Sunday, November 29, 2009

Well, now...

let's see. it's been forever, has it not?

We're all busy.

to recap the last six weeks:

I am back in my hometown, back at the prior job. heh.
For a little while, I was thinking that I would wait another year to apply for grad schools, but everyone but me seems to hate that idea. So I studied and retook my GREs (as the scores had expired) and I did tolerably well overall.

I did awesome on the verbal part, I did alright on the math, and I am hoping that this is enough, that the composition of my score is good enough for me. We'll see in March and early April.

I have to get applications going-- most are due So So soon. it is so much at once. And i am terribly hopeful. hopeful in the extreme, and this is always bad news for me.

really, my chances would be better next year, but it isn't an either/or situation, it seems. I am applying just in case I can get in somewhere good this year and save myself a year.

I just saw chris over thanksgiving and he is doing well. It was a nice, calm holiday. Chris' mother turned out the meal, all I did was be grateful. That is the easy and rewarding part, anyway.

There is just so much going on right now and I feel unsure as to whether i am coming or going.

I have a plethora of truly interesting, compelling projects to attend to: more than I can do, really.
I have no idea which to say "no" to, because I want to do ALL of them.

I am aware I sound manic, but trust I am not, i am still sleeping normally, etc, and of course am not bi-polar, would have let that cat out by now, for SURE!

i never get to watch any tv or blog or read just for fun and it is certainly taking its toll.

okay, that is enough to tire you and me.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


We did laundry today. I love doing laundry. It is the chore that has the most pay-off for me, though to be fair, I also like cleaning the car and vacuuming.

It started out as a rainy, cold morning and I was sad. I didn't feel exactly sad, but i couldn't get started. I spent the morning looking up perfumes I like, to identify what commonalities they have between them. (for your information, I like chypres.)

Chris came home from work really early, at 10:30. I made him a sandwhich and we got into bed to nap. Two hours later I woke up, happy and hungry for oreos.

i always want sweets after a nap.

When we woke up, it was because the sun was shining through the blinds really brightly. The rain had stopped... it was like starting the day over again.

I do not have a job here in Boston. I am sad because I am going to Texas this week and looking for work there. Interviewing for a job, actually. I had made up my mind to stay here, with Chris, come hell or high water, but we wouldn't have enough money to send him to Berklee in the spring if I don't make real money soon.

this all comes on the heels of my really counting the cost involved with the year we spent apart. I did, in fact, accomplish each of the goals I set out to this past year. It took longer than I wanted it to, but it was in no way a waste of time.

Chris has been wanting to go to Berklee now for a long time. berklee is Chris' wheaton. we only moved to Boston so Chris could come here. Given what we now know-- that his going will probably take my going back to texas for at least three months, we would probably not have opted to move here in the first place. ah, hindsight. and now that we are here, and he is so very close, we must try. I wouldn't let him give up now if he wanted to. (we are coming up with a nice plan b, in case nothing works out.)

I am trying not to be dramatic, but it doesn't feel like it should be coming to this, again. we have just spent a year apart.

and one month together.
six weeks, actually.
and it has been fun. different.

I have things to be done in Texas; important and pressing things. I have a paper to present in March at a conference that needs more thorough research. as in field-research on the border to Mexico. I have a chapter to write for a book. I also have two separate versions of my thesis that need creating, and submitting for publication. (one of which will be based on the one I present, so it needs the same further-research.) I knew all of this when i drove away from Texas, and i didn't care about it. i prioritized my relationship, and the good faith Chris put in me, letting me go to texas with no caveats. i felt it was right to come to boston, ready or not, to show up where i belong. with him. I didn't know how i would get all that other stuff tended to, but i figured I would find a way.

If i want to be positive about my leaving, to be strong about it, then I tell myself it is the best thing-- that my being in Texas will get Chris and I that much closer to our goals. It is a win-win.

But we're apart and I feel self-conscious about it. Nobody does what Chris and I are doing. And I can easily start crying about the whole thing. like this morning, when he came home.

or...I can take a nap and eat four oreos. do laundry and choose to accept this as an opportunity to return a favor to my best friend, my 8-years-now husband. and I can laugh about this. I can thank God that Chris is driven and committed to seeing me make something specific of myself. I can appreciate that our getting married young means a certain amount of space and flexibility is needed as we grow and change.

I can laugh and tell myself not to be weak, or as we are saying lately, weak sauce.

And seriously, that silly phrase, is kinda doing the trick.;)

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Mothering--part 1 of 3

I am reading Ann Patchett's Run right now, and I cannot quite fathom that I am nearly finished with it. It feels like I just started, by I only have approximately 50 pages left.

I recently mentioned how much I love Patchett's work. She is, for me, the quintessential novelist. I love Patchett's gift for creating character-driven drama. My friend, Mary, found it remarkable that Bel Canto is as dramatically moving as it proves to be because it occurs, for the most part, in one house, with the same people trapped in that house. Patchett's characters are superbly, but believably, dynamic.

Patchett's Run is, among other things, a domestic drama. Some of my favorite scenes are those in which Patchett pays homage to the comforts of home. Consider, for instance:

What she would have given to hear her mother's keys right now,
the jingle
that preceded the deep click of the lock. Heaven would
be home, to walk into
their own apartment together right now.
She would barely get out of her shoes.
She would sleep in her
coat and her dress if her mother would let her. She would
collapse into their shared bed, melt into familiar sheets.
Home, bed, sleep, mother-
who knew more beautiful words than these?

I can't remember reading a piece like this before now. Which piece is about a little girl and the intense love she feels for her home and her mother? No fairy tale for sure... as the mother in those tales is usually dead, missing-in-action, ineffectual, or wicked and step-. Which Austen drama? Emma's mother is dead, yes? Sense and sensibility? quite ineffectual. Mrs. Bennet is patently ridiculous. Jane Eyre? orphaned. And my poor, poor favorite, Anne Shirley? It is a home and a mother that she longs for, what she actually achieves in Green Gables and Marilla, though none of that came easily and she was pathetically and thoroughly orphaned before her big break.

Of course, none of this is lost on Patchett, who readily acknowledges her intention for this book in an interview included (in my copy, anyway) at the very end. While commenting on the book's concept of family, she explains:

the wonderful thing about fiction is that you rewrite history.
I kept thinking, What if in fact this family, which seems
completely patriarchal, does in fact run on a matriarchal line,
and that the true power that is handed down from generation
to generation comes not from the father but from the mother?

I am actually forcing myself to digest this book slowly. It is one thing to grow up in a patriarchal society, or maybe subculture, and come to feminism as as a result, which I certainly would own as my own journey. It is quite another to read Patchett extolling the Mother, pronouncing what it is to mother, in a way that can challenge the writings of one's personal history. yes, it is that imaginatively creative and yes, it does the trick. I won't mention the strongest inventions Patchett employs, just so you can feel their full effect should you chose to read her for yourself.

(this post is to be continued, with a connection made to these reprinted pictures from Fall 2007).

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


I never, but never, thought about getting married. I never thought about my future husband, what he would look like, how he would treat me. Somewhere that had stopped.

I only have one memory of my future-thinking in matters of love and it is so shadowy- i could not have been more than ten years old. i think i was younger.

The memory revolves around the idea of my having a boyfriend. Not a husband. The part of my boyfriend was played by my parents' bedpost. I admit: i kissed that bedpost.

Chris entered into the role with nearly no conscious scripting.
And yet, somehow, he still seemed woefully out of place.

He didn't fit and I knew he didn't fit from forever. From the beginning, I knew he wouldn't do. But i couldn't let go. i tried to, but i willed not to. i didn't even understand it myself, then.

last night, we lay in bed and i mourned for the irregularities, the grooves that just don't come together, the time we spent apart and the woman I am not. the woman I have yet to become and cannot become by trying. She appears or she doesn't. We don't make ourselves up. I tell him that I am glad I married him, but that i was not ready to marry him. i cried to think about how much sense we fail to make in the day-in and day-out experiences that everyone else seems so adjusted to.

He holds my hand. He laments, our lives together have been. . .bizarre.

I didn't have to say it.

I thanked him, because what he said was true, only he could know how much and there he was, in our bed, holding on to me, when there has been so little positive reinforcement to do so.

I couldn't, wouldn't have made this up, and maybe that is the best part about it.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

She said, He said

Synchronous, Synchronicity- sometimes my many streams of self-help converge and I notice a theme. Lately, i keep getting a certain message: i need to develop myself, my goals, my talents...

And just writing that down, typing it out to you, is opening a door in my mind.
So in an effort to "develop myself" I will be writing here more intentionally.
But it will not all be real, not autobiographical like everything else has been.
And i thought that I should let you know that, because it could have been confusing, right?

I decided on writing because writing comes easily and naturally to me, like speaking. I don't know that i love writing as much as i love language and words-- more for the symbols that they are than for the letter following letter-ness of them. I love words. i play with words in my head... like the beginning of this post, i will start with a word and speak its connections...or just turn them over in my mind. synchronous, synchronicity, fate, time, serendipity.

i don't really have any discipline in this or any other matter.
but it seems like i'm being sent the message that now is a good time to start having some, getting some, developing Some discipline.

once when i was in grad school, the professor i went to grad school for gave me an A on a paper I prayed for a C on. i had written the paper overnight, in twelve hours, when it was supposed to reflect two months' worth of work. my classmates talked about their research efforts for a whole month while i did nothing. i got as good a grade as they did on their papers.

