Mississippi Moments

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Snowing again and Christmas at Rockefeller Center on in the background...thinking of Colleen and wondering how she is doing. And how she can stand NYC. I can't even get a clear picture but what I can see is just crowded with people and more people. The music is lovely, the people I know like Lionel richie and Bette Midler. Lots I don't and they are wearing stupid outfits from what I can see. Those kind of mini-capes were all hot when I was in the 6th and 7th grade...It's been a couple of interesting days and nights. I went to the 5th Ave with Mom, Dad, and Mary J. to seee Irving Berlin's White Christmas. The music, costumes, sets, dancing, choreography, lines--it was delightful and we thoroughly were wrapped up in the production. It is also fun to people-watch. The only piece I didn't like so well was that they made us wait outside in the cold before hand for nearly a half an hour. Then, another wonderful piece of musical theater-The Sorcerer's Apprentice at the Seattle Children's Theater...and it was only OLF there! All the other schools had cancelled because of the snow. An amazing production--if your spirits needs lifting, your imagination needs a jumpstart, you're bored with ordinary reality, you know a child who needs to be in the presence of the Delightful and Creative-GO TO THIS PLAY! I want to go again and bring certain children-namely a bright 8 year old (and her sister)who always seems to be dancing and singing and wanting to do plays. I know they are headed off to Florida soon, but I am going to check. We even met the playwright. He had tears in his eyes from watching the OLF children watch his work and their responses to it. It was the very first preview and we were the audience-what a deal! It is a Caribbean/Creole-themed version of the original tale (not Disney-which isn't so bad just Disney)
We have a two hour snow delay today so I am waking up and then will decide how to use the extra home time. Need to do dishes, lesson plans, and finish the parenting plan. I am holding on to that one. Don't want to discuss it now. I am not depressed at this holiday time--just kind of not interested. I guess it is part of the grieving. I know it is and I just notice that I can enjoy something in the present, but what I miss isn't here. I can't have it here. I don't want it here in the painful old and not so old forms and they are here in my consciousness--and I have the feelings that go with that. No tidal waves just ebb and flow...and cramps. This change for women of a certain age is quite the deal-"Two-fer"--you get to have two moon cycles with two sets of cramps and accompanying witch/insomnia intensities in one month--Whoo-hooo! Who thought that one up?!? Bring on the caffeine, the exercise, the fleece, the bath, and the work--soon (maybe later) I will be too damned busy and tired to notice-so enjoy it while I can, eh?:)
Kenny G Christmas music--this is one of the plusses of living with yourself--you can play it all the time over and over and no one says a thing...

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

We got it-our first official SNOW DAY!!!
Yesterday afternoon, I was busy correcting spelling papers and another teacher came in to say that it was snowing in Greenwood and sticking! That was all well and good...nice that the snow is getting closer to Ballard. It gets dark at 4.30 now so I couldn't see anything out the classroom window anyway. 15 minutes later she comes running down the hall and announces that IT IS TIME FOR EVERYONE IN THE BUILDING TO GO HOME AS IT IS ICING, SNOWING, AND PEOPLE ARE GETTING NUTTY ON THE ROADS. I took that as a direct command from On High, and Subaru and I were on our way home. An hour + later just from Magnolia to Ballard, there sat little cottage in the snow... IN THE SNOW! So, thus began a time of settling into a highbacked chair, cup of tea, flannel, great book (Eldest-thanks Joey-I am loving it!)And pretty much, aside from 12 hours of snooze, a long walk, working out, and thinking about doing the schoolwork I brought home, I've enjoyed this respite. I did go out to"play" but mostly just to listen-in and out of my Heart. The streets are icy here in the lowlands of Ballard. It was beyond brisk today in the sunshine and reminded me of the blizzard in Virginia that December. I am glad to be here. My mother instilled the right response to snow--get home safely, hunker down, stay there, invite others to hunker down,too, and enjoy the shift in the pace, the smell, the light, the cold...the Peace.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Snow, lots of snow, blues, a fire alarm in the middle, and getting through the new slip jig with ease and few if any noticeable mistakes. That sums up the first Yuletide concert. It started snowing about an hour before and continued to come down solidly during the concert. Then right after the first half and the first dance of the second half, the fire alarm went off. Naturally, everyone headed outside into the snow and cold and dark. While we waited for the fire dept. to come, someone started to sing Christmas carols and a bunch of us joined in. Then there was a mini-snow ball fight between a three year old and his uncle and aunt. About half of the audience left at this time, and when we were given the all clear, we went back in and the show went on...our dance after that sucked. We were cold, hadn't run through it, and the music was too fast. Oh well.
When Philip and entourage went into the blues, it rocked the house. Rowan brought the house down when she danced today. Once was just the right number for her. I watched the snow in between, practiced my steps, and tried to stay in the ordinary reality that a year really has passed since the last set of concerts. The drive home wasn't nearly as scary as it seemed at first. Julie followed me home (thanks Jules) caravan style since i am not comfortable driving in the snow, but Subarus DO make a difference. Not as much snow here in the lowlands of Ballard as up north, but what a wonderful way to end the holiday weekend. Cozy fire going, hot cocoa, chair nestled near the front window for the wintry view, and a red flannel blanket. It was a day of wonders and wonderful. I even "heard" both my dogs barking with me as I went out to listen in the backyard and throw snowballs. Then I met someone named Chase going by my house with his dad. He was throwing snowballs at his dad and he aimed one at me. I told him he couldn't do that until we were introduced. He stopped, made eye contact, told me his name, asked for mine and then "We done now?" I said "Yup". He fired his off and I fired mine off. Then we both made another and fired it off at his dad! He's taking the day off anyway tomorrow. He'll recover...

