Mississippi Moments

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Small Steps........
First off, I found this on a daily positive thought for women site....it's for any age and stage (really)and it was written about "Eat, Pray, Love".....chew on this if you so choose. Me, I'm sipping some cheap wine and letting my "crabby" laisser diminuer.

"I know that life can deliver even more surprises, disappointments, and grief even after we've invested everything we have to learn to live authentically… even after we feel, as safe and sound as Gilbert describes herself on the book's last pages as "a present and fully actualized me" living in "peace and contentment."

As time goes by, no matter how good we feel about ourselves, we must step back and look at who we have become and allow ourselves to change again, chum the waters of our relationships, take our spiritual temperatures and continue to forgive ourselves as we grow and learn and perhaps change our minds once again, about who we are, or want to be.
by Staff at California Psychics in response to “Eat, Pray, Love”

And I've taken my dog on a long walk at Shilshole where the trees are still bent and broken, the wind whipped the water, Cedar's fur and my hairs. I looked up the Foster Care Parent Training Schedule. And Spanish classes for credit. Not bad for a crabby day....

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Back to Ordinary Reality----
No complaints coming from this spot in the Cosmos.
It has been a scrumptious emotional/snowy/family and friends/healthful/romantic/cozy/musical/all around loverly glut of all that makes the Yuletide/Christmas season "perfect" for a 4...and this from a 4 who loves Christmas music all year round. Oh and get this-----Christmas dinner with my folks as an ONLY for the moment CHILD--HELLO! IT was quite weird and loverly and enough food for the small army that did not come because of treacherous conditions....another once in a lifetime Gift from teh Universe.What I am trying to say is that it was loverly then and it is loverly now--with the ground showing up and the snow melting off. Nothing like a good cup of coffee and a walk in the windy rain before dawn to bring you back in and down and grounded, followed by a little yardwork to free the new lavendar plant babies from the grass. And then round to the backyard to clean up the dog excess and play ball. Sure smells good and clear out there. I'm up for another walk when dishes are done.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

And Snow s'more...

Let it Snow!

I still can't get my bathtub as clean as Lydia can, and there is something to be said for "best effort" and "good enough". I also am in the process of getting everything in my basement up off the floor--I remember a little storm a few years back that resembled what is happening outside right now. Snow piled up. And then came the rains. And the flooding. I live right over an underground stream and since everything in my life speaks of abundance, I have no reason to believe that this won't also. Cedar is busy tearing up paper bags (we need more firestarter--see, he earns his keep:)) and being confused as to why I am on my knees over the tub playing with vinegar and baking soda.
I am all about the feelings today--totally in 4-land (Mary J. will appreciate this blogging today and I bet she is chuckling as she pets that beautiful Christmas Kitty who adopted her on this very special day). I looked up at one point while scrubbing the floor and was eye to eye with Cedar who brought "his" toy in hopes I would play with him and I was also eye to eye with a special photo of Fiona and Sadie and me in the snow and that "toy" belonged to both of them as well. (Yes, we recycle just about everything around Fair Isle--can't say no to what is useful and beautiful and still full of good play). Which brings me back to a couple of other Gifts that have shown up today--20! winter robins in the crabapple trees picking at the red berries! And the makings of apple pie. And I will try to upload some snow photos.

It is sooo good to BE HOME. To a 4, this is Everything!

Some Christmas Eve Thoughts----------
First off, a prayer from this latest book I am reading about Maha Ghosananda

"The suffering of Cambodia, (of the world), has beeen deep.
From this suffering comes Great Compassion.
Great Compassion makes a Peaceful Heart.
A Peaceful Heart makes a Peaceful Person.
A Peaceful Person makes a Peaceful Family.
A Peaceful Family makes a Peaceful Community.
A Peaceful Community makes a Peaceful Nation.
And a Peaceful Nation makes a Peaceful World.
May all Beings live in Happiness and Peace."--Maha Ghosananda

My prayer and Christmas wish for all my Beloveds and the World is that we begin to become aware of the Breath of Compassion. The rest will take care of Itself by the Power and Peace of the Child in the Manger. Gloria in Excelsis Deo.

