2013: the alphabet

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In 2009 and 2011 I wrote posts titled The Alphabet of Right Now.  It seems fitting to do so for 2013, with both reflection and anticipation in my mind, from a place of both gratitude and hope.

Aquaphor.  It’s my duct tape, the solution to everything, and can hold the universe together if necessary.  Chapped lips, dry skin, scabs or scrapes: put some aquaphor on it.

Books. Reading them is a central preoccupation of mine and writing one remains a dearly-held dream.  I love the community I’m a part of at Great New Books and look forward to our sharing our favorite books of 2013 soon.  I’ll keep my favorite a surprise until then!

Coffee.  I drink it in the morning with coconut milk and sugar.  I make it the night before by about 6, and set it to brew in the morning.  It’s one of the highlights of my day.

Divergent.  Adored this series by Veronica Roth and can’t wait to see the movie of the first book, which is out in March.

Eleven and Eight. How is it even possible that Grace is eleven and Whit is eight?

Family. The one I came from and the one I made.  The family that taught me how to fly and the family that taught me how to land.  I love you all.

Galapagos. We are going for spring break and I cannot wait.  It’s all part of my newfound commitment to helping Grace and Whit see the world.

Harry Potter.  I’m in the midst of my third complete reading of the series, and I’m as enchanted as ever.  I love Harry, Hermione, and, most of all, Dumbledore, as well as everything about the world JK Rowling created .

Instagram. Love, love, love.

Juice. I make green juice most mornings, but my favorite combination is ginger and grapefruit.

Kids. (I actually dislike the word “kids,” and prefer “children,” but seemed like a good one for K!). I am without words in the face of all I cannot express.  There’s no question that my subject chose me.

Light.  Every year I’m more aware of the light.  I notice the shifting texture and specific characteristics of each season’s light, and take endless photographs trying to capture it. I never can.

Morning.  I’ve always been a morning person, and this is just becoming more and more true as I get older.  I’m pretty sure that soon I’ll be regularly waking up at dawn.  I like to run then, and read, and watch the sun come up.

Nut allergy. Whit is allergic to tree nuts.  It’s not something we choose to dwell on, and most of the time it’s frankly not a big deal.  But now and then (this summer) we receive a reminder that his allergy is serious and can be life-threatening.

Organ transplantation.  My father-in-law had a kidney transplant on October 27th.  This followed a heart transplant on November 26, 2002.  He is extraordinary and we are all immensely grateful.  When I stop to think about the outrageous miracle that is the fact of someone else’s heart beating in his chest I am without words. Please consider being an organ donor.  There is no greater gift.

Pals. (“F” was taken).  Near and far, old and newer, I’m more grateful than I can express for those people who support, love, and endure me.  I’m no picnic to be close to, I know that. Thank you.  You enrich my life more than I can express.

Quotes. Since sixth grade I have been filling in quote books, writing down lines and images and phrases that touch something deep and often inchoate inside of me.  I share some of my favorites here on Fridays.

Running. I have been a runner since high school, and as long as my joints permit, I’ll be out there, preferably as dawn breaks across the horizon, on the path that runs alongside the Charles River, watching my beloved Boston wake up.

Sports.  I did not play team sports as a child.  I was therefore unfamiliar with all the benefits of being on a team.  It’s a joy to watch Grace and Whit be a part of their respective soccer and hockey teams.

TeachersDaniKatrina. BrettneMr. Valhouli.  I have been richly blessed with teachers, and I am hugely thankful for those named here and those not, whose wisdom, gentleness, and guidance have helped light my path.

Unable. to come up with “U.”

Vegetables.  Pity Matt, because a standard meal around these parts consists of creamed leeks and a baked sweet potato.  Or a tray of roasted root vegetables that were in the vegetable drawer.  Or half an avocado mashed on toast. A fancy cook I am not.  Further evidence that children are who they are from day one: Grace wants to be a vegetarian and eats everything under the sun (though very little meat and almost no dairy).  Whit will only eat meat, carbs, dairy, and greens.  Kale, spinach, lettuce: great.  Any other vegetable or fruit: no thank you.  He’s peculiar, my boy.

Worry.  I do it.  Way too much.

Xylem. We did a cool science experiment this year where we put white flowers in water with food coloring and watched the different colors spread across the petals.  I believe the xylem were involved here.

Years. Flying by too quickly. In my mind lately, I’ve been hearing: “There are years that ask questions and years that answer.” – Zora Neale Hurston.

Zinnia. Flowers that remind me of my grandmother Nana and of my dear friend Hadley.

I was inspired to revisit my own Alphabet by the list on The Quivering Pen that Dani Shapiro shared last week.


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10 Comments

  1. Posted December 4, 2013 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    I love this. What a great tradition and one that I think I will borrow. I have done versions of this but never the whole alphabet. What a fun challenge. And I am reading Divergent right now and loving it!!

  2. Posted December 4, 2013 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    What a great idea! I love alphabet lists. I may have to borrow this, too.
    I’m so excited for you and the Galapagos. That sounds amazing.

  3. Posted December 4, 2013 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    Lindsey,

    I love this idea. It gives a glimpse into the details of your life and what moves it forward. I may borrow this too!

    Last week I purchased Divergent and am happy to learn that you found the series interesting.

    Thanks for sharing.

  4. Posted December 4, 2013 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    Lovely post! I love to run, too – unfortunately the joints are giving out and I am so very frustrated!

  5. Posted December 4, 2013 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    Roasted root vegetables and creamed leeks. Yum. I’m coming to your house for dinner. :)

  6. Katie
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    Hi Lindsey,
    I just got back from Galapagos, and wrote a little about the trip if you’re interested in reading and seeing some pictures! It was a life changing experience.

    http://confessionsofanimperfectlife.com/2013/12/02/angels-turtles-and-magic-a-week-in-the-galapagos/

    Hope you have a wonderful time!
    Katie

  7. Posted December 4, 2013 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    I love Aquaphor. It is magic in a tub.

  8. Posted December 4, 2013 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    Love this so much and wow we have a LOT in common. Starting with I just finished the second book in the divergent series last night and want to start Harry potter finally with my girls (almost 9 and 10 1/2).

    proud to say hubby and i are both organ donors – i believe this is one of the most important acts we can do for our fellow human beings in this day and age where lives can be saved.

  9. Posted December 5, 2013 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

    What a cool idea! I’m still thinking about your father-in-law. How incredible.

  10. Posted December 6, 2013 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    Galapagos! I love that. And, you are definitely a joy in every way. I loved reading your alphabet, Lindsey — it’s a snapshot into your life. Thank you!

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