Proceed with Love

April 24th, 2014

E. E. Cummings

love is a place
& through this place of
love move
(with brightness of peace)
all places

yes is a world
& in this world of
yes live
(skilfully curled)
all worlds

Making time for adult time

April 22nd, 2014

With Tin out of the country visiting family, I’ve seen my downtime go into overdrive. First night, he was gone, I rested and then it’s been Katie bar the door. Thursday night was Vino and Vinyl at a friend’s house with new and old friends.


Friday night was an African gal’s night here with a viewing of three episodes of An African City and all of us fabulous women dressed in African garb and eating an African potluck. An African City is sort of like Sex and the City in Ghana. Now that was fun and the food was yum!

Saturday was Earth Day with friends and then a wretched night with Stella reacting to the Ivomec given to her for demodex. Sunday was lounging for the lord and a nice walk with Heidi – literally I spent sometime just laying on the grass in the backyard soaking up the rays and grooving with nature.

Monday was back to work then champagne with a friend and then dinner out with another friend. Tonight is drinks and apps with friends. Wednesday is a dance with a group of friends, Thursday a dear friend comes to town, my niece comes to town, Friday Jazz Fest starts and on and on until very soon my adult time will come to an end – happily as my miss my little rascal so much, but it is going by in the blink of an eye.

I’ve been wildly untethered from my parental role and am catching up with all the friends I rarely see and taking up the invites that I generally decline and yet, at the end of the day, I miss the reason I’m a mom – Tin – and I have to say there is not a lot of me time in this life. [Note to self: schedule downtime, Rachel time.]

Age is more than just a number

April 20th, 2014

I came across this article written by Roger Angell in The New Yorker about his life in his 90s. If you ever think about aging, about dying, and mostly about loving, read it:

Getting old is the second-biggest surprise of my life, but the first, by a mile, is our unceasing need for deep attachment and intimate love. We oldies yearn daily and hourly for conversation and a renewed domesticity, for company at the movies or while visiting a museum, for someone close by in the car when coming home at night. This is why we throng and OkCupid in such numbers—but not just for this, surely. Rowing in Eden (in Emily Dickinson’s words: “Rowing in Eden— / Ah—the sea”) isn’t reserved for the lithe and young, the dating or the hooked-up or the just lavishly married, or even for couples in the middle-aged mixed-doubles semifinals, thank God.

Trust the process

April 20th, 2014

A friend of mine was telling me that she has always moved very quickly into relationships and she has made a vow to take her time this next time around. She’s gathering wisdom from African proverbs and sayings, and one woman writes not to act like this is the last love you might ever have and to take time to know him before committing. The woman says that if you cannot take it slow then you must have something in yourself that you are still working on and that needs to be cleared up before you can take on another.

What I like about her African advice is that it says men also want to have relationships – something I think our society would like us to forget. I was just on the phone with a friend of mine who has the urge to merge with his honey and he is looking for the same thing my gal friend is – companionship, trust, and love.

I likened my friend’s talk about courtship to most things in life – we are always in a hurry to get to the finish line instead of enjoying the run – and as my friend, recently courted by her now big love, says, “You have to trust the process” and the process is you.

Earth Day in New Orleans

April 20th, 2014

I have friends in town from Florida so we went to Earth Day Fest at Louis Armstrong Park yesterday. A friend of mine’s nonprofit sponsors the festival and kudos to her for pulling it off. New Orleans is not a bastion of environmental sensitivity – albeit it has become one post 2005 Federal Flood. So many silver linings from that event – they are too numerous to count.

We had ourselves a good time listening to music and sitting on a grassy knoll and even got treated to an Aikido demonstration (albeit I almost wound up on the stage because the sun was frying me).

And I got to wear my “Easter” hat – which was actually my wedding hat when I married my first husband in 1984 – thirty years ago – is that possible? The hat has come through these years pretty much intact – can’t say the same for myself!


My lil gal

April 20th, 2014

I learned last week that Stella and all her siblings have demodex, which is a mite that dogs get, but if their immune system isn’t developed enough, it results in mange – noncontagious mange. It is supposed to manifest itself as hair loss around the eyes, but Stella began losing it on her head – much like me. Imagine my surprise.

So she started on medication yesterday afternoon – Ivomec – but by night time she was having a full on toxic reaction that includes eyes rolling back in her head.

I freaked!

It turns out that herding breeds have a violent reaction to the medication and Stella was the only one of the puppies reacting – meaning she had a different dad than the others. I love this little girl. It’s crazy how much I love this puppy. So she and I sat on the floor together and I stroked her and stroked her until she at least tried to nibble on me and then we tried to sleep last night – her moaning and me keeping one eye open.

This morning at 4am Stella woke, puked, peed and then wagged her tail. We made it through the crisis. She was resurrected on Easter Sunday.

Lord Today!

