It took him a little while to be open to the idea of going out in the middle of a water minefield, but he eventually decided he could dig it.
Can I just add that Mt. Juliet’s Splash Day at Charlie Daniels Park is adorable? We had all kinds of super nice church folk coming up to us and giving us water and icy pops all day long. I got warm fuzzies while eating a free hot dog and working on an epic sunburn.
This song just came on the radio and I could see it changing Holden’s life instantly.
People who call you out for having low self-confidence/esteem are often the same people who will behave in ways toward you that make you question your self-worth.
“You are a total guy,” a friend recently said to me. He wasn’t being pejorative and I couldn’t really dispute the notion. The older and more ornery I get the more I tend to act like a stereotypical dude, with my careless potty mouth and quiet but constant aggression. I’m not necessarily happy about it but I’m not necessarily fighting it either. Especially since I am not even sure what it means other than I am entirely free with my words and I am kind of an animal in ways that are not polite to talk about.
I do, however, have a long way to go on emotionally detaching from all things that can hurt me.
I’ve posted this song here before but I swear every time I remember it exists it makes me so happy that it’s worth a repost or twelve.
I’ve not been well since July 2. I don’t know what specifically is ailing me but it’s a little like the mystery bug that got me in 2009 that no one ever could diagnose. (Sans hives. So far.) I’m on a second round of antibiotics and I’m still prone to coughing fits. And headaches. It took Holden down too, and his teacher and some classmates. Whatever it is is no joke and has been hanging around for a long time. I heard that we had unseasonably lovely weather, though, while I was quarantined. Neat.
I nearly missed the crape myrtles at their prettiest. Nearly.
You know that thing where people write their past selves a letter? Sometimes I think about doing that, and it would be sassy and start off with something like “You think things are going to get less complicated, girly? Well, think again!” Except it would have to end there because Present Me has no real wisdom to impart to Past Me, except maybe try to be nicer, because apparently I am an asshole.
This blog itself, the whole T&G machine, is sort of a reverse of that idea. Letters from Past Me to Present Me or Future Descendants. Cautionary tales and moments of great hubris caught in pixels and immortalized for my child to one day peruse, mortified. Or maybe, worse yet, he will just find it all boring. I can’t even imagine what life’s electronic cookie crumbs will be like by the time he is old enough to dig up dirt on his ol’ Ma. It’s possible that his entire conscience will be so awash in extraneous data that clicking through my midtwenties confessionals will just constitute one more obligatory TL;DR. Or maybe by then it will be old hat for children to have to pick through their parents’ digital detritus to get to the good stuff. Just something you do. I can’t even fathom.
But, Past Me and Future Me — if I can have your attention for just a second. Let’s just do this real quick. Remember this moment. For no other reason than because of its ordinariness and extraordinariness, spooning here together like sleepy, fat cats. This moment when you are sitting on the couch in your little green nightgown that is ill fitting and should not be worn outside (but has frequently been today because you lack shame). You are in need of a shower and you’ve just spent the last three days convalescing thanks to some mystery bug that took you down fast — sore throat, sneezing, aches, fatigue, coughing, and — the kicker — a very low brain tide. You’ve just now begun to feel like yourself again, which is to say you are all over the place in thought and action. You just hand-washed three shirts and cleaned the filthy HVAC intake vent by hand, and you’re breathing gingerly and sipping warm coffee while the young boy naps upstairs and the older boy naps in the bedroom and you entertain this urge to write something down. It’s warm outside and earlier when you went out to hang up those hand-washed shirts, the concrete burned the bottoms of your feet but you liked it, a little bit. Over the past two days, you have just received news of several babies of people close to you being born and several whose impending arrivals were announced, and your heart swells with pride and happiness and then churns with some form of diluted envy (because the thought of a little newborn head in your hands twists up your insides with longing, because you are your ovaries, you monkey). You don’t know if you will ever have another child. You don’t even know how to begin thinking about it, really. Money is tight and all you want to is take your own baby, who is so bright and so happy, to see the ocean. But this isn’t the year. You are not sure if there will ever be a year because you cannot seem to dig out. You are worried. You coast along on a transcontinental railroad of worry and it’s making you grey. Or maybe your DNA is doing that. Or maybe it’s just your age because you’re no spring chicken right now. This is thirty-two. Thirty-two is the age your mother was when you were seven. When you look at pictures of your mother when you were seven, you are jealous. That lady was a fox! You are getting off track. The point is, this moment is ordinary in every way. And in every way it’s not.
Because it is your life, and you only get the one.
I didn’t plan to end up in a cemetery yesterday, but I did. I had the day off work and after an indulgent morning spent lounging in bed, watching TV, I got the itch to go somewhere and take photos. And, after driving around for a little while, City Cemetery is where I ended up.
The City Cemetery is Nashville’s oldest continuously operated public cemetery. So much history and so many prominent Nashvillians rest there. I hadn’t planned to go there yesterday so I hadn’t done any research beforehand, or else I would have known that the back lots that I thought were empty and awaiting burials are actually unmarked graves, including one of famous slave “Doctor Jack” Macon.
It was just me and 23,000 others in the cemetery yesterday. Quiet, hot. Watching the birds and waiting on the breeze.
(Sundial inscription says, “Still on it creeps, each little moment at another’s heels”)
See the full set of photos here.