Thursday, February 28, 2013

seeing him there on the couch with the late afternoon sun shining in

this morning, over english muffins and bananas and peanut butter and orange juice, the new phone book lies on the table with him engrossed.

and now after school, he comes home and says his ear aches.
settles on the couch, wrapped up comforted in that soft brown blanket that makes its rounds.

then after getting the lentils and rice on to cook in the kitchen
i lift my head and take joy. this light coming through so pretty.

and i spy him now, him there engaged again. attention held.
immersed in genesis. the bible this time. all on his own, too, and a wonder to behold.


to his soul
and mine.

Sunday, February 24, 2013


Just woke up from the longest Sunday nap I can remember having in a long, long time. Came home from church, ate some lunch, and sank down with Isaac sprawled out all over my legs at the other end of the couch. Both of us zonked out for almost two hours. One of those kinds of naps where you know you really needed it, sinking so deeply, waking up feeling refreshed and a little groggy all at the same time.

We have to go to class on Fridays if there's a holiday on Mondays. Always a bummer as the week seems to drag on longer. Especially if that night's Anatomy if i'm being completely honest. It was Variations class (advanced basic Swedish massage) and so it wasn't that bad after all.

It turned out to be a very insightful experience that night. Our instructor had us bring scarves and bandannas to class and we ended up giving massages to our fellow students while being blindfolded. To get us into that state of mind, all of us (with blindfolds now on) walking around in a circle, toe to toe and very, very slowly. Traditional Japanese music playing softly in the background. It became a very meditative and introspective experience.

And I couldn't believe how easy it was, later, donning the blindfold again and intuitively knowing where and how to apply my hands to the person on the table. Perceiving it all, almost like a third person watching; the whole session playing out in my mind's eye. So beautiful how this inner sense of quiet and stillness descended upon me. So much so that I could feel warm tears forming underneith closed eyelids and soft cloth. How this forced darkness made it so much easier to allow myself to slip into a wonderful sense of slow, total attention, and awareness. The surprising sense of ease that came from not having to rely soley on eyesight (a sense that so often seems to dominate all other senses) into this present state of being able to more fully trust my hands and touch alone to what this body on the table was trying to tell me.

Saturday was pretty typical. Took Isaac in the morning to my mom's for his piano lesson. Braved a snowstorm to get the groceries. Banana-berry bread baking, board games, laundry catchup, and a fun night out with friends (Indian and Life of Pi) rounding out the day. Worked on my resume; an assignment that's due in the next few weeks for one of my classes. Wondering what you do in situations like mine where twenty-two years of life is a blank slate as far as formal employment goes. Not having spent a day in the workforce since college. It leaves me with a feeling of inadequacy. Questioning whether years and years of volunteer work and community service would be fitting and appropriate to fill in all this blank space. It makes sense that it would.

Friday, February 22, 2013

this week's happy list

:: for picking up jane and her roommates for lunch yesterday and heading down to the krishna temple for the $5 dollar all-you-can-eat vegetarian buffet. makes sense as we all are the veggie type.  also remembered that they have really pretty, flowy indian skirts there in the gift shop. that'll add to her wardrobe we've been gathering and packing away.

:: for friends who bring over pots of soup and big bowls of steamed artichokes and homemade whole wheat bread and pear jam in a jar and valentine chocolate bars and flower bouquets. for concerned phone calls and emails and visits on the couch. for hugs in my nightgown.

:: for a little brother and a big brother who like to whistle. happy, contented, letting us know they're around.

:: for getting 10 out of 10 on last night's comprehensive anatomy/kinesiology test. (i think i can, i think i can...)

:: for classmates at school who feel like family.

:: for tomorrow's invitation to go to dinner and a movie with friends.

:: for seeing a hand written letter sitting in the mailbox.

:: for foreign films and people who have the same tastes as i do.

:: for a sweet fifth grade boy, who, every wednesday when volunteering at the school library, begs you to sit on the rug and help him put together a jigsaw puzzle. you listen, he talks.

:: for a talented daughter who really knows how to cook "off-the- cuff". blessing our table with her delish kitchen creations all the time.

:: for morning snowfall that melts by afternoon.

