To fall asleep near the sound of water
against the shore and your fingers
against my neck knowing
morning is still far away.
To close my eyes
to fall asleep
These days I write my way out and sometimes I read my work. Thank you to all my old friends and new ones, strangers and supporters, writers and listeners who joined me at Common Good Books.
“There isn’t a lot you can do but you ought to do that much and if you do you’ll likely find there is more you can do and you should attempt that too. When all is said and done, there is more to be done and that goes without saying." -GK
The sun is sliding around the corners of brownstone buildings illuminating the lines between parked cars. I can see hidden corners with broken bottle pieces and little mossy rocks. There are temporary sun-sketched patterns on my sheets and shadows on my moccasins with the bow ties.
I could swear it’s the first day of summer sun when there are gravel paths to find and tree trunks to climb and beaches to walk barefoot. Unmarked days on the calendar. Days to make memories that become the stories we tell when we’re old.
This is my sunny summer story told in autumn. This is my true story—a cancer update—written in a text message conversation and dedicated to my mom and dad. This is our family story of strength.
Grow old with me.
Mom: GREAT NEWS! All cancer cells are gone. No more cancer cell activity. We are excited. This does not change the treatment plan. He still has six more to go through.
Me: That’s the best thing I’ve heard, maybe ever. I’m just thankful today. For Dad’s news and your support to go through this with him. He’s sick, but you’re both suffering. We’re all suffering. You’re as strong as his medicine. That’s an amazing gift.
Mom: That is funny because the last thing I feel is strong.
Me: You don’t feel strong but the thing is our strength isn’t always strong. Strength is the willingness to try even when you feel weak.
Mom: True! It just feels good to have people to reach out to and lean on. It has proven to me—again—how much I appreciate having a partner, spouse, husband to count on.
Me: I’m going to cry. I am so happy thankful for you and dad and good news and the sun on my sheets.
Mom: They better be happy tears because, even though your dad is sleeping in the chemo chair, we are excited and happy!
The boys had a game of chasing
each other from the dock
and the first to yell, “No!,”
was the loser.
While they played,
the parents bought stocking caps
and colored mittens
at True Value
near the empty beach
near Burlington Bay,
near Johnny’s Mom’s new house.
In evening, at the dinner table,
the parents gossiped
how the boys could stand
such chilled water
and the boys,
how the parents missed
the last day of summer.
Photo credit: brockpetrie:
You are loved…
My studio is filling up with paper cranes—window sills, bookshelves, counter tops. I’ve started stringing them from the ceiling. They are most beautiful at night when the parking lot on the other side of the brick wall is turned off and the ceiling fan is turned on. They rustle together, flutter like a gentle rain and it helps me sleep knowing it’s okay to cry.
Making cranes is something productive to do, with my hands, with my heart, with my spinning head, because now there are two. My dad and my other dad—Grandpa. Locked between there’s Mom and Grandma. And, strung together on clear fishing line, there’s the whole family. Two important men in our lives are fighting.
My dad is fighting for a chance to someday walk me down a flower strung aisle, to hold a grand-baby and build campfires next summer. My grandpa is fighting to do a second round of chemo, to delay the spreading, to open Christmas 2014 presents. The whole family is fighting to pretend “the way it was,” isn’t a phrase we use.
The thing about us, though, is that we don’t miss the past; we’re happy about it—for memories, laughs, fights, patched pants and hugs. We’re happy picking sweet corn and drinking root beer floats and watching deer eat from the farm fields. We’re happy when we’re with each other and sad when we’re without.
From my now colorful Minneapolis studio, I’m writing and folding paper and re-cleaning the floors to fight for two. I’m finding a way to say once, “Keep fighting.” And to say, too, “It’s okay. I know you’re tired.” But really, I’m trying to write “You are loved…,” in a folded piece of square paper.
Photo credit: brockpetrie:
Pretty exciting to find out that my custom logotype and monogram will become a full typeface!
This is the logotype and monogram that I developed for Katrina Wollet’s personal branding. She is a storyteller, content manager, creative writer and so much more. This custom type was speaks to those formal, clear, soft letters that many of us learned to write during our first years in school. The letters are bold and sturdy but soft and personable.
I now have been presented with the opportunity to develop these few letters, that I love dearly, and expand them into a fully usable typeface — hopefully with multiple weights — through a small intensive course that Jeremy Mickel is guiding. Jeremy is an extremely talented self taught type designer based in Minneapolis. His class will go over how to sketch, vectorize and finally build each letter in a font editing program.
Considering my obsessive compulsive tendencies to make each and every bezier curve absolutely perfect I think I’ll enjoy the type development process very much. I’m hoping this class will bring a whole new appreciation to type for me as well as give me a whole new skill to utilize down the road. If I end up loving this experience enough I might be hammering out a few typefaces over the next year.
I’m anxious for session one to commence! I’ll be posting my progress on this typeface project over the next 6 weeks.
Lessons in Loving
Learning how to say, “I’m here,”
in your language is
like my arms
covered in 1,000
acupuncture needles and
hug you now.
And I’m trying to write you,
not too much
or with soiled words, please.
When all I’m trying to say is,
"Thinking of you. I’m here,"
and all that comes out is, “Me.”
Who knew it could be
to say so simply, that
Let me hug you
when you’re ready,
when you’re ready.
Let me hug you,
when you’re ready.”