Mississippi Moments

Sunday, August 30, 2009

"Dogs are our link to paradise. They don't know evil or jealousy or discontent.
To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon
is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring -- it was peace."
~ Milan Kundera
for Miracles....

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Nope, not that kind of news but I just gotta blog. At least I'm addicted to collecting stories.

Been busy back in the classroom. It is a rumpus room without students yet--mostly. It's a mess. It won't be. The painters and tech folks and carpet cleaners and other whomevers are still doing what they were supposed to have done by mid-August and it still isn't done...and here come the teachers like flies to puppy-doo and it's a mess. And I have to do what I have to do or it won't get done and then I will be undone and we aren't going to have that.
Yesterday, the visitors began to come. The second graders and their moms who wanted to "just stop by". One stayed for almost two hours and "helped"...her mom and sister and cousin went across the way to help in Kinder. We had a nice one way conversation and I learned a lot. Mostly I just enjoyed the flow, the joy, the anticipation, the nervousness, all about her life, her dead dogs, her live cat, her sister going into K and how she is going to help her at 10:50 at recess every day since we have all-day K at our school now, her summer plans that did and didn't happen, her cousin that has shoes like mine and how her cousin was teaching her to play piano but she really wants to learn violin and did I know a nice violin teacher, and she really likes to draw and she interviewed some of the kids from last year and they said it was really fun in here and sometimes hard but she has wanted to be in this room since she came to this school and did I remember all of our chats last year on the playground and most of the markers were in really good shape and did I want to make a box of almost-good markers like she had which she pulls out for letters and notes to put in the mail? It made my day. And then another one came by with his little sister. And his mom. To say hi. I feel shy and awkward and I am supposed to be the 'grown-up". It still is the first day of school every year whether you are a kid or a teacher and you get nervous and you want people to like you. That part of yesterday felt like something I know...and love.

I watched the rest of the move Secret Life of Bees. The book is even better, richer. Sue Monk Kidd's word pictures and life nuggets are deeply and beautifully woven into story. Working out faithfully. Walking that puppy in the dark.Yup, we are back to the dark early times. Possums are going for the pears and other fruit in the cottage garden so I have to keep him tethered to me all the time. He is finally starting to get to a place that "I know"---eyes that look up at you with that expression of "Hi Mom" or "I know you" or "Hey, wanna play"...and he follows me into most rooms to be there with me or he lies down on the rug in each room to wait for what will come his way, esp. the kitchen where he gets special chewies while I am busy in there. He and Murray had fun on Tuesday night with another romp. Porker is learning to roughhouse with the big dogs at Auntie's so this time he gave it back when Murray started....I love how Murray barks and bays when he gets excited or doesn't get what he wants. They are beautiful to watch running around. I hope they will be good friends, maybe the best of friends.

If some things don't pan out, I am thinking on going back to school to become a school psychologist. 3 years. Masters, ESA certificate, and Doctorate. Then internship and practicum but it would be a different career in a field I love. I just don't love it now. All these hours at work now are balm for my soul and restless mind. I could make other choices. But I don't want to.

Monday, August 24, 2009

When we are motivated by goals that have deep meaning, by dreams
that need completion, by pure love that needs expressing, then we truly
live life.

Greg Anderson

And yes, Mom, Grandpa WAS proud of us all yesterday...

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Back in the classroom today. Began shaping what will be our Learning Home for this year.One step, one piece, one breath, one peace...at a time.

I was listening to something on NPR this afternoon while stuck in traffic. It was someone waxing humorously and connectedly about a snapshot moment in their life when they were taken care of, taken delight in, cherished by a parent-figure. I was wondering about that myself...trying to remember. I came up with a few, some of which have occurred when I was a grown-up. Others by those who were not my bio-parents...rather friends, sisters, brothers, dogs, animals, trees, luna, ocean. We each must have a special box in our hearts with these moments of being held and treasured. Maybe this is what I will write about instead of my other ideas.

In truth, I have nothing to be undone about. Nothing. Time there is for being present to the joy. That's what I am going to give my energy to...this is my"new normal" until I figure out what it is I am "supposed" to be doing...if there is anything "big" or lovely to share...I will. Until then, I am going to take a break from the computer, except email.
I am going to dig, walk my dog, read children's book with great pictures, learn on the harp, chop wood, haul water--you know. The good stuff.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Another all clear from Cancer Care Alliance.
Sure do like these bouts of good news.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Just Give Me This
Just give me this:
A rinsing out, a cleansing free of all my smaller strivings
So I can be the class act God intended,
True to my purpose,
All my energy aligned behind my deepest intention.

