Tuesday, February 28, 2006

{SPT} the me who accepts your invitation

Invitations I usually accept:
guilt, to be "the responsible one," to do a favor I don't have time for, the ringing of the phone (even if it is not a good time), to fix someone's problems, guilt, the words of my inner critic, to meet unreachable expectations, sadness, to hide who I truly am, to sit in the back of the room, to stop asking questions, to whisper instead of speak loudly, to be the good girl, to walk instead of dance, guilt, guilt, guilt...

But this month, another invitation has come my way.
The invitation to embrace and accept all of me.
I extend this invitation to others every time I teach yoga, yet I could not find a way to extend it to me.
And then this month, this invitation arrived in the guise of magical words , images, and art by amazing women and the brave creatures who posted SPTs.

Thank you. Please accept my RSVP. I will attend this acceptance of myself as I embrace all of who I am. The faults, the ugly bits, the beauty, the grace, the fears, the joys, and yes, even the feelings of guilt.

Check out other SPT all of me posts at Self Portrait Tuesday.

Monday, February 27, 2006

senses. artist date.






{and know}

Sunday, February 26, 2006

a self-portrait


I have put on my bathing suit and jumped off the diving board right into the world of Inspire Me Thursday...so at least once a week you are going to see something I have created with my own two hands. This week I tried creating my self-portrait with crayons. But I had trouble translating it over the scanner...but here it is all the same. This is how you can often find me. Trying to find my breath in the midst of the ramblings of my monkey mind.

Click on over to Inspire Me Thursday to see some other self-portraits and explore some amazing blogs.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

going in

I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.
John Muir

Thursday, February 23, 2006

poetry thursday

in the morning

for mary

it was my first poetry reading
i, a reluctant 7 year old attendee
standing in my jockeys as my sister,
her mouth twisting violently
around Dunbar’s dialectic verse,
screeched "lias, lias, bless de lawd"

at eight, my sister lacked subtlety
screaming lines without attention to timbre or tone,
commas & hyphens caused her no pause
she was, as instructed, projecting,
loud enough for her voice to bounce
off the rear of draper elementary’s auditorium
& to wake the deceased & resting Dunbar
a shrill fisherwoman’s delivery for a future audience

shut up, i muttered, through sleepy eyes
as my sister switched to Langston’s poem,
"life for me ain’t been no crystal stair"
her head rocking with emphasis & joy at my annoyance
i heard these two poems ricochet off the walls of our home
no less than five thousand times in a truncated February

my friends came to my home often,
looking for this kid named lias, who caused my sister
to scream with madness every waking hour
& searching in vain for the crystals in our stairs
by the time my sister had her official reading
our entire family was reciting both poems
like brainwashed idiots

thirty years later, it is me
annoying my family with verse and stanza
casting my life by the poems coursing my veins
while my sister’s life has become the jagged minstrel
that identify Dunbar’s lyrics
her song marked by the erratic meter
of an addict’s rhyme as she fills her lungs
with the shattered remains of a descending crystal stair

now i recite poems that beg her to live,
that implore her to be as tenacious in her search
for rhythm & meaning as the little girl
who lit up our home with sweet black words
who Langston warned and Dunbar amused

in the morning,
i pray for the blessing of any lord
for some lyrical benediction
to heal her cacophonous wounds
& make whole again the little girl,
who clings to sonnets & sobriety.

Kenneth Carroll

Right now, my deciding factor for Poetry Thursday is "poems that make me gasp out loud." And this one did. It also made me laugh out loud and invited little pinpricks of tears to tap at the back of my eyes.

If you would like to share a poem, one that speaks to you...makes you gasp out loud, please post it to your blog. And then you can email me and I will post a link to your blog in a new sidebar heading of Poetry Thursday participants. If you do not have a blog and want to post a poem, please feel free to post it in the comments here.

Let the poetry readings begin...

