Friday, August 31, 2012

spontaneous moments (poem it out)

My to-do list could plausibly read
“build backyard pyramid”

I am that out of control,
as I attempt order and control

all the while furiously declaring
“Spontaneity will be mine!”

There is what I want to do …
what I need to do …
and what you inspire in me …



Today I will toss the mail onto the towering pile,
walk over a floor more hairy than the dog,
sift through a mound of laundry to retrieve
our two swimsuits.

There is no list expansive enough to contain
the joy of watching your Kool-Aid orange crocs
dance across the pavement,
the diving board soar,
cool water splash,
and the bloom of your smile
floating in all that turquoise freedom. 

It has been an amazing month.  Thank you Liz Lamoreux for the inspiration and The August Break for the excuse to indulge myself completely.  

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

our life in motion (august break)

It has been back-to-school madness over here.  Cowgirl started second grade - what?!  

wearing her dog shark t-shirt - a girl has to make the proper first impression


And we grown-ups returned to work at our respective Universities which means life back on the road and stuck morning in traffic.  Little time to linger as we all hit our routines hard. And how are we holding up?


"I'm NOT tired!"

We did manage to pull ourselves together, mustering the energy to celebrate our six year family anniversary -

Six years into the reign of Cowgirl and we can honestly say, life with a benevolent tyrant is pretty sweet. (Note: this year I did NOT include a view of our anniversary cake which was a first attempt by myself and Cowgirl to make a sickening yummy strawberry jello cake. In attempt to cover up the ever-widening San Andreas Fault line through the middle, we spackled it with frosting and then Cowgirl tarted it up with every color of sprinkles we had on hand. I know, you really wish I had documented it.  Alas, opportunity lost ...)

Another August has trickled through our fingers but we are hanging on to the bitter end, squeezing in as many final trips to the pool as we can possibly manage.



Meanwhile, I have been busy with much plotting, planning, tinkering and navel gazing which may or may not manifest into something visible.  Most certainly a deepening and an internal mellowing is occurring.  


Or perhaps I am just learning to finally relax?  Absorbing some much needed wisdom - and guidance -  from a master.   

Ah August, how we have enjoyed you! (but good things are coming, oh yes, they are coming!)

Thursday, August 23, 2012

the words we need (poem-it-out)


What you need to hear
is that you are so very wanted.

and have always been

You have forgotten
arms were eager to receive you.

Hope followed by loss followed by
cotton dresses
dandelion crowns
a single silver charm
inscribed with the date
of you,

Even though those arms
uncircled and hands let go -

New hands
tiny starfish hands,
sticky with rice and sweat and juice of summer hands,
reached out across oceans and plains and oxen plowed fields
to find you
to pull you deeper in.

What you need to remember -
slip into your pocket to find on a day
of idle hands -
is the promise of a future
sea of hands rising up,
a universe of blessings waving at you
ready to greet you,
squeezing your hand in recognition
as if to say:
“We have waited a long time for you …
We are so very happy to have you
here, finally
among us.” 

(poem inspired by prompt in Poem-It-Out new course listed! images inspired by life.)



Tuesday, August 21, 2012

my great pumpkin (august break)

I want to tell you about the pumpkin plant which our neighbor bequeathed to us this past Spring … 

How we planted it in the bed by the patio where nothing seems to grow ... or rather, grows but is immediately eaten by roving bands of marauding rabbits … so we put a cage around it – the plant, not a rabbit – until it billowed out through the wire squares and then with breath held we released it to the wilds (which is to say, our backyard with ground squirrels, voles, robins, grackles, foxes, hawks and of course, those pesky but impossibly cute rabbits.)

Then we left on vacation.

Fearing to find the worst when we returned because by-the-way we are in a drought here, but of course the plant being a cheeky fellow surprised us by its vim and vigor, 



quadrupling in size and sporting a jaunty wreath of buds and one nascent pumpkin gourd.

There are lots of things The Husband told me about male and female flowers and how one could manually pollinate them (which seems rather forward, wouldn’t you say?)  but we chose to let the plant decide how things would go. Each day (another without rain but with incredible heat) it grows ...


and grows ...

and now Great Pumpkin you rest like a Great Sow with belly upon the patio for all to behold with awe and admiration.

But what I drawn to talk about is this: that when we plant seeds, the only certainty is our hope for how things might turn out. So we attend to them with a mixture of anticipation, trust (in them to grow and in our ability to care) and love.