Now to my other thoughts:
At Solstice, I always (try to) clearly intend and pray. The part that was missing was being open to Spirit's Response in Spirit's Way and Time. ("God's time is not human's time")
Last year, I prayed literally "Create in me, O God, a clean Heart and renew a right Spirit within me."Guess what? God did. And look what it took?!?!
I will not be sorry to say good-bye to 2008. And I have already received more GIFT and more YES, more JOY and more "All in MY TIME, Beloved Child of Mine", more Voice and more Boundary-Making and Keeping, more Friendship-Growing and Nurturing, more Love of Self and Love of Others...more Love.
The Christmas Child of Stars and Scars took the Hole in my Heart and Healed It, Healed Me, Filled It, Filled Me. Through no deserving of my Own, through His BOUNDLESS LOVE and GIFT, HIS Sacrifice, HIS "YES! AMEN and SO IT IS."...and what can I bring to the stable with all the gifts from His Mother and Joseph, from the shepherds, from the Magi, from the Innkeeper's wife and the Innkeeper---??
I will bring:
*my new favorite Christmas carol, Colleen's rough "Lullabye" and sing with her to the Child
*my tears
*my conversations with children and trees
*my scar
*every gentle action I have made with hands, heart, voice, eyes, and body this year
*my dancing
*my laughter
*my gratitude for EVERYTHING
*my burgeoning nonjudgment
*my clarity
*my embracing Fear as a Friend and Teacher
*my parents
*my long walks with Cedar,
*my families of origin and of choice

And my little Gift will look like a grubby, little handmade paper cut-out wrapped in wrinkled tissue paper with a rafia bow. Teilhard de Jardin once wrote something like this-"The best gift we can give to God is the gift of ourselves FULLY ALIVE." I've gone from waking up in the morning and sighing to myself that God must want me to be alive this day because I woke up in my bed when I didn't want to wake up at all to waking up EVERY DAY now and praying "Thank YOU, GOD, for this AMAZING DAY". (yes, even before coffee and somedays with more enthusiasm than others but I say it and mean it and LIVE it!"

And what's more!
It is snowing! And I am having the Christmas celebration of my life in my own cottage with my own dog and with the LOVE OF EVERYTHING IN MY LIFE! Oh MY GOODNESS!!
And there are no wrapped presents under my tree and this home and Heart are SO FULL of GIFTS that there is NO MORE ROOM in this INN! GOD HAS FILLED IT COMPLETELY AND MY WHOLE NIGHT SKY IS FULL OF Wonder, Peace, Joy, Love, Healing, and Grace (yes and that Grace, too, and all the other grandmas and grandpas and the mammos and pops and ancestors and angel-dogs)....

This must be how the Grinch felt...except my Heart Box is not a Box. It is the Night Sky. Over the Child. In the Manger. Full of His Love.

I heard two stories last night on the radio. Two stories of angels coming in human form to families in the hospital and performing their healing work, their miracle-messages. This stuff doesn't just happen in the pages of the Holy Bible. We are living it.
I also heard another Christmas message that when Jesus went back to Heaven, He only took with Him one set of souvenirs--His Scars. He not only suffered with us, FOR us, HE UNDERSTANDS. He joins us. He sympathizes. Our God KNOWS. And bears those scars in Heaven. Our God bears the scars WE GAVE HIM..."From this deep suffering comes Great Compassion. Great Compassion makes a Peaceful Heart. A Peaceful Heart makes a Peaceful Person....." "May All Beings Live in Happiness and Peace". "Glory to God in the Highest and Peace to All Beings on Earth"

Monday, December 22, 2008

Winter Solstice, Dear Ones....

"The seasonal rhythms correlate with our bodily rhythms...
Our dream life and inner life grow
more insistent in the winter darkness...
the old year is put to bed, one's business is finished, and
the harvest of spiritual maturity is reaped as wisdom and forgiveness."
-----Joan Borysenko

I learned a new word today--"mudita"--divine abiding of joy, a profound depth of appreciative joy that goes in all direction, inwardly and outwardly...oozing actually.
It is a Buddhist word, don't know the language--could be Thai even. I am savoring tidbits of a book on the life of Maha Ghosananda whose motto was "Peace is Possible".
And so it is.

The monks spend years and months in meditative practice, sometimes sitting, standing, walking, squatting, moving their hands and arms with directional focus, whatever ways they are called to this or ascent to in the rigors of their chosen monastic life. And this monk, Maha Gosananda, oozed this appreciative joy and meditated in whatever ways he wanted. He also put little word-pictures on his walls. (sound familiar?). My point is this. I get the oozing appreciative joy thing. I get the choice thing. I get the peace is possible thing. I get IT. For the moment. For this most sacred of days and nights when we honor the darkness and harken to our inner Light.