And just this:A quieting down, a clearing away of internal ruckus,
So I can hear the huge stillness of my heart
And feel
How I pulse with all creation, Part and parcel of Your great singing ocean.

And this, too:
A willingness to notice and forgive the myriad times
I fall short,
Forgetting who I really am,
What I really belong to.

So I can start over,
Fresh and clean
Like sweet sheets billowing in the summer sun,
My heart pierced with gratitude.----Belleruth Naparstek

Our women's gathering was what it was. A gathering. Of women. Where we are. To acknowledge, celebrate, listen, pray, share, walk, laugh, and more pray. Add some wine, tears, cares, 5 cats, one silly puppy, tons of hummingbirds, and that was pretty much it. I found a few more special hidden spots in the woods following deer trails and checking on some tree friends. Porter and I just sat in the quiet and mist in the early, early morning. No sounds except our breathing and a few birds. Flicker. Kingfisher. Goldfinch. Raven. And others I don't know yet. The land two driveways down from the Field is still for sale. It has a ramshackle cabin/house on it. My fairy goddaughter talked me off the ledge on the way home. I am holding here. For now. To see what is coming up the path this later summer and into early fall. And then plans I will make and will take. I am not going to stay in the city for much longer. It is harder and harder to come back into chaos and traffic and tightness every time. We read a poem by Rumi called the Gnostic Donkey.1 and 2. Wish I had it here--bottom line--Why wait for Life? It does not wait for you?

Friday, August 14, 2009

The 17 Second Rule

I learned the "17 Second Rule" yesterday while driving home from Dance Camp. Here is how it goes. When you feel anxious, frustrated, angry, fettered, negative, whatever the case--tell your mind to picture a place/moment where you felt relaxed and happy and hold that in the forefront while you count to 17 seconds. According to the lady on the radio, this 17 second redirect positively undoes the negative energetic effects of hundreds of hours of worry and all that other negative gunk. So I have given it a try over the last 18 hours. 3 tries actually. So far so good. I keep getting that prancing migraine(picture tie-dye and sparkly tights with the prance---it is just doing its job) whenever I think about going back to work---the three times I've tried the 17 Second Rule-I was able to calm my breath, heartrate, and thoughts...and then some. Gonna keep practicing this. The pictures include the porch at Pine Lake at 5 a.m., walks in the soft rain with my dog at o-somewhat dark 30 and we see the budding smoke trees on our street, the snow out the window at that cabin up at Winthrop when we danced there a few years ago, the view out the window at 9 Quarter Circle across the meadow and up onto the shadowed hills (reminds me instantly of some psalms which speak of God's creation, goodness, and shadowing us with love and protection), the elk meadow at the Field avec or sans elk, any campground in Western WA except South Whidbey State Park or Belfair, my dad's orca family picture hanging on my wall reflected in Christmas lights, the view east from Mark, Dixie, Meaghan, and Maura's house (with a teamug of ale in hand-this is an important piece of that one), the view from my couch at the woodstove with a cozy fire in it, the botannical garden in the Sonoran desert in Arizona.....if you begin to create the list, the places just come gallomping to mind. It's like filling your bucket with pretty seashells at Point No Point or at the beach. Soon, there are too many. That's the 17 Second Rule.

p.s. I loved how the air, the wet, the plants, and sounds reminded me this morning of Oban, Scotland on the morning I was actually going to Iona. Except this morning, I could be there in my heart and here with my silly dog and life all at the same time.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Care of the Growing Crop
I am here to tell you
this night on the festival of Lughnasaidh
the time of ensuring the harvest
your personal harvest
the village harvest
and the safety of the good we are all growing in the world

I am here to tell you what the ancients know
that if you give up your crop along the way
out of carelessness
or nobility
it doesn't matter
your spirit will be a hollow husk and no one not you not others will be fed

But if you tend your own patch to completion
(no matter how insignificant it seems)
if you let yourself swell with joy with the rich nourishing
milk of fulfillment
you will have raised a miracle