:: for warm drinks in cold hands.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

bake. make. cake. take

it was the blue and gold banquet last night.
all the cubs and their families filling the church gym.
the biggest scouting shin-dig of the year.
(may be a toss up with the pinewood derby, now that i think about it.)

these types of projects always seem to turn into more of a family affair than anything else.

dad baked it.
mom frosted it.
sam ate the shaved-off scraps and extra cupcake from it.
eliza added her artistic flair to it.
and isaac was the right-hand man, designated designer, and supervisor of it.

of course.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

some observations

have you ever laughed out loud, with yourself, in bed, while everyone around you is still off in dream land?
i do it all the time.
most often when reading gary's monday morning emails.
this response, among other funnies, totally cracking me up so bad it hurt bad and was wonderful all at the same time, letting all that laughter that's been buried inside-- out.
..."Just be glad it happened with Legos and not with someone getting too carried away at massage school. POP!!"
speaking of dream land, this wasn't the first night i've ever dreamed about someone whose blog i read.
wondering if i'm the only one.
if that's weird.
feeling a shift today.
these aches and pains seem to be lessening.
enough so for some get- up- and- go to attack the dishes taking over the sink and counter.
also the crud on the stovetop that's been bugging me.
like forever. 
also a much needed pickup and sweep-up-tidy.
what a difference a bit of physical activity and these every day types of homekeeping tasks can lift one's outlook on life.
first time since last week i've had the house to myself.
i turned my music up loud.
always energizing.
finding that i'm really satisfied with simple food.
simple ingredients. simple preparation.
like my lunch today.
opened a can of black beans and dumped them on some leftover basmati rice.
steamed some asparagus and garlic to go with and called that good.
really good.
a package came in the mail just now.
that's always a lift.
it had my name on it, too.
not a surprise, though.
a book and some other goodies i gifted myself for valentine's last week.
i think i feel a change in the air.
this morning, i noticed the sun up a little bit earlier and a little bird-song heard outside my window.
thinking spring is finally, really just around the corner.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

not always roses and sunshine

a gentle reminder:

to my children 
who'll read this in future days, 
to my friends 
who understand and who've been there and who are there themselves, 
and especially,
to myself,
most of all,
on those quiet, empty afternoons
when i'm even more gray than i am right now,
where i'll look back, and remember,
for patterns, for meaning, for truth
of this life's journey 
i've been trying to navigate all these years.

this is what i want to express, what i need to express:

there are moments, 
even years
of mess. of difficulty. of struggle. of pain.

i've learned this.
and i've lived this.

where dogs pee on the welcome mat.
where crusty dishes stack. no end in sight.
where orange peel shreds sit forgotten in the dark of the juicer waste compartment. furry gray mold growing for days on end.
where the house falls, pulls, and breaks apart. literally, before my very own eyes.
where neglected plants droop and shrivel brown.
where strife, the inner and sometimes the outer, sits heavy, so heavy. in a soul. in a room.
where laundry, the dirty and even the clean, sits piled and piled. 
where kitchen sink windows crack, staying shattered. for years. 
where heart-seeds of hope and trust and expectation are watered with tears of lingering letdown and ugly cynicism and dark disappointment.
where questions go unanswered.
where days drag long and you feel like crap.
where you give your all and that's all you can do and your all isn't quite enough.

yes, it's true.
life isn't always roses and sunshine.

knowing, remembering:
that sharp, prickly thorns lie among the sweetest, softest, and loveliest of rose petal blooms.
that the grayest, gloomiest of clouds are seen even among days of brightest, welcome sunshine.

"for it must needs be that there is an opposition in all things."

warmth and cold.
health and sickness.
pleasure and pain.
light and darkness.
answers and questions.
abundance and lack.
beauty and ugly.
good and evil.
joy and sorrow.

it can't and never will be one without the other.

"...and all things shall work together for your good."
"...and this, too, shall pass."

so this is really all i wanted to say today.
and another little thing, too:

this journal of mine will continue to show the beauty and the wonder. (mostly the beauty and the wonder). capturing all the goodness-- the simple and the grand things of my life-- a tool and a means that brings so much joy and gratitude into my heart.  the real purpose of what i want this space to be. a peaceful, beautiful, inspiring spot in this world. but sometimes you and i may get glimpses of what's real. and i'm okay with that. hoping you can be okay with that, too.

i'm living it all.
we're living it all.
you know?

the beauty.
the struggle.

this glorious goodness that's always, always there, despite of, and even amidst all of life's strife.

it's what is,
my dear.

Friday, February 15, 2013







Thanks, friends, for all the sweet gestures of love you've shown during this rough week of ours. The written, the spoken, the tangible. Each and every one a balm, and so very much appreciated. 



