Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

This is a wee bit long, but sweet and funny and true...

December 29, 2009

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

I saw the weather page on the computer this morning. It read: Monrovia, CA 90 Degrees. 90 Degrees. Wow. Southern California, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways...

I love thee at the dawn, when the light of Adonis sifts through the silvery screens of exhaust and human living. The smog makes for a riveting rising of the sun...

I love thee in the winter, when the hyacinth and ranunculus poke their green fingers through the dark, dry earth...seeking the spring...

I love thee on the last days of December, walking along the shore, warm breezes teasing my skin, children delighting in the foam...

I love thee in the eve, when the sky is aglow, indigo and peach, electrifying the darkening sky...

I love thee, and this moment. Only this moment...

Bullies and Totem Animals

Sunday, December 27, 2009

I have a thing about bullies. I don't do well with them. I am generally a strong, willful and independent girl. It has scared off men in the past, so I know it is a loud quality I have! Unfortunately, I have discovered, if I know and trust you and you are a bully, I will probably let you bully me.

Yet, I think I was born into a group of people with a high number of bullies. Granted, there are eight children. That ups the odds. Plus, I am last, the youngest. So I guess there is birth order at play as well.

One of my siblings stopped talking to me about 10 years ago. I guess it wasn't just that, he actively began ignoring I existed. Over the years, he has perfected the art of NOT looking at me. His anger has spread to my children as well. They have spent nearly every holiday that requires family to gather in one place with food, being ignored by one of their uncles, his wife and two children.

I have tried to be the picture of grace. I just tried to be sweet and patient. I came to the realization several years ago that maybe he just needed to be angry with someone about his childhood. I was there. It was weird. I will give him that. So, I figured, I can be that person, it doesn't bother me that much.

I admit, it was hard sometimes. It hurt sometimes. Yet, every Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter...I arrived, hope in my pocket, wondering if it would be easier. It never was.

This Christmas, was like all the rest. I spent the early part of the day in the kitchen, cooking for my family. I wanted to do that, I like feeding people, it feeds me...But it when my brother arrived, the tension began.

Long story short, after ten years of being ignored, I finally stood up to my long time bully. I simply said, "I exist." However, he was intoxicated beyond words. When he looked at my sister for help, she just told him it was time to hear this. It wasn't graceful, it was raw and years of hurt spilled out of my mouth. His wife, whom I believe all along has been the instigator, pulled him out saying this was not the time and place. "Really?" I shouted, "Because this is the place you have been doing it to me for TEN years! This seems like the PERFECT place."

I looked at my other siblings and said, "I have never said anything, I have allowed this for years, and so have all of you..."

It is the Holy Nights and I think this confrontation has helped me shed the first bullies in my life, the bullies I just packed up and carried along with me all of these years.

I spent a first Holy Night in a fitful sleep. I was racked with guilt for not being full of grace; I was embarrassed. I awoke at 4am, ran a bath and spent two hours soaking and crying. When I emerged, I drove over to a friend's house. It was the wee hours of the morn. The most spectacular dawn was lighting the earth. As I drove, in a stupor, I watched a skunk do his wavy walk across the street. Could that be a totem animal? A skunk? When I reached my friend's warm home, I consulted Grandmother Google. This is what I found:


I will not tolerate abuse in any form.
I have power!
I will not let others use me.
I am a divine child!
I will sift out friends, keeping the good.
That is my responsibility!
Like the skunk, I will learn when to be disagreeable.
That is my right!

Sensuality, Respect, Self-Esteem

The skunk is a very powerful totem
with mystical and magical associations.
It teaches how to give respect, expect respect and demand respect.
This totem helps you recognize your own qualities and assert them.

Skunks are fearless but very peaceful.
These are two wonderful qualities which you can learn from your skunk totem.

If you have skunk medicine will find that the use of fragrances will elicit dynamic responses
in the people around you.
Your sexual response will be heightened
and you will have a greater ability to attract people.

Individuals with a skunk totem must learn to balance the ability to draw and repel people.
Skunks remind us that there is a time to be with people and a time for solitude.

The skunk's stripe is the outward sign of kundalini or life force.
When you receive a skunk totem, your kundalini or life force activates and amplifies.
You must learn to use this force effectively.

Skunks are silent animals and through their silent, they teach us not to brag --
it will push people away rather than attract.
People will notice you without any help.

When the skunk appears, opportunities will open to bring self-esteem and respect.
There will be increased sexuality:
physically, psychically and spiritually.

So there we have it! Oh, family, thank you for all of the gifts! Thank you for allowing me to stand up. Thank you for allowing me to see that the rest of my family just watched this happen all of this time. They NEVER made him stop. They allowed it.

From this writing on, my family are those I hold dear, that love and respect me for who I have become, for what I stand for...Some of those people may be relatives, but this does not mean because you are my relative, you are my family. Family loves you, respects you.

