Touching her was like taking a drug.

From the moment Ally was born, pushed out of Sam’s body (nothing could be more common than motherhood and yet nothing about it could ever be banal), Ally became Sam’s sun, Sam’s primary concern. She felt a directedness and a purpose and a meaning she had never experienced before. Another way of putting it: it was the least fake feeling she had ever had, the most earnest. Did all mothers feel this way? Did fathers feel this way? No, yes, doesn’t matter. On some level, it was Ally and then there was every other human on the earth. At first it was physical. The need to hold and feed and comfort. That was the best part of being a mother, answering that need. It was so simple and complete. Sure, there were times Sam longed for sleep, times she felt positively enslaved, but all it took was the head on her chest, the hand clutching at her, Sam’s own hand supporting the plump, perfect back. Touching her was like taking a drug. The back, the foot, the leg, the little arm; the lips, the ears, the toes, the perfect tiny nose. The thighs, the dimpled knees, the lines of fat at the wrists, the tapered, padded fingers with the tiny oval of a nail. Look at her. The eyes, well, they were the same always, the same today. Large, heavy lidded, dark brown, wide-set, extravagantly lashed. What a beauty she was and is. Even at the height of her adolescent awkwardness, Sam had found her profoundly, significantly beautiful. Was it “true”? Did others see her the way Sam did? It didn’t matter. What mattered was that Sam had felt this abiding love for sixteen years, and it was the best thing she had ever felt or would ever feel.

— Dana Spiotta, Wayward: A Novel (Knopf, July 6, 2021)


Notes:

Lightly Child, Lightly.


Notes:

  • Photo: Thomas Turowski (via Newthom)
  • Post Title & Inspiration: Aldous Huxley: “It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them.”

Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night…


133 pictures taken on my morning walk. And only THIS one stirs the soul.  Mother Goose @ Cove Island Park. 6:49 a.m. Saturday, April 17, 2021.

Thanksgiving Morning

Quiet has many moods. When our sons are home, their energy is palpable. Even when they’re upstairs sleeping I can sense them, can feel the house filling with their presence, expanding like a sail billowed with air. I love the dawn stillness of a house full of sleepers, love knowing that within these walls our entire family is contained and safe, reunited, our stable four-sided shape resurrected.

~ Katrina Kenison, Magical Journey: An Apprenticeship in Contentment 


Photo: DK, home, Thanksgiving Day, Nov 26, 2020. 55° & Rain.

Lightly Child, Lightly


Notes:

Sunday Morning


My mother’s need for order has nothing to do with the chaos of a life with too little space and too little money and almost no chance to make something beautiful of it all. The chance to create loveliness is always waiting just past the door of our matchbox rental. She never prepares for gardening—no special gloves, no rubber garden clogs, no stiff canvas apron with pockets for tools. No tools, most of the time. She steps out of the house—or the car, setting her bags down before she even makes it to the door—and puts her hands in the soil, tugging out the green things that don’t belong among the green things that do. Now another bare square of ground appears, and there is room for marigold seeds, the ones she saved when last year’s ruffled yellow blooms turned brown and dried to fragile likenesses of themselves. The light bill might be under the covers at the foot of her bed, the unsigned report card somewhere in the mess of papers on the mantel, but she can always put her hands on last year’s seeds. And later, in the summer, the very ground she walks on will be covered in gold.

~ Margaret Renkl, from “My Mother Pulls Weeds, Birmingham, 1978,” Late Migrations: A Natural History of Love and Loss


Photo: Cindy Garber Iverson

Lightly child, lightly

I want to record these first sounds of our trip together, maybe because they feel like the last sounds of something. But at the same time I don’t, because I don’t want to interfere with my recording; I don’t want to turn this particular moment of our lives together into a document for a future archive. If I could only, simply, underline certain things with my mind, I would: this light coming in through the kitchen window, flooding the entire cottage in a golden warmth as I prepare the coffeemaker; this soft breeze blowing in through the open door and brushing past my legs as I turn on the stove; that sound of footsteps—feet little, bare, and warm—as the girl gets out of bed and approaches me from behind, announcing: Mama, I woke up!

~ Valeria Luiselli, Lost Children Archive: A Novel 


Notes

  • Photo: Common Muse (sunlight, shadow, light)
  • Post Title & Inspiration: Aldous Huxley: “It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them.”

My brother was birthed a soft whistle

Although Twin is older by almost an hour—
of course the birth got complicated when it was my turn—
he doesn’t act older. He is years softer than I will ever be.

When we were little, I would come home
with bleeding knuckles and Mami would gasp
and shake me: “¡Muchacha, siempre peleando!
Why can’t you be a lady? Or like your brother?
He never fights. This is not God’s way.”

And Twin’s eyes would meet mine
across the room. I never told her
he didn’t fight because my hands
became fists for him. My hands learned
how to bleed when other kids
tried to make him into a wound.

My brother was birthed a soft whistle:
quiet, barely stirring the air, a gentle sound.
But I was born all the hurricane he needed
to lift—and drop—those that hurt him to the ground.

~ Elizabeth Acevedo, “More about Twin” in The Poet X (HarperTeen, March 6, 2018)

The Poet X, highly recommended.

 


Notes:

  • Elizabeth Acevedo is a Dominican-American poet and author.  Her critically-acclaimed debut novel and NY Times Bestseller, The Poet X, won the 2018 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature.
  • Portrait of Elizabeth Acevedo via wbur.com

Move it up. Top of your list. Now.

She was, quite simply, a nice lady who’d raised a family and now lived quietly with her cats and grew vegetables. This was both nothing and everything.

~ Gail Honeyman, Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine.

 

 

Miracle. All of it.


Notes:

  • Photographer Megan Loeks made this photograph during bath time that was joined by a curious feline onlooker. (National Geographic, August 2, 2019)
  • Post Inspired by: Sometimes, in the afternoons, I would get into bed with her for a nap, and she would lie beside me drinking her bottle, her eyes fixed in fascination on my body. A preliminary wave of sleep would roll warmly over us. I could feel us falling together through the bright constellations of our thoughts. Even as I crossed the line into sleep I felt her cross it too; I felt her go to sleep just as when I was a child I used to feel snow falling outside my window. Later I would open my eyes to find her sleeping head on my stomach, her body curled as if in homecoming around my side, and I would lie very still, knowing that if I moved she would wake.~ Rachel Cusk, ”A Life’s Work: On Becoming a Mother
  • Post title Inspired by Albert Einstein’s quote: “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
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