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Pass the Unturkey, get ready to rumble and make another of many difficult, stupid decisions that are really the most important for the time being and for what's to come...
This is what's been happening the past few days. The fire's going, the tears are flowing and I just emailed a Non to a wonderful family with a wonderful smooth collie puppy that would be perfect for me and mine but the timing isn't right, and by this, I don't mean it isn't perfect, it's just after spending the entire night thinking about it, I came to the decision that I don't have it in me to do right by this little-man dog and the baby to come. It is killing me. I am so sick of waiting....waiting...waiting...I thought I could have it all at once, but I couldn't live with myself if baby came, and 1 year old male lovely dog was here and then I don't have it to give what needs to happen. I would have called him Henry. I just can't be irresponsible in anyway not when there are other lives at stake here and I am responsible for making a quality of life choice. But what about MY quality of Life???????HUH????????????????There was more to the decision than that but that is for me to hold. I don't even know why I am writing about this...but for about 36 hours, my heart was on fire with life and hope again and I began to anticipate life in this house and in my life, meaningful life, not just going to work, teaching dance, attending stupid meetings about things that are important but not important to me right now. I don't know what else to say about it. Another set of friends just had their baby. I'm in the midst of some wonderful holidays and even managed to set off the fire alarm more in one evening than in the past 6 years, mostly because I have never cleaned the oven, I discovered cranberry wine, tried to 'martha' an apple pie by grinding my own cinnamon in a coffee grinder--that didn't work. Turi, bless her furry little have spices will travel heart, came over to help with said wine and to recover the apples and pears with ground cinnamon, cardammon, allspice, and nutmeg instead of the chunks..think Bridget Jones and her friends eating the blue soup, their faces and reactions. That's what would have happened with martha-style pie by emr. Also, when recipe says to baste in white wine, don't use cranberry. It will set off the fire alarm again.
I am sick of reading books, listening to guest speakers, attending support groups, filling out paperwork, getting a bloody health check(I've never been healthier), having my life and heart turned inside out when it would so easy to do it the 'easy" way. non....things are not bad, not in any sense of the word. just lots to think about and nothing to worry about.
Shopping still sucks. I don't get it and I am embarrassed at how we Americans are just consumer-FREAKS. It is so sad. And we are at war and people are so concerned with other things...I don't know what to think of anything anymore. Don't want to.
And I hate it that I can't type when I'm crying---pisses me off----even Andy WIlliams isn't helping. Whatever.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Elan=Elk, Hibou=Owl
...and there is no French word for gravy because the French don't eat gravy. They eat sauce, clear sauce, strained sauce, light sauce, wine sauce, sauce that smells like old sweatsocks, but Non! gravy. They also don't have a word for pumpkin pie and if it doesn't exist in France, then...well....it doesn't exist. As Liana, my prof explains, the French are not what we would call "open" or exploratory in their food sensibilites. Me, bring on the veggie-dinde, la tarte aux potirons, le graveee, and elk calls and owl faces.
Long day. Good day. I'm tired day. Just about can't keep my eyes open even though it's only 8pm.
I love it that you said it read like a book, Colleen. I am missing you now and look forward to just hearing you talk and sing nearby...that means anywhere less than 100 miles away or just across the stage from me. I send you the scent of cedar, the image of windwhipped waves off of Golden Gardens and Martha-style attentiveness to napkin folding. I hope you are going to be with Family of CHoice this Thanksgiving.
More later, Beloveds. Still nothing to worry about and lots to think about...and tons for which to be grateful...the least of which isn;t the dog hair I am finding in all of my sweaters...:)