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

a transition

in the last couple of weeks, i have jettisoned from the blogger closet. no longer anonymous. when i first started this blog, i wasn't sure if i would share it with anyone but my husband. i didn't expect that anyone would really read it. i think a lot of us start that way don't we? my posts felt so anonymous. who would ever read these words? but i started leaving comments at the blogs i had been reading for several months. then michelle stopped by. my very first comment (thank you michelle). and then she stopped by again. and then a few others stopped by and left their comments. and suddenly people i had never met were reading the words i put out there into the universe every day.

i shared the link with a few people in my "real" life. people i felt would not judge. (or thought wouldn't. one friend shocked me with his words about how simple and trite my thoughts seemed.) no one from my real life really let me know if they were reading. and that was okay. and because of that, i still felt very anonymous.

a few weeks ago, i realized that i felt a bit of a disconnect between my day to day life and the fact that writing here has become so important to me. i wanted to share this aspect of my journey with the people who have known me for a while. i began to share the link to this little page out here in cyberspace with more friends. and also my mom. i am no longer anonymous. i have no control over who is reading my blog, what they will think. so now i feel like i am in a bit of a transition period. trying not to censor myself, and i don't think i am, and letting go of the worries of this decision. letting my blog world and my real world become, simply, my world.

i have, though, been thinking about the questions my friends and family may have about this blog medium. and why i do this. why i come to this blank page almost every day and share thoughts, ideas, silliness, sadness...so here is a little q & a for you...

Why did I start this blog?
last summer i attended a retreat and through an exercise at the retreat, i ended up writing about what my work is/what i want it to be. i wrote more about this here. part of what i wrote was this: my work is to create peace around me and to write about true things, feelings, and moments so that others will know they are not alone.
i had no idea how i was going to do this. all i knew was that i wanted to write and share. i had been reading several blogs for a few months, but it didn't even cross my mind to start my own. and then one day it did. and this hope became a reality. this is why i read blogs; this is why i have one. this journey through life is difficult and beautiful and crazy and hard. and it is nice to know that there are other people out there, all over the world, doing the best they can just like me. they are pursuing dreams they had forgotten about. finding their true selves. finding a spiritual path. creating, writing, painting, dancing, drawing. raising children. helping others. learning how to love themselves. finding laughter in the midst of grief. reconnecting with the person they once were. doing the best they can. and to be able to connect with them...well, that is just a miracle really.

Am I going to mention my friends and family on my blog?
again, the anonymity piece. when i first started writing here, i didn't think friends or family would see this blog. then i thought i might have a rule where i wouldn't mention them unless i asked first. now i feel this way: this is not a place where i will vent or make fun or purposefully cause another pain. this is not be my intention. i will not share the secrets of others, only my own. because my journey involves my friends and family, they may come up (and if you have been reading for a while, you know i have posted about my family). if i share about you it is because you are a part of my life and i love you. it is that simple. but this may mean that i share my struggles sometimes. i won't be posting specifics, no one will be able to "find you" through my blog (unless they already know you).

How do comments work?
ahhh...comments. yes. the ultimate exercise for the ego. comments are wonderful. thank you thank you thank you for the comments. however, the ego sometimes becomes a bit too involved. the "guess what? 20 comments today!" ego. if you feel moved to leave a comment, i appreciate it because then i know you are out there in your corner of the world, visiting me in mine. but don't feel pressure to leave one. i sometimes get wrapped up in "oh no, i did not visit all the blogs i read today/this weekend/this week. are they going to hate me because i didn't comment? will they not come back to visit me if i miss a week?" i am learning to let that go. please let it go too.

and if you have been stopping by here every now and then for a while you might wonder: Am I really still reading the summer of the great-grandmother?
ok no. i wish i was. i had to turn it back into the library when i was halfway through it. yes, i know it has been up there on the sidebar for two months. i want to be reading it, that is why it is there. i will try to do a better job of posting the current books i am reading. especially since i have read several since then.

