Monday, August 31, 2009
The following is a list of the things occupying my mind and absorbing oodles of my time (meaning my creativity in menu planning, cooking and housekeeping is suffering):
1) Art journaling. Of course, I love any excuse to buy more supplies (Dick Blick's loves me!) and beautiful magazines to cut up for collages. I completed my Unfolding Your Life mini book and I could see this being a great practice to do every 6 months or so, if only to mark the changes in my perspective.
2) Getting outside and photographing all the sunflowers that take over the landscape this time of year. One can never take too pictures of flowers, right? If nothing else, I can use the pictures in my art journal.
3) Photography in general. I am up to day 62 of the 365 day challenge of a self portrait a day. Obviously I am beginning to multitask as today's portrait is a combination of 2 projects: self portrait and guilty pleasure. Yes, I love HBO's True Blood.
4) Cooler weather = knitting! Have dusted off my circulars and am attempting a bag to felt (translation: knit large, sloppy, toss into washing machine and strink the hell out of it! Voila! Lovely objects people will ooh and ah over.) Perhaps this will be the year I get started early on some holiday gift items?
5) Writing writing writing! I signed up to write a poem a day for 30 days to email to another person. Hi poem partner Julee! I hope I am up for the haul.
6) 52Q project which falls under art journaling catagory. But I love it so much, it deserves its own line.
7) Rubber stamps. Examples of which can be seen in #5. Very soothing activity, unless you gouge yourself with the cutting tool!
8) Believe it or not, I am finding time to meditate. Again. Obviously, I need the reminder to stay present and mindful. I am reading and listening to talks on Buddhism and the teachings seem to be sinking in. Or perhaps, I am just ready and in greater need of the guidance.
What are you obsessed with these days? Please share; I'm sure I could do with a few more things on my plate!
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Last Spring it had become apparent to me that I become "cut off" from so much that used to nourish my soul. To some degree, this was to be expected: we had moved farther outside of town; life with a preschooler was getting busier & busier; I work part time; and I'm just older and tire easily! I missed seeing friends, popping out for a movie or a coffee and a chat, but ... that's life, oh well.
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Three Year Anniversary
What more can I say
That hasn’t already been said
About the privilege of
Three years ago
Our worlds came together -
Gliding, not colliding -
Planets slipping into orbit.
Yes, that gentle
Each day watching you
Is like catching glimpses of myself
In a fun house mirror.
Some views, humorous in their mimicry of my quirks;
Others views making me winch
As I see my flaws magnified.
Thankfully, more often I find myself
In awe of your true essence
that has been apparent from the beginning.
Your strength, your determination,
Your forward facing attitude,
Giving me hope that you will be able
To move through the rough patches ahead –
The unknowns, the never-to-be-known
Pieces of yourself –
With peace and acceptance.
And always, I am humbled by
The trust, the faith and the love
you so willingly cede to me.
Those moments of grace when you reach your hand out,
but never doubting,
you will find my hand waiting.
Patiently for me
To scoop you up and hold you close,
Savoring the sensation of our two hearts
Face to face
Beating in unison.
Truly, what more can I say?
I am grateful every day for the gift
Of being your mother;
I bow down my head in honor
Of your spirit that inspires me to believe
In the power of Love to transform,
even when we are unaware of the need.
Three years ago
You latched onto me,
And our life began.
You, the key that opened my heart,
when I had not even known
there was a lock.
Friday, August 21, 2009
Cowgirl has declared today to be a Good Day and so I thought I should share the secret recipe so that all can enjoy such bliss.
Recipe for a Good Day:
- Begin the morning with 2 hours cuddle time in bed with Cowgirl (a.k.a. Sleeping In.)
- Take Moosie on his morning walk in hoodie and sweatpants (it's that cold! Unheard of for August.)
- Linger over morning coffee and ponder the possibilities for an unscheduled day
- Make grilled cheese sandwiches and organic tomato basil soup for lunch and eat as a family (Moose included of course.)
- Spend day watching Cowgirl construct a parking structure out of legos for her cars and airplanes while working on Vision Kit (meaning: have piles of magazines and clip happily away anything that inspires or thrills you.)
- Do more art because there is still plenty of time!
- Take some pictures (read: permission to goof off and always, lots of jumping!)
