Monday, December 5, 2016

This Weekend We

A weekend full of the variety of chaos I've been missing lately. the find packed with friends and places to be and mess after mess. 

On Saturday morning I dropped Sena off so she could get ready to march in the North Beach Christmas Parade with the Twin Beach Players, but while doing so discovered that the traffic across town was barely moving, which meant I only had a few minutes. When I did finally get home, it meant I only had a few minutes to pack up the other three kids to get back in time to see it all happen. We grabbed warm clothes but neglected hair brushes, and sat on the sidelines as friends and neighbors marched by.  The kids happily snatched up as much candy as their sticky little hands could grab, Arlo amazed that this was even better than Halloween, which requires you to walk from house to house to collect the goods. With the parade, he could sit in one spot and have candy canes and chocolate kissed thrown directly at his blonde head.

We scooted out as soon as it ended, opting out of meeting Santa Claus, a figure none of my children have ever actually spent time with. They've never much cared, and he isn't someone I play up much, in large part from laziness.

A couple of hours later, my friend Carrie showed up with Arlo's very best friend, Felix. A friend who lives too far away but remains dear to his heart despite long stretches of not seeing him. We ate and drank and watched the Bad Lip Reading Star Wars Video more than a few times. The kids ran around and circles and never fussed or fought with each other. Gus, despite being six years older, played with them, and helped include Alamae. 

After they left the next morning, I went to Annapolis to help in Joanna's shop, enjoying fig brandy punch and the carolers outside her door. The greenery and Christmas lights on Maryland Avenue are perfectly festive. before closing the shop and heading to our political action / accountability meeting, I started to get text messages and notifications that the Army Corp of Engineers is rerouting the Dakota Access Pipeline, a decision that continues to bring me joy as I start this Monday. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

November Beach

The day of the election I posted a link to a blog post and claimed that I try not to talk politics on the internet.

The next day, all I could do was talk politics on the internet.

Then I claimed that I was done with just posting pictures of my family on this blog. Sick of talking about how going outside always makes me feel better.

But now look at me. That's exactly what I've come here to do.

The point being, I can't be trusted. The only thing I do consistently is break my own rules. 

It's been a rough two weeks. You can think I'm being melodramatic. You can think that I'm being a poor sport. That I'm overreacting. Buying in to the sensationalist media machine. These things may all very well be true. Regardless, I've been pretty miserable. 

Inside, I find myself desperate to do something. To be the change. To help. To heal. But most days, after I've made a handful of calls, I don't know what else to do. I circle around my house, sweeping  the never ending piles of dirt and debris. I stuff the shoes back into the overflowing basket by the front door. I chip away at the Sisyphean pile of laundry. 

But outside, things feel better. Hopeful. Promising. 

Today, we all abandoned our shoes despite the cold. Embraced the almost science of grounding. Tom searched for turkey tail in the woods. I played with my camera and then laid on the sand. 

I'm not sure that I can stop Steve Bannon from being appointed or keep the pipeline from being finished. But after some time in bright winter sun, I can be kinder again. 

This Weekend We

This weekend I took lots of pictures. 

I spent time on four different brackish beaches. 

I danced to Bela Fleck's Flight of the Cosmic Hippo with a dozen kids in a basement.  

I stopped by McKenzie's Standing Rock fundraiser to get screen printed tee shirts for the kids.

I visited my friend Maggie and her beautiful new son Wilder with Alamae in tow. (more pictures here)

I ate too many of the cookies Maggie sent me home with before handing off the bag to a man on the corner asking for money.

I'm ready to spend the next few days being thankful.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

The Weavers Stand with Standing Rock

If you've read this blog for a while, you know that it has a history of being vanilla. Vanilla, when done well, can be absolutely delicious. It can often be exactly what I crave.

But I'm bored with vanilla.

As I build my photography business and invest creative energy there, it's been harder and harder for me to find the time and desire to come over here. To say the same things I have said for years.

How many more times do I need to tell you that I struggle to find balance between a clean house and doing the things I love most? How many ways can I say "I was in a bad mood and then I went outside and felt better"? I am certain you know that the time with your children is precious and also fraught with tension.

I've been saying these things for years, and so have so many other people who say them better than I do.

My life is reflected in this blog. And that has been wonderful. But I am ready for my life and it's reflection to be more meaningful. Like so many Americans who have found themselves shocked at the outcome of an election we hadn't bothered to worry too much about, so confident were we that it would go our way, I am ready to change.

There are two things I hold dear that I rarely mention in this space: my love for Jesus Christ and my left leaning political inclinations.

Religion and politics. Polite women don't talk about them over dinner or on their mommy blogs.

But I guess I am no longer worried about being polite. I am far more interested in doing what I think is right. And that includes standing up for the oppressed, which is what I took my children to go do in Washington, DC yesterday.

We stood with Standing Rock.

On our way their Gus was full of questions: would we be part of a mob? Was this safe? What do we actually do when we get there.

No. Yes. We put our bodies in a place so that others will know that we care. We are told to rejoice with those who rejoice. To weep with those who weep. Yesterday we stood with those who stand.