Well, this weekend and week sort of flew by without really saying anything to me. Sometimes you have days, weeks, or even years that whisper to you in some shadowy song, stimulating your imagination in a rickety series of contraptions like Howl’s Moving Castle wobbling across a green-glass frontier. My wife got the splint taken off her elbow, so now she has to slowly ease back in to movement and still use a sling. She’s like a hawk learning how to fly again. Pretty stressful for her and myself. Twin parenting isn’t for the faint of heart, but being down to one arm like some epic super villain is even more debilitating. She’s a strong woman. I love her for it.
- Valentines Day is coming up. No single holiday can emotionally isolate you more than this greeting card abomination. The day is great if you’re in a happy relationship and you get to wallow in the corny motifs of hearts, chocolates, flowers, and sweaty whispers. However, if you’re alone, the world feels like it’s crushing you into some decorative pulp you’d buy from an arts and crafts store. I think more people are alone even if they’re with someone. The expectation to be happy is so different from actually being happy. I love my wife. I cannot put into words what we’ve gone through together. It is the commitment to us that equals love. I get scared for our society when I see people needing a greeting card to remind them that love still exists in this world.
- Been dreaming about my dog recently. She passed away eight months ago. I had to put her down. Whenever I dream about her we’re always in someplace dark. The edges of walls and the trim along the ceiling and floor are all sort of painted with this shadow that make the rooms deeper than they should be, even for a dream. There are dangerous things around us. Streets with cars blistering by in swirls of light and machinery. There are cliffs, roofs, and ledges she can fall off. I have to pull her back from them. I have to chase her. I have to hold her even if she’s trying to wiggle away. I have to keep her safe. It’s a bit of torture. It’s a bit of heartbreak. It’s also just nice to see her at all.
- My wife and I finished watching Star Trek: Voyager this week. We usually watch television at night with our twins as we wear them out for bedtime. I loved that series. I still think Star Trek: The Next Generation is the best out of them all, but Voyager for me was a close second. The combination of survivalist plots, monsters, and character development that takes place while encountering new phenomenon every episode is astounding, and from a writer’s standpoint ultra-ambitious. Instead of the characters creating the settings like in Star Trek: The Next Generation, the world, or Delta Quadrant, that Voyager must crawl across determines every plot, character, metaphor, and motif. The Delta Quadrant becomes the best character in the show. I love it when a setting outweighs human personality. The world is full of danger and mystery, like it should be. Deep space for Voyager is a haunted house with rows of ghostly doors with strange carvings in their tissue.
- Currently, the piece of media my wife and I use to calm down our twins in times of tear-screaming fussiness has been The Gruffalo on Netflix. If you haven’t watched this film about monsters and mice, you need to immediately. It has all the great elements of a children’s story, plus excellent animation and voice acting talents. The protagonist in the film is a clever mouse who outwits predators who wish to snack on him. Recently, at my house we’ve had mouse problems, with some living in the walls behind our kitchen. Due to me having watched the Gruffalo a dozen times, I’ve got a high opinion of how mice can think. Last Thursday, my wife was going to a twins support group at a local hospital. My parents were watching the babies, and I was going to have a small evening to myself. As my wife was getting ready to go, I realized she can’t drive with just one arm. At the time I was currently eating a sandwich from Potbelly. Since I had to quickly take her to the meeting, I left my glorious sub unwrapped and dangling from an end table. It was exposed and alone, like an orphan. I drove her to the meeting and zoomed home with only one scenario on my mind: “That mouse is going to eat my sandwich. That mouse is going to eat my sandwich. If I get home and there is a mouse eating my sandwich, I’m going to flip out. If I were a mouse, I would eat my delicious sandwich. That mouse is going to eat my sandwich.” I told my wife later about my worries. She said thinking about a mouse eating my sandwich was most certainly an old man problem.
- The pendulum of frost and snow is swinging wildly here in Minnesota. One day can be overcast, as if the sky and earth were smeared together, like nature itself was priming our living walls to be painted. Other times, the sun is out, dropping those warm beams through half-clouded windows, which thicken in the furnace air like old memories. The elemental forces of snow, ice, frost, wind, and cold don’t know which direction to go. Do they want the world to thaw, or do they want the world to freeze? It’s almost like nature has too many choices, so not only are they numbed by the prospect of variety, but when a snow storm does happen it seems random and undecided. When I notice these inconsistencies, I realize weather is a complete reflection of the human personality.