So, now I have relatives and I have family. Now I know, the two are not necessarily the same...

Christmas Day

Friday, December 25, 2009

My heart swells at this time of year. I am not sure why. I am enchanted by the velvet blue night sky. I look up into the depths and see the veil thinning, the spiritual world, transparent to our simple vision.

It requires us to see from the heart, the soul, to seek the light in the dark. Be still. Listen. I hear the light coming, The days are crisp and clean, the air washed and scrubbed by winter wind and rain...

Christmas Day in the cottage started early, treasures were unwrapped; items needed and frivolous were found. Breakfast is done and we are settled into for a little pancake nap.

Happiest of Holy Days to you and yours.

The Light Is Coming-Prepare

Thursday, December 24, 2009


When your eyes are tired
the world is tired also.

When your vision has gone
no part of the world can find you.

Time to go into the dark
where the night has eyes
to recognize it own.

There you can be sure
you are not beyond love.

The dark will be your womb

The night will give you a horizon
further than you can see.

You must learn one thing.
The world was made to be free in.

Give up all the other worlds
except the one to which you belong.

Sometimes it takes darkness and the sweet
confinement of your aloneness
to learn

anything or anyone
that does not bring you alive

is too small for you.



Tuesday, November 24, 2009

We live in a teeny, tiny cottage. It is sweltering in the summer and icy in the winter. The bathroom is wee. There is only one. When the children were younger and the boy needed to pee and the bathroom was occupied, he was encouraged to tend to his needs outside.

The rooms are square. Small. Each room has two small windows, from these windows stream the most delightful light. It is warm and pink and filled with the shadows of Cosmos and Marigold, dancing tree limbs and warm and cool breezes.

The two small western windows in the narrow common space are filled with a lovely bush that blooms sweet white flowerettes in the spring. The light shines hot at the end of the day, but sometimes, the balance is just right. Pinky, soft light lilting in with birdsong...


I have been embracing the Autumn with open arms and a loving embrace. Here in Los Angeles, one must be very diligent about spotting the signs of the seasons. It is subtle here, the Liquid Amber trees can only hint of rolling hills of crimson leaves as they drift toward earth. The mornings are cool, the afternoons hot and dry. The day closes early and darkness descends as supper is being placed on the table.

The down comforters are layered on the bed, so the windows can remain open in the night. We are so lucky.

I promise to be more attentive to this space. I crawled inside myself and found it cozy and warm, grief and healing and sorting of emotions swirling about...A post a day, even a wee one. And a photo. There are so many eating up my computer space. XO

So Quiet Here

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

There has been a lot of quiet here of late. Maybe it was the tail end of the heat, there was a family death, a cancer diagnosis, it has been full, but quiet. I don't have cancer, it is a matriarch of the family, I have had the privilege of caring for her a few days a week. I get to cook for her, make her tea, sit up with her while she tries to fall asleep. She is a hoot. Really funny. I woke her one afternoon to give her her medicine. I whispered, " Wake up, Sleeping Beauty!" Without missing a beat, she replied, "Is my handsome prince on his way?"

Many of my mornings have been spent painting, sitting with the dog, tending to daily tasks like baking, laundering, gardening and tidying up. Quiet. Really quiet. Normally, I would be in the beginning intensity of a new school year. The quiet can be unnerving at times. Yet, I like it. 

Now the rain is falling here in Southern California. I am beyond delighted. I sigh every time I hear the trickle of the rain outside the window. Before the sun set, I would peek out the window and smile as I looked out over the garden. The garden is even more delighted with the rain than I am! It is perfect timing before winter planting. The ground will soak in this steady rain, deep and needed.

I love falling asleep to the rain. I love waking in the dark, damp night and hearing the drumming of the water over the earth. I find such comfort and contentment in rainy nights. I covered the down comforter with a handmade quilt, loved and laundered and used over many years. I feel enveloped by all the other rainy nights under these covers. In Hawaii, I would listen to the rain on the steel roof of the garage. Now that is a sweet sound.

So I am quiet here. It is okay for now. A time of few words.

Michaelmas Time

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Michaelmas time, Michaelmas time!
Time is turning under the plough.
Under the stars, under the signs,
the ploughman toils with deep furrowed brow.
He turns his thoughts against the cold,
buries his fears ‘neath earth’s deep mould:
frost, like fire, burns white on its blade
of his iron share that red fire made.

I love this time of year. I love the chance to plant morsels of dreams and hope. I love working through the difficult times, tucking them safely away in my heart, allowing them to marinate and transform into the bright blossoms of possibility and clarity. Especially now, as we ready for the deepness of winter, and spring is but a faint glimmer on the other side...I honor my struggle.

On Turning Ten

Monday, September 28, 2009

On Turning Ten

The whole idea of it makes me feel
like I'm coming down with something,
something worse than any stomach ache
or the headaches I get from reading in bad light--
a kind of measles of the spirit,
a mumps of the psyche,
a disfiguring chicken pox of the soul.

