Random quote of the day:

“The milkweed now with their many pods are standing
like a country of dry women.
The wind lifts their flat leaves and drops them.
This is not kind, but they retain a certain crisp glamour;
moreover, it’s easy to believe
each one was once young and delicate, also
frightened; also capable
of a certain amount of rough joy.
I wish you would walk with me out into the world.
I wish you could see what has to happen, how
each one crackles like a blessing
over its thin children as they rush away.”

—Mary Oliver, “Milkweed”

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Desus and Mero, Beyoncé, or the Marine Corps Marching Band. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.

Random quote of the day:

“It may be that when we no longer know what to do
we have come our real work,

and that when we no longer know which way to go
we have come to our real journey.

The mind that is not baffled is not employed.

The impeded stream is the one that sings.”

—Wendell Berry, “The Real Work”

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Desus and Mero, Beyoncé, or the Marine Corps Marching Band. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.

Random quote of the day:

“The seeds that once were we take flight and fly,
Winnowed to earth, or whirled  along the sky,
Not lost but disunited. Life lives on.
It is the lives, the lives, the lives, that die.”

—Lucretius, Of the Nature of Things (tr.William Ellery Leonard)

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Desus and Mero, Beyoncé, or the Marine Corps Marching Band. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.

I’ve been working on editing my mother’s memoirs for a while now, and I’m in the final stages, I do believe. Which means it’s time to replace my bracketed placeholders [insert that picture when you find it] with actual photos. My mother had a huge collection of snapshots and in her later years we’d sometimes go through them and I’d ask who everyone was and pencil in the description on the back. Then Mom “put the boxes away in a safe place” one day and subsequently couldn’t remember where. I’d made a half-hearted attempt to find them—and did find one small collection—but there were tons of photos I could remember but couldn’t find.

Then one day last week I realized there was a gigantic plastic tub—maybe 18 in. tall and wide and about 2 ft long—buried beneath a bunch of bags with books in them waiting to be recycled. I cleared off the bags and looked inside. The pictures my mother and I had both been looking for had been hiding in plain sight all along. So, I started going through them and scanning ones I needed for the memoir. And for other reasons. I’ve only made a small dent in this enormous collection. Many have the penciled information on them, many do not. And Mom kept everything, even the inside-your-purse-mistake photos, the thumb-enhanced photos, the so-blurry-you-can’t-tell-what-you’re-looking-at photos. (Back in the day when you took your film to One Hour Photo and the like they’d print everything, even the crap ones.) I have managed to throw away those, but the others? What to do with old photographs of people you don’t know?

I know what Cleaning Nazi Marie would say, but I just can’t throw them away. It’s like throwing the lives of those people away. I tell myself the old ones at least might have some historic value. And if that self-con doesn’t work, I remind myself that there is something of a market for these things at antique stores and flea markets. I don’t plan on selling them, but maybe the poor unfortunate who comes after me and cleans this place out can make a few bucks. Or finally get around to throwing them out. Either way, I won’t be involved.

My mother was not a particularly talented photographer. Too impatient to wait, frame, focus, get those thumbs out of the way. Just point, snap, and move on. Which is odd because she was a good and patient painter and crafter. There are a number of vacation snaps she never got into albums of places I can’t identify. I may get around to chucking those. Most don’t have people in them and they’re the kind of thing that is only precious to the one taking the picture because it evokes a memory of time, place, feeling. A memory I don’t have.

She also kept every note from baby gifts when I was born, every congratulations message, early birthday cards from her to me, and an entire keepsake book of Pamela paraphernalia. All the things to let me know I was once held precious by someone. I don’t say that in a pathetic way because it makes me feel warm inside. And miss her. The mother she was then, the mother she became again in her later years, not the mother in-between who tried to make me who I am not and who I fought with and hid from so much.

Memory is a double-edged sword, but I’m keeping all the memories, even the bittersweet, because they made me who I am today—as much as my mother did.

 

 

Random quote of the day:

“If you need them to care more than they do, it won’t happen. Ever.”

—Amy Shock, Thought Catalog

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Desus and Mero, Beyoncé, or the Marine Corps Marching Band. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.

Random quote of the day:

“Stop helping so much. Don’t get your help and goodness all over everybody.”

—Anne Lamott, TED Talk, April 28, 2017

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Desus and Mero, Beyoncé, or the Marine Corps Marching Band. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.

Random quote of the day:

“The gap between the committed and the indifferent is a Sahara whose faint trails, followed by the mind’s eye only, fade out in sand.”

—Nadine Gordimer, “Great Problems in the Street,” Telling Times

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Desus and Mero, Beyoncé, or the Marine Corps Marching Band. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.

Random quote of the day:

“There ain’t no man can avoid being born average. But there ain’t no man got to be common.

—Satchel Paige, “Words of the Week,” Jet, September 4, 1958

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Desus and Mero, Beyoncé, or the Marine Corps Marching Band. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.

Random quote of the day:

“We give lip service to acceptance, as though acceptance were enough.”

—Octavia Butler, Parable of the Sower

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Desus and Mero, Beyoncé, or the Marine Corps Marching Band. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.

Au claire de la lune
flowing through my mind,
endless whirlpool spinning
of just a line or two.
Mon ami Pierrot, then opening
something next…
then pour ecrit un mot!
But which word that might be,
j’en sais pas, alas.
So much unknown whirling,
so very much to know,
but this incessant chanting
blocks my quiet time
when I could be reflecting and
ecrit a mot or deux.
Au Claire de la lune,
I am done with you
pour l’amour de Dieu!

—PJ Thompson

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