On living a fragmented life

Saturday night, W. and I went to the tour of Distant Worlds: Music from Final Fantasy. If you like Final Fantasy, and it’s coming somewhere near you, you should definitely go. It was a magical evening. It’s a philharmonic with orchestra and choir on stage, and then three giant screens projecting scenes from the games. Arnie Roth conducted and bantered between sets; I think he’s delightful.

And the fans came out. There was that feeling of being among your people that happens at this sort of interest-based gathering. I have never seen so many cool t-shirts and gorgeous hair colors in one place before.

And then there were the cosplayers:

Nico Castillo on Instagram: ?Oh Celes… That is so… you! Traitor and trollop! @utopian_pigeon #distantworlds #finalfantasy #finalfantasyvi #kefka #celeschere??

Which reminded me that, oh yeah, about a year ago I said I was going to get into cosplay…


This summer, we went to North Myrtle Beach as a family. We stopped by Ripley’s Aquarium and saw their mermaid show. Leaving it, I thought, “Oh right! I wanted to take up mermaiding.”


My ambitions that aren’t obligations escape me, and I need to be able to achieve my obligations in fragments. This is life as a primary caregiving parent: any activity needs to be achievable in small bits of time, and preferably it shouldn’t be a problem if the activity is interrupted.

And let’s be honest: if the activity is interrupted, it might never get finished.


I left lemon juice on the counter overnight. I was using it to preserve apples for M.’s snack and lunch today, and I put the apples in the fridge. And my brain was like, “Okay! Done with this task!” I did the same thing with some almond milk last week after making a smoothie.


It might sound like I’m complaining. I’m not. I’m obsessed with my kid. I just was in the bathroom at our combo co-working space/Montessori, and the bathroom window looks out onto the play area, and I just watched him chase and pick up balls for a little while.

I love being with him. And in many ways, I’m most myself with him, more than I ever was before.

And in other ways, it’s really important to me to remember all the parts of me that are from before, because they’re all still here, and they need attending to, now and again.

I keep coming back to the idea that matrescence is like kintsugi, the Japanese art of using gold to repair ceramics.

Rural cooking pot repaired with Kintsugi technique, Georgia, 19th century. Photo by Guggger. CC-BY-SA

Having a kid shattered me. I still haven’t processed my birth story, and it’s been two years. I will. When I’m ready. I spent so many hours searching for resources on identity crises in the immediate post-partum period. But having a kid made me like this cooking pot. All the old parts of me are around. And I’m piecing them back together, slowly, with the new parts of me and the new parts of my life making everything more beautiful.

There are new pieces to come, too. I think the simile breaks down here.


This is life now. It will be different later.


Trends in YA Library Services

Black corner desk with books, crystals, and tarot and oracle decks

I just took a little time to clear out and clean my corner desk, which was never getting used for work anyway, and dedicate it to all my magic stuff.

A few words about my beliefs: I’m mostly agnostic. With respect to magic, I believe we make our own. Action follows intention, and I find these tools – tarot and oracle cards, crystals, candles, books – useful in setting my intentions. They help me trust my intuition.

I value balance. My professional life is all about truth claims, evidence, and figuring out what counts as empirical research. I need a thing in my life that is the opposite, and this is it.

A few more words, this time about Everyday Magic, my local witch store. It’s hard as the mom of a very little, to go shopping anywhere. Now imagine taking your magpie toddler into a shop full of crystals.

You might let him choose a small one to hold. He’ll immediately put it in his mouth, of course.

It’s fine. You were going to buy it anyway.

Next time, you might let him hold a larger palm stone. He’ll probably drop it. If it’s selenite, it’ll shatter when he does. When this happens, you apologize profusely. At Everyday Magic, they tell you, “It’s okay. Babies happen. He picked a good one to drop.”

Obviously, you offer to buy it. When they don’t make you, you buy a whole one. And also a book entitled Witchy Mama.