You tell me it is too early to be looking back,
but that is because you have forgotten
the perfect simplicity of being one
and the beautiful complexity introduced by two.
But I can lie on my bed and remember every digit.
At four I was an Arabian wizard.
I could make myself invisible
by drinking a glass of milk a certain way.
At seven I was a soldier, at nine a prince.

But now I am mostly at the window
watching the late afternoon light.
Back then it never fell so solemnly
against the side of my tree house,
and my bicycle never leaned against the garage
as it does today,
all the dark blue speed drained out of it.

This is the beginning of sadness, I say to myself,
as I walk through the universe in my sneakers.
It is time to say good-bye to my imaginary friends,
time to turn the first big number.

It seems only yesterday I used to believe
there was nothing under my skin but light.
If you cut me I could shine.
But now when I fall upon the sidewalks of life,
I skin my knees. I bleed. 

-Billy Collins

The Circle Game

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Please, go get a hankie and make sure you listen through at least one chorus. It gives you hope. It gave me hope. Courtesy of Andrea.


Hymn To Apollo

GOD of the golden bow,
And of the golden lyre,
And of the golden hair,
And of the golden fire,
Of the patient year,
Where---where slept thine ire,
When like a blank idiot I put on thy wreath,
Thy laurel, thy glory,
The light of thy story,
Or was I a worm---too low crawling for death?
O Delphic Apollo!

The Thunderer grasp'd and grasp'd,
The Thunderer frown'd and frown'd;
The eagle's feathery mane
For wrath became stiffen'd---the sound
Of breeding thunder
Went drowsily under,
Muttering to be unbound.
O why didst thou pity, and beg for a worm?
Why touch thy soft lute
Till the thunder was mute,
Why was I not crush'd---such a pitiful germ?
O Delphic Apollo!

The Pleiades were up,
Watching the silent air;
The seeds and roots in Earth
Were swelling for summer fare;
The Ocean, its neighbour,
Was at his old labour,
When, who---who did dare
To tie for a moment, thy plant round his brow,
And grin and look proudly,
And blaspheme so loudly,
And live for that honour, to stoop to thee now?
O Delphic Apollo! 

-John Keats

Farewell, Revenge

I thought I would feel better. I thought if I spoke my truth, I would feel better. I don't. I thought if H1 and H2 knew my story, the way it happened to me, I would feel better. I tried to be snarky and ill-tempered, but the thing is, that is just not me. Not at all. At the end of the day, I still say a little prayer to H1's and H2's angel. I ask that their angel guide them in light and truth and honor. So, you see dear readers, my attempt at revenge is simply not successful.

I feel better when I send out lovely poetry. I feel better when I describe the sunrise, or the late night breezes that wash away the scorching heat of the day. I feel better when I post photographs of my daily journey. I feel better when I see the spider as a helper in the garden, instead of a predator. You see, this has been my problem all along. I never believed that people I knew and worked with on a daily basis, closely, sharing our struggles, our triumphs, large and small could turn on me. Never. I NEVER thought this could happen. Even as it was happening, I did not believe it to be true. I could never believe that fear and revenge could be so strong and heavy handed. I never thought that EVERYONE I knew would NEVER want to speak to me again.

So, H1 and H2, you are off the hook. I will let you be. Instead, you can print out reams of poetry and gardening tips, love songs by Hafiz, photos of puppies and poppies. Even though you are printing this blog out and submitting it to a judge in order to prove I am a liar and cheater, maybe, one of the poems, one of the Morning Musings, will touch your heart, just a little. Maybe then, when you enter a courtroom, you will see before you a person who simply got hurt while working. And, hopefully, instead of trying to smash their last bit of wellness into the ground, instead of portraying them as liars and cheats, you will try to help them, just a little. The insurance companies are hurting people, I know you know that. I know you need to pay for your daughter's Bat Mitzfah, H1. I am sure she will need money for university, so I understand you need to work. However, please remember, one day, your daughter will be well past her Bat Mitzfah, past university, she will hopefully be working in a lucrative profession, one that makes you proud, H1. What happens if a book shelf falls on her, what if she is a teacher and is injured on a field trip? Who do you want sitting across from her when her Worker's Compensation Claim ends up in tatters? What if she has to lie in her bed, waiting for a Claims Examiner like D. F.? You have been around the block. You KNOW she is incompetent. Be the person you would want there for your children. Be an example of human goodness, show your daughter what a good man does, how a good man lives. Please. For her sake.

