30 Things I Love Right Now: August Triptych

| Aug 26 |

(1) Coffee, black, with agave and cinnamon. Not forever, just for now. (2) These Monday mornings, giving thanks. The week’s touchstone. (3) Listening to the still-small voice of intuition, paying close attention to the touchstones it returns to. (4) The park, with J– and S–. (5) Mass with J– and S–. (6) How much like a communion wafer a rice husk is. (7) J–‘s intuition, instincts, wisdom. Her gifts. (8) A rainy morning. (9) S–‘s new playpen. (10) That he says “bless you” repeatedly after anyone sneezes or coughs, or when J– runs the blender. (11) How the notion of tests is surfacing as a touchstone (as now, it seems, has the notion of touchstones) in this new season of my life. Or, more specifically, a willingness — a desire, even — to be tested, which feels rooted in a general sense of preparedness and an openness to possibility, the ways it might not look the way I thought it would look. (12) Earnest, ambitious leadership. (13) Findhorn. Which is to say: (14) Faith. (Hope. Love.) Also: (15) Transcendence. Also: (16) Evolution. (17) Which is to say: processes by which (and places where) Being and Becoming are fused and the “better angels” are invited to materialize. (18) The way S–“s hair smells after washing it with his new “curl defining” shampoo. (19) His curls, of course. Defined or not. (20) Shaving (most) every day. (Still.) (21) My trusty little car. (22) The power of words, the music of a good sentence. (23) Admitting to myself how often I get the words and music wrong. (24) Teaching from A Thousand Beginnings and Endings: 15 Retellings of Asian Myths and Folktales. (25) Retellings (redactions, revisions). (26) Myths, of course. (27) And folktales. (28) Culture, too, how it transcends and also includes. (29) Beginnings and endings. (30) How they (the best of them) trancend and include, too.

| Aug 19 |

(1) Trying to be better: more truth, more integrity, more competence, more reliability. (2) Ceiling fans. (3) J–‘s POV. (4) Oatmeal. (5) Hummus. (6) Magic City Krabs. (7) S–, walking. (8) Reading a long book fast. (9) Reading a short book slow. (10) Ignoring the Internet, most days. (11) Shaving, most days. (12) Toast. Every day. (13) White beans, simply seasoned (thyme, garlic). (14) School lunch, most days. (15) Realization: sustained, substantial line-level edits of a completed draft is revision, which means it’s writing. (16) Realization: equating “less than perfect” with “failure” is (wait for it…) setting myself up for failure. (17) The cold-brew conversion, which, for me, is now pretty much complete. (18) Routine. A good one. (19) Phone as eNotebook. (20) My new work “uniform.” Black t-shirt. Jeans. Black belt. Black socks. Black shoes. (21) Professionally cleaned teeth. (22) Floss. (23) Sensodyne. (24) Having cut the grass. (25) The residual sense of accomplishment that comes, still, even days later, from looking at the yard I’ve recently mowed. (26) The strength in my legs and arms that is merely a byproduct of caring for S–. (27) Hearing him stir in the morning. (28) Holding his hand. (29) Hearing him laugh and be sweet with his mom. (30) That this is now my everyday (Please see #18 above.)

| Aug 8 |

(1) Listening – and hearing and TRUSTING – J–, who has the courage and inclination to tell me the truth about myself as she sees it. (2) Challenging myself to tell myself the truth about myself as I see it. (3) Our son’s new words: (4) “happy” (5) “baby” (6) “toast!” (7) Order. (8) Chaos. (9) Music. (10) Muscle Shoals. (11) Jason Isbell. (12) Which is to say, so far: “Outfit” (13) “Decoration Day” (14) “Cover Me Up” (15) “Stockholm” (16) “Traveling Alone” (17) “Overland” (18) This interview with George Saunders. (19) @JasonIsbell. (20) The Replacements. (21) Namely: Let It Be. (22) Also: Color Me Obsessed. (23) Also: this legendary/infamous SNL appearance c. 1986. (24) Also: Paul Westerberg (obviously). (25) A $40 guitar. (26) The way S–‘s eyes light up when I play it loud. (27) Unintended and oblique but wildly appropriate Dylan references. (28) That S– loves Adele. (29) That he loves music (too) already. (30) Writing. (Again. Still.)

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