Thursday, September 8, 2016


Eliza is inspiring me with her writing so I am going to try to write a few times a week.

Part 1: Today I did some time supervising the end of lunch recess at the elementary school where my office is housed, fourth and fifth graders.  Fourth and fifth grade recess both horrible and lovely to watch.  Groups of girls run around chasing and being chased, distinguished from one another by obvious and subtle differences in hair, clothes, size, voice, race, athleticism.  A few non-white girls play by themselves or tag on to another group.  Everyone is performing.  I want to reach out to the quiet girls and the loud social ones and tell them to just stop, to just play, to stop playing to the audience.  To enjoy the sunshine and their bodies.

Overhead the sky is blue, the freeway runs over our heads, and kids scream and taunt, play basketball, do cartwheels and some walkovers, play four square.  I also saw some girls doing preliminary pole dancing on the tether ball poles.  They were clearly imitating something they have seen, running and leaping onto the pole and swinging around.

Part 2: I had not heard the word friable until my fiftieth year, a few months ago.  Now I keep hearing it on the radio and reading it in books and articles.  It seems applicable to so many aspects of this life, of my life specifically.  It is less lovely than fragile, more purposeful than decaying.  It implies an order or a will to devolve or dissolve, to cease to be itself.

I heard it from my friend Ellen, the patrician retired nurse who sings with me in Medieval choir.  She is unfailingly kind, generous, erudite, calm.  She and her pink-cheeked husband, retired music teacher at the local expensive private high school, live in a lovely and tasteful  mansion on capital hill.  They are the founders of the Seattle Early Music Guild, and have single digit membership numbers for REI.  Ellen went to Smith in the fifties.  Peter is a composer.  I found that I was slowly bleeding to death, and when my doctor told me that it was due to polyps in my uterus I couldn't find any information online to explain why polyps would cause bleeding.  I found almost no real information about uteruses.   So I asked Ellen during break at a rehearsal, in the social hall at Bethany Lutheran, as choir members chatted and drank tea.  "Well," she said, "Polyps are very friable."  I pretended to know what that meant, but I looked it up.