july two-thousand-nineteen

Postcard from July 2019


I woke at 3am to the bed trembling.

“Is that an earthquake?” I asked my husband, Joe.

He pulled me into him, “Yes. You’re OK.”

I spent the day wondering: Is this THE BIG ONE announcing itself?

For as long as I can remember, they have been saying that Seattle is long overdue for a life-shattering earthquake.

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When I was a teenager I told my mother, “I feel nervous and I don’t know why.”

“Of course you do,” she said. “You’re a little human animal living on ball that’s spinning and floating and hurling through space.”

I’m certain that this why I never took to the idea of medicating or distracting myself from the impossible emotions and sensations. Anxiety, depression, grief: these were framed for me not as things to cure, but as essential and unavoidable energies of the human experience to feel, learn from, work with, integrate.

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In case you hadn’t noticed: The delicateness of human flesh ~ how we are at the mercy of so many things we cannot comprehend ~ cannot be denied when standing atop shaking ground.

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I have spent a great deal of time this summer lying on the earth in my backyard, the backyard of my childhood home where my husband, my mom and I live together.

My mom has been scheming, she wants a field of sunflowers. She spent weeks sprouting seeds and growing them in pots on the deck.

Joe planted dozens in the yard.

Then the bunnies promptly chew-chew-chewed the lavish leaves down, down, down to scrawny stems.

No sunflowers remain.

Joe and my mom are researching for next year: fences, dogs, rabbit stew and other things to ensure a golden field.

Me, though, I’m just lying here in the grass, watching and laughing and feeling and breathing and marveling at ~ my man, my mom, this land ~ how I love these things more than my limited language can name.

As always,

Amanda