Archive for February, 2012

The new bayou

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

A neighbor wrote me an email saying it was good to see us sitting on the porch again – he didn’t realize how much he had missed that. I felt the same – come outside and there is the world – friends stopping by, the light reflecting in the water, and Tin growing bigger in my lap.

Maple Street Bookstore opened up a store on Ponce de Leon – sort of crazy if you think that about ten years ago the world was headed in another direction – BIGGER IS BETTER the world was telling us, and now smaller is better is the new normal.

Small is good.

So much for old man winter

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

I think old man winter got laid off just like the rest of us, or as I like to use the euphemism – fired. Nobody laid off is getting their job back. So who fired winter? It’s 80 degrees, the hollyhocks are blooming and the basil is bolting. The lettuce has gone to seed having just arrived.

It’s a crazy world out there. I was just listening how Leap Year came about because there are actually 365 1/4 days in the year and if we didn’t have leap year, we would have winter in July. Well, um, what is this? This is July in Winter.

Oh well when you get blooms in March, there is only one thing to do and that is enjoy!

No time is wasted

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

The other day as I was trying to get Tin up and ready and fed and out the door and it was taking an impossibly long time and I had so many other things to do, accomplish, etc. I just took a deep breath and said, “Self, this is what you are doing now. You have a toddler and he moves slowly discovering the world through his own lens and so either you don’t want to be here or you have to accept that this is where you are.” And my self was glad that I had that little pep talk.

Last night, when Tin said he wanted pasta and of course, he pulled the penne pasta out of the pantry and wanted pesto, I told him no because we were making a big bowl of pesto for his birthday party. So instead he pulled the stool up and watched me make pasta primavera. He was so thrilled out of his mind to see the “butterfly” pasta (read: farfalle) that he kept laughing and laughing about butterfly pasta – and he ate all of his primavera pasta except for the sun dried tomato bits.

The thing is that we were there – cooking together and he told me, “Mommy, when I get bigger I’m going to cook for you.”

Awesome, I told him.

Today, I went to yoga and it was good to finally get back to my body which has been UBER neglected over the last four months from varying illnesses to travel to whatnot – yesterday, it was I think I am having a heart attack – but it could have been avocado for breakfast – don’t laugh, it was serious. Well it felt like a heart attack and I was out walking the dogs and talking to my neighbor who was dealing with her own tragedy so I didn’t want to throw up a red flag, instead I sat on her stoop and said I was feeling peaked.

The yoga message today was there is no time wasted which was good to hear because I was almost convinced they would talk about sex given the scandal that John Friend who started Anusara yoga is in.

And in just saying that to myself that my time is not going to waste and this is what I am doing now and so be present, I actually managed to accomplish a lot today without spazzing out and feeling unproductive. I ate my split pea soup that I had made and frozen a while back. Yesterday we ate the vegan broccoli zucchini soup from my friend’s recipe – so good – yum.

It was close 80 degrees today – it’s March – don’t even ask.

If you can think it

Sunday, February 26th, 2012

Visualization is a great tool for guiding yourself along the path of the unknown, but it also works against you – a friend was visualizing a breakup recently and I said if you can see it, you can make it happen so is that what you want?

I think sometimes the visualization happens way before we realize it is happening. I remember when my father was at his most explosive to everyone in the family I wondered what would happen if he just dropped dead. And he did. In the biggest fight of my last marriage I feared that my husband’s lack of desire to have a child would manifest itself into my story, yet he might go on one day to happily have kids with someone else. And he did. He, meanwhile, visualized that I might turn bitter. And (unconsciously) I did. At the same time, for years, I wanted to move back home to New Orleans and get back to my own writing. And I did. But also, I believed my mother’s excess would lead her to a serious illness that I could do nothing about. And it did.

What’s interesting about Plan B is that I am consciously avoiding picturing anything about my future and things are happening left and right that are loosely formed around the “life” I want to live but none of it is bound to a predicated vision or framework. This is a much better way to live.

Today in the NYT there was a great article about how a framework colors your creativity and certainly narrows your choices.

Here’s to living large or larger than your own imagining.

What our little boy is made of

Sunday, February 26th, 2012

Snips and snails and puppy dog tails, that is what little boys are made of. I know this only too well after living and breathing boy for almost three years now. It was driven home when I heard my friend whose child is the same age is having a princess party while Tin’s birthday next week will be a music party.

What is our little boy made of – jokes he loves to tell, friends he loves to hang out with, music he loves to sing and dance to, and instruments he loves to cobble together in the most inventive ways – two drum sticks down a trumpet produce a? you got it – trombone. A fork is a? you got it – trombone. His shadow on the wall best displays his? you got it – trombone.

