Archive for the ‘unicorns’ Category

Dress Your Family In Tutus And Sparkles

April 24, 2009

Look, I`m not even going to ask you if it`s a form of child exploitation to dress one`s boy-child in a pink tutu and publish it on the Internet, because a) I already know the answer and b) I`m not interested in hearing from anonymous commenters who wish to inform me that u will turn ur boy gay with farry dresses u know! (I much prefer to collect those as e-mails, to keep in my collection with the UR A EXPLOYTER mail that the drunk Baryshnikov video prompted.)

I`ll just say this: I didn`t have a unicorn costume on hand, and he was game for the tutu. So. Judge me if you want. I`ll probably still sleep at night.

Sufficient Unto This Day

April 22, 2009

Last week, I almost quit blogging. Almost.

I wasn`t going to say anything about it. If I had quit, I would have gone totally silently into that good blogless night. There wouldn`t have been a post angsting about whether or not to quit; there wouldn`t have been a post proclaiming some long goodbye. I was just not ever going to post again. Which, I know, is kind of douchey, but still.

I was not going to post again, because the imperative to post was hurting my heart and making me crazy in a week during which I felt, strongly, that I simply could not post, that it would be wrong to post, that it would be wrong, somehow, to even Twitter all the fears and anxieties that I was struggling to contain. I wanted to write, but my preferred forum for writing was closed to me, or so I felt. I ached to write, to write anything, even just 140 characters proclaiming my fear; my fingers twitched, desperate to tap messages into my phone as we circled Emilia’s bed in the hospital, as we fretted and worried and paced. I am so scared, I typed, I am so scared. And then my fingers retracted their message, backspaced, deleted, and I resumed my pacing, my worrying. What could I possibly accomplish, publishing my fear? And how hollow, how terribly, selfishly, hollow to whine vacantly into the void when others were living and sharing darker fears. Realizing darker fears, the worst fears. What would I be doing, to add my own selfish anxieties to that chorus of pain?

No pain is hollow, of course. Seeing my daughter slumped and incoherent, eyes sunken in dark sockets, skin white and hot, was terrifying and horrible and I felt my anxiety in every moment as a strangling hurt, a terrible pressure against my lungs and throat that threatened to cut off my breath. But that was only my hurt, my fear, and although I know that every parent understands how terrible that hurt and how horrible that fear, it was not the time to share it, it was not the time to reach out. It was simply not the time.

Which invites the question: is it ever the time? This is a rhetorical question, of course, because, yes, yes, there is always a time for expressing and sharing fear or anxiety or sadness or all of these together. If we never shared these experiences, we would not know that they are common, ordinary even. We would not know that pain is something that we all live through. We would not know that it is something that we share. And we would never be able to find community in and through our pain, if we didn`t express it, share it.

But doesn`t sharing the pain, sometimes, just exascerbate it? Doesn’t it become, sometimes, a sort of twisted indulgence, a way of lingering in an ache and prolonging the sensation of hurt, in the same manner as scratching compulsively at an itch, even though it causes us bleed? If I write my hurt, am I expunging it or clinging to it? And if I draw others into my circle of anxiety, does it serve to comfort all of us – by underlining how common the experience – or does it serve to discomfit all of us – by making the experience common, by forcing others to live it, vicariously? Do I want community, or do I want attention? Can these two desires even be distinguished?

My anxiety about writing through my fear last week reduced to these three concerns – that I wanted to write because I wanted to wallow in that fear, that by wallowing, publicly, in my fear I’d be forcing others to experience that fear (in a week when fear and pain were already in too great supply) and that my writing/wallowing might be construed as attention-seeking (look! look! I hurt too! come see my pain!) – and these conspired to shut me down. And so shut down I did: I unplugged my computer and disabled e-mail on my phone and resolved that the only writing that I would do would be with pen and paper and kept entirely private. And then I cried. A lot. Because blogging has, in the worst of times, been a lifeline for me, a way of working through the pain and fear of struggling with depression and with the challenges of motherhood and with the general anxieties and regrets of a life well lived and with the looming spectre of death. And so the thought of abandoning it – of being abandoned by it – was terrifying, gut-wrenching.

