I’m stuck.  Somewhere. Between, on, over. There are so many prepositions to choose.  These days, I can better grasp the structure of the English language—I can see through it and why the words fall into sentences like those—but I’ve a lack of things to say.  I have nothing to say.  I’m stuck on nothing. 

I’m stuck on normal.  Everything is normal.  Nothing is superb.  Every blooming flower and crying child, it’s all pretty average.  I lie in my bed and feel the static electricity of my sheets sting, stare at the ceiling and find that time is normal, the toxic fumes of burned garbage is giving me a headache—and that’s fairly normal.  

My stomach is rebellious and my muscles seem listless and my tear ducts react in class and sometimes I just want to pat my students on the head, because they’re really just a bunch of puppies.  And is this all really normal.  Something is happening—but what? 

I haven’t the words to face it yet.  I only know normal.  All encompassing and unremarkable. 

These days, I don’t think we really have a firm grasp on anything.  Except the knowledge that the barley is changing colors.  

You are the Aether

image

I’ve been fortunate enough recently to have been reintroduced to Walt Whitman’s poem, “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry.”  Because I am not a New Yorker, I have always side-stepped the poem a little—after all, I have not crossed Brooklyn Ferry.  I have, however, crossed the Brooklyn bridge on foot before at 3am in a classic semi-drunken, out to prove something about hedonism state.  And while I have wanted to prescribe meaning to that moment, I was ultimately just being a person that did not like life as it was.  

Reading this poem again, I find that I am struck even though I have not had this shared experience; this experience of standing on Brooklyn Ferry watching people and wondering why so common a moment could inspire so many words.  I am struck not by what is shared, but rather, by what is not.  The people I have not met, the places I have not been, the times I have not lived—

It’s the question I’ve wondered my whole life.
How is it they could mean so much? 

Why do you hold a place in my heart when I’ve never looked in your eyes, exchanged a single word or felt any corporeal or affirming touch.  

Whitman writes:

What is it, then, between us?
What is the count of the scores or hundred of years between us?

Whatever it is, it avails not—distance avails not, and place avails not. 

sarahj-art:

This was going to be cool and nice… instead it just turned into this. I’ve been busy and had to take a mental break with animation.

teaching middle school. 

sarahj-art:

This was going to be cool and nice… instead it just turned into this. I’ve been busy and had to take a mental break with animation.

teaching middle school. 

