31 December 2011

not resolutions, intentions

I've been thinking a lot about human nature-- that is, the nature of each of us. Many folks in my life have folks in their lives they wish would change, right now. And I was thinking how very hard change is. Folks tend to change only when they want something badly enough, or very badly want something to stop, and are willing to trade the potential payoff for the potential consequences.

I remember long ago in therapy, I learned that if I changed what I was doing, I might indirectly change how a relationship or interaction was going too simply because I was no longer doing my part in the dance. I also remember how many months and years I sat with that knowledge without having the guts to put it to use, afraid of what would happen, afraid of consequences, afraid, in fact, of the very change I hoped for.

I am not sure why I am writing about this now, except for some current upheaval and events in the relationships of my beloveds (not me, thank god, all is solid here). But perhaps also because I feel compassion for all involved...because I feel my own reluctance to change, even when faced with opportunity.  I tend to choose what I know, even if  what I know does not work as well as I would like.

As I look to the new year, I will state this intention: I intend and hope that I will begin to make choices not only based on familiarity/old habits and patterns, the great regression, but to take a chance every once in a while and choose some new path, some new way, something that pulls instead of pushes, something that moves me in the direction of how I want to feel. Even thinking about it/writing about it makes me feel a little tired and a little scared. What if my choices are wrong? Or if things don't work out? What if I make a mistake? (one of my top ten pain-in-the-ass issues of this lifetime: fear of making mistakes)
The power in my intention is that I know I am scared, but I am also acutely aware that many of my choices/responses/reactions this year did not support my highest and best, at least, not the holistic way I'd like.  How can I best support myself emotionally and spiritually? How can I create more energy instead of less? How can I create the best environment for positive change and evolution? What small steps can I take that move me in the right direction(s), without triggering my "run away run away" fear response?

How about you? As you look to the new year, what are you thinking?  Not resolutions per se, but what mindful intention are you putting out there?

Funny thing about resolutions: They sound so nicely tied up, don't they? As if via resolutions something(s) get Resolved. Not so much.

Join me in some self-compassion, and some mindful intention(s): What small steps can you take to support your highest and best (in the context of your reality people, not some woo woo unicorns and rainbows universe)?

Wishing you all the happiest healthiest most personally prosperous all-good-dreams-come-true New Year.

29 December 2011

Pond 360

Please check out my sister's new blog.
She intends to post a photo of her pond every day. In the way that each observed life is never the same moment to moment, the pond changes with light and season and weather... sometimes complex, sometimes simple, always beautiful. She has created the intention and the opportunity to really experience her pond each day for the next year.
And, if you want to get a bigger glimpse into her awesomeness, read the About page. She's pretty amazing.


String theory and old food

A night of hard rain, and the snow is mostly gone for the moment. Only little clumps remain like crumpled up paper in the shadows.

Today feels peaceful, Momma is visiting which is pure bliss for me.  Groceries! Trip to the dumpster! Pumpkin bread! 

I thought I might work some, but time has whooshed by, and now we are waiting for tea to cool before she leaves at 2:00.

I'm having an interesting relationship to time right now, string theory, rubberbanding, stretching out, contracting, knotting, taking for  ev   er , then, in a moment, a week is gone.  Sleep is now filled with dreams informed by whatever I've watched on TV (last night, surfing! skid row! MRIs and music!, the other day planet earth! shark infested waters!)  and an almost schizoid cleaning out of the fridge dreams, a bit of everything, nothing, no narrative, no sense, just Stuff.  Stuff that perhaps has spent too much time in tupperware.

a day passed since I began this post.
time doing that rubber band thing
and me
choosing to post rather than waiting for epiphany.

21 December 2011


Today was cold and rainy, with the kind of air that pushes woodsmoke down like fog. This morning I watched the sky turn light through windows skimmed with condensation, and now, on this second shortest day, it is already dark enough at 4:30 that I can barely see the pines against the nearly black sky.

What I really want to say is thank you. Sincerely. Big-heartedly. Your comments helped knit me back together.

I'll just do what I do here.
And I'll start by posting an image of one of the paintings I did a few weeks back during the campfire weekend.  No need to comment on it. This kind of stuff is really personal, and no two people respond the same way. I want to share it because I like it. Here it is: abstracted November.

