Monday, November 26, 2007

sorry


I apologise to my minions of non-reading readers who may or may not be out there. I have been temporarily offline and unable to upload anything of pertinent value or impertinence for that matter. I write this brief quip by way of explanation in hopes of utter absolution.
Amen
As a bribe I include a poor resolution picture of a fabulous mural my students did in honor of Leo Lionni and Fall.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

halloween


Frida, Ash Ketchum (pokemon trainer), Diego Rivera and lil' dragon.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

call me by my true names

Don't say that I will depart tomorrow --
even today I am still arriving.

Look deeply: every second I am arriving
to be a bud on a Spring branch,
to be a tiny bird, with still-fragile wings,
learning to sing in my new nest,
to be a caterpillar in the heart of a flower,
to be a jewel hiding itself in a stone.

I still arrive, in order to laugh and to cry,
to fear and to hope.

The rhythm of my heart is the birth and death
of all that is alive.

I am the mayfly metamorphosing
on the surface of the river.
And I am the bird
that swoops down to swallow the mayfly.

I am the frog swimming happily
in the clear water of a pond.
And I am the grass-snake
that silently feeds itself on the frog.

I am the child in Uganda, all skin and bones,
my legs as thin as bamboo sticks.
And I am the arms merchant,
selling deadly weapons to Uganda.

I am the twelve-year-old girl,
refugee on a small boat,
who throws herself into the ocean
after being raped by a sea pirate.
And I am the pirate,
my heart not yet capable
of seeing and loving.

I am a member of the politburo,
with plenty of power in my hands.
And I am the man who has to pay
his "debt of blood" to my people
dying slowly in a forced-labor camp.

My joy is like Spring, so warm
it makes flowers bloom all over the Earth.
My pain is like a river of tears,
so vast it fills the four oceans.

Please call me by my true names,
so I can hear all my cries and my laughter at once,
so I can see that my joy and pain are one.

Please call me by my true names,
so I can wake up,
and so the door of my heart
can be left open,
the door of compassion.

~Thich Nhat Hanh

Monday, October 15, 2007

Pumpkin Patch


This was Shane's first trip to a pumpkin patch. He was so excited, like a child, he clapped his hands and kept looking at each pumpkin to determine which was the best, he finally decided on a large albino pumpkin with a promising shape. Owen selected a small round pumpkin, while I went for size and chose one I could hardly lift.

The boys ate meat of every description, sold by the vendors and then went on a twirling ride that turned Shane a subtle shade of green.
It was a fabulous time, made better by the company and the shifting, changing celebration of the Season.

Hiking


Shane, Owen, Bodhi and I were fortunate enough to bask in the royal splendor of golden leaf on azure sky.

Bodhi loved hiking, he particularly liked the constant parade of admirers on the trail.

Leaves are dazzling the hillsides with a parade of color and a dance of twirling gold.


It was a magical day.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

children


I went to Owen's school today and while I was waiting outside his classroom I overheard a conversation going on in the kindergarten room. Glancing over, I saw a teacher sitting primly in a red plastic chair. Her tone severe, she lectured her young audience who attended to everything in the room except her voice. "Scissors are NOT used to cut crayons or playdo. They are ONLY for cutting paper. We cut paper to learn the skill of cutting. We study bears because they are interesting. Tommy, pay attention, Bears ARE interesting. Hands in your lap Susan. Eyes on me. Eyes on ME. Bears are interesting and you are learning important skills that will prepare you for the first grade. Excuse me, excuuuuse me. I am waiting. Kindergartners sit quietly and don't talk when I am talking." The lecture went on and on. I found myself imagining a flock of birds trapped in a cage, or monkeys carted off to an experimental lab, or something wild being stripped down and tamed. I wanted to run into the room, wildly, wielding crayons and scissors, nibbling on playdo and screaming "REVOLT". I wanted to yell, "FREE YOURSELVES". I wanted to call out, "Grab your paste and crayolas and join me". I wanted to instigate a revolution, overturning the social order. I didn't of course. I graduated from the school of "color in the lines, cut only paper, and never talk over a teacher", with honors. Besides, my son was already walking toward me with the self satisfied appearance of one recently liberated from study. On the drive home I began to wonder why we can't color outside the lines, or cut playdo with scissors, or sing in class. I am a teacher too. I know what it is like to manage a myriad of young bodies, whose every atom is screaming for movement. I put scissors out with the playdo, I don't have lines to color inside, I sing while I work (quietly, more like humming really) and yet I ache for the child in us all. The child, who like Bodhi, wants to discover and explore, to experiment and express. The child who is not yet tame.
"Unless ye become like little children, ye cannot enter the kingdom of heaven."
GRAB YOUR CRAYONS, EAT YOUR PLAYDO, GLUE YOUR FRIENDS, and LIVE LIFE LIKE YOUR ALIVE.

