The Night is Long Unless You Sing This Song

Sleeping Mercena(Why am I naming days?)

12/29/14, Day 14,518 (Mercena Day 136): The Night is Long Unless You Sing This Song

This day is so named for the evolving lullaby epic that I sing to Mercena to help her sleep. Early on, she developed a real love for the “Go to sleep, little baby” song from O Brother Where Art Thou? Problem was, I knew only four verses, and those got old right quick with a baby who sometimes needs ten minutes of rocking and singing to really wind down. Every time I sing to her, I try to create at least one new verse to add to the epic. It begins with a repetition of one of the three starting phrases (“Go to sleep, little baby,” “Don’t you weep, pretty baby,” “You’re a sweet little baby”) and ends with the adapted “don’t need no ever waking baby.” It’s the middle words that change, ranging from straight forward:

Toss all your sighs
Into this lullaby

To an evolving woods/fairy queen narrative:

 Nothing left to say
Only come away

 Into the woods
Past all shoudn’t and shoulds

No room for cares
In the fairy queen’s lair

To a more dream-logic place:

Nothing’s what it seems
So play in your dreams

From the tallest trees
You can find the sea

These not only help her fall asleep at a time when she’s having great trouble doing so, but they help me look forward to the difficult task of working her through tears to rest. I suppose it’s our first collaborative creation.

And I definitely needed this lullaby on the 29th, because it took us two hours to get her all the way down to sleep. After a happy period where she was going to sleep relatively easily, she’s back to fighting it with all she has. We think it’s in part because with the show and the holiday, we haven’t had a normal schedule in weeks.

But the day wasn’t all song and inscrutable wails: the three of us took another walk down to Millway Beach, this time walking along the weather-beaten houses along the marsh, with that bitter-salt smell that to me always means home. I cooked a zucchini and broccoli pesto pasta and we watched the enjoyably bad Jurassic Park 3 and tried not to worry about anything for at least a few hours.

12/30/14, Day 14,519 (Mercena Day 137): Mercena Meets West Hartford

After visiting her father’s childhood stomping grounds, Mercena traveled to West Hartford to visit her mother’s. We met with West Hartford friends Betsy and Martey, walked in the bitter cold through Heather’s beautiful neighborhood and ate the best kale chips I’ve ever had, courtesy of our host, Sandra “Mommom” Morgan.

While we’ve managed to relax a little on this holiday, I’ve also been working remotely at TCG, and moving forward Flux and NET projects, as well. I’m trying to work toward a zero-inbox world, which seems crazy, but I’m currently under ten emails each in both my TCG and gmail/Flux accounts. It’s taken me this long to swim out of the post-baby deluge that occurred during my paternity leave, and it feels great to have a real hold on where I am work-wise, and not feel so reactive and at sea.

This day also featured a great phone call with my NET board compatriots Bruce and Laurie about some exciting changes in 2015. More on that very soon.

12/31/14, Day 14,520 (Mercena Day 138): Mercena’s First New Year’s Eve

Well, none of us made it to the ball drop. But this day of travel back to NYC was made very special by Mercena’s longest talking-spree yet. She’s a long way from words–she really doesn’t even have word-sounds yet–but she is trying out her voice in a major way, often sounding a little like the velociraptors of Jurassic Park. After she fell asleep (perhaps happy to be home, she went down with less fuss), her exhausted parents watched a few shows until they couldn’t keep their eyes open anymore. Best New Year’s Eve ever.

Last year, I was writing big wrap-ups of my year, and excited predictions for the year to come. This New Year’s Day, I’m taking it one day at time. But I am so profoundly grateful for our new family, and the old family that surrounds us and lifts us up. Thank you, and happy new year!

Published by CorinnaSchulenburg

Artist and Activist

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