It was, actually, a really good paper. And she said so, right before she said, "and your writing is okay, too." Trying to own that it could be better, and also trying to acknowledge the fact that I could be better as a person, i said, "So do you think i need to enroll in a writing class?"
to which she replied,

"No. It is my opinion that you either can or cannot write and there isn't much you can do about it either way. you're writing is fine, passable."


There was another professor, a man with a lot of facial hair and an awkward fashion sense, a man who could formally bless us with his hand lifted in the air, right after delivering a three hour long wit-filled diatribe on the History of Christianity, and this man came to mean something to me, too.

And i wrote the hell out of several papers for him; oh! i wrote, friends. And he gave me a B a lot of times, but almost ALL of the time he wrote things like:

your writing sparkles. or your paper haunts me.

and, i am not joking when i say, i would love to write the book that would satisfy them both.

and i am thinking about doing exactly that over the next two years.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Suddenly, it is possible.

I have been, as you well know, turning over all the rocks, as they say, leaving no stone unturned.

It was the only way.

You'll remember that i was disrupted, that there was a sort of rupture, an earthquake of my being

you know the details

and you have felt my aftershocks, absorbed them, because you are kind.

i started to dig through the fundamental rubble, to search it, to replace it, or find it somehow permanently displaced, these

little and small, sometimes quite large, pieces that comprise me.

and i never stopped. everyday i was an archaeologist, examining my ruins, a cracked foundation from time immemorial to myself. my very little self.

i was so thorough.

allow that: for a long time, i could not rebuild. oh, I could rethink but i could not be constructive about it. And in my frustration there was a time I even threw the pieces in disgust

i did not care if I broke myself, so thoroughly fractured and frustrated

but i did not break at all.
somehow there was a freedom in the wild flinging
a resolution to the carelessness
and the rocks don't beg to be turned over and over

and i can construct

Saturday, August 15, 2009


Some things that I have been thinking about:
tonal by ericasw featuring Marni

Ladies, above you see Things I would Love to Wear in Boston.

And that is NOT ALL! I have been worrying because I got invited to interview for a job but I haven't heard back from the lady who invited me, though I tried to contact her back. Ladies, my ladies, I need THIS particular job. Can you cross your digits? (#2 fun thing: hope and possibility).

3rdly, back to fun stuff:
I love me some Austen, the books and the movies, and although I also love Gwyneth Paltrow, faults and all, her Emma isn't exactly the reason she has an Oscar, right? So I am excited to know that Romola Garai (RAHM-eh-lah garry, i think) is the BBC's newest Emma, which is set to air this fall. I loved Ms. Garai in "I Capture the Castle." I think she is as underrated as Zooey Deschanel is, well, overhyped, though I admit she is darling. Romola here, she has acting karate chops, she is a blackbelt in acting and she reminds me of Kate Winslet. That says a lot, no?

Feast your eyes, darlings, on my new favorite music: The Bird and the BEE! They have three albums, one self-titled, one that is just a baby collection of five songs called Please Clap Your Hands, and their latest Ray Guns Are Not Just the Future. I am super-picky about music, like your friends' kids who will only eat chicken nuggets and jello, so I cannot be called discriminating. I am just bad-sad-picky. it is so rare that I like any cd all the way through, but I love Ray Guns a lot. So I created a Pandora radio station around The B&B, you know about P-dora, right? My friend Tiffany (hi Tiffany!) introduced me to it. It plays music it thinks you will like based upon another designated like. (I like my Coldplay station even better than I like Coldplay-- it plays tons of Keane.) okay, well I must LOVE b&b all the way through because my b&b station is my new favorite. it plays Jem and Lily Allen and Stars and Kate Nash and Imogen and Regina Spektor. Pandora sang me my new favorite song, by the Bird and The Bee from their little Ep -- it is a cover of the BeeGees "How Deep is Your Love." I already LOVED THAT SONG. the bgvs sounded DIVINE, so i googled to find out who sang them. they are by Sia Furler. I have hearted Sia Furler for a long time. So the song is like musical christmas for my ears. Bird and Bee are on Blue Note. That's some pretty tasty chicken nugget, yes? And doesn't she look amazing?

5thly: We are going to begin a major reading tradition when we get to Bahstun. We're going to go through the Harry Potters and the Narnias and the Lord of the Rings. One of my favorite things about Chris is how he can read anything convincingly and entertainingly. Judah is so, so lucky. Which should we start with first? The best thing will be watching the movie each time we finish. Since there are so many books in these series, Judah will probably graduate from highschool right before we're finished.

Ever been drawn to someone and you don't know why? it is that way with me and Ann Patchett. Sometimes when I was waitressing and it got hard on the psyche, i would comfort myself by saying, " Ann Patchett was a waitress." It worked. I liked ann patchett before I read her, before I read Truth and Beauty, where she broke my heart and made me laugh. I just finished bel Canto this summer. I died of love for it. I am reading the Patron Saint of Liars this fall. I will make the time. It is my number 6 fun-thing.

