Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Time Being

What do people blog for? I wondered that as I lay next to my four year old during his bedtime tonight. A much calmer night after yesterday when he screamed, protested, hit and fought with tiny ferocity until he finally calmed down and went to bed a limp noodle. It was the Netflix that got him wired, and we'd let him watch it because it gave us just a few minutes of quiet to sit in our own heads after busy days at work. We went back to our usual 'no screentime' before bed tonight and he was much less squirrelly (except for the habitual asking for kefir, then milk after laying down). I cuddled for a bit and let my mind wander as his breathing slowly calmed down.

Do people blog to teach things? I could look up all sorts of plant facts and quote them to try to be a source of Texas gardening advice.. but that's not really why I started this. I give (stuffy evidence-based) advice all day at work, and I'd rather use my musing time to appreciate beauty and absurdity, and capture the sensory happiness of gardening, kids and eating here. Or do they blog to catalogue, journalistically capture experience, document? That is awfully appealing, but then I look at my Goodreads book list and Flickr photo collections and feel that unless I can add my thoughts to the lists they are just dry random things. So is this indulgent? (and where does the confessional aspect of blogging become too-close-icky, or canned and artificial)? I dunno, will try to avoid those extremes.

For a while I was capturing happy moments in little notes on my IPhone (the high tech equivalent of a Mason jar full of scraps of paper, one a happy memory for each day of the year.. idea swiped from Pinterest). I like the haiku, Zen, 'all things are transient' aspect of the paper, but another part of likes the idea of collecting them in a wider angle format (like this blog), where I can mix media, throw in photos and get away from my voice sometimes.

Finished a book today (audiobook while driving)- A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki. Two narrators, a journal, tsunami's, Pacific Northwest meets Japan with quantum physics and Shroedingers cat mixed in. It pulled me in enough to keep me driving to listen to more of it, and has a gorgeous cover (see below).. Like the teen protagonist I too spent summers with my grandmother with a scratchy voice and amazing stories, but instead of being an anarchist Zen nun (like in the story) mine was a Salvadoran/German Jewish business woman in San Salvador. Displacement was a big theme in the book and I could relate to the 'where did I get here where am I going' vertigo the characters went through. The teen character talks about 'supapowa's' and I stole the authors's enunciation while reading to the kids tonight- my youngest gravely corrected me that I should say it the 'normal' way : superpower. Eh, I like supapowa better..

I guess taking a moment to savor the book tonight is my equivalent of celebrating my (remaining) chicken flapping her wings and getting back to her pre-illness vigor and grit eating. Or noticing the red poppies blooming in the beds (no time for pics in the rush of dinner, homework and baths tonight). Or listening to my eldest's Spanish reading becoming more fluid by the day (by coincidence his current book is about Mi Jardin, fitting to include here). I look up at the book cover pic and yeah, it is a gorgeous cover, too.

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