Monday, November 20, 2006

Lots to think about...nothing to worry about...
Heard that one last night when I was in denial about doing lesson plans and preparing for a full but short week...it was on from an ad for a show on tv and the family circumstances were hard to imagine beyond belief. That was their motto...
Just returned from Prayer and Sharing with Mary J. and Christmas Kitty (well, Christmas was zonked out on the Murphy Bed instead of trying to mess up the Glory Be-s with her yowling about being jipped in the fresh chicken department...only kidding. She never "talks" while we pray unless it's to give us the look. Cats..one never truly knows.) Tonight was tender and just what the heart and soul needed. Thank you, Mary. For everything.
This weekend was wonderful. I headed down to the Field after work on Friday. Took over 4 hours for the usual 2 and 1/2 hour trip with bathroom breaks built in, what with all the traffic in Tacoma and Oly and just getting past Federal Way. That being said, I found the Christmas R Us station and NPR and so between the two of them, she licked that platter clean. The regular route to their farm was closed due to water over the road (still) and several rockfalls and slides. Hmmmm-wonder if there is a correlation there, Weyerhauser and Simpson folks, between completely clearcutting the steep sides on the sides of 107 right up to the riparian zoner\s (and sometimes into it you fotons) and tons of sliding earth because NOTHING is left on the hillsides to hold it all in place when God decides to relive the Noah days. After rerouting through Aberdeen (who000, my favorite on a Friday night just around 8:30 pm when everyone is "getting" somewhere-gettin to the bar, gettin' ready to look cool in a beat-up Ford with a chainsaw in the back and a broken crabpot, gettin' on my nerves because 25 mph really means drive 12 and talk to your best friend in the front seat who has the same curling iron froth of hair directly in line with your jaw and I haven't had a bathroom break in over four hours and still 45 min. to go-one lane road open willing) The river road was down to one lane in several places with the rocks and mud and pieces of road breaking on the cliff edge. With the mist and all, it was surreal. Windows down, Allison Krause on and up-singing--it was all kinda good. As I pulled through the gate, a face turned toward me, held my gaze for a moment, and took off in a rush and quiet whoosh of wings--it was a huge barn owl! I've only seen one other in the "wild" and that was at Earth Sanctuary when I led a dance experience there among the standing stones. The owl there was just off the path as we walked out of that sacred space. Watching the owl fly into the woods naturally brought my eyes to the Star Dance happening just above my head. I could reach out and tickle the star strands they were so bright and close....As I drove in and parked, the way was lit with small candle lanterns. When it is dark and wet at the Field, it is just that and only that on the outside. Will met me and so did some of the kitties. I was dizzy from all the turnings and mist in the road and all that driving energy, so we poured ourselves some of the sweetest cranberry wine, I denuded myself of socks and shoes and hopped on Mama Earth until my feet began to feel her warmth, and we gazed at that amazing sky. Little Feather was indisposed so she was snuggled up inside and we were looking forward to time together the next day. As we were stargazing, there was a call from the trees near the river. Will immediately thought "elk" and later L.F. thought it might have been the two fawns from this summer calling their mama. The mama deer was taken by poachers right outside the Field a couple of weeks ago. I made friends with her this summer and we had a few conversations about what she could and couldn't eat down by the greenhouse. It is uncertain if the two fawns will live through the winter. L.F. is trying to help with that. I snuggled into bed with at least three kittens hopping up to say "hi" and a couple of them deciding to stay for the night.
Saturday was our day for sharing, connecting, praying, walking, napping, cooking, eating great food, and having our celebration as a family of choice. The kittens were full of beans as usual. There is a cat from the environs who has claimed the Field as her territory so there is some tension going on because she is fighting the kittens and forcing them back into the house. Even Momma Kitty can't seem to do anything about it, so Will has his 12 gauge super-soaker with water and vinegar and they are trying that out. Another interesting note: on the walk, WIll discovered a thing afixed to one of their young alder trees along a deer path called a "Stealth Cam". As we moved up the path, it took our pictures. Obviously, someone had placed it there to track deer or poachers or both. I made a few choice expressions with Little Feather while it tookour pictures. I hope they don't end up on the internet, but it brought out the libertarian in me. During our walk later that day, WIll checked in with one of their neighbors up the road and he said he had placed it on their property and "forgot" to tell them about it. They took it in stride as there has been a lot of illegal poaching this fall already right outside their fenceline...still it seemed a little fishy to me. There was also a huge black animal on the neighbor's front yard and at first, I thought it was their big old dog taking a nap in the sun. Nope. It was the 40 lb. raccoon that he had tracked and shot the night before after three months of it terrorizing their cats over cat food. We have that same thing here in Ballard so it was no big deal, I just can't take out my .357 and blast it. I also am not stupid enough to leave catfood out to attract them either. Will says he will put in a cat door for me to the basement if I want one. I'm thinking about it. I just can't stand the smell of cats. I don't mind some dog smell----don;t want to go there right now. Having some challenges in the sad and grieving department. It's hard.
Watched the movie "Curious George"--what an uplifter. I'd recommend it to anyone. Want that one for the baby to come collection. A kinder, gentler world..with lots to think about and nothing to worry about...

