Mairsy Dotes

"No faith is as solid as a wounded faith."

Oooo…I’m HUNGRY May 29, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — beege @ 3:33 pm

So, I’ve reached a point where I can no longer tell myself that the extra weight I’m carrying is because I just had a baby. I just had a baby 14 months ago. The excuse is no longer valid. And while I’m not entirely unhappy with how I look, I’m not thrilled with my body either. It’s a lot droopier since having two kids. (Want to know where my feet are? Ask my nipples, they’ll show you the way!) Kids are brutal to your body. Or mine were to my body, anyway. Plus, there are weight-related health issues in my immediate family, that reared their ugly heads during pregnancy and said, “Hehheh, just wait. Soon you’ll be ours, too!” I don’t want to let them win.

Plus, the other day M was outside playing with the girls, and I glanced up and saw him in the window and realized he looked like he was due in about 8 weeks, so I made the announcement: we’re going on Weight Watchers. We started it on Monday (yeah, Memorial Day? Barbeque? Perhaps not the best day to start a diet, but you know: you just gotta do it). Monday sucked. But the rest of the week is getting better every day. We already eat very healthfully–lots of fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean meats, fish–but we also had our little treats that we loved. And nearly every morning I’d go get breakfast at McDonald’s, because all the fat and protein kept me full until I got my lunch 5-6 hours later. So it’s hard to give up our treat habit, but not so hard to change our cooking habits, because they were pretty good already. It was the food we didn’t cook ourselves and ate that was the problem.

Oh. And I’m going through McDonald’s Ice Hazelnut crack coffee withdrawl.

Other than that: not much is happening. I’ve been working the last 7 days, all but 1 of them closing shifts, which means I’ve seen the girls precisely 3 hours in the last week. I’m picking them up early from daycare and we’re going to have some serious Mommy-Daughter time.

You know, I wasn’t prepared for needing my children like I do. I expected them to need me (hell, for the first few months of life, I was it for the chow wagon). But I have a drive and a need to be with my babies. To hear Linnea’s crazy stories, watch Boog dance, or to hear her point to the sky and say, “Bwoo!” (My baby knows two colors already. Blue and red. She’s a freaking genious).

Last night, Nea came into bed with us at some point. I really don’t know when. She came to my side, and crawled in. I woke up in a clausterphobic panic because I couldn’t get my feet free of the covers, and realized: I had an extra bed buddy. And we were all nestled together like spoons: M, me, and Nea. M had his arm across my body, his hand resting on Linnea’s side. I had both arms wrapped around her, my hand over M’s.

I think it’s really cool that that’s how our bodies orient to one another when we’re unconscious. Wanting to touch and hold and be close. I know it won’t always be that way. At some point, Linnea will stop coming to our bed (and that’s not a bad thing. Bittersweet. But not bad.), at some point she will tell us she hates us, or that she didn’t ask to be born, or any of the other things that rip a parent’s heart out and stomp it to pieces. At some point, she will give up her habit of prancing nekkid in the living room (well, hopefully she does) and at some point, her body will be much less familiar to me.

But for now, it still curls into mine in its sleep. For now, my body still curves around her protectively. And for now, M still reaches over to rest his hand on her–same as he’s been doing for nearly five years now. And if I had to sacrifice my body in order to have moments like this morning, I’d say: I got a hell of a deal.  

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The Magic of Words May 19, 2008

Filed under: Stuff — beege @ 10:44 pm
                                                   The Highwayman
 
 
  The wind was a torrent of darkness upon the gusty trees,
The moon was a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas,
The road was a ribbon of moonlight looping the purple moor,
And the highwayman came riding–
Riding–riding–
The highwayman came riding, up to the old inn door.

He’d a French cocked hat on his forehead, and a bunch of lace at his chin;
He’d a coat of the claret velvet, and breeches of fine doe-skin.
They fitted with never a wrinkle; his boots were up to his thigh!
And he rode with a jeweled twinkle–
His rapier hilt a-twinkle–
His pistol butts a-twinkle, under the jeweled sky.

Over the cobbles he clattered and clashed in the dark inn-yard,
He tapped with his whip on the shutters, but all was locked and barred,
He whistled a tune to the window, and who should be waiting there
But the landlord’s black-eyed daughter–
Bess, the landlord’s daughter–
Plaiting a dark red love-knot into her long black hair.