Monday, September 24, 2007

dropping knowledge QUESTION: Robert Thurman, New York

smiling



Bodhi seems to unconsciously understand the power of a full throttle smile. Living his life at a full tilt, he reminds me of the beauty and joy contained in each breath. What a gift.

Parade


Minding our own business we were interrupted by a cacophony of music, which seemed to be issuing from a marching band on the front porch. We rushed outside to see a parade passing by our front door. HOW RANDOM IS THAT. It was the Lakewood Tiger Homecoming Parade and it wound its way through our neighborhood.

Shane and Owen got all jazzed up, put on their orange and went out to the big game.

unbirthday

We celebrated Owen's unbirthday this weekend, complete with crown, unpresents (toothbruth, old ball, and a miniature velvet painting kit), potato bar and unbirthday cupcakes. We had a marvelous time.

Owen playing KING and Bodhi entertaining as the appointed jester.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


It has been a while since I wrote my last post. Truthfully, I began to feel it was a somewhat narcissistic endeavor, as I imagine only a relative few ever read these words. Still, I write, not because I anticipate an audience, but simply because writing is in my nature.
I have been suffering from a devastating case of sleep deprivation. Our Bodhi sunshine recently swore off prolonged periods of rest and has consequently relegated my beta waves to the distant past. I brought him to the doctor, fearing that he was suffering from a strange and dangerous virus that caused children to waken every thirty minutes. We spent a few restless minutes, closeted in an examining room lined with monkeys- stuffed, painted and photographed- preparing for the worst. The doctor offered an indulgent and slightly patronizing smile and said that Bodhi was most likely suffering from social dependent sleep disruption (or something to that effect). It sounded ominous but not lethal. She went on to tell me that some very social children become reliant on social interaction to the extent that their sleep is disrupted. Unfortunately this is more often true of children who co-sleep with their parents and generally worsens, rather than improves, unless measures are taken to encourage the nocturnal socialite to self-soothe and sleep independently. Feeling chagrined and carrying a grinning Bodhi on my hip, I returned home.
Bodhi has 'slept' in his crib for 4 nights now and I have begun a nightly regime of sleep walking to and from his room with uncomfortable frequency. He seems to be progressing incrementally and I look forward to REM's sometime within the decade. As for work, it is wonderful. I love my job, my co-workers and my students. Shane is a marvelous support through it all. He tries to get out of bed and help with Owen each night. His response to sleep deprivation is to sleep so deeply that he is impermeable to waking. As for me, I am exhausted, but happy and that is worth every sleepless night.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

