My kids’ mom

This is excerpted from a note I posted on Facebook with the same title. It’s about the events that followed a tornado hitting my ex-wife’s home in the early morning hours of April 28, 2011. Nothing in the world means more to me than my children, and after my separation and divorce from their mother, I sometimes questioned her decisions as a parent. I have always had difficulty with trusting someone else fully, especially if that someone has divorced me. I no longer have difficulty trusting her absolutely.

No one, not even I, could have done the kick-ass job that Tracy did in keeping our children safe through the tornado hitting their house and through the aftermath. I monitor weather watches and warnings in her county, primarily because of the kids, so I called within a minute of the tornado warning to ensure that they had not slept through the Wx radio alarm (as though my Imperial March ringtone would be louder…) but got no answer. After a little while on eggshells, I got a call from her reassuring me that the kids were safe, despite the tornado damage to their house. She got them to a safe place at a neighbor’s, gave me the neighbor’s phone number (throwing out the window the way we normally deal with each other) so that I could always reach the kids, and dove back in to helping her parents with pressing emergencies at their house. Despite everything that was going on, she kept me informed every time the kids changed location and made sure I had a means to reach them.

It amazes me that she finds herself in the position of being laid off as a teacher. If I were a school administrator, I wouldn’t merely retain her, I’d clone her, so that I could focus on problems other than school safety and learning, secure in the knowledge that my teachers had it covered. As a parent, I can only hope that my children end up with teachers like their mother for 12 years, so that they will be well-prepared for people like me as their university professors.

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Published in: on 2011 05 01 at 08:30:13  Leave a Comment  

Trying to blog more often…

One of the goals I intend to accomplish is to record something every day.  It’s a goal I’ve had for years. I have better tools than ever: I carry at least a Moleskine journal and a “Rite in The Rain” waterproof-paper notepad, along with quality pens, one of them waterproof, everywhere I go. My Palm Pre Plus has software to make it easy to post blogs from anywhere. This wealth of tools poses its own problem: there is no central place for daily journal entries of a general nature. There is no place or method to record cross-references.

Published in: on 2011 01 06 at 05:04:33  Leave a Comment  
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Inauguration Day

For years, I have used LibraryThing.com to manage my personal library. A few times, I have accepted free advance copies of books from publishers, distributed through the site, in exchange for reviews. In the course of doing this, I found that I enjoy writing reviews for the books in my library, especially those works that have been the most influential in my life.

To facilitate this, I have started a new blog: http://biblioreview.wordpress.com.

It’s off to a slow start: other than the works already reviewed, I’m going to reread the books specifically with an eye toward reviewing them, rather than attempt to work from memory. For now, feel free to enjoy https://jeffreydbrown.wordpress.com and my philosophy blog, http://ethikos.wordpress.com.

If you get nothing else from them, I hope it IS enjoyment.

Published in: on 2010 12 23 at 14:20:51  Leave a Comment  

Reflections on Music

[This originally appeared on my Facebook, and I thought it worth preserving.]

It must really suck to be my neighbor on a morning when I’m NOT overwhelmed by depression: the windows rattle with my “happy music.”

Fortunately for them, it’s rare. Even if I wake up okay, something as small as HB’s (my pet name for my life partner) leaving for work can be enough to put me in an unrecoverable tailspin.

The list of things that bring me joy and counter the tendency toward the darkness of depression has shortened dramatically over the past decade or so. Some that remain, like spending time with my kids, I only get to enjoy for short bursts, with seemingly infinite periods in between. Others, such as spending time immersed in nature, are victims of physical disability. Only my music is always there. It pulls me back from the brink. It lets loose a torrent of tears, when (hopefully controlled) catharsis what I need. It helps me forgive myself for my personal failures, which is a lot to ask of anything.

It partially fills a role for me that, for others, may be filled by religion.

 

Published in: on 2010 12 09 at 09:39:48  Leave a Comment  
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