Wednesday, April 30, 2008

god is some crazy magic

try to stay out of her way...

so today i went to my the-rapist. it was pretty disjointed, rambling (who? me?)...not really well laid out. but near the end of the session, i was telling her how i always feel so responsible for things...yes, i know taking responsibility for someone else's actions is co-dependence...she taught me that last week. but even myself...if my head hurts, i wonder what i'm doing wrong that my head hurts. (small example, but exactly what i mean, so i'm sticking with it.) i told her that my mantra yesterday was "it is not all my is ok....things are what they are....i am not responsible for all of it..." and it seemed to help some. well, at times it made me giddy, but this is not my point right now. the-rapist said that i had to accept that life flows, like a river, and that moving a stone could change its course and that i might need to wait to adjust to the changes. (uh, kind of like river walking? see previous's not an exact match, but similar enough...)

it was weird...but in a good god magic kind of way. and somehow that reaffirmed for me that i am not, ultimately, in charge. the-rapist did say she was impressed with how i'd trained myself to search myself for reasons and sources for bad, exercise, thought patterns, etc...and i guess that is a good thing. but i was trying so hard to find the source of my unhappiness and change it, control it, that i was just getting tighter and tighter and making things worse and worse for myself.

surrender...that's what i need to work on again. always the circles...always the cycling through lessons...never the happy hearts and flowers and perfection end...impatient am i (yes, i am channeling yoda right now...)


Tuesday, April 29, 2008

river walking

lately, thinking has begun to feel like when you walk into sunlight upon leaving a movie theatre. (we have this sensitivity in my family where as soon as the light hits our eyes and shrinks our pupils, we sneeze.) anyway, conscious thought has begun to feel that way...i even feel my eyes squinting with the effort.

it reminds me of trying to cross a river. there are rocks, sometimes they shift, there's the current to keep in mind, whatever you have on your feet, if anything... sometimes someone wants to talk you across, maybe even touch you to help you. but depending on where you're at, if you're ready to accept trust, if you trust the person trying to help you, if there are other people watching the whole thing...not to mention whatever you might be thinking or working on at the moment you're all affects how effective it all turns out....whether you make it across--on your own steam or as a team--or whether you end up totally drenched, on your ass, or maybe even a few feet down from where you started.

i think this was my brain's kind way of looking at the shifts i've been dealing with. i'm an aquarian and water is definitely my element, and out of all of the images that have graced my mind lately, this one seemed the most natural and the most fitting. it strikes me that the situations are as interchangeable as the players and their, friends, marriage, my own self alone...walking, coaching, needing, trusting, fiercely independent, fiercely dependent...there is no one part that is all mine. i play all the roles and i learn from them all, too, even when i am frustrated or scared. and this is something it took me years to accept. but now that i've started accepting, i have to begin the task of taking responsibility for the different roles i play and how they influence my journey and the world around me. and maybe that's why it's been such a conscious time for me...almost painfully conscious.

(or maybe it's my sinuses...or because i keep forgetting my vitamins...or because i'm not regularly working out...or maybe it's just bad character...laziness...bad energy...who knows...) :)

so, in keeping with the theme of the post, and due to the fact that i really just needed to hear this song again...(and as always, i get to be sarah on this my dreams anyway...although jewel is not a bad one to be either...and have i mentioned my crush on amy ray?...don't tell emily...)

Monday, April 28, 2008

a little peek through my eyes lately

i told you spring was green this year...

and here are the roses in my backyard... (i never really liked roses before...i always thought they were kind of sissy, but not anymore...these guys are pretty tough)

and here's my new wall...take down some vertical blinds, add some curtains, paint the wall "purple earth" (i did not make that color up, i swear...) and here's what you get....
and here's the other window on that looks through the rabbit room into the backyard.

okay...that's all...peace out

still trucking

left foot, right foot, breathing...yeah, that's me.

i painted my purple wall, put up my green curtains...i really like it. now if i could just finish the rest of the painting because there are moments i feel very, very done...

now i am going to run some errands and make some doctor appts. docs are not my favorite thing. odd, i know, since i am married to one. but he wasn't a doc when i married him. he waited til i was good and in love, and just plain comfortable with him around, before he sprung the doc thing on me... oh well...

music is good. incense is good. playing the game of life is boring, but the kids make it funny, so it gets to be good, too. and so is reading "the water horse."

i have this big post about peace and war and judgment and protecting innocence and life and whatnot brewing, but it's too complicated to get out. so i'm just still trucking...