Tomorrow will be dark too. But then, the next day? LIGHTER.

18 December 2011


Here I am, in the midst of things, wondering what this space should be. Can it just be what it is?
I think I've lost most of my readers through my intermittency and my pregnancy success. And I totally get both of those. But I am not giving up this space, it means so much to me. And you, you who do read, thank you!

What do you think?
Can I just go on babbling about being in the vague in between land of post-interfertility(if there really is ever a post-infertility stage, which I doubt) IVF mom-lost-house-and-job-found-work-patchworking-together-contracts-art-life-parenting-with-liberal-doses-of-midlife-uncertainty?  Or should I create a more certain direction/identity for the blog?

For me, this is my real life (not the blog, but what I write about here)-- I realize I am not writing as often not because I have nothing to say but for time reasons mostly and occasionally because I am not certain what would be appropriate to write here.

I have a whole post written on envy that seems like annoying whining.
So in awareness of my incredible luck with having Della, something I know so many people are still fighting the good fight to achieve, could I give myself permission to write about envy from this decidedly enviable position? I thought not. And now, I wonder, should I post it anyway? It is my truth, after all.

So yeah. I want to write about things like envy, fear, where the hell is my period (no, not pregnant, just no period yet), co sleeping, nostalgia and food waste.

I want to write about the complete wonder I have when I see Della and know that she is real. I still cannot believe it, and still worry about Bad Things That Could Happen.  

I want to write that I spent the whole pregnancy worried about my cervix, about premature labor, about losing her.  I worried about losing her during delivery. And in those days and nights after. And for the whole first year I slept with my hand on her chest or back so I could feel her breathing.
I want to write that now out of the window for SIDS, I cannot quite allow myself to stand down. That I have never loved anyone or anything like I love her and cannot believe just how intense it is, how huge, how encompassing, how clear and unfettered.  

I want to write about things like the fact I am still breastfeeding Della. Not as much, not as often. yes at night still. I want to write that I love it and hate parts of it. Dread what my body will look like when I stop. Hate my vanity for even thinking about my breasts as anything other than miraculous. I hate how Della digs her nails into the opposite breast, over and over and over and tantrums if I try to intervene.  How did this habit develop? I don't even know.. why can I not be strong enough to endure the tantrum? I don't know, I just can't.

I want to write about how sad I feel, how bone deep nearly desperate sad, when I think of breast feeding ending, or ending co-sleeping, knowing that this will never happen for me again.

I want to write that I want to do this all again, no, not with another baby, but this one, this little one. I miss her infancy with an intense ache, it went by so fast!  I can see how this is the age at which so many folks try for a second. I get it.  I really do. But we can't and won't and don't really want to-- Della is our miracle.  But I want to write about how I envy folks who are pregnant again. Even though I don't really want to be.

I want to write about the complexity of feeling Other in a world of younger moms. I want to write about how it feels to meet moms at daycare and realize I am old enough to be their mom.  I want to write about how I feel as if I am making it up every day, figuring things out as I go, feeling triumphant at a walk down town with Della in the stroller, but even then, how the favorite blanket untucks, goes under the wheels and rips.

I want to write about how when we go to Target and Della sits in the cart the whole time, it feels like a blessing from the box store gods. and when she wants to be carried instead, I have learned to push the cart one-handed, while her weight sits on my left hip and I wonder how I got to be so strong in some ways and such a wuss in others.

I want to confess we bathe her with sponge baths still-- that real baths and showers make her cry so hard I cannot think.  We try, like today, and hope that sometime it changes into something tolerable.

I want to say how lonely I feel, but also how I have created a life so full and busy that I have no time to connect in real life. Logistics paralyze me.  I have work to do. I always have work to do.

I want to say that while somehow, so many things are miraculously great, I am scared everyday about money, about the inherent intermittency of contract work, of the uncertainty. And how, car repair becomes a christmas present,  depletes my account, creates worry where for a moment there was actually a tiny cushion. And how am I ever going to repay my immense debts to my family that helped make Della?

I wonder what to say about all of this
so instead sometimes it is easier not to write
or to let the moment pass
and just say, hey everyone. I miss you.

