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Hello, hello! I am arrived home from NPS 2013. Dearest Will and I spent two days (that’s what we could afford for hotel) out in Cambridge. This was a huge decision, not just because it was expensive monetarily, but because it’s expensive emotionally – I’m anxious in cities and always afraid of getting lost or left behind, bars freak me out (and both our bouts were in bars), and slam judges frequently disappoint me. But it turned out to be a good couple days, in spite of the judges and the traffic and the booze

Favorite frames from the last couple days:

Karen G hugs. Omg, Karen G hugs when she arrived at our hotel room.

The Tribute reading: Weeping silently through the whole thing. Matt Richards reading for Ken Hunt. Talking with Gerry Hardesty about Brenda Moossy. Bill realizing that he was wearing Jack’s socks.

The tiny tiny rabbit in the courtyard eating grass as three of us tried for photographs – and then Dearest Will  pointed at Liz’ tattoo for Gabrielle, and we all gasped.

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(x-posted from the Poets’ Asylum page)

I have so many really good memories of Jack McCarthy. Being on a slam team with him, working through endless practices, and never being able to bear hearing him read Careful What You Ask For because it broke my heart over and over again. Or at the my kitchen table, where he had cut a poem into pieces, and was rearranging the lines to make it read better. Or holding my then two-year-old son on his knee and telling him, “Trot trot to Boston, trot trot to Lynne…” Or when I took him to work with me and he did a really great workshop with the teenage girls in recovery who had heard about him through his poem Drunks.

But I will always remember Jack best sock-footed, on stage at the Cantab. We will all miss him dearly.

His daughter, Kathleen, wrote this morning in Facebook:

Dear Friends,
My father passed away peacefully early this morning, his beloved Carol by his side. It’s fitting that he’s written the words that today bring me the most comfort. May they bring you comfort as well.
Love, Kathleen

It hurts
when love dies.
When love is deep,
it hurts deeply—
more deeply maybe than you thought
anything would ever hurt
again.

But with time,
the spaces between the moments when it hurts
get longer,
the moments themselves become
less devastating,
till eventually you come to associate them
with a sad sweetness
that has as much in common
with love
as it does with grief.

I wish you long
spaces in between,
and may you carry into them
all of that sweetness,
and only enough sadness to attest
the risk that’s being taken
by everyone who loves you.

from “The Spaces Between” by Jack McCarthy

So December by us is such a flurry full of celebratory business as to make the whole thing nearly overwhelming – actually, it starts in November, with the full family Thanksgiving and my family in town, and doesn’t really slow down until a few weeks into January, but let’s just concentrate on what’s going on by us in this fine month*:

Man Cub and I have birthdays, then Skipper Jane’s comes up. Hanukkah, Christmas, then Will Dearest’s birthday. Then right there, BOOM it’s New Year’s Eve. It’s a good thing I like cake,** I’ll tell ya. It’s a little zooey, and I joke that we hemorrhage money, but I try to take it one piece at a time, and it generally works out.  I’ve finally finished shopping for Hanukkah and the birthdays, and the Hanukkah stuff is wrapped, with just the rest of the Christmas stuff to pick up and wrap, and I can almost see the light at the end of the tunnel, and I’m even a little bit in the spirit of things \o/

Tonight we will sit down to a traditional Hanukkah meal*** of that pasta I made last week that was so yummy, and we’ll light candles and trade presents, and it will be lovely.

Which is to say, A Very Happy Hanukkah (or just a Very Lovely Evening if you’re not celebrating) from our family to you and yours ♥

Also, the Maccabeats have a new video out for the holiday!

(more videos under the cut)

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todays

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