Monday, April 14, 2014

Astonish and Admonish

I'm supposed to make up my bed with the clean sheets, but it's nearly 6:00 and I haven't gotten round to it. Don't lie on those! I admonish my son who has flung himself over the billows. I meant that word: billows. Decidedly not pillows. I am lying on the pillows reading a book, and he is bothering me.

I take a photo of myself while waiting for my son to finish up his sax lesson. I want to figure out what, exactly, it is that I feel, and I wonder if I might capture it in the self-portrait. Sophie is in the backseat of the car, a tendril of hair caught in the last of the snot that has been dripping out of her nose. She is getting over a virus before which and during which she had no seizures. I am astonished by this yet admonish myself for self-absorption, for not climbing back there to wipe her face. I am tired.

I read nothing in that photo, use no filter, dare myself to put it up here. (Tell me what to do). Admonish me.

Astonish and admonish. I am reading a wonderful novel called Astonish Me by Maggie Shipstead. I don't often use the word astonish, and I often use the word admonish. In fact, there's little in my life right now that would astonish, and certainly as a mother I too much admonish. Or maybe it should be the other way round: There is much to astonish and not enough to admonish.

Admonish me.
Astonish me.


  1. Stephen Gaskin said that the word "astonish" comes from the root "stoned." I have no idea if this is true and I don't care to look it up.
    Frankly, I would admonish us all to be astonished at life, whether for good or bad.
    And by the way, you are astonishingly beautiful.

  2. I wish we could all meet for a drink. I would neither admonish or astonish either one of you. My mother is in the hospital with congestive heart failure my uncle awaits his military burial and I just spent 15 minutes in gut-splitting laughter with the FTD Florist guy trying to send tulips to my mother's hospital room. Holy crap.

  3. ps. None of this goes on my blog. My near death mother doesn't want my brother to know.

  4. To astonish/admonish you would be too great a task, I fear. Flopping onto billows is much more my speed.

  5. I'm too stoned with anxieties today to astonish or admonish you but I wouldn't mind floating for a while on the billows. I wouldn't annoy you.

  6. beautiful picture, don't like the word admonish... never have...Instead, I am astonished at all you have done.

  7. Your writing is pretty astonishing to me.



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