Thursday, April 24, 2008

calling it even

some days you feel like you move forward a great deal...gain some ground, understanding, perspective....grow.

other days you feel like you fall back a little...regress, forget a little, let go and lose trust, fall down the mountain you're hiking up and know you've got to cover the same ground again...crumble.

but then there are those that you just get through...nothing up, nothing down...nothing plus, nothing bad, no good....just dishes and laundry, a few meals, maybe a piano lesson or something, but not much


ps--i must mention this little "perk" of today...i just pushed the spell check button, and for the first time ever, i saw the words "no misspellings present"...i had no idea it said that. cool...

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

good fences make good neighbors

Mending Wall
by Robert Frost

Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,
And spills the upper boulders in the sun,
And makes gaps even two can pass abreast.
The work of hunters is another thing:
I have come after them and made repair
Where they have left not one stone on a stone,
But they would have the rabbit out of hiding,
To please the yelping dogs. The gaps I mean,
No one has seen them made or heard them made,
But at spring mending-time we find them there.
I let my neighbor know beyond the hill;
And on a day we meet to walk the line
And set the wall between us once again.
We keep the wall between us as we go.
To each the boulders that have fallen to each.
And some are loaves and some so nearly balls
We have to use a spell to make them balance:
'Stay where you are until our backs are turned!'
We wear our fingers rough with handling them.
Oh, just another kind of out-door game,
One on a side. It comes to little more:
There where it is we do not need the wall:
He is all pine and I am apple orchard.
My apple trees will never get across
And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him.
He only says, 'Good fences make good neighbors'.
Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder
If I could put a notion in his head:
'Why do they make good neighbors? Isn't it
Where there are cows? But here there are no cows.
Before I built a wall I'd ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offence.
Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
That wants it down.' I could say 'Elves' to him,
But it's not elves exactly, and I'd rather
He said it for himself. I see him there
Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top
In each hand, like an old-stone savage armed.
He moves in darkness as it seems to me~
Not of woods only and the shade of trees.
He will not go behind his father's saying,
And he likes having thought of it so well
He says again, "Good fences make good neighbors."

i remember reading this in college. i think i was twenty-five in an english class of some sort. i remember thinking i was that something there is that doesn't love a wall. now i am not so sure.

i've learned a lot about setting boundaries. i learned it my usual way...someone talked to me about it and then i did it. there are so many things i talk about, but it is truly the doing it that makes it learning and not just thinking for me. so i actually practiced setting boundaries this week and it's been different. i've felt it. it's a good different....i'm pretty sure. but i can see where, in familiar relationships, it will take this walking the fence line to repair where the boundary has become weak...a mutual effort. even though i am sure one of us will feel mischievious and like it's not really necessary. i just hope one of us remembers to go ahead and do it anyway. the fences don't always have to be high, you know? but a little something to define the boundary is probably a good thing.

well, at least this is where i am right now...


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

happy earth day!

here's one of my favorite earthy songs from the indigo girls. the first three lines are truly my favorite part, but the whole song is quite good. i like this video because it's very earthy, too. (i think the video considered getting political, but then abandoned that for the beautiful images that really belonged in it.) so have a lovely day celebrating this planet we call home...


Monday, April 21, 2008

i am tired

and i have issues.

this is something i've been saying for a very long time. so long, that it's allowed my spouse to think i am the only one with issues. he's a smart man. i don't think he ever set out to believe it was just me who created and maintained the problems we have...well, and was responsible for fixing them, too, i should add. and today, when we talked about it...(after a good learning session from my the-rapist)...i don't think it was a good feeling for either of us as certain things began to dawn on him. as we both took a moment of clarity (or the least angry moment) to sift through things, speak plainly, and see what's really going on here. and i have a huge responsibility to make some changes to stop the cycle...but he has huge responsibilities, too. i do think he might be a little behind the learning curve on this, but that's from the perspective of one who's always taken on too much responsibility. maybe he'll be the rookie that comes out batting one thousand. at least we're still on the same team...

i really thought i'd had a rough week. i really thought it was just a shitty weekend. i really see we sometimes have to be worn down to get to the most elemental parts of us to start real change. the grinding down i was talking about in another post. i can deal with this...i really can. my face hurts from crying a lot and i am weary, but i am dealing. wonder who i'll be tomorrow? obviously still me, but me a little different, i think. i am optimistic...cautiously optimistic.


