June 12, 2020



i am certain of a few things each day. the children will rise, bare-skinned, covered in sleeping dust and eyes at half mast. they will shuffle down the stairs in a slow race, bickering and crooning all at once,  still tired. too tired. they will see me sitting right outside those old stairs, unkempt, motherly. they will climb onto me like i am a rock at the edge of the sea. she climbs into my lap, he climbs my sides. they play with my fingers, kneecaps, the tie of my robe. "the need for nearness," i think. they will ask for breakfast and they will ask for a cartoon. lately it's been air benders, last week it was matilda.
and i will rise for them. usually slowly. what is the rush, anymore? there is no place to be. the clock isn't counting down to anything specific. i wish there were dates at the park or shuttles waiting to go to science museums or trips to splash pads in the cities we love. but there isn't. there is this. there is us. there is this time. i think back and wonder how we have made it this far. we have made more home out of this house than ever before. 

but i will admit, i am tired. the bones in my lower back hurt when i rise from anywhere --- a tied shoelace. picking the lettuce. saving a bee. i can lose my breath returning a cart. sometimes it feels like i am cracking (into place). i fight the urge to cry. "i feel like a breathing teardrop," i tell my husband. everything makes me weep. the milk in the green carton left on our doorstep, the fruit-stamped letters in the mail from a new friend, my grandfather's jawline and white reebok shoes, the way fiorella hula-hoops and his layered shirts with clip-on ties. i told my children that if they see me crying to not worry. they do not  have to come running to me anymore because it will pass. it always does. instead, i told them to say 'oh that mama of mine" and to carry on with whatever they are doing. 

twenty-five weeks and three days. 

i had forgotten about my sourdough starter in the refrigerator for quite some time. i assumed it was perished ~ what hope is there for something i didn't help tame? out of some guesswork, i attempted a revival by pouring out the hooch, adding more flour and water with ratios that fall out of any tongue beautifully: one to one to one. and then i mixed it all, slowly, purposefully, and gave it warmth. after a few hours the bubbles came, and then expansion. the rubberband from where i began was surpassed as if by some ancient magic. leaven. my favorite word, idea, belief(?) right now. how beautiful that a substance can rise and rise and rise when given the proper amount of care. when given purpose.

is that what this time has been? a leavening ~ a transformation, alteration: a rise.
i play sam cooke loudly, for my heart, for my children, for the hearts of the world, for her heart inside me.

there have been times that i thought i couldn't last for long
but now i think i'm able to carry on

 i play nina simone and feel her inside.
my skin is black
my arms are long
my hair is woolly 
my back is strong

their words are a sacred living room. a message and reminder of a prayerful plan on how to rise.


memories, in order:
1. early morning stillness
2. dinner ~ inspired by @thescandicook 
3. favorite snack ~ cucumbers with red wine vinegar, sesame oil, everything but the bagel seasoning
4. coming out of the market to this :)
5. brother and sister in the backyard, summer '20
6. gift from grampy (pool), bucket boats by gus
7. wafers, bites of strawberries (dessert leftovers from fi)
8. my beautiful husband in evening light
9. last day with training wheels
10. feeding geese in marin
11. after-pool ringlets
12. only boy in the world wearing a tie and  riding his bike
13. fiorella & "lucky"
14. sorting baby clothes/ try-on of his old favorite jacket
15. journal entry to her/tangled hair/ nightstand
16.dresser things
17.mama's bandana as a mask
18. feather tricks
19. sourdough