Sunday, April 29, 2012

This Little Ditty


saying this little ditty to yourself, your family, the dog?

I dwell in the midst of infinite abundance.




I dwell in the midst of infinite abundance.

See how it feels... 

even if you have your doubts

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Nub Of The Matter

I've had the pleasure of writing in community this week...

On Monday night with seven women where I teach yoga. Last night was at the local library with a diverse group of writers; some published, some who want to write but don't think they have anything to say, some just showed up after seeing the poster by the front desk and wanted to try it.

One woman said, "I'm here because I'm Polish."
We had a good chuckle and welcomed her.

"My English is not so good and..." 
Her teen daughter was not looking particularly happy. 

Maybe there were 25 of us?

One woman asked, "Is this a writing workshop?" 
"I believe it said WRITER'S WORKSHOP in big type on the poster, right?"

Clearly, some show up not knowing what to expect. 

I'm happy they have the courage to come.

On Monday, a woman asked, 

"Is this that kind of soul-searching writing?"

My normal response might've been to convince her to come and see how incredible it can be, maybe discover something about herself or her life. 

Come, join us for the treasure hunt!

All I said was "I don't know. Could be."

She didn't join us.

This short piece see below is from a woman in the Monday night group. She was kind enough to share it with me even though she couldn't understand why I wanted it. 

I felt it went to

the nub of the matter.

We are afraid of our own hearts.


When I think of writing I feel I am tortured. I'd rather draw a picture. I like to talk - but putting words down is not my thing. I can write little messages on Facebook - 

but that's IT!

I also don't want to put in writing what's really in my heart - 

too painful.

So, here's a doodle. [imagine doodle of flowers]

I like flowers - they make me happy! I especially smile when I see daisies and sunflowers. I'm trying to be happy - It takes a great effort - It's hard work.

I like to knit! It's easier than writing.

thanks for letting me share this...

Sunday, April 22, 2012

All That Yellow

Sunday letter to a friend:

We went to the movie, Salmon Fishing in Yemen
It was very good. Beautiful scenery and characters. I liked it. I love movies, good ones, and of course, they leave me wanting. Wanting my life to change in some way, wanting to be in a movie, or make a film, or be in Scotland or have a handsome, quirky character fall in love with me and change my whole life...silly, i know, wanting wanting wanting when all the masters teach...

be where you are.

They say,

who is the one who wants so much? 
watch her. 
observe her. 
don't judge her.

I am writing you from the bed upstairs with my cat, Owen. Claire in her room doing scientific experiments? Michael down the hall in our library room stretched out reading. 

The house is very quiet. You would like it.

At the movie I kept myself contained, sitting between Michael and Claire in the back row of the theater; knees tucked up to my chest. Half-way through I reached over and took Michael's hand and then Claire took my other hand. We were holding hands and watching a movie in the dark.

My house is quiet. 
The cat sleeping, snoring.
Dog too.
I am cozy. 
Surrounded by books and people who love me.
Warm bed, pillows. 
Dogwood tree in white bloom out the window. 
Shades of green everywhere.

I'm remembering the mustard field. 
Claire walking down the rows, and you calling out, be careful of the ticks!

We were giddy over all that yellow.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

You Know How That Is?

You know how you can be doing something, like throwing the ball for your dog, but your mind is busy thinking about the meeting at nine o'clock, or how you really should sweep before you leave the house, or there's a flash of your old Dad waking up in the place where he lives and you wonder what he's thinking about, or how your daughter's morning is going with her daughter, then there's the other daughter, last seen getting on the yellow school bus, the beast, as I tend to think of it, swallowing my kid, and finally the husband who so gently nuzzled my neck while I was stirring the oatmeal

and all this chitta mind = monkey mind is happening 

when you hear a voice over your shoulder say, 

but nobody's there?

look up.

and you do, look up, and feel such a joy?

you know how that is?

look up today.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Marry A Sheep Or Pig

Sunday afternoon.

Perched in the window-seat, reading notes and other jottings from the little green sketchbook I carry in my purse...

april 13, 2012

mind like mewling kittens in a small cardboard box. 

this can't be good.

I begin my drive to morning yoga:

good morning God 
Higher Power  

It's me, Betsy.

Thanks for waking me with a sense of humor, me stretched across our bed horizontally, feet pressed into Michael's back - 

I don't think you're trying to snuggle, he said.

and I start with my verbal gratitude list 

thank you for my family
this car to take me to work

which lasts three seconds before mewling mind wanders to Marni, who covers the desk @ yoga saying, "Did you gain weight?"

Deer in the headlights, it was barely 7am, followed by, "It looks like you had a good winter, you look good" which made me want to check my cheeks for extra acorns. The last time she'd seen me was October when, as my mother would've said, I was painfully thin. I sputtered have a good day, bitch? and hurried to the yoga studio vowing to give up my daily handful of almonds and walnuts. 

can you stuff your cheeks with ice cream?

And this useful advice from an un-dated page:

rabbit, luckiest of signs
talented and affectionate, 
yet shy
you seek peace
marry a sheep or pig - not a rooster

xo b

Thursday, April 12, 2012

¿Cree en Los Milagros?