Sunday, April 20, 2008

the calm before the storm?

or maybe it's just the normal weather of life?

it's been a very long, very emotional, very good/bad/wonderful/disappointing/devastating/
exciting/feel-good/feel-awful/scary/centering/mind-clearing/mindfucking kind of weekend.

i don't even want to recall it. i'm just glad it's almost over. perhaps the regular routine of life will ease some of this...perhaps not. i don't know.

left foot, right foot, breathe... (and a little help me, too)


ps--here's this indigo girls song that's been in my head for awhile. it makes me cry every time i hear it. i'm not exactly sure what the song's about or why it makes me cry, but in this you tube video, someone set some snippets of obi wan kenobi to the song, which definitely added a different dimension to it...i think. i don't think it makes me cry because of obi wan, though...i'm pretty sure about that.

and one last video. someone special to me took this video and posted it for someone special to them, but they sent me a link so that i could see it, too. (because i'm a you tube-aholic, i think) anyway, i won't tell you who she is, but i can promise you she has no icky bowel functions that i am aware of... (i swear...) the band playing is called rasputina and yes, they're playing cellos. watch the whole thing...they do a "classic" song at the end.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

ask and ye shall receive

and be grateful for the gift...

i really thought i was out of rope last night. i put the kids to bed and cried for about half an hour. it all just money, discussions, commitments, frustrations, exhaustion...i was swimming in it.

and then today was so very different. i woke up and cooked to take food to a mama in need. made two batches of banana bread, some homemade biscuits, chicken soup, and cut up a watermelon. while doing that, i emailed a few times with a very discontent mama in the cooperative learning endeavour we're undertaking. i worked very hard to not get pulled into her arguments as they shot off in different directions, but to stay focused on the true issue and mostly, the main goal of the children. i was very tempted to be sent off chasing after her arguments, no matter how irrelevant or scattered they were because i do feel an amount of ownership over this endeavour and want everyone to be happy participating in it, but i had to be real (with a little help from three or four of my closest people) and ask her to take responsibility for her happiness. it was hard, but it was good. then i took the kids to piano. then we took the food to the mama in need. she just found out her son is ill. she's been through the arguing with docs to find the diagnosis and evaluate the illness's progress part. now she's at the accepting and getting on with life part. she looks very sad. i think more than the food, she just needed our company. i'll have to go see her again...maybe this time i'll just bake a cake. something a little simpler...

soccer practice went well. the coach is still, well, grumpy a little. but the funny thing is that since he said all this stuff to the kids, you can tell they're going to hold him to it. "it's about having fun." "as long as we play our best, we can't be angry at ourselves or each other." "it's not about winning...." i think it'll be interesting. and i really enjoyed talking to one of the mamas on the soccer team. i recommended blogging to her when she said she wanted to start writing more but didn't know how to begin. we talked about books--the dance of the dissident daughter, marcus borg--she's working on her hospital chaplain residency. she loves spirituality, is not so turned on by religion, and likes harry potter...even sees the christian elements in it. she taught a bible study on harry potter at vacation bible school....that takes balls in the bible belt! i think i'm going to have to hang with this mama some...

so today was so very different. i asked for help last night, and it was like a shower all across the board. and don't think i didn't notice...because i sure did....all the way down to my gently curling toes. so all that's left is...

thank you, thank you, thank you

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

help me, help me, help me

that is my prayer today.

i have a mean headache. i think it's a stress headache. which is the first non-sinus headache i've had since i moved here.

i am supposed to cook dinner to take to a woman who's been having a rough couple of months. i hated telling my kids it was so they could eat well and be healthy while i served them mac and cheese from a box...

there is a woman who was trying to be helpful in this cooperative arrangement we're working on with a group of mamas. but she wasn't helpful. or maybe she was and we just totally missed it. whichever, i just sent her an email telling her we'd let her know when we were ready for her to sign up, but for now, she can just wait. this stresses me out quite a lot. even though i know it is okay...and probably more than okay, it's probably what NEEDED to be done. it is just not always hearts and flowers to do the right thing. and where the hell does she get off?....

my spouse is wiped out. tired, worn, grouchy, negative, pissy, big old bags under the eyes. and i can take all of that alright. but when he gets to the point that he's weepy, then i start to lose it a little, too. and that's how he was today. telling me he misses us. and i go to be sarcastic and notice the tears and, well, i'm such a jerk. i still made a little joke but then i hugged him. i bought him the new norah jones today. (with a gift certificate! woo-hoo!) we'll see if that helps.

i am just tired of our lives being so stressful. i am ready for the ride to even out. and i know i just have to wait and it will even out and things will be fine...or closer to fine anyway. (score on indigo girls song titles...)

i think i just need to go to bed...i'm feeling a bit weepy myself.

Monday, April 14, 2008

i was singing and humming today

busy day, busy day... i've really been missing hanging out with my spouse. but we did hang together a little today...working in the garden. actually, he's trying to kick a cold, which is difficult when you have to sleep and work opposite your normal rhythms, so he was getting kind of pissy with a wheelbarrow, but it was good to at least get some stuff done together. i really do miss him. and sometimes it makes me a pissy, asshole kind of person. and sometimes it makes me goo-goo sloppy. as usual, i don't seem to have too wide a middle ground...i am joking here...i do have a wide middle ground...i really do.

so this is the song i sang all day in the garden. i think it was driving the others a little nuts, but that's alright with me. (small, familial, loving "fuck 'em" you know?) i did refrain from singing it while the mister was cussing at the just didn't seem the right time. but once the tantrum, i mean difficult time was over, i resumed humming and then went all out singing again...

i cannot capture how frustrating it is that my computer will not let me view my videos these days. i think my computer is in its own sort of dying throes. i need to get the laptop fixed so that i can use that while i get this one fixed. sigh...i remember just last year when i never planned my activities according to the least way to restrict my access to my blog. oh well...


