Wednesday, February 27, 2013

February 27, 2013

I was brutally ill Monday night with a stomach bug that I'd already nursed my two daughters through. Being so very sick made me think about the job I did taking care of them, and made me wish I had shown perhaps more compassion than I did, when, say, Indy asked for a bath at 4 am after we'd both been up since midnight and I told her to wait til dawn, or when Ayla was sick in the car on a four hour drive I made alone and afterwards I made her step out into the cold so I could rinse her hair with bottled water. I don't know. I could have done better. But last night when they got home from school and found me sick in bed, they brought me cups of cranberry juice and ginger ale and petted my forehead and I thought well, they must have learned this somewhere. Maybe from me.

I do hope.

I'm not one-hundred percent myself today, but I wanted something fresh up on the blog so I decided to post these pictures from our trip to Colorado that I've been meaning to share.

Indy and Ayla with their cousins, Eisley and Violet. One more baby cousin due in July.

My  girls treated to a shopping spree by Grammy and Auntie Lulu.

A family picture, Tuttle style. Noah and his five siblings, and my sister-in-law Susie there with the finger in her nose.  Then her husband Zach (Noah's older brother), Brett (boyfriend of Sophie), Sophie, Indy, Ayla, Lucy  (the youngest), Carlton, me, Noah, Mercy.

 Noah's second sister Sophie, who reminds us all so much of Jennifer Lawrence, both in looks and personality.

Whoopie pies during coffee break.

Susie, Noah's first sister Mercy, yours truly, Indy. God I love my sisters by marriage.

Mercy and I on coffee break, getting photobomed by Indy.

Indy and Noah's youngest brother, Carlton.

Had to throw in this one of Susie so you can get a glimpse of how beautiful she actually is.

Me and my sister, Heather, who will have her third in July.

My girls in this beautiful sister moment.

Now I'm going to go make dental appointments and round up Girl Scout cookie money, pick up the girls from school, feed them something, and nurse my still weak tummy on Mother's Little Savior--Grapefruit Perrier.

Thursday, February 21, 2013


We turn a corner and a flock of red-wing black birds abandons a field and heads for the sky, all at once as if by divine decree. I can't see the poetry in anything, I tell my husband. All I write is clunky prose. My baby sits on my lap in the remembered sun and is cajoled into going to school, Ayla's hair thick as moss on her head as I kiss it, as they run. They have my freckles across their nose though not as many as I have, in the evenings they examine tinctures and oils along the sink and want to know why. For blemishes, I tell them, which you might get someday, though I hope you won't. Ten minutes are spent in a car with a book, gorgeous and lush. The earth is swearing it's going to do spring again this year, as it usually does, and for ten minutes I feel it coming, the gathering climax, the sun and the breeze and the book so warm and earth-rich they make me cry. Like the tiny blue birds, one-two-three, I discovered while gazing dreamily out my kitchen window, the one above the sink, where I spend so much time. In the afternoon Indy and I lay side by side on my bed, belly up like rainbowed fish my father once pulled from the water. She lets me tangle my fingers in her wild blonde hair, her wild child crown, her motherless untamed locks. She lets me gaze at her freckles and pin her across my chest, across my belly, the place where she was magicked into being. Life comes from life comes from life. I chop peppers and garlic. I toss curry powder with flour and shake raw chicken into it. I drop it sizzling into a pan. All night my house will smell like an Indian restaurant. Bathe the girls. Pour the wine. The brain won't stop, it spins as if it believes it's the universe, the whole swift planet. It feels raw and gauche. I have flubbed every social situation I've been involved in the past week, the brain misfires, I have actually blushed. Blushed red as I don't recall having done since college. The creative writing professor. Speak up, he said, Your voice is very quiet. You are speaking too softly. Speak up, he said, but I can't. Everything is locked away like an unloved wife who would rather burn than come out. It builds and builds, churning like thunderclouds while I wash a pan, drink a Perrier. I lie down to sleep and in my sheets is a pleasant, surprising smell. Is that the smell of me? Ayla stands next to me while I'm chopping in the kitchen and for a moment I have the sense I am standing next to myself. It seems I can see myself only in the peripheries, the half spaces, like I dwell in another dimension and can't quite reach me. I lie down to sleep but the mind won't rest, it churns out sensations, images that send me stumbling half-naked, fish-bellied, thighs hushing like powdery marshmallows, down the hall. In the hall, down the night. SPEAK UP, he said. In his hand, he teased a match.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Hooters Not Allowed

Last night I was troubled with stress dreams about the political structure of the south. I'm not bragging, that's just a fact. There was a new sheriff in town, and because some city official was "with the sheriff", we all knew it meant we weren't going to be able to do some fun thing we really wanted to do. The memory of what we wanted escapes me, but that wasn't the point of the dream. The point was that my fears about having my personal freedoms restricted were surfacing. A fear of misuse of government power I have experienced only upon moving here, to the Republican south, to a state that went blue in 2012 but was red this election cycle, that has more laws and restrictions than lately-blue Colorado, for sure. On Sunday Noah and I stood in a brewery discussing the fact that, for all their talk about small government and personal freedoms, I have never felt less free than I do here in the land where Republicans rule. Their laws restrict the simpler things in life, like happy hour and vibrators. Also nipples.