Thursday, November 16, 2006

I'm up much too late. I have been working on the Accreditation pre-visit work. I believe it's finished and sent to California to the Team Leader. Hope it was what they wanted. Wasn't today something in the storm department? It matches my moods and my heart right now. Another week of missing the dogs, my life with Neil, and the familiarity of it all..and I wouldn't change a thing even if I could--I am just missing what was good about those Novembers...been working on my Parenting Resource Plan late into the evenings this week in front of the fire with music on and a teacup of wine. Finished a couple of more sections today. I just need to finish typing it up and send it off which I will do tomorrow.
Something weird happened today. I am reluctant to describe it but maybe someone will have an insight. I "picked up" something heavy/hard/jagged/tense from Sara today when I touched her shoulders...I know she has a bucketload of stuff on her plate with everything but this isn't really about Sara but it is--the "something" I picked up is real and has a life-energy and is still on her and now it's "on" me...I have had this happen two other times and I knew instantly what/who they were and how to get rid of them. Like a big, dense, hulking black/grey energy draining power monkey on your neck, shoulders, and head that has fingers buried into your kidneys and spleen, too--energetically. Not good. very real. I know what to do for me and have already begun the process. I don't want anything on my neck, back. And no it is not a demon. But it's not nice either...I wonder if Sara would let me help her out. I have learned a few things in my travels. Colleen, you are in my thoughts and prayers. I can hear how exhausted you are. I am getting a kick out of how you are calling NYC "Home".:) I wonder if Maude got the new puppy. I heard from the ladies at Curves that the pass was really, really bad on Tuesday. Time for sleep. Love falling asleep to the sound of the rain.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

"Find what you love, love what you find."
Saw this on a car sticker in the QFC parking lot this morning.
Also saw a 2-year old boy throwing leaves with his dads watching. Then they picked up leaves and started throwing them, too, and caught my eye mid-throw, grinned sheepishly as I gave them the thumbs up as I drove by, and they threw them all up in the air together!
Working on stuff here and about this weekend with baths thrown in and "White CHristmas" on in the background...that's what it's about-finding what I love and loving what I've found. Yup. What I was trying to describe yesterday in a nutshell...