Monday, February 11, 2013

a tale of another broken rib: (take two)... and other woes of the day

Hi friends.

Just thought I'd pop in this afternoon and tell you that I might be away from this space for the rest of the week.

Here's what's up:

Yesterday, I fell down hard. Slipped with my slippery wool socks off of the brick fireplace pad onto Isaac's pile of Lego's scattered all over the wood floor. 

I couldn't get up for a while.
I couldn't breathe.
I cried.
All the day through.
I wanted to swear.
I just thought the word instead.

I knew that pain. I've experienced a broken rib before. And my upper arm is one big black and blue mass.

Just sayin.

This puts a big dent in my massage classes and stuff. In my mother-duties. I'm trying not it let it get me down. But it's hard. It's been a difficult past couple of months in more ways than one.

And this morning, I had to take Jane to get her wisdom teeth out. They were impacted and so it was a little bit complicated with IV sedation and all.

Everything went smoothly and as expected and she seems fine now. Thank goodness.

But it was a nightmare getting her home.

I knew she'd need my total attention today; knowing I couldn't leave her today for one minute. I knew she would need her prescription filled to help her through the pain. She'd need ice, too.

So hesitatingly, I stopped at the store, tried to get her attention and explain to her where we were. Decided to leave her sleeping in the car while I ran (not really, but sort of) inside. I told the pharmacist that she was out there waiting when they told me it would be a twenty minute wait. I urgently, desperately expressed my concern: "You need to wait your turn, Ma'am." the girl at the prescription drop-off told me flatly.

So as I finally made my way out of the store, so slowly, clutching that heavy bag of ice in my arms, hunched over in pain with every step I took, I saw a man looking through the car window, talking on his cell phone phone and to a bagger-boy, obviously concerned at what they saw.

And I ran. Really ran.

This was the store security guy. On the phone with the police. And the sounds of multiple sirens began wailing through the air. A police car. An ambulance. The fire truck all pulling up, surrounding us in that parking lot.

And there was Jane, totally out of it, all slumped over, bloody saliva dripping from the corner of her mouth and throw up covering her.

You can only imagine how distraught I felt.

I tried to explain what the situation was. They were kind and helpful and understanding. They helped me clean her up. They checked her vitals. They sent me off, reassured albeit, tears flowing in streams all down my cheeks.

Getting her out of the car and into the house was another nightmare. She was still so out of it. Incoherent. A noodle. I stood her up. She'd fall down. Onto the snow covered driveway. I lifted her. I tried to drag her. Had her lean on me. Raising my voice almost to a yell to get her to move and wake up. It was a desperate situation.

And so here she is now, next to me on the couch. The pain is being managed. Strawberry sorbet is hitting the spot.Talking to Sam like nothing ever happened. Not remembering a thing of the day's ordeals.

So thanks, you guys, for allowing me to share my little sob story with you all. She'll get through this. I'll get through this. Things will be okay.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

canyon drive

it's saturday
and that means
groceries to get.
the urge suddenly strikes
beckoning, pulling me
all at once
and instead of getting into that turning lane,
i find myself driving right on through.
impromptu, impulsive like. 

these mountains a magnet. 
a force i just couldn't resist. 
especially on mornings like these 
when new snow clings
to bare branches,
where gray clouds hang low and heavy,
and a river runs through it all.

soul food.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


I decide to go to the library. Just as well. Even though I took Isaac on Saturday.
The parking lot is full. Needing to park further away than I normally do. I don't mind. I like to walk.
Storytime. That's what it is. That time of day.
I put my bag on my shoulder and head to the building. Walking alongside moms and their preschoolers.
That used to be me.
Me holding a hand. Pushing a stroller.
I wait in the breezeway, patiently and with a smile, looking on at this young mother praising, instructing her little ones as they put their stuff in the bookdrop.
As I scan these shelves, little voices are heard singing rhymes. Familiar songs we used to sing.
And my heart aches. A real, tangible ache I can feel heavy in my chest.
I acknowledge this ache. Mindfully observe it like a parent would a child. With love, with tenderness.
I'm older. I've reached a different stage in my life. I lived those years. Lived them fully, joyfully, completely.
I'm at peace with that, I realize.
More and more finding ease, even enjoyment with who I am right now. With this quiet. With this solitude. All this time I now have for myself.
This me.
I sit down with a book of poetry. Love poems. I read and I read. I give some attention to anatomy class demands. I gaze out the window. I study the stained glass patterns.
The hours pass.
I look at my watch and realize it's time to go home.