19 September 2009


We are so busy that I am not sure when the next time I'll take a day off. Soon it's harvest, then the holiday season (which in my world translates to shipping department season).

Even though I drank too much, stayed out too late last night, and had to get up much too early to work a farmers market, it was a beautiful day. I think this is what must be Indian Summer. The highlights were driving into town with my auntie to run an errand in the Galaxy convertible, and since the pups hopped in we decided to take them for a ride. Their doggy faces said "Weeeeeeeeeeeeeee!" as they strained to keep their eyes open in the breeze.

After I'd concentrated on as much as I possibly could for the day, I grabbed a blanket, pillow, and the book that I am so close to finishing, and headed for the outdoor bed that's in an ideal spot under the mini birch tree grove that is at the top corner of the lawn, looking out over the pond and rest of the property. I lay there for almost three hours, sleeping, daydreaming, and nodding off. At one point the puppy ran some laps around me and Colleen brought out a pizza she'd just pulled out of the brick oven, to test the new dough recipe she's tweaking. I got up and came inside when I realized the sky was pink and the buzzes around my head were mosquitoes.

This week has been filled with anxious anticipation as we try to embrace the already quite full calender ahead of us, but in spite of that I received quite the glorious treat of this day.

This is Django the puppy...

This is Boswell, older and wiser...

13 September 2009

At Least the Bridge Won't Break

I was shaken awake at at 4-something this morning very confused. I very rarely wake up in the middle of a deep sleep, which it was, and if I do it's because something in my dream or a very loud noise wakes me up. In this case, I didn't hear the noise I just was awake and realized that I had felt shaken from far away.

In my mostly-asleep confused state it dawned on my that I was probably just awoken by an earthquake. I mean why the hell else would one be jostled awake at o-dark-hundred in the morning in Northern California wine country in the middle of September? Certainly not a thunderstorm, right? Wrong. Moments after calmly thinking I was in the middle of an earthquake in the middle of my bed, I saw a flash of light from the lightening that was also happening - part of a larger thunderstorm rolling through. It was a loud earth-shaking thunder roll that woke me from my slumber, and while I'm thrilled to know I'd be so calm waking up to an earthquake, I am disappointed that I missed it. I miss those summer thunderstorms that shake the ground, and here I was in the middle of one considering taking shelter under the doorframe.

I fell right back asleep and woke up at a more reasonable hour to gray skies, raindrop marks on the windshield, and a feeling that autumn (and harvest) is just around the corner.

11 September 2009


Every once in a while, it feels really good to get really drunk and loud and maybe make some bad decisions and wake up with some bruises.
Not all the time, because then you're just a mess. Just enough to work the kinks out and remember what a hangover feels like, and maybe prove to your rapidly aging self that you can still function relatively well on small amounts of alcohol induced sleep.
Now where the f*$& is the aspirin.

10 September 2009


Dear You,

I recorded a voice memo to myself a while ago, the morning you left, telling myself that it was probably for the best we hadn't had sex this time because we probably would have went and fallen in love. It is probably for the best that we've ruled out a relationship because I have a feeling that might be it for both of us.

Everything with you is simple, everything between us is so simple, which is why this is complicated. I don't talk about you with my friends except when they ask, and they usually don't because they've seen us together and yet they know you're not my boyfriend... so they know it couldn't be easy either way.

When I hear love and heartbreak songs on the radio, I think of others, ones who have all hurt. When I hear something that reminds me of home I think of you.

We had our bullshit between us early and I'm glad you got it out of the way. I'm also glad you apologized when we saw each other unexpectedly and I'm so glad I decided to listen. I'm so glad you walked me home that night and walked up the hill for me every night after.

You are a sweet surprise, you are comfort and safety, and you are probably impossible. We will both probably look back in five or ten years and think of one another with a smile, and wonder why or what if for just a moment, or a few if we're feeling nostalgic.

The truth is that's ok because I'd rather have you as a memory than not to have you at all.
The truth really is that I'd rather have you as my present than a part of my past.



09 September 2009


I have spent a couple of months not thinking about my brothers absence.

My group grief counseling ended some months ago and I have not sought out more. The group sessions were a mostly pleasant and vaguely helpful exercise, but I don't know if I could name any lasting effects. (Other than everyone confirming that it must be much harder to lose a brother to murder than an elderly parent to age.)

There are shows happening in Madison, a tribute downtown by other artists and a show in our high school of his own work. Other things are being planned, his dear friends are continuing their work in spreading his legacy with the website, and so it continues.

