Saturday, September 26, 2009

day in the mountains


Aaah!!!! A day spent in the mountains! Everyone needs a day beneath the protective arms of pine trees on a regular basis. I have a stomach bug and so spent the bulk of my mountain memories, lounging on a blanket atop a bed of pine needles surrounded by yellowing aspens tinkling in the wind. The boys hiked through the woods, exploring, adventuring and regaling one another with tales of imminent grandeur. We all longed for a tent to extend the experience but alas those two great spoilers of fun- time and temperature- called us home sooner than we might have hoped, but not without a few captured moments.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

a day at the zoo

We stole a few morning hours and wiled them away at the Denver Zoo. Owen has become an inspired photographer, racing from one spectacular animal to the next, snapping pictures and marveling over his artistic prowess.
Bodhi demonstrated his flamingo stance in front of a favorite exhibit and
the elephants gave us a dusty show while we, the willing audience, smiled and applauded in solidarity.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

My beautiful brother spent the weekend with us. How can I explain the deep bliss of family, the ease born of a lifelong of knowing and the gentle assurance of leaning into the love of a sibling. He moved away when I was eleven to live with our father in California and the tide of time took us in separate directions, now I am getting a chance to know the man he has grown into.And my boys are getting to know their uncle...and yet another wacky member of the evolving Lloyd family tree.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

ode to ears

I asked myself a question recently,
"What makes me feel beautiful?".
I have been ruminating on beauty lately, examining it in an attempt to understand our collective idolization of it and the limited way in which we selectively define it. I ran across this definition, "Beauty is a characteristic of a person, animal, place, object or idea that provides a perceptual experience of pleasure, meaning or satisfaction." Okay, nothing new there. However this little tidbit was a bit more scintillating, "the experience of "beauty" often involves the interpretation of some entity as being in balance and harmony with nature, which may lead to feelings of attraction and emotional well-being." Aahh, I like that little distinction, particularly in regards to "being in balance and harmony with nature". Socially, we have become so utterly invested in a cultural ideal of beauty and, blinded by a microscopic lens of limited perfection, we have missed its deeper implications. We pursue beauty but only very rarely do we experience it. Coaxed by ad campaigns, we wage a full frontal war on age, cellulite, body odor, dandruff, flab, dingy teeth, shabby clothes, on ourselves, each other and ultimately on nature itself.
For me this all boils down to one simple metaphor...ears. As a child I was called Dumbo or big ears, with the giggling condemnation of a life sentence. I grew long hair. I avoided public swimming, strong breezes, intimate moments in dread that my ears would unfold in unruly abandon, shocking onlookers into finger pointing hysterics. Ridiculous perhaps... but how many of us are caged by imagined imperfections?
Perhaps it is the result of time, or motherhood or because lines and wrinkles now distract me from a single minded condemnation of auditory appendages, I don't know. What I can say is that after some deliberation on the topic of what makes me feel beautiful, I realized the simple answer is and has always been "my ears". The source of my humiliation and ruminations... an indelible reminder of my interminable individuality. They are mine, real, breezy and fine. When I embrace the flawed, unsymmetrical perfection of this body I inhabit, I experience a sense of balance and harmony with the nature that created it. And let me say loud and clear, from the rooftops- experiencing beauty is incomparably greater than pursuing it.
My ears taught me that.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

bloom

Sometimes, when I am very quiet and still, often in the early hours of morning before the busy-ness of mind has roused itself into a full throttle assault of self assertion, I feel a subtle stirring in my heart. Beneath a rubble of human sorrow, disappointment and debasement, a sprouted seed strives toward the surface.
This mortal experience is such a peculiar thing, with so much time and energy spent justifying and defending our own relatively insignificant existence, we miss the simple experience of living. There is no amount of thinking that will simulate the act of being and yet time after time, we try. In the predawn hours, I feel the surge of life rising within me and notice. Perhaps the simple truth is that life longs for life and the human act of separation isn't going to hold it back, any more than the strong arms of cement can impede the persistence of a dandelion determined to bloom. I imagine life's longing for itself is constant and when we are still, we can feel it pressing against the fissures of self with the promised reminder of Being.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

frog

Owen discovered a frog on a recent family outing. Bodhi was enthralled...in love...in rapture. Surely there was a sort of cross species resonance. The frog jumping and swimming and Bodhi laughing, hopping and whooping right behind. There is such a beauty in his full throttle engagement with life...his lusty pursuit of the moment. I stand in awe as I watch him strip naked in public, laugh at the furrowed brows surrounding him, speak louder than expected and live 'bigger' than is often accepted. I smile after him. Proud. I have spent so much of my life making excuses for occupying breathing space, trying to justify my existence and unearth a purpose or value. Bodhi just announces, "I'M HERE" and it is enough. It is enough.
I am so fortunate call him son.

hawk


When Owen was four years old we saw a guy at a gas station. The guy wore a white t-shirt, beat up blue jeans, a styled hair cut and drove a motor cycle. He looked pretty cool. When I got back in the car after filling my tank, Owen said, "Mom I like the way that guy looks, could I look like that?". Of course I went home gave him a pair of jeans, a white t-shirt and gelled up his hair. He looked in the mirror and nodded. With an air of satisfaction he announced, "Now I need a new name". He thought for a minute and said, "Hawk Raider...my other name is Hawk Raider". Of course my heart swelled with pride. There is nothing I admire more in a person than the willingness to look deep within the crazy disguise of being human and find that authentic sense of who s/he really is and then SHINE with abandon. This weekend Hawk ran into his brother and namesake. You can see his totem in the background. Owen borrowed my camera and slowly, with patience and gentleness, he stepped forward.He took this picture from 5 feet away. After several minutes of contemplation the hawk took flight and Hawk nodded after him, turned and walked on with that same look of satisfied self awareness.
I am so fortunate to be his mother.