I learned one thing – her dad was a herding dog – possibly Australian Shepherd or Border Collie – because only herding breeds react this way to Ivomec. We will now have to seek different treatment – chemical baths, which can also be toxic so they require her to go in for a day’s visit to the vet. [read: cash]

Pay attention to the signs

April 18th, 2014

The story of Moses is an odyssey much like each of our journey, but if Moses was alive today God probably couldn’t get his attention with a burning bush because nowadays everyone is waiting for the BIG SIGN – the big PAYOUT – the big LOVE – the BIG ANYTHING.

But I say pay attention to those little signs because they are the ones pointing the way.

I went to my church this morning – City Park that is – and I communed with my brethren there – the water moccasin, the turtles, the irises, the ducks, the geese, and the swans – and they each whispered to me, “I love you, Rachel” and when I emerged from the park a friend passed me in his car and said, “Why are you smiling so radiantly?” And I said because today is a gift – a gift I gave myself.









Open the door to magic

April 18th, 2014

“If I knew that today would be the last time I’d see you, I would hug you tight and pray the Lord be the keeper of your soul. If I knew that this would be the last time you pass through this door, I’d embrace you, kiss you, and call you back for one more. If I knew that this would be the last time I would hear your voice, I’d take hold of each word to be able to hear it over and over again. If I knew this is the last time I see you, I’d tell you I love you, and would not just assume foolishly you know it already.”

~ Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez ~

The apogee of me

April 18th, 2014

Tis the season I reckon. The season of festivals and friends and folly, because I know it’s been hard to slow down and breathe. On Stella’s arrival into this house, my meditation, stretching, exercise in the morning turned into slogging out of bed at 4am to stand in the wet grass in the backyard and saying, “Go pissy piss” loud enough for her to hear and low enough for my neighbors not to shoot me.

I’m more sleep deprived with my puppy than I ever was with my baby. Whatyagonnado?

After multiple deadlines, a seder, and a friend’s wife’s funeral, I laid in bed this morning for the third time – after taking Stella out at 4, then 5 and then 6 o’clock – and watched the palm tree leaves billowing in the wind and thought about nothing. If I can’t get my meditation in on my schedule, I can snatch meditative moments – times without planning, doing, or longing – to simply be in my skin.

A friend came by yesterday for me to help her with her business plan, only we didn’t get to the business plan because our conversation turned to bigger things than business – the matters of our life. She’s a radiant light and so she picks up a lot of strays who glom onto her for their own sustenance. Let’s call them what they are – leeches. And those suckers don’t take a hint even when she has kicked them to the curb. Three times a random stranger has approached her – the first was when she was only 23 years old and getting on the streetcar – and told her she is golden. Her light is intoxicating.

But she has to go angry ninja on people to keep some of the filaments of that light for herself. It’s just not right.

And I get it.

A friend wrote me a sweet thank you after our seder, he said, “You give too much of yourself Rachel” and so it is. Like my friend I feel there is no scarcity of the light and yet, I lay in bed and darkness descends because I’m depleted of the snap crackle pop that I’ve been sprinkling around.

I find it’s an all or nothing game – for me at least – it’s like being a life lush – I’m either in or I’m out. I think back fondly to the five months that drew to a close at year end in 2013 when I gave up drinking and socializing and did a lot of rest and me time. I was wrapped in my own light and felt my hibernation need never end. And then it did. It ended with a bang – literally – and thus began my revelry once again.

Last night, I went to a friend’s house to listen to his stereo. This is no ordinary stereo – it is a work of art and the entire room was designed around listening to it. I was part of an eight person group who came bearing an exquisite bottle of wine and two songs on vinyl to play. My choices were all about love – the first Sade’s The Kiss of Life for my son because that’s who I think of when I hear her sing “There must have been an angel by my side; Something heavenly led me to you.” My second choice was a different love, almost graveyard love, Elvis Costello’s I Want You, Oh my baby baby I want you so it scares me to death; I can’t say anymore than “I love you”; Everything else is a waste of breath; I want you.

My tongue tasted like it dragged across the Sahara this morning as I lay in bed and contemplated space and the palm frond waving from the sky. I didn’t want to go last night, it seemed like one more thing on my busy dance card, but I’m glad I went. Every person there had a story plus more stories about the two songs they chose whether sung by Velvet Underground or Billie Holiday – and of course each one brought a bottle of exquisite wine and so I’m glad for having gone.

And I’m tired for having gone.

I’ve depleted my light source.

And so, I gift myself today to reclaim my radiance.


Every yarmulke tells a story

April 12th, 2014

I was pulling out the yarmulkes and Haggadahs for the Seder and felt content. My yarmulkes are all from someone in my family’s big event:

Sandy and David’s Wedding November 13, 1983
Dana Grace’s Bat Mitzvah May 31, 1985
Jaquelyn Michelle’s Bat Mitzvah April 10, 1999
Dana and Mark’s Wedding July 8, 2000
Lexi’s Bat Mitzvah August 28, 2000
Lara and Shane’s Wedding September 1, 2001
Sarah’s Bat Mitzvah July 8, 2006
Matt and Soo’s Wedding May 1, 2011