It's hard to explain what I mean when I say I haven't spent a lot of time thinking about Brendan or his death in the last couple of months... I am always thinking about him in the sense that he, or his memory, is always present somewhere in my mind, just as I don't technically forget that he's dead. But it's almost like I've taken a vacation from grief, and frankly it really hasn't done me any good.

I've found myself thinking of his murderer as I fall asleep, not just at night but when I try and take naps. It's the subject that is most painful and difficult to face so when my guards and consciousness are most relaxed it confronts my mind. I wake up feeling unsettled and tense, like something is wrong and you can't figure out what it is nor can you fix it. In this case I do know what it is, but I certainly can't fix it.

The sadness and anger hits me harder now, and more suddenly. I feel like the best way to describe my state is functionally devastated. More than a year has passed since Brendan died so if there was one, the official period of mourning would be over. I talk to his friends less and less, we've passed all the holidays and birthdays at least once, and it's just not new anymore for most people...
To us, it's Always new.
I wish I could describe it more accurately but I don't know how.
The pain, while duller, is just as painful. The absence is just as large if not larger. The things that remind us how much we miss him are more numerous the more days that pass. As I accept how much I want my own children one day I grow equally angry they won't get to know their Uncle, and that he won't get to know my children. It is devastatingly unfair that he won't get to have children and that I won't get to know my nieces or nephews.

So while my brother is always on my mind, I'm not thinking moment to moment about what I'm missing. These days rather than a steady absence, I will remember suddenly, at the deepest part of a deep breath, that Brendan's not coming back; rather than a constant numbness it's short and brutal.

I am exhausted.

02 September 2009

All The Way Home and Back Again

A lot of things have been happening and I feel like I am having a hard time catching up...

Ted Kennedy died last week. One of my first memories of my father crying had something to do with Robert Kennedy. There are countless Kennedy books on my parents bookshelves, and I've stood at JFK's Eternal Flame with my father more than a couple times to pay our respects and shed our tears for could have been. I didn't read the articles the day Edward Kennedy died nor have I watched the President's eulogy, nor did I spring for the $10 Newsweek Special Commemorative Edition... it's all happened to fast and I want to give it due time and reflect properly but it's been a week and it's getting ahead of me.

I was in Wisconsin for almost 80 hours last weekend, Madison for most of it. I walked through my high school for the first time in almost a decade and was impressed with how clean it was yet how it had only seemed to change in insignificant surface ways. I walked through with my father to see an art show of my brothers work that he did as himself and as Solve, curated in by my mother and cousin in the gallery in the high school that he almost didn't graduate from.

It was unseasonably cold but sunny and beautiful all weekend. Friday night there was an unexpected thunderstorm that I got to feel start standing on my parents front porch with a glass of whiskey in my hand and the arms of a man around me.

I found out one of my oldest and best friends is having a baby, I cried when she told me and when I saw a photo of the sonogram.

I went to the farmers market with my sister and we bought coffee, cheese curds, tomatoes, and pastries full of carbohydrates because she said that was the only thing she really wanted.

I saw my cousin get married on Saturday with almost my whole family and it was a fabulous party, complete with a wardrobe malfunction (mine), a drunk best man that quoted Macbeth and called me a bitch in the same breath (which he was quite proud of), a speech from the father-of-the-groom that brought everyone to tears, first in laughter then not, and a bad ass first dance.
Most of us drank a little too much but as always we had not nearly enough time together, and it made me want to do it all over again next weekend, and not just for the generous open bar. My family is just... well, they are amazing. Everyone thinks so. And now they've started placing bets on who will be the next cousin to get hitched.

Sunday I went to a movie. It was totally unplanned and not a movie I would have seen by myself but I was invited and I went and it actually felt like a proper and wonderful date. It was a perfect Sunday afternoon and then we met my family to eat food from the festival that happens every year in the park across the street from my parents house.

My sister slept off the fever she'd had for a day and a half by Monday morning, and we bought coffee and t-shirts from the closest coffee shop to my parents house, then walked the mile and a half downtown to see the show in honor of my brother downtown. My Dad bought us some of my favorite sandwiches on the way to my airport.

Before I knew it I was back in California. I had a scratchy throat and I cried to my sister on my two hour drive from the airport to home about not knowing what I wanted to do with my life. Then I got home and my aunt and uncle were happy to see me and I felt like I was home, and the dogs wagged their tails.

Yesterday I worked for around ten hours and today my throat's still scratchy. I have not yet blocked off time to read about Ted Kennedy, although I did manage to unpack my over packed carry-on suitcase.