Do not rush any portion of the process; bake until you are fully relaxed; enjoy at leisure.
Today I am grateful for having this munchkin by my side. An old friend recently traveled to Taiwan to meet the 6 week old baby who is/will be her adopted son. She has to leave him and wait for the court process to legally declare them a family and this will take months. I cannot fathom the heartache of meeting, holding, loving and then leaving your child. I am hugging Cowgirl extra tight in gratitude for us being together now. And in 2 days time, we will be celebrating the 3 year anniversary of our family coming together through adoption. It is hard to believe that much time has passed; my heart is still tender contemplating it all.
I'm not sure what I am trusting right now. I have put together three brand new workshops for the fall calendar at the Yoga Center where I teach and last night I began to freak out about it. Yeah, those nasty gremlins made a house call! I found myself thinking "I don't have anything to teach! What was I thinking? People won't pay money for what I am offering." I guess I am trusting my inner fairies will show those gremlins to the door; I am trusting that fears, doubts and insecurities are a natural part of any new adventure and I must live through it, but not be crippled by it.
I am inspired by my Cowgirl who has been nothing but brave, loving and trusting in her life with us. From the first moment she grabbed onto me; from the first night when she fell asleep upon her daddy's chest, she has only looked forward to her future. She reminds me daily that life is only lived forward. No regrets, nothing held back. I love you my Xiao Miao, my little seedling. Happy day indeed!
Do share your favorite recipes for a Good Day :)
(Cowgirl using monster puppet to scare away my Blue Meanies)
Monday, August 17, 2009
The theme around the house seems to be Illness. Cowgirl is still recovering from her sinus infection (although we do not see any signs of it slowing her down, merely the sounds of its presence) and now the husband has fallen prey to some mystery virus that was deemed a cold by the doctor (after a 2 1/2 hour wait in the after-hours clinic) but which has had my man on his back for 3 days now. (Well, husbands do Sick better than anyone in my opinion.)
So stick a white cap on me and call me Florence Nightingale. I've made soups, fetched drinks, checked thermometers, administered medicines and a cooling touch to fevered brows. Which is to say, I've had a lot of time to ponder my life and how I got here. Prominent in my mind is the coming 3 year anniversary of our becoming a family. It is hard for me to reconcile my life now with my life Before but I cannot imagine any other life than the one I'm living. And I am casting aside concerns about showing all of my Cowgirl to readers unknown because, well, you all just have to gaze upon this delightfulness of a person who rocks my world and my heart every day.
And lest you think I haven't had time to channel my inner Sylvia Path, another poem in honor of this week. What moments do you find impossible to describe? Give it a try ... you will be amazed at the effect upon your being by just reliving the moment through pen and paper.
Impossible to Describe (our family birthday)
One moment -
Floating untethered to this world.
A soup bowl of nerves
A stew pot of doubt
Waiting to receive
Into untested arms
Your arrival was announced
“Here she is!”
The transfer made swiftly
With barely a squawk
From your surprised lips.
Tiny starfish hands
Gripped my shoulders and chest
As you velcroed yourself
Securely in place
Upon my being.
Dark eyes resisted my gaze.
The event too overwhelming
For anyone to easily take in.
To try and coax a smile from you
Would have been a denial
Of the vastness and
Of what was being birthed.
Those first few days
We all were trying to find
Land legs after being
At sea for lifetimes
Both long and short.
Impossible to describe
The moment when
On unsteady legs
You shuffled towards me
Our eyes held in an out-of-time trance.
Then, your soft puppy body -
Flesh of my heart -
Falling easily into mine
With a flash of a smile
As breathtaking as
The shadow of an eagle
Gliding across my landscape.
A bubble of laughter
Spilled from your lips -
The sound of the Universe
Coming into existence
And setting into orbit
The turning of my heart.
Friday, August 14, 2009
Is it Friday? Vacation has me turned all around and I even tried to write June on a check the other day. I got to sleep in, so that means it is the end of my work week. Three luxurious days spread before me with already too much on my to-do list, so I flung it aside and we headed off to the zoo.
