Mississippi Moments

Thursday, December 31, 2009

This just in from Kilt Boy:

Here's a new year's toast, from the swedish - "fear less, hope more; eat less, chew more; whine less, breathe more; talk less, say more; hate less, love more".


As you set out in search of Ithaka
Pray that your journey be long,
full of adventures, full of awakenings.
Do not fear the monsters of old...
You will not meet them in your travels if your thoughts are exalted and remain high,
if authentic passions stir your mind, body, and spirit.
You will not encounter fearful monsters
if you do not carry then within your soul....,
if your soul does not set them up in front of you.--Constantine Peter Cavafy via Sarah Ban Breathnach (Dec. 30th, Simple Abundance)

And another I have on my wall in the kitchen--
Expect this to be a day (year, moment, life)
of Healing, Awareness, Harmony, and Gentle Order.---Naomi C. Rose

Well, Naomi, Sarah, Constantine --I do. I do. I do.

This morning, I woke up late with a start after the first real, longer than 4 hours sleep I've had in months. It was a surprise. The 10 hours sleep and what I awakened to. One of my greatest fears danced right there in the forefront of my consciousness like the mice at the beginning of the PNB Nutcracker--just without the little lamps and no wee door built into the curtain. It was like Scrooge watching his dead self on the bed listening to the grubby people talk. It had all the force of the feelings and emptiness plus orchestra. I said "yes' to it, acknowledged it and then said what I say and mean every morning (Thank you, God, for this amazing day). Poof**. It didn't magically go away but the power to hurt, intimidate, interfere, and suck energy did. Because I Know what I Know. Shit happens. And so does God. And God is what's Real for me. It was time for coffee, pupcare, and walk. And I did my "flies drawn to uncovered potato salad" thing and found every twinkle light in a 5 block radius until I was out of coffee and P-Man was ready for breakfast.

If you want to start this new year off with a wee bang, check out people of walmart.com. Cut and paste the link if you so choose but be forewarned. This is our America. These folks are real and really out there. It kind of put things in a different perspective.

I am going to join the Walking Meditation today at Greenlake. It starts at 3 pm at the Community Center.

My Heart is holding and sending Love to so many.
Especially Uncle Vic, Jean, Little Feather, the families and beloveds of our fallen officers, kids without forever families, families without kids that want and wait, to places that need Peace.
We happened across one of our neighbors and dog this morning. She was walking a cone-head, too. Their family has been hit hard by cancer this year and the outcome will likely be Patrick Swayze ending before long. Somehow we have a connection. I don't wish. And I don't wish Happy New Year. I told her that I Pray and Hold a Peaceful New Year. She smiled and mirrored the same. I'm Sharing that Sacred Moment in the presence of the coned ones with you. With Our Love. And God help me to remember NEVER to lean over in the Super Walmart in Clarksdale.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

"People sometimes think that Christmas came suddenly,
one holy night
I know better.
Other things came first--amazing things, beautiful things, important things...
When a message goes from heaven to earth,
it's not a letter.
It's an angel.
And the angel doesn't just carry the message.
The angel is the message.....
Here where we live. there's really no time at all.
It's just Now---the day in Heaven.
And right now in the day in Heaven,
it is still that first Christmas night....
The star is still shining. The message still
is."-----Bright Christmas by Andrew Clements

Porter is finally resting next to me as I write. He went to the vet to be "tutored" yesterday. He has had a difficult time coming out of the drugs. I can relate. It's a wonder (not!)that I connect so with shelties. Round, strong, willful, thinking, vocal, persistent, gourmand-esque (we like food, often, and a lot of it just the way we like it), single-focused when it comes to something that needs to be herded (or taught), love the outdoors, hairy, look best when we are moving (out of doors), smile a lot when we are happy and everyone knows it when we are not, playful, stubborn, and really into naps. It's going to take the rest of Christmas break to get him back on track. I am thankful for that. Time and the space to hang for healing. (I guess he doesn't hang anymore, though)I keep getting boy dogs with "ones"--this pup had only one testicle that the vet could find. Cedar-one kidney. I'll take the one relationship we grow into in our walks, talks, adventures, lessons, and loving.