His love of music and desire for a? you got it – trombone is why he is getting a pocket trumpet for his birthday (frombones are impossible to play for little boys) and why his birthday will be a music fest. Who is this little boy that can press the right number on the elevator, whose verbal acumen is tremendous before his third birthday – who was telling me about the “circumstances that led to an incident” this morning, and who runs fast, jumps high, and climbs anything in sight? – he wrote the book on these activities.

But his theme song for true is I got the music in me, I got the music in me.

Remember when…

Sunday, February 26th, 2012

Since Tin has taken to want to know about when he was a baby because of his age and because suddenly babies are springing up everywhere, we start a lot of sentences with Remember when … and now so does he. This morning I was in mind of Joseph Campbell’s great quote that we have to be ready to give up the life we had planned for the one that awaits us and nothing is more disruptive than babies arriving – at the drop of a hat.

My year has been colored by these disruptions from the start with baby Leo who came almost a week early to yesterday’s crazy day with the surprise arrival of baby who decided to come ten days early.

And it just goes to show you that when you open up your life to the universe and let it arrange your schedule, the miracle of life happens!

The world will amuse you

Saturday, February 25th, 2012

Settle down and let the world amuse you with its many delights – that was on the tail end of my horoscope today and well, there it is. Last Monday, I went to park my car in the Marigny so that we would have get away wheels after Mardi Gras and on the way home, a car pulled up and asked for directions – I didn’t realize as I was half in the car telling this man where to go that he was naked from the waist down and masturbating. I just thought to myself – Really? – and then whatyagonnado?

Today, I got up and took Tin to a playmate at his friend’s house whose mother is pregnant, I went with another mother and her son as well. We three women (the pregnant one including) were going to have lunch and a little shopping as she was about to have her baby, and her husband was watching the three boys. As we started shopping so started her contractions, by the time we got midway through lunch, it was real, and so we hauled butt to the house and her husband got her in the car and me and my other friend stayed with the three boys – she never made it to the hospital, instead she had the baby on Carrollton Avenue.

So while we watched the boys, the pregnant one’s son who never naps, fell asleep and slept two hours, the other boy then went to sleep, and mine decided to poo his pants. Then eat rat poison. In that order.

I called the father who had delivered the baby and who is also a doctor and he said that it was a mosquito larva poison and wasn’t dangerous but might give him diarrhea – check, already did that I thought.

Then by the end of the day, we all loaded in the truck and went to the hospital to visit mom, dad and baby.

Ten hours of nonstop amusement. Ain’t we got fun?

Poem for Friday

Friday, February 24th, 2012

“In a land there’s a town
And in that town there’s
A house
And in that house
There’s a woman
And in that woman
There’s a heart I love
I’m gonna take it
With me when I go”
~Tom Waits from When I Go

No definitions, no explanations

Friday, February 24th, 2012

I met up with a good friend today who has just gone through having cancer and we talked about our lives and where we are at right now. She said she remembers a quote from Lance Armstrong’s book where he said fighting cancer was easy, living with it is hard.

I was telling her that the hardest battle I faced was coming to terms with radically changing my life because I was clinging so hard to the past to what was supposed to have been – married, bearing children, a house with two cars in the driveway and a retirement plan – that I couldn’t see the life that was waiting for me – unconditional love, a gifted child, looking forward to and creating work, travel.

It takes a lot to break out of the chains that bind you and there is a great Tarot card – the VIII of Swords – that depicts a woman bound with swords sticking in the ground all around her. The interpretation is:

At best, the VIII of Swords will indicate a period where nothing goes quite the way you want it to. At worst it will indicate an obstructive and difficult period where serious damage can be done to our material environment, our emotional balance and our overall sense of well-being.

Breaking free to the other side involves a will that you have obviously lost along the way, and summoning it again takes some creativity, because you will not be able to go back down the same path that brought you there the first time.

I told my friend that it’s interesting that I have been with atheist partners all my life and despite having been raised pretty religious and Jewish, I have not felt a connection to my religion in my adult life that was meaningful, but that my spiritual life has come alive with such alacrity that at first I was making excuses for how I was feeling and thinking (feeling that I needed to be forgiven or I needed to define it), but I find lately that I don’t give a rat’s ass how people perceive the mystery in me, I have no need to define or explain it.

That my dear is evolution.

What will be, will be

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

I’m not going to sit here and split hairs about how hard it is to have a cold, make and costume for Mardi Gras, do your work, watch your child who is out of school, as well as accommodate guests into your newly arrived at B&B profession, but I can tell you this, somewhere when I was on my knees cleaning the baseboards that I suddenly noticed had dog hair on them, I just kept saying to myself, “Never be the victim in your own story.”

And that is how today I’ve coped with the onslaught of discordance and derailment (no yoga, no dog walk), and just let the mystery be.