Are there any other questions floating around out there? If yes, leave me a comment (hee, hee) and I will answer them. Thanks for stopping by my friends...from both worlds...thank you.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

{SPT} the me who is a pirate

My eyes.
This is what I answer if asked the odd question: what is your favorite part of your body?
My eyes.
For they are not fat. And fat is how I see the rest of me.
But here is the top secret truth: my left eye is the most "flawed" part of my body.
A flaw I cannot fix.
My flaw not too many people know about.
My left eye does not turn to the left. Not even a little bit.
"No it is not a lazy eye." The answer to the question I am always asked.
"But I have never noticed" is what is said next.
Right. You haven't. Because my parents were amazing.
My mother did not want me to feel different.
She taught me to turn my head.
For a little while I wore an eye patch as a child.
A pirate at three.
When I need to see something to the left,
I turn my head.
It is that simple.
So you never notice. And I don't really think about it....

I am in fourth grade, and the doctors and my parents decide that surgery is a good idea. To move my eye forward, for cosmetic reasons, to make sure that it will not move as I age and take a look around and just see what they find. A teaching hospital. Let's just see if maybe we might be able to do something. I am easily bribed by the promise of a cabbage patch kid with a tooth. But would I have agreed if I would have known the torment a fourth grade classmate would provide during my healing process? "Your eye is all red. Gross." For weeks the redness does not go away. For weeks his words torment me. I wear my mom's sunglasses for the first few days hoping no one will notice the redness. But who doesn't notice the fourth grader in adult sunglasses? (I chuckle through tears as I write that.) I do not want to miss any school. I already missed two weeks at the beginning of the year, I love my teacher, I love reading Caddie Woodlawn, I will not miss any more days.

I am 15 and studying genetics in Biology. This is my favorite part of this class so far. I love punnett squares. On this day, we spend the hour talking about genetic mutations. Mutants. I have never thought about the possibility that my eye is a result of a genetic mutation. A little part of me almost dies that day as I think about Darwin and evolution and the idea that the mutants are not wanted. I talk to my teacher after class, wanting to understand why we would use the word mutation when talking about a person's genes. He is very kind.

I am 22 and have been out with a friend. Someone I feel comfortable with. I am walking to my car, and she calls my name. My eyes are focused on my car as I turn around quickly. I hear, "God, what is wrong with your eyes?" Because my eyes were focused on one thing, but my brain said, "turn back around," she noticed my eye. I can still hear her voice. Loud. Harsh. Cruel. Confused.

I am 25 and realize that I might need glasses for distance. I do not want to go to the eye doctor. I have not been since I was a child. I decide to go to an opthalmologist because maybe he will have seen this before and not be weird about it. As I make the appointment, I explain "my left eye has duane's retraction syndrome. But that is not why I am making the appointment. I am making the appointment because I think I need glasses." "What is that? How do you spell that?" I have to explain. Fine. Still, I hope it won't be weird. But when I get there, I have to see a young woman first. Someone who has not seen this before. Someone who did not know what it means on my chart. Someone who does not know how to react when my eye does not turn. Yes, I know I look normal. But this is what happens when you say, "please follow my pen with your eyes." And when the doctor comes in, "Well, you are quite the celebrity today. Quite a buzz about you in this office. Most of these people have never seen this before, and I have only seen it in books." But I don't want to be a celebrity. I just want to know if I need glasses. I wonder, were those my eyes in the book? Could be, because they took pictures when I was a child. I do not want to follow the pen, the light, your finger to the left over and over again so you can see my eye not turn.

I am 29. And I finally realize my favorite part of this story. The support of family when I was younger. The support, to be honest, that I don't really remember because I never felt different, never noticed my eye, never had trouble reading, seeing, playing, and so on...the support that happened before my memories really began. The support that caused me to have to think about which eye had the problem because I never noticed it growing up. The support that began as soon as my parents realized something was wrong. I imagine the fear and confusion they must have felt. "What is wrong with her eye? What is happening? What did we do? Can she use it? Will she read? What do we do?" But they did something. They did not ignore it. Hours holding the red apple is front of me and teaching me to turn my head. And support from my grandfather through his offer to see if the doctors could take the muscle from his left eye. He was born with mostly blindness in that eye and wanted to give me any parts of his eye that would work and help me not be different. Not a possibility but the offer of the gift is even greater than actually receiving it.