After a year of living upstairs in the                                                cat-witness-protection program

Owen drapes himself over the green chair
and comes into the light...

this is my house too, big-eared dog!

note to self: it's okay to claim your space

¿Cree en los milagros? = Do you believe in miracles?


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Then By All Means

If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.

Vincent Van Gogh

And so it goes with anything, right? 

By all means 

we must do the very thing that voice says we can't...

paint write dance sing bake travel act run fly start over

Here's to more artist dates. 

              i'm famished for them

If you can go see *Van Gogh, then go! once in a lifetime?

and a very happy second birthday to Chewy

             our big-eared dog.

*Philadelphia Museum of Art

Monday, April 9, 2012

It Clicks In And Out

"What is it, say an hour and a half? Two hours?" Dad asks. 

He meant how far to Mrs. Bush's, his home for the past year now. We've been driving it, twenty-six miles one way, since last March.
"Not quite that long, Dad. Maybe thirty minutes, thirty-five."
"Oh," he said, "Fine. Sure."

He tells me his forgettery is acting up. 

"The mind," he says, "it clicks in and out."

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Moon Always Take The Blame

Michael sent this to photo to me when he was in San Diego a few weeks ago.

He called it: 

Sunset With Birds.

He sent one without birds too which he called:

Sunset Without Birds

Birds, no birds, I could go for a little salt air and sand between my toes.

Not that it's not all springy and daffodil-ish here in Pennsylvania. It is. Very daffodil-ish.

As I write this the sun is streaming, yes streaming, through my big-eared dog smudged windows... all smudges at windowsill height, which I'm noticing while lapping up a bowl of Tin Roof Sundae ice cream (with banana), a pre-dinner thing, a suspiciously banana split thing, after coming home and telling myself very directly, 

Do not eat any ice cream!!

Last night I ate the ice cream and then went back for seconds after I had one of those great crying jags that just burst out of me, I couldn't hold it any longer. You know the kind where you have to go into the bathroom to really let yourself sob. Michael, my husband, is very kind when this sweeps over me, tip-toeing gently around, waiting patiently me for me to come out so we can go for a walk. I put my sunglasses on; my eyes blow up when I cry.

I could blame the ice cream-crying thing on the 

moon waxing full 

but the moon always take the blame...

maybe it was the sighting of the dental-flossing woman on my short drive home from work. She was leaning into her steering wheel, head tilted, looking in her rearview mirror, flossing. 

Can I blame the ice cream thing on flossing?

Anyway, flossing while driving bugs me almost as much as people who text while driving but at least she was looking at the road... 


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

On Boldness

On Boldness 

...from members of This Being Alive

+ Penny's beautiful bold white tulips...

What I mean by bold is …
Admitting I am not Superwoman.
Accepting help when it’s offered and 
asking for help when it’s needed.
- Anonymous sweet anonymous, who are  you? xo
What I mean by bold is...
Take better care of myself mentally and physically. 

Let go of the pain and worry. Get out and move.
- Anonymous and you? xo
What I mean by bold is...
Not hiding my illness,
Acknowledging that I'm lucky to be alive, and
Encouraging everyone to go get a mammogram!
-Amy   you're in our thoughts and prayers!!

Working on white tulips. Think they’re bold. 

thanks for asking for help
and not hiding
and hanging up superwoman's cape
and for reminding us we're all lucky to be alive
and for white tulips, yahoo!!! 

keep your stories
tales of being alive
and other musings coming...

xo b

find more bold tulips etc @

Monday, April 2, 2012

Blue + Pear

= be bold

Okay, so get out your notebook
or the back of a bank deposit slip
or an envelope

and write

what i mean by be bold is...and see where your pen takes you.

no editing while writing. just write. and breathe.

share your boldness in the comments. 
pretty please?
then i'll post them.
we'll call it community boldness.

xo b

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Come Out Of My Shell

April 1 snuck up on me while I've been daydreaming about the 30 days of April...

what could I do for 30 days? how about you?
what could I commit to?
what would bring me more joy and less worry?

I started a list like I always do...

- post every day on This Being Alive 

a word 
guest post? interested? drop me a note. 

- do one push-up, then two, then three 

and then 30 push-ups on April 30th?
- send out 30 pieces of writing
- meet 30 new people
- write 30 postcards 
to a different person each day
or the same person each day?

Today I went on an artist date with a friend to Centenary College in New Jersey to see the 

Carolyn Dorfman Dance Company.

My heart was pounding by the end. in a really good way

This heart-pounding thing has broken me open, 

in a really good way.

So, I may drop the list, or not.

But I like the idea of 30 days. it's an easy number

I know I want to do this: 

To give myself permission to feel fully alive 
 no matter what
embrace the artist dancer writer painter playwright
who lives in me
try new things
take a risk
speak up
ease up
shake my blue-jangled butt 
from my birthday belly dancing class last September
make a ruckus of some sort or the other


come out of my shell
join me.