So I guess I am continuing to Trust myself. Or rather, I am choosing to trust myself/ my intuition in the hopes that if I keep doing so, eventually I will eventually "fake it 'til I make it." Lots of pots bubbling on my stove top and I need to believe I not only can do what I want - that I have the talent, the insight, the skills - but that I have the right to try. So I am trusting myself and my feet for stepping onto the path I seemingly stumbled across (sorry if this all sounds mysterious; details are still being worked out and I don't want to jinx myself!)
I am grateful for the friends in my life who support and encourage me and who put up with my current crazy hyped up state. You know who you are!
I am inspired by Madame Sark who is juicing me beyond juiciness with her writing prompts. Sorry if the poetry is getting old for you; I am just loving this format for exploring ideas. Believe it or not, I am not sharing all of them!
The Treasure Chest
Inside of me Is a treasure chest.
A storehouse of gifts,
yet to be known,
never mind claimed.
This chest has rested
on the bottom of
shark infested waters,
covered in seaweed, shells, broken glass -
The debris of life lived thoughtlessly.
The lock has rusted shut,
and barnacles seal tight
the contents held within.
None-the-less, a voice challenges me
To bring this chest to the surface.
Bloodied fingers and Broken nails
are assured in any attempt
to pry open a resistant lid.
I hesitate - What if
for all my efforts,
I find only a paltry assortment
of common, worn or dull Knickknacks
rather than gold rests inside?
What do I secretly hope to uncover?
A lance with which to challenge Doubt to a joust;
An open heart recycled from Sadness;
A camera that photographs only Love;
Poems celebrating friends
who have showered me with Hope and Laughter;
Songs that summon mermaids and cowgirls
to Joyful campfire sing-alongs;
Paints to brush into images
of Magic for fairy folk and other friends;
Sequinned slippers that move feet
to dance through troubles with Grace and Ease;
A pen to re-write
the story of my life
starting with NOW.
Curiosity or is it courage?
Compels me to continue.
Not to try would mean
Abandoning dreams and yielding to
Greedy gremlins who wish to hoard
all treasure for themselves.
I rest my hands
upon the water soaked wood
and close my eyes.
Like a child making a wish
before blowing out
allowing time for my vision of
Hoped for treasures
to materialize into
Treasures already Known.
Do tell ... what is in your treasure chest today?
(yes, that is Cowgirl riding a large Rooster who is wearing her hat on the Merry Go Round.)
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
that I love
To hold onto notions
of how things should
Look, feel, behave
is to set myself up for
And a denial of
Who I am and
I am loving.
I must show up
for each moment,
Open and ready
to let it all unfold
in its own rhythm and pace.
I judge not
the mismatched beaded
my daughter presents to me.
A gift of her attention
and time and
I need to realize
my imperfect loving.
The burnt cookies,
the broken crayons,
the nonsensical sentences
in the rambling stories I create
on the fly for her.
All she asks for
is my attention.
And my acceptance
of the emerging
Spirit that is
that we do
the best -
The Very Best -
that we can.
And then accept and
Please tell me it's all a bad dream ... that the calendar is wrong and today is not a week after our vacation ... the vacation I dream about 51 weeks out of the year, that I pine for like a teenage girl pines for a Jonas brother (is that current? what is the 2009 equivalent of Davy Jones? My tastes ran towards George Harrison, but that's another topic). And I ask you: why does a week at work drag by while a week on vacation is over before I can wipe the sleep sand from my eyes?
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Along the ocean’s edge
Lowtide but still
Powerful waves crash into unprepared ankles and shins.
Water numbingly cold,
Igniting the senses with its intensity,
Forcing us to wake up no matter if we want to
We stand our ground upon the sandy shore
While wave upon frothy wave smashes into us.
Celebrating the energy of the ocean
By leaping up to great each wave.
Bubbles of laughter escaping our blue tinged lips
As the waves lap higher and higher upon our bodies.
Summer time at its best.
Each year we have made the migration back
To this beach
My mer-child and I.
Giddy with excitement in the days
Leading up to our arrival.
Fingering stones and shells from adventures past
In preparation for our next journey.
Today it is all
Exactly as it should be.
Sea spray upon our faces,
The strong pull of the waves
Trying to tug us back into the sea.
But we stand firm, hand in hand
Knowing that even if we fall,
The other is there to pull us up.
Another waves lashes seaweed and stones at us.
