I built this yesterday.


My dad and I worked on this project together. It was my idea, and I pleaded and persuaded, and suddenly we were at Home Depot trying to figure out how many pavers could fit in the car before it was too heavy to safely drive.

Dad is the engineer of the family. It’s his job, but more than that, it’s the way he thinks and sees things. He helped me carry all of the stone pavers and sand to our backyard, and then told me how to build the fire pit.

I knelt on the ground, and with my own two hands, I built a thing.

And check it out: it even works!


Well, okay, tonight is the night I figure out that building a fire may actually be harder than building a pit to contain it, but I am filled with satisfaction. I had a few s’mores, sat by the fire with my mom and proved that this structure isn’t about to fall down. I sit here now, my feet propped on the stone lip, typing away in the very limited light of a fire that won’t rage, but won’t quit either. It’s refreshing to take a pause from words written, customers served, miles logged, and see something tangible that I have done.

I have built this thing, and there is more to come.


Creative Week 1: Saturday

We had a new crop of potential hires go through the interview process at work today.  I cannot describe for you the exact flavor of panic in their eyes as they waited next to me, waiting to be called in, as I attempted to answer two ringing phones at once, switch out tickets to one show for a different show, manually add points to someone’s reward account and placate hungry customers who thought the concession line was ridiculously long.  I never quite had time to tell any of the candidates that it would be months before they would have to work the guest services desk, nor that today was an exceptionally busy day.

I knew today was going to be crunched.  I proctored a standardized test all morning and then I worked an almost eight hour shift at the movie theater this evening.  Even knowing how crazy today had the potential to be, I was still overwhelmed when it all came crashing down on me.

So, in other words, I’m really glad I went with the theme of “Baptism by Fire” for today’s project.  This idea was suggested by Rhonda Ortiz, who blogs at The Naptime Novelist.  You should definitely stop by and say hello.

In the meantime, it’s late, it’s very much a first draft, but it’s here before I go to sleep.  Here is a brand new poem for you all to read.

Baptism by Fire

In the dim light from the bulb
around the corner we have
found ourselves survived.

Still gasping breath, gulping
life in deep, the air around
crackling with energy, heat.

there is scar tissue in
my lungs but I am
breathing I am

The hum from outside our separate
room is routine continuing. Only
in this space, here, is the
dark pause, the little death,
the refining burn and the
breath that follows. Only here
is you and me, initiated.

You are grasp my hair.
I hold your chin. This
was it. The worst
is over now and our hot,
pink skin will heal.

please please I can’t
ever do this again

A new impulse is discovered
and an old peace
smolders in the breadth.