Friday, November 10, 2006

Next storm.....what did I get from the guys?
I have it ALL....and Mammo's hands....
I am blogging this as the kettle heats up for my third cup of coffee on this amazing cold, wet, wondrous November day.
I am drying off from my first real bath in over a week. Thanks to Uncle Ron for showing me how to relight the pilot light on my water heater without fear and for Aunt Donna for insisting that he teach me how to do it not just do it....whenever it storms and the rains blast sideways, it floods the water heater and voila, no l'eau chaud. Thank goodness I know now what it is that's wrong and how to find suport to fix it. Next time, I can do it myself. (Picture a 3 year old putting on underwear inside out -same tone of voice)... It happened on Christmas Eve last year and I was mad about it. It set me up to stay in for the entire day and hang out with my Fiona and bake and quietly wait for a very expensive visit from the Gas Company Guys to relight it. They also told me how to add a little cover outside the vent thingie for about $5 in lumber and 3 screws. I just forgot about it this summer. I wasn't home much and I certainly wasn't AT home here. Ask me if I am mad now about that happening on that day and I had to spend the entire time with my Beloved Fiona on Christmas Eve.. the same day she came into my life 15 years earlier...:) I also am giving thanks this morning for plastic sheeting, staple guns, and stools. I know how to use all three to cover the netting on my red front screen door that looks like it came from Pine Cone Cabin and now the rain cannot continue to get in--at least through the screen part. The aloe and cactus will be happier.

My thoughts were clearer yesterday on the way to school.The rains seem to bring out the best in my Joycian genepool. It has been quite a week, but this is how it goes. I am once again the teacher and person I aim to be and am-give or take PMS and the moon. The report card worries and furies continued right up until the end of the day yesterday with teachers in my team whiting out mistakes and hand doing the grades. I checked mine and they looked okay to me. I didn't proofread carefully but I did proofread some. By last Tuesday, I was done. I also communicated to the children how I truly perceive those boxes and numbers and what they mean. I also shared how I really perceived them. Seeds of glory time....my baggage not theirs.
So, it was on the same way to work yesterday, in the pouring, whipping rain, that I had these musings. NB: I always drive around the "long way" to school on rainy days because I get to look at the trees, drive by the Blue Heron Cafe, curve around by little homes that never fail to remind my of An Spiddal in the Gaeltacht of west Ireland, and occasionally see a heron, eagle, falcon, terns, or crows in flight.
So, I'm driving and thinking. Matt is singing his song about this long way he's on and he's never really alone even if it feels that way, and I had this "Julian moment"--all is well. All shall be well. All has always been well. This doesn't mean that it has been easy, perfect, just, peaceful, or right. It means well--Life and not alone. I'm not talking some deep Jesus is always in charge kind of thing here (although that is true for some people all of the time and true for me some of the time even though I wish I could settle into the acceptance of acting as if this were the case even though I believe that this is so) It means I know and gratefully acknowledge that I have had it ALL and HAVE it ALL. It is a sense of contentment, wisdom, surrender, irony, inner sarcasm, love, and hope that grows out of making choices, bearing the consequences, dancing the dances, and facing into the wind so that tears can mix with the rain and the salt of ocean waves...and the laugh of the wind...
