Sunday, November 6, 2011


i wrote this long thing. spent two days on it. all of the words disappeared. a fluke of of technology. a reminder that it all WILL fall apart. it was a nice piece--significantly balanced with sentimentality and the daily stuff of being alive.

in the meantime while those words float in some kind of cyberworld purgatory, i will simply load a fairly recent picture of my daughter to this page. please understand i have been reading jonathan franzen's the corrections, which is cynical, realistic, and hopeful all at once. it is the worst kind of reading for someone engaged in the heavy stuff of suffering that i witness day in and day out. but nevertheless, my life is more than full right now.

with goodness and sadness and angst and heartache and love.

i have not too many words to put up here.

i love my kid a lot.

so what.

and in the interim we hurt one another and make one another laugh.

sorry to be heavy handed and hearted--but fuck.

Monday, September 19, 2011

to her scent i will go...

Today I had this semi-sacred experience regarding the new soul who inhabits my waking and sleeping hours.

I was at work and work has been hard. The grief and stress and violence of other people's lives constantly surrounds me. In our work we are witnesses to suffering and salvaging and sometimes small victories. On top of that, I also have to deal with piles of administrative bullshit, truly wonderful volunteers (something like 12 this semester), planning for meetings, and working in coalitions...

That, there shit above, is the backdrop. I sat at my desk almost paralyzed by the amount of stuff I had to do, when this scent came barreling into my nose. The smell of my darling daughter's skin fell over my face. She, of course, was at her home day care, not there with me in my garage of an office.

The gentle scent of her little head--the place where infant sweat, the scatterings of sweet food and breast milk leftovers, soft, downy hair oils, and her baby bath soap mingle--came over me as if she were sitting on my lap. I paused what I was doing. My eyes glassed over with tears; tears bordering on the edge of the divine and sentimentality, and I inhaled with devout attention for a breath.

Then it all became a divine moment.

It was some kind of miracle. A reminder of this sacred bond I have with another human being. A reminder that legal rights (while I will fight for them until the day I die or until I get them) mean nothing in the face of the daily miracles and sufferings kk and I go through as we engage and love this small child.

If only I could bottle this scent and experience and sell it to the conservative right. The people who think I have no business raising a kid. The people who do everything in their power to disconnect me via intrusive laws (or non-existent ones) from willa's existence...oh ya, folks, if I have not mentioned it here before, I cannot adopt willa in MI--there is no second parent adoption. So, I feed her, bathe her, dance with her, love her with all of me, but, in the end, someone who does not love her as I do or who does not love kk as i do could essentially do legal battle to get her from me and essentially kk's next-of-kin have more rights to her than me. Blah de blah blah fucking blah dee da.

But that ghost-like tendril of traveling smell, it reminded me of the oppressive nature of "man"-made laws. It reminded me of the lasting longing of the deepest sacred parts of humanity. It carried me to a new and better place. The connection embodied in this real, yet profoundly strange, moment surpasses that which the political sphere, the sphere of marginalization and bigotry, and the sphere of civil and human rights can never tap into. I have both animal and spiritual connection to my child beyond the imaginings of the human mind.

So, to her scent I will go. To the smell of her hands that now feed her own self--peaches and dirt, summer and minerals. To the smell of her cheeks when we enter the house from a walk in the sun. To the smell of her shit that invades the whole house with intestines discovering the nuances of various human foods for the first time. To the smell of her tears, like water on dry stones. To the smell of her breath, like an indescribable sweetness doused in the gentle sour of buttermilk. To this small being who I love with the deepest parts of me. To her scent I will go.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

the injectors draft revisions to a 1970s sex ed book for kids

I've had these pictures of this old book that k's parents used to explain sexual intercourse and offspring creation to her back in the seventies. It happily reinforces heterosexual romance, sex and hetero reproduction.

about 8 months ago we were putting the finishing touches on willa's room (which she only uses on occasion, but will use more as she gets older). Some of the finishing touches included making her a kid's library. Her shelf of books is full up of books from both her pack-rat, hoarder mamas (yes, numerous books from our own childhoods) and gracious gifts from friends. She is well-stocked to say the least, but our special gifts of 1970s and 1980s kids' books knowledge is an excellent addition. It puts her collection over-the-top.

some of her many books piled on the floor...