What is home.
Home is bringing back a kombucha SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) in a mason jar.  My mother’s reaction, “Oh that was a health fad during the cultural revolution. Then people got over it.”  Home is growing the SCOBY anyway because it’s fun, because we can.  Home is my mother, bringing new life to the jar that used to hold our (now dead) yeast culture, named Ary.
Home is a sudden break in the silence when I say, “Hey mom, it’s just occurred to me.  If stinky tofu is just tofu gone bad, why can’t we make it ourselves?!” The reply, “Yeah your grandmother used to just put tofu on a windowsill until the right things happened.”  Home is piling pots and pans on top of a square of tofu to squeeze the water out of it.  Home is leaving tofu in your warm microwave for 2 days and my mother determining if it’s the right color of spoiled to be the right kind of stinky.
Home is—“Hey why do we always buy preserved bamboo shoots if we can try buying a fresh bamboo shoot?” And then we stare at the bamboo shoots, “How does one select a bamboo shoot?”  And then we peel the seemingly endless peels of a bamboo shoot, “Are you sure there’s something we can eat in this?”
Home is a perfected system of making vegetarian egg-rolls.  Each one sealed with a bright blot of egg yolk. 
Home is everything as it should be. 
Home is the amazing, the delicious, the adventurous, the curious, the daring, the progressive, the warmth that I have never found anywhere else.  It’s the place I think I’m in during the mornings when the skies are still dark and opened eyes look the same as shut eyes.  
Home is where I miss so much and the words I try to avoid saying as I learn to appreciate the present.   What is home.
Home is bringing back a kombucha SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) in a mason jar.  My mother’s reaction, “Oh that was a health fad during the cultural revolution. Then people got over it.”  Home is growing the SCOBY anyway because it’s fun, because we can.  Home is my mother, bringing new life to the jar that used to hold our (now dead) yeast culture, named Ary.
Home is a sudden break in the silence when I say, “Hey mom, it’s just occurred to me.  If stinky tofu is just tofu gone bad, why can’t we make it ourselves?!” The reply, “Yeah your grandmother used to just put tofu on a windowsill until the right things happened.”  Home is piling pots and pans on top of a square of tofu to squeeze the water out of it.  Home is leaving tofu in your warm microwave for 2 days and my mother determining if it’s the right color of spoiled to be the right kind of stinky.
Home is—“Hey why do we always buy preserved bamboo shoots if we can try buying a fresh bamboo shoot?” And then we stare at the bamboo shoots, “How does one select a bamboo shoot?”  And then we peel the seemingly endless peels of a bamboo shoot, “Are you sure there’s something we can eat in this?”
Home is a perfected system of making vegetarian egg-rolls.  Each one sealed with a bright blot of egg yolk. 
Home is everything as it should be. 
Home is the amazing, the delicious, the adventurous, the curious, the daring, the progressive, the warmth that I have never found anywhere else.  It’s the place I think I’m in during the mornings when the skies are still dark and opened eyes look the same as shut eyes.  
Home is where I miss so much and the words I try to avoid saying as I learn to appreciate the present.   What is home.
Home is bringing back a kombucha SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) in a mason jar.  My mother’s reaction, “Oh that was a health fad during the cultural revolution. Then people got over it.”  Home is growing the SCOBY anyway because it’s fun, because we can.  Home is my mother, bringing new life to the jar that used to hold our (now dead) yeast culture, named Ary.
Home is a sudden break in the silence when I say, “Hey mom, it’s just occurred to me.  If stinky tofu is just tofu gone bad, why can’t we make it ourselves?!” The reply, “Yeah your grandmother used to just put tofu on a windowsill until the right things happened.”  Home is piling pots and pans on top of a square of tofu to squeeze the water out of it.  Home is leaving tofu in your warm microwave for 2 days and my mother determining if it’s the right color of spoiled to be the right kind of stinky.
Home is—“Hey why do we always buy preserved bamboo shoots if we can try buying a fresh bamboo shoot?” And then we stare at the bamboo shoots, “How does one select a bamboo shoot?”  And then we peel the seemingly endless peels of a bamboo shoot, “Are you sure there’s something we can eat in this?”
Home is a perfected system of making vegetarian egg-rolls.  Each one sealed with a bright blot of egg yolk. 
Home is everything as it should be. 
Home is the amazing, the delicious, the adventurous, the curious, the daring, the progressive, the warmth that I have never found anywhere else.  It’s the place I think I’m in during the mornings when the skies are still dark and opened eyes look the same as shut eyes.  
Home is where I miss so much and the words I try to avoid saying as I learn to appreciate the present.   What is home.
Home is bringing back a kombucha SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) in a mason jar.  My mother’s reaction, “Oh that was a health fad during the cultural revolution. Then people got over it.”  Home is growing the SCOBY anyway because it’s fun, because we can.  Home is my mother, bringing new life to the jar that used to hold our (now dead) yeast culture, named Ary.
Home is a sudden break in the silence when I say, “Hey mom, it’s just occurred to me.  If stinky tofu is just tofu gone bad, why can’t we make it ourselves?!” The reply, “Yeah your grandmother used to just put tofu on a windowsill until the right things happened.”  Home is piling pots and pans on top of a square of tofu to squeeze the water out of it.  Home is leaving tofu in your warm microwave for 2 days and my mother determining if it’s the right color of spoiled to be the right kind of stinky.
Home is—“Hey why do we always buy preserved bamboo shoots if we can try buying a fresh bamboo shoot?” And then we stare at the bamboo shoots, “How does one select a bamboo shoot?”  And then we peel the seemingly endless peels of a bamboo shoot, “Are you sure there’s something we can eat in this?”
Home is a perfected system of making vegetarian egg-rolls.  Each one sealed with a bright blot of egg yolk. 
Home is everything as it should be. 
Home is the amazing, the delicious, the adventurous, the curious, the daring, the progressive, the warmth that I have never found anywhere else.  It’s the place I think I’m in during the mornings when the skies are still dark and opened eyes look the same as shut eyes.  
Home is where I miss so much and the words I try to avoid saying as I learn to appreciate the present.   What is home.
Home is bringing back a kombucha SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) in a mason jar.  My mother’s reaction, “Oh that was a health fad during the cultural revolution. Then people got over it.”  Home is growing the SCOBY anyway because it’s fun, because we can.  Home is my mother, bringing new life to the jar that used to hold our (now dead) yeast culture, named Ary.
Home is a sudden break in the silence when I say, “Hey mom, it’s just occurred to me.  If stinky tofu is just tofu gone bad, why can’t we make it ourselves?!” The reply, “Yeah your grandmother used to just put tofu on a windowsill until the right things happened.”  Home is piling pots and pans on top of a square of tofu to squeeze the water out of it.  Home is leaving tofu in your warm microwave for 2 days and my mother determining if it’s the right color of spoiled to be the right kind of stinky.
Home is—“Hey why do we always buy preserved bamboo shoots if we can try buying a fresh bamboo shoot?” And then we stare at the bamboo shoots, “How does one select a bamboo shoot?”  And then we peel the seemingly endless peels of a bamboo shoot, “Are you sure there’s something we can eat in this?”
Home is a perfected system of making vegetarian egg-rolls.  Each one sealed with a bright blot of egg yolk. 
Home is everything as it should be. 
Home is the amazing, the delicious, the adventurous, the curious, the daring, the progressive, the warmth that I have never found anywhere else.  It’s the place I think I’m in during the mornings when the skies are still dark and opened eyes look the same as shut eyes.  
Home is where I miss so much and the words I try to avoid saying as I learn to appreciate the present.  

