aimless love

But my heart is always propped up in a field on its tripod, ready for the next arrow. billy collins

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

breaking our necks

Things at work are impossibly busy - so here I go being myself here as I am elsewhere... do I just show up? do I try to do something meaningful? do I have anything interesting to offer the world?

Yesterday I heard about a sexual assault at the Univ where I teach - we seriously have our work cut out for us as humans! How do we address both the small and large issues that make this type of thing even a possibility. The statistics of young women who are sexually assaulted each year are staggering! When I told my kids about it - I said, "we are each responsible for making a difference with our lives" - my 11 yo daughter kept saying, "how can I make a difference" - so I told them the story I heard on NPR on the way home about Dan Gottlieb, a quadraplegic psychologist who has recently written a book for his grandson about living "differently" in this world.

I was very inspired this story. He spoke about the way he had come to see his accident as having freed him to really live life fully as himself, not as who he thought he "should" be - he said his soul was set free when his neck broke! How do any of us manage to rise above the death of our dreams to be who we thought we "should" be - rather than who we are becoming even now?

what can I do mom?
become fully yourself, sweet
and what about me?

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

blogger hell

So I was trying to revamp the new blog I started for work, and I couldn't get the editing function to work.
I spent hours trying to get the new posts to show up!

It was unbelievably frustrating, and in the end I had to go to bed without having fixed it...

I'm sure it's one of those things that is easily fixed, I just don't know how.

I still don't know what the point of this is... a place to practice my writing? A place to post mini-updates for friends? So much for gratitude.

The last few days have coincidentally had several folks talking about clearing clutter... Where's the clutter in my life?

clearing out old junk
re-membering to treasure
what brings me back home

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Monet's lilies

NY was great! The new MOMA was terrific... we spent a long time just sitting in front of the Monet lilies. It's a multi-panel piece that spans a wall and is AMAZING! The kids were really struggling with each other, and not really wanting to be at another museum, so that was a drag! but overall it was a good trip.

Good to see my grandmother and aunt and good to be reminded of all the ways that art can inspire!

sinking down below
imagine myself goldfish
under lily pad

Saturday, April 22, 2006

urban hug

Today we head to NYC to visit my grandmother, aunt and uncle. I love Manhattan in all its crazy extremes. I love the living contradictions, the speed and the glitz, the garbage and the facade. We'll go to the new MOMA and see the Munch - how can my pre/adolescent screamers not like that!

tall buildings surround
an urban hug needed still
will we find beauty?

Friday, April 21, 2006

what's possible

satisfying work
ideas that jump and roll over
shedding hair, I sneeze

I want to see if it's possible to just keep this going... what's worth posting? what's not?

my space for gratitude haikus

Thursday, April 20, 2006

performance anxiety

I don't get it... I have always been fairly confessional and exhibitionistic. Or at least that's what I thought until now.

But I have been completely baffled by this blog thing! I know several friends who blog, and have been randomly reading the blogs of strangers (some of whom I've come "to know and love") for years! (here are some of my favorite blogs to lurk on...LeeAnn and Dean's unremarkable website, the sympathetic vibration, Shawn's photoblog, Supergirl saves the world Yes, I'm a lurker and I've loved it!

I've kept a journal for years, and always presumed to want it read by those who love me best. You see, I was a lonely kid, and I never really felt seen enough, and always feel on some level that I need to be seen more, as opposed to those folks who felt intruded upon and always feared having their journals found and read. I was that kid who secretly wished that someone would find my journal, read it, and finally see what an amazing person I was and would reassure me that I was loveable and great!

But suddenly here I am with the capability of sharing that innermost me with others, and I feel scared to death! Dare I even say frozen by the real possibility that others will see me - or rather, see the very incomplete picture of me that is emerging, slowly and not at all the way I expected, from this space. It feels like a bad joke - again, with that paradoxical notion of finally getting what you thought you wanted only to find out it is not at all what you thought you wanted!

