Mississippi Moments

Monday, September 27, 2010

Hallelujah Country and Big Underwear Moments or Where Is Your Inner Child Hiding and Bread and Butter Basics

We will start with the B.U. M. for your blog-reading pleasure(?):
"Good morning sister.....
(reprinted with this sister's permission)
I thought of you yesterday....I went shopping yesterday and on my list of things to buy was big comfy underwear. I tried them on when I got home and OH MY GOODNESS they are so much more comfortable than the cute little ones I've been putting myself into all these years. All this time that we've been teasing you about it, you're really the one laughing at us because you have the most comfortable underwear! I will never make fun of your underwear choice again......unless of course you forget them and the full moon is out. :)--Love, your Sister
N.B. (This refers to a shining lunar moment backstage at Portland Yuletide during a costume change and it was WAY past my bedtime (8pm) and I was double-your-fun hanging out there without knowing that my big undies hadn't quite made it up to the sky yet....now, when we sing verse 2 of All Through the Night at the Yuletides, you, too can join us with extra, special emphasis on the phrase about the FULL Moon, except Julia because she simply annoys me:)and wink*wink*secret smile* that you will see up on stage. Now, I can rest. It is out there now.

What I really want to write about today-----
There was a time, several years ago, when my family showed up to help another family. This particular family lived in the community where my big brother is in practice. We are a big group with a big heart and lots of muscles that can do good. They needed a new fence for safety reasons and some other home/yard improvements. The Mom was Mom to several special needs foster children. One of these Gifts from God was about 6 years old. After we had spent the day working together (and playing with the kids some of the time:), we got ready to wrap the project and go home. I tend to be a kid-magnet anyway. This little angel came over to me. (I will NEVER forget this.) Someone in the family had called out my (regular )name. She was standing next to me. She heard it. She looked up through these little glasses perched on her nose, slam-hugged me, and said with conviction, "You are my Hallelujah!". The rest of the time, that's what she called me. And a few times after that, that was MY name. She and her brother came to visit, as special guests, the classroom and students where I spent my days. I was her "Hallelujah". Wearing my great grandpa's overalls, my beat-up wellies, working, singing, and playing in the rain.

I had forgotten about "Hallelujah" until yesterday.
Hallelujah showed up. She came out to play--with me. She is me! I'll say it again-I had forgotten. There she was on the trail, in the pouring rain, on the mountain.
I am thankful for raven calls, waterfalls, stairs on the trail cha-cha, alpine lakes kissed by sleepy glaciers, mist and moss chains dangling on old growth, malachite meadows, and being in Hallelujah country!! I ate my first ever wild mountain blueberries yesterday...ON THE MOUNTAIN! :)
Hallelujah found her way out. She has no fear. She finds grace and awe in Creation. And in the old foundations of homesteader cabins. And in the faces of the families, rock climbers, tourists, seasoned hiking buddies coming on up as we were clambering on down. And in the strong, healthy body parts that were stretched and challenged for the first time in years. And in conversations that added healing missing pieces to what I didn't know about some of the crap that went down last year. The picture is indeed bigger than our spirits can ever imagine. So is the healing reverb. I love when the Cosmic Tapestry and Plan touch me and tell enough about the Healing and the Love that is ALL THAT THERE IS. If that is Hallelujah's job, I'll take it. That's what this sabbatical is all about. I have not been very patient with this letting go/resting/replenishing process. And when I get little blips of that BIG SOURCE YES!-just like those moments of sunshine and warmth spitspotting through the mist that hung on the trees, rockslides, waterfalls, glacier-edges, and old growth ones yesterday, I'll keep to this path for awhile yet. If you look closely, you might even spot Hallelujah. The big underwear is another matter.:)
So where is your Inner Child hiding and can you name one of your bread and butter basic pleasures?

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Knees Have It!
Boy, are we thankful for ice! And elevation! And more ice! And tea brought to us on the couch as we (you guessed it) ice!
I am dancing more and being challenged more than the last 8 years of teaching class. This is not to counter the excellent Yuletide training and argument/drama sessions we used to have...however, I am enjoying the heck out of being stretched on the inside, outside, and brainside. To have such a strong, healthy, working body--what a gift. Period. And to be able to take this gift and take it on walks and learn Scottish country dancing and yoga and tribal bellydance and trips to the dogpark and up the side of Mt. Si in the next week. All good.

It is a beautiful time of year. Time to read Rumi. And A. Conan Doyle and Ian Fleming (Did you know he wrote Chitty Chitty Bang Band and his work is NOTHING like the movie version with Dick Van Dyke?!?) They are really too different to compare. Time to learn how to use a sewing machine. Time to learn Spanish for Educators. Time for learning to make gluten-free recipes. Time for learning how to download books from the library website. Time for retraining myself to train this fantastic pup. Time for being still, too.

