Friday, December 31, 2010

Bodhi's birthday

To celebrate Bodhi's special day we drove up to Glenwood Springs on Christmas afternoon and took up residence at the Hotel Colorado across from the hot springs.  Bodhi had a fabulous three day extravaganza, swimming, playing, eating and skiing.  Here are a few snapshots of the fun:





Happy Birthday lil' one.  I will post his latest story book ala Mom soon, keep checking back.

Christmas morning

We had a sweet and simple Christmas at our house with Baba, Mojo and our family reduced by one, Owen spent this Christmas in Illinois with his other family.
Bodhi's favorite gift was this "super hero in a box" given by some dear family friends.
 He had a blast!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Dad's love

My Dad is an enigmatic creature, one minute he is wandering about like an absent minded dingbat and in the next he is spouting off deep, soulful wisdom that rocks you to the core.  You can never be truly certain which will surface, the wandering fool or the brilliant sage.  They seem inextricably linked.  Today, on the phone, he spoke of love.  He said,  "One should always rejoice over love, for all things of this world pass away and LOVE is a beautiful experience.  You should give yourself freely to it. You should hold nothing back out of fear of loss or pain.  Like all experiences it will pass into something else, but it is better to have lived it than, in your fear, hide from its embrace".
Gotta love that ole' guy...

Monday, December 6, 2010

A recent article I wrote for our newsletter at work

Simplicity. The word itself sounds discordant amidst the busy rush of the holiday season and yet it is a word that keeps filling my mind. I ponder it, turning it this way and that, examining its different angles. I try to put it down after days of contemplation but it won’t be still. It isn’t ripe yet in my understanding. Then I begin to wonder, why are many of us so busy and stressed during the holiday season? Once the trees have dropped their leaves and all of nature is turning inward for a long sleep, why are we so busy? As parents, most of our busyness stems from a simple desire to cultivate meaningful celebrations for our children (which can be anything but simple in a diverse family like mine, who tends to celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah AND Solstice). So I ask myself, what makes a celebration meaningful? Is it our busy-buying-wrapping-doing-rushing in and out of stores? Does the desire for meaningful celebrations preclude simplicity?
I walk into stores already jing-jang-jingling enthusiasm and stand amidst toys, treats and decorations, contemplating simplicity. Amidst the noise, I recall my favorite holiday memories: a thanksgiving spent feeding the homeless on Haight-Ashbury, cool December evenings watching my mother carefully unwrap handmade ornaments, created by each of her four children and handled like gold, while my brothers and I sat drinking warmed eggnog, immersed in the smell of pine and the sweet anticipation of mom’s peppermint ice-cream. The memories most of us cherish from our early years seldom revolve around the toys grouped and wrapped beneath trees, rather they tend to spring from the simple rituals of our family, commonplace and filled with meaning: making homemade greeting cards, lighting a menorah, eating latkes drizzled with applesauce and honey, baking cookies, stringing garlands or roasting chestnuts. Interestingly, the memories we carry with us from our childhood celebrations are seldom the big, grand gestures, but rather the sweet moments and rituals of connecting. “Simplicity” invites us to drop the busy, rushing, hurry of the season and sink deeply into our connections with the ones we love. In reflecting, I discovered that it is never what we purchase and wrap that matters most, but rather the simple spirit of giving that fills our interactions, our in breath and exhale. Living deeply within the little rituals that make the season special for our own family nourishes the spirit of giving and connection that makes every celebration meaningful.

Monday, November 29, 2010

my wife

Many of you may not know this but I have a sister-friend who has been my wife for years and years.  We don't cohabitate or share children or anything, rather we are linked soul to soul in a quiet affirmation of kinship that transcends explanation. 

thanksgiving

 Mojo adds so much beauty and artistry to everything she does.  Look at this gorgeous table and the lovely name cards she handmade to coordinate.  She infuses everything she does with love, particularly when it relates to food and family.
I was doubly blessed this Thanksgiving with a visit from my sister-friend Yve
And some family time with the gang (Shane and Mojo refused to be photographed and there were also two dear friends of the family present, who are not pictured).
It was a fabulous day to be thankful for.

bodhi and baba downtown

Saturday, November 20, 2010

blog blogs everywhere there are blogs

Okay, if you wonder why I haven't been posting as much on my personal blog, click here to see my work blog exploring the Reggio-Emilia approach to early childhood education within the context of a Montessori school.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

gossamer

I recall a quote that gave me pause.  I will paraphrase it here: "When you come into the presence of the infinite you must be willing to possess it without a desire for any of it at all".   I thought of this on my 6AM hike, as I stared out at a world so ripe with beauty that all thought stood still before it.  For a moment I was neither observer nor observed, just a part of an infinite whole- complete.  A conscious landscape in rapture before its own beauty.  And then, in no time at all, my sense of self returned with a desire to capture it in photo, art or word.  Thought described the many hues of autumn as they rippled and swayed in the early dawn.  Thought described the gentle arc of deer tracks across golden grass and the rusty, auburn hues of flower dried in sun and wind.  Thoughts of the brilliant blue of daybreak framed by hills golden and rising.  Thoughts of trees dropping leaves in a fall palette, too luminous for brush or paint, extending across a wide horizon. I thought.  The moment disappeared beneath my desire to hold it, to relate it, to communicate it.  I was once again removed, observing splendor from a perch of separation, but for an instant Angelina had dissolved into a landscape of infinite beauty.  In its wide embrace my thought provoked littleness was laughable, gossamer in the breeze.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

