Mississippi Moments

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Find the sunscreen.

Still don't like roadtrips. It is the time in the car that I am not sleeping that I can't stand. Doesn't work for me unless I am driving. And going camping. When we get there. I need to remember this. I never do.
At least this time, I am in a car and not on the back of a motorcycle from Seattle to San Diego via volcanoes, redwoods, high desert. and switchbacks by the sea. One CAN get carsick on the back of a motorcycle. Often. One can remove helmet very quickly, too. Just like learning a difficult hornpipe step. Gets easier and faster with practice.

Going to meet some Sheltie puppies today. Oh boy! Then camping in beautiful northern California.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

First thought of the Day:
Today we reflect on paradox:
Water wears away rock,
Spirit overcomes force,
The weak will undo the mighty.
May we learn to see things backwards, inside out, and upside down."--adapted from the Tao Te Ching

Second Thought of the Day:
let me cleanse in your brief sweet waters...
These dark hands of life"---Basho

Third Thought of the Day:
"And if all that don't do it, get a beer, bath, or a cup of tea and have at it"---EMR

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I am not a whiner. A thinker, yes. A mullerer, yes. A lover of mullets, yes. A monkey-mind on crackhead sometimes, yes. But not a whiner. And when the inclination comes, I take my 15 minutes of crabby-time like SARK says, and then it is someone else's turn.

I have posted all 73 photos on facebook. WIth captions. Took a very long time. I may or may not get to putting them here. I need to spend less time on the computer and more time throwing stuff out and getting my hands dirty.

I can't explain it. There is something about going to Jonestown that "works" for me. Inside and outside. I am trying very hard to figure out what because I want that for Here and Now. The Work: hard, meaningful, uses my skills, is collaborative, flexible, simple, challenging, brought to my plate by God, making a difference,
The Folks: same as me and different than me--I'm out of my element. It is uncomfortable, a stretch, culturally challenging because of who I am and my roots, deep, expressive faith all over and through here, family matters, village matters, big problems that may or may notbe fixed or improved but it is the "one starfish being thrown back" thing in action. There are more starfish being impacted than just one and the throwers are being impacted, too. IN good ways.
The Schedule and Rhythmn: Long, full,sweaty, fun, uses my energy, all this energy that gets me in trouble up here, uses my mind energy so I don't think so much when I am quiet, prayer comes more naturally, like Breath.
Where I Get to Live: I am invited to live at SNJM house. I can walk to work. It is clean, simple, community, safe, with laughter, discussion, stories, a local newspaper that has at least 4 misspellings in it daily. I want that simple abundance here too. Not all this stuff. Don't need it.
Commute: Open spaces, 45 minute drives on 2-lane roads, not sitting in traffic jams, fields, sunflowers, bayous, trees, pecan orchards, all types of homes (not McMansions like here). Tragic, hard history from one perspective, remnants around certainly. Just like the fields and the people chopping cotton (still) and the stories of those who did.
4-Land: Not going to create an alternate reality this time. I am dealing (as best as I can) with coming home to the things here-Cedar gone, job crap, job hunting crap, lots of love around me, getting real with things. Got put off last night with thenews that the doctor from Antarctica died from cancer. Brought up other memories of friends with cancer who were clear and then who got sick again and then died. What kind of thoughts are these? Crappy ones. Not ones for me. They certainly didn't think that way all of the time. They lived their lives. I just don't know what I am to do or where to do it these days. Feeling trapped is not good for me. And that's what I feel. I can TASTE what it will be like when I parent. I was doing it in Jonestown! I didn't even flinch when a little one exploded with cucumber and milk all over me.I amy flinch when this happens over and over. So what... Names are coming in my dreams-Joshua, Micah, Keeshawn, Joel, Elijah--oh my. I am not posturing when I am job-hunting. I am opening myself up to change. TO a new community. I have had the wind knocked out of my teaching sails on a core level. It won't stay there. Once I am back doing it, "all-y'all 'il be awright." I have filled out my perfect job "list" and put it on the prayershelf. I have made contacts to have a puppy choose me. I continue to walk, work out, and keep the coffee to a minimum--even though stress is having a day on my body in other ways....I have support everywhere.
I am happy for those who are giving birth this week. Me, I just want to stare at the mountains, pull grass, and enjoy quiet cups of tea. I just want to be still. But it is so hard to be patient.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

About the only thing that makes any sense.
And ice cream.