H1 and H2 Volume Two

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Let's see. Where did I leave off? I can't remember. I have been up since long before dawn. I do this. I can't sleep. I am not sure why. I am exhausted, but I never seem to make it through the night. This has not always been the case. I used to sleep a solid eight hours a night. I love sleeping at night. I have always been an early to bed, early to rise kind of girl. As a child, sleep overs were torture for me. My friends would sleep in until 10 am sometimes. I would have been awake with the dawn, watching them sleep, looking around their room from my sleeping bag on the floor. One time, I will admit, as I lie there waiting hours for my hostess to awaken...I spotted her diary under her bed. Yes, yes I did. May I add a qualifier? This might discredit me and prove to H1 and H2, that I am a liar. A big fat, can't be trusted liar. However, this particular friend was my bosom friend. We still are friends. We met the first day of second grade. Our names were not known alone, only with the other. Everyone in school knew we were best friends. I would sleep at her house nearly every weekend. I called her mother mom. She would drive us around Boyle Heights at night and tell stories of what it was like to grow up in that old Los Angeles neighborhood in the fifties. K-Earth 101 would be blaring oldies like "The Duke of Earl." She would usually have a can of Miller Lite tucked between her legs as she pointed out various spots of interest. But, I digress, again. I apologize H1 & H2. I can't say it won't happen a few more times. I know you are busy Barristers and all and have a lot to read.  So, yes, I did read her diary. The funny thing about it was that I already knew everything that was written in it. How she liked Darryl, a lot. How she would drag her best friend(me,) to watch Darryl and his mates dress up like KISS and play covers in his garage. Good times, my friend, good times. So that is my qualifier. She was my best friend and reading her diary was akin to reading my own memoir.

This first paragraph was written several days ago. I saved it, but had a hard time coming back to it. This tends to happen. It didn't happen before the injury. It is this oppressive heaviness that seems to overcome my entire being, body and soul...It comes on so easily now. It usually intensifies around big events. Doctor appointments, court dates, these are big ones. Much of the time, it is just there. After our meeting on Monday, it was as though a hurricane ripped through me, leaving refrigerators and tires and other debris in it's wake. I spent the entire next day close to bed. In bed actually. I was just embarrassed to admit it on National Television. The rest of the week followed suit. These are hard days for me. I was accustomed to work. I liked to work. I enjoyed returning home after a long day at school. Since this roller coaster became my life, I am unsure of who I am. I remember who I was. Unfortunately, most of the people I knew when I moved to California, I met at school. At one point, I did not know ONE person that I met outside of the Waldorf community. Imagine my state now. At this writing, I am in contact with one person from that community. One. I had a class of 30  students. That makes at least 60 parents, add in step-parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, colleagues, parents in other classes, staff members...That is a lot of people. When I worked the parking lot at pick-up time, I could honestly say I knew most parents, all of their children, nannies, babysitters, older siblings. After my injury, after this fight with the insurance company and the school and the endless, heart wrenching court days, being shunned and not welcome at the graduation of the children I loved and thought of daily for eight years, I now speak to ONE person.

This makes me sad. I am going to bed now.

Hey, H & H!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Sorry regular readers, the next few posts are dedicated to a couple of guys in Westlake Village. Yes, sirs, you know who you are. It seems as though you have taken a fancy for my blog. I am flattered. Little Ole' Me, lowly schoolteacher. Single mother, with a capital S. I say capital S, because unlike some single mothers, and fathers, they have help. A weekend here or there, a little child support, health insurance. You see, I didn't have any of those. I had the unfortunate luck of falling in love at the tender age of 20, with a charming, silver tongued devil. Cute as a whip, smart as all get out. Yet, there were many secrets in his crooked smile and good intentions. After trying for a very long time, eleven years, two children, countless ups and downs, I was a Single mother, with a captial S. There was no child support. Actually, I received $30 a week for about eight weeks from his Unemployment Benefits. That was nice. It helped. 

Every time I needed a sitter for my children, I had to scramble to find someone. My job, you see, required many after hour obligations, weekend planning and week long summer intensive sessions to prepare for the next grade level. These summer conferences were often held outside of Los Angeles. I had to find someone to watch my children for a week. Now, I know H #1 has children, so he can attest that finding children a sitter for a week is sometimes difficult. This is especially true if you do not have extra income to pay for such an expense. Oh, and I forgot to mention, beginning in Fourth Grade, I was required to take my class on a week long camping trip. That meant I had to find someone to take my children for a week, and drive them to school in Altadena, make their lunches, clean up after them, make their dinner, ensure they were bathed, etc. It is a lot to ask of someone. But, I did it. Sometimes it was stressful, other times not, but I never knew. I did it because I LOVED my job and was deeply committed to the children and my task as an educator. It wasn't just the academics, or the sciences, or the arts, it was the daily lessons on how to be human. What does it mean to walk in truth, what is the benefit of good manners? We have seen several examples of poor manners of late. Mr. Wilson of South Carolina and Kanye West are just two. However, it was these lessons that filled my soul and helped me look beyond my struggles. It was easy, at first. 