Sunday, April 13, 2008

got one more in me

i don't know if it's being a young mother...well, by that i mean being young when i became a mother. i don't feel i am such a young mother anymore...

but i don't know if it is that so much of my early adulthood was spent pregnant, in labor, stoned on oxytocin...i just don't know...but my hormones in my pms, my mood swings, my head crap...the way i most commonly think of it is like labor pains...lean over the counter top and breathe...just'll pass. and it usually does.

i am listening to my children organize all the quarters in the house into two different collections of the two sets of quarters that've been released since 1999. it's an organizational skill...observational skill...and it's also an exercise in faith for them because they often feel they're being taken advantage of by the other. (these are my two middle children...ten and eight years old right now) i hear what sounds like comfort and that brings me comfort.

but i had just worked through one of those anxious/emotional/i-am-not-fucking-well-enough-to-do-this labor pains i was talking about. i think i am just tired. this has been a long month of nights for my spouse. oh, wait, it's the thirteenth. well, at least we're halfway through. (anyone catching that silver lining search there?) this has been a hard soccer month, a hard co-op month, a hard month for friends abroad, a month of growing pains.

oh, and we've been letting the rabbits play in the backyard. i have two rabbits who now co-habitate. two males...fizgig, a white fuzzy mini-lop and willow, a grey jersey woolie. they are very cute, my two fluffers. and the rexes got bigger cages, which makes everyone happy. everyone got free roam in the backyard yesterday, which made EVERYONE happy. (really, we loved watching them)

so my anxiety and difficulty in energy surges (because i'm sure it's not all hormones) has as much to do with happy and relief bringing things as it does sad or frustrating or even scary things.

why am i still on my ass and not on the treadmill?

(i am almost fed up with myself here...i am not listening to my words...)

maybe tomorrow i'll take the kids on a walk.

oh crap, and i see my the-rapist tomorrow. like when you're having the maid come and you want to clean up just a little so you don't look like a complete slob, i usually like to have my shit just a little put together when i go see my the-rapist. oh well...shit

peace out

working on health

or at least thinking about working on it....

this song's been going through my head for a couple of weeks now...i've wanted to post it but didn't want to seem too dramatic...but give me enough drama in a weekend, and well, i just quit worrying about seeming dramatic, i guess.

highlights of my weekend...

my son's soccer coach lost his mind just a little bit. i don't really think he lost his mind, but i do think he got angry and then took that anger out on the kids. and as much as i appreciate what he does and want him to feel supported and respected, well, to quote padme, he's going somewhere i cannot follow. (or maybe that was samwise? i can't remember anymore)

my oldest son shaved his upper lip. it was quite, quite fuzzy. and the fuzz was dark. and it was time to remove the hair, which required a razor and so he did that this weekend. and he looks better for it, but i still feel so incredibly weird that my thirteen year old shaved. it is almost too much to accept for me.

and while i'm talking about my oldest son...can i just mention his muscles? his broad chest? his dark eyes that are also beautiful, beautiful smiling eyes. and this long, dark hair he usually has...that looks dirty, scraggly...he just let his dad cut it and now it's to his ears, and you can see his neck, and he's so damned cute. and is it weird to know that if i was thirteen, he'd make my heart beat faster? because i just can't get a grip on how quickly this growing up thing happened and i'm really ashamed and pissed off about how old it makes me feel because if he's this old, then shit, how old is his mother? and that's me and i don't want to feel that way...i want to look at him like my friend, not like some litmus paper/measuring stick/clock ticking of my life, too. dear god, please, help me to gain some perspective...or pick up a hobby...or something.

ok, i just needed to let a little of that out.

so mostly, i've just been mindfucking the soccer coach to handle to find a cooperative the most needs....bla bla bla my spouse and i are not always natural teammates and that became an issue for a little while. but then i just said "fuck it" and well, it made the mindfucking go away, but i'm sure my blood pressure would appreciate a good hour on the treadmill.

and that's why i'm talking about working on my health tonight.

peace out

Thursday, April 10, 2008

practice makes better, right?

yeah, i'm throwing "perfect" out of my vocab...

