Tuesday, September 14, 2010

q & a

I am in a frenzy getting ready for Squam ... so it is therapeutic for me to take time to pause and consider these juicy questions Soraya posed to me over on her inspiring blog My He(ART)-Full Life. Soraya, you always give me so much to think about and I am constantly finding myself nodding my head, thankful you have uncovered what I've been groping to understand within my life as a creative being, mother, and woman. It is no wonder I've met so many other beautiful souls hovering around the flame of your blog!

On to the questions!

1. Am I a dog or a cat person? For 14 years we had both a cat and a dog which was the fulfillment of a childhood dream! (I grew up with a dog; my mother never trusted cats!) I loved having both because each loves in such a unique way: my cat was the cuddly, quiet, gentle love; the dog more playful, boisterous form of loving. I've been forced to limit myself to one animal and so we went with a dog. I have to say, I do not miss the litter box or the hairballs! I guess I lean towards dogs in that you don't ever own a cat; they own you. I admit, I like the fact that dogs love you with an intense loyalty that would be uncomfortable with a person; in my dog's eyes, I am his sun and moon and I enjoy that status.

I think the wisdom of dogs is best summed up in this Mary Oliver Poem:

The Percy Poems (Ten)

I Ask Percy How I Should Live My Life
Love, love, love, says Percy.
And hurry as fast as you can
along the shining beach, or the rubble, or the dust.
Then, go to sleep.
Give up your body heat, your beating heart.
Then, trust.

2. If I could spend a week anywhere in the world, where would it be and what would I do?
Tough one - there are places I know and love - Italy, Scotland, the ocean, the mountains - and there are places I long to visit, like India or New Zealand. But if I have only one week, I would go to a Greek Island like Ios and lie in the sun, eat fresh foods, paint, read, hike, do yoga and stare at the sea.

3. What is my favorite home cooked meal? I am a vegetarian and my husband is not. So some of my favorite meals (sweet potato and black bean burritos with home made salsa) are ones I would have to cook because he is the meat cooker! But I think a favorite home cooked meal is one someone else makes for you, right? Part of the pleasure is having a loved one prepare foods specially for you ... so from that angle, I would have to say I love my husband's home made pizzas cooked on the outdoor smoker/grill.

4. What is my perfect evening? Coming home after a long day spent either hiking, at the beach - anywhere outdoors on a beautiful day - and having a home cooked meal, a bubble bath, and a good movie to watch.

5. If I could be anyone in history for one day, who would I pick and why? I've been pondering that question for over a week now and I am still not sure of my answer. I know there are some amazing people I would like to know more about, famous times I would love to experience. My honest answer? This is a tender one: I wish I could be Cowgirl's birth mother on the day she gave birth. I would do anything to know the details of Cowgirl's entry into this world; I would love to be able to give to her that story. And as painful as it would be, I would want to know the heart and mind of the woman who gave life to my child. I would want our hearts to be one for that day, in hopes that the gaps we each feel could be filled in and passed on to our daughter.

6. A Quality I most admire in others? Least? I admire people who are comfortable in their own skin; people who embrace and accept all parts of themselves and who are able to see and value others for who they are. I am bothered by people who don't care. Don't care about themselves, don't care about the world, don't care about others. I guess some people care too much and that causes problems, but that caring usually originates in some sort of fear or sense of lack.

7. The scariest thing about aging? Prior to Cowgirl, I honestly believe I was at a point where I knew I had enjoyed a good life and anything else would be icing on the cake. I felt like my hold upon this life was very relaxed. Having a child tethers you to the world in ways both exhilarating and frightening. My greatest fear is something happening to me and not being there for my daughter as she grows up. I guess the scariest thing about aging is not knowing how long one can live life independently and worrying about becoming ill and infirm and having to depend upon others for care.

8. At the end of my life, what is the one thing I will regret having not tried? I traveled a lot in my twenties and spent some time abroad. The longest period I spent out of the country was 6 months and I was just finding my stride when I came home. I regret not having spent a year or more living in a foreign country and learning the language. I would love to know a place like Italy or China or India that intensely. I would have like to have spent time in a spiritual center or ashram; I wish when I was younger I had given myself that kind of time to empty out, study myself and go deeply into spiritual practice. I know one day I will spend some intense time in spiritual retreat, but probably not of the length or depth possible when I was younger and less attached to creature comforts!

Okay, I am wading in a sea of journals, papers, socks, scarves and emergency Chinese medicines ... back to packing! I will off the grid for the rest of the week. Wish me luck traveling and stay tuned for all the juicy details.

And don't forget, registration for 21 Secrets: An Art Journal Playground starts Monday, September 20th. Looking forward to hanging on the monkey bars with you!


  1. Fabulous interview :) Thank you for sharing because it is so very inspiring! Have a safe,blessed & magic filled time at Squam. Can't wait to see & hear about your journey-

  2. Fabulous answers. I completely teared up over the answer to number 5! You have such a loving heart! Have fun at Squam.

    And, oh yeah, you and Cowgirl are more than welcome to come hang out with me and my girl and stuff yourselves on baked goods. That would be so much fun (I loved that comment)!

  3. What a sweet interview. Just popping by. Love the blog. Your journal work is very inspiring.

  4. Dear Lis-thanks you so much for your very kind comments re my blog and for participating in my TAGGED! Especially with everything you have going on. we are so very similar, you and I, in so many ways! Your answers were very interesting and enlightening. Your #5 answer really had me right there in my heart! that is THE most wonderful answer EVER!! You are such a wonderful mom and Cowgirl is so very lucky. Sometimes it is not blood that binds us but HEART. Maybe you did not give birth to her physically but...in your heart, mind and soul..you absolutely birth her...you DO...every single day. You are so right...when you have children...we worry about being there for them. And yes...we do get more used to our comforts as we get older:) thanks so much for taking the time to answer these questions Lis...and for your wonderful comments on my blog lately. Yes..if only we could go back and tell our younger selves what we know now...but maybe we can pass some of that hard fought wisdom to our daughter. xxx Enjoy SQUAM...I have heard wonderful things about it!

  5. Have a wonderful, creative adventure!

  6. i love these kinds of interviews- short but very revealing! :)

  7. I loved reading your answers and your 5th answer completely choked me up. I wish it were possible for that dream to come true. You've reminded me of how lucky I am to have spent nearly every moment of my girl's life with her. Since her birth I've held a little sadness that I didn't get to see her & hold her in the first 5 minutes after her birth. She was delivered by emergency csection and whisked off to be weighed & cleaned while they finished my surgery. I didn't even get a glimpse of her and it ate at me for months. Now I'm focusing on how lucky I am to have so much time with her.