Monthly Archives: September 2018

backup wishes

I couldn’t sleep last night, and couldn’t stop thinking of this as we walked together in the garden this morning:

I wish for a world where you can go to a party (to work, to school, to church, to a restaurant, to a club, to the park, on vacation, down the street) and just enjoy yourself. Free of worry and fear of assault – a world where you don’t have to carry the weight of the shape of your body or your wardrobe choices, their alcohol intake or their entitlement or their rage.

A world where you can fully be yourself in any of those spaces, without wasting brain space and heart space on exit strategies. You don’t need to depend on a friend (a witness, a weapon) to walk you to the bathroom or to the train or to your dorm.

A world where you can take creative risks in following those things that you are most passionate about because you have the confidence that, even in failure, you will learn and grow. You will not have to focus instead on other risks that leave you broken and bruised and blamed.

But because that seems to be TOO MUCH TO ASK and I know that you are not safe – no matter how much I teach you and tell you and expose you and shield you and pray for you and hold my breath and lose sleep over you, I must focus my wishes on this:

I wish for a world that listens, weeps, atones, and believes you.

lately in the garden

It’s been a busy few weeks here as we’ve settled into new school year routines. I’ve started a dozen or more posts in my head but that’s as far as they make it. It’s helpful to remember to give myself time for transitions, and to also maximize my time spent outdoors and active. I know that shorter, cooler days are coming soon, so it feels like I’m storing up sunshine for the winter months.

September brings its own challenges. The Italian prune plums are in the groceries, and I’ve been making plum tortes in every spare hour I can find for the past week. It’s the last dessert I made for my grandfather before he died – I brought it to him to celebrate his birthday on September 4th. September 6th would have been my niece’s 16th birthday, and so in the little tradition that I’ve created over the past few years, I bake those cakes and share them with friends in memory of those we’re missing. It fills the house with the best scent, and I love to think of others sitting down at a quiet table for a slice this coming week.

We’ve encountered more setbacks on the house project, and so we’re trying to regroup again. It feels exhausting at times, and so I decided that this morning I would fight back at that mental exhaustion with some physical exhaustion. I got up for some early miles in Forest Park and then the four of us biked a good portion of Grant’s Trail, stopping for breakfast at Yolklore, before heading back to the truck. When I got home, I walked another cake to a friend’s house and now I’m finally home and showered (!) and drinking coffee like a normal human being on a holiday.

I’ve been struggling with so many current issues that bring up such feelings of rage in me. I’m working on funneling that rage in more productive ways, but sometimes they bubble up to the surface and leave me sputtering and purple in the face. I organized a pretty aggressive reading syllabus for myself, deep diving into systems work – trying to unlearn and relearn a lot. It’s not super relaxing, but it feels necessary to me. I need to know and understand more about so many things.

That kind of work always leads to more questioning and I’m no exception to that. I’ve got a lot to work through, and I do so much of this wrestling here in the garden. The leaves will turn soon, and the flowers will be spent for the season. Even in the colder months, the walk does me good. Thank goodness for this place.

The heat is still incredible here, but we’ve had some good cleansing rains as well. F and I got caught in the middle of one this past Wednesday, and it ended up being one of my favorite walks to date. She is always challenging us, fighting for what she needs or thinks is fair, and she’s not always patient with listening to opposing arguments. But she’s different here, once I get her here. And so am I. We might need a lot more of it this month, but we’re ready.