I got off track. I was on my way to work to use my voice, body, heart, mind, and HANDS for work, my Work, God's Work with the kids, colleagues, community...I looked at my hands. I know my hands. I know my mother's hands. I know my Grandma Surridge's hands. I know Grandma Grace's hands. I know Mammo's hands. I know Grandma McKenna's hands. I know Great Grandma Mary's hands. I pictured clear memories of each one of these women, MY WOMEN's hands. My mother--these hands with fingers that curl over organ and piano keys with grace and play Christmas carols while we are making green and red paper chains in the kitchen to decorate the house. My mother's hands hold pencils that make sense out of numbers. These hands sew and make beautiful costumes and clothes and curtains and blankets. These hands cook, mend, bake, grow, clean, hold, pray, and taught me how to draw horses and mountains.These hands love my dad's. My mother's fingers are long, narrow, knobby with pretty round fingernails, and she wears a special ring. Grandma Surridge-warm, round, card-holding, cookie-baking, Butch-loving, "Hi-ya Honey, Momma home" phone-holding hands. Mammo's hands--had blue veins, held tiny crochet hooks for my hands and scolded about the tension being all wrong in my lace. Her voice said the words. Her hands slap-patted at mine to relax them and then she held mine in hers and we worked the lace together. These hands were white, frail, arthritic hands with narrow wrists. Hands that clapped with the cackling voice from the front porch at the Whistling Pete fireworks at Pine Lake on 4th of July. I've seen pictures of those hands sawing, but I don't remember them doing that. My Grandma Grace--her hands were bigger, longer, stronger. These hands were the hands of a dancer. Her movements were always with a flair and a drama. Even as she prayed. These hands had to learn alot of Life's lessons on their own. And they did it their own way all Life long. I've seen those hands when they carried in a turkey, held a rosary, cradled grandbabies, held the phone while she scolded my grandpa for being halfway across the world on Christmas Day instead of there with the family and her eyes full tears at the same time...her hands that made meatloaf sandwiches. Those meatloaf sandwiches were always a little dry but those hands poured you pop (rootbeer) to go with your sandwich.
Grandma McKenna's hands liked to hug people and were never still, ever. They were always moving in the pocket of her apron or fiddling with a Kleenex. Those hands liked to hold the hand of the nearest person. Those hands belonged to a person with the clearest eyes and smile-crinkles on the edges and who learned your name the first time she met you. Great-Grandma Mary had tiny hands, esp. when compared to the size of her Man. She had tiny everything, except spirit. Her hands were purply, covered with paperthin skin. Those were working hands. I only remember holding them once. I'm sure she held mine more. My hands are the hands of these women--doing, living, praying, working, playing, holding...loving. These are the wrinkles, veins, nobby knuckles of my hands, the hands of my ancestresses. I have it ALL.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Trebucher-to trip up...en francais. Good word to know. (Say Trebewshay)...AND it's a full moon.
I like going to French class most of the time. Tonight was no exception. For two hours a week, I sit at table, with a hot cup of tea in a beautiful blue cup, with educated women and we talk about everything and EN FRANCAIS. We discuss jazz, dance, politics, history, travel, regions, children, hiking, literature, articles and current events, fashion, movies, Life--and then we do a bit of grammar until next time. Once in une lune bleue, we will have a lovely glass of wine to mark something or celebrate.

