365 days? I haven’t even blogged for what? 6 Months or so? But I’m going to try. Especially since I’ve been so honored to have actual photography shows this year.
So here goes…
365 Days of photos: Day 1
1.) Witnessed my dad have a major heart attack, which irrevocably changed my life and set in motion the following chain of events.
2.) Separated from my husband and moved out of our house and into my own house.
3.) Feel on a daily basis enough guilt to keep me from being able to put one foot in front of the other.
4.) Googled “How to kill yourself with your oven” the night before Thanksgiving (Zanne thinks this should be the title of my book).
5.) Sent my daughter to a school, which is not the one I work at, for the very first time (best decision of the year).
6.) Was told by her new school, what we have suspected for a very long time, that Autumn is most likely on the Autism spectrum.
7.) Thought my heart was going to break into two individual pieces.
8.) Spent hours at the University of Washington’s Center on Human Development and Disability (can’t believe I just typed that last line).
9.) Found love in so many unsuspecting places.
10.) Have been hated and gossiped about by people I thought would not.
11.) Felt forsaken in my greatest time of need.
12.) Have found independence, freedom and self-respect.
13.) Second guess myself and my decisions nearly ever-other-moment.
14.) Stopped carrying Autumn everywhere we go.
15.) Began a different kind of relationship with my daughter, one that includes Mama having some of that said self-respect.
16.) Have had two photography shows and have two more in the works.
17.) Have sold photos that I took, with my camera, all by myself.
18.) Have had the opportunity to contact an agent about my book and haven’t done it.
19.) Have often wished for another baby.
20.) Wish with all my being that everyone could step inside my heart and walk around for a while, seeing all the things I cannot express.
- She’s lost another tooth. The lack of any baby-ness in her face and attitude right now is scaring the crap out of me. My tool box feels dusty. Old ways of doing are rapidly becoming extinct. NEED NEW TOOLS NOW!
- My garden is one of the most amazing pieces of art I’ve ever created. Truly the essence of what beauty is. What a little seed can do. Climbing just like my girl into adolescence. They are both shaking me to my very core every time I look their way.
- Thinking of Pa, Dad and Don today. And the way that I am becoming more and more entangled in the web of him-hood. I’ve always been a girl of girls, women surrounding women, only letting in the few men in my life. For the first time, I’m opening to the possibility. Loss allows for so much newness.
- The day dad had his heart attack I stopped cleaning my house. I’m not sure what this is about and what to do other than keep closing doors when people come over. Priorities, the whiff of possible mortality in the air, carrying more and more terrifying sadness with me day to day? I don’t have the answer but I must figure this out soon.
- Writing. I thought I would quit you. But then all of a sudden, my fingers ache to word-play all day long. It’s been my computer and me for days, reworking my head into something I can live with. Hopefully.
- Poetry and music have taken over my entire synapses. It must be Solstice romancing me back to the earth. (As I wrote that last sentence, thunder rolled and lightening struck. Must be an omen.)
by Mary Oliver
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting —
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
I’ve thought about this post for a while. How to even put down into words that Barbie’s (three of them) live in my house now? But here goes the admission.
Yes, they are here but they aren’t central figures, just bystanders that were given to Autumn because they happen to be in the same box as the large and movable dogs that she begged grandma for. But they are here nonetheless. After Autumn opened the boxes and discarded the Barbie’s to just play with the dogs, I hid the Barbie’s in a drawer. Then one day, I happen to open the drawer with her standing next to me and she asked me “why her girls where in the drawer” and she wanted them back. I handed them over sheepishly.
When my youngest sister was little, I was in college and was anti-Barbie all the way (actually still am). I’m sure she heard me ranting against them. And now, when my little (twenty-two-year-old) sister sees these Barbie’s at MY house, she now rallies against them herself. Telling Autumn how disgusting they are. Autumn didn’t even know they were called Barbie’s until my little sister told her.
I let it go. I’ve felt like I didn’t want to say these same things to Autumn because I don’t want her to start having these thoughts. She could care less about clothes or bodies or weight and I just don’t want to put those ideas in her head. So I haven’t. I’ve just tried to work around it. But I swear, the moment my sister ranted against them, they became much more intriguing to Autumn. When she plays “dogs” in her doll house, which is all she has ever used her doll house for, she now props the “girls” up in the background (plus one GI Joe that her daddy gave her from his childhood). They are the “owners” of the dogs and are really only there to serve that one purpose.
After a recent visit with my family that entailed my sister posting notes in the Barbie’s hands and talking about their boobs, their butts, their clothes, their hair etc., Autumn decided to take a stand. When we got home, far from the earshot of her beloved Auntie, she said, “Mom, Brittaney doesn’t like Barbie’s and Isabel at school doesn’t like Barbie’s but I DO!” And out of my mouth came, “You can like whatever you want, no matter what anyone else says.” Ouch, that hurt. But I was proud. I was actually happy to hear her stand up for Barbie. How totally insane is that?
It is now two weeks after our visit and I have yet to see the Barbies make a reappearance (and it’s not because I’ve hidden them). But I did go out and get her a used non-Barbie girl that actually looks like a girl (with red hair of course). You know, if these dang Barbie’s didn’t have dogs to own, they would serve no purpose to her whatsoever. Of course, it’s the dogs fault, always is!
p.s. I can’t stand Barbie and when I went to post a picture, I couldn’t actually do it. I’m going to find a new hiding spot.