Smoke

photo by Sylvia
photo by Sylvia

It’s 9:00 in the morning in my steel city, 3:00 in the afternoon where you are; where Columbus set sail for the new world.
What are you doing today?
Are you drinking your afternoon café, as I sit sipping from a chipped cup at a gritty south-side coffee house?
Are you writing words in your notebook? Are you sketching scenes or pushing stray thoughts around on napkins?
Have your blue eyes turned murky grey with age?
Or do they still match my own?
Would I know you if you walked in the door right now?
Would I want to know you?
I would like to be smoking the Spanish cigarettes you smoked the last time we met. The sweet smell of tobacco forever firing nostalgia straight into my senses.

How I love to smoke, even though I don’t smoke.

Read: Everything that Remains

everything that remains

Everything that Remains: A Memoir by The Minimalists by Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus (www.theminimalists.com) is the best book of non-fiction I’ve read in a long time.

I’m going to be posting some thoughts regarding Minimalism in the near future. For now, if you are even remotely interested in trying to break free from the burden of possessions, drop everything and read this book.

Mothering teens

photo by Wolfgang Stearns
photo by Wolfgang Stearns

When my kids were younger I wanted to instill grand ideas; how to be a kind person, how to have empathy, how to be honest, how to have good manners. They were so little and I was so adamant.

Now they are teenagers.

My ideas have changed. I remind them to wear coats, I remind them to eat. I remind them that mistakes happen, sometimes, big mistakes happen. What path is to be taken after making those mistakes? What wise choices make themselves available? Will they avail?

Be happy, not necessarily behaved. (but don’t get arrested)
Be strong, not necessarily compliant. (but don’t get expelled)
Be true to yourself, not to society’s expectations. (but don’t break your curfew)

This part of parenting, this evolution and expansion of thought makes me wince and smile and stare out windows with glassy half-closed eyes in the midnight solitude.

Before I had kids, I knew exactly what kind of mother I wanted to be. I knew the rules, I knew the consequences. As the years go by, I know less and less. Who’s rules do I follow? What really are the consequences?
How can I know less now than I knew then?

Make mistakes, take chances. (but be safe)
Take a risk, don’t always take the safe way out. (but be wise)
Strike out a new path. (but don’t forget where you came from)

Of course, it’s just a matter of what I thought I knew. Now I really know, that I don’t know anything.

thoughts from the forest

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