I mean who can brag about having the following how to talk to your children about sex book in their own personal kids library.

Of course, I will have to guerrilla plant the queer version of things into this text before my daughter ever gets her hands (or eyes for that matter) on the book. Here are some feeble editing attempts thus far:

Saturday, July 2, 2011

a singlet--with hair

Thanks to a very informative dialogue on swim wear with a focus on butches over at Effing Dykes, I went and ordered myself the sweet singlet seen above in an aggressive stance picture of me.

There was a time I had a swimsuit, actual full on old school swimsuit, with tight legs and a binding kind of restrictive top, etc. I wore it so much it got all thin and useless. So, I'd been searching to no avail for something like it. Then the aforementioned discussion took place in the comments section of offing dykes (every time I write effing dykes on this ipad it auto corrects it to offing dykes, hee hee) and someone suggested wrestling singlets. Then I found this great black with royal gold trim and I ordered it. The damn thing took an eternity to come in the mail. One of Will's caretakers actually said, "you sounded like a little kid every day asking--'did my singlet come in the mail yet.'"

Then it arrived. It fits great, but my tits kind of slide out the sides, so I will have to wear an additional garment underneath if I plan on not offending the public with glimpses of too much flesh.

This is all a very long introduction to the the real question of this post. How many of you gender benders out there-- you passers for dudes, you mostly masculine types--shave your legs even though you are as butch as can be? Tell the truth.

I've played sports with plenty of super butch ladies and every single fucking one of them but me, shaved their legs. I know sporty dykes are a different breed, but many of these ladies were full on passers for dudes, gender benders, etc. When it came to their legs, well, they were silky smooth.

This all has been resurfacing for me, because I think my kk wants me to shave my legs. I think she is embarrassed of my extra hairy shins.
We went to a pool party the other day (it was a very strange crowd; friends of and the children of friends of kk's deceased mama--all pretty damn gender normative to say the least). I did not sport my singlet that day. It was warm and beautiful, but I stayed in my rolled pants and let my hairy sandaled feet and ankles make their presence known without letting the big sisters on my shins and calves be seen.

K had been hesitant about me getting into my swim gear, so I take this to mean she wants them smooth. Though, the one time I shaved, in the past, when we had been together maybe a year point five, she ended up thinking the smoothness was fucked up in relation to the rest of me.

My armpits will always remain hairy.

But, kk says one day, "maybe you should shave." and the next, "no don't; it will look too strange."

I'm mostly of the mind to always keep them hairy and let all of the onlookers with their frowns and befuddled looks keep their twisted, distorted and more painful to carry faces for themselves. Sure, every once in a while, I become very uncomfortable when I think that people are judging me because I have lady breasts and booty and also a thick weave of hair on my legs. It confounds the dumb. It enrages the already mean spirited homophobes. But, shaving is a pure pain in the ass. It does not reflect who I am.

While it may sometimes feel like I have a thousand boogers hanging from my nose (I mean legs), from the stares I get at the public pool, I say fuck em. Next time, I am at a high falootin pool party, my hairy legs might just end up clogging the filter.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

I'm going to make myself sit and contemplate shit (and other delicious substances) via the written word

Thanks for your kind words and good thoughts...Really, it is great to have such dedicated and thoughtful readers out there.

And. I decided not to stop blogging. Mostly, because I had this interaction a few days back that made me think a lot. Then I started reminiscing in my head about how, in the past, I would make myself sit down and write about the thoughts that surfaced after an interaction like the aforementioned. And that is what I am going to do. I'm going to make myself sit and contemplate shit via the written word. It is, after all, how I make sense of the world. It may be infrequent, but you all can live with that, right? And, I can at least make sense of the world around me through writing it all out when I have a few minutes. The tension for me about keeping this blog was that sometimes all I want to do is write for me, but work and life muddy the time I would spend on such an endeavor. So I have to clear the waters and make time for me.

