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Monday, January 07, 2008

Thanks for visiting. I am no longer updating Notes to Self. I hope you'll join me on my current website,

A Cup of Kindness Yet

My mother returned to the frozen north yesterday. And immediately the temperature here shot up to the mid-seventies, after two weeks of mostly just above and just below freezing temperatures. It's always that way. Cold fronts seem to stowaway in her luggage when she comes.

Still, her visit was lovely in every way except that it flew by much too fast, and that she had to leave without knowing when we will see each other again. Maybe my ship will come sailing in this year and float us all to Newfoundland for next Christmas.

Her time with us confirmed what I've long suspected: it takes three pairs of grown up hands to keep a household with three children running smoothly. And that laundry is the centrifugal force by which it all spins. Mom began folding clothes before her first cup of tea had steeped. It delivered some kind of heimlich maneuver to the domestic chi. Things have been flowing smoothly ever since, and I am hoping to keep it that way. Whereas normally I would be writing this still in my robe, surrounded by breakfast dishes, this midmorning finds me fully dressed, seated at a clean table, ohm-ing to the transcendental vibration of my kitchen appliances. I don't know if I can actually write under these conditions, but we'll see.

I came out of the Old Year happy just to have survived. 2007 knocked me around in ways I haven't been ready to share, and I'm not feeling up to making big resolutions. In fact, I think the New Year needs to make some resolutions to me. Be sweet to me, 2008. Sweep me off my feet. Make me feel like it's okay to dream big dreams again. Then maybe I can declare some grand intentions of my own.

Until then, I'm keeping it very simple. Just four little things.
  • One, I'd like to write in a more disciplined way this year. Like fully dressed, and mostly when the kids are in school, so that don't grow up with an aversion to the creative arts, borne of me snapping at them to make their own damn breakfasts.
  • Two, I'd like to move my body more. I've gotten very sedentary in direct proportion to the energy I've put into writing, and it shows.
  • Three, I want to get to know my readers a little better. I plan to begin going back through comments and email of the past couple of years and clicking through to the pages of those who keep blogs themselves. This is arguably in conflict with mini-resolution 3.(b), which is to spend less non-productive time online in general, but as long as I am indulging, better to do it with friends.
  • Four, to recover book reading for pleasure. This is harder than you'd think for a writer, because if it's any good, it has to make you a little (or a lot) jealous, and if it's crap, it makes you cynical. But good literature is an essential nutrient in the synthesis of good writing, and I've noticed recently a feeling of ketosis setting in. I can't run on empty much longer. I've started with a book of short stories by Ellen Gilchrist and it's good, satisfying stuff.

That's it, really. It's good to be back here. I'm glad you're here, too. More very soon.



Blogger Dana said...

Happy New Year, Kyran! So delighted you are back and finding your groove. I, too hope that 2008 has wonderful things in store for you as an artist and for your family in its entirety.

Blessings for a beautiful year.

11:54 AM  
Blogger BipolarLawyerCook said...

Happy New Year. I find that getting out for a walk spawns so many ideas for writing that the memo function on my cell phone is getting quite a workout. Best wishes for great endeavors in 2008.

12:22 PM  
Blogger Miss Eliza said...

Oh my goodness, your last one made me laugh till I had tears rolling down my cheeks. I feel exactly that way - and as I've been reading like a nut lately, I've been writing less and less and less, probably directly proportionate - for that very reason. Sad but true - thanks for framing words around it!

1:04 PM  
Blogger Hannah said...

It's funny what resonates with people in a blog post... the whole theory about laundry being the pivot on which the household turns hit me like a bag of towels to the head. I have found this myself; such a simple task and yet unfolded laundry can somehow spill out into an entire house.

Perhaps my as-yet-unformed resolution will be to keep up with the laundry?

Good to have you back. Looking forward to getting to know you better in '08.

6:48 PM  
Blogger Julie @ Letter9 said...

"ohm-ing to the transcendental vibration of my kitchen appliances"

Brilliant line. Happy 2008!

: )

7:07 PM  
Blogger Amy U. said...

Happy New Year, Kyran. Glad to see that 2007 didn't wipe you out completely. It was tough, wasn't it?


7:18 PM  
Blogger bluebird of paradise said...

thanks for the kind words. i'm projecting good energy for you into the cosmos. moving is pivitol. get a bike for every member of the family and start heading for nfld. you should reach here by christmas. what an adventure that would be.........

7:25 PM  
Blogger Jessica @ A Bushel and a Peck said...

Thank goodness you're back! Happy New Year! I hope 2008 listens well and treats you kindly.

8:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post. Here's to a happy and abundant 2008 for all of us.

Oh and I have to agree on the whole adult to child ratio being 1:1. Absolutely.

8:09 PM  
Blogger LetterB said...

Dude, literary ketosis - me likey.

Happy New Year!! It will be all good.

10:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glad you're back. 2007 was incredibly hard, and reading Notes really helped me get through a lot of it. Thanks and keep writing!

10:19 PM  
Blogger island sweet said...

and thanks for returning your mother to me! xxx

8:41 AM  
Blogger ~Cat said...

I like your resolutions. I don't think I'll ever manage to begin my day dressed and breakfasted, but one can hope! (She says with bedhead and yesterday's mascara making a slow march down her cheek. ;))

10:48 AM  
Blogger Misbehaving said...

I like to approach a new year like I was hanging my head out of a moving car with my eyes closed. The horizon rushing up to meet me, wind blowing in my face, buffeting my ears and messing up my hair. Such an exhilarating feeling.

Even though you know that the proverbial bug is going to smack you right between the eyes at some point, you can't let that stop you from enjoying the ride.

Happy New Year!

4:10 PM  
Blogger Susanne said...

Be sweet to me, 2008. Sweep me off my feet. Make me feel like it's okay to dream big dreams again. Then maybe I can declare some grand intentions of my own.

I love this. May this be your year and the beginning of many amazing years.

10:36 AM  
Blogger jen said...

"Be sweet to me 2008."

Feeling the same way, sista. I'm looking for the least amount of drama possible.

Happy New Year!

4:33 PM  

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