Been playing in the snow with my silly boy-dog! We've been walking and exploring our neighborhood which is buried under snow blankets. Had my first telephone lesson EN FRANCAIS! That was exciting and something I have wanted to do for some time. I want to be able to understand French on the radio and in the movies. This will help.

The Yuletide concerts are finished. I didn't make it to Mt. Vernon. The weather just didn't speak to me of safety and welcome. I don't regret being the missing performer AND I do miss all that the ending concert of the season brings, esp. this one, since it was the last one in that venerable old theater in Mt. Vernon and the last one with my sisters and me dancing. I have an odd feeling though that we are not through exactly. I am wishing peace and rest to all who gave so creatively to the audiences and to the world. It was particularly delightful this year and challenging in other ways. Not for me(the challenging part). There is much history and tradition (some baggage but it is not mine to carry any longer) that come with these Yuletide celebrations. Sparkle moments of grace illuminate my remembrance----the jokes about how everyone is related, Haydn banging on the glockenspiel and breaking the end off each time, the crowds clamoring for CDs, the smiles from Julie and Brigie and Sara during the slip jip and the light jig, the hair straightener and the straightened hair, Colleen's songs and how the audience just hushed and held breath after each one for just that one soft moment before clapping, all the good books in the church libraries that I dove into, tom Creegan's uillean pipes on the Blue Irishman and the slip jigs and All Through the Night...Mom and Dad at each one. Sara going right on with directions and parenting and show support while nursing, Julia and the other Tara dancers being funny and teenaged and professional for the shows. All good. Being included. Being invited. Being a part of this Gift. Yes. Light. Peace. Joy. And Baggage. Me and my muditaare going to have a shower now and head off to downtown Ballard to try to get some Christmas shopping done. And after that, I may bake something. I will definitely light the Christmas tree ( I put one up this year----it's been a few years) and enjoy some kind of warm cup of Solstice cheer.

"I will light candles this Christmas,
Candles of joy , despite all sadness,
Candles of hope where despair keeps watch.
Candles of courage where fear is ever present,
Candles of peace for tempest-tossed days,
Candles of grace to ease heavy burdens,
Candles of love to inspire all my living,
Candles that will burn all the year long."
-----Howard Thurman
(Shared by Cathy T.)

Let is snow, let it Snow, let it SNow, LET IT SNOW!!
OH, my frozen fingers and toes goodness, we are being blessed by snow angels!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

First SNOW of the season...and--
this one from my man, Ralph Waldo Emerson---

"All beauty warms the heart,
is a sign of health, prosperity, and the favor of God.
What delights, what emancipates,
not what scares and pains us,
is wise and good in speech and in the arts.
For, truly, the heart at the center of the universe
with every throb hurls the flood
of happiness into every artery, vein, and veinlet,
so that the whole system is inundated with the tides of joy."

And that is why I asked Colleen to sing for me to transmute the awful but welcomed news on Thursday. Her voice, her energy, her love, her Heart are powerful and ripple with Intention and Beauty. (She also can do some amazing stuff with her hair.) When I don't have my own Voice and Words and Power for the moment, having Sisters that do is one of those "bring out the secret weapon" time.

And that very night (when I wasn't answering my phone because I was too sad and relieved) my brother and father, up in the San Juans, had connections with people whose lives I had touched in positive, karmic ways years ago in San Diego and also from university. That was another of those Universe pulling out her own secret weapons to reassure me that what I do, out of love and gratitude, matters...even if it was a long time ago.

Pulled in around 3 am this morning after Portland Yuletide. A long day but a pleasant one. We saw snow pn the way down on the hills and cars around Chehalis and Kalama but any precip we hit was rain. Squishy got to stay overnight with Dave and Alice. He is still there playing in the snow. Cedar likes to run in it. Dave likes to chew on his lion toy while sitting in it. Alice likes to eat it. I like to drive home in it (when it isn't sticking too badly),singing Christmas carols with the radio.