They said I wouldn't read or wouldn't read very well. My mother did not believe them. She spent hours doing what she could to help me realize that I was in control of my eyes, how I would turn my head, how I would see things. I wore the eye patch for a few months so that I would turn my head. It became so automatic that the eye patch was not needed, and it was almost like the eye patch became invisible. She taught me to turn my head so that I would embrace this flaw. This flaw I never really think about because it does not affect me. They said I wouldn't read very well. But I read for a living...hmmm...guess they are not always right.

I would not change it. I know this secret that I hold. I am a pirate who travels the world through the books that live on the shelves in my home. A pirate who can see it all...

see more "all of me" posts on self portrait tuesday

edited on 5/27/07 to add: if you have arrived at this post because you or your child (or someone else close to you) has duane's retraction syndrome, please feel free to email me at waywardtulip at gmail dot com. and, if i could give parents words of wisdom from my experiences, i would say this: if you can afford for your child to have surgery to help with the movement and appearance of the eye (even if it is only cosmetically), do so. i believe that part of the reason i have been able to embrace this "pirate" in me is because visually, others do not notice that there is a problem with my eye. as a result, duane's did not affect my self-esteem about how i look. people might try to tell you that the surgery isn't necessary. but life is hard enough without feeling like you look different than others.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

like a wayward tulip

I could stand tall, firm, with the group
try to raise my head above the others.
Or maybe find my supple self and bend
discover another path.
Breathe, find the curve of my spine.
Breathe, open my eyes.
Like a wayward tulip
looking for a new view,
another window from which to see the world.

{AW} check-in

I am behind. Again. An unexpected surge in editing work (which is good) has kept me working more than anticipated so I am juggling the many other things in my life. Still, I hate being "behind" again. I always turned my homework in on time! Maybe this is becoming more of an exercise of letting that need for perfection go and still do the pieces that I can. I also think that I might be behind because in the sidebar for this week's chapter Cameron tells us we will discuss money. Money is not a topic I enjoy. Abundance is though. So maybe I am manifesting some abundance through all this work this week...

The artist dates remain one of my favorite parts of the process (and one I can do even if I am behind). This week I planned on taking the $5 my grandpa sent me for Valentine's Day (as he and my grandma have done every year since I can remember) to the dollar store Friday to see what I could find. But life (and illness) interrupted. So today, as a trip out of the house, I took Jon on my artist's date to the dollar store. With rules...er...suggestions. We were each going to wander around the store (my grandpa sent him $5 too) for about 15 minutes. Ignoring each other. And then meet up at the cash register with our finds. But these finds had to be something to feed our creative soul. (read: not stuff for work.) It was fun! I found neat pencils, alphabet stickers, and superballs (to remind me of this). Jon found superman and mighty mouse cartoon dvds and teenage mutant ninja stickers (that might be for school but at least they are not serious). I could have spent more than $5 but stuck to my plan. And yes, I promise to go on my artist date alone next week.

Thank you all for your kind words and positive energy you sent our way after jon's health scare the other night. He is still feeling "puny," as my grandmother would say, but is much better.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

poetry thursdays

My plan was to post this much earlier...but I spent the evening at an urgent care center at the hospital with my husband. He is fine. Still, some scary moments...He is fine. He had to have a CAT scan. He is fine. I appreciate the kindess of doctors and nurses on an evening like tonight. A thank you from my heart to those of you who take care of others in this way.

I have a new idea. Poetry Thursdays.
An invitation to read a new poem or an old favorite.
An invitation to take the poem with you to the bathtub to have your own poetry reading.
An invitation to rediscover a poem that you love and share it with others.
An invitation to write a poem. Yes, you. Write. A. Poem.
An invitation to look at the world from another's perspective.
An invitation to let words resonate within you.

And I plan to extend this invitation through sharing a different poem each week. One I have discovered on this journey into poetry that I find myself on this year.