What is home.

Home is bringing back a kombucha SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) in a mason jar.  My mother’s reaction, “Oh that was a health fad during the cultural revolution. Then people got over it.”  Home is growing the SCOBY anyway because it’s fun, because we can.  Home is my mother, bringing new life to the jar that used to hold our (now dead) yeast culture, named Ary.

Home is a sudden break in the silence when I say, “Hey mom, it’s just occurred to me.  If stinky tofu is just tofu gone bad, why can’t we make it ourselves?!” The reply, “Yeah your grandmother used to just put tofu on a windowsill until the right things happened.”  Home is piling pots and pans on top of a square of tofu to squeeze the water out of it.  Home is leaving tofu in your warm microwave for 2 days and my mother determining if it’s the right color of spoiled to be the right kind of stinky.

Home is—“Hey why do we always buy preserved bamboo shoots if we can try buying a fresh bamboo shoot?” And then we stare at the bamboo shoots, “How does one select a bamboo shoot?”  And then we peel the seemingly endless peels of a bamboo shoot, “Are you sure there’s something we can eat in this?”

Home is a perfected system of making vegetarian egg-rolls.  Each one sealed with a bright blot of egg yolk. 

Home is everything as it should be. 

Home is the amazing, the delicious, the adventurous, the curious, the daring, the progressive, the warmth that I have never found anywhere else.  It’s the place I think I’m in during the mornings when the skies are still dark and opened eyes look the same as shut eyes.  

Home is where I miss so much and the words I try to avoid saying as I learn to appreciate the present.  

Ever since elementary school, I have known that -1*-1= 1.  I used this little factoid to get by in middle school, high school and college math related problems.  

Then my friend asks me, “Why does negative one multiplied by itself equal positive one?” and I found myself speechless.

He then takes the nearest napkin, procures a pen from somewhere and provides the proof of what I had always known but could not explain.  It’s mind-blowing.  And it’s this ridiculous lesson in using what we know to find out the unknown.  The process of how an assumption becomes so much more.  In the framework of this one napkin (and mathematics), there is something that can be called ‘truth.’  I wonder if, given the right guidance, this is something I could have known and explained when I was in elementary school

Whenever I need to remind myself of what I should be trying to accomplish in the classroom, I look to this crumpled napkin and the standards become clear.

//transcript

(-1)(-1) = 1

pf: (-1)+(-1)(-1) = (-1)(1-1) = (-1)(0) = 0
[—> (-1)+(-1)(-1) =0]
—> (-1)(-1)=1 

Credits to the Euclid Coop fruit and leftovers fridge, Berkeley, CA.  

How Do I Manage

What is my management plan?

My management plan is incredibly complex even though I only like simple things.  My management is complex even though I only wanted simple things and thought I could handle simple things.  Simple, to me, means natural, unstructured—something that leaves room for my inconsistent, temperamental nature.  

Something that leaves room for me to fuck up.