The concert went well last night. Also took the time to drive off the beaten freeway path to show Fletcher the area of the world around Littlerock. Lots of road widening. And the folks who bought the land cut down most of the trees and put in lawn. Ugh. No attachment. Just looking. And thinking about how I won't do that. We also spent time at the Oregon Historical Museum. I've wanted to go there for years. It was alright. There were some interesting portable exhibits of 19th century photos of the Columbia River towns, water features, and landscapes before and after the railroads arrived. Also, an exhibit of the design work of an engineer named Loewry (sp?) who was responsible for much of the streamlining and simplifying of design in cars, kitchens, logos, and architecture around the world post WWII. The best was upstairs in the "Oregon, My Oregon" section. That captured the variety and realism of a great cross-section of Oregon's recorded history. Not enough hands-on stuff for me, though. I also liked that they didn't shy away from the devastation and truth around the treatment and lot of the First Nations communities. They included rich examples of their stories, spirituality, art, practical life implements, etc. It just seemed like the museum could have been "more". I have been spoiled by visits to some truly worthy museums.

The concert went well. The Waldorf schoolchildren's choir was one of the best I've heard. Hanz Araki played with the them last night. I settled in with a book on the Everyday Life in the Bible Lands. This old, old church (by Northwest standards) has a wondrous library. A couple of other tomes caught my attention but I ended up reading this one. I learned quite a bit last night about Assyriology and other useless but interesting facts about life in that part of the world. And there is more to learn because this was a National Geographic work from the late 60's.

This was a tough week in some perfectly awful respects. And I am thankful for the clarity and finality of the information I received. HOW I received it sucked. And I intend to relanguage that and envision/intend what I must so that doesn't happen again. Here it is in my nutshell:
1. Received word that the adoption agency was given their Hague accreditation. Which is good. For them. For kids. For the greatest good.
2. Received word that Viet Nam will not be open to US adoptions until late 2010 or 2011 at the earliest. And then they will be utilizing China's adoption system as a model. Which means--no singles (or very limited) and some other hoops that I would not be able to meet.
3. Ethiopia is closed to me through this adoption agency because they are not accepting any more singles for that program anymore through 2009 AND Ethiopia is planning to deny singles in the coming year anyway.
4. My adoption consultant in Missouri DIDN'T EVEN KNOW WHO I WAS even though we have had conversations and emails. IT was pretty awful.
5. She had the balls to tell me she KNEW what I had been going through.
6. And I had the balls and presence and dignity to tell her that NO, she didn't know anything about what I had gone through. And I told her in a nutshell what this awful journey has been like. And she was silent and said she had no idea. I said yes, now she was correct and what could she offer me in terms of getting this family started. She said nothing. I said, then how do I withdraw because I am not waiting anymore. She said I could send an email. Then I had to accept that I only get half of one set of fees back.....and that pissed me off. Last straw kind of thing. That is the next thing I will be relanguaging in my life. THis money thing. It isn't working for me and I am DONE with this bullshit. Why do I get to pay for pain and loss and crap? IT happened with the divorce from Neil, the selling of our land, the care and see-through with Amore, and now this adoption. It has been nothing but crap.
7. SO I withdrew from the agency. And called the local one that redid the homestudy adn said that I would be calling this week. To see what is really available --in the next months. I also have made the next steps real for finding out what it will take to have my own child. Still thinking and praying on this one. It is time for FAMILY HERE!
Had some long conversations with Fletcher about all this this week and this weekend. I won't do anything rash but it sure does seem selfish and stupid to bring another baby into the world when there are MILLIONS that need homes.
8. I currently hate adoption agencies. I think they are liars. I think that unless you fit a mold they are full of shit.When you don't rock the boat. When you comply. When you jump through other people's hoops. NO MORE. I will be doing something about that, too. Being honest about what "support" really looks like. It's all about money. money. money. Bull-sh**. Just say no to b.s.
Time to go back to cleaning. 4th load of laundry. Decluttering the cabin room. Finding the kitchen table. Washing tights. Doing lesson plans. Burning old documents. Organizing others. And being Happy to be Me, Here, Now.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

This one is for Me:

You shall be free indeed
when your days are not
without a care nor your nights
without a want and a grief,
but rather when these things
girdle your life and
yet you rise about them
naked and unbound.---Kahlil Gibran

Maybe you want to get "whoo-whoo" with me and the world and we can be our wild, succulent selves in love, courage, power, healing, steadfastness, and zippety-doo-dah.

