Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Found To-Do List

Lost near Brookline Village. Found by me.
Love, love the this person not only planned "nap" but also checked it off. 

Friday, October 06, 2017

Kids are More Powerful than Guns

If this populace believes that the 2nd amendment teaches unrestrained access to guns, then I am going to teach my kids that they are more powerful than guns. I will raise the next generation to think politically about what is best for our citizenship. Who is with me to develop lesson plans for kids regarding gun control? #education #lifelonglearner #longview

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Tiny Seeds


Ellen Bass

Bad things are going to happen.
Your tomatoes will grow a fungus
and your cat will get run over.
Someone will leave the bag with the ice cream
melting in the car and throw
your blue cashmere sweater in the drier.
Your husband will sleep
with a girl your daughter’s age, her breasts spilling
out of her blouse. Or your wife
will remember she’s a lesbian
and leave you for the woman next door. The other cat—
the one you never really liked—will contract a disease
that requires you to pry open its feverish mouth
every four hours. Your parents will die.
No matter how many vitamins you take,
how much Pilates, you’ll lose your keys,
your hair and your memory. If your daughter
doesn’t plug her heart
into every live socket she passes,
you’ll come home to find your son has emptied
the refrigerator, dragged it to the curb,
and called the used appliance store for a pick up—drug money.
There’s a Buddhist story of a woman chased by a tiger.
When she comes to a cliff, she sees a sturdy vine
and climbs half way down. But there’s also a tiger below.
And two mice—one white, one black—scurry out
and begin to gnaw at the vine. At this point
she notices a wild strawberry growing from a crevice.
She looks up, down, at the mice.
Then she eats the strawberry.
So here’s the view, the breeze, the pulse
in your throat. Your wallet will be stolen, you’ll get fat,
slip on the bathroom tiles of a foreign hotel
and crack your hip. You’ll be lonely.
Oh taste how sweet and tart
the red juice is, how the tiny seeds
crunch between your teeth.

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Stephen Paddock is a Victim

Stephen Paddock is a victim. I don’t believe in evil. I don’t believe in some cosmic force of corruption. If we accept that the devil exists, then we are deluded into innocence. We can write off our complicity in harm by saying that it is caused by a force outside of us. We can defend ourselves, but ultimately suffering is the only noble response to harm. The shooter did not commit an act of pure evil. There is no such thing. Pure evil would be an unstoppable force. Instead, what he committed was preventable. That is why it is a tragedy. I consider Stephen Paddock a victim. No human should be given access to instruments of mass destruction. Humans will use them. We are broken and sick at times. We live in a culture of consumption and isolation. We are weak. We reach for power. We want to act with the clarity of decision instead of suffering the world’s cold shoulder. Stephen Paddock is a victim. We are all victims of a gun culture.

Monday, October 02, 2017


For My Lover, Returning to His Wife

by Anne Sexton

She is all there.
She was melted carefully down for you
and cast up from your childhood,
cast up from your one hundred favorite aggies.

She has always been there, my darling.
She is, in fact, exquisite.
Fireworks in the dull middle of February
and as real as a cast-iron pot.

Let's face it, I have been momentary.
A luxury. A bright red sloop in the harbor.
My hair rising like smoke from the car window.
Littleneck clams out of season.

She is more than that. She is your have to have,
has grown you your practical your tropical growth.
This is not an experiment. She is all harmony.
She sees to oars and oarlocks for the dinghy,

has placed wild flowers at the window at breakfast,
sat by the potter's wheel at midday,
set forth three children under the moon,
three cherubs drawn by Michelangelo,

done this with her legs spread out
in the terrible months in the chapel.
If you glance up, the children are there
like delicate balloons resting on the ceiling.

She has also carried each one down the hall
after supper, their heads privately bent,
two legs protesting, person to person
her face flushed with a song and their little sleep.

I give you back your heart.
I give you permission—

for the fuse inside her, throbbing
angrily in the dirt, for the bitch in her
and the burying of her wound—
for the burying of her small red wound alive—

for the pale flickering flare under her ribs,
for the drunken sailor who waits in her left pulse,
for the mother's knee, for the stockings,
for the garter belt, for the call—

the curious call
when you will burrow in arms and breasts
and tug at the orange ribbon in her hair
and answer the call, the curious call.

She is so naked and singular.
She is the sum of yourself and your dream.
Climb her like a monument, step after step.
She is solid.

As for me, I am a watercolor.
I wash off.