so, since i began organizing a homeschooling co-op in my area, i have had lots and lots and LOTS of opportunities to practice handling my anger in a productive, level-headed, present and aware kind of way. now...i said practice. not the kind where i do my ideal over and over. more like when my kids practice their musical pieces and after hearing them stop, start, make a mistake, hit the wrong note, back up a few notes, proceed a few more, make another mistake, stop, back up a couple...well, maybe you can hear some faint idea of what they might be trying to play...kind of embarrassing when they announce it was "hot cross buns" or something like that...but that is what i've kind of been looking like this week. only no one watching me has any idea how long i've been playing this instrument, so that helps...sort of.

today my church turned us down on hosting our co-op. (we still need a location) i really can't call it "my" church, because while it is the church i attend on sundays, it is not the church in which i am registered as a member. (something i mentioned at today's meeting and my spouse later told me i should not have and learn) my spouse was really pretty upset that we were turned down. but i was not so much. i think i am getting quite used to not getting my way and learning to wait for the opportunity that is coming that will blow everything wide open. i suppose it's a bit of faith.

speaking of which... now that i've finished his dark materials, i'm back to reading simplicity by richard rohr. here are the passages i really enjoyed last night and need a place to record them for posterity.

The act of our faith consists in donating and giving away what we don't yet have--that's what makes it faith. This is hard for us to understand: how can I give away something that I don't even have? Nevertheless I go out and heal others, even though I myself am not yet healed. I heal them through my brokenness, not through my power! A church community that doesn't include an outwardly directed service for others, a service extending beyond itself, is simply not a Church, it's not Christ. It's psychology or false transcendence. That doesn't mean that psychology is a bad thing; it just isn't the same thing.

I believe that what we all need is wisdom. I'm very disappointed that we in the Church have passed on so little wisdom. Often the only thing we've taught people is to think that they're right--or that they're wrong. We've either mandated things or forbidden them. But we haven't helped people to enter upon the narrow and dangerous path of true wisdom. On this path we take the risk of making mistakes. On this path we take the risk of being wrong. That's how wisdom is gained. On the spiritual path the enemy isn't pain; it's fear of pain. We haven't become wise because we're so afraid of pain.

We'll never conquer evil if we launch a frontal assault. If we do that we may incorporate into ourselves the energy and the weapons of evil. We can end up turning into what we hate. That's why Jesus told us we have to love our enemies, otherwise we become just like them. Hitler is thought to have said that the wonderful thing about Nazism was that all those who directly attacked it became fascists themselves in the process.

The third poverty the Bible speaks of is the poverty of a simple and humble life. It is the challenge of living simply, of placing our hope and our trust in god and in other people instead of in material things. Because we never learned to take that seriously, in either the Catholic or the Protestant tradition, we have fallen prey to the totalitarian systems of this century that always force us to do what Jesus asks us to do freely. Communism tries to enforce equality, Nazism tries to enforce security and solidarity within a group, fundamentalist religion tries to shame and psychologically coerce people into an "only way." The biblical God seems to just call us to simplicity and patience, which keeps us outside of every totalitarian big system or overarching explanation. It looks as if God always takes the risk of freedom: God too demands, but then God simply waits. God waits as long as necessary until we can love of our own free will. God is not only modest, God is also very patient. The political systems of this world have no patience.

that last paragraph really got me. my father was one hell of a drunk when i was younger. my stepmother left him when i was sixteen years old. they were separated for ten years before they remarried each other. i think about five years into that separation, my grandmother finally got in my father's face one afternoon as he was little german grandmother, who could be meaner than hell and induce a guilt trip in under three seconds, but who hardly ever said really ugly things about anyone...and told my father he was nothing but a fucking drunk. and the fact that he shared that story with me later tells me how much it shook him. he still drank for a long time. he was forty-three and in jail on his second or third dui when it occurred to him that drinking wasn't getting him where he wanted to be. i always hold that in my hand...for those times when i wonder if my sons will ever learn to (fill in the blank)...that my dad was forty-three. but he did finally get it. i don't know why that buoys me, but it does, and that is enough for me to hold on....and try to cultivate a little more patience.


Wednesday, April 9, 2008


i was struck this afternoon by how brightly spring has sprung. it's been getting greener for awhile...but today, everything was so bright green, it was kind of breathtaking. one of the things that made it so, so green was that the sky was so grey and overcast. kind of funny to me, for some reason. like when my eyes are so bright green after i cry...

i don't know the exact significance of the green...but it meant something to me. i felt it inside.

i finished the his dark materials trilogy today. it was so beautiful. i think on top of all the different things that have been going on the past week or so, reading that trilogy made them that much more exhausting and that much more poignant. i'm really glad i read it.


