Belly Banter

Belly Banter

With one month to go, I have reached the point in pregnancy where I often spill food on my belly while eating. The first thing I do when I walk in a room is look for available seating. I waddle. When I drop something, I seriously contemplate if I need to pick it up. If I decide to, I splay my knees to the side to make room for my belly and make an audible sound on the way back up. I rest my hands on my belly ledge. I laugh when I catch a glimpse of my body profile because, well, it’s just crazy absurd how this all works. The size of my belly is the topic of conversation throughout pregnancy, but now is also the point where it is the main and only topic of...

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Active Hope

Active Hope

The words that describe what’s happening on the planet earth right now are many, and they don’t always make you want to jump for joy or sigh in relief.   There is certainly goodness and that which is worthy of gratitude alongside the parts that make you want to scream in frustration or shake someone.  But these days, sometimes it’s hard to notice the good stuff.  Or when you do notice it, it’s hard to let it take center stage for more than a moment or two. Recently the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Australia, the world’s largest and most diverse place of aquatic life, was declared dead by Outside Magazine. (22% of the coral is dead, not to be confused...

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Transition Pay

Transition Pay

Wednesday this week started as a great day. Eva and I usually spend Wednesday mornings together, and after getting up we went over to a local café that’s perched on the banks of a waterfall to meet a friend who’s just relocated back to our area. Then we headed south to Stillwater to drop off a book I recently published at a bookstore to see if they want to stock it, got some things at the food co-op, and stopped in at William Obrien State Park for a hike along the river. The fall colors are just past peak, and the landscape is beautiful with all of its gentle earth tones sprinkled with little bits of vibrant red, yellow and orange.   When we got back home we...

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When Election Coverage Reaches a Tipping Point and I Start to Cry Once a Day

When Election Coverage Reaches a Tipping Point and I Start to Cry Once a Day

After the 2005 tape came out of Donald Trump talking so crassly about assaulting female bodies in general, specific women started coming forward to accuse Trump of sexual harassment. His response has varied from dismissing his comments as locker room talk, to implying his innocence by putting down the looks of the accuser, to vehemently refuting the allegations. I have seen this all before– brave women being treated horribly, then dismissed and discredited. Of all the friends and students in my life who live with horrendous stories of sexual assault, only a handful choose to report it, and even fewer saw any consequences for the assaulter. Most, knowing...

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sparkles

sparkles

This is a season filled with tissue paper and birthday candles and sprinkled frosting. It is the season of my baby’s birthday, though she isn’t a baby anymore. Such a gift: her sparkly, float-into-the-room-in-tulle, glitter-tattoo-of-a-butterfly approach to life. She is a dessert-first, you-can-never-wear-too-many-beads sort of kid. I learn so much from my kids, and this season I am thinking about what I am learning from her being this little one’s mom. The full list would be too long for any blog post, but a few things absolutely stand out. First, she shows me how to love what you love. She knows what she adores, knows what she wants, knows...

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Digital Purging

Digital Purging

Don’t you love the sound your computer makes when you drag a file into the trash? The only thing better is the sound your computer makes when the trash gets emptied. Slowly over the last month I have been doing some serious digital purging. It’s not quite as refreshing for me as, let’s say, purging my closet, I think because I enjoy the physical work of moving and hauling and bagging. Sitting at my computer dragging files with two fingers does not work up a sweat. Yet, the digital purge is important and cleansing for me all the same. In the tidying up rage, it’s easy for me to forget about my computer files because I think so much in...

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A Beautiful Life: The Whitman Family’s Story

A Beautiful Life: The Whitman Family’s Story

I met Kenton Whitman last summer in the middle of the woods in western Wisconsin.  We had both signed on to help a local herbalist put together a “back to nature” festival and were meeting up at the site to discuss details and tour the grounds.  He and his intern at the time, Brett, pulled up in a van shortly after I did, and when we all came together in the driveway I was immediately struck by the authenticity and loving-kindness that radiated from their direction.  I remember thinking, “these are people who are doing what they really want to be doing in life and who want to talk about it.”  Kenton was barefoot (the whole visit, hike...

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