Dark in the dark old inn-yard a stable-wicket creaked
Where Tim, the ostler listened–his face was white and peaked–
His eyes were hollows of madness, his hair like mouldy hay,
But he loved the landlord’s daughter–
The landlord’s black-eyed daughter;
Dumb as a dog he listened, and he heard the robber say:

“One kiss, my bonny sweetheart; I’m after a prize tonight,
But I shall be back with the yellow gold before the morning light.
Yet if they press me sharply, and harry me through the day,
Then look for me by moonlight,
Watch for me by moonlight,
I’ll come to thee by moonlight, though hell should bar the way.”

He stood upright in the stirrups; he scarce could reach her hand,
But she loosened her hair in the casement! His face burnt like a brand
As the sweet black waves of perfume came tumbling o’er his breast,
Then he kissed its waves in the moonlight
(O sweet black waves in the moonlight!),
And he tugged at his reins in the moonlight, and galloped away to the west.

He did not come in the dawning; he did not come at noon.
And out of the tawny sunset, before the rise of the moon,
When the road was a gypsy’s ribbon over the purple moor,
The redcoat troops came marching–
Marching–marching–
King George’s men came marching, up to the old inn-door.

They said no word to the landlord; they drank his ale instead,
But they gagged his daughter and bound her to the foot of her narrow bed.
Two of them knelt at her casement, with muskets by their side;
There was Death at every window,
And Hell at one dark window,
For Bess could see, through her casement, the road that he would ride.

They had bound her up at attention, with many a sniggering jest!
They had tied a rifle beside her, with the barrel beneath her breast!
“Now keep good watch!” and they kissed her. She heard the dead man say,
“Look for me by moonlight,
Watch for me by moonlight,
I’ll come to thee by moonlight, though Hell should bar the way.”

She twisted her hands behind her, but all the knots held good!
She writhed her hands till her fingers were wet with sweat or blood!
They stretched and strained in the darkness, and the hours crawled by like years,
Till, on the stroke of midnight,
Cold on the stroke of midnight,
The tip of one finger touched it! The trigger at least was hers!

The tip of one finger touched it, she strove no more for the rest;
Up, she stood up at attention, with the barrel beneath her breast.
She would not risk their hearing, she would not strive again,
For the road lay bare in the moonlight,
Blank and bare in the moonlight,
And the blood in her veins, in the moonlight, throbbed to her love’s refrain.

Tlot tlot, tlot tlot! Had they heard it? The horse-hooves, ringing clear;
Tlot tlot, tlot tlot, in the distance! Were they deaf that they did not hear?
Down the ribbon of moonlight, over the brow of the hill,
The highwayman came riding–
Riding–riding–
The redcoats looked to their priming! She stood up straight and still.

Tlot tlot, in the frosty silence! Tlot tlot, in the echoing night!
Nearer he came and nearer! Her face was like a light!
Her eyes grew wide for a moment, she drew one last deep breath,
Then her finger moved in the moonlight–
Her musket shattered the moonlight–
Shattered her breast in the moonlight and warned him–with her death.

He turned, he spurred to the West; he did not know who stood
Bowed, with her head o’er the casement, drenched in her own red blood!
Not till the dawn did he hear it, and his face grew grey to hear
How Bess, the landlord’s daughter,
The landlord’s black-eyed daughter,
Had watched for her love in the moonlight, and died in the darkness there.

Back, he spurred like a madman, shrieking a curse to the sky,
With the white road smoking behind him and his rapier brandished high!
Blood-red were his spurs in the golden noon, wine-red was his velvet coat
When they shot him down in the highway,
Down like a dog in the highway,
And he lay in his blood in the highway, with the bunch of lace at his throat.

And still on a winter’s night, they say, when the wind is in the trees,
When the moon is a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas,
When the road is a gypsy’s ribbon looping the purple moor,
The highwayman comes riding–
Riding–riding–
The highwayman comes riding, up to the old inn-door.

Over the cobbles he clatters and clangs in the dark inn-yard,
He taps with his whip on the shutters, but all is locked and barred,
He whistles a tune to the window, and who should be waiting there
But the landlord’s black-eyed daughter–
Bess, the landlord’s daughter–
Plaiting a dark red love-knot into her long black hair.

Alfred Noyes

This was one of my favorite poems when I was a girl. I would read it over and over and over, my attention complete, my eyes unblinking, my fingertips cold as I read of Bess and her Highwayman and her ultimate sacrifice to save his life. I probably haven’t read this poem in at least a decade…quite possibly more like two. I’ve got other favorite poems now–Mad Girl’s Love Song by Sylvia Plath, So Kiss Me by Jewel (I know, I know but I found it early on in my relationship with M and it struck a chord that cannot now be unstruck), several by e.e. cummings, many by Neruda. In fact, if asked to list my favorite poems, I doubt the Highwayman would have even made the list.