Monday, June 22, 2009

I did not make it to the next round of interviews for the district I was interviewing with today. Was just informed.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Home early because of a call for a job interview tomorrow. Here is some of what I have been doing. These don't show the swimming lessons, driving the buses or vans, going on field trips, cleaning, schlepping, science lessons, church or working out in the evenings with Ms. Joyce at the Fitness and Health Club. It does show a good portrayal of the word "intense" attached to the word "love" attached to the words "I am once again in a spot where I got my head on straight, heart on straight, sweated to my inner core and outer pores, priorities simplified and rectified...amidst red Delta sunsets, the cutest children in my sphere of Life, and mockingbird songs that are indistinguishable from the rooster two doors down." Jonestown did it for me again. I have yet to reflect on what I did for it.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

"You gots a do-good spirit in your soul, and God's gonna bless you."--R. Sans Souci, The Talking Eggs

Much to tell. Many stories. Not much access to the internet. Very busy with the preschoolers, hands-on science, soccer with the teens, soccer with the Family Center children,dodge ball, watching the evening softball games. Working out at the Fitness and Health Club. Luckily, I have been recording my stories and thoughts in my journal. I will commit them to this blog when I return. Which will be a week early. I was called for another job interview and they wanted it to be the next day (yesterday). I told them the soonest I could come was next week. I will be home this weekend. A short time in the South. And I have been changed. For the better.

Monday, June 15, 2009

I likes your hair, Mih Ern. First words from a toddler this morning. Mostly stares.
Had a tornado lesson in how to buckle little people into the safety seats on the bus. Spent the morning singing, drawing, playing kitchen, learning fruits and vegetables, and having snack.

Sports camp in full swing. Soccer with the teenagers for an hour this afternoon. Thankful, so thankful to my father and U.F. for their coaching tips, practice sessions, and diagrams. Then it was back for hands on science and writing with the Jonestown Family Center students. Afterward we were back at the gym for another session of soccer. Then dodgeball.
Back to the Family Center. A little blogging.
Started off in Jonestown with a bang--planting flowers with the Hope Brings Change group and then Clutter into Compost event. Church with full gospel choir on Sunday evening. Met all the HNA volunteers. They are a special group. They don't know what to think of me. I don't fit actually anywhere. I do love this work, soul work. Going to go work out at J Health and Fitness Center.CAn't download photos yet. Have plenty.

Friday, June 12, 2009


Thursday, June 11, 2009

The activity I engaged in this afternoon went very well by my energetic and professional perspective. There's some old-time stuff happening at this particular pedagogical establishment, strategies and programs I haven't heard in use since the early 1990's in San Diego but if something ain't broke, why fix it or change? Unless of course they just haven't been exposed to better or different? Still, it went very well. There were even smiles when I did mention at the end that I was in the adoption process and they mentioned two things--1) That wasn't it a gift from God to be a teacher AND a parent? and 2) That was why the position was open---the former knowledge broker will now be job sharing with the fourth grade teacher---which answered one of my questions---how did this establishment feel about job-sharing. There, I have it. It was quite an afternoon and they even looked through my hastily created portfolio (thank you, geek boyfriend) and were commenting about how they might modify this or that for use at their school. I did not offer to leave the stuff there. I said I got it off my website for family communication. I should hear news after next week about today's activity.

2nd news front: I made an arrangement to visit a special place in Granite Falls the beginning of July. There is a new litter of sable and white Shelties, three of them boys who will need homes in a few weeks. ohmigosh. :)

3rd;y: Got my head shrunk tonight. I am not crazy. There IS a lot going on around me and through me right now. It won't last.
The children never knew that Cedar was not here anymore. Many of the end-of-the-schoolyear- gifts were for him yesterday. Luckily, there was an 9 week old golden puppy named Whistler next door so he got lots of new to him goodies and toys. I did receive this elaborately hand-made card yesterday which I will keep..because this is what is precious to me.

