long, drawn-out analogy between the sleeplessness that comes with tending to word babies and the sleeplessness that comes with tending to real babies (you lay awake waiting for them to cry out for you! you go to them in the wee hours, because if that’s when they need your care, that’s when they need it!) that I came up with at about 2am yesterday, but I’ll spare you.

In any case, I’ve wanted to write about why I spent three-quarters of a year not writing, but the right words just aren’t coming. I’ve also wanted to write about other things, but there’s this part of my psyche that’s stuck on explaining (I think to myself, more than to an audience) why I wasn’t writing before I actually do more writing, which, you’ll recognize, is a trap. So I made a promise to myself that if I couldn’t write about not writing by the end of the week, I’d write anyway, in the easiest possible way, which is to say: I’d make another list. Easiest list to do? Same list that I did last week, which comes with added bonus of compelling me to reflect upon happiness and joy and all the reasons why life is good, even if it doesn’t always feel that way, exactly.

So. This week in joy, or, at least, in mild to moderate gratitude that things don’t entirely suck:

1) New books. Who needs meditation when there are book stores?

books in the window

(Yes, I know that I don’t really need to read Jaron Lanier’s book to know who owns the future. Cats do, obviously. But it was recommended to me, so.)

2) Reading books that are totally unlikely material for children, to children. Emilia and I are reading Aron Ralston’s Between A Rock And A Hard Place together (it’s the book upon which the movie 127 Hours is based. You know, the one about the guy who got his hand caught under a boulder and cut off his arm to escape? That one.) I’d mentioned the story to her as a cautionary tale, while we were boulder scrambling in Joshua Tree, and she demanded to know more. And seeing as neither she nor I have the intestinal fortitude for the movie (well, she probably does, but she’s eight), we decided to read the book. She now knows more about tourniquets than any eight year old probably should, but still. It’s a good story. And if I ever need someone to amputate my arm, she’ll be able to help.

3) NPR’s April Fools prank. I hate April Fools pranks, but I love NPR for doing this one.

4) 18 Days of Grandma. This is what Emilia is calling the impending visit from my mom, who arrives this weekend. It goes without saying that there’s a list associated with 18 Days of Grandma, outlining all of the things that we will do during the 18 Days of Grandma. I will publish that list. After I publish this list.

5) Plotting with friends. It wouldn’t be plotting if I shared it, which, in any case, I can’t and I won’t. I will say, though, that I am blessed to know some amazing people who are full of ideas and full of the spirit to act on those ideas.

6) The desert. I don’t know what I’m going to do when it’s too hot to go to the desert. I will miss it like I miss a friend. It’s where we’ve found ourselves. Figuratively, and literally: Jasper likes to disappear up hills and behind rocks and he can get very pissed when you follow him too closely, because, as he says, he likes “TO GET LOST MOMMY SO DON’T ALWAYS FOLLOW ME.” So, yes: the desert is the place of our lostness and our foundness, and all of the awesome of both those conditions.

Jasper at Red Rock

It’s also where one of us might lose an arm one day, but, hey, at least we’ll be prepared.


This Week In Joy

March 28, 2014

The other day, I wrote in this space for the first time in almost exactly nine months. Nine months is a long time, as anyone who has had a baby can tell you. When you hit nine months on the pregnancy calendar you are pretty much done, regardless of how much longer it actually takes, [...]

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Be The Conversation You Want To See In The World

March 25, 2014

It was right there at the top of my personal inbox this afternoon. A Dropbox file, shared by my friend David Wescott, with this note attached: As you may know, Gloria Steinem is 80 years old today. I thought it might be nice to share a recording of the conversation you had with her a [...]

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Postcards to Heaven

June 12, 2013

When you died, Emilia drew you a picture. It was your ‘death house’ she said; it was where you lived now. It had all your favorite things, as she understood them: cats and friendly sharks and motorcycles and flowers and heart-clouds. It was, she told me, your happy place. Grandpa should know that we know [...]

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A Very Big Adventure

May 23, 2013

Emilia and I are on a grand adventure. Most Disney-related adventures are grand – most of everyday Disney is grand, which is part of what makes it Disney – but this one is particularly special. In part because it’s part of a very cool Disney event (an event that crosses worlds and lands and time [...]

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Ode To J

May 18, 2013

Today, Jasper is five. I’m not sure quite how this happened. Just yesterday, he was one: Anyway. Today he is five, and my heart is kind of bursting. So I let it burst out all over a Story, because, really, narratively-driven heartbursts are the very best kind…   Happy birthday, little man. I love you [...]

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Ode To A Mother, Who May Or May Not Be Me

May 14, 2013

This. This poem makes my heart burst, of course. And throb and ache and all those terrible, wonderful things that hearts do when they are confronted by raw love. It’s worth noting that I don’t ride a bike to school – or anywhere – and that I don’t make lunch. I understand why she decided [...]

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This One Goes Out To The Mom I Love (Yes, Mom. That’s You.)

May 6, 2013

Dear Mom, Thank you. You’re rolling your eyes at me as I say that, I know. Oh, honey, you’re saying. We’ve had this conversation a thousand times since I became a mother myself, and it has always plays out in exactly the same way. Thank you, thank you, I didn’t know, I couldn’t know, how [...]

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Why Feminist Housewives Are Not Bullshit

March 25, 2013

My mother was a stay at home mom for most of my childhood, and an enthusiastic one at that. She cooked and baked and sewed and invented games and activities and stories and basically created a home environment that was rich in play and imagination and the smell of chocolate chip cookies. And she loved [...]

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Cinderella Wore Crocs

March 11, 2013

The thing that I’ve always loved most about the story of Cinderella is the shoes. The prince is fine, of course, as is the magical pumpkin-carriage and the fairy godmother and the castle and the happily-ever-after. But fairy tales are full of happily-ever-afters. And they all have magic and castles and, usually, princes of some sort [...]

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