Monday, July 23, 2012

i have another blog, i often neglect it, but i'm going to try to change that, here is a link to the latest entry.
the thing about writing is this, you must go after what you want. believe in yourself, your processes, your style. don't give up. keep after it.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

check engine

as the woodchuck works his way through the patch of sunflowers, and momma cat eats from the dish beside my door, her last kitten (at least two years young now), basks outstretched in the sun. before my cruise the second of the the three kittens was dead on the side of the road, and i was on my way to the train so we could not even scoop her up and give her a decent burial like we did her brother. those were my two favorite kittens, but they had good life and are together now playing cat and mouse games in the hereafter. or is it, thereafter.
kitten number three is off to stalk some frolicking squirrels, which is good, she needs the practice. she was never much of a hunter and now, in the absence of her more agile, adept siblings, seems a bit lost.
so i was on my way to harlem yesterday, when the check engine light came on. never exactly sure if this means, disaster immanent, i drove a bit farther, then turned around. not wanting to break down in harlem, so far from my home. it pained me to miss a reading but as a mom, i can't be broke down with no help in some town far away. so i came home. i played it safe. i was able to call and tell the book fair that i had car trouble, but it saddens me to miss any gig. it is the first time it has happened. so my car is parked, and i'm not going to anything today either, until i get a clean bill of health from my mechanic, pony's staying parked.
i find myself in an entirely new phase of my life and i'm trying to set my intent and expect joy. i've long awaited joy in my life. i've spent much time with it. but i want, even in these moments when things don't go the way i have planned, that i can still be joyous about arriving home safely. about my daughter in bed and healthy. about so many reasons to delight in life.
when i got home from my cruise, i wanted flowers. so i planted the three whiskey barrels outside my front door with petunias, sun impatiens, and gerber daisies. i am stationed happily between them with bees flying by and i've seen a hummingbird pass through. i dusted the dirt with seeds of many varieties and didn't expect much, because i guess i had just lost my ability to see potential. i did this on monday, by thursday, the whiskey barrels were green with little sprouts. i planted so many, it looks like i will need to transplant at some point. i hadn't planted these flowers earlier in the season because i wasn't in the headspace to do it. i just kept dragging by, longing for beauty but not taking action. now that i have, i wonder, what kept me from it. the flowers were there to be had.
so have them,
i'm telling myself now. that is how it is in life right now, much beauty is everywhere to be had.
so have it,
that's my mantra. it's time.

Monday, July 16, 2012

turn down

before i forget, i am reading this saturday at harlem book fair, it's a young reader's reading, so i'll be keeping it pg, but it's a reading in harlem nonetheless. i go on at 4:30pm, at countee cullen library, young reader's pavillion.
friday night, i am presenting my writing process to the latino authors and writers society in nyc, also meeting in harlem, at la casa azul bookstore, 6:30pm.
okay, business aside,
i just returned from a seven day cruise. can i just say that seven days is far too long on a cruise. it was american overindulgence at its utmost. the sheer quantity of food, not to mention food wasted, was jaw dropping. we could feed a small country with the remainders from one cruise ship, of this i am sure. the alcohol was flowing, and there seemed to be no stopping it. oddly enough, i was dry the entire time. i drank lemon water, the occasional iced tea. but mostly just lemon water the entire trip. so i was stone cold sober watching this parade of excess waddle by.
perhaps the best thing, no, the best thing for me was turn down service. i've never been a frequenter of fancy hotels. never had anyone fluff my pillows and turn down my sheets while i'm at dinner. it was such a joy to come back to my cabin and snuggle into fresh clean beds, not made or washed by me. only a mom can appreciate this aspect of a cruise. i guess if i could be faulted for excess, this would have been the way. i did use towels only once (i confess), and i went through my share of beach towels poolside. but mostly, i was grateful to see the housekeeping staff smiling every time i encountered them in the hallway. i wore my jingly anklet and many of them would light up and smile when i jingled by. when i wouldn't wear it, they would mention it. so i wore it for them mostly, by the end of the week.
it was, the best part of the cruise for me, leaving my cabin a disaster (i was sharing with two teenage girls), and returning to order restored. and not being the one restoring or enforcing order. it was truly luxurious.
let me just savor that a bit longer.
i enjoyed having so much care put into looking after me. i would like to find the soul who will do that for me willingly, as i will do it in return.
that will be a great day, when i have that realization.
and i will savor it then, as i am savoring this memory now.
turn down service is simply divine.