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Dean Kirkland

cafemama

http://www.cafemama.com/

Located in Portland

Last update: December 27th, 2013 at 10:31 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 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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his post is my first post in the Fortnight of Flash, a guilt-free celebration of brief memoir, fiction, and whatever else you can flash. No length too short, less than 750 words, and prizes! "Insubordination." That's what the letter said, this time. I don't know. Is that better than "Battery"? Yeah, by a lot, but worse t

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You're the one, you know. You're the one we want as a reader. You're the one to spread the word. You're the one to share our story. You are the one to review Stealing Time magazine -- the luminous literary magazine to bring you fiction, non-fiction and poetry from the heart of parenting -- to write about it on your blog o

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What I wanted was the beautiful, and the beautiful is what I received. "Ask," as they say. "And you shall." I asked. God, hope, the winged deliverers of what's right, flew along with me to New York City. They knew to wake me up for the sunrise. They knew to sit me down on the southeast end of Central Park, painting my toes

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Because I could not stop to listen to your appeals to feminism, to ideals, to economics, I canned tomatoes. I stood over the sink on a Saturday night, fingernails layered with tomato skins, sharpened paring knife in hand, recovering what I could from the 20-pound box I'd heedlessly requested from my CSA farmer. These weren

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I have a story for you. The named She was a namer from birth. She was charged to call things out of their shells and from their primeval wombs, but the shells and wombs primeval were hidden to her. So because she lived in a world without visible magic, she named small companies and products and web sites; she named her ch

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In every birthday, there is a letting-go. Everett, my oldest -- as I call him with great love in an essay I wrote that inspired so much, the mother-maker, present through all my 30s up to this one, time-waster, life thrower-away-upon -- is 10, today, the number that (says AP style) means you may now use numerals instead of

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You are riding down the hill and it is like it always is when you are riding down the hill, as evening changes to almost-night, as the warmish June air cools further and you can feel the possibility of the world, as breaths. These are not the breaths you take in, deeply, into your belly -- these are the breaths that are unc

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I love a crazy idea. I love to take on more than I can possibly handle. So why not? When I heard that Brain, Child magazine was closing, I had an immediate range of mixed emotions that began with "well, why not now!" and ended with "I'm going to do it!" In between there was sadness; I've loved this magazine and even hosted

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We hope for something different; a Golden Age of blogging. In this Golden Age, there will be no Gertrude Stein, but if there is such a figure, it is Neil Kramer. Like Gertrude and her satellites, I visit Neil when I should be caring for the children, or sleeping. (At least I'm not leaving my boys with the cat.) We have ph

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The longer I live the more I mistrust theatricality, the false glamor cast by performance, the more I know its poverty beside the truths we are salvaging from the splitting-open of our lives." Adrienne Rich said that, not I, but I say that too, and more. ...trying to sightread what our

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