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BOOK RECOMMENDATION: Tree by Melina Sempill Watts

Bookbanter

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A moving story about a very special tree

Tree is a novel about a tree written from a unique point of view: the chief narrator is a tree. Tree uses magical realism as a key to access the interrelated emotional realities of the many species that share one pristine valley in Topanga, California. Grass, birds, other trees and animals come to life on the pages, while one 19th century Mexican woman and one 20th century school boy, hearts opened by grief and loneliness, come to know one California live oak whose 229 years span the evolution of four human civilizations, Chumash, Spanish/Mexican, Yankee and new money Hollywood, which each leave their mark upon the landscape and upon Tree. The author’s obsessive botanical, scientific and historical research give substance to a world that feels both as real as last weekend’s dust on hiking boots and as mind altering as a fully…

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TAG Speakers Series with Sue Ganz-Schmitt and Eric Pierpoint , Wed., Oct. 1 at 7pm

TAG Speakers Series with Sue Ganz-Schmitt and Eric Pierpoint , Wed., Oct. 1 at 7pm.

Mainichi Mom

The last six years of my life unfold like “Beauty and the Beast” in reverse:  I met a  handsome loving man and, well…

The less said about my broken heart the better.

Moving forward, I have two small children, aged 4 and 2 1/2 who have not seen their father since October 8.  Today is October 28.

This is not the first time this has happened.  Last year after Thanksgiving? Nothing until Christmas Eve.  Then I wound up accepting his proposal and there was pure bliss for a week and a total disaster on January 1 followed by good efforts and a break up on January 2nd.  And more absence from our life. This pattern repeated and repeated and repeated. One psychiatrist, two marriage and family therapists, prayer (mine), advice from friends, good efforts in all directions…sometimes love goes from a lush jungle to a desolate desert and nothing can be done.

Child support helps to make our lives possible and I appreciate the work that makes this money possible.  But between us, an infusion of cash is not the same as having a real live two parent family.

This blog is about putting aside grief, regret and anger and telling the story of what it means to be a good parent.   Once upon a time, I was a brown belt in karate. There’s a fair amount of Japanese culture embedded into the instruction which is ostensibly about martial arts.  My favorite idea comes from the Japanese word mainichi. This means “every day.”  The expression is used by school teachers, musicians, martial artists, parents and other community leaders to anyone who is pursuing a serious avocation.  To do justice by whatever it is to which you have committed your time and attention, the idea is that you have to work on it, intensely, every day.

And that is what it takes to be a good parent: mainichi.

As I face up to raising these little ones essentially without their father, this blog is devoted to telling the story of what it is like.