I am still breathing

Serena Toxicat, Carolyn Saulson, Sumiko Saulson

Serena Toxicat, Carolyn Saulson, Sumiko Saulson – Serena and Sumiko will be reading at Laurel Bookstore (shown in photo) on October 30, 2012 at 7pm.

I know I have things to do…

ImageI know that I have not two, but three book readings coming up next month (the third one will be at Salon on Sunday, October 14th during the Sunday Streets at Berkeley event) I am having a really hard time motivating myself to update anything. I have gotten some news about my dad’s health, but it still feels like we are all holding our breath right now, waiting for the other shoe to drop and to find out if whatever is in his back is yet more cancer – has it metastasized? And last week, I fell significantly behind in my homework. I really need to catch up. I need to focus. But it’s not easy.

Here is the information about the October 14th event: It takes place at the Blow Salon, 2112 Berkeley Way in Berkeley, CA and is hosted by Jil Girvin at the Salon. Jil, Serena and I will be reading, and if you want to read also, please contact Jil at 510/508-6020. The event is from 11 am to 4pm on Sunday, October 14th.

You can RSVP for it here:


It is going to be going on in conjunction with this:


And is going to be hosted at/take place here:


Trying to breathe

My Dad and Franchesca (my niece)

My Dad and Franchesca (my niece)

I have to go meet my mom, and I need to catch up with homework. I know that I don’t want to fall behind in class, but I just… I just… I just wish I wouldn’t have made myself so busy with the things of life, because life is so very short, and now I am worried about my parents and how little the time I have left with them may be. But I have to remind myself to pull it together, because there is no sense in grieving for the living. I do feel better than last week, but I don’t want to chit-chat as much as usual. I shut off my chat messengers because the idea of idle conversation makes me want to scream. I decide all that I am feeling is perfectly natural… and that other people have felt the same way. I feel connected to the rest of the world emotionally, but it is hard to speak.

My dad (Robert) and niece (Franchesca)

My dad (Robert) and niece (Franchesca)

When words are difficult, sometimes there are pictures. Usually my father is the one holding the camera: there are so many pictures of his children: me and my brother Scott, of his grandchildren, Franchesca and Elisabetta, where he is the one you don’t see in the photo: holder of the camera. But there are some pictures of my dad, and I determine to take more, in a sentimental gesture that I don’t usually make. I think it was Betty Bianca who told me to take pictures of my dad, while he is still here, so I do. I take pictures with my dad’s camera phone, and my niece’s ipad, and my dad sends me the pictures I took with his phone.

I say they are too red, but I still take them home and try to tinker with them in

My dad, in the doctor's office

My dad, in the doctor’s office Thursday

Photomania. Photos are like memories… we try to make them more beautiful than they are. We want everything to be just so. We create our past in a series of precious vignettes or devastating tragedies, forgetting all about the many, many, many times that we were bored… those times when we were forced to just be. Why can’t we just be? Who are we that we have to fill our lives with frenetic action, action that distracts us from our pain?

And I feel like there is an elephant sitting on my chest sometimes, but I continue to move forward. Time.. we can’t stop it’s tick tick tick, even though the water we wade through in life is the murky brackish water of mortality, some separate pocket of water between the here and now and an unknowable afterlife. My dad doesn’t pray, but I pray. I pray for life. I pray for air. I pray for a sense of serenity. I am glad I have God to fall back on, because I can’t rely on myself at all right now.

And I take pictures, because words fail me.

Words failing a writer?

Who’d have thought?

~ by Sumiko Saulson on September 10, 2012.

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