We then marvel at the determination of Life – pumpkins, our children, ourselves -  to persist even in the harshest conditions.  Survival for a pumpkin plant and perhaps ourselves depending upon long, reaching vines, multiple buds, multiple prospects, and one faithful water bearer showing up as best he or she can. 

And the story - which is really about audacity and growth - continue to write itself ...

Friday, August 17, 2012

tiny smiles (august break)


Some days are just hard and even though I try to align with the positive, the muck still splatters on the hem of my emotions.

On these days, the very best thing I can do is keep moving forward.  Pick  up the brush, the pen or pencil, grab the journal, write a letter, put on some music ... 

" If you look for anything in this world, find things that draw you into the greater Love ..."  (Wah! Ma Chant/Kali)

A new practice that is sustaining me is writing Poem Notes (Liz Lamoreux).  Snatches of words, phrases that may eventually become something else or rest whole, as they are.  

i confess, i do wonder
why god seemingly refuses to meet me?
stormy days of the soul and grocery shopping
i live a monologue

and so i wander downstairs to find this pen and pose this question
just as Moose shuffles his shaggy self
over to greet me.  

Yes, some days start off dark, but then bursts of sunlight - love in motion - come in through an unexpected letter, an unanticipated gift,

and tiny smiles sent by a distant, but dear friend. (thank you Jeannie ... once again, you remind me that love is buoyant and durable.)

It is that simple, that hard.  Wipe my eyes, shake off the funk, perceive life with the eyes of my heart and then, yes ... 

All of you - yes, I'm talking to YOU too! - thank you, thank you, thank you.  You lift me up even when you have no idea that is what you are doing.  xoxo

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

mothers & daughters (august break)


Tomorrow Cowgirl starts second grade.  Where did the summer go?!  Hoping to squeeze the last bits of goodness out of the season, I took a week off.  Oh, I had such plans for that week! But rather than dwell upon what I didn't wander into, I will focus upon what did happen in those seven days. 

We slept without alarms; 
we stayed in pajamas until 11 am; 
I read lots of new poetry; 
I am writing even more poetry (which is still too raw to share just yet ... but if you long to go deep into yourself, your past, your present - if you pine for an inner self massage - then may I suggest Poem It Out?);
Cowgirl & I read books together on the couch, on the bed;
we danced in the first rain in over a month;
we made pizza;
we danced to the medley of British Music during closing ceremonies in London;
we let go of routines and embraced play;
we improvised a lot of last minute meals;

On our last day together, we headed for the zoo which is the place where we spent so many days those first few months we were getting to know each other.  I love how we have our rituals at the zoo: penguins first, then the butterflies, then feeding the carp.  We watched the sea lions laze about their pool, still enjoying their summer it seems.  

The zoo always seems to end with a snack and a hike up an incredible hill to the exit and the parking lot.   

How I will miss these long days of sun and time to linger together.  I am savoring each day she still wants to be by my side.


Monday, August 13, 2012

dinosaur catchers (august break)

Archway of trees welcoming us over and over as we journeyed through birdsong and time

Did you hear?  The dinosaurs have returned to Nebraska!

My diminutive paleontologist lecturing me breathless as she runs ahead to find a stream and there we become engineers rerouting water, plugging up an errant side channel, intent upon creating a large pool at the bottom where the water is recycled back to the start ... life lessons really about the value of one small rock, placed just so, can shift the entire flow from slow and halting, to smooth, steady, forceful.

This was our weekend journeying back in time and nature.




 Summer, my pebble and I are going to miss you. 


Thursday, August 9, 2012

poeming (august break)

the juxtaposition of this $5 plastic basket of figs
bundled in a canvas tote
nestled securely within the passenger's seat of my car
and the man standing firmly upon the narrow sliver of roadway island
on this 93 degree August day
a cardboard placard held towards me while
his gaze discreetly avoids
the sun and my shame. 

poem and photograph inspired by Poem It Out with Liz Lamoreux 
("We will face the blank page and say, “Bring it” and write the words that are ready to burst out of us. We will stop everything to Poem It Out." - Exactly!)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

still playing (august break)

Less than two weeks until the start of another school year and go figure, I am really settling into this notion of a break ...


I leave you with a glimpse of pure brilliance ... Ninja Owls ...

 they come with their own weapons and convenient slits so their knives can slip into their belts.  I see many adventures ahead for these two ...

perhaps an explanation is needed?  nah ...

 O la la! La vie, c'est belle!