I can't understand the me that is emerging here... It feels like one of those photography moments where the print is sitting in the solution and the image is slowly emerging, but instead of seeing the expression on the face you expected to see, you see a distorted, unattractive expression... Ironically though, I think this is part of the problem with the dissertation. I'm having trouble really finding my voice - recognizing me in what I am writing. I'm feeling a bit closer to it now, here, but do I really want this part of me hanging out in cyberspace? For anyone to see?

And who is that anyone anyway? I told my class yesterday (I teach counselors/art therapists at a University) that I had started a blog - and so they were the first folks to know - and what was up with that? Isn't that a weird way to blur the boundaries?? I certainly wouldn't want my clients reading about the "innermost" part of me - the part of me that I never knew how little of which I show at work. So what about students? I don't necessarily want them to know about the parts of me that are so insecure and fucked up that I feel ashamed of them... and yet isn't that the part of me that needed to/wanted to be seen and still loved!

weird... I am really surprised by this whole process. And there's still something about it that feels very illicit - part of it is that I really do imagine that my man would not "approve." Again, is that something I want for all of cyberspace to know? And is it that he doesn't approve or that I don't approve and he very conveniently embodies that disapproval for me? I'm definitely not sure I want to broadcast my marital struggles.

so what is this medium - confession? communication? catharsis? plea for reassurance and mirroring?

Last year I was invited to read my poetry at the University where I work. I'm a secret poet. Of course, all the folks who know me well know I write poetry, and for the most part I'm not shy about reading it to others - ask any of my students, I regularly read my poems at the open mics we have. But this public declaration of myself as a poet had me completely terrified - honestly, I was so completely undone by that reading that I have barely written a poem since. I was so anxious, so completely mortified, so ashamed even, of claiming the title of poet, of being found out for the fraud I felt myself to be, of being seen - that I could barely breathe for days. I can't remember the last time I was that afraid and ashamed. All I could think was, "What was I thinking? How could I have agreed to do this? What right do I have to stand and read this drivel?"

It's all related - I really am getting the sense that the place I'm stuck in my dissertation, and my overall stress and anxiety, and this fear/desire to be seen are all related.

I want to tell my friends about this space. I want to hold it, to join the community of strangers/friends who I can come into focus for... don't I?

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

melting I can move

glimmers of sunshine
warm the icebergs of self-blame
melting I can move

What is this picture I'm creating of myself

doing this I realize that the me that shows up at work is not the most private part of me, the part of me that struggles with living in the suburbs, the part of me that struggles with my faith, the part of me that struggles to be a "good enough" mom, the part of me that needs to/wants to be in love

it's pretty weird to throw myself out into cyberspace...

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

wake up!

mystery, meaning,
sleeping, dreaming, waking too
open your eyes now

I'm trying to live with eyes wide open. Yesterday was a fairly down day. I'm juggling too much. I want to just hang out with P and my kids, and I have this dissertation to finish, and I have work I need to do, and I just want to relax and re-vive... but I feel weighed down by all the obligations that tether me.

Monday, April 17, 2006

action enough?

You know the adage, watch out what you ask for, you just might get it... that's my life. Yesterday I was writing about redemption and forgiveness and today I'm forced to ask myself what that means in the face of community violence...

I tend to think of myself as fairly neurotic, and don't get me wrong, I am... I tend to worry A LOT about stupid things. I stress about things I should feel good about and I am fairly insecure about things I should feel confident about. But I am not a bigot - and I don't understand what motivates someone to be so contemptuous that they become a racist.

I imagine that racism is motivated in part by the perception that you are entitled to something that appears to be taken away from you by someone else, and ignorance, fear and hatred and an inability to own one's own faults - with the need to project them onto others. And that's me... always trying to understand where the other person is coming from - to a fault sometimes. But what is the role of forgiveness in the face of all that... and reconciliation?