I read this one out loud to jonny tonight as we were waiting for the doctor to come back to tell us the plan...

Many Miles

The feet of the heron,
under those bamboo stems,
hold the blue body,
the great beak

above the shallows
of the pond.
Who could guess
their patience?

Sometimes the toes
shake, like worms.
What fish
could resist?

Or think of the cricket,
his green hooks
climbing the blade of grass-
or think of camel feet

like ear muffs,
striding over the sand-
or think of your own
slapping along the highway,

a long life,
many miles.
To each of us comes
the body gift.

- Mary Oliver

Wednesday, February 15, 2006


I love the question Alexandra has asked: what do you know that you don't want to know?
And I realize. I want to know it all. Even the shit. (yes I just put that word out into the universe)
There are moments when I think "why me? why is this happening? this was not at all what I imagined or hoped for or dreamed of." Yet, it is clear that this is how it was supposed to be. Because now I am here. Armed with all of this knowledge, experience, and the realization that the tools to deal with the shit have been in me all along. I know I will forget this over and over again. This is how it works. I believe the big lessons in our life exist on a timeline and sometimes we get caught up in a loop of the lesson. I suppose that there are times that this loop could last a lifetime...but I think of it like this: You move along and then something trips you up, so you are caught up in the loop of the lesson. You loop around and around for a while...then you eventually learn this piece of the lesson and continue on again. Until you trip. Then another loop and so on. The funny thing is that even when you realize this, you still trip. Even when you are in the loop, you can't or don't get off. Even when you know you are in the midst of a lesson, it is still hard to learn. But you have the tools inside you to help the upsidedown world of spinning in the loop seem a little more rightsideup.

For the first time in a long time, I feel like me. Alive. Awake. I don't want to go to sleep and miss my life. I don't want to look back and think, "why didn't I do something?" And so I want to do something with all the lessons. I am figuring out what that is...but I know that I want to do something.

Again, I'm within my self.
I walked away, but here I come sailing back,
feet in the air, upsidedown,
as a saint when he opens his eyes
from prayer: Now. The room,
the tablecloth, familiar faces.
- Rumi

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

{SPT} the me before i feel

Before I feel
Before I talk with anyone
Before I clear my head
or wipe the sleep from my eyes
and the dried drool from the corner of my mouth

Before I breathe in and out with intention
Before I stretch my back in cobra pose
Before I take a shower
or put on my clothes
and paint my face and brush my hair

Before I energize my body with food
Before I check my email
Before I start my work
or organize my schedule
and begin to read the words written by others

I walk out to the living room
Sit down at the table
And take this picture

I breathe in vulnerability
and exhale self-acceptance

This is me
The me before I begin to feel
Before I remember who I am

All I ask is that if you encounter this me
Please be gentle
I will begin to feel soon enough

Monday, February 13, 2006

{AW} a tag

I was tagged by Blue Dog to share the following:

Four wishes, dreams, and desires
1) a trip back to maui without the worry of financial debt
2) to own a bookstore/pajama shop/coffee shop
3) to have a yoga studio above the afore-mentioned shop
4) to maybe, some day, have a child

Four imaginary lives
1) a mermaid
2) a photographer who travels around the world
3) a broadway singer/dancer
4) the first female president

Four things I should change
1) to take even better care of this temple that is my body
2) my negative self-talk
3) let go of more "stuff" - emotional, physical, material
4) love more, judge less

Four people I admire
1) SARK - her honest, creative, inspiring way.
2) my friend heather - her strength and courage. she always invites me to grow, be more than I am, and she never judges as I share my innermost demons, secrets, dreams, hopes.
3) my brother - as he follows his dream, he teaches me to let go and live more. as he searches inside himself for truth and understanding, he reminds me that i have the tools to do the same.
4) my friend juli - i trust her with my life. and i am sometimes in awe that she invites this kind of trust.

Four things i like about the artist way
1) i feel that i have permission to find this artist inside me.
2) the sense of community - so many other bloggers are out there following this same path, at least for these 12 weeks.
3) the idea that i am not alone in this hope to find a connection with myself and others.
4) artist dates. artist dates. artist dates.

