i peer inside myself i take the things i like and try to love the things i took

shuttin' er down
I never thought I'd do this, but I went "Friends Only." 


If I comment on your site, LiveJournal is often my only viable choice and I'M NOT HERE. It makes me not want to leave a comment, honestly.

My home is 

Lecture over.

blogging again
Hey Friends,

I hope to be back in the blogging groove now. I'll use this place when I need some privacy, for sure. But I started a public blog here. I wanted to let you know, in case you're interested. I'm pretty excited about it. Steve actually made it for me two years ago, and I just got around to using it now. 


everything is unfinished
 I was going through the file named "writing" on my Mac, looking for inspiration. I came across some things that made me laugh, some that made me tingle with pride, and many, unfinished, abandoned pieces that made me cross-eyed. Like this one:

She said thank you to the stranger holding the door for her as she left the building with her post-office parcel in hand. Her thank you tickled her ears, grown-up and sure. Kind and sincere. She walked across the icy parking lot to her car and wondered if the door-holding man could have seen into her thank you. Was it the kind of thank you that told a story? Could he know that her momma used to sit at the end of her bed and cry and talk for hours after slapping her hard on the back in anger? Could he know that she sometimes aches for her momma but can never imagine the reconnecting their lives? Could he know that she's a momma now and has made her own girl cry and laugh? Could he know that she's happy and lost and lonely and trying, trying, trying? Could he know that sitting behind the wheel of a car with a destination sometimes startles her with as a crisp awareness of adulthood and its responsibility and choice pools in her chest, filling it with winged creatures. A relief and a burden.

Conclusion: I'm a melodramatic starter. 

what do you wish you did everyday?
 I'm stealing this from [info]audrawilliams.

Walk Ferris first thing in the morning (for the health of both of us)
Wake up early (so I can linger and not feel rushed)
Write (because I'm so stuck and complaining about it isn't making it better)
Bake (I would love to be the kind of mom who could send homemade stuff with Emma ever day or
the kind of friend who always had goodies to offer)
Eat at least one meal as a family (because days go by that we don't do this!)
Dance with Emma (we both love it and my favourite sound on the planet is her giggle)
Floss my teeth (because I'd feel less guilty doing it the night before my dental appointment)
Smother my body in cream (I have dry skin and so many containers of yummy smelling lotion
and never make the time to do this!)
Tell someone I love them and why (because it feels so good and life is short and precious)
Read (because books make me giddy)

What would your list look like?

maybe this one should be called "where I'm found"
Where I’m From (present)
By Shannon Fisher

I am from hoodies in every colour, from iEverything and LiveJournal.
I am from one half of the brown, white-trimmed duplex in Henner’s Landing with a fenceless backyard testament to the wide-open boundaries of two families in love, loud, early-morning noises of new development.
I am from the young trees planted symmetrically, choke-cherry, hawthorne and mountain ash, the rows of sod, green and thriving, rolled by two women who’s hearts share the memory of being sisters in a different life.
I’m from Little Women watched, with teary eyes and the hope that maybe this time Beth will stay with us, every Christmas. I am from long dark eye lashes and fine hair.
From Steve and from Emma.
I’m from morning cuddles and talking about absolutely everything.
From “you’re the best thing in my life” and “Who’s turn is it to get up?”
I’m from singing Emma a bedtime doxology by Steve Bell the first four years of her life.
I’m from Calgary, Edmonton and Lacombe,
From Kraft Dinner and frozen McCain’s pizzas.
From the time Steve snuggled up to me in bed and mistakenly told me I stink.
I am from the impromptu interview conducted with Emma and a whisk.
I am from the thousands of digital photos documenting the story of a girl being found by a boy made from tenderness and playfulness who helped her believe that she is smart, talented, full of beauty, and not her past. The story of the living joy that came into their lives in the form of a girl child. The story of that child illuminating corners of hearts that would have remained hidden without love so vulnerable, so dependent, so perfect.
I am from that little family of new beginnings. I am from fights that end in hugs and taking every chance there is to laugh and be silly. I am from a daughter who thinks she hates to be teased.
I am from the sweet, soft hands that call me “Momma.” I am from giggles that fill a room. I am from watching a man love our daughter with a hands-on fierceness. I am from the biggest and most enduring love I have ever known.
I am from the search for freedom and belonging.
I am from freedom and belonging.