The interaction that made me think was all about being a queer parent. The person I was chatting with ( who happens to be a white, straight man in a heteronormative state-sanctioned marriage) really thinks that after queers win comprehensive rights and discrimination hides its ugly head for always, we will be able to display the dysfunction that is in queer families. He thinks that right now studies--the few out there--demonstrate queers as having more stable families cause people are on ultra good behavior. Also, it would hurt "the movement" (though I still do not quite know what that is) if any dysfunction surfaced in the media.

While I think, for sure, there are plenty of fucked up queer families among us--similar in their messiness to hetero family dysfunction--I tend to think that many queer folks had to contemplate the notion of parenting much more thoroughly than straight people. Same gender loving people have to roll the idea of expanding family around in their heads for a lot longer than the thought of two teenage or young adult heteros who achieve off- spring creation spontaneously in the back seat of a dusty dodge. Because there is so much thought and footwork that has to go in to acquiring a child for queer folks, the children of queer couples/people (cause coupledom is not the way all households are configured; there are single, double, triple, quadruple parenting households, etc) have a leg up in that they are often, at least, wanted.

I work with many people who were unwanted as children. People who came from hetero-normative families and who, in the midst of all of that "normalcy" ended up deeply damaged by the misogyny and violence so wed to straight, heterosexist coupledom and family. Out of the patriarchy so came the disheveled tentacles of oppression.

Please know I am friends with many great straight folks; I have blogged about these friendships profusely here. I am not slamming those folks, or so many other people who are straight and/or participate in the reality of straightness. You know: state sanctioned marriage, the social benefits and ease of movement associated with being involved with a person of the opposite gender (i.e. all the dudes at a meeting with political leaders shooting the shit about the wives and kids; if I speak about my beloved and kid, well then I have to provide clean up services for any backlash, fall out, befuddlement, or bumbling foolishness associated with trying to make me feel okay about being queer).

Any which way, I love my daughter immensely. K and I waited 11 years to have her. Of course, had we had our way we would have had her after being together 8 years, but even 8 years is still a lot of time and contemplation. The suck-ass world of infertility gave us even more time to think about the really huge thing we were doing. You know the commitment for the rest of our lives to this dear child? Come hell or high water, she is ours and we belong to her.

So, ya, I think many queer families are different from many hetero-normative families. And, ya, I'll keep on thinking about all of this and sharing it through writing here. Let me know what you think about queer families, too. Maybe start with a definition: the anatomy of a queer family; the anatomy of your queer family. I get there are nuances and I am totally generalizing above...Okay, I'll shut up my fingertips now and go sleep on the edge of my not-big-enough-queer-family-bed.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

maybe it is time to say goodbye

I am thinking of abandoning this blog endeavor. It has been a good run. But, damn, I barely have time to think let alone string sentences together or post funny pictures about our life.

I am thinking on it...

You know all day long at work I write and write and talk to people on the phone and write some more and talk to more people and read letters from people in prison and talk to more people and then read some more and so on and so on.

By the time I get home, the letters that make up whole words look like trucks veering off the freeway directly into my eyes.

While I decide what to do about this blog, here's a picture of Willa sitting on a bench at the Postal Museum in DC.

I love her so much...

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

inside out

KK and her mama
It’s raw. All of me. My innards are exposed, layers of skin and fat and bone have folded inside out and there on the surface rests all of my organs.

Maybe she cut me open with her arrival? Maybe her brightness—the shiny remnant of stardust lingering on her soft humanness—is razor sharp?

All I do know, is that for the last many months I have been experiencing a kind of vulnerability that I have never known. I feel exposed; I feel heavy; I feel love like I never have before, but it is a thicker love. It is both burdensome and rich.

It weighs on me—literally, my whole body feels heavier. My head might as well be a cannon ball; my chest a freighter; my feet rocks from Lake Superior.

And then those pesky dead ones, they are hovering. Their presences are hanging over us like the thick fog on a cool spring morning that desires to be hot. All of them, our grandmothers, k’s mother, our grandfathers, our uncles. All of them. They are so close.

