Mother and son holding hands and telling tales with the sunset in the background.
Mother and son holding hands and telling tales with the sunset in the background.
photo credit: Hank’s dad, AKA Bedtime MVP

“They said you couldn’t have babies, but then buh-badah! Out came me!”

…said my little dog after he crawled into my lap. He’s six now already, somehow, and he loves to hear and repeat the family stories we make after all the questions get asked. Some days this past summer, while walking the dog, the questions are “do you remember what you told me about the killer bees when you were a kid? Can you tell that to me again?” The little dog loves the really wild stories.

I was either eight or twenty months pregnant and guzzling milk from the jug in the light of the fridge. My guy graciously ignored what I was doing and said, “I had a dream you gave birth to a dog! Wouldn’t that be…just…AWESOME?!” I went to bed annoyed. Am I the only one in this house that has to grow up in time for this surprise baby? …


Well, actually, she said faith is the only flex.

Silhouette of a person that may be a woman with raised right fist in front of yellow/orange light similar to sunrise/sunset/
Silhouette of a person that may be a woman with raised right fist in front of yellow/orange light similar to sunrise/sunset/
Photo by Miguel Bruna on Unsplash

How do we parent?

How do we lead?

How do we know that the only way out is through?

How do we blame it on the dumpster/tire/forest fire year?

How do we dismantle these uninhabitable systems we built up?

How do we feel, express, and share joy in a time of such collective sorrow and fear?

Tiffany said, “Faith is the only flex.” She said it’s what processing this has taught her.

I awoke on the second day after she said it, and I was singing it.

Faith is the only flex. …


Silver glittered

in the light

and in the distance.

Ocean waves created a brief pond

behind a brief sandbar.

I gasped and scooped the sand underneath

the delicate little Pacific Sardine, or perhaps jeuvenile Mackerel.

We ran together-

she flopping

in the wet sand in my hands,

and me flopping

in wet sandals,

until I could find deep enough water.

And, I don’t think the cormorants or pelicans saw her, either.

I hope she found her school.

It was a batch of thrilling seconds that elasticated into minutes or some kind of different time.

I forgot everything else — it was wonderful.

A small silver fish on a clump of wet sand in my hands. A child’s feet in sandals in the background.
A small silver fish on a clump of wet sand in my hands. A child’s feet in sandals in the background.


a reading of the poem by the author

Her body. Her whole body.

Her holy body.

She’s forgotten the time she fell, but she knows the story well.

She has a lot of confusion in her system.

She’s itching, she’s purging, she’s burning.

She’s freezing, she’s wailing, she’s melting.

Liquescent.

Liquefaction.

Decay.

Extinction.

Quietus.

Release?

She wants to come home, to return.

The kids are too sick to come for her and care for her.

They have holes in their bodies. Their holy bodies.

They don’t remember, and they don’t know the stories well.

The kitchen sink is broken.

We have a lot of confusion in our systems.


A protest sign reads “Fight Today For A Better Tomorrow.”
A protest sign reads “Fight Today For A Better Tomorrow.”
Thanks Emily O. Weltman for the image 🙏

Who made the world?

Who made late-stage, racist capitalism?

Who made the sourdough starter?

the one that has flung itself onto my kitchen counter?

the one that is eating sugar out of my hand.

Who made the homeschool schedule with over 400 links?

Who made bail last night?

I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.

I do know how to fall down in the streets,

how to kneel down in the streets,

how to be idle and tweet, how to scroll through the rants,

which is what I have been doing all day.

Tell me, what is it you plan to do

with your one wild and precious quarantine?

Embroidery by Shana Hampton reads “Tell me what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
Embroidery by Shana Hampton reads “Tell me what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
Hoop art by the inimitable Shana Hampton


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Allegory of Abundance by Jan Brueghel the Younger (1601–1678) Social Distancing, Alone With Your Naked Kids in the 1600s

This is all So Weird

None of this is normal for us, yet it’s been expected for quite some time, and it’s happened before. (Although not for any of us…)

Yesterday the sun was shining, and everything felt normal and eerie at the same time. How can this be? My cognitive dissonance is experiencing dissonance.