nice

I used to be 'Nice'. You know, the kind of 'nice' that talks with a quiet voice and smiles sweetly, ignoring rude comments with apparent grace and lying down at each threshold to provide a doormat for the next person to enter over. A 'nice' that usually results in leaking anger, rather than expressing it, thereby toxifying the undercurrent and polluting the body. Yeah, that kind of nice. Now, it seems that I am becoming more genuine. Don't get me wrong, I am often smiling and ignoring things that don't matter, but if I get ruffled now, I growl.
Today, I was confronted by a very rude, middle aged woman, intent on berating someone and I was the nearest person to her in the store. She made an obnoxious comment, that the 'nice' Angelina would have responded to with a smile and a swift apology for existing(swallowing the immediate impulse of retaliation, by imagining any number of possible situations in the woman's life which might have provoked her attitude. Who knows maybe her cat, Fluffy, died this morning, or her husband might be having an affair, etc., ad infinitum). Instead, I turned to her and said, "You know, I imagine that you are capable of being friendly to an outright stranger, but have intentionally decided to be rude. Why don't you decide to do it somewhere else". Well that is what I wanted to say, what I actually said was, "Geez, that wasn't very friendly of you, was it" and I walked away. It wasn't mean, (actually it was a little passive aggressive maybe), but it wasn't 'nice' either. It's a start. Maybe I will feel better physically,when I cease swallowing my feelings in my pursuit of appearing nice to people I don't know and I'll probably have the emotional energy to be truly kind to the people I do (including myself).

Saturday, September 1, 2007

The Little Mermaid and Insight


Last night Owen, Mojo and I, went to see the upcoming Broadway musical, The Little Mermaid, at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House in Denver.
It was MAGNIFICENT. More than that, it was wonderful beyond words. The little girl in my heart, couldn't stop smiling and glowing. I recommend it to anyone who has the opportunity to see it.
On our way home, Owen and I got into a deep philosophical conversation. One thing led to another and I said that my deepest wish was to fully realize the truth that I am not a body, but an expression of all there is and realize it so much that all there is begins consciously breathing me (well that and getting to be a Mermaid). Owen said, "But Mom you can do that already". I laughed, assuming he was joking and he said, "No mom really. You just have to close your eyes and say I AM those things and think about them without thinking of anything else and for that moment you are what you are wishing for". Surprised, I smiled, "Yep, you're right son!" Then he said, "I think there is only one God and it breaks into millions and millions of pieces and a piece of God is in everything, rocks, trees, people, animals...even cars. You can talk to the God by opening your heart and a stream of spiritual light forms a connection between two hearts. You break that connection when you get angry at them." He went on for quite a while. None of these concepts are new. I am sure he has heard me tout similar philosophies at one point or another, but the fact remains that he digests, assimilates and reformulates them, each time coming up with something different and his own. Pretty cool.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Heart's Desire


Shane initiated a mock game show, Be a Millionaire, with Owen tonight after supper. I missed some of the details but the gist of it was that Owen could win or lose exorbitant amounts of imaginary money for catching a specified number of disks. In the end they wagered all the money he had won (several billion dollars) for having all his heart desired. He won and was giddy with excitement. Every pore in his body was vibrating with enthusiasm. Then Shane (alias, Billy Billerson) upped the ante, asking Owen if he was willing to wager all his heart desires in exchange for the ability to give the people he loves what their hearts desired. If he lost, he lost everything and if he won, he would win it all. His face was serious and sweat rivulets streamed down his forehead. "I'll Do It!", he exclaimed. Shane (aka Billy) threw the disks and Owen caught them. He was jumping up and down. I don't think I have ever seen him so happy. He wouldn't play anymore after that. He said, "Thank you sir, but I am finished now" and skipped into the house. A few moments later he stood beaming at me. "Mom, I am gonna wish that no animals have to die if they don't want, or get poached or anything. And no one ever has to be hungry or homeless. I wish that there are no wars and people never kill each other. I wish that every person has their own heart's desire and if they want to be happy they will be happy. If they want to be sad they will be sad. Whatever their heart desires they can be, but they can not hurt anyone else- that they can never do." Absolutely satisfied and feeling secure in the world, he smiled up at me. That beautiful, beaming smile of a child, so full of hope and promise, of belief and purpose. He asked me, "What will you wish first mom?". "That's easy son, I wish that my boys experience a healthy, happy life, filled with their hearts desires".
"A good wish", Owen claimed smiling and skipped to his room. "A good wish", I said to myself smiling at the beautiful boy bouncing down the hall, "A good wish indeed".