The bridal’s veil is in full bloom. The lilacs are erupting in sickly sweet aroma and my grandmother’s hands write languid visions of her skin on my eyelids.

KK’s mama is sending messages from the netherworld. Her beautiful smile cascades teeth and gums over our bed in the morning when the three of us wake from deep sleep held together by the certainty of one another’s bodies.

This vulnerability, this exposure, this hovering of the dead. It is all okay. It’s different and hard and beautiful. I think it is some new kind of falling in love with the living we are doing day in and out; the weaving together of our lives in tight strands of illuminated rope. Indeed, I loved my daughter from the moment I knew she was alive inside of k. But, always reservedly—just in case she splashed out of her mother’s womb before term without life, just in case the blood that trickled between k’s legs for the whole first trimester ended up being the beginning of the end.

Since Willa met us on this side of living, away from the dark and marvelous world of k’s womb, I have been falling in love with her day in and day out. And it is this loving of Willa that makes me more susceptible to the dead ones who are pestering me with memories (my lived ones and the ones I have been told) and pounding even louder on the rickety cage of ribs that is stacked in a dull pink white glow below my chin and neck.

In the shower in the morning my tears run with the hot water as I think of k’s mama and how she will never know Willa or see k as a mother. Her life was too short and my heart aches for kk. I think of my gram and I feel her soft, wrinkled hands on my face, my shoulder—I miss her, really miss her.

This loving is powerful stuff. It is sharp. Everyday my heart sinks a little deeper into the air outside my chest; my bones clatter in a kind of agony at the turned-inside-out-cold on nighttime and morning, my insides tremble in their new home, unprotected by epidermis, muscle, and fat. Exposed, opened, unfolded—more alive than I have ever been in this new and persistent loving.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

hankering for willa;)

My little, constipated darling is nestled against my chest sleeping hard. She is experiencing her first bout of real constipation and I hurt for her little abdomen. I thought you might be hankering for some willa shots so find a quick photo narrative of the last many weeks. Oh, by the way, the willster is sitting on her own now. Yes, at 5.5 months her little abs are strong and she can hold herself up. She is a bit wobbly, but nonetheless, I am impressed.

For my b-day weekend at the end of April we went on a little trip. This is my sweet one and me all pooped out on a hotel bed. The wrench was a gift from an interwebs' awesome person.

Willa at the Growing Hope Plant Sale! Me all squinty in the back...

The chickens really, really want to make a snack out of will's toes. We have to chase them off when willa is in the yard.

Our first mother's day. I have so many reflections to share on what this all means or does not mean to me, but I won't. Though, I will, soon and very soon, reflect on how heterosexism has become so much more visible and real to me since becoming a parent to this amazing little chunk of star.

Willa's first Bike Ypsi Spring Ride and Festival. She is being held up by our really tall friend in a florescent wbreaker.

Besides working too much, gardening as much as I can, riding my bike as much as I can, and spending quality time with will and k, kk decided that we should dig up the back yard and replace the sewer fittings that come out of the house and about 8 feet out to the old clay pipe. So, I've been supervising and working on that project too. My co-worker and neighbor dug this daddy out in a few hours and then our friend t helped glue all the parts together and fit it up nicely. All of this was guided along by this really great water engineer ypsi guy (for free). We are lucky. So, this has also been taking up my time. I have worked on backfilling the hole. This means throwing heavy dirt/clay back down in a gaping 6 by 8 by 6ish feet deep hole in intervals and stomping the hell out of it.

Pic of us staring down...

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

tired, sad, and tired

I should be working. But, I am too sad to work. I've been missing in action over here at injection reflections because I have been working too much and trying to be a good parent and good partner. But today it is gray and beautiful and my heart is breaking for so many reasons.

I am tired of the meanness. I am tired of the ruling, white elite.
I am tired of the rich. I am tired of the haves and have nots. I'm tired of violence. I'm tired of humans killing the planet. I'm tired of the disconnection.

