I’m uncertain about the changing landscape at my beloved job: we are nearing the end of school year now, and this is my first transition of this kind in this setting. I need stability like a crazy person (SWIDT?) and change makes me flinch like from a fist. There’s so little feedback and communication happening right now that every scrap of plan feels like a demotion. Which makes me feel paranoid and crazy. Did I mention feeling crazy. Also hormones.

Next week I’m going home for that overdue christmas visit and I’m almost sick with anxiety. I will attempt to supplant the negativity there with every pleasant sensation I can access but it’ll still feel like getting turned inside out, like being demoted back to the worst part of my life. There aren’t many parts of life I’m afraid of doing alone but I have absolutely zero skills or strategies for what I know I’m walking into. I am terrified. I flinch like from a fist.

I feel like I need advisors, but looking around at the people proximal to my situations it seems there’s no one, or at least no one I can trust, because honestly what model do I even have for that? It seems like I should have done a better job of seeking out or creating proximal advisors, but I never realize how true this is until the moment I’m caught in the need, like how I forget I need to buy shampoo until my hair is already wet, or toilet paper until I’m on the toilet scanning the room for tissue or any approximation thereof.

How does anybody ever get anything done.

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at sea

Today I was able to connect with a teenager I’ve been struggling with all year by spilling the condensed 5-minute version of my childhood story to him. He has some similar stuff going on in his life but super did not expect it coming from me, and the expression in his eyes as they soaked up every wet word unhinged all the moorings in my chest. My heart slipped loose and bobbed around while I struggled to keep face against the tears. It felt, after our meeting was ended, as if some sort of tension had been released.

At the end of the day he shocked me by stopping into my center just to reconnect and say bye before he went home. This tiny act, and I am undone.

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Blueberries macerating in olive oil, to grace thick Greek yogurt with black sesame seeds and a homemade toasted nut mix: hazelnut, cashew, walnut, pistachio, pine nut, pecan. Sweet potato baking in the oven for tomorrow’s lunch, to feature alongside a bowl of pesto pasta salad with fresh mozzarella, basil, tiny multicolored tomato gems, cucumber, pistachios and pine nuts. Four days of kale smoothie packs ready for the week: some have blueberries and almond butter, others apple and ginger.

Chopped chicken in the fridge is soaking in a bath of ponzu, fresh ginger, rice wine vinegar, hoisin, and white pepper, waiting for its wedding tomorrow night with fat asparagus stalks in smoking hot peanut oil, chiles, sesame seeds. Whole thighs in lime juice, lime zest, cumin, and smoked paprika will meet butter lettuce salads with red peppers, bacon, and cilantro later in the week.

My kitchen has been a sad, dirty slum for months now. I haven’t cleaned, haven’t cooked, haven’t been inspired by any food beyond soup for ages, and I certainly haven’t had the energy to wash and prep and cook for the week to come. It’s been all single-serving yogurt cups, grocery store salads, and delivery over here. Too much packaging, too much waste. I think I finally took Salad Bag Lyfe too far!

This rebound feels restorative and exciting and I hope it takes. I can’t wait to eat all these things and I hope lunchtime only-wants-burgers-and-pizza me will agree.

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home remedy

Sickly, squawking, voiceless week. Restless, coughing night, afraid to take the meds because my throat is so swollen–what if I suffocate in my sleep? Instead, a 4am hot toddy: honey coating the raspy bits, whiskey easing the strain, Meyer lemon clarifying the streaky tissues, steam tending to the struggling cilia. Finally the passages open and I succumb to my damp twist of sheets.

Wretched morning stinks of meat-sleep, coughing and choking on the swamp lodged in my throat, so I wake thinking nothing has improved. But it passes, and a day spent in bed doing absolutely nothing while the rain has its way with the outside is just what the doctor ordered. Voice is back, inhalation barely burns, swallowing only faintly hurts, airways are clear and unrestricted (thankyou caffeine). Somewhere over there are kitchens that ought to be cleaned, food that needs cooking, and this bed should probably be burned, but I think I’ll just stay here until it’s time for hot showers and toddies and let my body have a break. It has damn well earned it.

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I know why the Mockingbird sings

Harper Lee has died, gone to join Maya Angelou in whatever special sort of heaven is reserved for the women who with their words breathed compassion into the bitter, broken lungs of the convalescent South. Our mothers, raising us up, giving us life. How can these literary greats, whole subjects taught in school, guideposts which set generations of morals, not be permanent? It feels like the very rock of the world is chipped away one life at a time. Death is a consummate, constant sculptor. We are all shucked of our mothers.

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On coping with the hardest parts of life, alone.

My heart hurts.

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Today I found out that yet another person I know has chosen to end their own life. We weren’t close friends, but I knew him, he was a person, and the thought of him so alone and so hopeless shocks me. How can people get this way when there are so very many of us in the world? How can there not be enough of us to keep everyone afloat?

I put the feelings on hold this morning because I needed to go be whole at work, but came home to find them sitting here waiting, staring me in the face. The incomprehensible permanence of the act, the violence of it, I just can’t wrap my mind around it.

But it’s done. It happened weeks ago. A whole human story, ended. Over.





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