Our entire neighborhood was outside yesterday, and we were all trying to decide if we could say hello. I played Pokémon Go with my son all over the neighborhood, all the while texting with my two beloved friend groups — one my dearest friends of the past 20 years, and the other a pack of supermoms I don’t think I could, or would want to, get through parenting life without. …


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Photo by Melissa Askew on Unsplash

These are, um, WEIRD times we are living in right now — filled with uncertainty, anxiety, and very little we can control. A lot of us are going to be home with our little m̶o̶n̶s̶t̶e̶r̶s̶ darlings. This is a great time to get acquainted or re-acquainted with incredibly grounding and helpful mindfulness techniques and programs.

This resource guide is based on my own research in helping my kid learn mindfulness, and it’s the kind of thing we librarians like to make. I am also heavily influenced by my own success after getting involved with Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) classes. None of the links below are affiliate links, and I am only giving props to any particular resource for no reason other than it has worked well for me and my family and/or our friends. In fact, all book links are to a wonderful global online catalog to help you find it in your local library, which may be closed. …


A woman sits underneath a neon sign reading “slow down>’
A woman sits underneath a neon sign reading “slow down>’
Photo by Daniel Monteiro on Unsplash

“Do you still meditate? You know, since that thing you did?” asked one of my dearest friends. “No, not really, I don’t, and I need to, I need to ground the fucking wire,” I said in a hushed, melodramatic tone. But, thinking about it, and taking five minutes tonight to be present, I’m not sure that I’m not using “my practice” in some way throughout my entire life now. Me, former denier of meditation and mindfulness as a remedy for anything. (I certainly never believed it could change everything.)

“I see you! I see you there,”

was something my MBSR (Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction) teacher had passed on to us from her instructor when she became certified. (One aspect of the program is that instructors must all become certified so that clear, evidence-based guidelines are set and kept.) Our teacher encouraged us, a rag-tag group of 7 total randos, to acknowledge those thoughts and feelings and sit with them. Be still. This wasn’t my style and still doesn’t feel like my go-to state. I have liked to chew on worry, anxiety, and future narratives racing through my mind like a canker sore. It seemed like maybe I liked it too much. …


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Image by Luci Goodman from Pixabay

I’ve been journaling in fits and starts since I was at least six years old. I can go years without a single entry, and then I have months where I need to journal at least daily, sometimes several times in a day. I have some great long-form stories to tell, but most of the time they are trapped in a dreamlike state somewhere in my consciousness, and unable to self-arrange on a page, so they never make it into a cohesive, readable piece. Sometimes I think I could get these ideas out if I had the right guidelines to follow, the right inspiration, or the right prompt. I write outlines, and I’m a “pantser.” I have no proven, tried-and-true, single method. I love to edit, and I love to write nonsensical garbage from grammar hell. I enjoy producing and directing. …


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Photo by Charles Etoroma on Unsplash

Financial Freeze, Fiscal Fasting, No Spend, Low Spend, No-Buy, Freegan Life, 30-Day CTFD about $.

However you want to express it, I am going to try to cut out unnecessary spending for 31 days and examine my relationship with money and things throughout the process.

Who’s with me?

This isn’t just because I quit my job without a plan, although that doesn’t hurt when it comes to motivation and timing. It’s also because I’ve been procrastinating doing this month of low-spend, low-buy, or no-buy for about a year. In fact, I really thought I could not quit my job until I did a month at my cheapest and tracked every penny mercilessly like a hound on a hunt.

I pride myself on being frugal, but for years now, ever since having a kid, I’ve felt pretty out-of-control when it comes to spending, and I feel like we have paid to make life easier, any time the option has presented itself. …

About

Phoebe Owens

nerd with an MLIS superphoebe.com

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