You learn something new

I went to a Creative Mornings talk this morning with the theme “Perserve.” These things are pretty open-ended — whoever’s invited to talk can decide where they want to take it. Eden Redmond talked about what we preserve and why, through her lens of art, activism, and land stewardship.

It’s a big topic.

Anyway, she took a short detour into art history for a moment to talk about 17th and 17th century Dutch still life. It’s gorgeous, all richly rendered food and light. She told us about how these beautiful paintings were commissioned to celebrate all these goods that were taken via colonial violence. “This is ours,” the colonizers and their culture say. “This is important.”

And we keep these paintings and preserve them.

I definitely wouldn’t be thinking about that this morning if I hadn’t gone.

What made you go blue?

Stuffing envelopes under an OREGON FOR HILLARY banner, listening to the jazz station, it takes a while for the conversation to heat up.

“What made you go blue?” asks one regular of another.

I’m a little confused — did this person change ranks somehow? Politics are not really basement conversation fodder, other than eye-rolling references to the current president.

“Well, it’s supposed to be lighter blue in the back, and brighter in the front, but it needs a few washes.”

The blue hair must be new.

That makes more sense.

The woman who asked has blue hair, too.


The two-year-old and I walked past a Montessori school on the way to lunch. Kids were playing outside, several keeping a close eye on a big delivery truck on the street.

The kids chatted a bit as we walked past, the two-year-old interested but grumpy with nap time approaching. We were ten feet down the road when he informed me, “I want to say hiyo.”

We walked back, toddler solidly regarding the preschoolers. “Hello, baby,” one said.

“Hiyo, baby,” he replied reflexively.

After a minute or so, we walked on to get our smoothie. “Hiyo, baby,” said the two-year-old, settled at our table.

“That’s what they said to you, huh?”

“They say hiyo baby.”

A few minutes later, dreamily: “Hiyo, baby.”

What if you knew her?

My husband and I went to see Neil Young last week.

“I’m just going to cry the whole time,” I warned while we were waiting in our seats.

But I didn’t — more excited gasping and eyes bugging out, until he picked up the white electric.

Neil Young had been ambling around to different guitars and pianos, kind of circling his way around the stage between songs before sitting down to play again.

But he stood for Ohio.

I’ve heard the song a hundred times of course, but hearing it live in 2019 was different.

What if you knew her and

found her dead on the ground?

How could you run when you know?

I cried, and cried, and cried.

A boyfriend

The other day I remembered how in junior high, when boys and girls were “going out,” the boy would stand behind the girl in the hallway, bodies pressed together, facing out, holding hands in front. Just standing there, signalling their coupleness. Then I realized that I had a boyfriend along those lines. We stood like that. But I couldn’t remember one other detail about him.

Maybe he was tall?

Talking to me

An old woman at the grocery store was beaming at my toddler riding in the cart — a normal occurrence. He’s super cute. Then she looks at me: “Thanks for you,” she smiles. Because of Mother’s Day the day before? I just thanked her back and headed for the crackers.

Later that evening, I went for a walk down SE 7th, and decided to cross just south of Stark. No cars were coming, but I trotted across quickly because it’s a bit of a blind curve. I’d seen a man regarding his backpack curiously on the side of the street I’d just come from, and he yelled at me, “No need to hurry!” A nothing, just something to yell.

I’d just come from a networking event where a woman didn’t seem to be able to make small talk, and I’d wondered why she’d come. It’s okay not to talk, but what was her decision making process?

“I’ll just go”?

Busy, busy

Very Busy Woman answers emails, takes shower, runs around the house getting ready, thinks about her schedule for the month, stops to dictate a text message to her husband: Do you need socks?