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Dean Kirkland

cafemama

http://www.cafemama.com/

Located in Portland

Last update: January 20th, 2015 at 10:55 pm

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sarah gilbert lives here, and discusses her inconvenient life as a mama of three, as a writer, photographer, runner, cooker of food, lover of too many things

I am 41 now, given to looking at myself in mirrors and seeing how everything crinkles. I have young skin, young muscles in my legs, young energy. But if I look at my hair I can see the greys. The men in my life are no different, not much, full of things that young-feeling women want in their men. Vigor, vim, laughing and cl

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The second of November is all kinds of holy. All the cultures in the world are celebrating death -- not death alone I mean, but also the kind of mystical magical spirit that persists after our deaths. All Soul's Day. Dia de los Muertos. Samhain. Annagrace said it this way, about Samhain, it's when "we decide what to feed an

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I've been broken-hearted you know. A way to -- not fix it -- but put some of the pieces in my palm and hold them a bit, hold them and maybe lick a paste out of sticky things and glutinous things, press with my palm to my breast, a way to at the very least make a ticky-tacky art of my brokenness was to do things. Spectacula

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Every day I look up and watch the underside of leaves. The bellies and wings of birds, banking half-circles. I haven't slept much and when I look down I'm dizzy. I smell ferns. Licorice and it's sweet, toothy. I suck the stems and try to get my balance and think of smiling at you. That makes me dizzy too. All this looking

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After I lead a bike tour through Portland I go camping to Oxbow Park with Rose. Rose is reaching up into the sky for our food, we're eating plums and apples right out of the trees above us on the side of the road. We've been biking almost 20 miles already and it's now evening sun, we come into a long string of nursery farm

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At some point everything comes out on my skin. I've never put much store in secrecy. I have all kinds of secret odes to truth hidden on my laptop hard drive. How's that for irony? Not hidden really, I don't protect anything with passwords or screen protectors. I just haven't shown it to you yet. Ask me something and I'll t

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It is the waterfall, in the end, I come to for salvation. I've been flogging sadness like a pack animal for weeks now, we've been locked in a death pact, I'll kill you if you kill me. But I didn't want to die after all. My sadness took a breather. Lifted its head and looked at me with its slow-blinking eyes. "I'll wait," it

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The tiredness sets in behind my eyes so that I am almost blind with it, it feels like tears or hangovers or fevers, present and brilliant, dulling my hearing too, sending me into a fog. My back aches, in a total way it rarely does, from the base of my skull fanning out like fingers down the back of my neck, arching the curv

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It was snowing and I'd found the garden gloves, the ones I'd bought late this summer when I was going to clear out all the blackberries and burdock so they didn't take possession of my yard. It was snowing and I was wearing my garden gloves and riding my bike, and my feet were cold even through the two pairs of wool socks a

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Why I haven't written about this before? Because to write about it is always to open the question. "Why didn't you leave." But if I hear any story like mine I always ask a different question, "why did you leave," maybe, because I already know that the first question is too hard. Too easy. Too obvious. You stayed probably b

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I have stopped subscribing to regrets, even though I could enumerate the elements in my life these days I wouldn't have chosen and the total might approach infinity, I'm exaggerating of course but who would want to share parenting like this, one of my marriage counsellors once said something along the lines of, "you can let

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It's not that I keep my emotions bottled up or anything, in fact I wear them right there on the skin of my arms or on the edges of all the ways I describe things, you know when I say "the fog lies dark" I mean my heart is in a turmoil of fear and hope and loss and impossible dreams and when I say "colors of the leaves" I re

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I'm standing in front of the crowd here, and it's been hard this morning. Not everyday-hard, but extraspecial-hard, I've been emotional lately and not for the usual reasons. My husband's coming home soon from three years in Kuwait, and transitions are terrifying. I'd rather do anything than transition, and I'm trying to jus

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Everything seems wrong this week, my clothes for starters. I want to pack it up and put it all away, no not put away, give away, throw it in a bin that isn't going to require anything of me ever again. I'll keep the wool that's not too holey, I'll keep the strappy sandals and those pretty dresses, but the rest of it? Wrong,

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A tree branch fell in the night Sunday, 3-something in the morning, and only you heard it. You described the sound as something out of a demolition montage, long and slow and loud, the machinery of old elm and neighborhood decrepitude. We slept, the others of us, and only discovered it in the morning. By 10 a.m. ropes were