Your small garden of life, of art, of work, of mothering and building
and being a wise woman
whatever you have planted and tended and grown
will feed yourself
your village
there will be corn for feasting
for flour
for popping over winter fires
and enough to plant next year

There will be seeds that open spontaneously in the hearts
of other women
and wild possibilities will appear in dreams
on the other side of the world.----excerpt from Miriam Dyak, 1995

This seems to say it all. I am having a difficult week trying to care and acting as if. I don't think anyone can tell otherwise. I am showing up to life and doing good, authentic work, being present to the work, the walk, the talk, the interactions, the plans, the gratitudes and grace. This migraine (which the alternative talk radio show assures me is because I am cutting off my intuition) is fretting around the edges. It is good for not emotional eating. The long walks are good for the puppy and for me. The rain is even better. It reminds me of what I love about being here. No drastic things will happen. I hope. If they do, we will manage somehow, too. So, I refound this poem this morning--rather it found me. Wasn't too hard. I have it taped to the mirror in the bathroom. It's at eye level when I brush my teeth. It spoke to me again...esp. the part about giving up the crop...and leaving your spirit a hollow husk. I did give up "the crop" back in May when Cedar passed over the Bridge and when h*ll rode in on a handbasket at work. The handbasket hasn't gone anywhere and I am going to tend my patch...and hopefully the wild possibilities will appear in my dreams and in my world.

There is no word yet on family matters.
I go in to SCCA on Monday and Tuesday of next week for routine scans, pokes, and tube-experiences. I will be very drugged for some of this.
I have also learned that I love the music of Leopold Mozart and that there is indeed a book called Classical Music for Dummies with CD. I was inspired by some teatime chats at harp camp about music theory and composers and the like. I am taking suggestions for books or composers that might nourish and engage my mind, spirit, body, and heart. That aside, I am also taking contributions for Belgian style ales and lagers that one might enjoy while exploring the world of classical music. (Feel free to leave these on the porch if I am not home or in the tub...wait, can't do that tub-thing quite yet 'cause ofthe plumbing) You have my eternal and infernal thanks:). No porters, please. Already have one of those. (p.s. He also comes to the calling of "Pudu"!)
Last day of art/dance camp tomorrow. It has been going well. I am also facilitating a women's prayer/connection gathering this weekend. I haven't done one of those since 2004 or 5. Looking forward to it----sort of.

Summer Fun for the Pudu

Porter's having a great summer. Me, not so bad either. Busy working at dance/art camp and Tara lessons on some evenings, getting things in order and fixed around the place, reading, and taking long walks.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Bantha Pudu.
This is what my dog is supposed to be. He does not know this yet and thus does not behave in this manner. Puppies are a pain in the everything...cute as the dickens but pains. I am not complaining. Just observing.
We are accessing our pudu voo-doo so that in 6 months he will not be such an ass.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Pulling tansy has given me a migraine.
And I had a lovely time yesterday at Roche Harbor.
Visited the Outdoor Sculpture Park, found a dragon in the woods near a saltmarsh on the trail created by the local Girl Scouts, and recognized herons by their sqwruawkk. Got pretty close to four seal pups resting on a rocky shore when we were kayaking and enjoyed the sound of raven echoing over the green-grey waters up there. It is the playground of the rich if you stay near the Harbor. It is God's everywhere else. Little niblets of local history to enjoy. And ice cream and dinner at the historic hotel restaurant...and back to Boeing Field in 35 minutes. That's what I call a special day. It was a thank you to me for my caring and hard work with a child from a family where I work. They have their own plane. And they wanted to thank me. I thank them. It felt good to be there with them. There.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

There are no greener pastures anywhere else...and sometimes you have to pull the tansy in your own little patch of green when it shows up.
And keep to yer local bucket list.
Went to a lovely wedding of a family friend yesterday out near Black Diamond. We enjoyed ourselves and how relaxed it was. Then we came home, made tea and snacks, a fire in the stove, treats for the dog, and settled into the Jedi Star Wars.
Off to the San Juans for the day today. Celtic Art and Dance camp again this week.
And lots of tansy pulling. In my head.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Don't know much about history.
Don't know much biology. Don't know much about science books. Do know much about the French I took.
Don't know much about life in world of adult work and all that shit. I am pretty naive and it is now catching up to me. You have to look out for yourself because others aren't going to do it for you. And you also get to be the target...if you are not careful...and even when you thought you were. I have some behaviors to change. Now. Fast. And I also am a smart girl.
Heading back in. With some tools. And some clear plans for my future. after this year there. Gonna be interesting.
K-I-S-S. And be happy for the roof over your head, the bed, the dog, the health, the wood, the food, the transport, the work, the other work, the inner work, the changes (we shall see)....

