Oh yeah – when I was sweeping the walk, these two rigid framed backpacked youth – one big and hairy-ish and the other almost sprightly, asked if they could leave their packs in my shed for about nine hours. I was too tired to feel like a jerk, so I opened the shed and showed them where I would hide the key. I noticed the sprightly one looked almost exactly like my friend Josh W. who died in 2003. This kid, whose backpack is still in my shed, three days later, could have been his brother, his son. This world is simply too much to take sometimes.
I wonder where those kids went? When will they come get their stuff? What in the world is their story?

I haven’t posted this week. The longest lapse since this project began. I have emailed myself, half-heartedly. It has been a long sad week. I can only say that much.
I am considering the heavy weep that settled in my chest sometime last Sunday to be a test a test a test. I am also considering it to be an experiment in not drawing. Apparently, I become a bit beleaguered if I am not drawing everyday. Not just making lines on paper, but drawing>fully engaged.

Here is an email I sent out as a weekly report:

Warning: I’m tired and this message might be a little hokey. Feel free to make fun of me. But, really, you all are so great.

As I left work tearful, for a blue million reasons, I encountered Mr. Vice President of Programs and Exhibits in the hallway. He saw me half-crying. He didn’t ask why, just accepted and returned my hug. Continuing down the hall, in response to my pitiful and weepy apology,
he remarked: “It’s just another layer.”
I have no idea what he actually meant, or if I even heard him correctly.

However, my lengthy interpretation of that simple statement is this:
Blah Blah…
We are not stuck in the places we find ourselves, be they good or bad. The layers we inhabit, that we wrap around ourselves, or peel away as quick as we can – they don’t stick. They fall away and some grand new wonderful or terrible thing will expose itself and define our days for awhile.
Blah.

Thanks, Mr. Vice President of Programs and Exhibits – for reminding me that nothing hangs around too long.

Summary:
I am grateful to have a work environment that teaches me something new everyday. I am thankful to have a work environment where people are kind.

Love – Faith

Note: Isn’t a blessing that no buildings have fallen here? Our layers, even the really rotten ones, are pretty cushy.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Then I read some other folks weekly reports and they actually talked about the, um, work that they did during the week. So, then I sent out this other message.

So – I just wrote a very eloquent and heartwarming account of my work this week. (After I read other people’s weekly reports, I realized that maybe I ought to talk more about the work I did this week and not just blather on about feelings and layers.)
And I lost the draft – I think? – when Outlook timed out. My apologies for flooding your inbox. Do ya’ll remember when I didn’t realize that if you hit “PAGE” on the downstairs phone, it went to speaker on everyone’s desk and that they couldn’t answer back? And I’d just keep talking and waiting for someone to say something?
Sometimes Communication Protocol is not exactly my forte’. Sorry.

So – highlights of this week –

Taught four back-to-back Sex Ed. classes. I am always caught off guard by how much of a privilege it sometimes feels like to get to talk to young people in a respectful and factual way about reproductive activity and its possible consequences. It is such a hugely important job!
Teaching Family Life Outreach is usually a fairly amazing teaching experience.

Dressed up like a triceratops and adopted a nagging maternal persona. The nagging part wasn’t too hard, but the singing and dancing while wearing a big, stuffity head and tail was a bit tough to get the hang of. By the way, Myra and Jenny are awesome dinosaur dancers! Kudos as well to my dinosaur-son, Drew, the Tyrannosaurus. I have had the greatest time doing dental month. I wish so many of our classes hadn’t been canceled due to our freakishly wintry winter.

Also, traveled to Canton with Jenny to teach Sound Science to 105 2nd Graders. I taught each and everyone of those children Insects last month and they remembered me! Yes, the sweetness made me swoon. There is one little girl, the biggest in all four classes, whose name is Faith. She has clear green eyes and a quiet voice and we say “Hi, Faith!” and “Bye, Faith!” in a sort of smile-y secret way, like we’re in a club. Which we are: The I’m-Named-Faith Club. We are the only two members so far.
It is such a big huge gift to get to teach these kids how much fun science is.

Also, researched for camp curriculum and new ways to use recyclables to teach science. Did you know that people used to sail ships carrying TONS OF DRIED BEETLES across the ocean, just to make the color red? Feel free to ask me for more information on how dried beetles are related to my work at THA.

I love my job.

