Friday, September 28, 2007
As a mother, I spend alot of time feeding L & E. When they were babies I feed them from my body, I nursed them both. I knew that what I ate would impact them directly. Now I spend alot of time making sure they are eating healthful foods. No junk food. H and I have told Lillian she cannot eat too much candy and specifically cotton candy because it will rot her teeth. She asked today if birds could eat cotton candy - since they do not have teeth.
Last night, at church, L and I attended our annual Iftar. An Iftar is the traditional breaking of the fast during Ramadan. What you say? Well at our church we invite out Muslim neighbors to our church for a supper prepared by us for them. We eat together, we pray together and learn from one another. My friend J is an antropoligist who studies pre-Biblical tribes in the Middle East. She has a number of Muslim friends and has spent much time in the Middle East.
I have learned alot attending these events. But last night I was both empowered and saddened. I took the children, both Muslim and Christian, into our large meeting room and we played while the adults were praying. Small children do not want to sit still and wait while adults do adult stuff. So as we played, I notice again, that for children - language does not matter, names do not matter, color of skin does not matter. Play is the same. If you will not share - that matters. If you form a cliche - that matters. If you do not play in an inclusive way - that matters. If you hit or bite that matters.
Why as adults do we forget this. Why do we not see the things that are the same. As people we all hunger, we all love, we all feel pain, we all love our children. As communities of faith, we strive to love and serve God - no matter the name we choose to identify God with.
So last night our little church honored and served everyone who for the month of Ramadan, has chosen to fast during the daylight hours by hosting a meal.
I hope that everyone who was there last night - will further chose to honor God and each other by remember the lesson the children taught us - love one another as you want others to love you - play fair and enjoy each others many and great gifts. It is not about the geography that separated or the cultures that are different.
When we are hungry, we eat. When we are sad, we cry. When we are happy, we smile. When we feel joy, we laugh.
Sunday, September 23, 2007
After today's observations and my thoughts of late on time, self awareness, the path less traveled - the gods decided I needed more irony in my life or they sought to drive the message deeper into my brain.
So tonight L and I read this book.
Great story and yes - to the powers that be - I am listening - I am chaninging my world view, I am stopping to smell the roses and I am taking life at a slower pace and I am happy about all of that. Message received!
Recently I have decided to work to change this process. I am going to seek that which I truly want, instead of choosing from the list of things, which remain after I have ruled other things out. I have been thinking and kicking this around for about a year - with mixed results actually.
Today L & E & I went to her friend KI's birthday party. He is very into knights and it was a knight & princess themed party. KI's parents are attempting to channel his 5 year testosterone surge into constructive history lessons - therefore he is all about being a knight. So KI's mom made a string maze in their yard, one string attached to a colored cup and wound around the yard. She called it the Quest for the holy Grail. It was wonderful - but a bit too much for the 5 year olds. That said KI's parents, their neighbor and I helped the 6 kids (plus E) try to untangle and unwind the string in order to locate the cups. I thought it was great fun. I like this kind of puzzle.
KI's dad after a professional disappointment is embarking on a new career path. We had been discussing that and that is when it hit me. This struggle with the string in order to locate the cups is really a quest based on real life. Real life is tangled and messy. Sometimes the right path takes you exactly where you want to be and sometimes, for various reasons - you get off track and tangled in someone else's string or you get the seemingly right path tangled and end up veering off course.
At the end of the day however it simply does not matter. It is the journey. Sometimes the detour is the journey you need to take. Learning to accept the journey and enjoy the moment you are in - be it tangle or on the right path is the secret I think.
Some of the best times of my life, the moments I really remember, the ones that mean the most have come out of tangles, missteps, chances taken. They have been the moment's that I planned the least.
So where the knights of old really seeking a gold cup or was their quest for something else entirely?
Monday, September 17, 2007
I mean I need time to breath. I want it. The creative being that I am needs down time. Now a few years ago I was addicted to my Day Planner. I wrote everything down and I planned my life in blocks of 15 minutes. It was insane. Now, I still plan - but I take time for me. I take time for L & E and most of all H and I are careful to take time for us.
I cannot believe the schedules some of my friends keep. It is insane. Their kids days are so full - overflowing really. The parents are so busy they hardly have time to breath, let alone enjoy the day. I was once compelled to fill in every minute of every day. I mean fill them. Now I go out of my way to make sure the day is empty.
This weekend I opted out of a meeting, I had been looking forward to, in order to spend time with L, E & H. We went to the park and enjoyed the splendor of the day. We were so engrossed that it was noon before we knew it.