Go and ask someone, ask around the Pasadena Waldorf School. I'll wait. Ask the ones who walk in truth and light. Ask the ones who are not filled with fear. There are a few there, they may not want to risk their jobs, and their health insurance...but they saw. I was a good teacher. A really good teacher. Was I perfect? Far from it. I made lots of human error. Don't you? I think you may. It is our plight as human beings to struggle with perfection, it is our blessing, our lessons. I was a good employee too. I served on many committees, often as the chair. I arranged visitors and Master Teachers, ensuring they were treated well and would have a pleasant experience at our school. I liked doing it. I felt as though I was offering some service. I was happy to do it. Was I the BEST teacher? No way. But I was good. Successful. I left school feeling fulfilled, deeply fulfilled.

When did that change you ask? I will tell you, but not today. I am tired today. I was in court with H#2. H#1, he will tell you all about it. It was messy. I was in fine form. I had hit my limit. I don't know if you know what it feels like to listen to people batter your life around like a badminton birdie. But that is what happened today. I had to listen to people throw out all kinds of partial truths. The funny thing is, the only person in that room who knew the truth, was me. Yet, I am only allowed to shed wee bits of light on a very muddy background. Then, I risk that whatever I say will be twisted in the darkness and fear and come out something TOTALLY different. It is like alchemy, I tell ya. Quite magical. Kudos.  

Oh there was one funny thing that happened to me recently. I was walking our puppy, Merry. She's a beagle. Really cute, but I digress. I was walking the dog and who should drive by? The very teacher who took my class when I was unable to return due to the severe harassment I was experiencing in my workplace as a result of my work injury. There were many times she could have chosen the high road, but she did not. Oh well. Don't ask her when you take your poll. Anyhoo, walking along, when I see said teacher, former colleague, driving down the road. When she got close enough to recognize me, her face turned to stone. Like Medusa was in the house, turned to stone. She then must have dropped something VERY important, because all of a sudden she had to reach down, under the dashboard, with her dark over glasses; you know the ones, they cover your regular glasses and wrap around  your temples. My mom has a pair. Initially, I was alarmed, maybe a plastic water bottle got caught under her brake pedal. I have always heard that can happen. It looked serious, she was seriously crouched over and intent on getting under the dashboard that instant! I was frightened for her, for me, well, because I was a pedestrian. then the thought occurred to me, maybe a can of beans didn't roll under her brake pedal? Maybe she was ashamed, you know, of something she did, like ruin a person's career when she could have acted with grace? Nah, that couldn't be it...

Tip for the day:
Watch those rolling water bottles, they can get caught under your brake pedal and then you run the risk of looking ashamed. Sleep well, H#1 and H#2. But I am sure you always do...

The Pablove Foundation

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Pablove Foundation

Shared via AddThis

I now pronounce you...

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Oh, my. A whirlwind of family activity, nieces and nephews abound! All but one of my eight siblings were here to celebrate the wedding of my nephew. There was artwork and swimming and giggles. There were trees to be climbed and pretty dresses.  My daughter was home from university for the occasion, yippee! We enjoyed summery cocktails as the sun set and family photographs as the moon began to rise. There was slow dancing and the chicken dance. There were many dinners together and time spent lounging around. There was even the briefest Monopoly game known to man, thank goodness...

I am just catching up on real world activities...Be well.

Ablaze & The Heart of The Matter

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The mountains that line the northern boundaries of Los Angeles have been ablaze for several days now. Great grey plumes float in the sky, coloring the sky with a pinky-golden glow. The ash began to fall last night. A thick blanket of feathery ash lay atop our valley. Even as I type this, the glow keeps increasing, the white linen curtains have gone from grey to vermillion in seconds. My gut keeps whispering, just stay inside.

It has been stifling hot. The air is thick and colored and ominous. The cottage feels each season with intensity. Winter storms blow through thin windows and doors. Spring comes alive inside the cottage. Summer, especially late summer can hit the cottage with a great, hot force. It is usually hotter inside than out in the garden...

Yet, as mountains blaze and loved ones  are displaced, this appeared on the cottage floor. It is a heart, sneaking in through the wet towels on the curtain rods. The heart of the matter. 

Michaelmas Time

Monday, August 31, 2009

Sometimes the time passes and I am gliding along the current without noticing. August came in like a roaring lion, early birthdays, visitors, readying a girl for university...I am just now catching my breath. Except the air is filled with veils of smoke and ash. This is par for the course here in Los Angeles in the late summer. It is as if the hills are combustible. Fires erupting here and there along the San Gabriel Mountain Range. The skies are ablaze, the light is filtered through a thick red haze, the inside of the house glows vermillion. The smell of heat and wood and golden yellow assault you as you walk outside. 

This time of year is Michaelmas Time. I often find it a challenging time, but feel it is a good time to set one's intention for the future, to plant the bulbs of possibility. Let the work of the cool winter deepen our resolve and come to bloom in the spring. The fire-filled sky serves as reminder to me of the heat and intensity of the dragon who can be tamed through the strength of Michael.