This past week and and a half has been "a wonderful life"...not without wrinkles, tears, dog-do's and don'ts, and a sleepless night or two...and wonderful still.
Last night, I did one of those-get off the pot and do it--things I've been meaning to do for years. I went to the Garden D'Lites over at the Bellevue Botannical Gardens to enjoy Christmas lights and classical Christmas music. So glad I did. I can't wait to experience the gardens in daylight and without the lights. It was festive and fun and lots of families running around. The paths curve and those folks have spent a lot of time putting together all the displays. It is free. You can park at the park next door and parking over there is free too. If not, $5 to park in the garden parking lot. Wide gravelly paths, a restored cabin, water features, terracing, native and other plants and a sort of tropical theme going this year. Never really thought of lighted parrots in the evergreens but maybe Val has....I wonder if Ripley, her African Grey, can say Merry Christmas in any language or several...and then burp.

Yuletide has been going swimmingly from my perspective. No blips on my end.(There are for others but blip-free is my lot.) Lots of laughter and all that goes into it. Tons of family and friends. A bit of nerves. A bit of bittersweet. The audiences this year seem to be coming to rest, to be swaddled, to be given a cup of sweet, warm joy and buoyed with "magic". And so it is.

Lydia made me cry (tears of laughter) yesterday. I will share why when I check email later.

Elf Day went off with jingles and tingles and delight. Simple. Perfect. I'm getting used to this. Simple and perfect thing.

Thinking about getting a Christmas tree up. In the cottage. For the first time since all the passings and changes. Perhaps today?

Another Gift of a Day to join the Cosmic "YES"!!! (That's what yesterday was, by the way. Catholics call it "Feast of the Immaculate Conception"---Mary said YES and lived YES. Oh, my, and She's Our Mother, too. That's LOVE.)
This one is for Cathy T.
You, Your Heart, Your Courage, Your Commitment, Your Journey, Your Joy, Your Story....WE have been Gifted.

"I'm thinking of how women are soul and dance
I'm thinking women are power
and I'm moving to tear the walls down
and know the gorgeous stories of women free."
----Elizabeth Roberts, 2001

Friday, December 05, 2008

Some days, it's just a quiet sit
with the stars that brings you back into your body,
quiets your mind,
and holds your hand...
and allows you to hear, "Good Morning, Beloved. I'm Here. Still."

**off to work. Okay with the questions. Living them as Rilke says. SO much that I have the kind of headache that makes me dizzy and nauseous. I am SO thankful for this spirit-shell that doesn't allow for dualism and lies from Me anymore. Own it, Sister.
Long walk with Cedar, a cup of good coffee in my camping cup, camping in my living room this week, candlelight, plain black pants and matching snow socks, Andy Williams and Barbra Streisand, therapy and golden dogs, teaching dance, hot water, cold water, headache drugs, sisters that are safe driving across the pass, accessing the people who collect things like paper bags and frosting tubs (thank you Mom and Mary J. for helping us be good stewards and reuse things for book reports and elf math and all that good stuff), and saying No to crap and Untruth and What is NOT REAL and saying YES to stars, and happy dog eyes, and tears for those fur-darlings that are not here but hear-t...and that Still, Quiet Whisper that is bigger than the long, night sky.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Oh, t'is more of Heaven here at Fair Isle...Colleen's CD is playing and again and again....and the fire chatters and Cedar does his darndest to not fall asleep until there is no chance that there will not be scraps falling on the floor. OH, and I did more than just survive Yuletide #1..oh there was that...and there was the joy and energy of the Tara dancers and the practicing and wincing and "getting it". There was the 30 year old gnomie that went to Mom's house to get his hat and whatever else she can find fixed for the upcoming concerts. There was laughter and more than a few mixs-ups in the music department..but oh, there was Heart. And Love. And Joy. And Peace. And Connection. And Hope. And my father folding costumes and the A-Team working at the Cd table and plenty of new black tights to share...and Sara looking beautiful and who is working harder than just about anyone...and Haydn being the willful soul that he is paired up with the Barb who has held just about a million of his kind before...and a sold out concert with standing room only. And more of the celebration to come....maybe there will be room for Celtic line dancing in the future. I don't see Irish pole dancing fitting into the Yuletide scenario......Ahhh, and Lullabye is set to single play again and again...and then I hit Geordie and Bonnie Jean and Jackson & Jane and Sailor Boy.....sometimes Fairy Godmothers get their wishes, too.
p.s. I thought Linnet meant that last, wistful, wincing glance back as the ship pulls away from homeland and the wind caresses a tear-kissed face with a playful, hopeful finger looking forward....or a small, rare, plain brown bird that can sing like no tomorrow...and every tomorrow.