when the resident was still a mystery

mornings across the table from him

Holy Week came early.
“I want to stick my net into time and say ‘now’ as men plant flags on the ice and snow and say ‘here’.” - Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek.  

To parent a child is like looking for a line within a circle.  I try so hard to plant my flags.  To document the details, to distinguish the befores and afters:  Today he holds a spoon.  Today he climbs the stairs.  Today he lets go of my breast.  Today he grabs hold of my hand.  Today.  Here.  Now.  Look.  But it’s futile.  Time is laughing at me.  I am trying to control it - with notebooks and photo albums - to hold it in my hand as I hold him in my arms and held him in my belly.  

It is an exercise in faith:  to stop grabbing for sharp corners and merely stand by, bear witness, notice and let go.

“Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.”

“Taking notice of the world as we pass through it, the world [all the while] taking no notice of us.  […] There’s a strange comfort in that.”  - Karl Ove Knausgaard

words for this blog.
"The day you were born there was just wind enough to stir the curtains a little, and there was just light enough to make it seem like evening all day long. And there was quiet enough to make it seem as though sound had passed out of the world all together, leaving the wind behind to sweep up after it."

-M. Robinson, Lila

Have you heard of Mangrove trees?  They form floating islands.  One seedling sets sail, casts off, and years later his family has grown large enough to be called land.  Their interwoven roots function as entire miniature ecosystems, housing oysters and starfish.

Wrote some words, for these friends, a couple years ago.  
The piece and their finished film: here

two years, two weeks, ago

from this
to this overnight

dear hilary,

In TinkerCreak, Dillard writes how her exploring/looking is her "leisure as well as her work."  She says that it is a "fierce game she has joined because it is being played anyway."  Like motherhood, I think. (I grab at any new description.)  Being Ives' mum seems like a fierce game.  A game in which the "pay offs, which may suddenly arrive in a blast of light at any moment" are generally, instead, invisible and internal.  In the light blasts: his waking, his speech, his shoulders.  He touches his forehead to the table when Thom prays before we eat.  Like a prostrating muslim.  He holds both our hands and says amen.  I wonder what he is learning.  I hope that ceremony matters, that eating is done in communion, that within a day there are times of pause - breaks in sight.  It is hard to know - the fierce game is a long one.

all my love, nikaela

A collaboration with Julie Pointer

Nikaela: pentax k1000, California, November, 2013
Julie: pentax k1000, Oregon/Sauvie Island, 2014
"But thinking of her life was another thing.  Lying there in that room in that house in that quiet town she could choose what her life had been.  The others were there.  The world was there, evening and morning.  No matter what anybody thought, no matter if she only tagged after them because they let her.  That sweet nowhere.  If the world had a soul, that was it.  All of them wandering through it, never knowing anything different or wanting anything more."

- M. Robinson, Lila.