11 December 2011


A creative weekend, intense, productive, good. The thing about creating, is that it makes me miss creating. Sort of like happy begets happy. Creativity begets creativity. And there is such power in that.

Speaking of begetting: The most recent Duggar news having me feel like a big old asshole for being so reflexively and irrationally angry at her 20th pregnancy (why the hell do I do that? it made me feel defeated and here I am on the far side of IF hell with a dreamy baby. WTF.), and then feeling the stomach punch as the whole universe learns of her miscarriage via yahoo or other internet news. I ache for her. For them. Gah.

And a tough conversation this weekend with a beloved friend who is going through hell made me realize, no matter what happiness comes, old pain, the kind that sticks in our bones after a big loss, well, it sort of lurks there. Undermined self confidence sticks around. Grief hovers, waiting. It is not that they are stalking, I don't think they are that active. But they are pretty impressively opportunistic.  Pain often brings up old pain. Grief brings up old grief.  Powerlessness brings up old powerlessness.

So, in this moment, I want to forgive myself my old pain, the one that made me angry at a woman I do not even know, simply for getting pregnant.

And I want to wish on all of us a little self-compassion.  Sometimes, in an immediate emotional moment, it does not matter what we have.  Sometimes what matters most to our poor battered hearts isn't what we have, it's what we've lost.

10 December 2011


Campfire creativity gathering in full swing. Stop by if you'd like! No obligation at all. Don't forget to check out Susan's amazing photos of us from last weekend up in Maine.  Happy to be creating part of today, happy to be able to just enjoy this piece of my puzzle. The sky is showing the last light of the day. It went by so fast.

07 December 2011

nose, grindstone, chocolate, attachment, photos

Yes, well, right then. Where were we? Oh yes.
So here's the thing: I created a scenario where I now have 4 jobs, 4 bosses, and have found myself to be a wee bit flat out crazy. I get on here (computer that is), work in a frenzied sort of way, go get the little one, have our short but intense evenings, then do it again, until fridays where I am not on here much, the weekend too, then begin again.  I feel very unsettled, unconnected, disconnected, and fragmented. And I am not UNHAPPY but I am not feeling I am doing all that well either.  So incredibly happy/grateful to be employed (let's just see how gratitude can be a mixed blessing shall we?)

But grateful means it is hard to say no- because what if no one ever asks me to do work again?  WHAT THEN?  This is very much old katestuff, the stuff of who would want to date me? You? OK THEN! (not a great dating strategy)

So, I am sitting here in a self imposed time-out.
I've eaten about 300 chocolate chips to ward of dementors, and am trying to just figure out what to do. I figured out what to do in this moment:  write.  And then, when I am done, I am switching projects for the day, moving onto something else, and will return to what I am feeling thwarted by tomorrow.  I stopped, called my sister, talked, chocolated, pumped, thought some more, and then Felt My Way toward this interim solution.

I know, you probably are here to hear about Della.  She is wonderful- magnificent. Moody, funny, silly, smart as hell, delightful, and a miracle I keep discovering and I cannot believe my luck.
We are, however, not sleeping well. I am emotionally all tied up in knots about making any changes since I feel so attached to what we are doing/ trying to do, because this closeness matters to me so much. But like so many things, when I hang on to something with desperation, it usually blocks any possibility of anything else happening, even good things, or maybe, especially good things. So. Yeah. I witness. I imagine either I or the universe will know when it is time to make a change. Until then, shit sleep and witness.

We saw our amazing friend Susan Mullen this weekend on a night away to Maine. She took photos of us in the diner, and then outside in the near dark of twilight, and somehow found light inside of each of us.  Check out the amazing photos she posted on her blog.  Here's one:

Seriously, she is insanely talented.

Hey, if you're around this weekend, stop in over at www. thatplacewego.blogspot.com-- I am going to be doing a creative intention weekend, (holding the intention to do Something(s) creative) and would love companions on the journey.  Stop by, comment, have some tea.   This life is a bit like running back and forth along a teetertotter trying to balance.  Perpetual motion rather than stillness. I will be doing something heartwork-wise this weekend, I will.