I am tired from witnessing the problem of prison:
the abuse within prisons;
the social factors that lead to the use of prison;
the inequities in sentencing;
the cycles of violence that lead to death and harm and insanity in poor communities;
The homophobia and transphobia that lead to the incarceration and then further abuse of queer people once they are incarcerated;
the general public's ignorance of what really happens in prison and the ability of their ignorance to shape policy (tough on crime measures and then restrictive, punitive, retributive practices once people are in prison)
the racism that fuels the expansion of the use of prison...

I am simply tired of fighting.
But, I will keep on keeping on. Only because of the individuals who we are able to help.

I started writing up the case of someone I've been working with for so many hurts to think how long she has been suffering, but then I decided I'd just lay it out this way. Imagine being a nearly fully transitioned M to F and being forced to live in an all male prison. Imagine having serious difficulty getting appropriate health care to deal with a complication with your top surgery--silicone leakage (I'm talking five years of pain and suffering). Imagine the daily harassment from other prisoners and staff alike. Imagine being called mister, sir and he just to turn the knife in those soft parts connected to your gender identity when all your life you simply wanted to be recognized as the girl you are. Imagine living amidst the constant threat of sexual abuse and sexual harassment. Imagine getting a major misconduct ticket for impersonating a female when you are a woman. Imagine the refusal of the prison system to acknowledge the trans/homophobia of the system. *note: I was able to help get her moved to a unit with a less-abusive climate.

But I want more.

I want this woman and other woman and men like her to be able to shape policy directives to include their perspectives on how they will be able to live more safely and wholly while having to live in prison. For years the woman above has been asking to be moved to a different prison and to be able to choose another gender variant identified bunkie at a more easy going, well-run prison than the one she lives at now. When I first met her she was in a level V prison cause she needed a single bunk. Eventually, we were able to get her moved to a lower level single bunk. Then, recently, she was moved to a prison notorious for being called the glad.iator school (a prison for younger--often more violent--prisoners). Why? Why?

Imagine being a prisoner rights activist and some days just feeling utterly hopeless and tired with the almost impenetrable system.

I'm done now.
But just for now.

Monday, March 28, 2011

to be butch with a baby at a mall

I’m sitting here streaming college basketball and loving the delicious sound of swish.
The moon is in super mode; my two loves are relaxing in the living room, and I am living this full life with tired eyes, a heavy, happy heart and a mind that reels madly through the thickness of too much to think about and analyze and then act upon.

In all of this calm and turbulence, I needed to make sure to sit down and write about my day at the mall. I walked as tall as possible through the stares and dirty looks and all together strangeness that my non-conformity to gender norms conjures in the worlds of people so steeped in their own hetero-normalcy and non-fluid/dualistic/binary gender roles that they can barely breathe without making sure to make the people whom they otherize feel their disapproval.

Today (well a week ago now as time slips away due to being overly busy), I walked my daughter around twelve oaks mall in her stroller. K had a facial with her good friend at the salon in Macy’s. And, since Willa is in deny-the-bottle-with-all-of-her-might-mode, we went with her to the mall. I then proceeded to walk with willa in her hot blue stroller all through the mall.

I know I live in a bubble within our state. Ypsi/ann arbor is full up of queers and working class folks (well ypsi is) and genuine difference and good weirdness.

Whereas, Novi (the place where the mall is located) is surrounded by wealth which sometimes takes any racial or cultural differences and coats the masses in sameness. I know this is not a very deep analyses of race, class, gender, etc. But, I just want to get to the point of my day: I felt like a fish out of water, times ten, walking my child through the mall today. Had k been by my side, it might have been better, but she was not.

The main characters: will and me.

The costumes: willa, purple pants, dinosaur onsie, white bambi hoodie, and bald ness. me, gray khaki pants, black t-shirt, red and black flannel, some hot red wing boots, and short hair with small hawkish mullet in back (got barbered last saturday; hair is currently very short on sides; short but thick on top, and the bit of mulletish stuff on neck).

The prop: will’s super fly (but exceedingly yuppie) uppa stroller with carriage mount ( it was the thing we asked money for our shower/gifts).

