Wednesday, August 24, 2005


We went to a little park today. It was green, shaded, clean, with playgrounds and picnic tables and a nice beach on Wabassis Lake. The day is sunny, blue and green in shocking hues.

We waded in the water, shallow for a long way from the shore, and gathered snail shells; hoped we'd catch a slimy inhabitant still home. Most of them had flown the coop. Or swam the shell. We paddled the blow-up boat between buoys, in and out of the swim area. A young girl stood a short way down the beach, knee deep in water with a fishing pole.

Later I stood outside a closed stall in the women's restroom, Eliot inside, chattering away: Was I sure it was okay for him to go in the girls' bathroom, since the door on the men's room stall wouldn't close? Was I sure that I was standing directly outside the door? Was I sure nobody would see him?

"It's okay for you to be here, Eliot," I said. "You're a little boy and I'm your mommy. You're with me, it's okay. And nobody is going to see you."

I heard the toilet flush in the large handicapped stall next to Eliot's, and a lot of shuffling around. The door opened and a woman emerged, fighting a wheelchair and an awkward door, in too close quarters. In the chair she carried her own son but he was not a little boy. I saw his eyes rolled back in their sockets, his mouth was crooked and drooling, and his head turned upward toward the sky, like he was waiting for heaven to come down.

I said excuse me and moved from the front of Eliot's stall. The woman tried to pass in too great a hurry and swiped a metal garbage can with the chair, sent it rattling across the tile floor and banging the concrete wall. She hastily retrieved the can and set it in a more sensible place, behind the door. Her hurry wasn't angry or unkind, just tired. There's a kind of tired that makes you hurry; you start out carefully washing each dish but an hour later when you reach the last one you merely grace it with a tired, half-soapy wipe.

I wondered how a thousand of these bathroom trips would wear me if I knew they wouldn't end or how many of my hairs would gray as the little body on the toilet seat grew into a man's and the man never showed up to claim it.

And then they were gone, the tired mother and her angel-kissed son.

"uh-oh Mommy. I'm going to have to unlock the door, do you know why? Because I can't reach the toilet paper and I need you to get it for me." I waited while Eliot rocked himself down from the toilet seat and fumbled with the lock.

I decided not to tell him that once he'd gotten down off the toilet he could have easier got the paper himself. He'll figure it out someday. For now I'll let him need me.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Mind the Gap

Last night we watched Mind the Gap, a beautiful, if slow-moving film that is the best one I've seen all year. Well, that and Around the Bend (which imdb review I couldn't disagree with more).
Yes, I'm sentimental. And I'm a sucker for hope and redemption.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005


We had a nice couple of days with Laura and Liz. I'm still tired after a 12-hour-sleep last night. I stayed up chatting with Liz until four a.m. on Sunday night and repeated the insanity on Monday night with Laura.

It's good to have friends. Solid, comfortable friendships refuse to form now, as they did with the ease of youth.

Thanks to the two of them for enduring family life for a few days. And to Laura for choosing to spend her birthday with us. Happy August 8th, Laura.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Re: Your Comments

Thank you, all. It means a great deal to me that some of my ponderings (and perhaps more often, my struggles) were in some small way helpful - or at least comforting, in the way that it's comforting to rub sore gums, where the tooth is trying to break through: the pain is intensified at first, but afterward comes a wave of relief; and it's this painful rubbing which coaxes the teeth in.

I will write again; it's an innate desire in me - but I'm equally sure of this hiatus. It wasn’t something I pondered very long; I just decided all of a moment but I haven’t wavered, as in my usual decision-making fashion. I know the given reason “to find my soul” is nebulous but that is intentional as well. (No, I am not shooting for obscurity.) I leave my explanation vague because my habitual self-examination and delineation of thoughts and personal roadblocks (usually presenting with the words, “My problem is…”) has acted for me as a place-marker, but no more. I know what page I’m on; I know it well, because I flip through the book and find it again every day. But I read no further.

I’m fasting from writing, the way one fasts from meat and wine during Lent: the absence of the thing leaves a space to fill some other way, and it shoves your face right up against the glass for a good look – and you have to look, because you can’t fall back on your usual methods.

I'd love it if you all would email me. I'm not quitting relationships, just blogging. ;)