Monday, August 27, 2007

Spinning


Anyone who knows me, knows that I am entirely unable to sustain communication, written or conversed, without a heavy dose of authenticity. Today, I am seeing the world through the blurry vision of my bodies' eyes. I went to work this morning feeling fine, but by the time I picked up Bodhi I developed a strong sensation of vertigo combined with a mental fog and shaky extremities. These things are only peripherally new to me. I have been surprised by my body many times, both wonderfully and painfully, in the past several years. I have come to believe that inhabiting a body is an interesting thing. It is simultaneously, marvelous and confusing. Having physical maladies serve two fold. In one respect, they can engender a preoccupation, and identification, with the body and its sufferings. While on the other hand, physical pain offers a rare, present moment glimpse at how little we actually know about the body itself. This sort of awareness creates a spaciousness around which the expansiveness of our nature gathers, waiting for a fissure in the solidity of our self perception through which to shine. And so I write, dizzy, shaky, pissed and grateful, I write.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Getting Ready



We are hosting a BBQ today at 1:00 and already, I am exhausted. We have been cleaning and mowing since yesterday. It is so much fun and we are behaving like little kids getting ready for it. I love summer and friends. I love potlucks and BBQ's. I love it all.

Babbling Book Babes

Invitation to one and all. Visit my other blog at www.babblingbookbabes.blogspot.com
We are beginning an blogspot bookclub and would love to have a new member, particularly considering that at the moment there are only 2.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Daemon


Hey gang, help me out with this. I took the test three times and got a different Daemon each time. In the end I got the bad monkey. I either don't know myself or I don't know my essence. Owen came up a fox- very appropriate

Check out Shane's Daemon too

Thursday, August 16, 2007

gameboy


Owen has been my backdoor teacher since the day he was born. He continually teaches me how to soften and open. The most recent lesson surrounds a gameboy. I have a distinct prejudice and unwavering dislike for the technological brain suckers and have long maintained that my children will not play with video games. I, however, am not the only parent and, in Illinois, Owen has the opportunity to play with gameboys, nintendos and a variety of videos. He loves them. He came home this time and I witnessed the pain and difficulty he was having transitioning from one lifestyle to another. I realized that my beliefs and ideals, although well researched and founded, didn't help him. I relinquished. The game boy arrived in the mail last week and although it has some stringent boundaries, he is happily playing Pokemon an hour a day. As for me, I comfort myself with the hope that my bending has a softening effect on the righteousness of my ideals and short circuits some of my control issues. I am learning... always learning.

launch


Bodhi is fearless. He pulls himself up in precarious form, onto anything vertical. He then attempts to launch himself in the direction he wants to go. You read that correctly, he doesn't attempt a single step just throws his body toward his destination. The resulting fall rarely even phases him, while I am a blur of activity trying to redirect and distract. Whew! What a wild and wonderful boy.

super mom tent



Stage Direction: Phone Call

Owen: "Shane, Where is the tent? I want to put it up in the back yard".

Shane: "Sorry buddy, the tent is still in my car".

Owen: (Quiet, but dramatic crying) Okay, here's mom.

Shane: "Hon, I didn't take the tent out of the car. I could try to run it over later".

Mom: "No, it's okay we'll figure something out".

Owen: (Cries silently, but dramatically in the background).

Tadah! Mom steps into her Super Mom uniform and in a matter of minutes constructs a Bedouin inspired tent to rival any found in an REI catalogue.

Owen read 12 picture books and over 100 pages in Stardust,






while Bodhi had fun terrorizing the camp.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

snowmelt in summer


Wake up!
I silently scream into slumbering ears, too clouded with dreams to hear or respond.
Wake up!
I yell, drifting on cloud above snowbank, the earth below a revelry of expectation and sorrow.
I slumber on, gathering trinkets, like snowflakes, until I am heavy beneath a drift of possession and desire.
Wake up!
I holler, hoping for an avalanche, a frost or a sign. Days drift endlessly into the next, pitfalls along the path ahead.
Wake up!
I call. "Breathe in the mountain air, let go, relinquish, set free."
I slumber on, listening for the first sound of snow melt, the first signs of thaw, of Spring, of wakening.
Wake up!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Ode to Mom



My mom meditates in the woods staring at dog butts, offering sweat and dog treats on the altar of life. Now, care has worn a weary trail across her horizon, marring the landscape and making the way ahead less clear. So, in daughterly fashion, I ask anyone who reads this blog of mine to extend a wisp of grace in her direction, to lift and ease, to lighten and assist.
Thank you. May the God of Canines bless and restore you all.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

inspire


You do not need to leave your room.

