And Then She Turned Three

Not even lying about how much I've looking forward to three. Glimpses of its greatness have been peeking through for awhile like the hope of Spring in late February. And while I may have loved my babies like I will never be able to love the dullness of Winter, I have to admit that I am just so effing happy that Iliana's babyhood is closing up shop.

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Perspective (or, Why I Am Crying My Fool Head Off Today)

The floors we have finally found a way to afford were going to be laid on Thursday. One week before Iliana's third birthday. That would give us a week, we cheered, to get ourselves moved in before she blew out her candles.

We would keep our promise of giving our girl a bedroom by the time she turned three.

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Poetry, In An Attempt To Write Some Of It

Of course, there is my bucket list line item:
Publish a poem entitled
"The Last Time I Gave My Cat LSD"
And have it recited on air by Garrison Keillor.

But disregarding for awhile
Acid tripping cats, and
Garrison Keillor's narcoleptic vocal cords,
I have always wanted to write a poem that I actually
Knew was a poem.

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For Ian, A Memory

Nine years ago almost to the day, Ian left for a much anticipated six month adventure. He was headed to Costa Rica for a little while, and had basically no itinerary from there. Just time.

After a weekend of plans spent saying goodbye, there was to be a going away party at my sister's house - the same place we met less than a year before. I survived the days anticipating our separation by distracting myself with the all important task of writing him the bitchingest love letter I knew how to write.

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One Hundred Word Wednesday: Evidence of Life

Even before birth, the children have filled my head with every sort of phenomenal new. Ideas and priorities, and of course the all of the spangly new things that were missing in an old life before.

I remember this faraway time when my bathroom counter was simply a home for a toothbrush holder, the soap dish, and a bottle of mouthwash that made my gums ask what they'd done to deserve such torment.

Now there be dolls, and cars, and a hundred strange things I would have never have considered a tub toy.

A child bathes here.
(Well, okay. Sometimes.)

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There Will Be No More Babies

She seemed to be looking for something, as we stomped our way to the park. She'd pound her red-headed hammer against a telephone pole or a rock (don't bam bam the tree, sweet girl, it's alive) then peer into the grass; the rustling branches of a rosemary bush.

"What do you see?" I asked.
Instead of answering, she muttered into her dirt covered hand.

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My Indigenous Identity

Ian's brow furrowed as he struggled to understand what I was trying to convey. But he wasn't understanding, and when he reiterated that he didn't consider Texas to be his homeland in the same way that I considered Hawai'i to be mine, I kind of lost it.

"I'm not from Hawai'i the same way that you are from Texas," I said forcefully. And then, in a less yelly voice: "How did your family end up in Texas?"

He started to tell me about his father's move from North Dakota; the uncertainty of his mother's family. I stopped him.

"I don't think you're really understanding what it means that I am actually Native."

Not that I blamed him.

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Trust, In Spite of Everything

Originally posted to Livejournal January 22, 2005.

I often wonder what would have become of me if Jonas had died, instead of lived. It was so hairy there for such a long time; prematurity is no laughing matter and each moment from the time he was born to the time he was released from the hospital sixteen weeks later was a knuckle-whitening struggle between faith and despair. In the sterile world of hospitals and neonatologists, faith is a precious commodity; despair endlessy lurking.

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One Hundred Word Wednesday: Stretch

Oh, schedule. Productivity. Goals.


(Ha. Ha. Ha.)

It's so easy, to fall off that horse. Life throws a wrench in my quaint little schedule, and to keep myself from crying I pretend that it's no big deal. But eventually I wind up stuck; wanting to get back up and finish some things that have been knocking around in the brain of my drafts folder, but unable to feel like there might be some kind of point.

I forgot how to verb. All my nouns have atrophied.

Maybe I'll try this Wednesday thing again.

Without worrying about needing a point.

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On Sharing The Struggle

As we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and reflect on his legacy, I thought it'd be fitting to share a few Native Hawai'ian voices continuing in the struggle for equality.

Listening to these voices is especially fitting since Friday, January 17th was the 121st anniversary of the illegal overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawai'i. Twenty-eight years after the abolition of slavery, United States forces invaded Honolulu to protect the interests of wealthy business owners from Queen Lili‘uokalani's attempts to undo the Bayonet Constitution of 1887.

Injustice is injustice, regardless of the people forced to live in its legacy. By sharing our stories, we share in the struggle against injustice and discrimination. I'm still figuring out my own story, so while I continue with that difficult work, here are a few things that I think are worth mentioning:

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E Komo Mai! (Welcome!)

My name is Celeste Noelani McLean and I've been blogging in some fashion since 2000. This might be at least moderately impressive if my early posts didn't look exactly like... (read more)

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