25 February 2013

Just for now, not for always

snow and stillness
motion now just snow falling off of wires and branches
drips dripping from icicles
otherwise, it is the kind of still that feels nearly unnerving, like looking at a frozen ocean. It reminds me of the million tiny movements that we get accustomed to... movement of trees, sky, grasses....even light.
This milky sky and shadowless ground.... so     very     still


thank you all for your great recommendations for Della's hair-- coconut oil! Frizz 'Fro indeed-- what a perfect description!
for your support about reading/videos/longing.... the one thing I know is that whatever I know today may or may not have any bearing on tomorrow... Della changes, and changes and changes, and it is for me to be sensitive, aware, and adjust.  Re-offer the food re-offer the book and activity that may not have been right yesterday. The ruts are often mine based on concluding rather than just resting in the moment.  This is our truth right now, I need to remind myself. Just for now. Not for always.

We memorialized my grandmother this weekend. And I swear, I feel as if she is just in the next room. I keep waiting for her to pop in and see if we need anything, tea or cookies... her voice is so present in my heart. My favorite moment from the service-- ok, there are three:  Della, in her big voice, pointing at the minister saying Who's that man? And then calling him a superhero (standing up high, wearing a cape-like-object, he really did look like a super hero);  a sudden loud organ chord that had us all levitate and then laugh....;  and the most beautiful bells.  I had never heard anyone play the bells, not alone, not christmasy, and wow... it was totally hauntingly lovely and emotionally right on.

Doug's beloved grandpa is suddenly failing, so Doug is off on a plane today after deciding, scheduling, getting more phone calls, and changing the flight to be much sooner...  This is such a sad season of transitions and losses I don't like it one bit.  Papa (Doug's grandpa) is a real character, I mean it, the kind if I wrote him everyone would think I'd gone too far, was too extreme...  I will always think of his laugh, head thrown back, full throated, joyful.... as he recounted how he met Doug's grandma.
We were all going to go in April. At least, that was the plan. Plans, shplans... we will change what we need to change, knowing the whole time that those things are not at all the things we would change right now if we could...

20 February 2013

first hair cut, penguins and imagination

First: penguins. No, not my most embarrassing but sincere penguins-in-flight issue of last year, no no... this one is
seriously, my friends, worth a look, often a laugh.

Second: Della's first haircut. I mean, not just the cut off the random tangle, but a real ok, pretend-I'm-Brave edward scissor-hands sort of topiary frenzy quick before she freaks out, here's some chocolate bits... resulting in a wad-o-hair that was, well, just shy of three bags full:

A pre-cut photo from NOVEMBER for comparison:

And immediately post-haircut from monday with headband

And without (a little too neat, methinks, but hey, it will grow wild again)

I do have a massive regret, two actually-- one, of course, is not taking an immediately-before-photo.
And second, that I did not take a photo (or have one taken) of her wildhair in silhouette before cutting it. It was MAGNIFICENT in every way except anything that had to do with practicality. And I swear, it was getting the kind of knotted that turns to dreads and we are not ready to go there.  Maybe later but not quite yet.  So now I feel compelled to let it grow back out so we can get that photo. Ahhh regret. You suck rocks.

I've been having trouble with finding products.  Some from Mixed Chicks sounded *so promising* but they were SO INTENSELY SMELLY I literally could not use them.  Not just fragranced but so highly fragranced, that really, just, no. I mean, no way. I did not even put them on her hair.

Now we are using a california baby detangle spray in "CALMING" (for momma) and it smells wonderful and not strongly of anything once on, but it not quite moisturizing enough.  Ok internet land, suggestions? any other wildhaired babies out there with fine curly insane manes?  Anything NOT SMELLY that works for moisture?

Della talks about her big blue car and her big blue house. She talks about "tomorrow". (We will go in my big blue car to my big blue house tomorrow to play with friends)

We play make believe as often as possible-- I ask her questions about her stories and totally enjoy every single moment of everything.

She is singing and making up words to songs we know, and oh, it is really funny. Mary had a big blue car, big blue car.... yeah. I am loving the imagination stuff more than I can articulate.

Sprogblogger recently had a post that included a list of books that her beloved Henry is devouring.
I love books. I love reading. Reading has saved my ass, fed my soul, transported me away and toward, educated me, opened my mind, fulfilled me, left me longing and breathless, made me laugh, taken me on journeys, fed me feasts, ohhhhhhhh reading.
I imagined this: every day I would read to Della and every night we would read before bed.
Reality: sometimes we read, sometimes we don't. Sometimes we binge and read and read and read, and then days pass without one book.
OH how that pains me, but it is our reality. It is her rhythm.
I read one whole chapter of wind in the willows out loud while she played on day. But that was exactly once.  Play, for Della, is INTERACTIVE. Yes indeed.
So that was anomalous.

The llama llama books are way too intense for my sensitive little one (we are working on emotional stuff other ways),  so although there is a great love of llamas, we don't read them at all.
YAY for everything from Sandra Boynton. And the little version of the alphabet book by Seuss. (Big A little a what begins with A)...
YAY for barefoot books (what's in the forest dark and deep?  and Riding my tractor...)
YAY for the other books (a visual dictionary that is totally annoying, carrot sticks with the world "carrots" underneath.. I WILL be sharpie-ing the word "Sticks")

So here's the truth. I hear stories about little ones loving books, loving being read to, loving reading or playing with books and I hear my inside voice saying "it's ok, it's just not happening yet.... "  and I hear my own longing in that. I feel my own longing because of my own relationship with books.  Seriously, I cannot imagine what I would have done (what I would do) without them.

And when, as a parent person you feel like you are missing out, or like your kid is missing out, there is a panic as if somehow we are running out of time... when in fact, we are just having a different experience.

We watch SO MANY VIDEOS it is embarassing. Why? because it is her downtime. It is when she shifts into the gear I assumed she would shift into with reading.
She imagines, and recounts, and tells *those* stories.  Talks about *those* characters.
She is so intensely kinetic, I am not surprised, really, that her stillness comes only when there is action to *watch*.  I imagine, too, that this may change as she develops her own internal movie-making capabilities, you know, the ones that get triggered by, say, hearing stories.  Say, maybe stories that are being made up, or even, you know, READ ALOUD.

14 February 2013

decluttering my own self

The start of the new year, and so many folks take to decluttering and resolutionating.
One of my decluttering projects is very personal: I am trying to see how I am getting in my own way and trying to see how to change that.  As such, today I meet with my new wonderful coach. I am excited but it is hard to know that I will be facing some of my longstanding demons.  I already have begun that sort of site excavation in the pre-work.  I know that it will be messier before it declutters, but it is a really awkward time in any project like this where things look much worse, feel more out of control... and then, it starts to come together.

I am so great at helping other folks do this, and I *so suck* at doing this for myself. Luckily I found a wonderful coach to assist me.  I cannot recommend Lorraine highly enough-- she is very smart (VERY), no bullshit, very intuitive, and I just want to curl up in a big chair and talk to her all day. Maybe someday we'll figure out how to make that happen.

As with so many transitions, just deciding it is time to make changes puts things into motion.

I already am on a better track.

I am happily taking some new risks that feel very very right-- one is a retreat I am planning for this coming October here in New England. Details are not complete yet (still deciding on a venue), but a lot is ready and up if you want to go check it out. Write me with concerns or questions. This will be introvert friendly and not at all a funky-artsy-competitive-who-is-cooler gathering.  This will be funky, to be sure, but playful and soulful and supportive and good.  Think about it. Pass it on. I can't wait to see what unfolds!

12 February 2013


... to the humorless check out lady at the grocery store
who during a quick stop on my harried way home, to pick up cat litter, bread, and gluten free cookies along with a cheap 4 pack of mini cheapo wine

actually carded me


09 February 2013

brain yoga

In spite of the weather, I'm having a rather wonderful weekend.
I'm really enjoying the campfire workshop over on Heartwork.
If you're interested, here's a link to the opening campfire post from Friday night. Trying new things (without an obvious downside) feels really good to my brain. Like a brain yoga class.

It's not too late to check it out. And it is free. And really surprisingly fun.
As an added bonus, there's a funny video featuring a cameo of Della.
Hope you'll stop by.
(While you're there, check out the Retreats tab-- something exciting coming soon there too!!!!)

06 February 2013


Flurries today, little snowflakes flying in all directions, sunshine one moment, clouds the next... but it is warmer all of a sudden, and there is just the faintest breath of wind.

I feel like I have my feet more underneath me today- feel more gathered up than broken down.

I know so many of us have written about this, how new grief so often brings up old grief, and sadness begets sadness. It is easy to get lost in it. Undertow.

Instead of resisting this time, or pathologically searching around for pockets of unhealed hurt to poke, I just leaned into it with compassion, yes, I said, yes, I know, I know. This *does* suck. That did suck. There is pain and there was pain.

And for once, the knots loosened instead of tightening.

I am an avoider of pain. I hate pain. I know, most of us are.
I am an avoider of things I do not want to be true.
I have no peace with the fact of loss. Except, maybe, this time. This time there was something to feel peaceful about, a bigger loving over arching something that said, no more suffering.
And this is as true as I can know it to be.


Now I want to write about Della for a moment, how she refers to herself as I-me.

I-me do it.

Covers a lot of bases.

She is into big time possession mode-- things are hers, not to be shared, and sadly missed when gone. These things include things at daycare so it is more than awkward.

She is dreaming now, and tells us her dreams sometimes.

When she wakes, she often says things about the previous day as if we are in mid-conversation.

Yes, we are still co sleeping.

Yes we are still nursing. Weaning will happen when we're ready, or when one of us is. And right now, we just aren't.

She is magnificent.  She is fierce and determined and funny and bossy and tender.
Nice boots mom!
Good job dad!
She pats me and my heart melts.

I cannot believe her immensity ever wasn't here, being, visible.

Today in my new groundedness, I am able to look up and see the snow falling down, in no way linear, back and forth, crisscrossing, meandering, no rush....
and am trying very hard to imagine embodying that kind of non-effort, even for a little while.

01 February 2013

Free Online Campfire Gathering, February 8-10

Free Online Campfire, February 8-10 over at Heartwork.
This totally free virtual workshop is about quiet bravery: taking small steps, creating small adventures, allowing ourselves to explore new things.
I invite you to join me over on Heartwork for an opening campfire on Friday night, followed by two days of exploring what it is like to try new things. Try saying no if you always say yes. Trying saying yes if you always say no. Order a latte with whipped cream rather than tea. Try those pastels, try that guitar, that recipe, that new language, that new pose, that trail, that knitting, that writing project, that poem. Try. Try, do poorly, try again, be gentle with yourself.
Allow yourself room to be a beginner again. 
(Are you in? Please leave a comment and let me know!)
Where: Heartwork!
When: Friday February 8th- Sunday February 10th
What: A totally free freeform online gathering supporting your exploration of what it means to be a beginner.
Requirements: Open mind, self compassion, and something to try, something or things to be new at. Come by for suggestions and support.
Opening campfire is Friday night, and I'll be posting encouragement and ideas 3 times on Saturday and 3 on Sunday.You don't have to be anywhere at any time.
RSVP: It would be great to know who's along for the journey. Comment or shoot me an email to RSVP.
And please pass along the invitation on to anyone you think might be interested! These online gatherings are so great-- there is *such power in shared intention*.
I hope to see you there!