Friday, August 14, 2009

A Summer Day

The dawn laughs out on orient hills 
And dances with the diamond rills; 
The ambrosial wind but faintly stirs 
The silken, beaded gossamers; 
In the wide valleys, lone and fair, 
Lyrics are piped from limpid air, 
And, far above, the pine trees free 
Voice ancient lore of sky and sea. 
Come, let us fill our hearts straightway 
With hope and courage of the day. 


Noon, hiving sweets of sun and flower, 
Has fallen on dreams in wayside bower, 
Where bees hold honeyed fellowship 
With the ripe blossom of her lip; 
All silent are her poppied vales 
And all her long Arcadian dales, 
Where idleness is gathered up 
A magic draught in summer's cup. 
Come, let us give ourselves to dreams 
By lisping margins of her streams. 


Adown the golden sunset way 
The evening comes in wimple gray; 
By burnished shore and silver lake 
Cool winds of ministration wake; 
O'er occidental meadows far 
There shines the light of moon and star, 
And sweet, low-tinkling music rings 
About the lips of haunted springs. 
In quietude of earth and air 
'Tis meet we yield our souls to prayer. 

Lucy Maud Montgomery

To Ponder

Thursday, August 13, 2009

I Chop Some Parsley While Listening To Art Blakey's Version Of "Three Blind Mice"

And I start wondering how they came to be blind.
If it was congenital, they could be brothers and sister,
and I think of the poor mother
brooding over her sightless young triplets.

Or was it a common accident, all three caught
in a searing explosion, a firework perhaps?
If not,
if each came to his or her blindness separately,

how did they ever manage to find one another?
Would it not be difficult for a blind mouse
to locate even one fellow mouse with vision
let alone two other blind ones?

And how, in their tiny darkness,
could they possibly have run after a farmer's wife
or anyone else's wife for that matter?
Not to mention why.

Just so she could cut off their tails
with a carving knife, is the cynic's answer,
but the thought of them without eyes
and now without tails to trail through the moist grass

or slip around the corner of a baseboard
has the cynic who always lounges within me
up off his couch and at the window
trying to hide the rising softness that he feels.

By now I am on to dicing an onion
which might account for the wet stinging
in my own eyes, though Freddie Hubbard's
mournful trumpet on "Blue Moon,"

which happens to be the next cut,
cannot be said to be making matters any better. 

Billy Collins

Birth Day

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Tomorrow is my Forty-Second birthday. My first born is heading off to university and my youngest is sixteen. I can hardly believe the swiftness in which time travels. I can remember the birth's of both children like it happened this morning. I can recall the first day of school, skinned knees, moments of quiet, luxurious napping the both of them did until they were five...I have been blessed in all of my days, the difficult ones and the ones brimming with joy. I have learned many lessons and been showered with numerous gifts.

However, this year has been trying and sad and long. I feel ready to package it up with the other Forty-One birthdays, tidy and sweet, tied on the top with a silk ribbon in bright red, a sprig of rosemary tucked under the ribbon. I spent the day passing out postcards and flyers for the new art endeavor, it felt good, closing a year with a bright and shiny new impulse. I even stood up for myself in FedExKinkos. I am truly tired of sub-par customer service. It has been a pet peeve of mine for some time. Today, I spoke my mind. I felt weird as I walked out, calmly after speaking my piece with the supervisor. I vowed to NEVER enter that establishment again. I won't either. When I am done, I am done for good. I was plagued with regret on the drive home. Then, I remembered the essential. Be nice. Just be nice, and helpful, especially when I AM PAYING YOU MONEY FOR A SERVICE. BE NICE, PLEASE.

I feel a little melancholy as I do around most birthdays, but I am looking forward to a new year. This one, like all of the others, is filled with the promise of joy, sorrow and love. I could not ask for more. I am very lucky to be alive.

Mr. Toad

File:Toad map.jpg
Taking our cue from Mr. Toad.
Craft Caravan

Drum Roll, Please!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

As I my body healed over the last year, so has my spirit been gaining momentum. I have been sewing and planting, painting and sculpting, all in anticipation of this great day!

Craft Caravan is now a reality! As a teacher, I had a side job at a local teacher training college. I had the opportunity to teach art to individuals training to become Waldorf  Teachers. It was a great joy for me and many times the highlight of my week. A student of mine would always comment on the trunk of my car, brimming over with paint, brushes, clay, beeswax, et all. She would say it was like a traveling art studio. The idea began to percolate between the two of us and we are now ready to launch our own mobile art studio. We will be offering classes in The Monrovia Cottage Studios and also offering mobile services to those who are unable to travel to us. 