Then you have a dream about buying the Moonchild Tarot. But you know it’ll be a long time before Everyday Magic has it in stock. But you know they have the Starchild Tarot, by the same artist, in stock. So you decide to drop by after work – toddler in tow, because he almost always is – and look at their open copy of it and, if you fall in love with it, to buy it.

Your giant baby has a lot of words now, and when you get in the store, he uses all of them to scream about the crystals. He’s clearly outraged that you didn’t hand him one immediately. As you try to look at the cards, he shrieks and you toss off a “Seriously, dude?” that elicits a laugh from the shop’s owner. But of course snide remarks don’t settle babies, so he keeps yelling. You give up on looking at the cards and take him outside because you don’t want to ruin everybody else’s day.

Then you try to reason with him. Then you remember that you have veggie straws. He accepts the veggie straws. You go back inside and move toward the cards again. A shop employee shows you a stone and asks, “Would letting him hold this help stop the crying?”

“YES THANK YOU!” you say. Then, “It won’t shatter if he drops it?” You’re already bracing yourself for the tantrum he is going to throw when he has to give it back, but you really want to look at those cards, so you hand him the rock and get your peruse on.

You pick up the box and get a chill. You open it and start to look through. Yes, this art appeals to you. And then your favorite card, VII The Chariot, is a unicorn, and you’re buying this deck.

You grab an unopened box, take the stroller over to the counter, and miraculously, when you ask the toddler to hand you the stone, he does so completely without incident.

“Thanks for letting him hold it,” you tell the shop employee.

“Oh, he can have it,” the employee responds.

And that’s why you are going to buy all your magic things at Everyday Magic forever, because instead of shaming you for your screaming baby, they gave him a crystal.


Some quick thoughts on my IndieWeb implementation.

Hi Internet friends.

I have been tweaking my website a lot this week and wanted to write a few notes about my IndieWeb progress.

In my early days, I tried to just implement a ton of stuff. Then I had to tweak a bunch of things to get what I wanted. I can be too rigid sometimes, and I think some of my IndieWeb implementation efforts have fallen in this category.

I’m in a life moment where my IndieWeb commitment needs to be eclipsed by, well, most of my other commitments. So here’s where I’m at right now. I’m using the IndieMark list to work through it all. This will get a little technical, so if it’s not interesting, please move on with your day.

  1. I do own my own domain, kimberlyhirsh.com.
  2. I think it’s set up for Web sign-in, but I sometimes struggle with the IndieAuth/Micropub plug-ins.
  3. My posts do have permalinks.
  4. Also they have h-entry markup.
  5. Robots can index my site.
  6. I’m pretty sure WordPress outputs my stuff in html.
  7. You can defs use the site-specific search in Google to search kimberlyhirsh.com.
  8. I have an h-card with contact info and a photo of myself on my homepage.
  9. I am currently posting two post types to my site: notes and articles. Both get syndicated to Twitter and Facebook as I deem appropriate.
  10. I have linear previous/next navigation between my posts.
  11. I have a search UI.
  12. URLs are auto linked.
  13. I can both send and receive webmentions.
  14. I receive backfeed from Twitter. (Facebook eliminated this functionality, sadly.)

What now?

I’m not adding any other post types just yet. For me, the inconvenience of creating replies on my own site and syndicating them outweighs the benefit of owning my replies, as my replies are rarely substantive. Occasionally, replies may inspire a longer article. But for now, I’m going to reply on the silos where I see folks post stuff. (That said: I will try to work out using webmentions to reply to folks replies that get backfed to my site, using my site’s comments. We’ll see.)

Similarly, posting photos here instead of to Instagram, events and RSVPs here instead of to Facebook, and reads here instead of to Goodreads is just not something I want to tackle all at once. So as I figure out which use cases I want to urgently own, then I’ll work that out.

But I will be posting links here instead of directly to Facebook or Twitter, so I may use the read post type for that purpose. Or bookmark. I’m trying to decide how I want to distinguish those uses.

I’m not really clear on how to make web actions happen, even though I have the necessary plug-ins installed.

I want to get back into documenting my own itches and participating more in the IndieWeb community.

But honestly, this is mostly just a post giving myself permission not to own my replies.