My management plan used to be trying to be a person who yells, and shows anger and throws things in class.  My management plan used to try to make up for my inability to corporally punish students—even though it seemed like that was what they expected/wanted/responded to.  My management plan used to be me feeling somehow emotionally repressed for not experiencing anger in the right way—where was the temper, the fury, the violence?  Isn’t that what people respond to? Isn’t that what forces someone to look you in the eye and realize “yeah, do not fuck with me.”  

My management plan used to be me looking at myself in the mirror before class and practicing anger.  It used to be throwing on a face of annoyance, disgust and reluctance whenever I crossed within 10 yards of the teaching building.  I used to take my textbook/ruler/bamboo stick/PVC pipe and walk around slamming student’s tables, trying to slam some respect into them as well.  My first semester textbook is a complete ragged joke of a book.  

My management plan used to involve teaching myself how to shame students.  How can their parents be proud of them? How can they be proud of themselves? If you don’t want to come to school and participate, fine, no one is forcing you.  Leave. Leave. Leave.  Isn’t this what it means to take a hard stance?

My management plan didn’t come to me in an epiphany over break.  

My management plan resulted from a panic attack the day before school started.  So I sat in bed absolutely terrified and petrified and mortified by what I was to face the next day.  I tried to sleep and then I cried because I couldn’t.  I predicted the feeling of being impossibly naked.  Of standing in front of a class, meek and with no battle strategy.  No armor or battle tactic.  No weapons, no PVC pipe, no bamboo stick.  Because none of that had worked and even after the first semester, I still wasn’t able to be the person I needed to be.  What role was I playing incorrectly? Why couldn’t I just show fury like the other teachers? 

My management plan, I think, came from defeat.  

I can’t do it.  I really can’t yell at students.  I can’t and I don’t want to shame them, even though I have tried so hard to do just that.  I can’t throw things and I don’t want to be angry at them.  I can’t raise my voice.  I don’t want to rattle them up.  I don’t want to make them cry and I never felt good trying, even when I wanted them to.  I don’t want to grab them by the collar and push them into a corner; enforce a time out.  I don’t want to grab their arms and pull them out of class and scream, “Get out of my classroom!”  I’ve done it, and I really don’t want to do any of that.  I’ve done it because I thought maybe this is what a real management plan is.  

So I don’t do any of it anymore.  

Instead, I have a complex system of individual points and class points.  I use a timer and I show them all the time that we lose in class waiting for them to settle down.  I explain to them exactly why I am giving or taking away points.  I give rewards and I express mercy.  I tell them during our evening classes that I understand how it is hard to study when you’ve been in class a day.  I know it’s hard but I still think you can do it.  

But really, the crux of this plan is the admittance that my voice is simply not meant to be raised.  I think, for the first time since I started to teach, I have simply been me in the classroom, instead of someone afraid to be me and thus trying desperately to be someone else.  And how do I manage? 

I am quiet, I am serious and I am willing to wait.  I say “please” and “thank you” and “bless you” (even though I am not religious).  I do not let students get away with bullying, homophobia or talking out of turn.  But I don’t yell at them, not because I’m trying not to, but simply because I don’t know how.  In fact, I am fairly monotonous.  

It’s a little ridiculous actually, but these days I sometimes feel like I like myself the most when I am in the classroom.  Because I read a quote from somewhere in the early morning before class, and it said, “This is your world.  Shape it, or someone else will.”  And I thought to myself, really, what kind of people do I want these students to be and am I being that person? 

So my management plan makes that a priority above all else—perhaps even management.  I think, even if they don’t respond well to the best me I can be, it is truly the best I can be.  It is better than the person I am outside of the classroom.  It is the me if I were not petty or selfish or vindictive.  It is the me if I were not looking for revenge, looking to outdo, looking to humiliate.  It is the me that I think these students actually deserve.  I find it’s hard to be this person all the time, outside of class.  

My management plan started when I gave up on managing.  When I did go to class, rather emotionally naked and with absolutely no tricks up my sleeve.  When I surrendered before the war and relinquished my weapons, because they were never right, they never fit me anyway.  My management plan started when I decided that I was sick of wars and fighting and the fear of being torn down.   I couldn’t teach—or continue living—in a world like that. 