The setting: scary as hell. malls scare me to begin with, but the parking lot should have been warning enough for me to stay in the car because we had to park a mile away it was so packed. The economy must not be too fucked, since people were out in hordes buying lots of stuff. 600 dollars worth of pool table stuff, 2500 dollar riding mowers, etc...make-up, and fancy clothes (you catch my drift).

The plot: There really was none. I was just planning to blow an hour walking willa through the mall. I did this, but I really did not foresee the climax.

The climax: The stares, dirty looks, and befuddled looks of mostly woman as I walked through the mall with my daughter. And, Ultimately, an escape to the hardware/fitness/outdoor equipment of sears.

I consider myself a pretty subtle person. I am not soft-spoken. Nor am I loud in appearance or demeanor. I wear men’s underwear and try to keep my breasts from standing out. I keep short hair and do not wear a stitch of make-up except lip balm (clear) in order to keep my lips from cracking off my face. I drift. I get loud when injustice surfaces in my sphere, but I always get loud with strategy behind my voice and actions.

However, on this day, I felt like a rhino on the loose amidst florescent lights and too much stuff. I really did get scowls and disapproving stares.

I escaped to sears. We walked in circles looking at tools and weight benches. And, finally, I ventured to the men’s clothing dept. of sears and found some underwear on hardcore sale.

I walked back to the hardware check-out and purchased a precision screw driver set for kk and the pack of briefs for me. And, then Will and I set out to find her mama-ma in order to escape the oppressive climate of commodities and stares galore.

The security that k brings to my butch step is profound. she helps me feel invincible to the judgment of others. She makes me sure-footed and strong. She heals the scowls with some kind of salve that creates gentleness on the eyes. She is a good deal of my strength.

So, we left the chaos of striving for sameness and entered the calm of the chilly sun-filled afternoon. Our queer little family; comfortable and in love with one another.

she is now four months old...

Thursday, March 17, 2011


Um, ya. All I have time for right now is cuteness. See below.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

deeper sleep

I have been relegated to the bed in the downstairs back room. A cough has found my chest and will not let up. It has a stronghold on the area below my neck at the top of my rib cage and it shakes fierce and wild in the night hours.

So, I’ve been banished from the family bed.

Obviously, this banishment has occurred for good reason.

I can’t keep the other members of my household up with my deep, hollow, non-productive coughing.

But I miss my dear ones.

And their absence during my dark hours makes me think a lot about how we came to this place of sharing our bed with our wee one. Before Willa came to us, I really did not read much about what to do after she was really here with us. Then she was born. This little, little being cast down to us from some star that finally decided to give up a small piece of the glitter, light, and energy that makes it a star. And, when she fell from her mama’s womb onto our dingy sheets, I knew she could be only there with us, on us, between us in our bed when we slept.

Of course, at that point, I had to consult some books and our midwife and our doula to make sure we were sleeping with her safely. But having her with us in bed and then having her with us in a sling or in our arms as we work and go about our living, well, it all seems so right and perfect.

I did not consult tons of books. The ones I did kind of made me pissy. i.e. dr. sear.s heterosexist extraordinaire. While I think he has a lot to share about a lot of things, I am not some big barreled daddy with a low voice who will accidentally roll on my daughter due to lack of hormonal connection (dr. s says for co-sleeping heterosexuals to put off having the male part of the relationship sleep closely to the infant cause he might smoosh the baby since birth-mothers have all of this hormonal and regular intuition they should be the ones to have the wee ones close by). I could accidentally roll on her, but so could k and we have set up perimeters to keep that from happening.

Willa’s been sleeping in the crook of my arm since she was 8 hours old.
Not every night. But many.

The point of this post is to say, thus far, I am very fond of our family bed. I love it. I love my daughter being close to us. I love the fact that k can side lie nurse and get better (if not still vague) sleep through the night. I love reaching out to feel my sweet willa near by. I love learning her idiosyncrasies. My child is a fidget. She squirms and twists and flails like a worm over flame.

