Ten.Two Hundred & Sixty-Five

1. Watercolor sunrises just like I love. Summer is coming. 

2. From here I can see their bathroom, the light on, and her, from the neck up, blonde bed head.

3. Scones sprinkled with sugar on top. I almost know the recipe by heart now. I think of how I keep saying we're going to go back to eating gluten-free but then I buy a bag of bread flour. 

4. The feeling you get when you realize that it's cleaning day and you'll have the whole house to yourself in all its clean and quiet glory for 3 whole hours. It's the little things. 

5. And you remember that yes, you could stay. 

6. The heat from the oven cleaning itself. How I have to open the back door to let in the fresh spring air as I sweat while I sweep. Out back, the robins have gathered again. A round of robins. Their red breasts seems to be getting larger and larger, stuffed full of whatever it is they've found to nourish them.

7. Today, movement. A vision that I hope doesn't lose steam. 

8. So quiet. 

9. Fresh dill, fresh parsley, cucumbers, tomatoes, red onions, olive oil and red wine vinegar, a sprinkling of feta, topped with marinated chicken breasts. A glass of rosé.

10. "I auction myself. And I make the highest bid." - Worth, Marilyn Nelson

Ten.Two Hundred & Sixty-Four

1. The crash of the recycling truck. Before I remember what the sound actually it is, the truck is already too close for me to run out and  drag the bin to the edge of the driveway.

2. The opening and closing of a door. I am no longer alone in the quiet. 

3. I can feel the relaxed sense of freedom in taking roads that I usually don't take. The drive up to St. Charles isn't very scenic, but it's easy and the sun is shining and it's hard not to feel good. 

4. It so happens to be the replay of Krista's conversation with Naomi Shihab Nye. The reminder that we are living in a poem. Everything is a poem.

5. Even with the hours and hours of planning and dreaming, there's something about holding a tote bag in my hands that makes it all feel real. 

6. Where do I stand between my ideals and the reality presented in front of me? How much more time is meant to be spent dreaming versus doing? What am I even doing? What am I willing to do? I need to just move and trust that the path will make itself clear. 

7. But it's perfectionism that keeps me from making one grand step. And the fear of "wasting" even more time. 33 feels pressing to me. And so I do more research. 

8. Sometimes the simplest meals are the most tasty. It was missing something green though. Something fresh and uncooked for the teeth to bite into. Next time. 

9. In the shower. I ask myself what it is that's so different. Once again frustrated by what feels like this constant state of in-between. Never reaching the other side. Is there another side? Are we not always being stretched? 

10. And the awareness that I just haven't been myself since Santa Cruz. Which I had expected. But I left so deconstructed. Arrived to a time and place that required me to be put back together and so in my rush to get it together just enough to play my part, there are, of course, holes, bent corners, misaligned edges that are calling out for attention. 

Ten.Two Hundred & Sixty-Three

1. I listen for the echoes of the owls but all I hear is the growling of large engines. 

2. She is up early. I ask her to measure out the milk and mix the cinnamon and sugar. Today's muffins are just plain muffins. The kind that everyone will eat. I'm not sure what I did differently today but each spoonful of batter looks like a cloud.

3. I am spending too much time on this. Where is this going? Where do I want to go? What is the point of this anyway?

4. I eat two slices of quiche and a handful of fruit, swallow it down with a dirty chai. I know that the vines running along her fence will soon be covered in emerald ivy. Her tulips are also beginning to come up. It  makes me long for the return of the farmer's market. Where will I grow flowers of my own?

5. The kids beg to stay and see old friends. I decline but am then urged to at least drive by the old school so that they can see it. They miss this place as much as I do. They ask why we can't move back, see! Look at all the house for sale! You like old things! 

6. I've always wondered if you can come back to the places you've left. If anything is ever as really good as what you remember it to be.

7. I am feeling drained. Skirt steak with a blue cheese sauce for dinner. Eating feels like work. 

8. I think about how the books is finished. I need something new to read. My heart is craving more poetry. I will probably reread 19 Varieties of Gazelle before moving on to something new. Probably more Naomi Shihab Nye. Maybe Marilyn Nelson. 

9. It occurs to me that we are living in different worlds. Our realities are overlapping but not the same. Which means that our words seem to missing one another, almost as if we are talking past each other and not to each other.  

10. Tomorrow.

Ten.Two Hundred & Sixty-Two

1. Go and look at the sky. It's so pretty this morning. I realize that much of what strikes me with wonder is held so close. But I want them to know. I want them to also wonder. We'll begin with the colors of this morning's sky. 

2. Hot coffee in my hand. I'm partial to the indigo ceramic cups with the oblong mouths and no handles. 

3. This movie is painful and beautiful and honest. I don't watch very many movies but this one was worth it. What are we living for? Where is the balance between fantastical ideals and healthy reality? When does it go too far? What's the purpose of formal education in its current incarnation? How hard do we fight for our beliefs?

4. The two geese. Where is the nest?

5. A thin gray garbage bag inflated by the wind.

6. Dinner tonight is easy. Asparagus, rice, salmon. As he cooks, the sunlight makes large rectangles on the countertops and floors. Classical music plays in the background. The harpsichord is so sharp and halting.

7. The robins are back there again, pecking at the ground. What do you call a group of robins? A round.

8. "To eat black-eyed peas is to become filled with beauty, and ancestral tradition." - The Cooking Gene

9. "We have to tend to our own healing,  not just work at assuaging the tensions born of slavery's racially divisive nature." - The Cooking Gene

10. And then I am back in the web, trying to connect dates and names and places that I know but also don't know. Aware of the sad truth that now there is no one to ask. There is no one able to fill in the gaps. If I want to do this (why do I want to do this?) I will have to do it mostly alone. I tell myself that I need to ask him how to make okra soup.

Ten.Two Hundred & Sixty-One

1. White-yellow light of early morning. I can see blue sky and the bern with its bent over grasses the color of blanched almonds. 

2. I declare this to be a slow day. 

3. I bake potatoes, caramelize onions and bell peppers, drink a tall glass of orange juice. They are quiet this morning. There are no complaints. 

4. I move through the laundry faster than usual even with breaks for water and tea. I vacuum the loft and my bedroom and the house feels like it is glowing. 

5. I tell myself that I should go for a walk but I am bothered by cramps and decide to put on real clothes and sit on the front porch to read. The air is till cool and if I'm not positioned just right, a breeze creeps up the sleeves of my shirt. But when the air is still I feel the sun warm my belly. There is the sound of their language in my ears, fighting with the words I'm trying to absorb. 

6. As I read I circle the numbers: $1200, $1400, $500. 100 years ago these were the prices of bodies — black bodies. I think of my ancestors, what they must have been subjected to at slave auctions in Richmond and Charleston, in the Caribbean and elsewhere. I think about the terror. I think about how much imagination and faith has to carry you through to survive. 

7. "What is it rising to? Once we know our lives matter, what are we going to do with them?"

8. Domaine Sigalas, 75% Assyrtiko and 25% Athiri from Santorini. Dalamara Paliokalias, 100% Xinomavro from Naoussa. The two, white and red respectively, a perfect pairing with our chicken with black olives, capers, and lemon with orzo dressed in the pan sauce. 

9. Simplicity. 

10. We yell at the little one to stop talking but then realize that what we're hearing are two owls in conversation. And we're no longer annoyed but amused. I feel blessed. So much sacred owl medicine these last few weeks.