But Linnea likes to listen to a Lorena McKinnet CD while falling asleep, and the Highwayman is on the CD–set to music. I was listening to it with Linnea one evening, indulging my small daughter’s constant pleas for me to snuggle her to sleep (it was one of the evenings of Mother’s Day weekend, when I was all schmoopy because “they won’t be little forever”) and I realized I knew the words to the song we were listening to. And then I realized it was The Highwayman. And I hauled out an old anthology of poetry my grandfather had given to me years ago–mainly because he couldn’t pry it out of my hands–and rediscovered the poem.

I found myself as absorbed, as attentive, and as captivated as I was as a young girl–when the ideas of true love and sacrifice were the stuff of romance novels and prepubescent daydreams. Interestingly, different things stood out to me now–the scruffy guy who rats out the Highwayman, and ultimately loses Bess because she is willing to die rather than see her beloved in the hands of the redcoat soldiers, for instance.

So I share this, for one reason because I think it’s a cool poem, and I’m not sure how many people are aware of it–I never had to read it for school, I just stumbled upon it in an old book of poetry. And for another reason: I can use this poem to trace part of my love affair with language. The rhythm, the imagery, the way the words move across your mind gives you both the percussion of hooves and the percussion of marching steps and the beat of a drum and the beat of a heart. The sudden interruption of the rhythm of the poem that coincides with the bullet shattering Bess’s breast–two rhythms silenced by a single shot. The tumbling curls of black hair, the shining black eyes, the red love-knot–all this imagery that works together so well that the reader is largely unaware of them. You just get so caught up in the story.

I’m not even sure why I’m writing about this, other than to share something with you that meant a lot to me when I was a child, curled up in dim rooms, so caught up in the story that I didn’t even realize darkness was falling and I couldn’t see the words on the page. And that beyond even falling in love with romance or history or poetry (although those all did happen), I began in those moments to fall in love with the magic of words, and I’ve never been the same since.

 

 

 

Happy Mother’s Day! May 11, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — beege @ 12:05 pm

Last night, M, Nea and I traveled to Walla Walla for the 30-somethingth annual Walla Walla Hotair Balloon Stampede. My parents had take me and my brothers to see this probably 20 years ago…and I remembered the “night burn” most fondly. I thought it was probably something that Linnea would LOVE.

Mom and Dad offered to keep Sarah at home with them last night so that just the three of us traveled to Walla Walla. We wandered and looked at the crafts–some fairly nice quilts, some fairly substandard jewelry, and the typical snake oil salesmen. We nearly got crushed in the press of people in the food vendor row (who knew that everyone at the Stampede would NEED a foot long, hand-dipped corndog? Certainly not the three of us who felt ourselves fortunate to get out of there with out screaming or stabbing someone in the ass with a fork).

Then, toward dusk, we made our way to the racetrack. We let Linnea run around, and then she decided to snuggle up in the stroller with her Tinkerbell blankie and watch the hot air balloon begin to inflate. We shared an elephant ear, and chatted about which balloons we thought were the prettiest.  My vote was the one laying on its side in the front of the picture. It reminded me of stained glass windows in church. Linnea liked the one with geese behind it.

When the night burn was going well, they started to set off fireworks. Linnea was over the moon with excitement (and elephant ear) dancing around, shouting, clapping, dancing. She suddenly stopped cold, looked up and me and gesturing widely said, “This is all for you, Mama! I love you sooooo much! Happy Mother’s Day!” As though the huge crowd, the footlong corndogs, the hotair balloons, the fireworks, and the elephant ears were all orchestrated expressly for me, to celebrate my Mother’s Day. She was so utterly sincere in her sentiment that for a moment: I allowed myself to believe that it had, indeed, all been done for me. It was humbling to realize that Linnea loves me so much that all of that seemed like a reasonable way to celebrate my day. What other possible reason could there be for such a celebration? Of course everyone would want to celebrate Linnea’s Mom like Linnea wants to celebrate Linnea’s Mom.

As we drove home through the darkness, Linnea fell asleep in the backseat, lulled into unconsciousness by the soft murmur of her parents’ conversation and the rain on the car windows.  I remember falling asleep like that when I was a little girl, and I love that my girls get to experience the same sense of security and love and peace.

So, to Linnea Francesca and Sarah Elisabeth: thanks for making me a Mom. I love you like crazycakes.