Faith

Re: Dissipate

Inbox X

Reply
|

faithrhyne@gmail.com

show details Jan 12 (3 days ago)
I did it! After so so so many years of things just feeling a little difficult (though I was never hungry, I did feel scared) it is a triumph of sorts that I, for years now, am actually doing these things; this garbage and this job and these kids. I am happy to do them. Nothing gets you off your feet like babies. I am not suggesting that people have babies as a way of motivating themselves. It would be pointless anyway – because, if we’re 1/2 awake our motives after we have kids aren’t remotely the same as our motives prior. It is bold, I know, to suggest that ought to let go of our prior selves after bringing other separate selves into the world. But it seems an inevitability; the demands of domesticity are not conducive to endeavors outside of the household community realm. I say household community, because there is a thriving and ever fluctuating subculture of middle-class American moms. One of the things that these moms sometimes talk about is who they were before. But often, in small talk, the existence of a life without children is some hazy nimbus, glowing faintly in form of tattoos and old bumper stickers, covered and replaced with something reasonable, like a minivan, or a cardigan…or a baby sling.

I don’t even remember what I was talking about. My brain seems busy tonight. I ate five Winnie-the-Pooh gummies this morning. I am all wacked out on vitamins.

So, I was going to try to avoid making this a mommy-blog. However, it’s really difficult to tease me out of mother.

I met some nice moms at the museum today. We talked about girl names. Her daughter has the name that I always imagined I would name a girl. My daughter has the name that she had intended to name her daughter. It just occurred to me that the odds of such an occurence are really quite slim. This nice lady was wearing red cowboy boots. I always instantly like people who wear red boots as I myself wear them occassionally.

She’s a mom who “works”. I am a mom who “works”. At a very family friendly organization, but who nevertheless works. I have also been a mom who “doesn’t work” –
I refuse to even talk about the pros and cons. Don’t people write books about this? I don’t want to write a book about this, no way. Who is anyone to tell a mom how to structure the parameters of her life. It’s what she does within those parameters that count.
——Original Message——
From: Me
To: Me
ReplyTo: Me
Subject: Dissipate
Sent: Jan 12, 2010 5:40 PM

I was thankful that the smoke from the pellet stove finally stopped belching out of the alley between our house and the house next door. It has been so smoky lately. A greatest new thing with it’s autoclean, “almost no trouble at all.”
I thought it was the greatest contraption. I still think it’s kinda great. When it works.
I just restarted it, “Auger Jammed” the blue screen read. The house a mildly chilly 51.6 degrees fahrenheit. “Must not have cut-off too long ago…I love the word Auger.”
I am so forgiving of the failures of contraptions if these failures are communicated in gentle ways. A cold house, a poetic phrase, a dark fire box behind too-sooty glass.
Or the kitchen faucet. Running only cold cold cold water. So cold I wash the dishes in the bathtub. Just for the hot water running over my hands.
Fixing the kitchen faucet or buying a new one is too much to think about right now. I am covered up with the daily in a wintry sort of way.
All the chores seem more chore-like. Like taking out the blessed recycling and garbage tonight. I am dreading that. And pulling cold laundry out of the dryer that is, still, on the back porch. And putting wet laundry, suddenly steaming into that machine and pushing the button and waiting for the engine to turn over, the belts to spin, the coils to heat, the air to flow warm and condensating over the old porch boards.

I’d better go do that stuff or I’m going to feel awful about myself.

– Show quoted text –
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Reply
Forward
Reply
|

faithrhyne@gmail.com

show details Jan 13 (2 days ago)
Wednesday afternoon of the longest week in the brief year of long weeks.
This is what I need to do tonight:
Clean Olive’s floor of juice box spill
Fold laundry
Play with hedgehog
Research facts and images re: seahorses and amphipods, their primary food source (just because I want to learn about these thing today)
Make spaghetti + salad
Read school books with children
Work on Art of Science Camp Journal pages
Post to Hannah
Fix old post that says Vioxx when I meant volvox.

Isn’t it sad that the name of a prescription medication for ?cholestrol?asthma? comes to mind more easily than the name of one of our earliest forms of multi-cellular life?

Today I went to Canton and taught a program called Sound Science to my favorite group of 2nd graders in WNC. I went with a co-worker, the same one who leaves herself pleasant phone messages to remind herself of appointments or objects to remember. I am so fond of this coworker.
On the way home the smell of the paper mill was overpowering. It hit me like a sledge: The smell of a paper mill, “the smell of money”. The smell of my hometown, my childhood.
I was mysteriously on the edge of tears by the time we got back to the office. Driving is not a good thing for me, too much time to think.

