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I was fixing a sprinkler last weekend and Ess jumped in to help: running all over the yard with me as we watched the water flow so I could flush just the right amount of water through the new connection.

This made things in the hole a bit muddy, but Ess was still excited to help me put the earth back in the hole — we got her set up with Mykala’s gardening gloves to do it. And as we were walking to the backyard, she exclaimed: “Oh good! Now that we’re both wearing gloves, I can hold your hand!”


Last Day of Two

Essie’s birthday party was held the last day she was two; this is that evening. She turned three the next day.


I was out at continuing education tonight, learning about our current opioid epidemic, and I got home just before Essie’s bedtime. She and Mykala were upstairs in our bedroom, reading some stories when I got in the door. I ran up the stairs and I could hear this little voice going “dada! dada!” and when I opened the door, Ess ran up to me and gave me this GIANT hug. Then she asked me to read her this library book:


Goodnight, Bun

We’ve been teaching Ess that people have more than one name. For example, her grandpa Bop’s name is Michael. “I know a Michael, I know a Michael!” she explains, riffing off her book I Know a Monkey. So, my nickname for Mykala is Bun, which we told Ess kind of in passing, not intending to or even trying really to teach it to her.


I Love You

Mykala accidentally dyed her hair orange today, which kind of sidetracked our movie plans. (After some corrections, it’s currently more of a henna shade.) So, Ess and I headed over to my parents for a visit. She was unusually quiet in her carseat, watching the big drops hit her window. At my parent’s, I got to see how Ess is trying to figure out how to go to the bathroom not in her diaper; she’d tell use she wanted to sit on her potty chair, and then absolutely nothing would happen. The stages of connecting the urge to the action to the result are interesting — like the animal and human parts of the brain are learning to communicate for the first time.



I’m walking through the mall, with Ess riding in the Björn, and her little left hand is holding mine. I realize she’s been holding my hand for five minutes straight. Her whale spout pony tail on the top of her head swishes back and forth as she looks around.

I’m lying on the kitchen floor when Ess walks over and, uncharacteristically, lies down next to me, resting her head in the crook of my elbow, and just stares into my eyes for thirty seconds. Satisfied with what she saw, or what she communicated, she gets up and toddles away.


Memorial Day

It’s been raining, dark, and cold all day but when I arrived home today, Mykala had put together an indoor picnic. I walked in the door and there was the love of my life in a floppy sun hat, wearing picnic clothes, cold drink in hand, Beach Boys playing in the background, picnic blankets on the floor, Roman Holiday queued up on the television.


A Few Days

Two days ago, we saw a live puppet theater in the backyard of a Prospect Park neighbor on Franklin Avenue.


The title of the production was “The Adventures of Juan Bobo”, and the second half of it, which we caught, was really fun. The live accordion player made it really… lovely, too.



The sun set a while ago and I’m sitting in the living room with the warm lights and furnace keeping away the unseasonably cool night. “Tied to Me (Acoustic)” by the magnificent William Fitzsimmons is quietly playing on the stereo. The couch is snugly in its new corner in the living room (we recently re-arranged furniture). Rain is gently falling outside, making tiny sounds on the windows. And, I know, this is sounding like a bad beginning to a dull book. But, literally, that’s what is happening right now. Forgive me the pedestrian topic and stunted prose: there’s poetry in everyday life, but I am still trying to capture that in writing.



I’ve been thinking about how lucky I am. Please understand that I am not using the word “lucky” as shorthand to describe the idea of ‘fortunate’ or ‘secure’ or ‘genetic lottery winner’. I am lucky. I’ll explain why.

“Ya see, this one lady is persistent, but the other’s the only one I want to date.” At Lifetime, I found myself inadvertently eavesdropping on a conversation between two men, one in his late 40s, the other in his 30s. The one talking was the older of the two, and from the way he was speaking, I couldn’t decide if he’d been through a difficult divorce or simply never married. It didn’t matter, though, he was describing how interested he was in this woman in his life.