This Christmas continues to remind me of the Promise.
This Christmas continues to bring Connection. Life. Love. Lessons of Grace that are enough. And given with the Greatest Love of All.

I just love Christmas oldies, classics, heritage music. Thanks goodness for pandora.
My dog doesn't seem to mind that I sing all the time when I am working around here. I am enjoying this alone time.

I emptied 4 more boxes of books and papers yesterday. Got it down to keeping less than one book shelf's worth. What I enjoyed most was pulling out all of my Y2K stuff. Going through it this winter to figure out how to get this home more self-sustaining and into the earth's rhythm. Little Feather made borscht with beets and parsnips when I was down at the North River for a time after Christmas Day. She is already going through seed catalogs. She also made a layered veggie dinner dish with parsnips, onions, carrots, potatoes, and a light curry/balsamic vinegar juice on it at the last. Served it on a bed of spinach. I ate every bite and loved it. Me! The "I don't like vegetables" girl. Some things are changing. Now I just need to learn to make this sort of stuff for myself. I made veggie soup yesterday and have been enjoying that. Mom and Dad gave me the slow cooker I wanted. I am excited to start exploring with that.

I am also thankful that I don't believe in New Year's resolutions. Neither do I make them. That way there is no pressure. No failure. No imposed, fake time parameters. Change for me happens in different ways. Not always easy. 2x4 moments are still more the norm than not over here. But what is working and what isn't will be gone through accordingly and kept, composted, recycled, or relinquished. With a whole lot of singing and looking at a particular star.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

There is a little piano store up on the Phinney Ridge that has been there since God was a Child. The prices are all hand-typed or written very neatly in old Palmer script on yellowed index cards and taped just so in the middle of each piano. The reason I love this store is not just for the index cards but because of their Christmas decorations. In each window ledge, on every wall, on the pillars holding up the ceiling, resting gently upon most pianos are every sort of retro, old-fashioned, "heritage"Christmas decoration imaginable..except in this context. Not retro at all. They fit the scene. Waving Santas, angels singing, belling, harping, flying, hovering, gazing beatifically, lingering, harmonizing, and what looks to be pestering some Magi's camels or shepherd's lambs (I can just hear it from a couple of the adolescent angels on that Very Special Night--:Pssst! God won't mind...let's go buzz a couple of those sheep. No one'll see!")..back to the decorations: Victorian everybody-shoppers, carolers, passers-by, skaters, carriage riders, church-goers, tree-carriers side by side with snow villages lit by lights connected by the first kind of electrical cords manufactured after WWII, tinsel, bells, poinsettias, and a myriad of creches in the most important spots. Here and there are certificates for the best neighborhood Christmas display year after year since 1952 or thereabouts. I have been walking up the hills to find and enjoy this wondrous site since I moved here. It takes near two hours and knees in strong-elasticized condition, and a travel mug of coffee. Attach my favorite dog or dogs and off we go. Then it is more sauntering to window shop and cafe sniff and rapture at winter gardens and yard whimsy. Before dawn, after dusk, in morning winter light, in rain, in sparkle, in the time of year where I just start walking and end up there saying to myself "How did I get all the way up HERE?" and then glad I did. I'll call it tradition. One of my own. I'm finding I have several now. Some old. Some new. Some borrowed. Some extremely sappy that drive other people mildy crazy and I don't care because it's all about the Love. Love being Here. Love being Now. Love being shared. Love being Present and Healing. Love making us Laugh. Love reminding us that Mary and Joseph didn't bring a whole lot of retro psychological or physical baggage with them--the donkey couldn't have handled it and the stable wasn't big enough for that kind of clutter. Neither were their Hearts. Neither are Ours. Or I'll just speak for Mine.
I loved the Scrum yesterday. Started bright and early with a no-sleep, panic attack kind of morning where old tapes started drowning out the Messiah Choruses...exacerbating an already tense neck and head...all kinds of soothing had no effect until I began to sing. And turned on the lights and Xmas music and threw in a bath (And had coffee and drugs but it really was all about the singing).