We are excited to announce the birth our new baby! Follow the link below to inspire your creative impulses:

Morning Poem 
by Mary Oliver

Every morning
the world
is created. 
Under the orange

sticks of the sun
the heaped
ashes of the night
turn into leaves again

and fasten themselves to the high branches ---
and the ponds appear
like black cloth
on which are painted islands

of summer lilies. 
If it is your nature
to be happy
you will swim away along the soft trails

for hours, your imagination
alighting everywhere. 
And if your spirit
carries within it

the thorn
that is heavier than lead ---
if it's all you can do
to keep on trudging ---

there is still
somewhere deep within you
a beast shouting that the earth
is exactly what it wanted ---

each pond with its blazing lilies
is a prayer heard and answered
every morning, 

whether or not
you have ever dared to be happy, 
whether or not
you have ever dared to pray.


Monday, August 3, 2009

I see light. I see a little spark of light. I see the potential for once again being a participant in my life. It has been a long time, Life, nice to see you again. My birthday is approaching and usually, it feels dark around the date. Lots of undone things, some regrets, and of course, the joys. This week however, feels good. Feels tidy, and put together. There are few regrets because throughout this year I finally learned that there is no point to regret. There is only living and striving and hoping and loving. I have been trying to be full of grace, walk in grace...It feels like some of that striving is sticking. I am happy for this year to be over. It has been hard and there have been lots of tears and shifts that seemed to tear at the fiber of my identity. Yet, here I stand, surrounded by growing things in the garden, tomatoes ripening on the vine, raspberries peeking out from spiky green leaves and white Pikake flowers finally blooming. I pick a small branch each day and stick it in my ponytail. I can't smell back there, but I know it is there and that makes me smile. Are there dark days, yes. There are still days of deep sadness. But this morning? This morning, I see some light...

Drunk on the Wine of the Beloved

Look at This Beauty

The beauty of this poem is beyond words.
Do you need a guide to experience the heat of the sun?

Blessed is the brush of the painter who paints
Such beautiful pictures for his virgin bride.

Look at this beauty. There is no reason for what you see.
Experience its grace. Even in nature there is nothing so fine.

Either this poem is a miracle, or some sort of magic trick.
Guided either by Gabriel or the Invisible Voice, inside.

No one, not even Hafiz, can describe with words the Great Mystery.
No one knows in which shell the priceless pearl does hide.

Gloomy Days Of July

Friday, July 31, 2009

I am in no way complaining. The mornings are cool and silver. The garden seems delighted in the relief from the dogged days of summer, relieved that they must not steel themselves for a grueling twelve or thirteen hours of searing heat. It is even easy to do the daily work. The afternoons are hot and dry and windless, perfect for an afternoon rest in  a dark, cool room.

Things Are Shifting

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Moon and sun are busy dancing. The tide has turned in our home. There has been lots of sorting and assessing of our material possessions. I am sure I have fewer things than some, but I am certainly no renunciate. The boxes are piling up, the donations to Goodwill grow like black, shining blobs filled with could have beens and what use to be. It feels good to let go, to toss the old clothes of a life that has been transformed. My daughter and I are sifting together, sorting through all of our time together, deciding together which items have value. It is funny, the items that had tremendous value are now tossed on the growing heap with nary a thought of remorse.

The closets are sighing from relief. The drawers are sitting taller in their runners, relieved of the burden of too many socks. There are small piles here and there that have yet to find a home, but it looks as though space is opening up.

I think we are both trying to forget that she is moving away...

All Quietly Grows

Monday, July 27, 2009

The last few weeks have been in preparation for many great shifts. All of the minute details add up to the days of a life. 

The garden grows. The flowers fruit. They greens grow tall, reaching into the heat of the air, stretching, striving. 

The puppy grows, fuller and rounder. Yet her face is overcome with new angles and deep, brown eyed glances.

The children grow. Apartments are rented, winter clothes are being packed. She grew tall, she reached her hands high into the heat of the air, stretching, striving. Her face grew round and sweet, but is now filled with new angles.

All quietly grows.


Saturday, July 4, 2009

I found this over at Geek Betty. Would love to hear your answers! Copy and paste questions into comments section...

1. Name:
2. Birthday:
3. Place of residence:
4. What makes you happy:
5. What are you listening to now/have listened to last:
6. An interesting fact about you:
7. Are you in love/have a crush at the moment:
8. Favorite place to be:
9. Favorite lyric:
10. Best time of the year:
11. Strangest food you like:
12. Biggest fear:
13. Biggest ambition:

1. A film:
2. A book:
3. a band, a song and an album:

1. One thing you like about me:
2. Two things you like about yourself:
3. Put this in your blog so i can tell you what i think of you.
4. Post a picture of you

There Is Something In The Air

Friday, June 26, 2009

Kwan Yin Temple
Honolulu, Hawaii
My family's temple...

There is something in the air today. A scent of hope, cool and sweet. We have had June Gloom here in Southern California lately. It is a grey marine layer that sits in the valley. Sometimes there is a misty rain, but mainly it is just cool and dark. In the afternoon, the sun gathers it's strength and shines throughout the late afternoon and evening. 