Friday, September 24, 2010

"And now, Doctor, we've done our work, so it's time we had some play. A sandwich and a cup of coffee, and then off to violin-land, where all is sweetness and delicacy and harmony, and there are no red-headed clients to vex us with their conundrums."--Sherlock Holmes to Doctor Watson, A. Conan Doyle

Having a week of what most natural redheads have. What you say? Conundrums, of course. Elementary, my Dear Reader. I might have to look up that word again. It sounds like it fits, though.

Teaching a lot of dance for my frame, age, stage, and brainage. Enjoying the challenge. Looking forward to getting into the rhythm of it. Walking around a lot of lakes and trails these days, noticing and enjoying the subtle and not so subtle changes of autumn.

Learning the lesson that unless one is passive, one cannot receive. If one cannot receive, then one cannot be replenished. And this is not on a time schedule. It is not a waste of time also, to be still, to be quiet, to wait and rest. This is a toughie. I wonder if I am the first Raney/Surridge/O'Grady?Bernhardt woman who has ever chosen to make time to rest and replenish while not out on a wellness hardship or something? (Pregnancy doesn't count.)

Looking forward to Colleen and her singing at Conor Byrne's Sat. night. Going to get there early for a good seat and a game of Scrabble. With my husband. Haven't seen him too much this week. Porter has enjoyed a few good, long jaunts this week, some puppy playtimes, and a trip to the vet. He is in tip-top shape. Had him evaluated by another behavorist--nothing wrong with him. He is a confidant, male, happy, loves to play, not a bully Sheltie. with a ton of energy. So we are off for another walk--with Stella Artois in my coffee mug!:)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

On this day of equal light and darkness,
may you find the balance you need in your life,
may you be blessed with abundance of many kinds,
and may you be surrounded by the people who love you.
--Autumn Equinox (Mabon) Blessing-Patty Wigington

Porter and I had a fun time at the Luminata parade around Greenlake this evening.
Lots of creative costumes, bright and colorful lanterns, families, music, blessings and songs, spiced cider if you wanted some...and near-full Luna bathing and blessing our "au revoirs" to summer.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

"When you chase something it usually runs away. Consider this option; when think you want something hold your hand out as an invitation for it come. This does not minimize the effort required to do or achieve. The invitation of a situation, person, place or thing takes into account a lack of positionality in outcomes and allows intuition into the equation."
--Harvesting Happiness post on fb

"Be gentle with each other's heart's. Be gentle with your words. Think before you speak/post. Kindness will help give way and break down barriers. And remember... ~ "Flow is dancing in the divine subconscious." -Carolena Nericcio ♥ ♥ ♥ from American Tribal Bellydance

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The ALL CLEAR from the good and capable folks at Cancer Care Alliance.
I was in a crabbtastic mood. They made it easier and quick. And then I got to sit around in a stoned state until it wore off and look out over Lake Union and copy meaningful quotes and websites into my journal. Reading was really out of the question.
I like to hear Magical Strings on the headphones when I am in the MRI tube. I hate it in there. But I know it is for a very good reason. The team today called me "Ms. Wellness". And said to see them in another 1/2 year. That works for me.

And more on the good news front:
At the dog park today, Porter actually played in a healthy, normal, goofy dog way with other dogs in age and size. They were playing chase and hide and wrassle and bounce off. None of this trying to mount other dogs and posturing around the other "alphas" or undo sniffing of genitalia without responding appropriately to given cues, without Airedale vocalizations which put other dogs and their people off--today our dog played like a dog--with dogs! We are setting up for more success.

Scottish Country Set Dancing was rare fun last night at Phinney. Another Bucket List item checked off except I expect to continue with it. I enjoyed the people, the community, the tea break, the yacking, the dissonance as they argue over the form and figure of dances, the rigidity, the figures and dance tunes and styles themselves. Fletcher was a trooper to come and try it out. We will see what he chooses for future dance times there. Me, I am going to pull out my kilt or borrow Mom's from when I was in college. Seems kind of heavy for the dancing, though.

Tara classes for me got off toa positive start this year this evening.

And the news from the O'Grady Graham family is that P.J. has been diagnosed with Limb Girdle Type 2 Muscular Dystrophy. She and Michael are genetic carriers of this. At least it is not Duchene's which impacts life expectancy severely. Our love, prayers, and support for this dear, dear family are to be continued. At least from this Heart and this Cottage. With fierce consistency.

I am subbing for English classes all day tomorrow at a local highschool. I am excited.
Then I get to teach more dance with Sara. Lovely, lovely.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

"The rooster may crow but the hen delivers the goods."
-----seen on an embroidered pillow at the Puyallup Fair while getting my glee on

Also seen on a shirt by a man wearing a utilikilt-"My armadillo doesn't like trousers and neither does my wife."