(Never mind that it will probably soon be legal to bring your concealed carry into a bar.)

That was last night, and all this morning, in the dream hour between four and five am, I was harassed with one call after another from the school system letting me know that, because there was some snow and slushy roads, school was cancelled. There is set to be a make up day on Saturday. School on Saturday--if that is not abuse of government  power, I don't know what is. As I said in a rant on facebook, I was born and raised in a state that just legalized recreational use of marijuana, and where, as I told my mom on the phone this Sunday, it feels like you are innocent until proven guilty. Here in the south I feel guilty until proven innocent. Part of me is afraid to even type these coming words, I'll just say I won't go into detail about the constant badgering ALE (Alcohol Law Enforcement) have given Noah and the others at the brewery--a business the community is happy to have, but that the city and county people clearly hate, based on their endless restrictions, taxes, and tyrannical control of things like when and where and in what clothing it is legal for one to drink a beer. I won't tell you about the ALE official who bragged to my husband about their laws being the most restrictive, about their power being the most complete, before going on to make racist remarks that I don't want to recount here on my space. I won't tell you that because my sense of personal freedom here is limited, it sets my pulse raising, it troubles me in my sleep. Is freedom of speech a thing, in Carolina? I roll over in clean sheets and tell myself that the "snow day" is all a ruse, that surely school was cancelled because a gypsy woman gave the school superintendent the evil eye, or because a pregnant woman walked a field west to east at dawn, and that to drink a beer freely all you must do is slay one goat and bury its right eye in a patch of yarrow under a winter moon. In the pale light of dawn, I find myself hilarious.

I'm hoping these are only growing pains. The honeymoon period has worn off. The bonfires have ceased for winter. It is February, after all, and February is difficult anywhere. I won't tell you that Noah says, at work, there is an unspoken rule that no one will talk about their regrets over moving here, because talking won't help. I won't tell you that I told Noah it was time to institute the two-year plan, that in two years all the new hires must be able to run the brewery so we Coloradans can exit en masse. I will just say we are in a rough spot. I want to make it clear that the people and community here are lovely, wonderful, liberally minded people who grow gardens and raise chickens and who have to be really, really careful about getting high, even in the privacy of their own homes, but that sadly the good old boys network has all the power and is running (ruining) everything. I will say that I know these things often look different from a distance, but I wrote this blog because I needed to express what they look like today. Today looks like this: I had plans to work, but the girls are home, the sun is shining, and I need to go look up what mountain loreal rite is required to accomplish anything, because from my point of view it seems like superstition and ritual is just the way things get done around here.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Clouds Like Wings

*photo taken out the car window on the drive from Denver to Ft. Collins. Long's Peak in the middle, there.

I awake every morning to the sounds of the rain forest,  to a great symphony of birds, a riot, calling their stubborn songs to the sky. Nearly every day this last week I have sat at this computer and reached for words to say--there is so much to say--and have come up empty handed, with nothing to show but distance and ache. I wanted to tell it all--how in Colorado the four cousins, reunited, jumped and jived in ponied grace in my sister's living room, where I played Rock Band, drums only, the sole activity I know that makes every problem fade away. How Lucy (called Lupus), the baby of the Tuttle siblings, the youngest of six, backed the massive Suburban into a ditch and how, laughing, her older brothers rescued their tumblers full of whisky before we all stood on the lip on the side of the car and tilted it so that the front wheel would touch dirt and we could drive it again. (Fear not, there was no drinking and driving going on). I wanted to explain about the origins of a picture and the drama that followed it. But I can't tell stories, I can't type or think or write--

I am editing my book for self-publication, and every time I come even close to typing that sentence the walls of my being slam down, the birds go silent, the coffee goes cold. Somewhere in the distance a raven caw-caw-caws, like it knows all my little fears and laughs. Every morning and every evening I lie in bed and tell myself stories, as I've done since I was a little girl, the reason I can never sleep. This morning instead of spinning out a fantasy land I told myself I would wake, make coffee, sit down and edit the hulking monster my once beloved book has turned into, but a voice came to my head and I sat down and wrote other stories instead. Then I came across this poem, and I thought, hell with it: In the spirit of Elizabeth Aquino I will post the poem here (because it made me cry) and you will know what you need to know: that we were all together again in Colorado and had a laughing, sprawling, jolly good time. That I flew home to a place that is not home. That every day instead of posting here I am wrestling with angels (quite literally, the book is called ANGEL FOOD), trying to force them into submission, trying to force myself out of a fearful corner and just get the damn thing done, because I have to, because the unruly child cares nothing about its dirty face and wants to run free.

Great Plains

I could drive for days without fear
of outrunning these patchwork clouds,

bridge lines of cumulus
this way or that towards the horizon,

midway between one place
and another, standing up
to the administrations of wind.

I like a destination which pulls
true, deliberate,
but at great distance. Like

I like the slow, imperceptible
progress of knowing
but not knowing
how far I'll travel today,
where I'll find gas
for the next leg
or when.

*Poem found today at The Writer's Almanac.

link within

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