This morning, there was a slight haze and white mist along the foothills. However, the sun pushed through early this morning. The breeze is still reminiscent of the mist, gentle, cool, sweet and light. The garden is twinkling and weaving in the glory of a new day.

The house is clean and quiet and I am settling in to finish an embroidery project for a bridal shower on Sunday. A few words of Hafiz, my favorite, on a hanky...

What sweetness is touching your skin this fine summer morn?  

Mediative Cooking

Thursday, June 25, 2009

I like to meditate while I am cooking. I love cooking for special occasions. I love thinking of the person of honor. Whether it is a birthday, a graduation, or a height of summer dinner party, I love meditating on the person or people I am feeding.

We had a Moon Ceremony for my daughter when she was 12 or 13. I made a full Indian Feast. Many women and girls were gathered in the garden under the billowing saris hanging on the clothesline. After the ceremony, we had spinach and paneer, fancy rice, potato and pea samosas, tomato and spinach pakoras, cucumber raita, fresh coconut chutney, mango chutney, sweet rice and rose ice cream. There were also lassi's. My daughter's favorite.

I cooked for two days. As I stirred and chopped, boiled and cooled, I thought of her. Her face kept popping into my vision. I remembered little past deeds, funny ways she said things, dresses she had. It is so lovely to be cooking, and fondly recalling how much you love the person you are cooking for, how they like certain flavors more than others. Trying to remember every favorite preparation they enjoy.

This morning I am making cupcakes for a friend. They are for a baby shower. I like thinking of this unborn babe, feeding his mama a nice sweet treat, hoping his nature will follow the sweetness of the cupcake. The cupcakes are all white. I like white cupcakes. They are pure and simple. White cream cheese frosting flavored with coconut and vanilla and almond flavored cupcakes. Sweet, in more ways than one...

Even evening dinners are more sweet, when I take the time to enjoy the process. I think of my loves and what will nourish them and satisfy them after a long day. Meditative cooking....


Monday, June 22, 2009

I always feel as though I do not celebrate the passing seasons as much as I should or could. There was no naked dancing to honor the Solstice, no special ritual. So, between laundry and dishes and walking the dog, I tried to be aware of the evening. I tried to smell the last sweet smell of spring. The sky was violet and filled with luminous clouds. The birds were busy finding their nests and the garden sat in repose, readying for the heat of July.  This morning, the first morning of summer, dawned with bright light and a cool reminder of spring. As the sun climbs, I am sure it will increase in intensity. 

I feel a bit of relief this summer morning. Graduations are behind us. Celebrations are behind us. I can look forward to all of the newness that is before us. New steps in new directions. May they be light and free of past turmoil. Release, I crave release.

And So It Goes...

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The time continues to pass, whether I am fully present or not. It has been 18 years of lessons, love and laughs. There have been tears, but all those tears made the joys sweet and moist and juicy. I can remember holding her for the first time. It was then I realized that pregnancy does not prepare you to be a mother. It only prepares you to be pregnant. The mother thing, well, that is an entirely new journey. 

I know I have many more years of being her mother, but this time, this mothering time...has come to an end. The great thing is, I got to fix her hair, just like on her first day of school so many years ago. I am so lucky. Really lucky.


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

I am grateful for his love. He loves me. He really loves me.
I am grateful for my darling daughter and her taste for vintage dresses.
I am grateful for this boy and his dog.
I am grateful for my camera and my backyard.
I am grateful for milky tea, pretty tea cups, fountain pens, sealing wax and handwritten letters on linen paper.
I am grateful that I sometimes make time to paint in the yard.
I am grateful for my time in India, so I could whip these up for supper!
I am grateful for these words. Hafiz fills me with giggles and sighs.
I am grateful for my clothesline and the sun that kisses our garments.
I am grateful for my vision, so that I may rest my eyes upon sights such as this.
I am grateful that I have a gift with fire, so that I can fill my family's bellies with food that is warm and whole and filled with love.
I am grateful for my bed. I love my bed. It has nursed me to health and offered me a soft place to rest while my dreams form in luscious pictures behind my sleeping eyes.

This little post is courtesy of Tara Whitney. I have been an admirer from afar for some time. She has inspired my photography and my enlivened me in ways I find hard to express. Denise is also guilty of this...But this post is inspired by Tara.

I have learned to embrace the gifts I have in front of me everyday. This is a mere spattering of all that fills my heart. I am grateful, for each and every day, for each small gift that comes to me. I am very fortunate, very fortunate indeed

That Was Then-A Photo Journey Of The Garden

The rainy, misty days were good for the garden. It looks happy and green and teaming with life. Food is growing, bugs are eating, flowers are blooming. Most of the garden was started from seed this year. It is all very exciting. My soul is giggling at the result of our work and drinking in the simplicity of it all. Grow food. Grow food. Grow food...