Tuesday, April 8, 2008


i am struck by the thought that i try so hard to make the "right" choice when, in fact, there are so many choices to be made.... i also laugh at myself when i hear myself say "but i had no choice"...i laugh on the inside, of course, but it is really a rather ridiculous statement. there are always choices. i do need to keep on practicing stillness, so that when i don't think i have a choice, i can see that i always do. because only when i act freely am i able to take complete responsibility for what i do. if i didn't have a choice, how responsible could i be? but if i chose something, then i am responsible, right?

there are more places i want to go with this, but i'm feeling kind of vulnerable these days. which is fine...i will still survive. (chuckle) but i have a lot to do and don't have the time to wrestle with myself about what to put out here right is my choice and i'm making it sorta carefully this morning.

but i will put in here that my car was having issues last week. after much driving around and having a little work done here and the bulk of the work done there, i got it back and four of the air conditioning vents didn't work. which was ok, but it occurred to me that they worked before i took the car in and perhaps the work the dealership did on the car caused the vents to stop working. i called and asked even though two men in my life said that the dealership would never take responsibility for the vents not working and would charge me to fix them. (well, the vents weren't necessary, so i wasn't going to pay, but i digress) i took the car in, they immediately took it back, and in less than ten minutes, they brought it back to me and said they'd reconnected the vacuum hose they'd dislodged when they were replacing my ignition coil. they even thanked me for bringing it in to let them fix. that was a lot of choices...choices for the men at the dealership, choices for the men in my life, and of course, my own choices. it has put quite the bounce in my step today.


Monday, April 7, 2008


i am not "good" at being angry...whatever that means. i am not comfortable with it, so i am constantly uncomfortable with anger. unless i am able to be humorous about it, in which case it becomes mildly uncomfortable.

i have been really, really angry this past week.

when i center myself, bring myself back home and not working problems miles and miles away, it usually causes at least a small part of me to relax. and when that small part relaxes, a larger part of me usually follows...kind of a "oh, hey, that's what we're supposed to be doing" in the cells. once i feel some part of me do what i need to be doing, the rest of me is usually eager to follow. but that was not the case this week. that small part might relax a bit, but some part of me screams, "no! i'm not going can't make me" and i am left absolutely perplexed but sure that it is through some terrible fault of my own character that i am suddenly unwilling to work with myself or cooperate with myself, which also makes me feel a bit crazy.

until i figured out, through many tears and much muddling about, that i am angry. and that i was not finished being angry.

what the hell am i so angry about? there are lots of things. i think the main issue centers on a friend of mine in a foreign country having a really hard time and all the things i think should've happened to help support her through a really difficult trip. and i have raged to that friend on the phone...(is cell phone service amazing or what?) i have cussed and cried and demanded and pleaded and curled my fists... but no matter what i do, it's not going to affect a damned thing. which is fine. i mean, yes, that is a huge source of my frustration, but not my anger. there are other issues pushing the anger button besides the helplessness of it all. i can't fix it. i can't fix it. i can't fix it... (three times, right lana?) i will still be her friend...i love her. and i will not dwell on failing her, because i can't fix it...if i could, i would. i know that. she knows that. i will not dwell and i will be her friend, probably a better friend for the not dwelling.

i am also angry because my sister was and i'm sure still is (although with all the crying and yelling i've done to her lately on the phone, she really hasn't mentioned it lately) hurting. i can't fix that either. but i do love her, too. (even though she'll probably roll her eyes when she reads this as well as want to kick my ass for even thinking i could fix it...)

there are many things that've gone on in the past week that i couldn't fix. i don't know where i got the big idea i could fix so much stuff to feel so disappointed that i couldn't...

but i'm not talking about disappointment...i'm talking about anger. mostly, i'm just angry because there are so many things i can't control. and since i convinced myself somewhere in my head that i did have control over these things, it's painful to tantrum over the realization that i'm not in control. i really was parenting the two year old inside of me...i held her...i told her it was okay to be pissed off and she really, really cried. but then it was a healing weekend. and i feel a little calmer. a little more relaxed.

last night, the realization hit me that i could get angry, or make mistakes, or act and not be able to control how people perceive my actions and get hurt, or worse yet, hurt someone else, and that i would still survive. it was a huge shift to realize that.

i will still survive.
i will still survive.
i will still survive.

imperfect, i will survive. (i have to admit that when i usually talk about imperfections in myself, i'm hoping for only slight ones...but it is occurring to me that i will continue to survive even with the huge, blaring, gaping imperfections that are me...and that is ok...) i will survive and learn to accept those things in myself and that will make it easier to accept them in others. because i am always trying to give that to others without giving it to myself, too, and i think that is another source of a lot of my frustration. because my ideals are not matching up in how i treat others and how i talk to myself. but i will keep working on it.