I flinch from the pain
But it is immediately erased
As I look down upon the wild eyed, grinning face
Of my caramel-skinned
Brings us into this moment.
And this moment.
Tightly clasped hands.
Blessing us with
After a grueling day of traveling (5 hour unexpected layover due to bad weather in Boston, extending our trip from 4 ½ to 10 hours; getting in after midnight with a very tired child into a crazy busy city; a quick puke before she went to bed – yeah THAT kind of travel) we made it.
We are happily ensconced in our getaway Boat House rental. It IS a renovated Boat House right next to a pier that leads picturesquely out into a pond. Sailboats and Boston whalers floating out upon waters tranquil except for the jumping fish and the swan couple that share the waters. It is magical, lovely, quaint … and damp! A minor thing (except when you want dry towels or swimsuits) and we are adaptable people.
We settled quickly into our vacation routine. Dinner on the screened-in porch, listening to the birds and the wind and the water; early bedtime as we are all in one room - Cowgirl stubbornly resisting sleep even though she has been going nonstop all day. She has a bit of a cold, but that hasn’t slowed her down, except to blow her nose. The hubby and I read in bed and how luxurious to have read a book in 2 days! (Alice Hoffman’s The Third Angel – beautifully written and totally engaging.) Morning comes early with the sun screaming in the sliding glass door. We fold up the bed and Cowgirl begins her glut of television shows: Mickey Mouse, Oso, anything PBS and her favorite, Sponge Bob Square pants. A month’s worth of t.v. watching packed into each day. Yeah, we are on vacation.
After a leisurely morning’s breakfast we head out for some exploring, biding our time until Beach time. We brave our way through masses of bodies to find our spot on the sand where we dump our booty of collected beach toys from summers past into a heap for Cowgirl to play. And play we do and then rest until it is time to stagger back to the car and home to clean up and contemplate dinner.
Our first night we ran out to a Chinese restaurant and the way the staff were fawning all over Cowgirl, you would have thought they never see Chinese children here. Each person trying to talk to her in Mandarin, and she parroting what little I’ve learned in 3 semesters of Saturday morning Chinese classes. I have to laugh when she proudly counts to ten and they look so amazed, thinking she remembers her native tongue (she probably knew Cantonese), never suspecting this freckled woman is her tutor!
After dinner we hit the first of many wonderful ice cream establishments here on the Cape. After the Chinese restaurant experience, we were surprised to see another family of 3 daughters adopted from China and an Asian family. So much for Cowgirl’s unique status.
And so each day merges into the next. To post this, I have to climb the many steps from the Boat house to the main house and sit on a top step for reception. Oh the trials of vacation!
Wish you – and you, and you – were here!
Sunday, August 2, 2009
Yes, I managed a new poem ... am seeing some favorite themes/words/phrases cropping up again and again ...
My Traveling Dream Chair
I rest comfortably upon
cushions stuffed with dried leaves and flowers and downy feathers,
while the smell of lavender and jasmine and cedar and pine
Lulls my senses into reverie.
My dream chair carries me to the shores
of my heart’s unspoken longings.
There I feel the sting of sea spray upon my cheeks
and feel the warmth of
sun light drying the salt upon my skin.
I close my eyes to better hear
the cry of hawks and owls and peacocks,
wolves and elk and elephants
Calling me to venture deeper into the exotic and the wild.
I explore, knowing the safety and security
and comfort of my chair
await me at journey’s end when
I can collapsed back into cushions
Soft as the fuzz of my dog’s furry ruff,
smooth like the skin of my daughter’s cheek.
If I am cold, my chair surrounds me with warm.
If I am warm, it soothes me with the cool of my mother’s hands.
I bury my hands down beneath its cushions
where I find the treasures of previous journeys stored:
Pebbles and shells and the bones of an impossibly small bird;
postcards from times past and treasured found,
Reminders of the Art and Magic that can arise from human hands.
I float in my dream chair and rest.
I know from experience I must wait
Alert, to hear
the voice of my heart’s true self,
the Self that knows
fear and doubt only exist when we believe ourselves
to be too small.
But even the smallest bird
Can travel great distances.
Tenderly, I hold my bird bones, like auguries,
In open hands
my dream chair
to its next destination.