I still want to hear your version and so does Annelie, yo!Collapse )

I'm not finding this "present" one as interesting as the "past" poem. This is an assignment I found on a teacher website that I hope to get my students to do in the first week (which starts tomorrow!!!) to put up on our "about us" bulletin board. I know it's going to take a lot of patience and plenty of one-on-one and maybe even some bribery ... but can you imagine the poems my 5/6s could come up with?! Especially ones with the backgrounds/family lives like my students tend to have. I think they're going to be AMAZING and any blood, tears or sweat expended will be highly worth it once we have their finished products. BEAUTY, I imagine. Heart-wrenching beauty.

I feel about my writing the way Jess feels about his drawing
    "You should draw a picture of Terabithia for us to hang in the castle," Leslie said.
    "I can't." How could he explain it in a way Leslie would understand, how he yearned to reach out and capture the quivering life about him and how when he tried, it slipped past his fingertips, leaving a dry fossil upon the page? "I just can't get the poetry of the trees," he said.
    "She nodded. "Don't worry," she said. "You will someday."

From Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson


fly me high
I ran down through the houses and up to the trails where the path carved out reminds me of Keats. The setting sun was flirting with its own reflection in the lake and flashing me brilliant between trees as I moved forward. My legs felt strong and I wove my way through the canvas of greens and browns. I breathed in the goodness of joy. Happiness found in small moments created by the meeting of my heart and nature. This song played in my ears while my feet pounded out its beat.

It was perfection.

Happily Ever After
Emma has this box set of Disney Princess stories that she got for her birthday last September. Every night she begs me to read them and every night I groan, "No! Not the princess ones, Em. There is no such thing as happily ever after. Seriously. These books drive Mommy bonkers. Pick another." And she retorts, "Yes, there is, Mommy. Don't say that." And she looks at me with her big, blue pleading eyes and suckers me in every time.

This morning Em started telling me stories, so I started frantically writting them down. You can clearly see the influence of these books on her story telling. I'm going to share them because they make me laugh. I could barely write fast enough with her purple marker to keep up, I was giggling so hard.

1. Once upon a time there was a beautiful princess named Princess Fiona. she loved her little kitty. One day she couldn't find her kitty anywhere. One day she had a puppy. One day her mom found the kitty and she loved it. There was a prince. One day the prince was going to marry a girl named Princess Fiona. The prince would like to marry that girl. The princess said, "Yes!" THE END.

2. One day there was a beautiful maid named Cinderella. She was a beautiful maid. She would like to marry a prince. She had a kitty named Areah. One day the evil step sisters tore Cinderella's gown to shreds. One evening everyone went to the ball together. the prince arrived to the ball to let Cinderella into the ballroom. The clock began to stroke midnight. As she ran out the door she lost one of her pretty glass slippers. And then lived happily after after. THE END.

3. Once upon a time there was a beautiful girl named Ariel. One day she would like to marry a prince. One of those humans. So she swam up to the surface. But then her daddy recognized that she swam up to the surface. "Never go to the surface again!" said her dad. "I'm not little," said Ariel, "I'm a teenager. And one day I would like to marry a prince." "But Ariel, you can't go to the surface. You're too little." Ariel had a friend named Flounder. The prince and Ariel lived happily ever after after. THE END.