Friday, September 29, 2017

3rd Grade Language Lessons

Last night at bedtime:

Leo: Mama, What is sex?

Me: That is what animals and humans do to make babies.

Leo: So for teenagers sexy and cool are the same thing?

Me: No, you can be sexy and not cool and cool and not sexy [I know, not too helpful.]

Leo: So you and Tata had sex?

Me: Yes.

Leo: And you are not cool, right? So it was sexy but not cool. Okay.

Time to Feed the Bunnies


Kelli Russell Agodon

If we never have enough love, we have more than most.
We have lost dogs in our neighborhood and wild coyotes,
and sometimes we can’t tell them apart. Sometimes
we don’t want to. Once I brought home a coyote and told
my lover we had a new pet. Until it ate our chickens.
Until it ate our chickens, our ducks, and our cat. Sometimes
we make mistakes and call them coincidences. We hold open
the door then wonder how the stranger ended up in our home.
There is a woman on our block who thinks she is feeding bunnies,
but they are large rats without tails. Remember the farmer’s wife?
Remember the carving knife? We are all trying to change
what we fear into something beautiful. But even rats need to eat.
Even rats and coyotes and the bones on the trail could be the bones
on our plates. I ordered Cornish hen. I ordered duck. Sometimes
love hurts. Sometimes the lost dog doesn’t want to be found.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Two Public Elementary Schools

First Day of School in Budapest:

The kids arrive dressed in white shirts and black pants or skirts. This is the customary attire for special occasions in the school: the first day, national celebrations, and graduations. The children, accompanied by their parents in the younger grades, go directly to their classrooms. There is commotion as the kids find a seat, taking any available seat. The room is crowded for the thirty students in the class. The additional parents fill every available space. Shortly before 8 am, the kids line up and process to the school’s courtyard. The younger ones (grades 1 – 2) sit on benches. The rest of the students, grades 3 – 8, stand in lines or clusters. The principal greets the student body and gathered parents. The choir sings several songs. A student reads a poem. There are more speeches. The ceremony goes on for about an hour. Then the students go back to their room to spend the first day, which will dismiss after lunch.

Expectations: dress formally, stand still and listen to speeches given by grownups, listen while classmates perform poems and songs. Values: tradition, compliance, respect for community

First Day of School in Brookline:

The kids arrive dressed in whatever they choose. They gather in the cafeteria until the bell rings and then they proceed to their assigned teacher, the younger ones accompanied by a parent. The teacher has prepared the classroom space (there are no walls or doors) with clearly displayed instructions that engage the kids immediately, directing them to store their backpacks and get started on a project. In this case, the kids were directed to decorate a bookmark. As the twenty-one students find their places, the teacher is meeting each child. She has a big smile. She greets them by name and points out their assigned spot. The parent says goodbye and the child remains for a full day of school.

Expectations: dress how you choose, immediate engagement and self-sufficiency, student as a team player. Values: individuality, transparency (clear expectations), teamwork

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

The rest is only drama.

Monday, September 04, 2017

A Kindly Gnome


An immodest little white wine, some scattered seraphs,
recollections of the Fall—tell me,
has anyone made a spongier representation, chased
fewer demons out of the parking lot
where we all held hands?
Little by little the idea of the true way returned to me.
I was touched by your care,
reduced to fawning excuses.
Everything was spotless in the little house of our desire,
the clock ticked on and on, happy about
being apprenticed to eternity. A gavotte of dust motes
came to replace my seeing. Everything was as though
it had happened long ago
in ancient peach-colored funny papers
wherein the law of true opposites was ordained
casually. Then the book opened by itself
and read to us: “You pack of liars,
of course tempted by the crossroads, but I like each
and every one of you with a peculiar sapphire intensity.
Look, here is where I failed at first.
The client leaves. History natters on,
rolling distractedly on these shores. Each day, dawn
condenses like a very large star, bakes no bread,
shoes the faithless. How convenient if it’s a dream.”
In the next sleep car was madness.
An urgent languor installed itself
as far as the cabbage-hemmed horizons. And if I put a little
bit of myself in this time, stoppered the liquor that is our selves’
truant exchanges, brandished my intentions
for once? But only I get
something out of this memory.
A kindly gnome
of fear perched on my dashboard once, but we had all
been instructed
to ignore the conditions of the chase. Here, it
seems to grow lighter with each passing century. No matter
how you twist it,
life stays frozen in the headlights.
Funny, none of us heard the roar.