I never need to eat another helping of curly fries in my life. Bucket list-CHECK.
This day was a fairy tale.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

"What is this Beauty the Navajo seek?
...It is what calls us when we despair,
seduces us into opening again and again
to the possibility of love and laughter...it is the physical Manifestation of the Mystery---Spirit---that surrounds and beckons to us
every day of our lives."---Oriah Mountain Dreamer

"I want to be awed everyday by the truth--pretty or painful--and let it open me to the beauty that surrounds me and draws me deeper and deeper in to my own life."--Oriah, The Invitation, p. 77

The dog is asleep underneath a "cave" of socks and towels on the drying rack. We are just home from an extended camping trip that I extended even more. Time to unpack, clean things up, and put 'em away. We had a great time. It is so nice to do the Point No Point tradition in our own ways. And it all evens out and contributes to "THE" story. Brenin put a bee in my bonnet about writing "THE" No Point No Point story. I have begun. We shall see what unfolds. Perhaps my father would paint some illustrations or even the children themselves. Hmmm.......

I learned how to make Amish skillet "potpie" yesterday. Hearty. Tasty. Loved taking time to do that and gather the ingredients. Today is homemade bread and apple pie. And lots of housework.

Made sure that yesterday was full of enjoyable moments, one right after the other. And was surprised by a few that weren't planned. I also really value the time right now to
putter and rest. Already my usual "you gots to move it, move it and quickly and organizedly and with all the stuff that you might need" has amped down so much that I almost don't recognize myself. My big goal for the week is to get another corner of the garden dejungled, to write my friend in Egypt a snail letter, to keep walking Porter in the rain, to continue having daily harp practice and playtime...and to nourish my mind and soul with good reading. Cups of tea, cozy fires, journaling, and naps round out this challenging life.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

"The things we create have energy....what we do contains our energy--the emotional energy and attitude we put into it...Have you noticed the difference when you cooked a meal in a loving frame of mind? Merely doing the job isn't always enough. We need to do the job with our best energy....Melody Beattie, Journey to the Heart, p. 253

I had a long thought with myself about this on our morning walk. We went down to Shilshole to be near the wind, mountains, water, birds, and boats. I parked farther away than usual. Tomorrow will be even farther. (I am finding that we can walk farther than I ever thought and Porter loves it, too.) As I was wondering what to do with myself--oh, yes, put one foot in front of the other and quit grousing because you are not in a classroom---I let the wind and sun work their magic. And I let the"Committee, The Beastie Bunch, the Group of Ton (alluding to the moral weight they attempt to put on their ideas) The Closet Craptaculars, and the Soul Suckers-whatever name you want to call them, it's all the same to me--I let'em have until we crossed the bridge down near stacked rocks and fire pits. No questions. No clarifications. Just a big dump. Have at it. The space could hold it and as long as I was moving, I could, too. I listened for patterns, repeats, messages under complaints, inklings of value, fears. There were a few. Mostly, it was just crap. That needed to be turned into cosmic compost. I'll let the Universe do what it wills.

Last week, I read an article sent by one of my Facebook friends from the Harvard Business review. On excellence. It was excellent. Clear, easy to understand. I don't seem to have the brainpower to understand much of anything at the moment. This, too, is part of the turn off, slow down, and listen. The article clearly pointed out that to become an expert, to be excellent, one needs to do a specific, thing well 10,000 or more times. Just that one thing. I have been thinking on this because much of what I am doing around here, I can't seem to care about. Mostly, repairs, yardwork, cleanup. I just don't care. And today, I started to look at it differently. I still build time into the day to do things I don't like doing. And then I started the 10,000 path. Like removing all the damn grass from my high maintenance yard that I don't like anymore. I removed grass really well in one section and planted lavendar and wintergreen. I replaced the garden angel where he goes. (After I found him.) and the Garden Fairy. and the Garden Buddha. And I enjoyed the September sun. And I packed a bonfire to go. And I fixed dinner for my dog with quiet joy in my heart and focus. I don't know where this is going to take me. I am not comfortable even giving it a chance yet. I know I can't stay where/who I am but I don't know where I am going. Or even where I want to go. Or what I want to do. Don't know. We have a lot of walks to take because that seems to be the place where I listen. And create the different yellow brick road that I DO choose....now where did I put my red shoes?

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

"Tell me about a joy in your life that came unexpectedly, a moment that you did not even know you were waiting for, that caught you off guard and made you smile."--The Invitation, Oriah Mountain Dreamer, p. 55

Yes, I really want to know. And I bet that when you think on it and retell it, it will make you smile again. And I bet you can think of more than one!
Lay them on me!

Back from Gray's Harbor and Lewis Counties. Helping a friend to move from one beautiful spot to another. She is on to her new life. Spent alone time with my dog bouncing around on trails and deer tracks, checking out the growing progress of lately planted cedars and other evergreens. Watched spiders and other insects do what they do when not being interfered with by big, pink monkeys plundering through. Listened to lots of birds and a few rivers. And the wind. Decided to leave Fiona and Sadie and Cedar where they are. They are not there anymore. Just my heart in the ground with a big cairn of rocks on top. That's what's there. And happy memories. Change is always a challenge. Any kind.

Playing the harp again. Every day. I like this.
Having a hard time being back in the city and caring about "stuff". Resting. That's what I am doing. Or trying to do. Hope it doesn't rain this weekend for Point No Point.