The first smile

I have an obsession with making my son look like an elf. So sue me.

I have to illustrate the progression from happy to sad to sleeping in the time it took me to take these photos.

his first smile captured on film. Too bad the photo is a little blurry and the lighting is terrible.

How he’s earned the nickname “Piggles.”

So, today has been an illustration in why I can no longer fool myself about my diet. Background: for as long as I can remember, every day has been a struggle against an inevitable blood-sugar crash and consequent complete lack of motivation for life. I grew up for the most part with a typical “healthy” American diet: no sugar cereals, no candy in the house, limited sweets, that kind of thing. We usually had a vegetable and a meat for dinner, sandwiches for lunch, whole-grain cereals for breakfast….etc. I’ve never liked vegetables all that much and I’ve never had much success with doing anything but tacking them onto a meal, preferring to fill my stomach with some kind of grain. My big complaint has always been that a meal consisting of vegetables, far from filling me, leaves me feeling more hungry than before. Even though I wouldn’t eat sugar outright – like candy or cookies – as a snack, I was always reaching for a piece of bread or a bowl of cereal to fill me up when I’d start feeling bad in the afternoons.

Anyway…I don’t want this to sound like an ad for a diet fad so all that as a background to report that a) for breakfast today I had a protein shake, two pieces of toast and a cup of coffee with sugar and cream (the shake has some kind of cane juice sugar or something like that) and I felt awful except for the 20 minutes immediately following the coffee and then for lunch I had a salad with organic lettuce spinach and sprouts, raw cottage cheese (from the co-op!!!), commercially produced cherry tomatoes and a whole avocado, sunflower seeds, a handful of raw nuts, a grapefruit and some blackberries (both commercially produced) and I immediately felt better. My whole outlook on life changed. I’m just starting to think that if food can make that big of a difference in a day, how much could the right diet improve my health overall if I just ate the good stuff? My next project to tackle is ridding myself of all sugar. And…I hate to say this but as much as I love coffee, if it makes me feel that bad that soon after drinking it, what’s the point? Also, I’m enjoying salad for the first time in my life.

I’m also now reading the book “Gilead” for the first time.

I knew of its existence before G was born but it didn’t factor into his name. It would have, though, if I’d read it before. So far, this book has been the equivalent of a Terrence Malick film for me. There is something about the way the main character’s old-fashioned prose and his images of middle America that leave me with this feeling of how wide and strange and dear the world is every time I put the book down. Here’s a quote from the book. She says it much better than I can.

“I feel sometimes as if I were a child who opens its eyes on the world once and sees amazing things it will never know any names for and then has to close its eyes again. I know this is all mere apparition compared to what awaits us, but it is only lovelier for that. There is a human beauty in it. And I can’t believe that, when we have all been changed and put on incorruptibility, we will forget our fantastic condition of mortality and impermanence, the great bright dream of procreating and perishing that meant the world to us. In eternity this world will be Troy, I believe, and all that has passed here will be the epic of the universe, the ballad they sing in the streets. Because I don’t imagine any reality putting this one in the shade entirely, and I think piety forbids me to try.”

2 thoughts on “The first smile

Add yours

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: