Sunday, November 22, 2009

Bob and I are off on our pre Thanksgiving retreat - especially sweet this year as we visit four month old niece Cristina and her parents in Iowa. First time I've been in Iowa and I am glad it is a mild fall. I was expecting frigid weather and it's just cool, not different from home by much, though I know it will be. We walked in the woods this afternoon, ate home cooked peruvian food (you!) and apple pie. I still marvel that some babies (Cristina is one) like their baths. It was not so with mine. This tradition of pre Thanksgiving road trips is great for me, body, mind and soul, but I sure am behind on blogs and emails.

Monday, November 16, 2009

The poetry prompt today was "clouds..." It surprises me where my mind takes me.

Clouds Color

Clouds color sunset.
Clear day fades unremarkably.
Clouds echo with turbulance,
Flare golden apricot, catch flame,
Stormy day, survived, ends in glory.

Today, however, was not a cloudy day, literally or metaphorically, though we did have a thuinder storm during the night. The day dawned cool crisp windy, leaf fall proceeding, one of my favorite kinds of day. I spent the day helping Joanna unpack into the new house, with success. Andrea is at the age that she doesn't want to be put down, so having hands to pack and unpack is hard. We made great progress, though there is a long way to go. This afternoon Danny and I had so much fun and success working together unpacking boxes of toys and creating some new storage systems. He was a perfect helper, so quick and willing (or maybe I was his helper). Then when Joanna and I took K.K. to ballet, though traffic was heavy, we had great conversation in the car about all kinds of favorites - K.K. led - favorite dog, movie, book, musical, ballet. Sharing was fun and continued after we left K.K. at class. It was Chris' gaming night with friends so Ruth and Joanna and I went out for Mexican dinner and margaritas without babies - delightful! So despite my poem, my clear day ended in glory or at least great happiness.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

This weekend was busy and I felt tired much of yesterday, so much we are still doing to organize house and garage - getting rid of everything we don't tryly choose to have. So many of my belongings I have by attrition. SOmeone gave me something and I found a place for it and still have it. Shifting to a much more mindful relationship with things is WORK. Today's poetry prompt was "hanging" and my take on it was surely influenced by the sorting.

I've spent my adult life
learning when to hang on,
when to let go.
Practicing still.

Also, Bob and I had a wonderful break this afternoon attending the opera La Boheme. I've seen it before, but today really was transported, just caught in and feeling the whole story. A funny on myself is that during the intermission I started thinking how the story of starving artists, love, and illness in a flamboyant setting could be transfered to 1980's Castro District Sand Fran Cisco and done as a gay love story. I got positively obsessed with the idea, imagining scenes, and then whenh I told Ruth and Chris they broke out laughing. It's been done. Rent, which I haven't seen, is a remake (in Greenwich Village, but Tony awards for me.)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Long work week. I think it's time for the upcoming vacation. Ruth is making great progress child-proofing, which is a good thing because Liam is walking, climbong, opening, pulling things out, down, on top of his head. As I write she and K.K. are wotking on the restructuring of garage shelves. I should get K.K. to bed soon since dance starts early tomorrow. I wrote a couple of poems I like this week based on poem a day prompts. I love the way prompts get me to write poems I'd never dream up on my own.

Dead End

If only imobilizes.
No regrets, yearnings, pleas.
No bargains, deals, second guesses.
Only mindful action now.


We construct wisdom
against nature - uphill,
build against impulse.
My prayer is for strength
to choose, today, tomorrow,
to lay another shimmering stone.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Leaf fall has started - watched the golden shower past the upstairs office window today. We are still weeks from the first freeze, but it is clearly no longer green season. Liam is a walker now, not a baby who can take steps but a toddler who crosses the room without thinking about it, a little guy who stands steadily while focusing on playing with his blocks.