Friday, August 07, 2009

Be here. Now.
Doing what needs to be done.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

"Take away the plastic, the film, the artificial and give a small boy a stick to dig in the dirt, to whack the water at the pond's edge---and you have given him happiness. Show him deer tracks and the handprints of a raccoon, and you give him curiosity. Boost him up to the lowest limb of a tree and he can take the next one with vision. Show a small boy something other than cartoons, sing him songs that are not commercials,, teach him gentlenesss with small animals and other children, and you have given him a life laced with love and kindness..."Joyce Sequichie Hifler, Cherokee Feast of Days

Very touching, this.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Porter has discovered toilet paper on the roll.
He has also discovered that I dry underwear and socks on the bottom rungs of the drying racks behind towels.

Monday, August 03, 2009

"Sometimes I experience something I call the tyranny of a beautiful day. It can feel like a weight or a pressure to 'get out and enjoy it!'...I've learned to bring the beautiful day inside and not feel compelled to go out." SARK, Transformation Soup

Well, it happened again. Harp Camp. I found what I was looking for.

Let me share a little story that I heard listening to the radio in the wee hours of Sunday morning just before the sun came up. There was an author speaking. I think his name is Ocean. (Beautiful)Anyway. He has written a book I think called, Something the Worry Something...I wasn't too awake. He was telling a story from when he was in his early twenties and he was helping out friends by watching their 4 year old daughter while they both had to work (med students). He thought he would take her to McD's and that would be it all day. That lasted 15 minutes. So he asked himself what he wanted to do and he loved to beachcomb. (This happened in Key West). To look for sharks' teeth on "unripped" beaches--they were constantly repushing sand up on the beaches to prevent erosion. Anyhoo, so off they went. He described that you could find these rare but present sharks'teeth by watching for a certain way the sun reflected off of them and the brightness was a sort of flash..and there it was. And so they began to walk and look. Mile and then mile. After a good long while, they stopped. He noticed that Friend's Daughter had an old discarded cup.That was all. He had a pile- black, shiny, sharp, small, rarish but ready to be found. He asked her about the cup and why she hadn't any teeth. She smiled and said, "Look! Here." He did. Her cup was half full with teeth twice as large as those he had found. These were so rare that he had only found one or two in his twenty some years. He was dumbstruck. He asked her--How did you find all those? The big ones? She said, "Well, you told me how to look... I found what I was looking for."

Harp Camp was just like that. Oh, the good, meaningful work of helping others to connect with music and living instruments in a beautiful setting. Taught and co-taught several sessions. It was a challenge. Helped with one-to-one tutoring. Helped to redirect the energy of a young boy into his own musical expression beginnings. Tried to help more with the schlepping--didn't do so well with that. Took a couple of classes myself on the Ancient Music of Ireland and another on embellishments to melody. I went looking for stories. They found me. Went looking for someone to buy the big harp. They found me. Went looking for music to heal my Heart. Found me. Went looking for laughter and ease of rhythm, no angst, no grief, remembrance yes, relanguaging baggaged layers from the past--Found me, found me, found me. In the mystery of melody, harmony, and rhythm. Don't know what I did with my discarded cup....want it for next time.

No news yet on the family-growing front. Still awaiting. My brother Matt has a great song that I have been singing in my head since Friday morning. All about awaiting the little one to come. And another song I have been singing outloud by Darius Rucker called "alright". Bad grammar in that song but captures what I feel and believe at this moment.

Porter had a great time at Camp Alice. He is squirrely today. We haven't walked yet. Were up at our usual 4.30 and then I went back to bed and gave him a frozen kong. When we woke up (I woke up) the kong was et, a sock was et, one of my lavedar menopause boots was et, and an unmentionnable. My fault. My funny. Duct tape will fix the boot. A crate will do the rest. Silly sleepy dog-mom.