Sunday, September 25, 2011


E: "mama... I wanna marry YOU"

Me: "that is so sweet E. but we can't get married, silly goose! we
will always love each other and we will always be mama and daughter"

E: "well, I can help you get married"

Me: "I would really like if you helped me get married sweet pea.
What will I wear?"

E: "orange pants. because you like orange fanta.
and a light pink shirt. do you like light pink mama?"

Me: "i do like pink, it reminds me of MY mama.
what will you wear?"

E: "the same one, just like you mama"

Me: "will you be right next to me when I marry Baba?"

E: "that's too many people mama. i wanna marry you".

sigh. girl wants what the girl wants.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

she's got a way about her

ellis gaomei
(pentax k1000, kodak ektar 100)

saturday i spent my day laboring away at work... and E and baba came up for a visit. she, of course, was beside herself with giddy. as a matter of fact, 2 days prior, she had been tearful before bed because she was so upset i was working on a weekend day- a time she cherishes with both her dad and me.

not long after we said our good-byes (which included much begging and cajoling- "finish your work fast Mama!" with attempts to pull me toward the car), my cell rang and and G laughed into the phone, telling me that as E was wheeling herself through the ER parking lot and the garage, she had been yelling at the top of her lungs: "I love you Mama! I love you Mama!" over and over.

and that they had a very sweet conversation in the car:

E: "baba, i love mama SO bad i can feel it in my stomach"
Baba: "you can?"
E: "yeah, and i can feel it in my head too"

upon hearing this, i have to say, my heart turned into pure mush. i was reduced to a puddle. and if she'd asked me to take the moon from the sky for her, i am certain i would at that very moment have found a way to do it for her.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Family Day 2011: 2 years


two years since we walked into a room that echoed your tears and saw your face for the first time. two years since we were humbled by your trust and bravery as you were placed into the arms of strangers. two years since we precariously began to build the foundation of our life together. two years since we gratefully, carefully, tenuously and with the greatest of tenderness, called ourselves family for the first time.

happy family day E. without you, we, this family of 3, would not be possible. we honor your China parents today, and pray that somehow, some way- they know you are happy, safe, immeasurably and wholly loved.

because you are.
down to the last dna molecule that makes up our hearts.


Monday, September 12, 2011

september 12, 2011

of fence and sky
(yashica mat-124, fuji pro 400, film)

yesterday has come and gone. i did not turn on the TV. a first for me in 10 years of remembering.

but we took the dog for a walk in the late afternoon, and i listened to the evening birds. i held my daughter's hand as she coasted in her chair beside me. we mused about cloud shapes and she hummed a mary poppins tune, wishing to fly her kite to highest height. i heard children laughing in the street and waved to a man watering his lawn, who smiled back at us. garth, with his usual wit, made me laugh too. we came home with fresh green peppers, a gift from our neighbor from her garden. tonight we chopped them and ate them with dinner, thankful for this green earth. in all these things, we remembered and honored that day by living fully within this one, and the one before it and the one to come.

this is the best we can do for those who lost their lives in that tragedy.

i pray it isn't too much to hope for- that we can really live in a world that can harbor lasting peace. and that from the horror of that day, we can create it- within us- and then watch it ripple into the world around us.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

eat the tassel!

congratulations Hiro. you can sit, stay, wait (kinda), and lay down for like... 5 seconds. the rest we are working on, but they still let you graduate. suckers :)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

through a pinhole

ransom june 30 2011
(pentax k1000, fuji neopan 400)

yesterday i dreamed of my mother, in her bedroom, resting. and there i lay myself beside her listening to her in sleep and this thought came over me, crushing my heart into a constellation of grief- "these are the sounds that used to comfort me". i rose then, knowing it was time for me to go, turned a fan on for her, and she stirred, turned toward me and asked: "are you going to leave the fan on?" and i replied i was, and took my leave of her, exiting through a side door into a long dark hallway that ended in its own light- a passageway into the world from which i came. it was then i noticed Ransom at my feet, looking up at me. he had been on that bed with her all along. i urged him to follow, to come with me, but he would not budge, his posture filled with love and compassion and his usual bulldog reserve as if to say- how i wish i could, but i belong on the other side of that door, there with your mom. you understand.

it was then that i woke from sleep.

sorrow dripping into my heart, through a pinhole...

Friday, September 2, 2011

(pentax k1000, kodak ektar 100, ISO 400)

the words of Buddha:

~Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned~

~In a controversy the instant we feel anger we have already ceased striving for the truth, and have begun striving for ourselves~

~Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle,
and the life of the candle will not be shortened.
Happiness never decreases by being shared~

~The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles
but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly~

~To understand everything is to forgive everything~