Four things i still hope to get out of the artist way
1) the habit of morning pages.
2) permission to let this artist inside of me begin to create.
3) a continued sense of this community.
4) the habit of morning pages (yes, I really do want this to become a habit, so maybe, if i write it here again, it will begin to germinate into more than just a seed of an idea).

Who inspires you? What imaginary life do you wish you were living? What would you change?

Sunday, February 12, 2006

senses. sangha.

As soon as I step into the room, I sigh. Calm. Safe. Sangha. The scratchy, thick wool blanket. A tacky, sticky yoga mat. The warm embrace of others as we greet one another. Some pause as they hug. Sigh. Honor one another. Grateful to see one another. I sit on my blanket, fold my legs in front of me, and settle in for an afternoon of learning, sharing, listening. As we start our time with chanting, I feel the sound of all our voices vibrate inside me. As we begin to discuss, just discuss, inversions, my energy, the group's energy, increases. As the afternoon ends, again we embrace one another. Validation and support in the form of a hug. The knowledge that we will do this again the next day. Two days of community, learning, sharing.

Happy voices of the group greeting one another. For many it has been a month since we have seen one another. To being the afternoon, we chant to Ganesh and honor our teachers and teachers' teachers. People begin to check-in. I hear their truth. They share with such honesty and integrity in their voices. Tears. Laughter. Tears again. Validation. Affirmation. The calm, wise voice of our teacher. Her infectious laughter. She shares her knowledge without attachment, inviting questions, conversation. We study inversions. Changing your perspective by literally turning yourself upside down. An excited voice says something like, "did anyone else just love headstands as a kid? I would watch tv standing on my head." Laughter. No one quite agreed but we could all relate to the child-like joy. Throughout the afternoon, moments of quiet counterpose the energy, laughter, voices.

Fresh air drifts in through the open windows. It is warm enough (read: no rain, wind, or gray sky) to have the windows open. Yes. Yes. Yes. Someone brought foil-wrapped hearts. As I bring one to my lips, the intoxicating smell of my vice, chocolate. Can I let one be enough? No. Throughout the afternoon I eat three. Later, the spicy, warm, stomach-grumbling inducing smells wafting from the kitchen of a Thai restaurant.

The salad, my new favorite meal, that I brought for lunch. I taste dried cranberries, blue cheese, apple, lettuce, walnuts. I am eating a salad and loving it, I think to myself with a little happiness and pride. Later, the hot, rich, bitter flavor of a vanilla latte. Even later, peanut sauce, curry, rice, noodles, vegetables shared with four friends. The spices cha-cha on my tongue in the midst of conversation and laughter. The welcome clear, cleansing taste of water when the curry is a bit more than my tastebuds can handle.

On days like this, I usually focus on faces. Smile, sadness, serious eyes, frown of confusion, nodding affirmation, a wink as a joke is shared, quizzically raised eyebrows, laughter and wrinkles around the eyes. And when we study asana, I then focus on bodies. On this day, bodies in shoulder stand, head stand, supported head stand. Although I am not yet brave enough to experience these poses, I enjoy the change in perspective these poses invite in others. A new look at the world. Upside down.

{and know}
You can find a community of people, a sangha, and know that you are not alone in your journey. Take a breath and open your heart to the possibility.

{AW} an artist date, a salad quest

blogger has not been my friend this weekend...tried to post several times...so will probably post twice today.

Friday night I went on an artist date to a favorite place of mine, a grocery store called Metropolitan Market.
I walked in, grabbed a basket and began walking. I had two goals. The first was to take in the colors and textures of the market. The second, to find the ingredients to recreate a salad I had discovered the week before. I would like to eat more salad, but lettuce does not do much for me. But if the salad is easy to make and seems "gourmet," then I can do it.