so my friend is coming home without her son. she will do some recovering, healing, some re-evaluating. maybe she'll go back, maybe she won't. i'm not in control of that, and i'm not altogether convinced she is either. although i know she is in control of certain aspects of that decision, she is not the sole-controller. (that makes me think of a discussion my in-laws were having this weekend over the remote control for the bil calls it the "remote controller" and my sil says he is the "controller" of the "remote control"'s kind of funny and barely relevant, but it made me think of it)

the homily yesterday was about the walk to ameus. meeting jesus on the road. father was translating that to our daily journey with what he kept calling "the risen christ" which i interpreted to mean god and what we've learned about god through the life of jesus, but it was a lot easier said as "the risen christ." father said we had to learn to make peace with our dark side to be able to walk honestly with the risen christ, to be able to offer ourselves honestly. man...that made some kind of sense to me, because life isn't all hearts and flowers...and once we learn to embrace the good with bad, then it is easier to be least this is what i'm thinking.

it was good church and i was glad i went. i was grateful for the people i shared good church with and i am grateful for the people i walk this journey with.

but i have more to do, so i need to get on it. these are things i don't look forward to because i still have some anger surrounding them, but i need to act as best i can through the anger. have some faith, in myself and in others.

i will still survive.


Friday, April 4, 2008


i love coffee. it probably does not help my coping skills tremendously, although it might...but it doesn't matter because i drink it every morning, whether it helps or not. my coping skills are not so wonderful these days...but the coffee's been really good.

here's a band i love, trout fishing in america, and their tongue twister set to music about coffee...we love this song in my family.


Thursday, April 3, 2008

breathing through it

anne lamott talks about bearing the tough, hard, crazy moments of life like making it through a nicotine just wait for it to pass. and that was so liberating to me... so here's a song i love that the indigo girls sing, but it's really written by elton john and i can only find video of him singing it. it was nice listening to him sing it for the first time...

here are the lyrics to another song i've heard the indigo girls sing. it's been awhile since i've heard it in its entirety since it happens to be the song most scratched on that cd and won't play all the way through...but here are the words:

they said some men would be warriors
some men would be kings
some men would be owners of land
and other man-made things
false love as the eternal flame
would move some to think in rings
and gold would be our power
and other foolish things

and you who dream of liberty
must not yourselves be fooled
before you get to plea for freedom
you've agreed to being ruled
if the body stays a shackle
then the mind remains a chain
and that will link you to your destiny
where by other souls are slain

it won't take long
it won't take too long at all

three men in a desert wandering
one is knowing and two are scared
they say time is in the river
oh but the river is not there
dry in spirit
dry in body
two will lend themselves to death
and in grief one weeps into his hands
and drinks his bitter tears

'cause it don't take long
it don't take too long at all
no it don't take long
you may say
i don't know what you're talking about
and i say
you mean to tell me that's all

and i stand before you now
i am hopeful in my rage
you know love has finally called for me
i will not wilt upon its stage
but you know still smaller than my nightmare
now do i print upon the page
and do we have to live inside its walls
to identify the cage

'cause it takes so long
why does it take so long
and it takes so long
you may say
i don't really care what you're talking about
i'm gonna ask you
you trying to tell me you don't belong

i am my mother's daughter
but i have seen myself in you
it's this blessing that i follow now
and so i must speak true
i dreamed of thousands dying
it was you and you and you
and while the city sleeps so quietly
there is something we must do

and it won't take long
it won't take too long at all
it won't take long
you may say
i don't know if i wanna know what you're getting at
it makes me wanna say
so long

grief shall come in measures
only grief alone will know
and you'll see it on your family
and on your own face it will grow
then they'll try to keep you hungry
and they'll tell you to eat snow
you know pride can be a moving thing
if we learn the strength of no

and it won't take long
it won't take too long at all
no it won't take long
you may say
i don't think this has anything to do with me
did you ever think you could be wrong

at noon on one day coming
human strength will fill the streets
of every city on our planet
hear the sound of angry feet
with business freezed up in the harbour
the kings will pull upon their hair
and the banks will shudder to a halt
and the artists will be there

'cause it won't take long
it won't take too long at all
no it won't take long
and you may say
i don't think i can be a part of that
and it makes me want to say
don't you want to see yourself that strong

division between the peoples
will disappear that honoured day
and though oceans lie between us
lifted candles light the way
half will join their hands by moonlight
the rest under the rising sun
as underneath the sun and moon
a ritualed wailing has begun

and it won't take long
it won't take too long at all
and it won't take long
and you may say
i don't know how to be a part of what you're talking about
and it makes me want to say
come on
come on

oh beware you sagging diplomats
for you will not hear one gun
and though our homes be torn and ransacked
we will not be undone
for as we let ourselves be bought
we're gonna let ourselves be free
and if you think we stand alone
take a look around and you will see

we are children in the rafters
we are babies in the park
we are lovers at the movies
we are candles in the dark
we are changes in the weather
we are snowflakes in july
we are women grown together
we are men who easily cry
we are words not quickly spoken
we're the deeper side of try
we are dreamers in the making
we are not afraid of why

words and music ferron
as performed on spirit of '73

and one last video...a song that makes me proud to be a human being...

ok, that took a lot of breathing...blogger was not kind to me today. but i made it...