Anyway, the Scrum was the scrum. In my Heart, at the Homestead, and in the world. And when I embrace it for the Gift that it is and power that has to teach and to heal and to hurl (Baggage that is), then I can really sing. And I did. Didn't drive my sisters too crazy while we were doing dishes before the 11 p.m. dessert...at least all they did was laugh uproariously as they opened another bottle of pinot gigio and one other scowled....And as Thomas Kinkaide wrote in "The Sentinel on Bedford Street", "All the flash and sparkle and tinsel are just fine...just so long as there is something old and true and alive underneath."...so glad Porter and I made the long walk up the hills to look at the little piano store on the corner. Made me feel old and true and alive.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

"How do you raise a child who is not only a child, but is also God?...we see in Mary a woman who was willing to step back from her own dreams and plans and allow God to work through her life---to the very limit! She walked in such humble submission to God that her reply to the angel's announcement came naturally to her lips:"I am the Lord's servant...May it be done to me as you have said."(Luke 1:38) Fears on A Silent Night, Thomas and Nanette Kinkaide

Having one of the most tender and calm Christmas Eves in my remembering life. Could be that I am fighting exhaustion and a cold. Could be that I just happen to be in the midst of a tender, calm celebration. My little black and white buddy has been at my side all day. The pie-making, gift-wrapping, song-singing, tea-sipping, winter-napping, story-reading, wood-stacking, dog-walking activities of this day are just the thing for resting and thinking and wondering....when all is calm and all is bright.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

..."my Christmas vision would embrace scenes of snowy lanes and warm, cozy cottages with bright frosty windows and lazy wreaths of wood smoke rising from the chimneys....but the Christmas of _____ bore no resemblance to any such scenes."--Thomas Kinkaide, "The Many Loves of Christmas

Last year, I had snowy lanes, warm cozy cottage, frosty windows, smoke and evergreen wreaths, this year, much of the same (without snowy lanes). And much the same this year and a sense that I have already had my Christmas and that there is still more to come. A cup of Christmas tea with Miz Sister Theresa from Jonestown today to catch up on all the news. The last of the shopping. Still cannot find the kitchen table but the recycling bin is once more full of teacher junk that is no longer needed. Boy, does that feel good to do that. Washed all the classroom smocks, whiteboard and slate cloths. Did other laundry. Played with this funny, funny pup and enjoyed several chapters of Sense and Sensibility while he was getting a sense of the treadmill. I can "jog" next to him on the floor and he thinks I am walking with him. Works for both of us as long as I have a pocket full of turkey jerkey to offer his way everytime Marianne has a conniption or Elinor stuffs her emotions so she can be respectable. Then we both get our sensibilities in gear for a rousing game of sheltie ball in the backyard to celebrate. Went to Jazz Alley last night to hear David Lanz. What a pleasure. Another thing checked off my list of want-to-do's. Enjoyed dinner and the company.

A lovely time at the Market with Kilt Boy of the Millennia. In this lifetime, we have been friends for 28 years. In other lifetimes, I've quit counting. He always shows up. The Chalice of Remembrance has become a Chalice of Let's Live This Thing and Be Friends The Whole Time. I wonder what kind of a deal we made before we got to this lifetime. And I wonder what is on the docket for the next?

I am missing my dogs. Fiona, Sadie, Cedar. There was an old girl dog outside the bookstore this afternoon waiting for her person. She and I made eye contact and smiled a few times and she woofed to let her person know that SHE WAS WAITING. Boy, did I hear Fiona in that woof and tooth! Made me smile inside (and out).

There is something to be said about being in a place of waiting. Not knowing. Not knowing how to care. And frequently not caring. I don't know what is to be said about this place. Sticking to what I know. Stepping into some new thoughts and practices around forgiveness and not letting other people's shit/bad energy/problems into my sphere of life. It is actually working. And laying off the alcohol--but not the Christmas tea. Looking out for myself ahead of times and trusting myself when it gets rough. Accessing the resources and support when I need them. And a little tree covered mostly with angels and hearts...and Hope. It's Real. So is Love. And Christmas. It's Real. It's Here....