Remain sitting at your table and listen.

Do not even listen, simply wait.

Do not even wait, be quite still and solitary.

The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice,
it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.

- Franz Kafka

Saturday, August 11, 2007

reunion


We went to Shanes' class reunion last night. It was hilarious, surreal and thoroughly entertaining. Upon arriving I felt abit like I had stepped into a dream in which I was at a highschool party and didn't know anyone. It had the quality of discomfort that is usually associated with those underwear dreams in which you find yourself delivering a speech and suddenly realize you forgot to put your clothes on. As the night progressed, I became more at ease watching Shane interact with his past. His genuine beauty, humor and sincerity overcoming his prior unease. I felt like a voyeur enjoying a peek into the lives of familiar strangers. After several hours of hollering above the din of music and conservation, we left to pick up our boys. What we found was utter sweetness. Owen had put Bodhi to sleep, suggesting to Grandpa Ron and Mojo that he was a pretty good substitute for mom. Gathering them into our arms for the drive home, Shane and I felt more successful than our eighteen year old selves ever dreamt possible.

Friday, August 10, 2007

botanical gardens



The botanical gardens are exquisite this time of year. Each flowering plant blossoms with a beauty calling out to the heavens through the fortunate eyes of unsuspecting onlookers.

Owen and I were in ecstasy and awe, continually commenting on the beauty. Eventually, Owen drifted into a pokemon induced imaginary wonderland and Bodhi began talking quietly to himself. I remained to enjoy the splendor in mock solitude.

Monday, August 6, 2007

crawling


It has begun.
Bodhi doesn't crawl so much as drag with efficiency.
I am exhasuted by the prospect of life with a mobile Bodhi. He responds to my harried countenance with a smile that reclaims me from the pit of uncertainty back, once again, into the celestial realms of his joy.

laugh


No one can make Bodhi laugh like his brother can. He laughs a deep guttural full bodied laugh that sends the entire family into hysterics. Physical humor tends to produce the greatest bang for the funny bone. And no one flings their arms and body through space like Owen.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

pillow


Today I am a pillow, a very undesirable, beaten up, thrown across the room pillow, the color or earthen mustard. In my infinite wisdom, I decided to use some Gestalting techniques to help Owen to process his emotions. That is how I became the pillow. It seemed brilliant at the time. Owen took one look at the pillow-mom and his lips curled into a sneer, eyes narrowed into a death stare and fists clenched tight. I knew then that the mom-pillow was about to get pummeled and there was nothing I could do but watch. Not feeling like talking, he began to punch and yell. In good form I cheered him along, feeling a burning ache for the pillow-me who was undoubtedly black and blue beneath her fluffy veneer. After a prolonged throwing and crying spree, he decided to smash the pillow-mom. Choosing only the largest and heaviest art books, he stacked them, unceremoniously, one on top the other until there was no breath left in the pillow. He smiled then. Satisfied. I, like my pillow self, was breathless. I suggested that we put mom back on the wall and talk to the Dad pillow. He agreed. The Dad pillow got only tears and when I suggested that he may be angry at the Dad pillow. He walked slowly up to him and lightly flicked the corner before hurrying back to the couch, while mom-pillow, having just received another kick, watched helpless, from her rumpled vantage.
Looking once more at the mom-pillow, Owen said with tears in his voice, "The divorce is all your fault, you are the reason I can't be with my Dad, or play my game-boy anymore, I hate you". With that he ran off. Leaving a flattened, defeated pillow and mother staring after him.

