32 tagged with #family

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vidchat


i showed my grandmother the sky, a comically deep blue with a sun that blotted out my face. i showed her the grass, dropping my phone to the ground so she could look at the dandelions. 'those are just weeds,' my mother chided.

'they're beautiful, too,' my grandmother insisted.

i am often shy about videochatting my grandmother because of the inevitable comments about my appearance, but today she complimented my hair. today, she seemed alright.

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08 May 2018 22:40


summer


i once read a description of the weather here as dithering a one-bit system; in short, we only experience winter or summer, with daily or hourly fluctuations during transitional periods that average out to a more mild season.

today, our house lost power, briefly, and we suspect thousands of air conditioning units simultaneously switching on as the culprit. years ago, my parents and i stayed at a mid-atlantic beach house that similarly lost power during a sudden heat wave, so we decamped to a resort village down the street and pretended to care about luxury fur purses in order to cool off in their emergency generator-fed climate control systems.

year after year, i grow steadily more unhappy with the realization that my neighbors running their air conditioning makes my building hotter. sometimes i walk through alleyways of window units tetrised around each other, each one quivering with the strain of ripping heat out of one side and pushing heat into the other. hot breath, hot breath, in each other's faces. trash drawn in catches thermals and float into the sky; birds pluck them out and tuck those waxy sandwich wrappers into their own nests.

i don't need to read about dystopian nightmares anymore.

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02 May 2018 22:38


earthsaver's club


they said, 'you can't fault someone for wanting to live a comfortable life,' defensively, in the middle of a discussion about our individual responsibilities as human participants in a system contributing to disproportionate damages to the world and its inhabitants.

no, i can't fault you for that. i can't fault your desires that come from expectations you've learned from your environment, from your baked in habits about how to live, from your assumed rights and powers. these are, of course, things outside your control.

but i can certainly fault you for decisions you make in spite of your knowledge, decisions you make to choose immediate convenience at the price of delayed, detached destruction. i can fault you for not even trying, i can fault you for making excuses for trying, i can fault you for refusing to move past denial.

and i can wait for you to break free from this trap so we can all move forward.

'you know,' my mother suggested casually, 'there are lots of groceries you can buy online fairly cheaply, and even places with free shipping.'

'oh, i can't really justify spending the gasoline on that if i can get it from the corner shop, mom.'

'no seriously, though, free shipping.'

'it might be free for my pocket, but it's fuel from, you know, the planet. everyone's planet. but if the gas has already been spent to move it to the shop, and i'm perfectly capable of walking down to the shop to pick it up, i'd rather not have it driven directly to my doorstep.'

'oh. oh! you're saving the planet! okay, i get you.'

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24 April 2018 22:56


life goals


occasionally, my father tells me about someone else in his table tennis club celebrating an 80+ birthday. i've met some of them; they slide slowly to the table, moving in the cautious way of elderly folks who know what a fall might do to them. with a paddle in hand, they still seem so gentle on themselves in directing their body into the right position, but at the last moment, a snap that i can't see catches the ball, which flies viciously in low, precise arcs further than i can reach. and then i realize that they're not truly moving in slow motion; they can keep up with the rapid volleys the teenagers throw at them, punishing sloppy recoveries by dropping a ball into a dead spot.

i tell my parents, who occasionally express conviction that their lives are over and they need to start conserving what body parts they have left, that it is possible to remain mobile and responsive and active until the moment they die. that's what i'm aiming for, at least.

nearly every time i go on a hike, no matter how hard or how punishing i think it is, i'll get passed by someone my parents age, breezing through without a bead of sweat. i don't understand it, and i can't wait to get there.

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12 April 2018 22:08


an egg


(note: this entry mentions animal death.)

when i was a kid, my mother extracted a robin's egg from its nest and handed it to me, telling me to show my father. i ran to him and opened my hand, but only found crumpled shell pieces and an incomplete bird stuck to my palm.

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01 April 2018 00:37


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