My ex-husband came up for dinner last night.

I got thinking about this “up,”and why it seems to be the only choice for the direction one comes. “Up,’ of course, because we’re north of the farm, but also “up” because of the hills you climb, up and up until the top when you reach that moment of near-weightlessness, not thinking about the going down because the down is effortless. And in truth where we are is nearly a thousand feet lower than the farm, that wreck of a house and barn on the top of a hill. But I’ve met some people who call this direction “down.” A different way of thinking.

So, we had dinner. I cooked! It’s been a while. I’ve given up in the war on eating absolute crap, and Daughter and I have been functioning on “IDM’s,” or individually designed meals, or frozen dinners. Actually, I still fix myself breakfast, an egg and a slice of toast, and some collection of foods for lunch, and a big bowl of crunchy green stuff somewhere along the line. Daughter lives on far fewer meals, and all of them a little scary to someone who is a little wiser. I’m always/ still torn between being the mom and just plain letting go. (She does get meals with vegetables in them. Whether she eats said vegetables is a different story.) We had a big family-style bowl of greens to pass around. I had a cucumber and thought I should put it in the salad, but instead sliced it into a bowl and salted it, old-school. I remember my mom doing this, and Lenny’s mom, and it occurred to me that that’s why her mom likes me, because I was so thrilled when she served us cucumbers in a bowl with salt.

And then the three of us, Ex, Daughter and I, watched “Rango.” I like it. It’s derivative, but has this surreal vibe, coupled with “OMG this is a kid’s movie what were they thinking!” thing going on. And mariachis. And in places, it was beautiful, and the movie made a point of talking about Beauty and Mystery and Purpose. I guess I expect a lot less from kids’ movies these days. It didn’t make me feel like I should take a long hot shower afterwards. How’s that for praise?

Rango is the accidental sheriff, and wears the traditional star. I’m taking small metals again this fall, and snarfed up that idea for a project, then got monkeying with it in my head, and moved on to google starfish. and found this poem, that you should read.

I hear lawnmowers and screaming kids outside my window. We’re going to go to the beach today to collect little tiny clamshells for a project this fall, and clean the house, and try to absorb as much of today as we can, because it will be different tomorrow. And maybe that’s why I haven’t been talking much these last few months. Because it is different now, so much of the time.

Pick your own starfish here.