The Saltwater Recollections

Letters from the shore

Caterpillar hat 

Because you’re an Eric Carle super fan, I dragged my sick pregnant self out of bed today. And I would do it every day, again and again, if it means I get to see you quietly standing in a room full of kids. Observing all the action in your caterpillar hat. 

My child, lover of games and stories. You wait your turn. You remember to share. But home is where you ask to be after some fun with the other children. And at home you really shine. As your mom, I had forgotten how effortless imaginative play is. But then I see you make a piece of paper a crocodile and a hanger a shark. You are so special. And I’m unbelievable proud of everything you are. 

#2 journaling in the snow 

More thoughts 

If your planning your life around other people, be reminded of permanence. Life is almost always moving, shifting, bending around you. If you build your life around another persons plans than you aren’t living your life– your living in theirs. 

#1 journaling in a snowstorm

shared journal thoughts from 1/7/16

I’ve heard it said that your children are not yours. They come through you but they do not belong to you. This is the golden rule of mothering. It gives me peace to know that raising my son is my duty now, but not my bond to him. My bond to him will always be our mother son love. But it is not my place in his adult life to be the receiver of my work. This time is my gift. In adulthood, he owes me nothing but to make choices and live a fulfilling life. 

Mothers who expect their children to still answer to their call in adulthood are no longer mothering. They are punishing their children for growing up.

What I feel when it’s foggy 

Today was a day where I remembered every horrible, misguided, selfish word or action I’ve ever taken on someone. It made me want to call about a dozen people and firmly apologize for that dark side of me I might of unleashed on to them. Maybe I could make their day better somehow, and wipe that unpleasantry away? 
But as I am wanting to dazzle and amend ill feelings, the fog rolls in more, and I remember that I’m not even aware of who I was to another person. Who I was, how I made them feel isn’t clear to me because I never asked them. So opening up now isn’t for them, it’s for me. And that’s probably just as worse than being less than pleasant in the first place.
So I watch as the trees hide behind the low laying clouds. Everything takes on the filter of smoky autumn. The brown leaves artfully fall to the wet ground and I am here checking myself. Yes. I’m still a student of existence on earth putting myself out there to be a vessel for art and growth. 

Little star. 

Tonight, you fell asleep under the stars.

Just us, some noisy neighbors, but the cicadas and crickets mostly drowned that out.

It was the conclusion to what felt like a truly memorable day. One of those “I love  this day and you so much, it hurts”

And I felt incredible fear of it being over, of things ending. You held onto my neck, saying “I wuv you mommy” while we drew pictures of excavators, back hoe loaders, and bulldozer. 

When we swam in the lake, I felt like I had to keep you near me. You kicked away every time. Floating, sometimes kicking the lake floor with your toes. You spun in the water, smiling, and I remember doing that very thing as a happy carefree kid.

You’re smile is so important to me. It is my life force. 

My mind is really hoping this doesn’t escape, but if it disappears. I want to remember your eyes right when your about to smile. Maybe because I said we are going to take a picture. 

You asked me to take a picture of you by the bass guitar. And yes, you said bass guitar.

And I asked if we could take a photo by the drums…

My sweet child. Everything we do together is not always perfect, but what this day has been to me is damn close. 

I will not remember 

Likes or

trending topics regarding 

what came out of his mouth. It’s not in 

me today. I will not be so sheepish.

I will remember the rainbow city and you cutting the blocks with your pizza cutter.

you running into the kitchen to get it 

along with your spatula.

Ellington playing and sun pouring into the windows

every inch of the room filled with it.

Your face and scent. 

Your voice as you named the shapes of the blocks in your own way, calling it

ha cycle.

And your uh oh

when it fell to the ground.

the protection of life and the home we inherit

Have we really begun to believe that life begins and ends at birth, and does not deeply reflect the home, the planet, the community, that we all share? 
I would hope, that if your heart moves for the protection of human life, it not only moves for the birth of that life but also the life of the bodies which it is dependent on.

Can we protect life but not protect the womb? Can we tell a life it deserves to be born but provide it clean air, water, and food?

Can we promise it a womb, but not safe home for the rest of its days?

Pro-life then should also be pro-earth, pro-air, pro-water, and pro-life for all creatures. It should mean also pro-social equality, pro-free education, pro-universal health, because anything short of that has mistaken what life is, why we have evolved to life at all. 

How a life lives after birth is not besides the point. It is the whole point, and the very reason for life itself

Chinese laterns

In Summer we kept going back to those parts.

Where chinese lanterns grew, it was our future speaking like children from the womb.

You handed me one during those last days.

Nothing feels as like it should.
But we moved next to the lanterns and waited one year for the orange paper pods.

Oh the color.

It made me remember the first time I saw the moon.

Driving to the ocean, with the girls in the back we had just made a last minute date to see the water.

And above the coast came the glow of a blood moon. 

Everything had feelings then, and now the lanterns have only made me remember.

But they too will properly degrade into lace and bury their color.



I wanted to make a note of my nightly sensations. I turned on my screen and starred into the white space for several minutes before realizing that it wasn’t the medium I needed to spill my guts.

I had lit a candle to set the mood, but its dim flame was diminished by the hypnotic draw to the screen. And so I pressed the tiny button below the monitor, sending it away. Because this, I wondered if I would somehow be the very first person to write an entire literary work in her head, without needing to transcribe it into words.

It was then that I remembered the typewriter. I always keep it beside my desk. That old clunk of metal, that may have taken on the role of décor in my period of neglect and actually forgotten its function altogether. But atlas—muscle memory. You never forget how to write you name, ride a bike, or type on your old clunk of metal (or rather flea market treasure, and gift from your true love).

The candle is burning now with the ability to rightly fill the space with its warmth. It has taken the lives of a small moth and beetle, which lay below the white hot wax; glazed over like polished gemstones. It was with me outside; my little square of private property that hosts the sounds of cicada-cricket symphony, full moon rises, and the few brave stars that somehow peer beyond the congestion of the Garden State.

And somehow, in the midst of taking in my surrounding, and thinking about several other things, I managed to have a startling thought—it might really be happening. For so long I wondered if it was really happening. It never, ever was. But again I am here, wondering, and again hopeful that I might be right.

Because for the most part of my adult life I was expecting something to change, without having to do anything at all. I expected the road to open on its own, without my say or command. I would take it into the light where I would finally be home.

Age is telling me that it isn’t my destiny to wait.

Build the road and live by your purpose.

Become your own creator–

A box 

A box is never a permenant place for life to keep.    Eventually, the force of the growing spirit pushes through the cracks to find what is just beyond.

And what you might see cannot be known from the walls of your familiarity.  But you may know it from a dream.

And I do. I dream we are looking upon a mountain from a valley of many greens.   Reaching up for the words to name the motion that floats us up to its peaks. 

And in awe of it all, from the mountain tops of our making, our habits are true.   We live without the box, but always inside something new.