On my reading list - Free to Learn: Why Unleashing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self-reliant and Better Students for Life by Peter Gray and Mothers and Others by Sarah Blaffer Hrdy.
On Jared's - The Foraging Spectrum, and grim-looking anthropology book.
On Beren's - Anything samurai- or ninja-related.
What I want on my reading list - some humor, some damn good humor.
I heard the eastern phoebe's call yesterday. Red-shouldered hawk's call today.
The meadow looks drab but as I stare at it, it moves. The foraging juncoes.
Crocuses keep blooming. An outlier appeared in the lawn. Daffodils blooming.
Windy, raw, wet alternating with warm and breezy.
I woke up in the darkness and saw the crescent moon rising in the east. Beautiful. Last week.
Jared's out exploring. I'm writing. Beren's upstairs, occupied.
This morning, Jared rose first. I stayed in bed, thinking. I've been doing that for years now. One day in spring, I will rise far earlier than everyone and go outside. I'll do that for weeks, until summer.
I've been working on training my thoughts. Taming them in the morning. My pattern is to wake with thoughts marching through my head. I'm taming them. I will!
I've also been practicing kung fu in the morning again. I took a break from that. The snow was a challenge. Practicing around chairs, toys, a husband, while trying not to wake a child or rouse a fiesty cat. Business started picking up, too. A bunch of crummy, inconvenient things happened. Skipping my practice didn't work, so I'm back at it.
Finally, it is here. We are back outside more than we are inside. Shoes are muddy and wet. They come off and socks are sopping and muddy. The crocus bulbs are plugged in thanks to Podd.
The house is warm without a fire all day thanks to big sunny windows that face south.
Our lack of inspiration to cook because of lack of fresh foods is now turned to too busy to cook. We are out playing past dinnertime.
The grackles flew over. Momma look at the birds, Beren says. Jared and I after so many years together reach for the door knob simultaneously, then the dead bolt, then the lock on the door knob. Our simultaneous movements are like the grackles, one mind. We don't accomplish anything until I withdraw my hand and let him unlock and open the door. We don't accomplish but we acknowledge our one mind and laugh.
The grackles creak and wheeze. We listen, just like every spring for the past decade. Beren leaps out the door, I don't need shoes he exclaims. We can only watch time by his changes. We are counting our growth rings by adding one more set of lines etched around our eyes.
I like this picture of me. Jared rarely photographs me. I turn into a stiff version of me when a camera lens is pointed my way. I'm not an inspiring subject. Not a photographic subject anyway, and probably not a psychological subject. Just another woman who feels awkward.
I make horizontal photographs. Jared makes vertical ones. I occasionally make vertical compositions because the graphic design for our business often calls for vertical images. I like horizontal, stable, grounded images.
When Jared points the camera at me, he often makes faces, sticks out his tongue. "Relax," he says. "Stop tilting the camera down," I reply. Jared doesn't believe in chopping off feet for the sake of making an image parallel with its background. Instead, he tilts the camera down which means my body looks oddly stretched out and emphasizes my belly, further de-emphasizes my small bust, and accentuates my shitty posture.
I wish he'd get down on one knee and point the camera up, emphasizing my lankiness and my height and de-emphasizing my neck to chin connection. I think my shitty posture would still look shitty.
After seeing a few photographs of me (and Jared) that would have been nice if with good posture, I told Jared that I wanted to have better posture even when a terrible camera was pointed my direction.
Jared and I have taken to encouraging each other by saying, "You look great with good posture." This is much better than, "Stand up straight and stop biting your nails." This makes me (and Jared) pissy. It may be true but it stinks to hear.
Rachel Mackow is a photographer and writer who resides on a ridge in the New Jersey Highlands with her husband and son. She and her husband, Jared, co-own Wild Ridge Plants, a native plant nursery. They offer classes about the uses of wild plants and their stewardship. Contact - rachel [@] wildridgeplants.com