Yesterday, P and I were out for a walk - we've had gorgeous weather in New England and I feel particularly appreciative of it knowing that my family and friends are drowning in the Bay Area - and while we were walking we came across several pamphlets that had been thrown out in front of houses in our neighborhood. They were ultra-right wing pamphlets calling Bush a traitor for supporting immigration and specifically targeting Jews as "declaring war against White America" - how is it that in 2006, in surburban MA, that someone would feel justified and entitled to spread this racist, Anti-semitic garbage!!!

I hate living in New England! You just wouldn't get this kind of thing in San Francisco, where I come from... I don't know how to raise children in this kind of environment... I don't know how to be myself in a community where there is not Public OUTRAGE over such behavior!

and then there's Israel - I was just in Tel Aviv less that two weeks ago at a conference on Creative Approaches to dealing with Conflicts in Groups, and today on the front page of the NYTimes is the news that a suicide bomber killed 6 and wounded 35... I could have been standing there...I can't imagine living in a place where at any moment a bomb could wipe out my son, my daughter - and the Palestinians... what's it like to live in that land, to be a 40 year old mother raising sons in an occupied land...

my heart bleeds and weeps
can parenting and prayer
be action enough?

Sunday, April 16, 2006

resurrection and redemption

So here's the thing... I need the notion of redemption in my life. I crave a spiritual practice that at its core combines sacrifice, love, forgiveness, redemption, renewal and community. And it's my tradition, the place into which I was born, the Christianity of my mother, and grandmother, and great-grandmother.

would you be willing
taking all blame,shame, and grief
to stand in for me?

But here's another thing, I have problems with being a Christian in a culture that uses Christianity in such negative ways. There are a lot of folks a lot more eloquent about this than I am - Anne Lamott, Mary Luti, Marcus Borg - I particularly appreciate the Center for Progressive Christianity and their attempts to describe a Christianity that is not dogmatic, oppressive, or fundamentalist.

So, how does one live with the contradictions of faith, religion, and community in this weird, wired, world? I don't know but somehow grace, and forgiveness, and music, and art, and love, and redemption all seem to be a part of the answer for me. Happy Easter!

Saturday, April 15, 2006

they're really special

I have two great kids - they are almost 12 and almost 14, and they are pretty amazing!

They're smart and sensitive and kind and creative. They're also adolescent and so it can be hard to access those wonderful qualities at times.

My daughter and I went to Anna's Taqueria for lunch yesterday - so we could check it out. That's where some of the high school kids go for lunch sometimes. It was fun hanging out with her. We saw several really cute babies. The time goes really fast!

trains speed by, swoosh, blur
you are now budding and brash
i am now burnished

Friday, April 14, 2006

bits of this and that

what to put out there in the big wide world?

This is a wierd medium of expression...

So we went to Davio's for dinner last night (that's where we had our rehearsal dinner). Homemade sausage in a port wine (the sausage had pistachios), crab cake appetizers, and P had filet while I had scallops. It was good, but really rich! I can't imagine how some folks eat like that every night.

fifteen years and still
lilacs and magnolias
forsythia blooms

It's a long weekend, between the holidays and Marathon monday... but I have all this work hanging over me. What am I going to do? How am I going to balance work and spending time with the family?

Thursday, April 13, 2006

thank you haikus

I decided yesterday that I would try to write a "thank you haiku" every day this week as a form of self-care. I decided I would do something creative and disciplined (granted, once a day for a week doesn't require that much discipline but hey, you've got to start somewhere). So on my way home from work I was feeling great composing my haiku in my mind and I had it down!!! Of course by 11 pm I could not remember it... so here is the revised version.

courting gratitude
warm skin
strong arms
sweet smell
such simple pleasures

Today's my 15th anniversary - so this haiku is for you P.

I haven't told my man that I started a blog because he thinks I already am too overcommitted and I'm afraid that if he knew I was doing this it would make him crazy! I haven't told anyone else yet either because I'm a chicken... scrawny legs, scratchy movements, feeble throat, with her head on a chopping block!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

I really don't have time for this

So in a few months I will be on sabbatical, and the only thing scarier than finishing my dissertation is not finishing my dissertation... so I'm looking for a few things to tether me to the ground while I write.