I have too much to think about right now, which tricks me into feeling like I cannot write about anything. My family and I are alternately wading and sprinting through some major transition this summer, and I haven’t been sleeping well. There is great reason to be excited and tremendous space for dreaming, and also much to do and consider before we can call it done and my mind can settle.
Additionally, summer vacation requires a whole lotta togetherness, and togetherness has been a wonderful, challenging, exhausting thing for the past month or so. This is what the wise Khalil Gibran had to say about that:
But let there be spaces in your togetherness and let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another but make not a bond of love; let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
He was talking about partners, or people in love, but I think this idea of making spaces also applies to families.
Until I can focus on the words tumbling about in my brain that involve family and transition, I will at last respond to a most kind and unexpected award that I received from the truth-telling blogger of the Imperfect Kitchen. Please click on the link and read her thoughtful posts when you have some time; I promise that you will not regret it.
Called the Liebster Award, and created to build relationships within the blogging community, it’s all based around the number 11. To accept the award, one must
- Post the award on your blog
- Thank the blogger who presented the award to you and link back to their blog
- Share 11 things about yourself
- Answer the 11 questions given to you by the person that nominated you
- Nominate 11 bloggers who have less than 200 followers
- Create 11 questions for your nominees to answer
- Notify your nominees by posting your nomination on their blog.
So here we go. These are both 11 things about myself and responses to the 11 questions (sorry if I am cheating)
1. Which book(s) should I add to my ‘don’t miss’ list?
Ah, I love this question. What comes to mind tonight include The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, The Magicians by Lev Grossman, A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle, Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez, and Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak.
2. If you could give $10m to any person or organisation other than yourself, who or what would it be?
The sum of ten million dollars is difficult for me to comprehend because it’s a lot, I mean, a LOT of money, to gift to just one person or organization. There are so many dedicated among us doing good work. I am a supporter of many organizations… Amnesty International, FHI 360, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Farmers Market Coalition, and Oregon Public Broadcasting, among many others. However, I think I’d just give the money to my parents. They’re smart, resourceful, like-minded, and compassionate. Their generosity and willingness to give to a host of just and meaningful causes makes them a strong candidate for when I win the lottery.
Can I please get back to you on this one?
4. Is ignorance bliss?
Probably. I guess it depends on which issue one is ignorant of understanding. Ignorance explains so much…many people do not have access to a great deal of information out there that could influence their ideas or beliefs. In spite of our best intentions, we are generally far more comfortable not knowing or identifying with something unpleasant than we are with acknowledging difficult truths.
5. If you could change one policy of your current government, what would it be?
America’s immigration policy is in critical need of reform. We need an illuminated path to citizenship for men and women who come to our country, work hard and remain out of trouble with the law. Hundreds of thousands of undocumented children are at the heart of this struggle, and deserve a chance at living among their peers in the USA as a friend, neighbor, and documented person.
6. If you could ban one word or phrase from the English language, what would you choose?
I suggest that we eliminate two phrases from the common vernacular.
1) “Baby bump”.
Yuck. I love seeing my expecting friends become beautifully round, but I dislike this phrase and even more dislike attention from strangers placed on someone’s stomach. The presumption of a stranger (or a friend, truly) to shake and rub one’s pregnant belly is something I do not support or understand.
2) “Don’t take this personally”.
Everything is personal.
7. You have to live, for one year, in a different town, city or country to your current home, where is it?
This is a timely question given that we have just sold our house and put an offer on a new house in a different city. Please stay tuned for details! But for one year, please transport me immediately to Barcelona, where I will wander its narrow streets for hour beneath imposing towers and gentle sun, stopping when necessary for grilled vegetables, arròs negre, seafood and wine.
8. Salt or sugar?
Salt, unless fermented fruit counts. Then sugar!
9. Who or what was your favourite discovery of the last year?
That there are strangers who will treat you as a dear friend, and friends that sometimes turn into strangers. The latter part of this discovery brought sadness, but also relief.
10. What is the most fulfilling thing in your life?
My family, of course. But also, my time that is mine spent doing things are non-family: writing, reading, running, sitting in silence, slicing and salting an avocado, and trying to remember how to play the piano. My family.
11. Where do you hope to be in 5 years time?
Smarter than I am today. That’s a what, not a where. I hope to be Home in five years. In a different place but inhabited by the same characters… they will include a pre-teen, a nine-year-old, an old and loving Labrador Retriever, my husband and me.
And these are the nominees (and some have more than 200 followers because they are amazing!):
1. Holy Bee Press (oh, how I want to keep bees someday)
3. An Inch of Gray (heartbreaking and heart-lifting)
4. Brown Girl Farming (stories of food justice in communities of color)
6. Cupcake Crusade (delicious and fun)
8. Living on Ink (writing, publishing, writing)
9. Word Savant
10. Invoking Frida (photo tribute to a heroine)
Thank you for reading, and enjoy the links!