Archive for March, 2013

I’ve met the Easter bunny and he’s not what you’d expect

Sunday, March 31st, 2013

Easter has never meant anything to me. The only time the thought of Easter intersected my thoughts was when Passover has overlapped and my friends spent the day eating candy that I couldn’t have. Then you have a kid and you are constantly trying to stamp out videos, news, foul language, cigarettes, commercialism, pot, and what not but you can’t ignore Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. You can’t – and it’s almost cruel to do so.

So when a friend invited Tin and I to his lake house on Smith Lake in Alabama, we went, carrying nothing with us but wine and food – who knew that there was so much Easter stuff one needed to celebrate. But no worries, with the presence of a few generous and lovely men to handle the entire fabulous Easter affair – there was not only egg dying, and baskets with grass, chocolate rabbits, chocolate eggs, but there were toys exploding from the Easter bunny himself and before you knew it, Easter had not only arrived, it had overwhelmed.

I now know I have misunderstood the Easter bunny, thinking he was a being who didn’t belong in my life, but who doesn’t love rainbow colored eggs, baskets with fake grass, and chocolate everywhere, much less an excuse for a kid to feel that sense of anticipation and satisfaction.






Resurrection Thoughts

Friday, March 29th, 2013

How appropriate to be having thoughts of resurrection around this time of year. Even though Passover hasn’t ended yet, the matzo is finished in the house and we are taking an Easter break – which means painted eggs and chocolate bunnies. I was ease dropping – a thing that I am want to do – and heard a guy said, “It’s not about how hard you fall, it’s how you get up.” Oh, yes, I thought, eggs-actly.

Don’t tell me where you came from, tell me where you’re going.

Yesterday, we were driving away from Tin’s friends house and he said to me, “I want a house like that.” Asked what he meant, he meant he wanted to live in a big house again. He said he missed the LaLa. I told him that I missed the LaLa too but we couldn’t afford it anymore. He asked how come his friend lived in that house and I said, because his father has a successful business and was able to afford it.


When I was young, I remember living on Louisiana Avenue Parkway, and having this huge room where all six kids slept. We had a bunk bed, a trundle bed, and something else – I can’t remember but I remember there was a hamster too. There was a long hallway and we had a buffer – what’s that you say – it’s a machine to wax the floors and the buffer has two circling clothes that buff the wood till it shines. So weird, you never hear of buffers any more. It was a chore that every one of us hated.

I also remember hugging the space heater in that apartment. Just like Tin is doing in that photo here at the Red House – we had a couple of bone chilling days and both of us were hugging the space heaters.

A friend and I were talking yesterday, she and her husband and two kids have lived in an 850 sf home for a few years and now they are more than doubling their square footage with an addition. She said they were thinking that after the addition is done they would no longer be in those cramped quarters, which is good, but also not good in the sense that they have been in each other’s business for years now, which has been a wonderful thing as a family.

It made me think of Deacon John who showed me a photograph of his tiny shotgun house where he and his 12 siblings were raised – he was born in the kitchen. How is that possible I thought when I was looking at the tiny house, the tiny porch? With love, he said. With love.

Tin and I are a wall apart now, I can almost hear him breathing when he sleeps. This is so different from where he was in the LaLa, which always seemed miles away. I like sleeping near him – it makes me feel he is safe. I never really liked him so far away in the LaLa, too close to the back door, too far from my bed.

Yesterday, we walked right out the door to Fortier Park – two blocks away – the boys said, “Oh it’s so long to walk.” And I laughed. In the park, I found a lime green adirondak chair and sat in the sun while the boys played all around the park – putting sticks in the fountain, “No sticks in the fountain!” – throwing all the plastic chess pieces on the ground, “Pick those up!” – and here and there and everywhere. I was peaceful, sitting in the sun, bare headed, soaking up the rays. They were running and every now and again, I’d have to fire off a warning, but for the most part I could close my eyes or watch the butterflies floating passed my line of sight.


Pink azaleas had taken over one patch of the park, a sculptural birdhouse was beside a bench, a ceramic totem pole grew out of some bushes, a fountain here and a fountain there, a Virgin Mary statue nested in an eave created for her, and there I was, I had risen. Amen.

All Points Bulletin: I Know a Secret!

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

The sun is shining today and how do I know this, because I went to bring the keys to Tatjana’s car back to her apartment after strategically parking her car and I walked all the way home and duh! The keys also had my keys so I had to walk all the way back and get those keys and get in and then go back and leave the keys – criminey!

So the whole time I’m walking back and forth along the bayou, it occurs to me that it is a beautiful day outside and I’m walking, instead of sitting in front of my computer, and this is a good thing, so sometimes, yeah you got it, magic happens. I was forced to be outside on this beautiful day – nanny nanny boo boo – sometimes you just have to hit me over the head with sunbeams for me to figure things out.