She is also incredibly particular. There have been nights when she wants to just be flat on her back on my chest. I’ll put her next to me on the bed and she will fuss. Cause, see, she knows what she wants. Other nights we hold her tight and close and she calms her fidgeting and falls fast to sleep.

The family bed brings this kind of intense insight into our own selves and to our little one. We know more about each other as animals, as creatures, as our vulnerable selves. I know it will not last forever. It may not even last for many more months. But, this time so far has been precious and enlightening and I would not trade it for anything, not even deeper sleep.

Monday, February 21, 2011

11 years

February 11, 2011 marked our 11 year anniversary. I took the day off work and kk, willa and I had a yummy breakfast at zingerman’s roadhouse. Then we bought some new diaper covers at one of the kids slash baby stuff galore stores in town, then we browsed some books at a local shop and drank tea. But by 2:00 p.m. I was dying of tiredness and we headed home. I crashed out in the most hardcore nap I have taken in years (maybe since adolescence). I slept dead to the world from 3:00 to 7:00.

out to eat with the wilbur

I woke to darkness, floundering around like a nearly dead fish, looking for my kk and my willa—thinking, “where are they? oh my god, where are they?”

Of course, they were downstairs hanging out quietly and letting me sleep and sleep and sleep.

For our anniversary night, we stayed in with our newness and ate vegetables, fruit and cheese and some saucy stuff with bread and drank a glass of wine. We looked into the eyes of the other and mouthed wows and I love yous.

the tray of food

It really is a big wow, to be deeply in love with your best friend after so many years and amidst so much change and difference and beautiful disruption. Which is what our sweet willa is—the beautiful disruption to our solidly without children life. For nearly 11 years, we lived and loved how, when, and where we desired at our personal whims.

kk flying our beautiful disruption on our anniversary night

And now, that free-to-do-as-we-please-when-we-please is no more. Of course, we have always been very committed people and obligated our time, energy, hearts and minds to causes and projects and art that we believe in. So, we were not simple couch loafers dedicated to watching copious amounts of 30 Rock. Rather, we have always worked hard for the greatest good. But having a kid is different than having community meetings to organize or teach-ins to plan. Having a kid means being on always.

There is no off button.

Except, when my darling beloved knows I need hours and hours of catch up sleep, but she needs to be there for that to happen and we both work full-time, so that is not always the case.

It is different now. And, I love every moment. Even though, I do miss my beloved’s body and the time to get frisky when we feel it. Adjusting and adapting to the grand, beautiful disruption of our sweet daughter is a gift. After all that time of just being us together we are now more us and she adds a certain value to our days that makes this living even more invaluable.

Some days I stare at her, into those eyes I saw for the very first time as she made her grand entrance into this world from the warmth of her mama’s womb to the arms of a woman on a bed—a bed where her parents have loved and slept and talked and been sick and dreamed and held one another—Some days those eyes make me yearn for the memory of her first glance to always be with me. And, when my time comes to leave this world, I pray that her eyes, my dear sweet willa’s eyes, will be there looking into my heart as she does day after new day and she will see me through to the place beyond this place.

So, 11 years and now this gift to carry us through to other places full of new knowing and more loving.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

when they were young

i have so many reflections buzzing through my mind and so little time to capture them with letters.

work, play with the new love of our lives and taking care of the new love of our lives, and sleep seem all to be the center of the universe to us.

Some days, I look at pictures of my parents when they are young, and I am amazed at their tenacity in the face of the newness of being parents. After all, my mama was 19 and my dad was 22. K is 36 and I am 34 and we are so green, but easing into this with clarity and open hearts.

me and daddio

me and willa

our elders next to our bed

my sweetheart, again...

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

she likes my hair and she is spunky

Shit. our baby girl is already 2 months old. I have been back to work since January 10 and feeling more tired than I have ever felt. She is amazing and growing.

And, she likes to stare at my hair.


And she is a little revolutionary already:

Monday, January 17, 2011

cold, colder, coldest

It is January. It is past the middle of January. Everything is cold in Michigan. There are a few inches of snow covering the grass, gravel, and all things that grow and then sleep.

