Friday, September 26, 2014

Adult Shtuff

There are days when I feel that I am rocking this whole grown-up thing.

Exhibit A:  List O' Things

  1. Went to the doctor for an annual physical exam and got a flu shot!
  2. Scheduled a bill payment and had a conversation with Father about investment
  3. Put away dishes and washed other dishes
  4. Made french toast with homemade challah bread with husband
  5. Did laundry!

Exhibit B:  List O' Other Things
  1. Had a solo and delicious breakfast
  2. Practiced deep, calming breaths
  3. Delighted in the return of well-loved TV shows
  4. Had long talks with old friend and good mom
  5. Biked around Sauvie Island and felt happy and healthy 
This is a day in which I feel proud of myself.  There was a lovely mix of important grown-up accomplishments, guilt-free downtime, refreshing activity and personal connection.  

Thank you Lady for days like this!  Not so rare now, but always fully appreciated.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Working it Out

My mind was wide open this afternoon, unable to focus, like dilated pupils trying to read a blackboard.  I felt once again like time was a great, rushing river, racing away from me.  I came home on a bike, aware of the benefit of my hilly peddling, yet still off-kilter.  Cue instinctive reach for a glass of water in the garden in the cloudy evening light.  A little attentive focus on the breath, a little observation of my body and the world around me and something inside settled down.  My mind re-focused, my insides un-clenched.  Lovely - those quiet moments of returning to self.  

Once again, I need to remember, to live in the idea that time is infinite and every moment lasts forever.  I skip ahead so frequently and it does me harm.  It harms me.  Here I am, observing my life in this moment. 
  • Warm lamp light
  • Spinning ceiling fan
  • The sound of Peter's voice in the other room
  • The feel of my toe separators, separating away
  • Breath in
  • Breath out
I am not at work.  I am not in Friday.  I am not in next week.  I am here.  I am in my bedroom writing this, writing this.  

Fall is a time of settling down and I need it.  I'm returning to a little more yoga and it's helping.  I am in need of centered awareness, of self-settling.  Breath in and out.  Observe the breath.  Return to self.

Monday, September 8, 2014

The Last Five Years. And the Next!

I'm a multiples of five kind of girl.  Love me some 5s, 10s and 15s.  This Fall marks the five-year anniversary of my re-start in Portland.  Five years ago I started dating this lovely man named Peter.  Five years ago I began teaching theater to tiny tots.  Some things change; others stay the same.

I met with the Moon tonight.  The wind blew and the season changed and the Moon rose and I realized, as good-intentioned as it may have begun, I do myself no favors by worrying about "them" anymore.  It's over for "them."  No more worrying about what "they" think and what "they" might lose.  I am responsible for this big beautiful self of mine and I get to focus on the bright and beautiful road that I have to travel now.  The Moon pulled that strong self up in me - if She can heave the vast ocean in to shore, imagine the effect on my primal and powerful self when She is big and round and O-So-Near!  

The Return of the Haiku! 

Rising like a red
balloon, she skims the High School, 
Impossible Size.

Straight back, strong body,
I let her in.  Hands, heart,
all my eyes open.

Selfish selfishness.
Suddenly reimagined:
Radical self-care.

I'm storing up all
my rage for good use in some
future time.  It leaks.

I'm finding candles, 
at intervals, "follow me!"
I see my own voice.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

A Little Nap

Sometimes, a little nap is all you need.  All you need to remember that life is not hopeless.  That all your future choices are not laid out in plain sight like cards on a table.  There is still mystery.  There is still a bend in the road.

"Oh, there's another bend in the road at their end," answered Anne lightly.  "I've no idea what may be around it - I don't want to have.  It's nicer not to know."

A little nap is sometimes all that's needed to put things in perspective.

Thank GOD for little naps.  Sometimes.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Lovely Summer Things

The last time I had a free summer, I had so many plans!  See below:  Summer 2011
This is what I want my summer to be:  beaches and bikes and bright moments.
Feel free to join me in any of the following:
1) volunteering at a beer festival.
2) going to the beach.
3) reading in parks.
4) browsing farmers' markets
5) dressing up
6) dressing down
8) taking dance classes
9) going to a play
10) barbequeing
Then I broke my arm while biking downtown and I felt like a lot of this went down the drain.  It was pretty defeating.  I don't remember much about that summer beyond that.

Let's see.  Summer 2012 was Sound of Music.  Sitting with nuns in a hot cafeteria, watching the beautiful days roll by and feeling cheated of my outdoor time.  I thought Summer 2013 would be better since rehearsals for Steel Magnolias would start later on, but somehow I found myself driving to rehearsal in June and wishing that I didn't have to spend my evenings in a cold church basement and my hikeable weekends in Vancouver.

Part of the problem is that I always have so many expectations when summer rolls around.  I set myself up for disappointment in a lot of ways.  In Summer 2013 I did some wonderful things!  I had two weeks off and for one of them I went to my cousin's wedding in France!!  But I was really unsatisfied in general.  I had a lofty list in my mind and when I reviewed it in September, too many things were left unchecked.  It was sad, really.  I let my fantasy summer make my actual summer seem disappointing.

