Nothing Gold

Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay. -Robert Frost

My Photo
Location: Arlington, Virginia, United States

I am a white American middle class suburban housewife trying desperately to tell herself that that is not who she is. One time I was a glowing young ruffian. Oh my God it was a million years ago.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Another prayer request

So I know everyone has been receiving lots of prayer requests lately and that it's hard to consistently pray for someone that you don't know, but if you have an extra minute, say a little extra prayer for my friend.
Here's the story:
My best friend Jenny from the block, I mean Jennifer from Yakima is pregnant with her third child. She was advised to wait three years before getting pregnant, but, well, sometimes it just happens. Her first baby was born at 31.5 weeks and is all caught up at almost 5 years old. With her second she went into labor earlier than that even. They stopped it, but she was on bed rest for the remainder of the pregnancy. Now, she is at 34 weeks, which is great. But, this week she went into labor and they were able to stop it. The thing is that she is dilated 3 cm and 100% effaced and her bag of waters is bulging. The baby is also breech, which means that if her water breaks, the cord will be pinched and the baby will get no oxygen. So, she is stuck in the hospital over christmas so that if her water breaks they can do an emergency C-section. If the baby changes position, she can go home. There's no real danger at this point (the baby was given steroids for lung development earlier when a test at 31 weeks showed that she could go into labor at any time), but it is hard to lay in a hospital bed all day when you feel fine, especially during the holidays.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

On a Cute Christmas Song?

Okay, so you know that christmas song by the Kinks - Father Christmas? Well I've always thought that song was funny and pretty silly, but today I was listening to it and I thought it was really sad. Maybe it was only because I didn't get a nap today, but here are the lyrics with italics for the sadder parts:

When I was small I believed in santa claus
Though I knew it was my dad
And I would hang up my stocking at christmas
Open my presents and I’d be glad

But the last time I played father christmas
I stood outside a department store
A gang of kids came over and mugged me
And knocked my reindeer to the floor

They said:
Father christmas, give us some money
Don’t mess around with those silly toys.
We’ll beat you up if you don’t hand it over
We want your bread so don’t make us annoyed
Give all the toys to the little rich boys

Don’t give my brother a steve austin outfit
Don’t give my sister a cuddly toy
We don’t want a jigsaw or monopoly money
We only want the real mccoy

Father christmas, give us some money
We’ll beat you up if you make us annoyed
Father christmas, give us some money
Don’t mess around with those silly toys

But give my daddy a job ’cause he needs one
He’s got lots of mouths to feed
But if you’ve got one, I’ll have a machine gun
So I can scare all the kids down the street

Father christmas, give us some money
We got no time for your silly toys
We’ll beat you up if you don’t hand it over
Give all the toys to the little rich boys

Have yourself a merry merry christmas
Have yourself a good time
But remember the kids who got nothin’
While you’re drinkin’ down your wine

Father christmas, give us some money
We got no time for your silly toys
We’ll beat you up if you don’t hand it over
We want your bread, so don’t make us annoyed
Give all the toys to the little rich boys

Poetry Thursday

I have several poems to post today. You may read them all together or one at a time, or both.

A Psalm of Life
'Life that shall send
A challenge to its end
And when it comes, say, 'Welcome, friend.'

What the heart of the young man said to the psalmist

Tell me not, in mournful numbers,
Life is but an empty dream!
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they seem.

Life is real--Life is earnest--
And the grave is not its goal:
Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
Was not spoken of the soul.

Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
Is our destin'd end or way;
But to act, that each to-morrow
Find us farther than to-day.

Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are beating
Funeral marches to the grave.

In the world's broad field of battle,
In the bivouac of Life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
Be a hero in the strife!

Trust no Future, howe'er pleasant!
Let the dead Past bury its dead!
Act-—act in the glorious Present!
Heart within, and God o'erhead!

Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time;

Footprints, that, perhaps another,
Sailing o'er life's solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecke'd brother,
Seeing, shall take heart again.

Let us then be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait.

-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Mother to Son

Well, son, I'll tell you:
Life for me ain't been no crystal stair.
It's had tacks in it,
And splinters,
And boards torn up,
And places with no carpet on the floor—
But all the time
I'se been a-climbin' on,
And reachin' landin's,
And turnin' corners,
And sometimes goin' in the dark
Where there ain't been no light.
So boy, don't you turn back.
Don't you set down on the steps.
'Cause you finds it's kinder hard.
Don't you fall now—-
For I'se still goin', honey,
I'se still climbin',
And life for me ain't been no crystal stair.

