This is Gratitude

Thank. You.

Love is not a command. Love is a celebration.

Thank you for celebrating the unspeakable gift of existence with me.

 

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Life Curriculum

And so goes the night -My partner sick from a crown affixing dental appointment and no sleep so did not attend the curriculum night with me as intended. I feel sad (and irritated) at how hard things are for us (for me) with his ongoing health, well being and professional challenges. Sigh. I walk into the building late.
I sit down and realize I am good-more than good. I feel it’s a privilege to be there for my daughter who is working so hard at her life. It’s easy to listen when the air surrounding you is you. More talks, more changes in locations and finally I meet up with her Dad (my x) and his new girlfriend in my daughter’s first classroom. Everyone is bit uncomfortable. The girlfriend makes some comment about how white this High School is. I turn forward and feel the intensity of this night and the wholeness of me. Just me– sitting in this chair, having made it through my early life, through my marriage and into an adult life where I get to be me-most hours, most days if I choose. Passionate, mothering, professional, focused, creative me.
The bell rings. We walk as separate entities; X and girlfriend; me. Another classroom another bell. I somehow end up behind them holding hands playing ‘bump your hips into mine’ while we walk. In Science I decide to pull up a chair next to the girlfriend and ask her about her teaching and start to the year. I notice she doesn’t ask a lot of questions and there is little time. I wonder and intuit she may be nervous. I’ve been told I can me intimidating. I smile and make small talk with her in whispers-a nod here and there. Eventually she fades away from attending classes. X and I continue on to the remaining 2 subjects rejoining new and old and improved co-parenting threads. He sits happy and at ease even in her absence. I feel happy for him . As can happen, I care about the people I love and can’t stop. I care that he is happy. It brings along with it complicated situations and feeling. In the end, I know this Xfamily-of-4.

I fell in love with him also. And I can’t help but be happy he is back.


Hate is a strong word…

images…when applied to something as trivial as Facebook. And yet it applies. Not because of anything inherently villanous about Facebook. Because of the complex, nuanced world which it denies. The world we swim in 23 hours a day-sans the one (or 2 hours) we imbibe in posting, liking and reacting. So why does it matter?

It is the first day of school. Pictures of graders of all ages abound in almost every post. My generation of parents (35-55) with children ranging from Second to Senior proffering their genes in outfits, endodontic smiles and wistfully bemoaning the passage of time.

“How did this happen?”

“Stop growing so fast!”

” First day of …..xxxx”

I am in a blended family. My life inhales a kaleidoscope of color and configuring logistics that are representative of the world we live in. There are ex spouses and mother in law’s from two marriages, brothers who perpetuate both wives and cross oceanic enstranger cousins.

It is impossible to attend monumental events such as first day of school in unison so it acts as a reminder of what is a raw and embroidered past. In some cosmic act of self-righteousness my new husbands post of his/our (?) beautiful blonde blended twins is posted only moments after his ex-wife posts the same girls in mirrored poses in front of the same school. I’m not tagged. I could not be there yet I purchased the backpack one girl is wearing and placed a calendar invite on our joint calendar for their return to school ice cream social. I feel denied. I feel the strangles of an undeniable past life and the reality that my life /our (?) life is forever relegated to the treadmill of vintage time. Impossible to catch.

My A-Team life coach-luminescent, erudite, empathetic, supremely effective answered, when asked, Are you on Facebook? “I understand the interest and I choose not to spend my energy there.” Adroit and done.

I almost wrote this post earlier. Instead I decided to call a dearest friend who had her first Ara-C breast cancer treatment today. Her fear and pain subjugated this diatribe. I asked myself “What is truly important in living?” and answered myself.

It is the life in front of us-the musty symphony of rain drenched skin; the side sweeping embraces of mothers in arms; the downturned eyes that represent disappointment and quintessential hope; the cacophony of side by side emotions saturating the first day of high school.

Nothing can replace this. Nothing can even come close.

 

 


Randomly ordered top 10

  1. I love saying things that empower you
  2. I love how V comes in randomly to give me hugs-daily
  3. I love how A now tells me that she likes something I’ve cooked, repeatedly
  4. Dad D comes in late Saturday night so if we are to see him together it will need to be Sunday-maybe coffee at J’s around 11?
  5. Last night-hard SA trauma place. My channels were so open when V’s voice came in –I immediately went to me-as a little girl. And then our sex was so in my body it took me back to all those places instantly.My body holding the trauma score. Thank you for being an envelop of support for me. That was a really deep place to come back from. It was hard work for me to bring us back and I’m glad I could let you.
  6. S is so bright again-doing things with the children; A Lumen of love
  7. I loved playing late night cribbage with J tonight talking about how much he loves our new life and how grateful he feels to have such a lovely home
  8. Getting to know G is so interesting right now-he is so deeply powerful and so gingerly tender.
  9. Malaria no More is becoming a foundation client. I work effectively with their British COO and he is a pleasure. This together with teaching and the tapestry of smaller clients should fill my fall enough to get by.
  10. My blog and publishing a collage piece light up my heron rising places.