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Take back the blog! I'm going to reclaim my storytelling, set a trail through the jungle of emotion and fear under which I've been living. Say this: flash it. Flash this life. Bits of nonfiction, to take back this space, starting now. Monroe at the border of five and six. We buy him a new helmet but that doesn't change th

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The ocean takes us all. Takes us out of our regular spots in our regular days. Takes us away from home. Takes us into a rhythm that deserves the word, "rhythm," filling our ears and remaking our lives. When I say, "we're beach people," I mean something different than perhaps you know. I mean, "we're people of the tides, of

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I am late to this. What I wanted to weave you was a story of belief in me. What I wanted to spin for you was a yarn of passion. What I wanted to lay before you like platters of carefully-cooked food or artfully-arranged bed linens was the thread of narrative that starts back then and ends in I have opportunities! And I wa

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Before there were cameras; if you were walking and looked up, on the first day of spring, to see in the sky, clouds piling their pigment in swaths of steel grey and white-grey and the grey of sand on the beaches in the evening, behind the weaving cragging moss-covered branches of a lordlike oak, and a single crow lofted int

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The magazine came in a white envelope, not part of my subscription; I'd received my subscribed-to copy a week earlier. "This is the kind of magazine we send to our writers or our reviewers," I thought, but there was no letter and I was in a hurry. I put the magazine in the pocket of my bike, meaning to page through it in so

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Everett has been reading. I set him to read for an hour and he picks up a book and is lost to me, he will not look up from the page or move or say anything, even when I ask him a direct question. Then he will shoot out into interaction. "Mom! Listen to this!" he will say, and read about a dodecahedron or a synonym bun or a

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You wanted advice. All the unwanted advice that comes to you as the parent of a child who is struggling with emotional outbursts, with explosive behavior, with anxiety or Asperger's or some unnamed something that shatters the world you thought you might lead, all of that has been absorbed and now you need something new. I

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There are poems that come to me when I am looking for words, poems that do not require forethought. They're automatic, like prayers might be, or Bible verses. "I speak not -- I trace not -- I breathe not your name," is one. "High there! How he rung upon the rein of a wimpling wing," is another. It is time for new poems. Not

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I have felt too much, I have mourned too much, I have asked too much and I have been given too much. It crashes in on one so. When the news hit -- hit Twitter, and Facebook, and the radio and the TV and everything, crushed over us like a wave of terrifying size and secret strength -- when the news hit I was riding in a car

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Last year I had, better than an advent calendar: an advent chain. Little presents for every day before Christmas for each boy. Last year I told them the Christmas story, read it out of the Bible, made them listen before I would let them open gifts. This year I have been thinking. It was my son, the skeptic, the non-beli

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I was putting away food, at my ex-boyfriend's many-roomed apartment, because I am always the one to put away food. We had eaten, but not nearly enough; someone would, well, someone should eat leftovers tomorrow. Nothing should go to waste. I doubted he would eat it; he, or his soft-skinned, smooth-skinned, soft-thighed wife

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Spectacular spectacular, I said, of the marshmallows burnt on the sweet potatoes. Past burnt! Charred! Charcoal! "What is Thanksgiving without at least a few burnt things?" I'd asked. There are always burnt things, literal and figurative, and after each I try to come back, center on the story. This is good, I've told mysel

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It comes to me, some days not at all and sometimes with a force as if someone shoved me, as if my own five-year-old ran into me at full explosive tilt. Some days over and over again. Some days a glance, is all. I think to myself, "breastfeeding," or "baby talk," and I wonder if I will ever do this again. Feed a baby, stay

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I go past your old house all the time. I found you on Facebook, finally. I've wondered what has happened to you, and whether you're doing well. Are you married? Who are your friends? What is your life like? We spent two years in one another's near-constant presence; you were fifteen, I was seventeen; I take my boys downtow

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"I just want tongue," said the woman. "I was very clear on that." She was so lovely, with bright skin and long blonde hair, wrapped in a dark-grey hat. She was standing in a parking lot of a Home Depot, hands open, pleading. Her partner in complaint was more beautiful, with a generous smile and eyes that danced, wrapped in

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