So.  This summer.  2014.  I do have plans.  Lovely plans.  But I am also aware that I have a tendency to get ahead of myself and become unsatisfied with what is actually happening.  To combat that, I'm maintaining a list of lovely summer things as I do them.  Look at these lovely things!

1.  Biked to work (and home!)
2.  Early morning breakfasts with Mom and/or Dad
3.  Evening walks to Multnomah Village
4.  Spontaneous happy hours with co-workers
5.  Family time - walked the parade! and jumped in a pool!
6.  Watched Orange is the New Black and didn't even feel guilty because I know I'm active enough.
7.  Late night heart-to-hearts with close friends.
8.  Watered my garden!
9.  Read in the sun in my garden
10.  Gone out to eat with Peter

All good things.  And more to come!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Um ... no thanks.

A few months ago I saw this book called, She:  Understanding Feminine Psychology, and I was super excited until I saw that it was written by one Robert A. Johnson.  I don't need to read anything else about what men think about women.  I want to read what women think about women!  Also, this book I found today at the library was hilarious to me: 
Anyway, many men are fabulous writers.  We all know this.  But when it comes to women, I don't care what they have to say.  Not right now, anyway. 

Monday, March 3, 2014

Gathering and Re-Gathering

There's a physical thrill that runs through me when the moon returns.  "Hello Lady." I might say.  Or even, "Dear Mother, there you are!"  It is such sweet relief to see that round curve of her appear above me.  The moon and her cycles, her veiling and unveiling, are such powerful reminders that we are coming around again.  There is always another opportunity to journey toward fullness, or to descend into darkness or introversion for a time.  She returns.  She rises and reveals herself again, in her own time, at her own pleasure.

I needed this gentle nudge tonight.  I am struggling to free myself from the mindset that life is a straight line.  I reject that!  I am tired of this feeling that there is only one shot at each hour, each day, each minute, and if I use that hour in a way that is wasteful or unproductive then it is lost forever.  That is such a useless and self-defeating way to think.  And I fall prey to it every day, goddamnit.

Now, I am gathering my body to myself, patting it down and reminding it of our power.  There is no more impatience, no more frustration that I let it all fall away today, that I lost that hard-won centeredness in one fell swoop.  There is only the gathering and the re-gathering.  The journey once again toward fullness.

Hello Lady.  I'm so happy to see you again.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Head up, eyes open.

I've been reminded recently of how wide open my life is.  There's this beautiful Clarissa quote (there's always a beautiful Clarissa quote):
I hope you will go out and let stories happen to you, and that you will work them, water them with your blood and tears and your laughter till they bloom, till you yourself burst into bloom.
There's a sense that my life is moving once again.  There's another bend in the road as my old friend Anne would say.
The soul walks not upon a line, neither does it grow like a reed. The soul unfolds itself, like a lotus of countless petals. - Kahlil Gibran
Part of my nerdy quote joy is finding connections.  I love this idea of blossoming into your life, of unfurling.  There's a sense of sweet anticipation to it.  So here I am, head up, eyes open, hiking happily toward that bend in the road.

Sunday, January 19, 2014


I don't know why I love quotes so much!  Yes, I do.  It's because someone else has looked inside of me and said, here, let me put that thing into actual words rather than colors or feelings or sounds.  Or it's because I read something and I have that wonderful "aha!" or "yeah, yeah!" or "click!" moment.

Did you know that the "yeah, yeah!" or "click!" moment is what women's consciousness raising groups were all about?  Those moments when some other person shares from her own experience and something inside of you rises up and says, "YEAH, YEAH!"  I love those moments.  I live for those moments.  It's what I'm looking for when I read about women.

Back to quotes.  I have my little quote board to the side here so I can dip back into them at any point.  They allow me moments of divine clarity.  I eat them up.  Recently I read a book called Women Who Run With The Wolves by a woman named Clarissa Pinkola Estes.  She's a Jungian analyst and a cantadora, a storyteller.  In this book she unwraps old stories and pieces together the bones to help women rediscover their wild nature.  It's beautiful, helpful, fascinating and true.  Man, I love books.  This woman is also a quote machine!

Behold!  Clarissa gets her own quote board in this post:
“The doors to the world of the wild Self are few but precious. If you have a deep scar, that is a door, if you have an old, old story, that is a door. If you love the sky and the water so much you almost cannot bear it, that is a door. If you yearn for a deeper life, a full life, a sane life, that is a door.”
“I hope you will go out and let stories happen to you, and that you will work them, water them with your blood and tears and you laughter till they bloom, till you yourself burst into bloom.” 
“Be wild; that is how to clear the river. The river does not flow in polluted, we manage that. The river does not dry up, we block it. If we want to allow it its freedom, we have to allow our ideational lives to be let loose, to stream, letting anything come, initially censoring nothing. That is creative life. It is made up of divine paradox. To create one must be willing to be stone stupid, to sit upon a throne on top of a jackass and spill rubies from one’s mouth. Then the river will flow, then we can stand in the stream of it raining down.” 
Clarissa shakes me up.  Clarissa makes me sit still.  Today, I'm thankful for the hard work that other women have done that allow me this moment on my couch or on my computer, going, "YEAH, YEAH!"