I know now

That being invisible is another way of seeing the world. On foot in the light saturation of Friday, stepping quietly into the neighborhood of time. The hidden worlds of construction crews smoking their lunch, bearded single petting a cat and texting simultaneously and the wheelchair torso of a vet stretching and sleeping on the tangerine tea shop bistro table. The tip tap of our life construct a predictable visibility to our existence. What happens when you step out?

Let me know the story invisible until now 

 


Ascending Princes and Plagues

 

“Prince Live – Purple Rain (halftime show Super Bowl 2007)” — Prince R.I.P.

One year-this year-we lost Prince and David Bowie, we became unemployed, were married, survived a suicide attempt, brought audiences to tears singing Eliza Doolittle’s ‘I could have danced all night’, suffered a serious concussion and endured 103.8 flu temperatures. We canceled vacation and receptions, disabled a car and finally, ironically …..the home flood.

Rain. Sheets of grey, unrelenting, pelting rain.

We purchase beflowered rain boots for the little girls and Grundens tough cameo boots for the little guy. We don’t park in front of our house for fear of getting stuck in the 4-week soft mud ruts. Work arounds in a world afloat with uncertainty.

I flash back to a converted bedroom in the 1920’s craftsman home of the Friends of the Western Buddhist Order. I perch on the end of a frayed brocade divan chair. Eight women, of whom I am the youngest, huddle to discuss Pema Chodron’s book When Things Fall Apart. Wafts of recently brewed Earl Grey tea have settled into the carpet around us. Seated on the floor, Amita Ratna our female order member guides the conversation stream.

“During the Buddha’s time humans traveled on rutted mud roads. Daily these roads are washed away, partially hardening and always sculpted into new directions. Imagine driving an ox cart over these roads grinding and bumping along the jerky edges, rising vertically and dropping sharply into rut after rut. This is how our mental patterns are established and cemented. This is what we must work to overcome.”

Rainstorms. Accelerating pinpricks of water driving into the nooks of your body.

The door clicks open and I begin my slow scan scrolling from his feet to his face.

“How was this day for you ?” I ask, ominously curious. First the consulting business dried up. Then Microsoft laid off 2000 contractors flooding the job market with technical talent.

“Nothing, I applied to everything I could find today and still nothing” he says.

Joblessness grinds self-esteem and worthiness with 2001 little mortar and pestles; minute by minute carving dust from a body of wholeness.

I look for emblems of inspiration. I remember Prince’s performance in 2007.

Year of planning go into Super bowl halftime shows. Companies are made and broken from the success of their 30-second Super bowl advertisement. The half time show is a defining moment for 111M viewers.

“So how are you doing?” a dear friend asks knowing the plagues, which have befallen our family in the four months of 2016. In the spirit of Passover I count out the plagues-physical, emotional, environmental, looking for validation that it must be a mutation of nature. Only recently have I begun to share our inner rains with friends. Surprisingly I don’t feel better when I do.

“Do you remember watching Prince perform at the 2007 Super bowl halftime show?”

I recount the halftime show as we sit in the postage stamp kitchen stirring the green olives peppering her Moroccan stew. I tell the story of the gusting winds and how it had not rained at a Super bowl in 40 years. The images of dripping ponchoed fans storming the stadium. How Prince was to play four electric guitars and his dancers teetered on eight-inch heels. I tell her his answers when the producers nervously tell Prince about the rain.

“Can you make it rain harder?”

“That sends chills through my body” she says, feet to the ground, the broken water of awareness still between us.

It is a story I will recount again. In the bedroom of my youngest son. In the coffee shop. In this blog post. It is the ascension of attitude against the body of plagues.

“Can you make it rain harder?”

 


Independence

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Imminently the alumium alloy tube will lock him in to hurtle at 36,000 feet above sea level and 5 hour across the country. Alone. With his sister onboard and without a parent in the random hands of streams of professional TSA workers, gate checkers, pilots and air traffic controllers.

I’m reading the post apocalytic novel Station Eleven and a group of 100 pandemic survivors are holed up at an airport raiding evacuated store fronts and begining to build a Day 100 Museum of Civilization. In this primitive dystopian world of survivors and relics the Museum features iphones, stilleto heels, credit cards. It makes me wonder what I would place into the Museum if all cushions of normal existence as we know it in 2016 had evaporated.

Perhaps photographs. Perhaps a coveted collection of signed books. Perhaps a piece of jewelry stripped from my body.

As I send my boy into independance I place another item in the Museum, this one not of the material world. This item is an acknowledgment.

The acknowledgment that primal mothering instincts to protect our children have kept the human race breathing, emerging and surviving. Worms of human protection burrowed so deep, cooked into the collective soup of survival.