On the front cover:
God has Kept His Promise (and a rainbow and beautiful flowers and a little calligraphy style I taught the kids)

On the inside: Dear Ms. R
thank you so SO much for being my teacher. The funniest (circled and in purple) part with you is when you went in the hall and JUMPED (again in purple) around and DANCED (purple). (again, that famous "happy dance" which shows up when I am delighted and the energy is just too much too contain--piss off to those who think I am emotionally unreachable--that's just good old-fashioned self-protection)
I loved it when we learned all the poems and got to write them down.

And at my old school, we had to tuck in our shirts ALL day !!!!!!(in secondgradeland, the untucking occurs after first snack around 9:45 if you should so choose).

Your student, H.L.
p.s. You're the best teacher I've ever had!! (correctly placed apostrophes for contractions over which we worked our butts off!)

Sometimes you just gotta be the mountain.
Not go around it. Not go through it. Not go up it. Nope.

Everything minus two drawers of data and assundries have been moved out of that place of work. It is (as one colleague put it yesterday when she came in to ask a question about something else) "wiped clean. Man, you must have a hurting heart." Uhhh-yeah.
She was in that same place last year at her other place of work. I'm not going to hurt no more here. No more. No more. Going to talk with some folks later today about changing that. Gonna put on my big-girl undies and my going-to-meetin' suit and have a chat. And bring some photos of what happens when I hang around kids. And then they can ask me questions if they want to. It's a long drive. And we shall see.

Going to unload my car. Had lots of help yesterday with all that schleppin'. Going to have the chance later this summer to lighten that classroom load. Get rid of stuff. Looking forward to it. Don't need it. Don't want it. stuff is not necessary for quality learning and teaching and relationships. It can help sometimes. But it ain't needed.

Getting on the plane on Sat. morning. Stay tuned if you want to hear more about the Delta doings. I am sooo looking forward to a fried green tomato sandwich with get-back sauce! There are a few things that are making me smile from the inside out these days as this is one of them...and all of the help and support coming through the cosmic waves. I have a digital camera now and some sort of small computer like object that will allow me to upload photos from Jonestown. We shall see. Do my best.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

It's Wednesday. Still not sleeping. And some things are starting to move in one area of my life where they were causing great pain. No, a puppy is not here yet. Nor a child. And things are moving.

Monday, June 08, 2009

It's only Monday and I can't sleep...still.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Thank you, Avis.
The rain is falling, falling, falling around me, in me, in my heart.
I'll believe you and all the loving spirits around me who are holding that same thought that the sun will warm all washed clean by the rain.I cannot see it now. can't feel it.
I cannot hope in it.
Most of the time, I am just holding on. And sometimes, just barely. barely.

But this grief, this rain is not getting caught in me. I am living it. letting it move in me, wash through me.

i'm hoping to stomp in its puddles with a little sheltie puppy by my side holding the hand of a little black child. And Fletcher near by in his wellies with an umbrella if he wants one.

Much love. I know that is all there REALLY is.

Keep your fingers crossed folks....there might just be a new job coming this week.
Oh, I'm hoping in the rain, hoping in the rain, what a shiteous feeling but I'm hoping anyway............

Friday, June 05, 2009

It won't be long
before a storm will prune
what is ready to let go.
It will be swift and clean.

Be your own storm. - Gunilla Norris.
There is a keen difference between unravel and unfold.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Coffee, weeding, and pruning are very good things.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

I need to travel.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Lydia came over today...and brought a surprise. Alice.
And within three seconds I was crying and laughing so hard my insides hurt.
When I closed my eyes, it was Cedar snorting and gap-mouthed grunting and leaning on me and head-butting for attention. He learned at the paws of the "maitresse". And Alice found where the newest rat has gotten in in the basement. I thought I smelled that sharp rat urine smell this morning, and sho'nuff. Alice pinpointed the spot and we found some doo-doo, too.

Two hours of tea, stories, and grunting. Hard but healing.
And Lydia promises not to vacuum in June, just sweep and leave any large hair balls out where I can step on them.

Still getting notes of care, support, Zen from all over the world. This morning's were from Melbourne and Virginia. There are candles lit all over the world for the Airedale wannabee.

I've also made a few contacts and hopefully a puppy will be coming home to Fair Isle after I return from Jonestown. Wouldn't that make a lovely summer?

It is so tough right now. So tough.
Tomorrow we are going nature sketching at Discovery Park.