This year, in some aspects, is pretty much kickin’ my butt so far. The cold closed windows make it all seem a blur — I can’t wait for the shift in the breeze to be noticed. Being outside is integral to me. To all of us, or at least most of us. I think we can become habituated to cages, just like most species. Our outside-nature can be subdued by generations of being indoors. Under lights, a constant hum not often heard outside the electronic realm. That essential buzzing of electrons that somehow sounds so separate from us.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

– Show quoted text –
—–Original Message—–
From: faithrhyne@gmail.com
Date: Tue, 12 Jan 2010 23:25:21
To: Me<faithrhyne@gmail.com>
Subject: Re: Dissipate

I did it! After so so so many years of things just feeling a little difficult (though I was never hungry, I did feel scared) it is a triumph of sorts that I, for years now, am actually doing these things; this garbage and this job and these kids. I am happy to do them. Nothing gets you off your feet like babies. I am not suggesting that people have babies as a way of motivating themselves. It would be pointless anyway – because, if we’re 1/2 awake our motives after we have kids aren’t remotely the same as our motives prior. It is bold, I know, to suggest that ought to let go of our prior selves after bringing other separate selves into the world. But it seems an inevitability; the demands of domesticity are not conducive to endeavors outside of the household community realm. I say household community, because there is a thriving and ever fluctuating subculture of middle-class American moms. One of the things that these moms sometimes talk about is who they were before. But often, in small talk, the existence of a life without children is some hazy nimbus, glowing faintly in form of tattoos and old bumper stickers, covered and replaced with something reasonable, like a minivan, or a cardigan…or a baby sling.

I don’t even remember what I was talking about. My brain seems busy tonight. I ate five Winnie-the-Pooh gummies this morning. I am all wacked out on vitamins.

So, I was going to try to avoid making this a mommy-blog. However, it’s really difficult to tease me out of mother.

I met some nice moms at the museum today. We talked about girl names. Her daughter has the name that I always imagined I would name a girl. My daughter has the name that she had intended to name her daughter. It just occurred to me that the odds of such an occurence are really quite slim. This nice lady was wearing red cowboy boots. I always instantly like people who wear red boots as I myself wear them occassionally.

She’s a mom who “works”. I am a mom who “works”. At a very family friendly organization, but who nevertheless works. I have also been a mom who “doesn’t work” –
I refuse to even talk about the pros and cons. Don’t people write books about this? I don’t want to write a book about this, no way. Who is anyone to tell a mom how to structure the parameters of her life. It’s what she does within those parameters that count.
——Original Message——
From: Me
To: Me
ReplyTo: Me
Subject: Dissipate
Sent: Jan 12, 2010 5:40 PM

I was thankful that the smoke from the pellet stove finally stopped belching out of the alley between our house and the house next door. It has been so smoky lately. A greatest new thing with it’s autoclean, “almost no trouble at all.”
I thought it was the greatest contraption. I still think it’s kinda great. When it works.
I just restarted it, “Auger Jammed” the blue screen read. The house a mildly chilly 51.6 degrees fahrenheit. “Must not have cut-off too long ago…I love the word Auger.”
I am so forgiving of the failures of contraptions if these failures are communicated in gentle ways. A cold house, a poetic phrase, a dark fire box behind too-sooty glass.
Or the kitchen faucet. Running only cold cold cold water. So cold I wash the dishes in the bathtub. Just for the hot water running over my hands.
Fixing the kitchen faucet or buying a new one is too much to think about right now. I am covered up with the daily in a wintry sort of way.
All the chores seem more chore-like. Like taking out the blessed recycling and garbage tonight. I am dreading that. And pulling cold laundry out of the dryer that is, still, on the back porch. And putting wet laundry, suddenly steaming into that machine and pushing the button and waiting for the engine to turn over, the belts to spin, the coils to heat, the air to flow warm and condensating over the old porch boards.

I’d better go do that stuff or I’m going to feel awful about myself.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Reply
Forward
Reply

faithrhyne@gmail.com

show details Jan 13 (2 days ago)

This afternoon, I was sweeping the steps, the walk. Dust and feathers all grey and brown. I miss the winter green of my garden. The drumstick allium, strawberry, hollyhock (tiny ruffles still, hugging the ground.)
This year would have had good strawberries.
Dang chickens. I’m sending out a message, re-homing some of them. I only wanted three, but ended up with eight. Dang. That’s a lot chickens for downtown Asheville.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Is there really anything to say?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s