Randomness and the odd attachment to a machine

March 25th, 2009

It’s official. My hard-drive is fried and R has given up working on it and has gone ahead and ordered me a new one. It should arrive by the weekend and early next week I’ll have my old computer back. I’m looking forward to it. I didn’t lose anything because of our backup system and I haven’t been left without a computer – and a laptop at that – but I’ve had a hard time working on this machine and not just because the European keyboard keeps me backtracking and searching for the apostrophe. I have a hard time doing thoughtful work on this loaner because it’s a loaner. It all feels so strange and temporary and unreal. I’m using notebooks for my poetry but I’ve been reluctant to blog from this computer. How strange that a hunk of wire and sturdy plastic has become a comforting item.

Disconcerting, too, and a wake-up call not to get attached to the tools.

* * *

R is taking a little getaway to recover after writing his master’s thesis while holding down a full-time job and never once shirking on the homefront.

* * *

R and I recently decided that we should each get at least one solo vacation a year. I’m thinking Prague. Talk to me, readers, about Prague. (Especially you.)

* * *

A journal that passed on a poem seven months ago emailed me out of the blue and said they’d like to use it in an upcoming themed edition. Seven months. An editor remembered a poem of mine for seven months. There is a wrinkle I need to smooth out, but at any rate it’s flattering.

* * *

I hope to get out of the short snippets mode soon, I really do.

Slices of March

March 18th, 2009

My computer crashed. Because my husband is an IT professional we have a good back-up system and I didn’t lose anything. Because he is a techy nerd he has an extra laptop I can borrow. The keyboard is European and I grow weary of correcting my y’s and z’s, and the colon and backslash are in the wrong places but I’m glad to have somthing to work with. I have a poetry submission I’d like to get out this week.

* * *

I have been irritable and ill-tempered, moody and out-of-sorts. R has been writing his master’s thesis but from my mood you would think I had been the one up writing past midnight nearly every day for the past month. I am sharp and pointy and I don’t seem to fit into any of the rooms of my life. I am frustrated, but I do not know¬†why.

* * *

I meet Dutch Friend’s Baby, he is a month old already between letting her rest after the birth and Boychen’s sickness and our vacation. I am in wonder at how small he is, Dutch Friend says he’s getting so big. I hold him and for a minute, a vertigo minute, I want another one. It passes.

* * *

Boychen is growing out of his morning nap but cannot quite adapt to one nap a day. It contributes to the cranky.

* * *

I write the date in my poetry noteback and am taken aback. It is the eighteenth already, half the month gone. Spring is coming even to Switzerland: crocuses and snowbells, songbirds at the feeder in the back, tiny deep maple buds starting to show on the bushes that line our front fence. I will know the names of these plants this summer, I tell myself. The sun comes out, the days are warmer, the boys and I spend the afternoon at the playground, and on the changing table sand comes tumbling out of the Boychen’s diaper. It helps against the cranky.

* * *

I feel the urge to buy herbs and potted plants for the terrace, something green for beside the front door. It is spring and I want to grow something.

* * *

Boychen vibrates when he is excited, he stamps his little feet up and down, rocks side to side. He points and squeals – a dog, a pigeon, the penguins at the Tierpark. People cannot help but smile. This afternoon he stands at our open upstairs window calling down and waving to people walking past on the sidewalk below. One woman calls out – “Tshcuss! Tschuss!” – and waves at him until she is halfway down the block. He makes people smile, this one. This one, he has a gift for happiness.

* * *

Finally finally finally a poem. I have been mute for weeks, but finally this.

Moments

March 11th, 2009

I’ve been coming to Arosa for over a decade now, and rarely have I seen so much snow. The curve between the road and the Obersee (upper lake) where there is often a snow sculpture was covered by a child’s mountain of plowed-away snow.

Small Boy climbed it again and again, each time barreling back down hill on his sit-sled. I’ve seen hints of it before, but this trip confirmed it: the boy is a speed demon, fearless on sled or Bob or, it would appear, skis.

* * *

A man stands on a hotel roof shovelling great mounds of snow down onto the sidewalk below; it lands with a muffled thud that recalls the sound of avalanche cannons going off in the distance. Snow sprays in every direction when the larger blocks crash into the sidewalk. In all my years of coming to Arosa, I have never seen this.

* * *

Our first days are grey, clouded over. The mountains come and go like ghost ships.

* * *

I drink deep draughts of mountain air. My cheeks tingle. It is good to be here.

A taste of Arosa

March 10th, 2009

I keep forgetting that vacation with two small boys is more properly termed a “change of scenery” or a “break in the routine” than a “restful vacation.” I am exhausted from trying to keep up with those two. I mean, with this

this

and this

going on, who could rest?

More words and pictures soon.