Crazy-ass family

You just can't make this stuff up

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Melancholy Musings

There are those people in life without whom, you’d simply be a different person. Who’ve touched you somehow and have had meaning in your life. Some of these people blaze through, and are only there for what seems like a moment in the grand scheme of things, but touch you so profoundly in that moment that you are forever changed. Then there are those that are there each day…always there, always being. And the impact they have on you is not as striking, because it’s ongoing. But it’s deep. And it becomes like a hollow inside yourself that can only be filled by them.
When I was a child, I was troubled. I was filled with anxiety and doubt and fear. But when I was with my cousins Lynn and Leslie, it all went away, and I quite simply felt free. Even now, I am awed at how naturally we seem to fit together. It’s a rare thing, that kind of understanding of another soul, isn’t it? Rare and beautiful. Something to be cherished.
Jim is another of those souls that has intertwined itself with mine. We’ve been together so long that it seems we’ve never been apart. For better or for worse, we’re linked. He makes me angry. He makes me hurt. And I can’t imagine being without him. He’s just there. And together, we’ve built things. Made things. Made three babies. The hard part is growing them.
Every day I go to work, and there are souls there that I’m thankful for. Some I’ve known forever and some only for a while. We talk and smile and get through our work and our days together, and all the while we’re building, building, building and making little pathways in each other…these little furrows. Trails of our presence.
What we’ll remember from.
There are those souls I go through my life with now, people I work with and play with and somehow work and play become interchangeable. Rachel and I sit together and there is a comfort there that means it’s okay if I’m just me. I don’t have to laugh if it’s not funny. I don’t have to hide my tears if I’m moved. I can be me like I can be me when she isn’t there. But it’s nicer when she is.
There are souls who feel absent, too. The ones I’ve lost touch with…the ones who are far away, and the ones whose hearts are far away. And the holes they used to fill are empty now, and sometimes painfully so. I think of them all, and sometimes when I do, my stomach pulls together in a tight ball and tears form behind my eyes.
The beautiful thing is how utterly separate we all are…though you have left a hole in me, I have no control over whether you come back to fill it up again. I wonder, do I leave these shallow holes in others? Deep ones? Have I left some empty and wanting?
Is there someone now who cares for me, who I care for, and we just…don’t know?
Do we ever truly know what we mean to another?
Do we just trust?
Do we fill these empty spaces with other things? Hobbies? Music? Television shows?
Do we wait, or do we…go on?
I don’t know. But I do know this: I’m thankful for the people in my life. I love them all. I would give my whole self for any of them.
Thank God they don’t realize that…

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


Liam’s been very cute lately.
I mean, he’s always been cute, but now it’s threatening to kill me. The cuteness. It’s achingly wonderful.
The child is snuggly. He asks for hugs and kisses, and often after a hug, he’ll simply turn around so he can plop himself in your lap for a while, pleased just to sit there quietly for a few perfect moments.
He’s saying more, or at least trying to. He talks to his friends in the television, answering Steve when he asks what colour to mix with blue to make green. Sure, he says “EH!”, not “yellow” but it’s consistent. It’s meaningful. He says “uh-oh” until I meet his eyes, then he’ll drop his fork or open the drawer and throw the wooden spoons around triumphantly.
He sits on the floor, a book in his lap, babbling constantly over the pages. He’ll turn a page, gaze at the contents for a moment, then jabber on, reading in his little, big way.
It’s amazing how awed I can be at these things, even after already having raised two boys through this stage. But the beautiful thing about us all is our differences, isn’t it? And it’s so apparent in children, right from the start. Fascinating to witness and lose yourself in those differences.

The other day, I was on the computer, and Liam was toddling around, very busy with his tasks. Suddenly he was in front of me, handing me the DVD remote. He looked into my eyes purposefully and yelled one of his Liam words. Then, he went to stand in front of the TV, gazing at me expectantly.
“You want to watch Blue’s Clues?” I asked?
“AH!” he replied, bouncing joyfully.
I put the disk in and he sighed happily.
I asked him if he wanted to sit in his seat, and he ran toward the seat, arms upraised so I could lift him into it.
I love my son.
I love all my sons.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Taking Pictures is Fun

I didn't get to go to jail. How nice!
Plus, I had fun!
Here's what I did yesterday:

Location #1:

Location #2:

Location #3:
I love that one, but you have to look closely to see what it is. Here's a hint: there were a LOT of pigeons in this building...and...uh...sometimes they don't realize there's a window between them and the outside...

You can see more here, if you like.

Friday, November 24, 2006


Dry Spell.

Ever feel like you’re wandering through a desert? Bare feet on scorching hardpan, no breeze at all - the sun beating down relentlessly? And not a cloud to be seen? When I feel like this, I get quiet.

And wait for rain.

