Monday, May 20, 2013

When I was unstrapping James from the car seat today I called him Jinx. One more week of babysitting ("child care" sounds more dignified) and then I head back to Indiana to get on with the work of summer. It's starting to get hot in DC, and today we got out "Sprinky" and plugged her (?) into the hose, an octopus like tower of tubes with a face painted onto it that shoots water randomly and in all directions. It was a little cold but fun. This morning James and I drove out to the horse barn in Rock Creek Park and looked at horses and took a walk through the woods. We saw some deer and took time climbing the wooden steps that eased the trail's inclines. Last Friday they took off all their clothes and played in a creek. That is to say we've been trying to get outside as much as possible before the weather gets too hot and the bugs come out. My sister pulled two ticks of James over the course of last week.I pulled a tick off my belly on Friday.

Over the weekend I went to Virginia to visit Erika and John and their daughters Elsie and Rosa. They have land and chickens, a functioning garden, and we ate well and caught up and talked about kids, about being a doula and the story of Rosa's birth. Elsie hosted a "snake party" and so we all sat on a damp bench and talked about the flowers she had gathered. It was cute and entirely wholesome. Not that my experience last week holds a candle to the endurance and commitment required of actual parents (and it's easy for the uncle to swoop in, have fun, and swoop out), but I feel like I have been getting a taste of what it's actually like to have full charge of children, which is helpful in light of the fact that about half of my old friends have kids, and I can relate just a little bit more to the experience. It's also made me think a little bit about kid's toys and books, and how empty we begin when it comes to ways to live and judgments, and how easy it is for a kid to pick up an idea or a habit just from seeing it done or hearing it said. Like how Beatrix picked up the Disney princess thing from other kids at her school, and is now nuts about all things princess, which was not something anybody in the family introduced to her. I think about all the junk that I was into as a kid, and wonder how much of that is still with me. I wonder if any of this stuff really matters in any sense other than aesthetically. Maybe the content of what we pick up doesn't matter as much as our relation to it when we grow up enough to have perspective. Or maybe feeding our kids plastic and sugar is actually a real danger. I'm not sure.

In other news, a few self-promotional items: 1) here's a link to a video that Cole made using a song of mine, as posted on his most excellent music blog Field Mic (there's a link to Field Mic proper on the right sidebar), and 2) here's a link to the Lost Roads Press blog Lines, that I had written a little piece for, about John Cage. Yup. Tomorrow I think James/Jinx and I are going to go to the Natural History Museum and to walk around and yowl.Hanging above the toilet at Erika's and John's house is a poem by Robert Creeley, "Walking"

In my head I am
walking but I am not
in my head, where

is there to walk,
not thought of, is
the road itself more

than seen. I think
it might be, feel
as my feet do, and

continue, and
at last reach, slowly,
one end of my intention.