speak your mind, even if your voice shakes

I don't want there to be any doubt, years from now, about where we stand. 
I am not undecided. I did not vote for Trump in 2016 and I will not vote for him this year.
I may not be capable of dissuading other voters from supporting the incumbent, but I do not want my boys, or their children, to someday wonder about any of this. 

A vote for the incumbent is a vote for racism, for misogyny, for reckless disregard for human life. It is a vote against science, and our planet. It’s a vote against art and culture and education. It’s a vote against children and families. It’s a vote against the elderly, the poor, the ill. It’s a vote against democracy. It’s a vote for chaos and disorder. 

There is no such thing as voting for a single issue in this election. If you cast your vote for the current administration because you are fiscally conservative, or because you oppose abortion, or because you want to preserve your right to bear arms, you are voting for all the rest of it, too.

Voting is a sacred responsibility once or twice a year.
Treating humans well is a sacred responsibility every single day.
We need to elect leaders who will move the dial toward equality and inclusion, who are attuned to the voices of experts who understand the profound need for progressive policies, who will do the least harm and the greatest good. 


this is not nothing


rainbow bouqets

 He is a rascal and a delight.


more than soup

There's a story that's been told and retold about the Wednesday evening I sat at the dinner table straight through my favorite extracurricular activity because I would not take a bite of the tomato soup that had been served. I loved gymnastics and I was pretty sure I hated tomato soup and I still wonder from whom Tolliver inherited his stubborn streak.
Tollie asked twice recently if I'd make tomato soup, the "good kind" like I made for Andy once he recovered from Covid enough to regain appetite and taste. The kind with sauteed onions and garlic, chunks of roasted tomatoes, heavy cream and fresh basil.
Yesterday I made the soup. I didn't take a single bite, but sometimes we can tell people we love them without saying a word. I hope he remembers the hot bowl in front of him, a metaphorical hug, the same way I remember missing gymnastics all the times my mom did make the things I asked for.


a bushel and a peck


a bystander to the magic

The little boys don safety goggles while Andy mans the chainsaw. They're designing a stump throne at the edge of the woods, a place to sit and think.
I wonder if they'll always have their work cut out for them.
Standing at the counter, the big boys are disassembling a small mechanical toy, to replace batteries and - hopefully - reconnect a gear. Andy shows them how to diagram the parts as they remove sections, a strategy to aide in the rebuilding, a way to honor the process with some fulcrum of stability.

After an epic game of laser tag in the lawn, huddled around the outdoor kitchen the boys take turns flipping pumpkin pancakes, all of them so present that yesterday's regrets fall off the radar.
I become a lucky bystander to most of the magic happening here.





I remember when Tucker, having gone to the theater with Grandpa Rod, came home and retold the plot of a movie in such remarkable detail that the retelling may have taken longer than the film itself.

Hank does this now, recounts stories that circumnavigate the globe before I catch any possibility of a conclusion.


indefinite uncertainty

“Whatever inspiration is, it’s born from a continuous I don’t know.” 

Why is there a hawk by the back door?

Is it a red tail? Is it asleep? Could it be sick? Why is it standing on one leg?

I wonder if it's a girl or a boy? 

Maybe it just ate breakfast and has that tired feeling that comes with a full belly?

The boys stand and watch through the window, singularly focused, all four of them. This is how we spend our days now, I guess, watching a bird sunbathe or whatever, letting wonder become a makeshift raft for the slipstream of uncertainty.

Other times we hedge against any lack of sureness with an arsenal of habits and routines that make it feel containable, controllable, workable. Maybe that's just me, actually.
We are all trying our best to cope with the fundamental precariousness of each day.

The hawk takes off, after more than an hour, and a swarm of new inquiry emerges.

All these question marks, I think, may be valuable All these I don't knows, a small phrase that seems to fly on mighty wings.

*Polish poet WisÅ‚awa Szymborska, in her Nobel Prize acceptance speech. 



I'm trying to think of this space as a way to send myself something like a postcard, to create a simple relationship between right now and the future.



Do you have time? Before the children wake, but after coffee, can you take a walk? I'll meet you at the corner. I need you to help me sort through all the noise. Are you holding up okay? Tell me what the hard part is. Tell me something that might delight you today, is there anything you're looking forward to? Do you even have a dinner plan? Our dining table is littered with books and markers and it feels like I can only highlight the monotony.

Do you have time? After the bedtime routine, is it even a routine any more, can we meet on the back patio? Here’s a grapefruit cocktail and a leftover slice of pie. Look at these new elastic waist shorts, plus they have pockets. How did homeschool go today? Did you hear about the plan to pivot? Did you see the sun? Did you catch three deep breaths because living in this ellipsis feels hard. We should probably go to bed before we have to do this again tomorrow. I wonder what we are becoming other than undone?