 

You gotta LOVE it May 9, 2008

Filed under: Stuff — beege @ 4:02 pm
Tags: ,

So, working where I do (the Fashion Emporium), I buy clothes like most people buy groceries. Meaning, I generally bring home at least 1 piece of clothing a week (if you average it all out). This is insane. My husband thinks so. And I’m starting to agree with him.

I was looking at my closet the other day. Crammed FULL to bursting with not even my entire summer wardrobe. That’s right folks: SUMMER wardrobe. Not entire wardrobe. Not Spring and Summer wardrobe. Just Summer. PART of summer. It’s ridiculous, and a little bit embarassing, because I complain about how we don’t have much money and while I think that there are a lot of factors that contribute to that, a big factor looks me in the eye every time I look in the mirror.

My “consume less” resolution lasted until February. Then I just picked up right where I’d left off.

So, working where I do, I also watch a couple of episode’s of TLC’s “What Not to Wear” every week. It’s good fashion tips for me, plus the some of the women who come into the store treat every word that fall from Clinton and Stacey’s honeyed lips like gospel. And while I think that a lot of times: they’re dead on, there are other times when I would choose differently. But one of the things they keep talking about is finding a few key pieces that you LOVE and build around them. Me? I got no key pieces. I’ve got pieces that I like. I’ve got pieces that I thought I’d like more when I bought them. I got pieces that I loved initially, but the ardor has cooled significantly. I have pieces I feel like I should love, and don’t. I’ve got pieces that I want to love, but can’t.  I’ve got pieces that worked at one time, but for various reasons: no longer do. I’ve got pieces I bought because they were such a good freaking deal it was silly to pass them up. I have one piece that I adored, adored, adored in the store and in all our marketing. I bought it when it went on sale so I got it for like $14.99. But you know what? I don’t like it on me. I really really don’t. But I’m sort of stuck with it now.

So I’ve decided to go back on the “no unnecceary consuming” bandwagon, and I’ve also decided to purge my closet. If I don’t love it? I’m taking it to a consignment shop. Period. Because it’s foolish to have a closet crammed to bursting of clothing you are only lukewarm about.

 

 

Allow me to introduce myself… May 8, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — beege @ 11:26 pm

Yeah. I’m back. 🙂 Sorry it’s been awhile–I’ve been sort of feeling drained.

My dearest girlfriend in the entire world has experienced every mother-to-be’s biggest nightmare. I’m not going to say more than that, because it’s her story, not mine. But it’s really thrown me. I have been devastated for her, naturally, but one day last week, I was cooking dinner and listening to an old mix CD I’d found. Unbeknownst to me, Clapton’s “Tears in Heaven” was on there…I just laid on the kitchen floor and cried like a baby. Thank God I was home alone–I’m sure my response to that song just then would have been the same whether I had company in the house or not. I told her on the phone that I thought I was just sorry for her. But that song just touched this place in my heart that was hurting for me. I’m sorry for her, but I’m also sorry that I won’t ever get to know her Nathaniel. I’m sad for me.

So I’ve been dealing with that. And the most ridiculous feeling of guilt that I have both my babies, and with the exception of hot toots in one, and constipation and a flow murmur in the other: they’re both healthy as horses. I’m starting to get over that guilt, but it’s taken some time.  It’s also served to make me more grateful for them–sure, it’s sort of inconvenient to have 3-4 people in a bed meant for 2, but is there anything better than waking up to the sight of your sleeping loved ones all tangled together? No. There’s not. I’m so freaking blessed.

Which brings me to this story.

At work today, two women came into the store. They were stopped cold by an item of clothing that was apparently perfect for someone they both knew. It sounded like a daughter or a niece or something like that. They stood there, exclaiming how much they thought she’d love the item, and then going through a mental catalog of possible gift-giving occasions they could use as an excuse to buy it for the woman. And they couldn’t come up with one. So they didn’t buy it for her, and left the store.

Me? I don’t particularly wait for an occasion to give a gift–particularly if I see something that is so perfect for someone I love. I tend to give gifts all willy-nilly (“You Beege? Willy-Nilly? Really?” you say. True, I say. ;)). I don’t wait for a reason. I just give them. I love to celebrate the people I love, without waiting for a day on the calendar that makes me feel like doing so is OK. It just seemed so sad to me–those women, leaving without buying the gift for their friend that they knew she’d love. It’s like, “Oh we saw this thing we knew you’d love, but because it wasn’t your birthday/anniversary/Christmas/Passover/etc. we didn’t get it for you.”

Life’s short, folks. Embrace those you love how you can, when you can, and don’t hold back. That’s the gift Nathaniel gave me, and I’ll always remember him for it.