A Girl A Boy and A Graveyard

Jeremy Messersmith - A Girl A Boy and A Graveyard:

She says, “Life’s a game we’re meant to lose.
But stick by me, and I will stick by you.”


Love in Four Acts: What is Romantic Love?:

The romantic couples who have been together for half their lives have something quite different from romantic love. Johnson calls it “stirring-the-oatmeal” love – “it represents a willingness to share ordinary human life, to find meaning in the simple, unromantic tasks … to find the relatedness, the value, the beauty, in the simple and ordinary things, not to eternally demand a cosmic drama … or an extraordinary intensity in everything” (pg. 195). In a strange way, this is true love because it can be everlasting, but this is not the love script that we are bombarded with from every literary or entertainment form in our lives.


Christmas gratitude

nickd on gratitude during the Christmas season:

if you have a lover, here is the most important thing that you can do. you should go over to that lover and tell them that you are grateful for their existence, and their love. because one very, very sacred thing that exists in this rather bleak-at-best world is knowing that someone out there gives such a passionate damn about you, your health, your success, and your well-being, and is willing to take you seriously and meet you halfway in their life.

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Mykala on the Merry-Go-Round

Mykala on the Merry-Go-Round

This was one of the most perfect days I’ve had. I called in sick to work, and then Mykala and I went to the zoo. We rode the merry-go-round and lay out in the sun. The weather was gorgeous, and as we looked up at the blue sky from our blanket on the grass, I realized that life does not get better. It isn’t the dark dull days at the office that indelibly print on your memory — no, it is the days in the sun. As the skies turned cloudy and threatened rain, we fell in love all over again.

About Love, Photography

A while back, if memory serves, my Dad told me a story about love. It was understated in the way that true stories tend to be, and of course the details elude my fuddled memory, but the idea of it always stuck in my head. Something like this: my Dad said that the closest he ever came to seeing love at first sight was in college, orientation, I believe. Two people locked eyes and right then, in that moment, the spark of attraction ignited their love. As far as we know, they were together after that.


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Love and Mortality

James McConkey’s essay “What Kind of Father Am I?” is in the latest edition of The American Scholar. An excerpt:

Without mortality—that is, if we lived forever, uncaring of the ticking of clocks—would we have need of religion, of families with children for a new generation, of dreams for a better future? Wouldn’t scientists lose their urgency to discover, artists to create? Without my ever-keener awareness of Jean’s and my mortality, I certainly wouldn’t be writing this account in my 87th year. And what about love? As lyrical expressions, sonnets typically represent the poet’s personal emotions. One sonnet in particular, by Shakespeare, moves both Jean and me; I liked it as a graduate student, but not in the way I do today. The first-person narrator acknowledges that life, like a fire, is consumed by the source nourishing it, and tells his beloved in the concluding couplet, “This thou perceiv’st, which makes thy love more strong, / To love that well which thou must leave ere long.”




For Mykala, for Valentine’s Day.

Here’s A Love Song

Let’s set aside the cryptic message of the lyrics in my previous post and look to the bare poetry of this one; it’s really really nice. This is a great song. It’s by Syd as in Syd Matters the French musician, not Syd Barrett of Pink Floyd. The name of the song is “Here’s a Love Song.” The previous link is a more produced version than the one I have (I’ve just guitar and singing), but I think you’ll enjoy it, nonetheless. Oh, and the bridge in that linked version is new to me, too. Anyway…



I feel that when I’m old
I’ll look at you and know
The world was beautiful

Then you tell me
You say that love goes anywhere
In your darkest time, it’s just enough to know it’s there


She hung up the phone and I listened as, in a twist of irony, the dial-tone harmonized perfectly with George Winston’s “Living Without You” playing in the background. I listened until the tone stopped and the busy signal took over, beeping a relentless rhythm against my tired eardrums. I wondered if I would ever understand love, why it makes us do what we do, what it should be like, who are models of it, or even something as deceivingly simple as its definition.


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