And so, thought for the day:


Thoughts by Rachel

Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

I was going to call this post Notes to Self, but Thoughts by Rachel seemed more appropriate. Given the meditation and the aim to filter out thoughts that are slowing me down, and right now the impulse not to take a frying pan and hit my asshole neighbor upside the head who is playing pounding music after the witching hour (Tin’s bedtime), I’ve come to conclusion that there are some things that are a part of living and being human. Thoughts aside.

For example, I don’t think there is a time when you don’t move somewhere and there isn’t one asshole just laying in wait. And so I’m saying to this asshole, you are an asshole, but not an asshole to me. And that’s how I plan to get through this living place. Well actually, I wrote that and then I pounded on the wall – see, I too can be an asshole. It just goes to show you.

Meanwhile, almost as if reading my mind or answering my thoughts, as I’ve been contemplating the new house that I’m building, I have been having these encounters: “It’s a cheap sink that’s why it is all scratched up” “All landlords use cheap toilets that’s why you have to plunge them so often.” See here I was thinking that I was going to build this house a la cheap – but then you hear stuff like this and it makes you go, huh, what is the middle ground here? Just as I was starting to think too much about that I pulled back and said, you know what? I’m paying an architect, shouldn’t he figure it out? Yes, check, off my list.

Next, I began whining in my mind about the need to relax, like I was thinking that why is it that every time I say to myself I’m just going to sit here and do nothing while everyone else scurries around, I feel like an asshole sitting there doing nothing? Yeah, so that makes me think sometimes the best way to get away with doing nothing is to be by yourself – it’s so much easier to be less judgmental when it’s you and a glass of wine and some tarot cards.

I ran into my doctor and he asked how things are going and I told him that I had started to have some hair growth but now I’m not so sure. He said, “It will come when it will come.” Profound, huh? Right, that’s what I thought. I want it to come now and if I was Tin, I’d fall on the concrete and start crying huge enormous tears and not stop until you told me something that would rectify the situation. But instead I’m to remove any thoughts of hair growth, or timing, or what not from my cleared head and just ponder the moment. And yet, it passed. What? The moment. It passed. And there you have it.

There are times in every gal’s life where you feel like donning flannel pjs every day of the week and just calling it a day. And what’s wrong with that? Nothing, she said. Not a damn thing. No judgment.

I Only Cry When It’s Raining

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

I received an anonymous painting in the mail today – the inscription said “I Only Cry When It’s Raining” – so I’d like to adopt that as my motto from here on out. Tears in rain, nothing more, nothing less.

My role in being the recipient of this artwork is to create a piece of art and send it along to someone anonymously.

We are posting our locations and a description of what we received on a map at

It is these moments of beauty that sustain me.


Putting out fire with gasoline

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

I spoke today with a long-time source in media and we reminisced about all the changes that have occurred in this industry since we began speaking nearly two decades ago. He said to me, “We just met about reorganizing the entire agency.” I asked him what they planned to do and this was the kicker, he said they didn’t know, but whatever they are going to do, it is going to be different from what they had done before.

I told him that sounds like my life story and he let out a big belly laugh and said his too. Is it our age, I asked him, and he said he didn’t think so, he thinks we are in the throes of inordinate changes happening in our world, rapid changes, and that anybody who is clinging to the past is going to be in for a rude awakening.

So once again I’m a cliché, it’s not just me who has walked through the whirling blades and sailed over the river Styx in a blow up raft, but a bunch of us are going through this amazing churn and re-identification. Just today, a fellow blogger said, “I’m on the same quest as you.”

I sit here in this dollhouse apartment and know that it would be perfectly fine to stay here. And yet, I want to take all of the resources I have and build another house to live in, to stay in, knowing perfectly well that there is no story that ends like that for me. My story is one of change. Why do I keep chasing the illusive dream of home as some external thing out there waiting to be conquered and subdued and propped up?

Wait now, I am re-inventing myself and leaving behind a lot of old notions, but honestly, I remain attached to one puzzle – a home. And right now I’m forcing myself to think outside four walls and re-imagine what home could be if I were not stuck with an image of what home has been. They won’t let me put an airstream on the lot if I get it, so that’s not the answer – although don’t you think I would be thrilled to have a home that was moveable, removable, mobile. Oh yes, indeed.

Dear Lord, deliver me from convention and help me to be a seer when it comes to my home, so that I don’t find myself putting out fire with gasoline. Deliver me from expectations of others and myself. Deliver me from delusions of roots and stability. Deliver me from the romantic notion that a home can house me.

Thinking of my mother

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

I live now in a small room with my desk (work) on one side and my day bed (rest) on the other side. A large photograph of my mother is over my bed alongside a portrait of Tin. I think about my mother often and how brave and strong she was, and how I really did not understand this until she had passed. Today I remember her beauty and how she created beauty and always, always she was filled with love.

