Showing posts from 2016

An afternoon with Roux


The Hate

For the past few days I have been sleeping very badly, waking up frustrated, physically and mentally exhausted, scattered, angry.

On Sunday three police officers were shot dead by a gunman. You can easily find the horrible details on the news. I tried to write a post about how I felt, but the draft has just been lying there confused and frightened on the screen. Forgive me. There is so much I don't understand about life right now. Why am I here, what is going on, why is this happening? What is going on with the country, with the city, with me, with us?
None of my friends called to ask how we are doing in light of what's going on. How is your husband holding up, what's the situation over there, how do you guys feel? I felt angry about that. I am not sure I have any friends anymore. My father says I need to forgive people, "they don't know how to take things, how to talk about things, how to discuss difficult situations". My brother said "maybe they don…

July 6, Baton Rouge, LA

While I was up late at night writing my last post, only a few blocks down our house something terrible was taking place. A man standing outside a convenience store was shot to death by a member of the police force. Someone caught it on video, and today it was on the national news. The two police men involved were put on administrative leave today, and the case has been handed over to the Justice Department who are carrying out an investigation. 
Scrolling down my Facebook newsfeed this morning, I felt an immense wave of desperation washing over me. The suicide bombings of the past few days, the continuing war in the Middle East, the refugees, the state of the environment, BREXIT, the U.S. elections...and a whole lot of hatred and division everywhere in the comments sections, media outlets and particularly palpable today in our town of Baton Rouge. Has the world gone mad, or was it always this crazy? 
All I know is what I saw on the video and what is being reported by the media. I do …

Tomato Meditations

Yesterday my friend told me the tomatoes I gave her were the best tomatoes she had in a very long time. "I did not cut them up and put them in the salad, I just ate them like an apple". My heart! No salt, no vinegar, nothing to change or add or mask; she ate them just the way they were, she ate them whole. That's why I love her.
When I look at my harvest of tomatoes now I see the sun, the rain, the soil. I remember the plants when they were but seedlings. I remember staking and pruning, chasing away the stinkbugs. I see all the tomatoes that didn't make it to my lap, the ones that were eaten by slugs so that the others would survive. I see the spider that spun a web among their flowers to catch the little flies. I see myself, singing and walking around the garden, barefoot. I see the mourning doves and the cardinals, feeding under the plants' shade. I see Mark turning the faucet on from the other side of the garden while I shout "Thank you!". I see the…

Blue blue sky

Okay. I see it now.

The silence that stills the mind.
The freshness of the moment.
The death of time.
The green of the grass.
The blue of the sky.

I am awash with the love of a million mothers.
I have forgotten my name.
The fly is my brother.
I stare at its rubbing legs and compound eyes in awe.
Inside I see myself.

Movement has slowed down, my heart is beating slower.
I feel like everything has taken on a crispness.
Sharp as if my lens has been adjusted.
The sun is irradiating the grass blades - oh how they glisten!
The wind is blowing through the branches slowly,
deliberately, as if knowingly, as if a spirit in itself.
My brother too.

How strange all this! I feel at peace.
I have a tinkling hope somewhere - or is it joy?
It is at once curious, amused, quiet, calm but also excited.

I have to meet a friend. I get in the car.
The sky is blinding blue. I can't stop staring.
I don't turn the radio on - this silence is delicious.
All these cars around me are fascinating
and inexpl…

Domestic Goddess

I am a goddess among tea towels, hand mixers and ironing boards. I battle with dirty dishes and recipe books, piles of clothes looking at me forlornly from the laundry room corner. I listen to audiobooks about Zen Buddhism while sweeping the floor. I watch TV in the mornings.
I am not good at this, I know. I am a wild creature, whose soul inhabits a tree. At night, I dance around the forest, holding my translucent dress up to show my swirling ankles to the moon. Nobody knows. They see me in the morning, with dark circles under my eyes, begging the coffee machine to brew its magic poison. They call me Sleeping Beauty, another name for Bad Housewife. I pin sadly the invitations for baby showers on the fridge, and feel my skin crawl at the sound of "Girls' night. You should come. It'll be fun."
It isn't all pedestrian. Being a goddess of the house has its upsides, too. I have my loyal followers: My husband, performing his worship rituals of chocolate offerings, kis…

Demeter's Face

Lately I have been feeling a shift in myself, as though I am finally coming up from the underworld where I have sat in the dark for three years listening to the dead recount stories, as though the fog is being lifted. I am no longer feeling entirely lost or hopeless, yet at the same time I have found myself thrust back into the world somewhat violently, as if spat out from the bottom of a well into the dizzying, buzzing metropolis of material Life.
Ahh yes I remember now the whistling kettle just a kettle, and a bird song just a song.  The plants at the windowsill gone mute.  The colours retracting their open palms. Red is a clenched fist, no longer. Green is eyes in the trees, no longer.  The planks no longer sigh beneath my feet. 
I recognise this world, it's simple and facile, like an ice sheet floating atop a vast and abysmal ocean.
For the most part, I have been dragged back kicking and screaming. My days have been filled with tantrums, arguments, self-hatred and stomach knots. For…

Spring seedlings

I am trying to remain
A spacious word.
That Great Big O which contains Everything.
Within this O everything is allowed
Even the terrible horrible things and
The Things We Do Not Like.
It's the one that hides in Love cushioned deceivingly between the softness of the consonants.
We forget  it holds the wOrd from collapsing in on itself.
If we wrote
maybe we'd remember how sublime it really is.
It's the same one that hides inside our 
The one that that holds the  wOrld  from collapsing in on itself.