Tuesday, December 23, 2014

What Do I Need to Do?

This is Raven.
Her hair is purple and blue.
She has a birthmark on her forehead,
her third eye,
which blinks at me when we cross the street.
She is beautiful.
Her voice sounds like the windchimes
in our cherry tree.

All I want to do is listen.

*for Evan

Friday, November 14, 2014

This blog has been dormant for a long time. I was a different person the last time I wrote here. And I have a lot to say about that. When I started this blog the irony of its name never even hit me. I thought I was talking about buttons. The antique buttons that I had started collecting a few years prior to make jewelry with. Back then I loved a store in NYC called Tender Buttons. I was fascinated by all of the stories behind those tiny spherical works of art. Plus All Buttond Up looked cool as a logo. It never occurred to me that I was describing myself. Duh. 

I was all buttoned up. 

But not anymore. And I'm going to start writing here again. I want to tell some stories about the past 45 years. I'll be 46 in February and I've learned a lot (haven't we all??), especially in the last 10 years. I got married at age 25 to a wonderful man. I had 2 beautiful boys who are now almost 16 and 13. I had 4 miscarriages. I paid for a lot of therapy sessions. I left my wonderful husband. I met a wonderful woman and fell in love. I married her. We rode a tandem bicycle 1400 miles this summer. That sounds ridiculous. I am laughing out loud. 

I'll tell you all about it, in no particular order and without worrying about deadlines or rules. For now, I'll still be writing quietly. I won't be posting a link on Facebook or directing traffic here. If you find my writing, great! If no one reads it but my wife, that's fine, too. I simply want to start exercising my writing muscle again. I'll push the button when I'm ready. 

I'll start with this piece I wrote in Maya Stein's Quick'n'Dirty Poetry class last month. (She's my wife. She's a great teacher.) 

I pushed the stroller quickly through the Magic Kingdom, calling over my shoulder for him to hurry. I had read that the best spot to see the fireworks was just over the bridge in front of Tomorrowland where we would have a perfect view of Cinderella’s castle. Another tip I had industriously read while pouring over the guidebook in the weeks before we left. If we sat in the in the perfect spot, a woman dressed as Tinkerbell would whiz directly over our heads to begin the show. I could hardly wait to see the boys’ faces when she flew across the sky seconds before the first firework lit up the night. Hurry, I said again, and broke into a run. 

But an hour later Charlie had cried himself to sleep in the stroller and Evan was laying under a bench playing with his Buzz Lightyear toy, missing the whole point of coming back to the park after dark. Overstimulated by too much sun, too much sugar, and the late hour, the magic of Disney had completely worn off for everyone but me. 

I sat there in the dark watching the bursts of color wondering what they would remember from this trip when they got older. Would it be like my own memories of the pilgrimage my family had made here the year I was twelve? Me and my little sister fighting in the backseat of the hot, airless Chevy. The teardrop camper in the campground my mother and father thought was a charming alternative to a hotel, but which also didn’t have air conditioning to combat the 104-degree mid-August heat. 

When my father and I reminisced about that trip recently he said all these years later he still didn’t understand why they had driven us seventeen hours to Florida for me and my sister to beg them to let us spend practically the whole week swimming in the campground pool. Something we could have done back at the Jersey shore for free. 

I think I understand it better now, he had given me the Magic Kingdom, but I wanted something more. Or maybe it simply wasn’t magic that I needed.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

A Memoir of Bewilderment

You’re making a mountain out of a molehill, she said.
But it was the mountain, birthed from fog and thunder
which held me captive, then bent me under.
Right there in front of us,   (we cannot see it until we see it)
  a hard stop on the road, a strange confounding caress.
How did we end up here surrounded by this mess?

I ask her to speak to me in Hebrew,
wanting only to hear words I do not understand.
I love you exactly as I can.