Monday, November 09, 2009

It's both sad and good helping Joanna's family move houses. I remember helping them move into the big house, and now leaving it seems just as right as buying it did then. I felt tears in my throat when Danny stood in the empty center of his ocean room Joanna painted with murals for him and said he would miss it. He will. He is hoping for new murals in the new room he and Zachary share. It was probably my last time in the big house today. I didn't think about that until right now. K.K. and I had a sweet moment at the end sitting on the stairs, just visiting while we waited for Joanna to get us with the car. Then I gave K/K's day a painful ending by slamming her fingers in the car door (not broken but painful) I felt terrible, and know that I make physical mistakes when I'm tired. That scares me about myself.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Random violence seems more present than usual, or maybe I'm more focused on it - military base shooting at Fort Hood yesterday, office building shooting in Orlando today, serial killer found in Cleveland on Halloween. It is alarming to know that people snap unexpectedly and can do so much harm. I also read today that unemployment is up again, another factor that has to add to pressure on people. Tonight it was good to go to synagogue and pray in community and especially to watch the congregation love Liam. Sweetness is sure out there. Live is hard AND life is good. Got to remember that AND.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

The PTA program went great with sixteen of Bob's eighteen students participating and over forty in all - unusual participation and attendence for htis school. I'm thrilled it went so well. The move continues apace too. As several of you commented, it is great to be part of a family that helps each other. It's Chris' birthday tomorrow, and I am so thankful to have this good man in our lives.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Here, I'm feeling a little crazed with a more than uually demanding work week and a desire to help Joanna get the last belongings out of the house that is being sold and into the house where she and her family are living (Ruth's former house). the financial, business end of everything is falling into line, but there is still plain work to do. We have promised to be done by next Tuesday night, so there is an end in sight, which helps me not panic. Also, I am very much in an assistant role and feel some relief not being in charge of so much organization. I will not panic. Everything will work out. I will not panic.....I will not panic....I will not panic.....

Bob's big PTA program is tomorrow night, with Native American inspired dances and a display of foods which originated in teh Americas. We had fun Sunday at Whole Foods (which is a zoo here on Sundays) buying same.

It is ironic to me having been among the vey prosperous organic buying shoppers in Whole Foods on Sunday to see on the news Monday that one of our local food banks had closed for the day because of empty shelves - a situation since remedied at least temporarily by business and private donations. I also saw a long line of people last night waiting for medical care at a free clinic near my office. The contrast between comfort and want is so strong, even in this country, without even thinking about African level poverty. I feel fortunate to be among the relatively comfortable and work to do what I can about the gap, to do enough, but not to deny myself some of the pleasures money can buy.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Beyond Valence

Travel beyond duality
to accept what is
challenges wisdom.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Halloween is over and I am sad, just like when I was little. I don't want to take down the decorations, which alwyas make me smile. Our weekend was a good one. We watched K.K. dance in a school related performance - all the middle school and high school dance students in her district in performance. It was impressive what the teachers were able to do with so many kids on stage at once and such a range of skills. K.K.'s training shows, and she looked really happy in her school setting. We met her friend Tasha, whose Halloween party she attended - first time not trick or treating with the family. Going out wiht the boys and Joanna, Tracy, and Andrea was a kick - just a happy feeling walking around in the cozy neighborhood admiring costumes and listening to the boys greet school friends. Drea was an adorable elephant who LOVED her little trunk. Liam was an equally adorable little green monster.

This week bob will be in charge of fourth grade PTA program and his kids will be featured in Native American inspired dances. We made a trip to Whole Foods this afternoon to get foods that originated in the Americas to be used in the harvest dance. It was fun gathering all the different shapes and colors, textures and sizes of fruits and vegetables. I think my favorites were the tomatillow - which always surprise me with their papery coating, and a big warty golden and green gourd. Wish Bob's little dancers well. He is nervous, and I think saome of them are too.

I'm trying a poem a day challenge this month - but not with great confidence. THe first prompt is to write about the Day of the Dead and I'll give it a try,


Early Halloween dusk, waxing moon.
Cardinal perches perfectly still
on bright patch of winter grass,
oblivious to voices, prowling cat,
laughing baby. Family gathers,
worried, amazed, in awe, watches
together until cardinal stirs,
takes flight into fading light,
no ordinary visitor. Identity undisclosed.
All Souls, All Saints, All mystery.