Fountain of Life

A writer's notebook. I plan to post whatever thoughts come to mind that seem worth sharing. I welcome discussion with anyone who drops by.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Staying Tender

Just read a lovely blog post from Diane of Emerging Quaker. She quotes George Fox telling Friends to "keep tender," and "avoid hardness of heart."

It was a hard night tonight. These days Ned goes down into the basement so he can yell and sing as loud as he likes while Colley and Leah go to sleep upstairs. Around 9:30, as the younger two were settling down to sleep, I noticed that Ned was yelling with unusual intensity. It was one of those semi-unconscious things. I knew it had been going on for awhile. I went down to check it out and realized when I got closer that he was actually crying and very upset. I found him in the bathroom with no toilet paper. I think he had been yelling about it for several minutes. There was a roll on the stand behind him.

I gave it to him and said I was sorry we didn't hear him, but he was very angry. He said he didn't want my apology, he wanted dad's apology. He didn't want me, he wanted dad. I asked him why and he said he didn't like me. He liked his dad better. He didn't want to be with me. He wanted his dad.

It feels unusually painful tonight for some reason. I guess I was feeling down anyway. Some friends came through I hadn't seen in 10 years because we never travel anymore. They talked about all the exciting places they've been lately--Russia, Thailand. They're planning a trip to Turkey. I'm not sure I even want to travel like that, but I'd sure like to be able to go to San Francisco, where they would put us up, and have fun for a few days.

Ned doesn't want to go there. He's afraid of the earthquakes. But I miss these friends. I regret all the friendships I haven't kept up.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Tooth Fairy

This morning I had to take my 5yo daughter to the pediatric surgeon for elaborate dental work. "Baby root canal" for the tooth where the filling from last year fell out and deeper rot set in. Stainless steel crowns on all the baby molars. Several other fillings. Sealants on the 6 year molars (permanent) that just came in.

The place that does it is quite the mill. We were shepherded into a little grey room with a black leather love seat and a small laptop on a glass table on which we could play whatever video she would like. (She chose "Barbie, the Magic of Pegasus.") We sat there for an hour while the sedative took effect. The video was fortunately loud enough to mostly screen out the sounds of small children screaming in the distance. Finally the dental assistant came and took her out of my arms, half asleep, and carried her back where I was not allowed to go. Then I went out to the regular waiting room (it was sort of a relief to get away from the crying). After another hour they told me she was nearly done and did I want the doctor to pull out the loose baby tooth in front? No, I didn't.

I walked back to the room where they did the work. She was lying there with a popsicle in her hands and red lines all over her face from the masks and monitors that had been there. Only half her mouth moved when she spoke, like someone with Bell's Palsy. She was watching a Dora video. When I walked in she told me it was actually kind of fun, but her mouth felt weird. The doctor cooed over what a great job she (my daughter) had done. The bill, which I had already paid, was enormous.

Afterwards, I carried her into a pancake house for a special breakfast because she hadn't been allowed to eat before the surgery. While we were waiting for our food, she said to me, "Mom, I have a question. It may sound like a kind of  strange question?"
"What is it?" I said,
"Are you the tooth fairy?"
To stall for time, I asked her how she had heard of that idea. Her friend had heard a kid in her class say, "Your mom is the tooth fairy." So, she explained, she wanted to find out if that was true. Was I really the tooth fairy?
I didn't panic. I had a glimmering of hope that there was a way out.
"Do you mean," I said, "do I turn into a fairy at night and fly around collecting kids' teeth?"
"Yeah," she said, "and turn into a human in the morning?"
"No," I said, perfectly honestly, "I wish I could turn into a fairy, but I can't."

Monday, May 10, 2010

Revision of the poem

Here's an earlier version of the poem. I can't seem to decide which I like better. Anyone have an opinion?

Pollen blows. Towhees sing.
A hawk's driven off the branch
By a mourning dove

Saturday, May 8, 2010

"Drink your tea," towhees sing.
A hawk's driven off the branch
By a mourning dove

Morning's Minion

This morning when I came out on the screened porch, a hawk (I think it must have been a sharp shinned hawk), was sitting on the dead branch that stands like a little arm on the side of the tulip tree that is only 10 feet or so from the porch. It didn't mind me at all. It was studying the ground, hoping for something to catch. I've never seen a free hawk that close up before. A mourning dove stood on the same branch only a foot or two away, crying its heart out. I thought, while the hawk stood there, that perhaps the hawk had already caught the mate of the dove. It seemed to have something in its claw. I thought perhaps the dove wasn't afraid because the hawk had already killed, or perhaps that it was driven by the loss of its mate to cry like that. It was not the mating call of the dove, but rather a steadily repeated, loud, warning cry. Finally the hawk flew away and I saw that the thing I thought it held in its claw was only a little side branch of the tree. It hadn't killed the dove's mate at all. The dove only flew away after the hawk was gone. It had warned all the other birds in the area. There was nothing for the hawk to catch.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Getting Started

"For with thee is the fountain of life.
     In thy light shall we see light." --Psalm 36

        "Fountain of sorrow, fountain of life." --Jackson Browne

I am going through all kinds of changes these days. My kids are about ready to go back to school, two of them are, perhaps. I've been homeschooling them. We've moved to a new house in the middle of the little city where we have lived 20 years. I'm ready to become a member of my monthly meeting (a Quaker, in other words.) I've been attending this meeting for about seven years, but was Catholic before that. Menopause. I want to write. I want to write very badly. I feel like a crab wriggling out of my skeleton, or maybe it's already gone and I'm trying to sit here, naked, waiting for a bigger one to grow.