-Langston Hughes

The Hollow Men

Mistuh Kurtz--he dead.
A penny for the Old Guy


We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men
Leaning together
Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
Our dried voices, when
We whisper together
Are quiet and meaningless
As wind in dry grass
Or rats' feet over broken glass
In our dry cellar

Shape without form, shade without colour,
Paralysed force, gesture without motion;

Those who have crossed
With direct eyes, to death's other Kingdom
Remember us -- if at all -- not as lost
Violent souls, but only
As the hollow men
The stuffed men.


Eyes I dare not meet in dreams
In death's dream kingdom
These do not appear:
There, the eyes are
Sunlight on a broken column
There, is a tree swinging
And voices are
In the wind's singing
More distant and more solemn
Than a fading star.

Let me be no nearer
In death's dream kingdom
Let me also wear
Such deliberate disguises
Rat's coat, crowskin, crossed staves
In a field
Behaving as the wind behaves
No nearer --

Not that final meeting
In the twilight kingdom


This is the dead land
This is cactus land
Here the stone images
Are raised, here they receive
The supplication of a dead man's hand
Under the twinkle of a fading star.

Is it like this
In death's other kingdom
Waking alone
At the hour when we are
Trembling with tenderness
Lips that would kiss
Form prayers to broken stone.


The eyes are not here
There are no eyes here
In this valley of dying stars
In this hollow valley
This broken jaw of our lost kingdoms

In this last of meeting places
We grope together
And avoid speech
Gathered on this beach of the tumid river

Sightless, unless
The eyes reappear
As the perpetual star
Multifoliate rose
Of death's twilight kingdom
The hope only
Of empty men.


Here we go round the prickly pear
Prickly pear prickly pear
Here we go round the prickly pear
At five o'clock in the morning.

Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow

For Thine is the Kingdom

Between the conception
And the creation
Between the emotion
And the response
Falls the Shadow

Life is very long

Between the desire
And the spasm
Between the potency
And the existence
Between the essence
And the descent
Falls the Shadow

For Thine is the Kingdom

For Thine is
Life is
For Thine is the

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.

-T. S. Eliot

Just Wondering

So I was thinking about how they always say that newborns can recognize their mothers by their smell, and how a blanket that smells like mom will be comforting to them. This made me wonder, at what age to we lose this ability? I don't think that I would be able to identify Schuyler or Levi by smell if I had to. So, does Levi still have this? When he snuggle up to me at night, in his sleep, does he know it's me by my smell, or does he just assume it's me because it's always me when he wakes up? Then I was thinking that maybe we do still have this ability, we just wouldn't trust it. Maybe I could identify a blanket that smelled like Levi or Schuyler out of a bunch of blankets, if only I could trust that sense instead of using my brain too much. Hmm, I wonder....

In case you were wondering where the heck this came from, well, you have to think about something when you are home with a toddler all day.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

On a crappy small town

So Levi and I went to visit our relatives in Washington State this last week. It was so wonderful to see them all and we wish that we could live closer - just not too close. The day after we arrived in Seattle, we were driving from Southcenter up to Kirkland (yes, the costco brand is named after it) and I felt like I was home. Everything was so beautiful and the people were just so friendly and the drivers (too many of them, I admit) were so courteous. It really made me want to move back. Then, the next day, we went over the mountains to Yakima. Almost as soon as we entered the palm springs of washington, I felt like I was being suffocated. Do all small towns emit this vibe, or is it just the ones like Yakima? The ones where payday loan centers outnumber bookstores at least 10 to 1, where they finally make the national news because of a jailbreak, where half the population is hispanic and there are still bars where one will get kicked out for speaking spanish, where having the national anthem sung in spanish at the fairgrounds on the 4th of July creates a big stink, where everyone seems to be sickeningly conservative and will vote down anything that will help the city, including schools, if it might cost them any money. I have dear, dear friends who choose to live there in that hellhole. What makes them stay? Do they love their families more than I love mine? How can being so near to so many loved ones, who I have missed so much, cause so many negative feelings for me? Whatever happened to nostalgia for a simpler way of life? The suffocating feelings hit me a lot stronger than they usually do. Perhaps it was because Schuyler was not with me and I was staying with his parents. Even visiting my family was somewhat hard without Schuyler. I guess it made me feel like less of a grownup, like I was still subject to their rule, the way I was in high school. So maybe it wasn't Yakima, maybe it was my state of mind and my negative high school experiences or some combination thereof. Also, technically my in-laws do not live in Yakima. They live in Selah, the "safe" suburb of Yakima which is not any better. It is basically Yakima with less hispanic and native american heritage and more jacked-up pickup trucks.

Thursday, December 01, 2005


I would like to start by saying that I don't have a problem with secular Christmas festivities. I love Santa and always put up a tree. Sometimes, however, it just goes too far. Tonight on tv I saw Santa crooning some song in front of lots of glitter, while the Rockettes danced behind him in skimpy outfits and high heels and I couldn't help but think, "Come on, what does this have to do with Christmas?"