And so I decided to not decide. I would simply not write about my pain that week, and hope that I would somehow grow an ability write light-heartedly and humorously so that I might not be so often an agent for spreading dark and gloom across the internets. And then Monday came and Emilia seemed better and so there was something happy to say – Emilia seems better! – and so I opened my computer and said it and the universe didn`t collapse in on itself, so. Baby steps.

I still don`t know how I`ll handle writing about Tanner, whose condition is worsening, and about how I`m going to explain the fact of his inevitable death to Emilia (something that becomes ever more pressing with every question she asks about his disabilities), and about lost siblings and hurt parents and depression and darkness and faith and all those terrible, difficult things that seem to have become my stock in writing trade. I just don`t know. I do know that I will write about them, sooner rather than later, just as I know that I will, someday – later rather than sooner – stop writing this blog. But I`m not going to worry about those things now.

For now, I`m just going to keep writing, and see what happens.

You can tell me, honestly – is there such a thing as oversharing hurt? Do I do it? Do I need – do we all need – to bring less angst and more happy? DOES THE INTERNET NEED MORE UNICORNS? I think maybe.

Monday: Now With More Unicorn!

March 30, 2009

I promised myself that I wouldn’t start this week with another weak salute to my hatred of Mondays. I mean, what’s more banal than hating on Mondays? Seriously. Welcome to my boring.


But then I woke up this morning – and by ‘woke’ I mean, got out of bed after not having slept a wink – and my inbox was full of wondrous and terrifying things and really, how is one supposed to rally one’s creative energies to write meaningful, thought-provoking prose when one is confronted by e-mail from one’s mother with the subject heading GRANDMA AND VIBRATOR?

1) My mother’s newfound enthusiasm for blogging is starting to frighten me. Because, you know, it’s not bad enough that she reveals unflattering details about the little tyrant that I was when I was five. She also has to send me e-mails with video about grannies and vibrators (VIBRATORS) and say can I post video on my blog? Because I have a story to go along with this!

Which, upon reading, caused my inner child to curl up into a little ball and weep.

2) Sometimes, you find stuff laying on the ground in your local schoolyard and despite the fact that that stuff almost certainly has grotty, grotty teenager germs – and god knows what else – all over it you simply can’t not pick it up. And photograph it. And upload it to your Flickr account.

3) Speaking of awesome: if you want awesome for your blog, you need to check this out. SWEET.

4) Speaking of more awesome: this post? Is – alongside the Shakesville post that inspired it – BlogHer’s BlogHer Of The Week post. Which is awesome not because I am awesome (although I am that, sometimes), but because that post was the catalyst for the most community-affirming discussion about reproductive choice that I have ever seen, anywhere. Pro-choice, pro-life: it didn’t matter. Every commenter was respectful, even kind, in considering both my thoughts on the subject and the thoughts of all the other commenters. It provided indisputable proof that discussion on controversial topics needn’t be combative. It demonstrated that this community really understands civil discourse. It made a lot of the residual ill-feeling from that other controversy just melt away.

It was – what’s the word? – awesome.

5) What is not so awesome: my custodianship of the Basement. I recently discovered a batch of submissions from December that I missed and therefore didn’t post. AM SO SORRY. I need to learn how to use spreadsheets or something because, really, my lack of life skills sometimes gets in the way of being awesome (or, in the case of the Basement, providing a space for others to be awesome.) Also, I suck.

(They’re all going up this week. And next. Daily posting until we get caught up.)

6) What is always awesome: UNICORNS.

And With This, We Shall All Move On (Also, Unicorns!)

March 12, 2009

I’ve said my piece, and then some. Am talked out. Have been living too intensely in mah feelings for the last two days. (Oh, hey, guess what? I has feelings! Which, I know: shocking, seeing as I put my life on full display and so must be assumed to have skin thicker than a dinosaur’s, but there it is. If you prick me, I bleed. And then I blog about it, and angels weep and bunnies burst into flame and it all, you know, goes kinda badly.)

(I promise to wield my feelings more carefully in the future. Or maybe make sure that they’re not loaded before I start waving them around.)

(Anyway.)

I am done with hurt and defensive. Am moving on to happy! Let’s all be happy, ‘kay? Also: NICE.


I declare it International Nice Day Of Awesomeness And Unicorns. Go eat cake. Maybe say something nice to someone, tell them that they have nice shoes, that they’re a good mom or dad, that they have great taste in unicorns. Spread sparkles and rainbows. But mostly, eat cake.