Goal one: The produce section. The colors are as many as in a 96 box of Crayolas. Greens, reds, pinks, yellows, purples. The first time I walked into this store when we moved here I almost started weeping in the midst of the produce. The displays, the smells, the choices. The smooth apples, the damp, delicate lettuce, the slight bumpy texture of an orange. As I walk through the rest of the store, I try to take in which colors attract my eye. Reds, oranges, blues. Several times I wish for my camera. Let your eyes be the lens sometimes, I remind myself. And I couldn't help but wonder "would I be allowed to take pictures at a grocery store?" I can imagine myself saying to the guy mopping the floor, "I am not a spy."

Goal two: Green leaf lettuce, red bib lettuce, fresh crumpled blue cheese, fuji apples, walnuts, dried cranberries, and honey pear salad dressing. Yes, yes, yes.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

another reading

The blue sky is crystal clear today.
No clouds in sight.
Which means day four of no rain dropping on my head, the house, the earth.
Millie and I went for a walk.
Breathing in the fresh, crisp, dry air.
But it is cold.
Ears-hurting cold.
So I will warm up with a bath
and another poetry reading in the tub.
I think I will start with these words by William Stafford.

Things That Happen

Sometimes before great events a person will try,
disguised, at his best, not to be a clown:
he feels, "A great event is coming, bow down."
And I, always looking for something anyway,
always bow down.

Once, later than dawn but early,
before the lines of the calendar fell,
one of those events turned an unseen corner
and came near, near, sounding before it
somethign the opposite from a leper's bell.

We were back of three mountains called
"Sisters" along the Green Lakes trail
and had crossed a ridge when that
one little puff of air touched us,
hardly felt at all.

That was the greatest event that day;
it righted all wrong.
I remember it, the way the dust moved there.
Something had come out of the ground
and moved calmly along.

No one was ahead of us, no one
in all that moon-like land.
Oh, I thought, how hard the world has tried
with its wind, its miles, its blundering
stumbling days, again and again, to find my hand.

(from Allegiance new poems by William Stafford)

Wednesday, February 08, 2006


problem: you both love enchiladas but each of you likes a different sauce.
solution: see above.

problem: you are intrigued by discussions of grey's anatomy but you missed the much talked about show on sunday.
solution: tune in to abc tomorrow night (9:30/8:30c) for an encore presentation and you too can find out why i wanted to pray for bailey's husband.

problem: you are busier than usual and feel discombobulated.
solution: find your breath. and breathe.

problem: you have missed several days of morning pages in your AW journey.
solution: let go of the guilt and try again tomorrow.

problem: you love chocolate more than some people in your life.
solution: eat dark chocolate. it is good for you (in small doses) and just rich enough that you don't want to eat an entire bar in one sitting.

problem: you have a very low self-image when it comes to how you look, your body, your beauty.
solution: find inspiration in this month's SPT posts.

what problems have you solved today? probably more than you realize...
I would love to hear about them.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

{SPT} the me who hides

the me that hides

I pull my hood up
and a force field surrounds me
the darkness may have come
but I can protect myself
a habit that began in college
and when moments lead me to melancholy days
I find pulling my hood up around my head
a security blanket for my soul

This month's SPT theme being all of me made me think about capturing the feeling of the me who hides from the world when loneliness, grief, or other feelings of sadness creep in.

I was able to quickly tap into this feeling as I sat on the couch this morning. And I took a few pictures with the timer...but as I tried to capture the last one, Millie would have no part of the sadness anymore. She seemed to pose for the camera, captivated by the sound of the timer. So here is another self-portrait: the me with the big smile. People say that I have a beautiful smile. I never believe them. I am always focused on my big teeth and the way that my lip comes up so far that you can see so much of my gums. But here I am. All of me. From the hiding to the laughter.