owen's circus



OWEN IS BACK! To celebrate we surprised him with front row tickets to the Cirque Du Soleil performance of Corteo. It was beyond fabulous! It was beauty, art, music and brilliantly, spectacular acrobatics. As I watched the contortionists bending, twirling and dancing with utter grace, I thought "This is what we have become, emotional contortionists". We are reconfiguring our lives again, Owen's heart is sad right now and the family dynamic is shifting and circling to find balance. I hope that with practice we will learn to do it with the grace and beauty exhibited beneath the big tent. Until then we will do our best.

biking


Bodhi the biker.
We finally got our Burley up and running behind mamas bike. Bodhi loves it. He spends the first half of every ride talking to himself and enjoying the bubbling bouncing sounds that the bumps in the road engender. The next half is spent slumbering with his head on his shoulder and a binky firmly rooted in his mouth. As for me I love the wind in my face again and the exercise of it all. Now we only need to convince Owen that he really wants to learn to ride a bike. Wish us luck.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

pee


I woke up early this morning to a raucous summons by the youngest member of our household. Eyes struggling to see, I changed his diaper. Noticing his heat rash was still violently red, I left him diaperless and held a cloth over his bare bottom. I sat down at my computer to check emails before beginning a regime of interrupted yoga. I had answered one letter, when a fountain erupted on my lap. Quickly I used the cloth to staunch the flow. "Pssss, Psss", I said, taking him to the toilet where he sat smiling up at me for a few moments. Yes, I know that children are not ready to potty train at this age, but a girlfriend of mine said connecting the act with a simple sound allows them to train earlier and communicate faster, so I tried. We sat back down at the computer, wiping up urine, when another shower threatened to drench the entire surface once more. "Psss, Psss" I said, while Bodhi flung his arms and legs enthusiastically into the air. Obviously proud of his accomplishment. Together we searched for my camera, to take a picture of him on the toilet. Finding it we laughed our way to the bathroom where he sat braced and poised on the toilet seat, I snapped the picture and he promptly peed. Not into the waiting waters below, but rather in a sweeping arc that managed to get the camera and operator very wet. I looked at his surprised face. "Yes, Bodhi went Pssss Psss". Obviously pleased with this wonderful new game, "Pee on Mom", Bodhi smiled once more. As for myself? I reached for the diapers.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Harry


Shane and I are reading the last Harry Potter book, like children again. In the beginning I snubbed Harry, assuming my literary merit far superior to a hyped up "children's book". My self righteousness abated during a particularly rocky period of life when my mom handed me the first book with the suggestion that I 'lighten up'. I read the first book and fell in love. Now I joyously vacation in the marvelously magic world created for us by J.K. Rowling. Together, Shane and I emerge from each reading to discuss plot lines, scenarios, connections, twists and predictions with the enthusiasm of complete dorks. Occasionally, we even commiserate over our sorrow that we are reading the final book, knowing that soon we will have to return again to the world of muggles permanently, or at least until we can share Harry with our boys. If this all sounds ridiculously sentimental or contrite, please accept my apologies and condolences, as for us, we will be reading.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

river


I was awake until 2:00 AM this morning, talking with my youngest brother. We ambled up to and through any number of topics. In the end we settled on the River. It seemed a good resting point. A surface on which to toss the busy-ness of our minds and the preoccupations of our desires. Like children, we cast stones into its moving waters. The ripples swirled and drifted down stream. We threw pebbles until our pockets were empty and our eyes grew heavy, at last succumbing to the persistant call of sleep.

Girl Time


Shane was in Telluride with Bob Dylan this weekend. Envy didn't even cross my mind. I secretly anticipated the time alone to be 'all girl'. I immediately went to the movie rental store and checked out three films relegated decidedly into the 'chick' category. I popped corn with flax oil and spirulina. I made salads and smoothies. The house stayed clean. I loved it for about an hour maybe two, when the disturbing realization dawned. I missed him.