(hey Becky! when i read Ann, i want to be you-- becoming a writer. Sometimes I am nice to myself and make us both writers in my head. and we're friends in real life there- in my 'magination.)

Six is enough for me!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


I am in Boston and it has been lovely. Really lovely. It isn't like other places i have lived and i think i will be different here, i tend to adjust to my surroundings. I expect that i might inhabit Boston, not just live here.

We also envision being here for a long time, maybe five years, all of Judah's elementary school education (that would be six years, really) are possibly going to be spent here. It seems like an awfully expensive place to spend five years. But if I get into a great phD program here (in religion), then... well, we will SPEND six years here.

(Chris is getting ready for work and he looks fantastic. All the walking around has done him good.)

Today is my last day here, until September. Judah starts school on the 15th, so I am hoping to be here by the 7th, maybe even the 1st. I am still looking for a job. It is kinda scary.

I have been at points, so many points, like this before. I almost always miss my life's train, it seems. Last night we were waiting for the train and I got all caught up in reverie and I was staring out into the distance while everyone else was getting on. doesn't that seem impossible? to be so entranced at a subway station? Chris turned to me and called me and I snapped out of it, followed him onto the train.

I am a dreamer, but i have been so easily contented with just dreaming. dreaming is what i do, it is what i know, it is safe and familiar and wonderful. and my particular kind of dreaming has no connection to reality. I never expect for my dreams to come true

Chris isn't that way. He isn't about to dream away his life. He is angsty about doing something with it. In this way, i feel he is religious--spiritual-- if you will, about his life. He means to live it.
but it always becomes a crisis for me, that he wants to progress toward his dreams. It requires me to snap out of it.

I wish i could tell you how hard this is, how hard it has been, how being taken from my dream-world feels so threatening, wrong even.

My responding, my snapping out of it, it is my religion at its best. It is my being my most brave, most trusting, most sincere. I always worry about it, for my self, stretching so hard-- but then I reflect that for me, it is a matter of faith. and in my life, I want to be a risk-taker. I want to have meaningful faith.

I mean to move to Boston.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

This I Did Not Know:

Wild Geese by Mary Oliver

Wild Geese
by Mary Oliver

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting —
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

from Dream Work by Mary Oliver

Sunday, June 14, 2009

I lust, I list.

1. Cakebread Cellars! I love their merlot. yum!
2. Matthew Trent's fleur de Lis ring. Yeah, I know. Maybe never. But. . . maybe Someday?
3. I always loved this dress. Wanted to get married in it. Was out of my price range! Still love it. It's Reem Acra.
4. New favorite blog: This is Glamorous. love it.
5. Bought these earrings for myself on my birthday and I love them and wear them all the time.
6. Have you ever tried Leonidas chocolate? I had it on my honeymoon in Paris and found it in Santa Monica! Yum.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Judah and Chris

I am always talking about myself, so i thought i would share that:

Judah is five and is really tall and most days he is a little bit chubby. I just got his haircut at a place called Cool Cuts4 Kids and it makes his cheeks even more prominent.
Today we ate lunch at Luby's and he eschewed the dessert-- even the jello that comes with the kids' meal-- because he wants to be faster at soccer and eating healthier helps that.
It made me cringe a little-- i don't want him battling with food issues psychologically; it makes me hopeful because I don't necessarily want to set him up to battle his weight either. I guess it is like this, for everyone, trying to keep balance on this issue is hard.

Chris is doing alright In boston. He works longer hours than he wants to but overall, it is definitely a place he loves. He starts Berklee next month.

I am doing swell. i have some good news, career-wise, nothing huge, just a little conference I get to speak at at the end of the month. I will tell you all about it, after the fact.

love and peace.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


I didn't mean to abandon this space for more than two months. It has been a busy two months, emotionally, I have been all over the map, off the map, really, and none of it belonged on this blog.

It is new for me to restrain myself, to keep secrets or just to consider what is appropriate. I have been a very open person and I am not so much any longer.

Tomorrow I turn thirty years old and I don't feel at all old. I know thirty isn't old, I know that, but I am surprised by how young it feels, how I still feel at the beginning, the very beginning of knowing myself.

I am
coming to the end of my paper. it is due on April 6th.
visiting Kristen this month in Portland. It is my birthday treat to myself to take myself on a trip by myself. self self self.
only five pounds heavier than I really want to be and for me this is in the grace margin, so I feel pretty good!
$800 into therapy and feel that every dollar has been worth it.
watching American Idol and in love with Adam and Matt Giraurd.
going to post again, tomorrow, on my birthday.

not the same girl i used to be. at all.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

in the near future

I will wear something like this.

peacock by ericasw


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