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Un flambeau, EMR?
Mais, oui, don't mind if I do. Except it isn't the same torch I will carry into the lengthening light of the days to come, it's more like a lava lamp.
Stress takes on different meanings for me now (a.d.). Stress is more opposition to change. And everything changes or WILL change. And thus I stress. Until I learn not to.
So, the torch of losing what Yuletide has meant to me was loaded...until I changed my perception and expectations. I can participate. I can dance a little, help a little, smooze a little, sing a little, sell CD's a little, schelp a little, chat a little, laugh or create the occasion for laughter, hold my Father's hand while he snores under the stage at the Lincoln Theater in Mt. Vernon, listen with awe and my "other Heart Light" to my brother and sister sing and heal the world, travel to and from concerts with my thoughts, Xmas music, a thermos of coffee, and snacks...the torch changed and I didn't lose..or lose out. It's now a lighter version, a lava lamp until it changes again. And I change with it. Who knows, nex
I've already had Christmas and it isn't even Christmas yet. I braved a mall! I got on a plane and went to a Christmas party in L.A. for heaven's sake! I have enjoyed spontaneous Christmas gatherings and cups of tea. I have enjoyed countless walks to look at Christmas lights. I have said "Merry Christmas" and "Bright Solstice" and "Merry Merry" and meant it. I have taught this pup that he may not drink out of the tree stand and that I could use a little less help with the wrapping (or unwrapping and shredding as the case may be). It makes me chuckle to think that I will once again be wrapping up the same little Christmas ring toy that came into this home for Fiona and Sadie years ago. It was Cedar's favorite, too. And guess what, Porker's! Wrap it up. He will love it! Wassail! Wassaiiill all over the town.....

Monday, December 21, 2009

Merry Solstice!

Holy Ones of all ages,
comfort those who are without comfort this night,
give ease to troubled hearts,
restore hope to those that are hopeless, and give them
the lasting blessing of peace....let us call upon the Spinner of the Seasons,
that the icy winds and the bright snows of winter may bring space and clarity
to all who are heavy-burdened.
We give thanks for the wise qualities of the evergreen trees that have stood by us this day:
may you show us how our own hearts can be evergreen and growing\
through winters of doubt and darkness.----adapted from Caitlin Matthews "Little Book of Celtic Blessings"

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Porter Dec. 2009-Having fun at Camp Alice.With Alice. Not so much with Dave. They will figure it out. Thanks, Auntie, for the pix.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Funk Begone.

I danced with my sisters tonight. nyahhhhhh.
The Gratitude Faucet is back on. Drip setting at present but we had flow just about all day.
I just want to find my kitchen table.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Sometimes you just can't see the sunny side of things.
Sometimes you don't know where to look.
Sometimes you just don't care to look.
And you take your weary self to bed.
After walks and quiet forgiveness for the crabbies, no energy, flooding (and we ain't talking basement--thank heavens), no motivation, and no care about any of it. Bedtime. Sleep. Classical music. Emergency professional teacher outfit. Make-up. Breath mints. Lipstick. Happy face practice in the mirror before getting in the car. Same kind of practice before getting out of the car. Review what lessons. How. Double the time needed. Practice happy face one more time. Almost faint when Kindergartener brings a ziploc of homemade (obviously home decorated by him) sugar cookies for YOU, Ms. R! Just for you!! Glad to have done all that happy face practice. It came in handy!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Tired. Happy.
My pup: tired.happy. chewing on a bone instead of bamboo, old newspapers, or pinecones. We don't need more kindling since we can't have a fire in the stove during this clear cold spell.

Tomorrow is the Christmas program at school. This year it is not just the students from the school. It involves other musical groups and choirs associated with this community.

Today was a difficult day. The kids are wearing on each other. Name-calling. Whining.Excluding. Not playing fair. Cheating. Shoving. Tattling. I didn't lose it although it would have been very easy to. I also have distracted students in years past with projects to do. And then stressed about the finish before break process which was always a hassle. Not doing that dance this year. More story time. One project--woodworking some simple wooden angels to hang. Singing. Walks outside. We shall see.

Off to Southern California this weekend for a Christmas party at the home of dear friends. When we were finished with Yuletide last year and I thought there would be no more dancing, I rsvp'd. Back Sunday.