Today and yesterday have been better days at school and here at home in me. Working out definitely makes a difference. Eating deliberately and well matters, too. Taking my time to be mindful with children and lessons-this also matters. Praying and discussing the Word with my friend, Mary J. (and eating the lovely soup and sandwiches she makes) are an uplifting start to the workweek. I used to hate Mondays...don't actually know why, and then we started praying together. I look forward to Mondays now.

Please keep your Love and Prayers focused on this F.W.I.P. (Family Work In Progress)Things are moving, like the canoe has pushed off from shore and we are paddling out to look at seals around the little peninsula covered wth trees..and the current is helping...alot! I will keep the blog posted as soon as I know more. The air is different here--sweet, cool, strong, tinged with a scent of rice paddy and lotus flower.
I'll finish with this thought from Rumi:
This is how a human being can change:
there's a worm addicted to eating grape leaves.
Suddenly, he wakes up,
call it grace, whatever, something
wakes him, and he's no longer a worm.
He's the entire vineyard, and the orchard, too, the fruit, the trunks,
a growing wisdom and joy
that doesn't need to devour.--translated by Coleman Barks

The teakettle's singing. Time for Red Rose in a Christmas cup with the little gnome-elf people dancing under the tree... some things are just so right...

Sunday, November 05, 2006

RX for Harried Hearts and Frazzled Minds....
"There is hope for all of us.
Well, anyway, if you don't die you live through it, day in, day out.
----------Mary Beckett via San Ban Breathnach
It's Sunday night. I just got back from working at school, putting those damn grades into the computer, writing the Nov. curriculum update, and just trying to find the hope in my heart and head. I'm just raw tonight and tired and I will be myself soon enough, with hope and a positive attitude soon.
It was wonderful for me to take care of Molly-dog this weekend and it was a mistake. My heart wasn't ready for it. Everytime I heard those tap-tap feet on the floor or felt snuffling or snuggling, I would look and expect to see F- or S-. Not there. Won't be...ever again...also, realized that commuting, even in the best of off hours, IS NOT FOR ME. I hated the time back and forth in the car to and from Bothell. I scheduled that one on purpose to see if I had outgrown my aversion to car-time even with interesting talk radio, books on tape, EMR music. Nope, it still sucked and for now I will remain in Ballard unless an apartment complex goes up right behind me.
Then there was the no clean underwear part of the weekend. I have been too darn busy to do laundry. I know my father is reading this (thanks for the gradebook, Dad.) but a girl has to have clean unders.The weather sucked--too stormy and too stuck in a cul-de-sac to go anywhere. too down to try. All three LOTR movies in between report card and accreditation HW stuff. Dance was good. Sunday was the best esp. Brigie made some wonderful tea and Rowan surprised us with her hardshoe reel. Brigie and I have to practice really hard not to hit Julie in the head. J- said she will stop on stage and punch us out. That's some impetus to do it right. Sara is uber patient and we are missing our Mary and Colleen...
At the turn of the Celtic New Year each year, I listen for the "theme" or the motto for the coming year. This one was a no brainer----"Ca va venir" ("It will come")
I am learning some hard lessons right now about taking people at their word, what is it in me that feels the NEED to be the "good girl" to prove my worth (at work), how to find the balance between work and Life, and what to do when it bitterly doesn't work out the way I expect it to. I have a huge aversion to boxing kids into quantities with percentages and crap like that. It's my baggage. The principal pointed that out to me this evening when she stopped by. I went off on her about how mad I was at her and the situation around these stinking report cards. One of my big problems is what these kinds of numbers meant for me as a kid and how I just balk at "doing" the same to them. I believed those numbers and that they actually had some relevance to Who I was, Who I AM, and my Worth. They still hold sway. There isn't enough room to
in the boxes and now I am corseted in what I can relate anyway with the data-driven decision making. There isn't a school out there that can hold my Vision...what to do with this....ca va venir......
I really want to take a short trip to Scotland. I really do.
There might be Shelties there. It might be like a piece of Heaven. I'm sitting in a piece of it right now--the fire is cheerily burning in the woodstove. I heated up some of my homemade potato soup. A cup of hot cocoa is sitting here now that I finished the wee glass of wine. I can feel my knees making scrinchling noises every time I shift or walk. And the heavy part of my moon is over. These are days of plenty.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Let us imagine care of the soul, then, as an application of poetics to everyday life.---Thomas Moore

Post Samhain Musings and Magic

So, I've "larn'd' a whole lot in the past 24 hours...not certain what will stick and what will fly by like the storm clouds heading east when we get those windladen bruisers off the ocean. I found this under a heading called "Embracing the Ebb" in the Simple Abundance book. It is worth sharing again with myself and anyone who wants to hear it. This is also something Neil taught me in our marriage. (I am making a point of acknowledging-and with gratitude and relish-those gifts that are still mine from our relationship and path together. This, for me, is part of the healing and the truth...and most importantly, the forgiveness.)Here is what I found:
.."Earthly souls ebb and flow in sorrow and joy according to the seasons of emotion, just as the seasons of the natural world flow in sorrow and joy according to the seasons of life, death, and rebirth. These are the days to be grateful for the harvest of the heart, however humble it might be, and to prepare for the coming of the year's closure. Even now, the season of daylight diminishes and the time of darkness increases. But the true Light is never extinguished in the natural world. It is the same in your soul. Embrace the ebb, my beloved queen, and do not fear the darkness. For as night follows day, the Light will return and you will know contented hours once again." ---Sarah Ban Breathnach, storyteller

