Deep Land Exploration & A Butter Dish


Ari ExploringContentedness, for me, lies in exploration.  There are new things everywhere.  It’s easy to forget, but most of us have never even seen the inside of our neighbor’s homes.  (Never mind the unexplored cities, states, countries!)  When I’m troubled, depressed, slow, whining, crying, shouting, hiding out, this is the one idea that can help.  I don’t need a plane ticket (although that would be fantastic, so feel free to send one along if you’re feeling generous!  I’ll go just about anywhere!), I just need to sneak around a neighborhood I don’t know or meet some new people.

Today I bought a crystal butter dish from one of the loveliest trans women I’ve ever met, at a garage sale in Royal Oak.  She complimented my hair, which I had been irrationally crying over just hours before.  This maybe more than anything was necessary today.  No one has ever spent more time looking fabulous than this lady, and she liked my hair.

Coincidence is annoying and time consuming to hear about, but it keeps me going, so if you’re reading this, you are just going to have to cope.

At this same garage sale I snagged a hardcover copy of Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls for $1, which wouldn’t be that amazing if it weren’t for the fact that I was already considering sneaking off from my quick errand to read The Glass Castle by the SAME AUTHOR, because it’s an absolutely amazing book (and also because it was already in my car.)

Obviously, my sneaking, time-stealing ways were meant to be.  I took two hours.  ALL TO MYSELF.  NO ONE KNOWS WHERE.  But I did read the whole time, so I didn’t get into too much trouble.

Later, after baby bath times and dishes and vacuuming, I took a good long night walk all around our area, past houses I didn’t know, along the service drive for the highway, through the dark neighborhood.  I walked until my knee was sick of my shit.  I poured over Walls’ story, the horses, the floods, the ambition unacknowledged.

I didn’t go far, but I’m going to bed with the images of new houses, the faces of new people, the echoes of new words.  I’ll sleep with a bigger world wrapped around myself.  It’s amazing the difference it makes.

That damn butter dish brought it to me.  I actually don’t love it.  I will have to keep looking.  Garage sale season ain’t quite over.


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Late Summer


This has been the summer of the spider. A giant spider (what we think is an orb weaver) has been building a web that is maybe 4×5′ every night along the side of our back deck.

After the internets reassured me that it wasn’t luring in housecats, I welcomed it into the family.

His name is Francis.

Every morning he’s gone, and every evening around dusk he’s back, moving in quick little circles around the frame of what will be the fresh, giant, web.

Last night I threw small moths at the finished thing, hoping to see some action. None of them stuck. But I couldn’t help but attempt to feed our newest family member.

He looks bigger tonight.  Obviously he’s eating plenty without my help.  Moths were too small maybe?  He’s probably used to catching bats.  Or raccoons.

Here is a pic of the boys today, discovering a very tiny spider on the porch. He had a large ant in his little web. After quite a struggle, the ant escaped. The boys were relieved. I sort of was also. This little guy is obviously not the Amazonian hunter that Francis is.

Baby spider

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The Age of Miracles

It’s Friday afternoon and June fell asleep and Rosie and Ari were watching a movie and Ed was *about to* mow the lawn, and so I snuck out for a few to read.

I like the open air feel of this new and painfully hipster food truck restaurant, Fleat. I like that the girls here, out early from work or maybe not yet punching in somewhere, aren’t wearing makeup on their pretty, plain faces. And they are happy and relaxed. I like the young social worker next to me with her gorgeous black boyfriend, just sipping lemonade. I like the girl outside with her little baby in the stroller. I like the guy in the dirty boots who looks like he went in early and got out early from build site and is ready for some wings and a beer.  It feels very ‘live and let live’ here.

(I 95% forgive them for replacing my favorite shady Chinese restaurant.)

After all of this Nazi ‘Alt-right’ bull shit in Charlottesville, I needed this. Someone on FB said that there were only hundreds of those nutjobs at this gathering. And that is after months of planning the event. Someone else spoke of the young age of most of the protesters, and of their repeated mention of having ‘big balls’. Is this an angry young man thing? Is it a phase? Can we try to brush it off?  Who ARE these people?  I’d like to think the ideal of equality and acceptance and fairness is a real, attainable concept. I know conflict is part of human nature, but if enough people knew and were raised with such peace and inclusion, couldn’t we continue to do better as a whole society? Is that naive to think?

I sure hope not.


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Current obsession:

The contradiction between what the video seems to be at first and what it really is… love it.

Also I kind of get off on seeing things like organized Tupperware being knocked from off the counter and neatly shelved books being knocked around.

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