While it is true that there are only 24 hours in the day - the challenge is to make sure you are spending them wisely. I would submit in our obsession to get the most out of those hours by being faster and more efficient - that we are in fact cheating our selves and are in effect getting alot less than we really want and deserve.
Everything in our society is rushed. We rush through dinner, we rush through our days. We rush through our work outs. Rushing is not healthy. I would submit we all need to take a deep breath and shed some of the items on our schedules. What is possibly more important that taking time to enjoy our friends, families and the splendor of each day?
Friday, September 14, 2007
You know six is a great number - it is half of say 12. It is a half dozen - it is really a good number of people to meet for dinner or drinks, enough to be fun but too many, as to make it hard to chit chat. Six is about the right time to eat dinner. Change one letter in six and get something interesting.
So why you all say am I extolling the virtues of the number six? Well because I now own 1 dress and 3 pairs of pants that are size 6. I have not seen that number in years!
So the happy dance music you all heard around 2 pm today - yep that was me too.
Not not eating pizza has never be so pleasant!
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Caressed by Ice
by Nalini Singh
This book is the third in her series about Psy-Changelings. It is the story of Breena, a changeling wolf and Judd, a Psy, who in order to save his family defected and left the Psy-Net and now lives with the wolf pack.
This tibit is from Nalini's website:
As an Arrow, an elite soldier in the Psy Council ranks, Judd Lauren was forced to do terrible things in the name of his people. Now a defector, his dark abilities have made him the most deadly of assassins—cold, pitiless, unfeeling. Until he meets Brenna…
Brenna Shane Kincaid was an innocent before she was abducted—and had her mind violated—by a serial killer. Her sense of evil runs so deep, she fears she could become a killer herself. Then the first dead body is found, victim of a familiar madness. Judd is her only hope, yet her sensual changeling side rebels against the inhuman chill of his personality, even as desire explodes between them. Shocking and raw, their passion is a danger that threatens not only their hearts, but their very lives…
What Worked for Me
The entire story. Nalini has a way with emotion. She writes it very well. Every scene is just dripping with it, even if she does not name it, you can feel the aura of it. Truly powerful. I think this novel was well construstucrted. There is alot of plot to this one, the story moves fast and it is complex. Not that the other two books in the series were not, but this one really pushes the over arcing story and I will guess is setting us up for more to come. That said I think it makes the book really solid and does not in anyway take away from the love story between Breena and Judd. Their story is also very powerful, on the surface it is an opposites attract story - as will the all the heroes and heroines so far, but in this case it is very true. Judd is the iciest of icy and Brenna is really very sensually but also frightened given what has happened to her. But she has an inner strength that is stronger and tougher and a true testament to the woman she is. I also think, for me though, Nalini's has captured in them both that beautiful part of human nature, she has shown that where there is a will there is truly a way. The path may not always be clear and there will always be something to overcome, but if you want it badly enough and are willing to work for it, it can be yours.
What did not work for me
Nothing, the book is wonderful. I read it slowly and savored every little bit of it and then I read it again.
As a note to those reading this blog, while the previous 2 books in this series more than likely could be read out of order, this one would lose something very important. That is not to say that this one cannot stand alone. The story is powerful on its own, but I am telling you to get the full deal, you need to read Slave to Sensation and then Visions of Heat and then go for this one.
Go to the bookstore now..... It is well worth it.
Sometimes, like yesterday, she will repeat it back to me. So yesterday she had this to say, "So we are going to go work out - well Mommie you can work out E & I will play, then the grocery, then home for lunch, then the bus stop, and THEN I GET TO GO LEARN, and then we get to walk and play outside, then dinner."
I decided to point out that she can learn all the time. So I go thru the "we are always learning...." speech and she looks at me and says, "Well sure, but at Kindergarten the only reason I am there is to learn. That is the ENTIRE point. School is for learning - the other learning stuff Mom is incidental."
Yeah, so ok when I picked my jaw up off the floor, I agreed and suggested she go play. I mean she is right - the point of school is to learn. (When I ask you did my 5 year learn words like incidental?) While I suppose the other learning can be incidental I am of a mind that it should not be. I think we need to constantly open to learning something new, learning the lessons life throws at us, challenging ourselves.
I think the minute we close that section of our head then a door very well may be closed forever. I think that we have to very vigilant in our efforts to constantly be open to learning something new. Now as a matter of practicality, in our media over stimulating world, I think we have to be careful to limit the sources as a matter of self preservation. It is important to choose your sources wisely. But my thoughts on that topic are another matter entirely.
