like an apple

Crackers, rice, lentils, meat, but I would rather eat, a poem, like an apple.

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Balance, my ass

I just spent twenty minutes looking for a "single mom" blog. That I like. I found this one, but that's about it. Sorry, I am sure there are lots I missed out there. But I want something honest, earnest, even, maybe, a bit painful. Like parenting. Like life.

I don't want to read another post that tells me it's all about balance. In one sense, sure, I have a therapist, I know this is true, deeply--I must "take care of me" or I can't take care of them well.

And yet. In another sense...life as a single parent, really, an only parent, is inherently unbalanced. Hell, life as a parent is, right? Taking on responsibility for the raising of a child? It's to give your devotion, your attention, your purpose, centering it, for that time at least, on those little bundles of joy. I mean, it HAS to be that way, you HAVE to care for them, using "have" in that very coercive way that refers to duties that one does but always, slightly, perhaps guiltily, but still, in some deep way, feels the constraint of. Parents don't get to run away from home. Or if they do, they aren't parents anymore, not in the way I mean.

As Christopher Hitchens said so beautifully, about being father to adolescent daughters, "it's a solid lesson in the limitations of self to realize that your heart is running around inside someone else's body." True of being a parent, in general. And not only biologically. Not even, primarily, biologically. It's...visceral, emotional. Absolute. Inescapable.

I guess that I just need to be present with that today. With that truth about myself. I love Gretchen Rubin, and was reading her post about New Year's resolutions today, which somehow through clicking led me to a post about her "splendid truths," the fifth of which is "I can build a happy life only on the foundation of my own nature." That fifth truth links to a wonderful short post on the challenge of being true to one's own nature, including this quote from Christopher Alexander:

The 2014 Transpacific Cruise

On Tynan

The end of a long cruise always feels a bit unfair. It doesn't seem right that tomorrow morning I'll be unceremoniously dumped onto the pier in Yokohama, Japan. Over the past fifteen days I've become accustomed to my new social circle of nine friends and a couple thousand senior citizens. The new routines we've made feel normal and I'm not ready to give them up.

I've wanted to go on a transpacific cruise for a long time. Transatlantics are my favorite, but going across the pacific affords more sea days and brings me to my favorite continent. There are only one or two that leave each year, though, so it's not as easy to schedule as a transatlantic.

The Group

Over the course of a few months I brought the cruise up with a bunch of friends. Ben Yu, Nick Gray, Jimmy Hayes, Doug Barber, and Dick Talens all agreed to come. Ben brought his friend Adrienne Tran, Nick brought Amit Gupta, Jimmy and Doug brought Jodi Ettenberg, and Dick brought Debra Romer.

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