That is balm for my Heart in 4 Land. Now if I can just remember it! Yesterday's celebrations and rituals were some of the most fun and Life-giving that I've had in years! Things were fairly low-key in homeroom land because of the afternoon's antics. We enjoyed an entire afternoon of dancing, boogy-ing, grooving, and moving with the Ballard Beavers Marching Band! I had a BLAST! My legs still hurt. This great group marched up and down the long hall at school and then we had a spirit assembly. It was part of a day of fun planned by the folks who bought "principal for a day" at the auction last year. The other fun thing was every class signed a soccer ball which we will then send to Africa from us to kids there. I dressed up as one of the four seasons with the three other teachers in my level. I was "Winter". Can't say I was too into it before school, but finding the battery Christmas lights to add to my get-up made it more fun. The students had fun trying to figure us out.
One of my students showed up with a very special photograph. The heading was "WHAT WERE YOU IN 1977, MS. R.?" And there I was in my favorite Obi-Wan Kenobi costume with four of my best friends from HNA during the height of my Star Wars obsession!...l(et's just say every Friday, at 4:15 pm, I was off the bus and into my seat at the matinee at that theater downtown. And this little alternative reality thing went on for another two years until I had to get a real job at Kentucky Fried Chicken...the best part of this was the kids going up to the photo, staring at it quizzically, shrugging their shoulders, looking at me and saying"Well, you don't look any different." (YES! with strong arm movement with fist from perpendicular position in downward pumping motion at one's side) Well, one (who is taller than me) did look at it longer and turned and said, "So, you were telling the truth. You did stop growing in the 4th grade.)...hee.
Going over to the parental Homestead was amazing. Everything was the goldilocks moment-"just right". it was full of brothers, sisters, cousins, kids, grandma and grandpa...right down to the tablecloth and the spaghetti (vegan and otherwise) on the stove. I haven't felt that resonance since before Grandpa and Grandma Surridge passed on. The same resonance was Christmas morning as we were coming into the big living room at 405, with the tree, the toys, the tea, and the dear-to-me folks. This, yestereve did a number on that Heart Hole. For, it was one of those moments of magic...complete with pumpkin bars, sparkling apple cider, my father in his recliner, Julie on the couch, Aidan in a monkey suit, all the BELOVEDS that could make it, those that couldn't in physical form drawn close and remembered ...or called on the cell phone, those that were celebrating in heaven also held close, remembered, and included, Mom coordinating in the kitchen and answering the door, and finishing the baking, and handing out plates and working with the other moms, aunties, sons, and sons-in-law...it was a perfect scrum.
(Maybe that will be the next book after the Fairy-godmother one..."The Perfect Scrum:"....hmmmm-has potential) Oh, and did I mention the gloves? It is tradition and it continues. Some things are just right with the world...
The trick-or-treating was fun out under the stars in the crisp air. The comments down memory lane from the boys were eye-openers. Illustrates the differences between the "first "family and the "next" family. It also illustrates a 4 who was almost completely oblivious growing up anyway and who was more interested in a sequel to Bambi, the Count of Monte Cristo, and Black Beauty as well as somebody cooing 'there, there" when she was screaming that her shoes were too loosey. It never occurred to her to shut up, bend down, and tighten the straps on her maryjanes herself. Now, you oughta see how she can cinch those oxfords up if she has a mind to. I hadn't remembered that Mrs. Moeller was 'Bubbles" or that my 'innocent', 6 gallons a day milk-drinking brothers were also the ones who lit bags of dog shit on fire and put them on people's porches. I'm sure we could have come up with better use of your energy, you dorks!
I had fun showing my nephews and nieces how we trick or treat here in Ballard. The trick or treaters actually wait on the INSIDe of the house while the person with the goods bangs on the door and then the kids yell "Trick or Treat" or "Cough it up or get lutefisk in your recycle bin!"
Then it was home to Fair Isle for the Samhain fire and ritual. I won't go into too much detail..only that is is special, and the Ancestors and Beloveds and Spirit Ones and Life are honored. The prayers are special. The fire is special. The warding is special. I was joined this year by the little black cat that has taken over the backyard. It was closest she has gotten to me.

A couple of other things-
I got a call yesterday from the breeder that I had researched as the best, with literally, the puppy of my dreams-an 8 and 1/2 week old male sable from the best parents. I thought about it all night long and then listened to what was right for me and this family that is taking shape. I called her and told her no and that I would be in touch in 5-7 years or so. She understood. I did, too. And I know this was the right decision for me, for my little burgeoning family, and for the child/ren coming. An example of "be careful what you ask for from your Heart during these times of power and life and Thin Veils". I also know that this aspect of the dream could change and I will be ready to listen and make the right decision for myself and my Ones when the time comes. I don't have any doubt of that. I also know how to find and bring "DOG" into my sphere of being, tough as it is not having my own here. A part of me is guilty for having no compelling reasons to come home at regular times. I am enjoying being able to explore more, connect more, read more in coffee shops, work more...

I also heard from my social worker this evening. China has opened up the process to single parents again...the wait for a healthy girl is interminable. The wait for Waiting Children (chldren with special needs) is not so long. Did I want to be notified of Waiting Children? Did I want to be placed back on the waiting list? What did I want to do? I said yes to the Waiting Child list and also, let's keep things on track for Vietnam at the turn of the year...more later...time to bring the rocking chair home from school, put it in the corner with a baby blanket so I can sit and watch the cedar dance and the flickers whick-whicka on by...I've held her in my arms in Dreamtime. Time to hold her in my Ordinary reality arms now...and if it's Patrick of the Black Hair, then I have some brothers who can ensure that there will be no wimpage factor...
I wore the owl pin all day. Thanks, Mom. That means alot. I love that pin........
Welcome to the New Year....