Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Inside/ Outside


I think we're all hitting a wall with staying inside, but what choice do we have if we want to do our part to keep our neighbors safe? It's just the man and me in our little nest again, as our niece completed her move to Brooklyn last Friday. I'm happy for her, though she is encountering some of the stresses of living on her own for the first time, things like having to call plumbers and assemble furniture and hang privacy curtains over her lovely wall of windows. My husband surprised her with her own toolkit, one that holds every implement she might ever need. He did the same thing for our son and daughter when they first moved out on their own. He is of the opinion that every independent household needs its own tools. She's slowly acquiring new items for her space, so she'll need those tools again and again. Last Saturday, her boyfriend drove her to pick up a chest of drawers from Ikea, and she spent all the next day building the drawers and frame, an undertaking that left her exhausted but also with the feeling that she could now build anything, bring it on. Her mom is perplexed by the unfinished concrete ceilings, complete with random yellow paint lines, but her daughter assured her it's not an oversight, it's industrial chic. 

It's been a snowy winter in the city. The ground outside my windows has been covered for going on two weeks now, which hasn't happened in years. The second impeachment trial of Donald J. Trump begins today. I doubt the Republicans will have the courage to convict the man for inciting the January 6 insurrection. It doesn't matter. For the sake of history, the very effort to hold the treasonous president accountable must be made. And so I'm sitting right there beside that window, between televised justice and the winter snow, working on my sample chapter for the book proposal. This project feels hard, but don't they all till they're done, and really, if I didn't have work to do, no matter how much it makes me churn, I'd be climbing the walls with boredom. Of course, having my love here with me in this extended lock down makes even the boredom congenial. It is good to be in the company of one who takes life as it comes, and doesn't rail much against the fates. A stalwart. A pragmatist who sees the need for toolkits, and who no matter what, simply carries on. 

One of my daughter's closest friends turns 28 today. Happy birthday, beloved girl! There they are, my girl and the kindhearted soul who was already part of her enduring friend group, twenty-three years ago, on their first visit to The Farm.  



  1. I woke with such dread yesterday because of the snow and ice here and staying in and oh, you know, the lot. And I lamented to a friend on the phone and she told me about the Tibetan nuns who lock themselves away for years to find enlightenment and all I could say, I just want to go and buy some nice fresh bread rolls and stroll into a bookshop, I am not looking for enlightenment, thank you very much. She told me to get a grip.
    Patience, my friend, we'll get through this to wherever it will lead us.

  2. Loving Sabine's comment. My best friend and I cheated yesterday and held a maskless conversation. It may make the rest of my week possible. I wish, I so wish, that his party would be smart about Trump. But I also wish for daffodils in February in eastern Ontario. About as likely.

  3. I like what Sabine said. Every durn thing does not need to translate into a lesson on enlightenment. Hell, I just want to go to Goodwill. And oh, you know- hug and kiss my kids.
    Anyway, forgive that little rant. My husband gives tool boxes to the children too. We are lucky to be married to such pragmatic, kind men.
    Are you tired of looking at the snow yet or does it make you feel peaceful to look out on? Perhaps it helps with not being able to get out and do things anyway.
    What a lovely thing it is for people to have friends they made in their childhoods! What a good choice you made, sending your children to that school. It has served them well in so many ways.

  4. I love that your husband bought a toolkit for your niece. That's the best support for living independently. Really wonderful.
    I echo what Sabine has written. I just want some peace and the freedom to breathe deeply and walk outside. Yes, we will get through this.

  5. Yes, I heartily echo Sabine's comment. I do not need enlightenment, I need to go to the new West Elm, Pottery Barn, Williams Sonoma and Crate and Barrel for some diversion.

  6. A toolkit is such a thoughtful and important gift -- for houses and for life. One of the libraries about a half hour from us opened up for limited browsing and I decided to venture out on Friday, in the middle of what was a work at home day. It felt so luxurious and I filled up a tote bag with new releases in minutes. I've also had it with the snow.

  7. the inside of that top picture looks far more pleasant than the outside even if you are climbing the walls. a tool kit is a great and overlooked gift to those going out on their own. my father always said they didn't make tools to fit his hand. we must have had some basic tools growing up but I'll be damned if if can remember any or where they would have been kept. fortunately I settled down with a guy with a toolbox and have since put together my own.

    I never understood eschewing the world in a bid to achieve enlightenment. isn't the reason we incarnate here to experience the world to further our soul's personal progress