For My Mother
May Sarton

Once more
I summon you
Out of the past
With poignant love,
You who nourished the poet
And the lover.
I see your gray eyes
Looking out to sea
In those Rockport summers,
Keeping a distance
Within the closeness
Which was never intrusive
Opening out
Into the world.

And what I remember
Is how we laughed
Till we cried
Swept into merriment
Especially when times were hard.
And what I remember
Is how you never stopped creating
And how people sent me
Dresses you had designed
With rich embroidery
In brilliant colors
Because they could not bear
To give them away
Or cast them aside.

I summon you now
Not to think of
The ceaseless battle
With pain and ill-health,
The frailty and the anguish.
No, today I remember
The creator,
The lion-hearted.

None but ourselves can free our mind

Monday, March 25th, 2013

Happy Passover y’all. Tin and I had our matzo and talked about when the Jewish people were slaves in Egypt and how they fled and didn’t have time for the bread to rise and so that is why we eat matzo to remember. He’s four and basically now knows that his ancestors and his mother’s ancestors have been slaves at one point in history. I wrote about it in my blog on race and parenting.

I was at Zumba and wanted to play Bob Marley’s Redemption Song, which always just brings me to my knees, but my music was not on my iPhone because the phone had gone kaput earlier in the day. My music is still copying over – this could take all night – so I’ll leave you with this beautiful acoustic version of it and remember to emancipate yourself from mental slavery every chance you get:

Are you feeling trapped?

Monday, March 25th, 2013

I have never considered myself a person who would be or feel trapped in anything. After all I learned from a master, my father, that if you don’t like something, change it – as he did many many times over again. But I spent a good many days, weeks, months and years feeling trapped like rodentia – backed into a corner of my own making. And it took a health crisis for me to face up to the fact that my cage was killing me slowly.

Everyone needs that psychological moment to act on a vision and mine came when I realized that the person who was speaking was not me – even though the words were coming out of my mouth. I was going through the motions, pretending that everything was okay, when it really wasn’t. Not at all.

There are not many people willing to walk from everything and most of the ones who do that are labelled crazy or troubled at best, but I can tell you from my own experience, sometimes you need a revolution to bring about great change. And great change was needed.

I don’t worry anymore. I don’t worry about much at all. I don’t plan too much either. Worry, for me, was waiting for the inevitable to happen and it kept happening – so everything that I kept worrying would happen, would, and then I would worry some more. Planning, for me, was planning for the point in my life when everything would be okay, would be manageable, would quit churning. That day is not coming. Yep, it’s true, it’s not coming.

I received my first check for a workshop I conducted today!
The plumber came to fix the toilet and I didn’t have to pay for it.
My iPhone blitzed out losing all my data and I just shrugged it off.

Do you feel trapped? Trapped by a job that is paying the bills but offering nothing to your mind? [imagine doing work you love] Trapped by a mortgage that has you handcuffed to a boss who is an utter idiot? [imagine being your own boss] Trapped in a relationship where your partner is afraid to own their truth? [imagine your own worth] Trapped by friends who don’t support you? [imagine the type of friend you deserve] Trapped by your own lack of imagination? [try meditation] Trapped by faulty brakes that can’t stop the spin? [repeat: try meditation]

It’s critical to re-evaluate where you are in your life and to take the time to give yourself a lube job, clean out those spark plugs, dust off that battery, and then rev your engines and put the metal to the pedal.

A mental reboot

Sunday, March 24th, 2013

Last night, friends came over and it ended up being one of those late nights where you are just laughing about the whole shebang – my kind of night. This morning I headed to meditation to sit with myself and practice mind erasing. A friend had gone on my recommendation and it was interesting to see zendo from another’s eyes.

The talk afterwards was about why we sit but also about the delusion of habitual thought. You sit and watch neutrally the repetitions – what pulls your chain, what causes fear, what sources anxiety – what you hold as reality is merely perception and observing from a centered place makes the either/ors less dramatic. “He’s being an asshole to me … he is being who he always is … you perceive him as an asshole … but he’s being him.” This is one example of the habit of the mind to categorize people and places into what we perceive them to be and then repeat and repeat and repeat.

Meditation has been my gateway into connecting with something greater than myself. It’s helped me to realize that the mind is a computer capable of great storage, memory and RAM and we have the power to delete, reformat, and realign and often times it takes adversity to make us aware that our system has been infected and needs a reboot.

Your problem is how you are going to spend this one odd and precious life you have been issued. Whether you’re going to spend it trying to look good and creating the illusion that you have power over people and circumstances, or whether you are going to taste it, enjoy it and find out the truth about who you are.
~ Anne Lamott