January 16, 2010

A year has passed and Full Constant Light has come to an end. Thanks so much for spending the time with us. We had a great time stretching our muscles, drafting off each other's momentum, and surprising ourselves. We loved hearing from readers and viewers, online and in real life.

We'll be continuing our work in different areas: Carey is digging in to finish her novel—we'll keep you updated—and Andi is developing her photography further on her new blog, Wonderlust. Click here to check it out, and then click on Subscribe to sign up to get her posts by email.

Wishing you all a happy, healthy, and inspired New Year.

Andi and Carey

December 17, 2009

If I had a bed, I would be so happy. Every night, when I went to bed, I would slide under the covers and think, Thank God I have a bed. I would remember when I didn’t have a bed. I would turn to my husband, next to me in the bed, and say, Darling, do you remember when we didn’t have a bed? Doesn’t it seem so long ago? Have you forgotten what it was like? And he would say, I remember it was terrible. I am so happy that we have a bed. Then we would kiss, in our bed.

I would dream, and I wouldn’t dream about not having a bed. I would dream about being chased and hounded, but that would not be about not having a bed. When I woke from the dream, short of breath, I would remember our first bed, the bed we bought abroad, at the same time we bought our car. The bed was bigger and more expensive than the car. We walked into the store, we saw the bed, we sat on it, we bought it. It was delivered to our apartment up the four flights of wooden stairs, lit by the skylight, that circled the elevator. We didn’t do this, men did this, men brought it up, sat on the floor in our bedroom and put it solidly together.

When the heat was broken, I lay in the bed. When I was pregnant with Henry, my legs cramped in the bed. After I had Henry, and we brought him home, he lay between us in the bed at night, or he and I napped on the bed, on sunny late afternoons, waking up soaked in sweat. I took his picture on the bed.

Then we moved, and the bed moved with us. Each place it went, the bed lost something—a peg, a screw, a bracket. We knew the bed was breaking. We still slept in the bed. We still kissed on the bed. We still rolled the children around the bed. Until it broke. Now I am sad that our bed is broken, and that we don’t have a bed. All I have to do is buy a new bed, and I won’t be sad about this anymore.

November 15, 2009

Friday morning I went to Petco to buy Daphne more food. Now that we have a dog, I know that I am a liar. While I don’t lie outright, I don’t run up to people and say the opposite of what I am thinking, I do smile, I do wash and dress myself a certain way, I do try to suggest, by being friendly and through other tricks and schemes, that I am a normal loving person, with such great reserves of love that I can waste it, that I can shower it even upon a non-human, an animal I have taken into my home.

My mother, by the way, is a person who does hold these kinds of natural reserves, and a few nights ago, when she was over at my house she saw our dog, Daphne, sitting in the corner, staring at me. Carey, she said, Daphne is looking at you so significantly, and I looked over and saw that in fact, Daphne, who had seated herself in that strange way she has, with her back legs folded uselessly under her, was staring at me with a look of naked longing, or anxiety. I said that Daphne was probably just waiting for me to give her food, but I worried that she was trying to communicate with my mother, trying to tell my mother that my she should take her home, that I don’t really love her, that I am not as I seem.

So now we have established the ground rules: I have a dog, I believe she is a dog, and not a person, and that there is a difference between the two, and yet, at the same time, I am afraid of her as one is afraid of a ghost, or bogeyman—I am afraid my failings are far greater than they should be, that they will take form, attach themselves to her, and be visited upon me.

At Petco, cleverly, they keep the dog food in the back. To get to it one has to walk past the snack bar, the inanity—isn’t food, to an animal, food?—of which struck me particularly forcefully that day, and through various aisles: I chose the aisle filled with dog toys my dog would rip apart in five minutes and ingest. Then I staggered back to the line carrying my bag, and waited while the cashier rang up two women ahead of me. She was offering them the chance to donate to Petco’s foundation for homeless pets, and as I listened to the cashier talk about the charity, and how good it was, and how little of its money went to administrative costs, and then, also, how the cashier’s cats loved the exact same thing the customer’s cats loved—there was some other stuff in there, too, some just general friendliness towards the customer, and knowingness about cats—I thought, I don’t think I am going to give a donation to this charity.

When it was my turn to pay, the cashier, still cheerful from ringing up the customer before me said, Would you like to make a donation to the Petco foundation? and I said, also cheerfully, as if she had offered me dessert, No thanks! And then, when my purchase had come to some number nine cents short of a round dollar number, she said, Would you like to round up and give your change to the foundation? I said, Oh, that’s all right. I kept my nine cents. And as I signed the credit card slip and pulled on my gloves I felt great satisfaction at doing exactly what I wanted, and being truthful, and true to myself, no matter how ill anyone might think of me.

October 20, 2009

I Adjust to Autumn

The weather is fine, or it rains. The dog needs me, or sleeps. The children are joyous, or upset. My husband is near, or in Miami.

Music means too much, or is noise. My dreams stick, or dissolve. I am a beauty, but I am fat. My hair is too long, then too short.

My mitten is lost, or is found. I’m doing too much, or not much. I don’t spend a thing, or I splurge. I did, but I don’t have a jacket.

I am soaked, or dry as a bone. The leaves go, but don’t worry about it. We broke our bed, we still have a mattress. I am in love, or I am alone.

September 30, 2009

One morning last week Henry wore my socks to school. You would think that socks would be, like clouds or waves, anonymous things, too nondescript and numerous to keep track of, but in fact I have some favorite socks and I could tell, just looking at the ankle trim of his socks, that these were they. “Mmmm, they’re so comfortable,” he said. “I really like them.” One day a long time ago, some anonymous day, in fact, unmarked, two gametes joined to produce a zygote, which became a morula and then, of course, a blastocyst. Then, after the proper amount of time, plus, it seemed, a few extra days, a boy. Then the boy started wearing my socks, and waking up at 6:30 on a Sunday morning in the Berkshires to watch the mist, which filled the valley, burn off, and to see three deer eat at the crab apple tree, stooping to pick fallen apples from the ground. “You know,” he said, “these socks are a little tight. Do they really fit you?” And he ran off to class, away from me and John. We are a drag on his great spirits in the morning.