I get to learn the (?)Shamash---the ancient and beautiful prayer of the Chosen people on Monday. A parent volunteer is going to come in and share her Hannukah traditions, songs, games, and special spiritual practices for our Winter Holidays Around the World
segment. I have some work to do to prepare the other lessons. A sweet little unit.

There were some funny things that happened at recess today while I was on duty. I wrote them down and forgot them at school. Maybe another time. Sleep has arrived.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Speak your truth.
Listen when others speak theirs, too.
When you let go of fear, you will learn to love others,
and you will let them love you.
Do not be afraid of dying.
But do not be afraid to live.
Ask, yourself what that means.
Open your heart to love, for that is why you're here.
And know that you are are,
and always have been, One...with all who Live.---adapted from Melody Beattie, Prayers for Healing

I am learning to live with what it feels like to be shunned. Literally. Physically. Energetically. And to discipline my mind when it latches on the pain of this and chews and chews and chews. It eats me from the inside out. No one does this to me but me (the mental thing) but the other is happening. It is not my problem. It just is something I have never been the object of and yes, I have been and currently am the practitioner of such unlovingness. Working on what my choices are around this....it is baggage that is not wanted, not life-giving, not peace-providing, not beautiful...but I might say, useful in this moment with the intentions I hold for wanting to be free of crap and behaviors that do not bring beauty, peace, life, and balance.

Today is a Mary Day. She said "yes" and I am also sure that she asked Jesus to wipe his feet before he came in, wash his hands before he ate, and taught him that burping is funny in certain company just not the 89th time in a row.

The whiners have invaded secondgradeland. And the children did a wonderful job of making spirits bright at Harborview--from the 9th floor all the way down, floor by floor, to the foyer for a kodak moment-"concert". Their favorite part was ER and the bus. Not in that order. My favorite part is that it is over. That I faced my fear of going to another hospital (esp. one like Harborview) and that I trusted my friend who did it for years--that in going it was doing good for all involved. She was right. She always is. :)
My front screen door, circa 1949 with a crystal knob, fell apart this week in the cold. The bottom fell off and now I have a hobbithole I can go out of whenever I want. It's kind of cool. It will have to remain that way until next week.
I am heading to L.A. for a Christmas party this weekend. Sounds sort of exotic. The ease of things make it seem like a ride to Yakima to be with good friends and their very pretty CHristmas tree and the chance to meet and mingle with their friends. Stepping out of my comfort zone on this one, too. Doing new to me things.
I am enjoying festive, in a teacup, holiday sangria before I head off to bed.
My next door neighbor's grandbaby was on the front page of the Seattle Times today under "O Baby. it's cold outside". Pretty cool, that, too.

Change is possible. Change is inevitable. It doesn't mean that it will be bad. I am working on this one. It is easier when I am not feeling strongly about things.

Friday, December 04, 2009

I like to check my blog at the same time one year maybe two years ago.
I sure enjoyed reading from last year.
I love the pictures of Cedar and the snow and Fair Isle and and me with my dog.
Getting down to the basics is still on the docket.
So is the adoption although my feelings about agencies haven't changed all that much.
And I've quit caring about a lot of things and narrowed it to some specifics. Simple. More powerful. Easier.
I need to go to bed.
Finished with Elf Day.
It was elfalicious. All day.
Fighting a sore throat and ear ache. Off to bed.
Cooked my tofurkey tonight. Enjoyed that.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

"It's up to us.
We can spend our lives cultivating our resentments or we can explore the path of the warrior--nurturing open-mindedness and courage. Most of us keep strengthening our negative habits and therefore sow the seeds of our own suffering. The bodhichitta practices, however, are ways for us to sow the seeds of well-being."--Pema Chodron

Beautiful, lovely, ripe moon.
It is tie for dishes and then bed. Too tired for anything else.
I want to go to Wight's this year and to Sky Nursery.
Also the Christmas ship is coming to Golden Gardens on Dec. 15th. I plan to enjoy that one. First time for so many things!

And my pup is officially a "wanna-bee". I have videos to prove that he sounds just like an Airedale when he is with them! Some things are more than right in my world---in the Jonestown sense!