halloween 2010

 Okay here is the family run down...I was a witch, Shane was a tracker/frontiersman..
Bodhi was Puff the Magic Dragon, Ron was a creepy old man and Joanne was a bimbo (Owen was in Illinois masquerading as a pokemon trainer).
While out and about trick-or-treating we met a fabulous gorilla who joined our party.  And by the time Bodhi had enjoyed a feast prepared by the magical Ms. Mojo and eaten his weight in candy he had exchanged his sweet and innocent dragon attire for this...
Thankfully, Halloween comes but once a year.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

halloween

Happy All Hallows Eve
I will post more photos soon but here's an insiders peek.

Monday, October 25, 2010

fall walkin'


Lair o' the Bear.
A day showered in gold, serenaded by the dance of leaves under foot and the song of water rushing over rock.  Have I mentioned lately that I ADORE hiking/walking/meandering/wandering in nature.  It is a haven from the busy thinking me, who plagues my days with constant doings.
 
 Owen found several promising sticks for wand making.
Bodhi discovered vanilla scented sap from a beloved, beetle infested evergreen.
 We oohed and ahhed over natures splendor, bedecked in ravishing, breathtaking glory.
 Bodhi climbed rocks..
 and trees.
The boys actually got along famously!
 And both boys spent many excited hours collecting fairy house supplies (Note: this is a fabulous way to keep young hikers motivated.  I milked 2 miles out of them at a solid pace, without them noticing...well plus several snacks to keep them moving.)

It was, yet another, fabulous day in my favorite hideout...NATURE.
Favorite Bodhi quote of the day:
I don't have to put on my hat! I put on my glove so my hand won't blow off.  It is so windy.
Consciousness is all there is.You are not the doer.
~  Satyam Nadeen.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

hiking centennial cone

 A hilarious self portrait from atop centennial cone.
 Shane contemplates a snag.
This is really a lovely hike and every other day is reserved for hiking (the other days are for mountain bikers), so the hike was peaceful an relatively devoid of passersby.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Okay, why have I posted a picture of myself studying in my meditation corner?  I recently read a quote from the Buddha, "The moment you see how important it is to love yourself, you will stop making others suffer."  It has been like a koan, stripping away my terra firma and leaving me uncertain.  In our humanness we determine what is good and just and right within us and we lean toward it, grasping, hoping to convey our worthiness in some measure to the world.  All the while we kick, bind, hush and hide the qualities deemed unworthy, leaning as far from them as we can.  When someone mentions them in conversation, we bristle and rail, "Who are you calling controling?".  Our emotional reaction loudly proclaims our resistence.  Are we the grasping or resisting?  Is there a vantage point devoid of charge?  Does it matter if we are patient or impatient? good or bad? neither or both?  What does it mean to love ourselves.  I have often bent toward my "spiritual" self, my generosity, my open heart, my sensitivity, my intelligence and creativity.  I have wanted to sculpt my projected image to best ensure a positive reception and a judgement of "Ah yes, you ARE worthy, capable and deserving".  It is a subtle violence toward self and other.  What if instead I told you that I can be controlling, material, manipulative, unkind and ungenerous?  Would that be more true.  Hardly.  That would exchange violence for violence.  Perhaps we love ourselves best when the weight falls squarely in the middle, when we hold the pendulum in midswing as it is right now, not tomorrow or next week or when we become holier than holy.  Perhaps the life arising and expressing now IS enough.  Regardless, I have a sneaking suspicion that it is all there is.
Perhaps.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

We had a fabulous visit from a real angel, Angelina Merrielo visited us from San Diego.  She was Shane's Grandma Lor's dear friend and our soulsister.  She flew into town with an expressed interest in throwing her first pot with Shane, which, of course she did with great success.
Owen was utterly smitten and has been calling her Auntie Ann ever since, with that love stricken tone of the utterly gone.
 We then enjoyed supper together and a long winding chat about sewing, opera (she is a master seamstress for the San Diego opera!!), friendship and ITALY.  I spent the evening falling madly, headover heels in love with her myself.  What a woman!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

a great day

This was the kind of day that memory blesses with golden hued longing and sweet autumnal perfection.

It all began with a day trip to Mount Falcon, with plans for a prolonged picnic and layabout session.
We ate:
We read...
Well some of us read while other's among our party wreaked havoc...
 
Some of us dozed (me) and all of us stared with wide wonder at the beauty around us.
After the havoc reached a deafening crescendo, Bodhi decided to bring out the fairies and not for some peaceful, Waldorfian exploration.  Rather, he set up a rather aggressive version of the three little pigs and cast himself as the big bad WOLF!
"Then, I'll HUFF and I'll PUFF and I'll BLOW your house down."



When we reluctantly decided to go home, we hiked out looking like a gaggle of sun-dazed hillbillies.
It really was a wonderful day