My point today, of all days really, is that we need to be focused on learning from our mistakes, by being open to change, to embrace that life has real and powerful lessons if only we would take the time to listen.
Todays is September 11. A day that I know will hold real significance for me until the day the I die. Six years ago today, I saw on television, live, that evil does exist. That hate, fanaticism, insanity can combine with disastrous results. Many innocent people died. It was mass murder. It proved to me that hate has a real power.
But today, six years later, I wonder if somehow the lessons we should have learned from those terrible moments have somehow been lost? Have we closed out minds to the real lessons we should have learned that day. I look at the world today and I see more hate, more violence and less love and compassion. I see more that is driving us apart, where I had hoped to see more that pulls us together.
Sadly I am fearful that we have taken an event which should have taught us some really stark lessons and somehow missed the point. In this above many other lessons, I am hoping we will not need a review or a repeat to learn the lesson being present. I pray for that not to be the case. I hope that as with some tough lessons, this one will merely require a bit more quiet reflection to actually sink in.
So while L is right, the point of school is to learn, I would humble submit that life, the day to day, has alot to teach us as well - if only we are open to learning it.
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
And breathe, just breathe,
Woah breathe, just breathe
You know today was one of those days. Very busy and lots of running around. I hate running around. I hate driving in circles. Really, I absolutely hate it. I am a home body or a walk body. I think if I lived somewhere with public transit I might actually go and do more. Let someone else drive.
So today we dance lessons, then a quick stop at the library, hurried home to change, eat, hustle to the bus stop, hustle home for E's nap, I cleaned up like mad for the babysitter, then walked to school, double timed it home, quick snack, jumped in the car, drove to my brother's office in full on rush hour traffic, met up with brother, drove like mad to the airport, dropped off car for H to drive home tonight, fought some horrible traffic to get home, ran in ate a quick dinner, went over routine with sitter, and then I ran out the door to walk back to the school for the Open House. Along the way, I was trying to get my head in the right space for the meeting and to detox my mind a bit from the day.
It had been the day. But as I walked up the bike path to the tunnel, I saw a family of deer, in the green space next to the tunnel. It was just shifting from day to dusk and it was lovely. I stopped and stood there and watched. Then it occurred me, if my time table of the days events had been different, I would have missed seeing this. That would have been a great lose I think.
Someone said to me that I have a serenity around me a calmness and I guess I do. I did not use to. I used to be a big ball of tension. Trust me I was wrapped pretty tight, but about 18 months ago I decided that I cannot control the world, but what I can control is my reaction to it.
Lately I have been telling L, do not sweat the small stuff and frankly, it is all small stuff.
I now take time to Breath. I build time for me into the day. While it is true that with kids you have less and less time that is your own, you can carve it out. I do it every day. I take time for me. For me to be of true value to those around me, I must take time to Breath.
That said, I was 5 minutes late to the meeting, but then, I got to see something lovely and peaceful and that my friends is worth it weight in gold.
Saturday, September 1, 2007
Ok, I try not to complain and rant on this blog, because it is not really productive, but I gotta tell you this one has been bugging me for forever and today I have had it.
The picture above is a stroller. Babies and toddlers ride in strollers. They are especially useful, when families with young children go on walks, to walking events, to outdoor festivals, to parks, to playgrounds, to airports and well anywhere frankly.
Now it is important to note, strollers have wheels - therefore they roll. Strollers do take up a fair amount of space and as with cars and driving, one should be careful to maintain assured clear distance. Not sure what assured clear distance is then I suggest you stroll over to this website to read more about it.
Stopping in the middle of hallways, doorways, walkways, sidewalks, streets, rooms or frankly anywhere to stare at the stroller and the person pushing it is not helpful. Stupid, but not helpful.
Furthermore, parents who are pushing strollers are not going out of their way to get in your way. They are not stopping the flow traffic on purpose, they are trying not to hit other people like you who for inexplicable reasons have chosen to stop and stare at them. They also are not starting a new sport which includes juggling the stroller, perhaps another child, two doors and maybe a bag to boot. All while you stand there and stare and make unintelligible noises, which are generally meant to convey your displeasure at having to wait. Now what you could do is help hold a door but where is the fun in that?
Do I sound a little irritated? Yes I do, because even as my stroller days are drawing to a close, but for the love of Mike, it is making me nuts. I am not the only one in the States with a stroller. Is it too much to ask for adults to be adults, walk in a neat lines and perhaps open a door from time to time. I am perfectly capable of doing it all myself, so if you are disinclined to help, could you keep your mouth shut and just wait patiently.