We have a 47 day old child living in our 107 (nearly 108) year old house with us. She is mighty and beautiful.

She is sitting with her mama in her mama's mama's rocker nursing. The rocker is resting in the same place where her mama's mama's mama died one and a half years ago.

Did I mention it is cold outside and that I have been reading Aldo Leopold (every winter I read A Sand County Almanac)? It is especially wonderful to start at the beginning of the book when it is still January. I reread January Thaw the other day with deep reverence for the cycles Leopold writes about--the cycles of seasons and living charging in dynamic force all around us all of the time. I marveled, again, at his subtle glorification of simplicity and the sacred readings he captured in the quick, quiet, momentary voyage of a skunk still heady from hibernation.

I suggest giving him a read if you never have and a reread if you have and liked it.

His call to observe our moments alive with the rest of our community (the land community/animal,animal community/animal, human community) is a a good one.

This winter many of my days have bled into streams of light upon my nights and my nights have rode dark waves on my mornings and afternoons. Time is strange in the world of baby human. But still there is the difference in temperature of a day versus a night--the chicken's water demonstrates the patterns of change in concrete (or icy) ways.

Even though we have been mesmerized by sleep deprivation and sleeping differently all together, I think my senses have been heightened to the subtle shifts of temperature throughout a January day, evening, and night. The cold of a crisp 11:00pm as I feed and water the chickens (yet again) before bed pierces a different, more alive, kind of frigid over my cheeks than the wetter cold of morning.

And my senses pay attention to all around me as I walk or ride in a more expansive way than I have felt before. This little animal being that has filled our house with her cries, poop, urine, and vomit, and soft face and hands and thighs--she has added another layer of sensitivity to my existing need to observe and witness and then act.

Leopold articulates:
"The months of the year, from January up to June, are a geometric progression in the abundance of distractions. In January one may follow a skunk track, or search for bands on the chickadees, or see what young pines the deer have browsed, or what muskrat houses the mink have dug, with only an occasional and mild digression into other doings. January observation can be almost as simple and peaceful as snow, and almost continuous as cold. There is time not only to see who has done what, but to speculate why."

She has added one more stripe of peace to my observations. She makes me speculate more than ever. She makes me pay more attention to the cycles of living, surviving, and dying, and re-birthing all around us. And, then she makes me want to work harder to make sure that we build a stronger land ethic in our community. She drives me out to the cold January mornings and nights and causes me to savor the expanse of sky peeking out to us from behind the light pollution in the darkness. She makes me glad to know the seasons, to witness them, to have them etched into my skin. (seriously, riding and footing it regularly in 15-25 degree weather--colder with windchill--is doing some mighty fine skin "damage" characterizing to my face). Of course, I cared about all of this before her, but there are no words to describe the deeper animal she has brought out in me. I like the cold (and yearn for the spring) even more than I did before.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

she is like spring in winter

Sorry to have dropped off the face of the planet, but I've had a head full of everything but the desire to write.

We have been through so many life changing, life affirming, life-as-we-knew-it disturbances over the last many weeks--I should have plenty to ruminate about. But my mind has simply sunk into a hibernation mode when it comes to the ability to fruitfully process the change and mystery unfolding all around us.

I have this gorgeous little being all tied to my chest right now and my heart is more breakable than it has ever been before.

She is like spring in winter. She is wide-eye captivating, fragile, wiry strong and dainty: Her heart like thunder in a small, ribs-like-swift-to-crack-sticks cavity ricocheting aliveness all around us. She reminds me of the green to come and the wakening of trees and garlic shoots. She tells stories in her silence and expresses stillness in her wakefulness. She is reiterating the song of learning how to just be. She is grounding. Her presence fastens the animal in me closer to my skin. sleeping, eating, peeing, shitting, sleeping, eating again. Her scent and her softness plenty to swallow amidst the coming return to the chaos of our working lives. She is pure wild. She has us by our hearts--clenching my alive parts with her scaly fingernails, scratching my vital organs and lifting many veils from around my eyes.
She will now be my best teacher. She is thawing the frozen ground beneath our feet. She is like spring in winter.