Wednesday, April 2, 2008


keeping with the chipping theme...but really it's a crushing pain in my head. there are things pollinating here that i haven't had the opportunity to experience yet since we moved out here last june. my sinuses are revolting. and my whole face hurts...

the man i spoke of last night was leonard cohen. here's a well-known song he wrote...he has such a deep voice, although it's quite different to watch him in a video versus hearing his voice over the radio...

my heart was breaking today. maybe it was my face...maybe it's my hormones...maybe it's my sister's ex-girlfriend disappearing and my sister being so worried, but also so experienced and wise to the whole thing. there are so many things i am so naive about...addiction is one of them. and we are all so broken in our own ways. and while other people's brokenness may seem so much more extreme, so much more dysfunctional, i just know deep down we are so much more the same than we are different. maybe i just need an anti-depressant...

ok, that's about all the thinking i can handle...the crushing commences. but if i go back to the rock analogy, maybe this is just my brain taking care of all those useless worries bouncing around in my head all day?

chipping away

i was thinking that learning things, gaining new ideas, new knowledge is a lot like chipping away at a huge stone. and that in that process of chipping, we sometimes knock off a huge piece we have to break down a little further. and we sometimes, in our haste, or not in our haste, chip away little shards...reactionary shards...shards that are pieces of a bigger piece but that came off incomplete...shards we break off out of stress, whatever. and before we can share those little sharp pieces that are our new thoughts, we have to knock them around with the other pieces we hold...round them out a little...let the grinding together, the meshing together smooth them out some. because if we share them too soon, someone might get hurt. or smashed if we set too big a piece on them.

there's an indigo girls song that has a line that goes

we're sculpted from youth
the chipping away makes me weary

and i've talked about that line before because as someone who was once a child (and still feels that way at times), it is exhausting to have people chip away at you. it can be rough and feel like they're trying to hurt you...make you feel scared or unsure of yourself. but then as a parent, i also find the chipping away weary. i want my children to be whole. i don't want to knock off parts of them. well, maybe the part that pees on the seat and doesn't clean up afterward...but see, even that feels overwhelming at times because who am i to decide these things? yes, i know, i am their mother. and i know i have a responsibility to guide them. but i had a hard time making the decision to spay my dogs, so while i don't think i'm stupid or unintelligent in taking responsibility for those i've chose to share life with, i do think it is wise to see the power i hold in some lives and to wield it carefully and consciously.

i am also thinking about stones rounding themselves out through rubbing together for two reasons. first, i listened to an interview on npr once with a songwriter named leonard something or other. i am sad his last name escapes me. he had such a deep and gravelly voice....and my dad has an incredibly deep and gravelly voice, so it especially impressed me that this man's voice was so much more deep and gravelly that i would not be able to listen to the whole interview, even though it was very interesting. his voice was altering some rhythm in my was painful. but he talked about time spent in a monastery. and the interviewer, probably terry gross, said that she imagined he had lots of time alone to think. and he said no, he did not have lots of time to think because monastic life is about letting go of your individuality and being part of a community...that you do almost nothing alone. and he used the analogy of stones rubbing against one another, polishing each other in that action.

my son has a rock tumbler...a really nice one. and he's taken one group of rocks through all seven stages of polishing. funny thing is, not all rocks can complete all seven stages. if there are cracks that hold onto the grit, they have to be taken out. (i mean, maybe there's some advanced rock tumbling that can be done for those rocks, but my son's amateur book said take them out...) so when this leonard with the deep and gravelly voice used that analogy, it was weird how much root it took in me because of my son's rock tumbling hobby and my chance to watch and learn from it, which was the second reason i was thinking about rocks polishing each other, even though i'm really just talking about knocking off the sharp edges in thoughts...i haven't even gotten to the polishing stages in my own mind.

all this to say, i am grateful for my spouse and my sister and the friends i have who have allowed me to hand them my shards, rolled them around with theirs a bit to give back to me a little smoother, or even handed the sharp ones right back to me to allow me to smooth myself before i tried it again later. i hope my hands are tough enough that i've been able to do the same.

it's all incredibly interesting to me and i'm sure this analogy between thoughts and something so elemental is inspired by my reading of the golden compass trilogy. his dark materials, i think it's all called. i am almost halfway through the last one, the amber spyglass, and fascinated by it all. a little apprehensive about how it's all going to pan out, but undeniably fascinated.

peace (or maybe tonight it should be piece)