Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Make some room for yourself

Demand It Courageously
by Julia Hartwig 

Make some room for yourself, human animal.
Even a dog jostles about on his master's lap to improve his position.
And when he needs space he runs forward, without paying attention to commands or calls.

If you didn't manage to receive freedom as a gift, demand it as courageously as bread and meat.
Make some room for yourself, human pride and dignity.

The Czech writer Hrabal said: I have as much freedom as I take.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

She doesn't know how not to

Friday, April 19, 2013

Embarrassment of Riches

I'm laughing in bed with my phone blaring Willie Nelson's "On the road again." I ask, "You've really never heard Willie Nelson?"

"I have not." This is one of those odd cultural disparities. He's Spanish. From Madrid. I'm American, from Texas. We move from On the Road Again to Angels Flying to Close to the Ground.

He says, "It's not as bad as I thought it was be. But it does sound like a Texan grabbing the microphone after four beers."

"Well, sure. Essentially, that's what it is. With a giant Texas flag behind it."
I wake up early and go into our exercise room to row and do 30 minutes of barre before work. Our suburban home is unnecessarily big. As a result, we are lucky enough to have an exercise room. And a library. And a fireplace in our bedroom. None of this is necessary for me to be happy, but periodically I look around and feel lucky. It's the love though, not the house itself.

We gutted the kitchen and made every decision about what we replaced it with, together. We agonized over wood stains and granite and pulls. Sometimes when we are cooking together he grabs me and says, "I love our kitchen." I love it too and as much as it sucked when we were doing it, it's blissful to cook in there with him now.

I adore that it's ours. That we built it together. And it's new memories for us both. 

We are planning a road trip in the coming months. We'll start in a little house by the sea with a hot tub. And it doesn't really matter what happens from there. I'll bring Willie Nelson and we'll be on the road. Together.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Cooking Eggs Sunday Morning

Him: Have you seen that movie? It had Susan Sarandon in it?

Me: No. Also? Of course not.

Him: Too bad.

Me: Susan Sarandon is one of those older women you'd do in a heartbeat isn't she?

Him: Yes. How did you know?

Me: How could I not know? Every smart man who likes smart women feels the same way.

Him: Hmm. Really?

Me: Yes. And I wouldn't even be mad.

Him: Good to know.

Me: I mean, if it just was one time.

Him: Glad you clarified that. 

Me: If it was just one time and if it was Susan Sarandon. Only.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013


I listened to Barbara Jordan’s 1976 DNC speech, then Joni Mitchell’s Hejira.

It’s been a rough week --month, year, perhaps career – and so I’m looking somewhere for a reminder of why I’m doing this. I used to find it within, but my reserves are unusually low.
"We are a people in a quandary about the present. We are a people in search of our future. We are people in search of a national community. We are a people trying not only to solve the problems of the present, but we are attempting on a larger scale to fulfill the promise of America." - Barbara Jordan, July 12, 1976
I play parent at work, navigating arguments over where people sit and who gets a window or the largest space. The things are important, I know. I have a broad-- even academic--understanding of why this matters. So I try not to snap, it is important to me that everyone feel valued, that work feels fair.
In our possessive coupling, so much could not be expressed So now I'm returning to myself, these things that you and I suppressed. - Joni Mitchell, Hejira
I want to change a bad policy, make a life better, fix the world.

Instead, I make window spaces smaller, darker spaces larger. I’m the queen of compromise, the mistress of inclusion and everyone feels heard.
Well I looked at the granite markers, those tribute to finality - to eternity. And then I looked at myself here, chicken scratching for my immortality.  -Joni Mitchell, Hejira
At some point, I accidentally say out loud, “It’s a paradox isn’t it? You want me to trust you to do the right thing but then you actually have to do the right thing to engender the trust.”