“[…] If we have the habit of freedom and the courage to write exactly what we think; if we escape a little from the common sitting-room and see human beings not always in their relation to each other but in relation to reality; and the sky, too, and the trees or whatever it may be in themselves; if we look past Milton’s bogey, for no human being should shut out the view; if we face the fact, for it is a fact, that there is no arm to cling to, but that we go alone and that our relation is to the world of reality and not only to the world of men and women, then the opportunity will come and the dead poet who was Shakespeare’s sister will put on the body which she has so often laid down.”

Virginia Woolf; “A Room of One’s Own” 

[Disclaimer: in which I devolve—evolve?—volve?—into a vibrant stream of consciousness feminist literary criticism.]

I’ve always considered myself a feminist but I’ve never been a feminist—not completely, at least.  A part of me was always holding back and it wasn’t until I read the very last page of Virginia Woolf’s “A Room of One’s Own” that I paused, perplexed, confused—even a little bit shocked—and thought about it. 

What is the most curious phrase in the excerpt above? 

—and the sky
——-and the trees
————whatever it may be
—————-if we look past 
Milton’s bogey

"Milton’s bogey."  What the fuck is that?

"Milton’s bogey," apparently some inhumane, oppressive, monstrous thing holding women down.  Holding people down.  

This came as a surprise to me because John Milton—really, idolizing John Milton was what motivated me to major in English.  Being able to appreciate Paradise Lost was special to me.  It was such an ambitious piece of literature that the fact that someone like me could glean some understanding from it, it made me feel extraordinary.  After that, I proceeded to devour any piece of Milton’s work I could get my hands on.  To me, he seemed like the prophet of the English language; blind, yet so forcefully full in voice.  For a while, I credited Milton with saving my life.  Because I could read and understand Milton, I wasn’t worthless.  For a long while—and continuing—I’ve been planning to tattoo Milton’s words onto me.  To be forever with, stained, and branded by him.  Milton’s words are truth. 

And suddenly, Virginia fucking Woolf crudely, bravely, directly condemns Milton as the patriarchy.  But, I thought to myself, his words are too beautiful to be oppressive! Why do we need to gender everything.  Why does everything have to be an issue. Why can’t we just appreciate it as words on a page.  The problem, I would later realize, is the immortal power of literary tradition and how it influences the idea of “validity.”  The problem is people like me.  But, I suppose, I’m getting ahead of myself.  

Naturally, I scoured the internet for answers.  (This is what I did in my downtime in Kunming—obsessive much?) Someone, explain—justify—“Milton’s bogey” to me.  Why is my good pal Virginia Woolf giving Literary God John Milton such a hard time??  (Please don’t let this be a friendship dealbreaker!!  It was actually really kind of stressful.) JSTOR to the rescue. Apparently someone named Sandra Gilbert (who I later found out is the author of seminal feminist classic “The Madwoman in the Attic”—added to my reading list) was already concerned about lost souls like me in 1978, having penned an essay entitled: Patriarchal Poetry and Women Readers: Reflections on Milton’s Bogey.

APT.

[At this point in my writing, it would be ideal to quote passages from Gilbert’s essay to support my thought process.  Unfortunately, upon returning back to my village, my internet has been too slow to load JSTOR.  So please, bear with me.]

Gilbert argues that women authors from Shelley to Brontë to Woolf (and everyone in between, and beyond) have engaged in an eternal struggle against the violence of masculine authorship that literary canon imposes on us.  What that means is something we already know.  We grow up knowing—almost no matter what written culture you come from—that some writing is socially accepted as “good” and some writing is “bad”.  The “good” is what you aspire to be placed next to as an author.  The “good” is the literary tradition you inherit because the “good” is generally what we are encouraged to read and the “good” shapes your thinking.  The “good” is that ever-present voice in the back of your mind judging the value of your words, your style, your prose and poetry and purpose.  

There’s no doubt that Milton is a fantastic writer and a master of language.  But, for the first time or perhaps it was the first time I chose to admit it to myself, he propagates an insidiously patriarchal and oppressive society.  Indeed, it’s kind of ridiculous how many concessions we women make in order to indoctrinate ourselves into the literary canon.  In the canon, women are either evil vaginal monsters named Error or Sin or Eve or waifish dead portraits named Ophelia, Cordelia, Lady of Somewhere.  Yes, we say, that’s worrisome, but it’s so well-written! Woolf targets Milton as the source of literary oppression because he took the original story of misogyny in the Western canon—Genesis—and adapted it into a literary blockbuster.  Perhaps no writer of note post-Milton writes without reflecting upon Paradise Lost, whether in agony or exaltation.  And misogyny effuses throughout literature, in clever metaphor or delicate simile—it’s there and we are led to cherish it.