I’m so thirsty. Everything around me looks like water. I drink in my friends, drown in work, swallow my children in huge, refreshing gulps. When I sing, my voice is muffled as if I were under water. My motions are slow; like I have to fight the very air to move. But somehow, it’s all an illusion…my lips remain dry. My eyeballs scrape in their sockets.

I’m still thirsty.

No worries. A more upbeat post after my big adventures tomorrow. Unless I'm in jail, in which case I will not be posting.

Nor will I be upbeat.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

I Am Not Ian Anderson, and That's Okay

Yesterday I was thrilled to discover that my flute music had arrived in the mail. I had ordered a book of flute solos by Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull fame, and finally, finally…it was here.
As I’ve written here before, music was a big part of my childhood; my link to my father, in a sense. Jethro Tull was a staple over the years, and I learned each song – each instrument, each inflection of tone – not by intention, but because it was so often there, in the background or foreground, playing.
When I picked up the flute for band in elementary school, I wasn’t thinking of this music I knew so well. I just thought it was a cool instrument. Over the years, the music of my childhood faded, as it is wont to do, into the shadows of modern favourites – music that is loud and current and much more easily there. I sold my flute, too, much to my later regret. Years went by, and I’d get the occasional ache for it; even found myself fingering a note…placing my fingers rigidly in the air, hearing it in my head…on occasion. Jen would placate me by letting me her play her old flute once in a while, and I was always surprised at what I remembered. I’d pick out Pachelbel’s Canon and remember the angst of not being able to read music in high school band. I faked it well, though, listening once then knowing it. Picking the notes out of the air and fixing them in my head the way I sometimes can…turning that memory switch not to “on” but to “turbo” and burning something there. An excellent skill if you want to attain straight “A”s in University, but not easily explained. I did the same in choir. While others followed the notes on the page, I’d find the song in my head and follow it there, hearing it like the first time I heard it, and matching my voice to the notes.
As one ages, one tends to turn back to the things that made them happy long ago, don’t they? My mp3 player holds not only recent favourites, but is packed with the music of my childhood and teenage years. When I was pregnant with Aidan, I got the chance to see Jethro Tull in concert and jumped at it. Yeah, I threw up in my mouth a bit during the concert, but the overpowering hormones of pregnancy did not stop me from enjoying the show. They were amazing…Anderson was amazing…and my ache to play again was stronger than ever.
About a year ago, I bought a cheap flute on eBay, with a couple books, and got re-acquainted with an old friend. Even better, I learned to read music, and found myself more comfortable with the instrument than I ever had been. A very expensive upgrade was soon to follow, and I’ve played as much as I could ever since.
Somehow, though, I held back from that music I so yearned to play. I played traditional Irish tunes and Christmas songs, and played them, and played them.
And played them some more.
I think I wanted to be ready. I wanted to feel like I was worthy of attempting something by Anderson; didn’t even want to look at the music. So yesterday, when I got my music in the mail, it felt like…well it felt like a reward.
This morning I listened to Bouree, following it with my eyes, then picking it out on the flute. Each note attained was joy. When I could play the first part, it felt like something clicked…like I’d come full circle.
Then, after that first simple melody, came the solo. And I was most thoroughly knocked down. Listening to it, I came to a realization:
I will never, in my life, play like this man.
Anderson sings with his flute, sings into it, makes it sing. It’s not a flute – it’s an extension of him. With it, he screams, cries, moans, whispers gently. He makes us feel. That music isn’t work for him. It’s just…him. He soars.
I won’t play like him, no. I am in awe of him. And though I could be disappointed at this realization, I’m not…somehow, it feels so good to know that though I can aspire, I could never be like that.
I’m something different.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Sucky things:
-I've had a cold for a week
-My lungs hurt
-Now I have a coldsore
-Food seems so yucky when I'm sick
-I can't concentrate, focus, or even think clearly when I'm sick

Good things:
-My Mom is coming to visit from Nova Scotia on Wednesday
-I won the cheesecake bakeoff at work today
-I love my boys
-Aimee Mann is in my head, singing:

It's not
What you thought
When you first began it
You got
What you want
Now you can hardly stand it though,
By now you know
It's not going to stop
It's not going to stop
It's not going to stop
'Til you wise up

You're sure
There's a cure
And you have finally found it
You think
One drink
Will shrink you 'til you're underground
And living down
But it's not going to stop
It's not going to stop
It's not going to stop'
Til you wise up

Prepare a list of what you need
Before you sign away the deed
'Cause it's not going to stop
It's not going to stop
It's not going to stop
'Til you wise up
No, it's not going to stop
'Til you wise up
No, it's not going to stop
So just...give up

Have you watched "Magnolia"? It's so good. You'll cry. Aimee Mann did the soundtrack, and it's fantastic.

Another sucky thing:
-My voice is crap because of this cold so I can't sing to the song in my head.