the me with the big smile

See more SPT photos here

Monday, February 06, 2006

little joys

here comes the sun. it was out all day today.
a visit with a dear friend (how lucky i am that every few months she travels from indiana to seattle for work).
pizza and beer.
watching grey's anatomy. i am still thinking of last week's episode. i cried through the last 10 minutes. and yesterday's episode. wow. wow. wow. i am a little too close to this show because i almost wrote "i should pray for bailey's husband." yes, yes, i know. it is not real.
finishing the book wicked. it was good. odd. interesting. the idea that we are often misunderstood as we carry our baggage.
a crocus is blooming. already. one little purple crocus. makes me so happy.
that my brother was signed to a record deal with a band he plays with. more details to come as i learn more.
curling up with millie and taking a nap.
the fact that my husband is dressing up like professor plum for school tomorrow. (the different advisory groups have to dress up with a theme - it's spirit week. his students came up with clue. so we were at macy's tonight searching for a purple shirt and tie. 30% off the already marked down 50% off. what more could you want?)
that my yoga students are sticking around after class to connect, ask questions, talk with me and each other.
singing songs with the weepies as i work.
that i am finally catching up on reading blogs.
that my editing work is starting to increase (oh please, please let this continue)
little moments when i can remind my husband that he can do anything and he hears me.
feeling really alive.
remembering that maybe, just maybe, i can do anything.

Sunday, February 05, 2006


This is one of the postcards I made for the postcard swap organized by Christina (the rest of them are quite similar to this one, but each were created separately). I have received a few in the mail from others already. And I must admit that I have felt pretty special when I go to my mailbox with such anticipation and am given the gift of a postcard. I plan to upload them to flickr, but, of course, I am still figuring out how to create a link to my flickr page so stay tuned.

Creating all these little pieces of art that I have sent out into the universe to be discovered in a few mailboxes all over the country (and world) has been so much fun. And I am owning the fact that these are "little pieces of art." The sentiment expressed in this postcard seems to be for me too. Maybe it is also for you.

Friday, February 03, 2006

senses. a memory.

My apartment in Indiana, late March 2001. Books are stacked on shelves, on each other, on the floor. Storypeople adorn the walls. I sit on my purple chenille couch, the calypso flower print comforter from my bed across my lap. Next to me, curled up with his head on my lap, is my new companion, Traveler. I traveled to Tennessee to pick him up; his previous experiences are unknown to me, but he seems to realize he has found his forever home. He has lived with me for nine days. His fur is golden red; he wears a red collar and a green bandana. The only light is from the television. We are tucked into the couch, cuddled up, sharing the comforter watching Natalie Portman have a baby, fall in love, run away from love, run back to it in Where the Heart Is. Traveler's eyes are usually closed. He must have learned these lessons already.

Rich, cold chocolate ice cream. What more could a girl want. My memory chooses to believe it was Haagen Daz right from the carton.

A candle burns and the slight scent of sandlewood fills the air. I bend down to kiss Traveler's nose and smell his doggy breath that still has the faint odor of his dinner.

A driver revs a car engine and peels out at the stop sign. The refrigerator hums. The heater kicks on. Traveler sighs, yawns, sighs again. Drama abounds through the language, words, feelings that sound through the television speakers. Toward the end of the movie, I hear my own breath as tears fall and I cry.

Trav's soft fur as I stroke his head with my fingertips. The cold ice cream as I indulge. The soft cotton of my orange and red striped pajama pants. As I watch the last few moments of the movie, my heart seems to pause for a moment. Will I ever find this love? Even crappy, over-dramatized movie kind of love. Will anyone ever look at me and want to stop the world just to be with me? Will I always be alone? I begin to cry. Traveler moves his head to my hand and I feel the warmth of his breath. My tears stop. I feel my heart begin to beat again. I have enough. I am enough. I hear my own voice say out loud, "If it is just you and me Traveler, it will be okay."

{and know}
It is only when you let go of controlling the dream that you can be quiet enough to see it when it crosses your path. (Three weeks later my husband and I went on our first date.)

This post is dedicated to my first golden child Traveler. A year ago today, Jon and I had to let Trav go. I miss him but know I am blessed that he gave me such gifts.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

a phrase

a phrase has walked across my heart this evening

a reminder
from the past
a hint
of the truth
a whisper
from the universe
a song
for the present
a vibration
of sounds and certainties
a need
from the soul
a wish
for the future

a simple phrase
you are not alone