Category Archives: novel

NOT a cutter

To hear Deb tell it, a cutter was coming my way. It was too this and not enough that but feel free, you know, to chop it up.

Huh? I love it. As my mother might’ve said, “it’s a good transition piece.” And pockets to die for!

It’s a gorgeous day here in the Northeast. Sunny and warm. Our street is blocked off from whatever utility work the city’s doing, but the machinery’s still. I can hear the crickets and I can hear children on the playground.

Came down early this morning. Lit the fire table and worked on the laptop in order to change a bunch of Eliza’s reflective queries to statements. Sharp reader pointed out that the form got wearisome (to be frank, Eliza gets tiresome, too, but that’s a different issue).

I folded all the cloth in the front closet yesterday. Wow. It’s what most would consider a decent stash. For me, it’s just the stuff that wandered upstairs during a handful of projects. We might put a few little shelves in there.

Shelves! Long desired! Functional! Simple!

Minors forms of progress feel so necessary right now.

It’s Saturday, right?

Words mostly elsewhere by

Sitting down right now at the laptop with a boiled egg, coffee, and commitment that might be described as fierce. Got to get through the next chunk of manuscript where very severe cuts will be required. Hurm hurm (Harley sound effect).

Many other words could be called upon to describe this day, this cold and blustery Earth Day, this Day 42 of Containment, but I must conserve. Besides, I don’t want to make you crazy with all my robe-making changes of mind. So here is a story of the morning in pictures.

PS Acey I haven’t forgotten that I promised you a copy of that picture of Prince!

PPS I’ve gained 15 pounds since making my card stock body model in a class of Jude’s some time ago, but that should only impact boob-sizing and with a loose robe, even that isn’t critical.

Gorgeous print of Harriet Tubman painting by South Carolinian artist Natalie Daise aka @gullahmama on Instagram. Her work is gorgeous and her prices really, really reasonable.

Alright, so I lied. I am busy procrastinating in full-throated style! But before I go, some thanks are in order.

First, I want to thank Nancy for so sweetly gathering up her threads and shipping them to me from California. The package is decontaminating in the garage and right now all I really care about is that she gets well!

Also, thank you Joanne. There is something about the steadiness of her day by day reporting that I find so reassuring right now. It doesn’t hurt that she talks about food even more than I do! Tonight, based on something mentioned there, I’ll be making chili. Thank you Joanne.

Lastly, to all who weighed in on the backyard — thank you. To be continued!

Spaciousness

“In the midst of fear, kindness is needed, even just a little, so that the panic, restlessness, and angst don’t completely take over. We can simply ask ourselves if even in the midst of contraction and tension spaciousness is available as well.”

The Magnanimous Heart
Compassion and Love, Loss and Grief, Joy and Liberation, by Narayan Helen Liebensen

I’ve been though so many states of mind since yesterday, it feels like days instead of hours since I last typed here.

Rather than explain, I will barrel forward.

An old photo of D (top), as I think of all the parents home with children. Next, a little shell/insect combo, revealing how much I am missing paper play.

This collage, made in 1980 while I was living in SF, used copies made on one of the first color Xerox machines. How I loved that ‘color shift’ dial! Now my niece is sheltering in place just across the bay from where I once lived.

I lived in that duplex during my senior year in college in Northampton, Mass. Look how themes stay with us!

Meanwhile, plans have formed to use my sister’s cardboard collection after revisiting this book below.

An early decision will be how to attach the house/pages to each other. Artists in the book use various means: ribbons, wire, hemp, rick rack.

500. That’s how many words I deleted this morning. But today it doesn’t satisfy, because my hunch is that the trimmed chapters need to go in their entirety. More decisions.

Where are you finding spaciousness?

One year plus

My sister’s glass collection catches the light. She died roughly this time last year. How grateful I am that she’s not here to panic and worry about the virus. She suffered from COPD, sleep apnea, asthma, CHF, and was on oxygen. Worse, because of her ever increasing need, people were constantly trooping through her apartment — sometimes five a week.

The entire time she lived in her subsidized housing (almost a year), she didn’t manage to trek down the hall to throw out any garbage. So, if she had dismissed everyone out of a rational fear of contagion, the garbage would’ve piled up in a matter of days, waiting for yours truly.

We were both spared.

My brother refused to wear protective garb during the AIDS crisis, a decision both humane and medically supported in retrospect. It did make me worry, though, that maybe he wouldn’t wear protective gear for this crisis, either.

I needn’t have. It’s mandated. And he’s no idiot. There were 8 cases at Stonybrook Hospital during his shift on Saturday. His partner, also an ER doctor, is home with a cold. No fever.

Schools are closed here in the burbs of Boston until at least the end of April. Seventy-five cases in my county. Restaurants can stay open, but must remove enough tables to leave six feet between patrons.

We are aggressively self-quarantining. K’s office got the order to work from home for two weeks. I have three things on Zoom this week.

K did go to the grocery store yesterday because we were out of bread and down to the last three eggs. At Wegman’s, there was almost no bread. Not a single bag of flour. And of course, the usual clear outs: Purell, TP, and paper towels. Thankfully, very few people were out at dinner time.

Woolworth’s has a good idea: setting aside a couple of hours a day for senior shopping.

I probably continue to read too much news, but counter it with restaurant competitions, Project Runway, and British or Aussie crime dramas.

Almost 3,000. That’s how many words I eliminated today. It’s incredibly satisfying to see the fat and cut it out.

When I posted a picture of this orchid on Instagram and said I had no idea what made it bloom (I know NOtHinG about these plants and it hadn’t bloomed for years), one follower said. “Probably because you needed it to.”

I love that, don’t you?

I wish for all of you to be well and maybe find a small miracle in your day.