4. Once upon a time there was a boy named Eric. He liked to marry. One day his mom packed him a nice basket of ice cream for his grandma. That day a bad wolf came and gulped up Eric's grandma. That day Eric arrived at Grandma's house. But that day the wolf followed Eric into his grandma's house. He quickly called for someone to get the grandma out. One day that evening a princess came. She helped the grandma out of the wolf's tummy and they had a yummy picnic together. THE END.

I just wrote, word for word what my little girl said. She is such a hilarious kid. Great stories, Emmers! I especially like your version of Little Red Ridding Hood.

once upon a good hair day
When I was a little girl in elementary school my classmates used to make fun of my hair. I don't know how I knew this, I just know that I did. My mom was big into tight buns on top of my head and banana clips (there is nothing good about a banana clip and never was). One boy, James Callahan, used to look at my buns and make a comment about forgetting his butter again.

I remember the day that I went and got my hair cut and styled by the lady who lived in the house facing the big, education-red front doors of my school. I slept on it that night and went to school with her style still in my hair the next day.

It was the first time any boy or girl, other than my mother, told me that I was pretty. I remember I was wearing a freshly de-tagged, yellow outfit that same day my hair made me beautiful. When I got noticed for the first time that morning it was by two of the popular girls in grade six. The you-have-arrived grade, as far as the rest of us were concerned. I must have been in grade four or five then. They had never spoken to me before, those girls, and when they did, they knew my name, and it made my breath catch in my throat.

Later, at recess, a beautiful, older boy, newish to our school, named Taz smiled at me while I was skipping and told me I looked pretty. He also called me by name.

That was the day that I stepped out from the backdrop of my own life and took notice of myself and my potential to matter. To be visible. Noticeable. Attractive. I had, until that day, believed that I was dreadfully insignificant.

I overcompensated for my perceived worthlessness by being The Bossiest Child Alive. (Most people chalked it up to me acting like an only child.) I would manipulate recess time, initiating games like Kissing Tag and  Boys Chase the Girls, and insist that we all keep playing long after everyone had lost interest, hoping that I might get kissed or chased by a boy just one more time. I had an unhealthy interest in boys, craving their attention and validation, by the time I reached grade three. When my friends would protest against the games I suggested I would pout silently until they, being less wise and crafty in the ways of manipulation, would cave in.

One of the kids was a girl named Jennifer Brogan. I remained friends with her well into my adult life. When we would reminisce, I would often ask her why on earth she stuck with me, cringing at the memories of how poorly I treated her and the rest of my playground pals. I don't remember what her answer was, but I like to think that she kept choosing me because she was the type of person who could see into my heart, past all of its hurts and disappointments, manifesting as cruelty and superiority, to the parts that craved to be loved and accepted and healed. To the parts that were good and kind and generous. The parts that wouldn't really appear until much later.

That second night I wanted to sleep on my hair again; I was desperate not to part with my nugget of pretty. My mom wouldn't let me though, and I didn't have the courage to tell her that I didn't want to go back to being ugly. I'm not even sure I would have been capable of articulating those kinds of thoughts and feelings at the time. And so I remained that awkward, strange-haired, little girl for the rest of my elementary school career. And, well, things just got worse and worse as we got later into the 80s, but that wasn't my fault, really. And by that time I just sort of blended in.

Emma is such an undeniable entity of beauty and character that I can't imagine anyone ever finding fault with her appearance (short of her being plagued with the acne that entered my life as a teenager and has yet to vanish). Even so, I try to focus on how kind, generous, gentle, compassionate and funny she can be. Those are the places I want her to grow her roots and become. It's not easy though; I often catch myself telling her how pretty she looks and what amazing hair she has. And, as little girls do (and big ones too), she loves the mirror. I often catch her smiling at herself from different angles while flipping up the bottom of her dress and pressing her chin to her shoulder. It makes me laugh. I think she'll have an easier life because of her physical attractiveness. I know she will. That makes me feel relieved, jealous, and scared for her all at once.

I just hope that I'm more of a help than a hindrance to her as she knocks this world on its feet. Because I know she's going to, that girl of mine.

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