fierce attachments

a mother-daughter blog about the fierce attachments in our lives… title inspired by Vivian Gornick's wonderful memoir

Tag: baby names

six weeks in the desert: green valley, arizona

by nikki meredith

desert museum landscape

At home above my desk I have posted this poem by Mary Oliver:

Pay attention.

Be astonished.

Tell about it.

Oliver calls the poem “instructions for living a life” and it’s advice I try implementing every day of the year — every day except for the six weeks between Memorial Day and the 4th of July.   I don’t have to work on it then because I spend that time in the southern part of the Sonoran Desert and paying attention is a matter of survival. If I don’t I might find myself with the fangs of a rattlesnake sunk into my foot, swarmed by Africanized bees, or charged by a Javelina – to name but a few of the perils I have encountered. One night when I wasn’t paying attention my husband and I, after dinner at a local restaurant, took a walk under a full moon and an ink black sky. I was wearing sandals and stepped on a hive of harvester ants.  Man, were they pissed-off! I spent the better part of that night dabbing toothpaste on multiple stings to relieve the pain. (It helped!)

Most people who can, leave the area in June because of  triple digit temperatures — many days it’s 110 and above — but initially I came because of the heat. If you’re looking for a place to write, the conditions are ideal. There is nothing else to do for most of the day but stay planted in front of a computer in an air-conditioned house.  If I’m not on the trail, by 7 a.m., my morning walk feels more like a death march. Read the rest of this entry »

did not disconnect: the permanence of an ex-spouse

by nikki meredith

Uncle Danny

I had an uncle Danny that I never met. He died before I was born but I saw photos of him in his Navy uniform. He was boyish and handsome and, to the extent that a child can mourn someone she never met, I mourned him. Or, to be precise, I mourned the idea of an uncle Danny. I decided that if I ever had a boy I would name him Danny.

Fast-forward 15 years: I’m pregnant and my then-husband and I are making lists of names for boys and girls. Actually, I didn’t have a list. I had only one name on my boy list. But my then-husband said he hated the name Daniel. Hated it.  Even if it’s after your dead uncle, you can’t lobby to saddle a boy with a name his father hates. Mildly objects to, maybe, but not hate.  I gave birth to a wonderful little boy and in the spirit of compromise that would augur a more promising marital future than we, in fact, had, we came up with a name we both liked. Read the rest of this entry »

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