I guess that is a little fucked up.

Reflecting upon my relationship with Milton is akin to coming to terms with your daddy issues.  I loved Milton because he was so respected and feared and dense and grand.  He was so unaccessible and I felt more important because I could understand and exalt him.  I wanted to please him by praising him, worshipping him, writing under his influence, and I held/hold myself to his standards with everything I write.  It feels safe to be in Milton’s circle.  You are in the ivory tower.  You are above the rest of them; you only need to continue to worship misogynistic writing.  

In the reading of Paradise Lost that I was taught, Satan was the Byronic hero (that is, the anti-hero—the real hero in some senses) and, by association as his courtesan, Eve was kind of badass too. She pondered equality, she allowed herself selfishness, she grew dissatisfied with being a glorified rib.  Yet, if you look at it objectively, the only way a woman truly breaks out of her fold is by aspiring to be with a different kind of man.  Instead of the submissive wife of rather dimwitted Adam, she should become the daring mistress of the bad-boy rebellious Satan.  Of course, the consequence for that move was condemning mankind to the eternal suffering of non-paradise reality—particularly women to the pains of childbirth and genesis.  It’s hard to find a great role model in Eve, it’s easy to become Eve.  It’s easy to hate yourself. 

When you grow up in the literary tradition of respecting your respectful elders—Chaucer, Spenser, Milton, Shakespeare—you choose to see the world the way they see it.  And in most cases, it does not respect women.  Women find their purposes only as the lovers of men, as Woolf notes.  If you’ve read Woolf’s passage that I’ve quoted above as many times as I have, in curiosity or rage or confusion, you will notice that she does not hate canonical authors.  Nor does she reject good writing.  She simply asks us not to worship it and to let it warp our minds.  ”If you have the habit of freedom and the courage to write exactly what we think.”  Even in modern times, most women writers are pegged as “soft fiction” or “romance” or “popular fiction” when women are certainly not the only gender with interests in those categories.  Woolf asks us to write even when we are not being taken seriously.  

"…to see human beings not always in relation to each other but in relation to reality"—fuck the literary tradition, she says! We write not to satisfy our literary father figures.  We write not to conform to 16th century meter.  We write not to continue someone else’s perception of reality—reality is there, in front of us waiting to be taken.  Reality is shared by everyone.  Reality is uniquely experienced by everyone.  Reality is a human right.  Why write if not because something beautiful has happened in your life and you wish to immortalize it.  

This is an issue of education and this is an issue of feminism.  We have been taught within a structure that exalts patriarchal writing as the gold standard of literature.  How can each and every woman not be a little bit mangled if survival has been dependent on satisfying a system which asks you to worship misogyny? 

What kept me from understanding the need for feminist criticism is the belief that I could excuse misogyny in the name of art.  In this case, I cannot subvert the system if I am the system.  I don’t think I will ever stop finding Milton’s writing to be beautiful—for that is not the case—but I will be skeptical of the environment that produced such beauty.  How many potential women geniuses were oppressed or maimed in favor of men, how many schools existing for how many hundreds of years exist to ensure that we still find these words beautiful, how many women have suffered due the cultural acceptance of artistic misogyny? 

Ironically, Milton himself echoes this sentiment of biting the hand that feeds:

I cannot praise a fugitive and cloistered virtue, unexercised and unbreathed […]

-Areopagitica

There is nothing admirable about blind acceptance of value.  Sometimes words can be so heavy.

Vignettes from Today

You know the wind is strong and the air is dry when you cry in salt tracks; dry before it hits the chin.  Cracking on the face. 

And outside, the corridors give voice to the wind and it’s all—howl! howl! howl! To be made of stone.

There was a ladybug caught between the glass of a window and the opaque plastic that covered it.  Occasionally the red of it’s shell would peek through; you can only hope it escapes. 

I spent much of today listening to voice messages over and over again.  Because I’m scared and I need reassurance.  Because I needed to hear it again.  And I appreciated technology for the first time in a long time for bringing and preserving and allowing me something strong when I am frail.