Monday, November 26, 2012

Wendell's Waking

4:04 am

Calling out to someone walking their dog on the beach wakes me from my dream...

I get up to walk the house and see

White egg moon 
resting on a ribbon cloud 
against navy sky. 

That middle of the night fear arrives, always without invitation, and I remember Wendell's poem, how I read it on the counter of the ice cream parlor and wrote it quickly down in my small black notebook, how I felt my shoulders drop, breath ease.

Wendall's waking in the middle of the night 

is the gift on this early Monday morning.

The Peace of Wild Things

When despair grows in me
and I wake in the middle of the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting for their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

- Wendell Berry

May you rest in the grace of the world today.

xo b

Thursday, November 22, 2012

The Exaltation Of Being Human

Thanksgiving Prayer

We come to this table today, 
O Lord, humble and thankful and glad.
We thank Thee first for the great miracle of life, 
for the exaltation of being human, for the capacity to love.
We thank Thee for joys both great and simple-
For wonder, dreams and hope;
For the newness of each day;
For laughter and song and a merry heart;
For compassion waiting within to be kindled;
For the forbearance of friends and the smile of a stranger;
For the arching of the earth and trees and heavens and the fruit of all three;
For the wisdom of the old;
For the courage of the young;
For the promise of the child;
For the strength that comes when needed;
For this family united here today.
Of those to whom much is given, much is required.  
May we and our children remember this.


Whether you celebrate Thanksgiving, or not
or if the Lord goes by the name Ethel in your world
it doesn't matter.

Gratitude is available to everyone

This prayer from my beloved mother, 
shared many Thanksgivings ago.

It always makes me cry
and come back to what's truly important.

Mom always said,

Of those to whom much is given, much is required.

Peace be with you.

xo b

Thursday, November 15, 2012

All Out Of Knees

Michael's in for his second knee surgery, 
nothing too serious, snipping this, cleaning up, 

I'm thinking he's all out of knees so 

I hope this takes.

I'm sitting 
in the waiting room
big windows
lots of sunlight 
book/laptop/journal, crunchy apple...

~ learning to retreat wherever I am.

even with the guy on his cell phone 
across from me prattling on in a too loud voice

okay, send me the proposal, okay, tell him that he'll have the 167 for Monday night and we're just waiting to get everything done with 169 before hand.. ? ? ?

while Dr. Phil chats it up with the women from The View

Waiting rooms are a great place for material, that's for sure

But I'm musing about the blue triangle 

Elizabeth gave Claire for her birthday,
how the light comes through the center  
and how it sorta 

stands on its own two feet 

or knees?

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Held Up By Love

Dr. Falbo, beloved therapist

used to say that my world was a tad small.

Besides teaching by day, and being a Mom to Jesse, 

I lived a funny triad life of

and hanging with my dog, Che (rhymes with Ray)

this practice, helped me to feel that I wasn't 

completely losing my mind.

Beloved therapist would say, 

Blanche, he called me Blanche,

you are not crazy. 
you are one of the sanest people I know, trust me, 

This puffed me up, 

thank god i'm not nuts...followed by,

if I'm not crazy, well, the world is in a pickle.

Che died/
Beloved therapist moved.
Bed and books remain. 

Plus the Ladies Home Journal I took from the dentist's office on Thursday where one of the headlines, Mood News: Dressing Up Is Good For Your Soul, caught my eye. And the shrimp recipe which looked absolutely delicious and which I'm quite certain I will never make.

It's been a long couple of weeks for many people, especially in the New York/ New Jersey area, where to begin to pick up the pieces, so whenever I start feeling sorry for myself over the front of our house which looks like a giant marched through, toppling six very big trees, I tell myself, get over it. 

More than a few things have crossed my mind lately 

way more than a few, trust me

like Why is this Pig wearing a Tommy Bahama shirt, while riding the bus panty-free? The same goes for his best friend, Hudson, the mouse. Nice tailored jacket but no pants. 

Just inquiring.

[ Poppleton and Friends - Cynthia Rylant, Illustrated by Mark Teague]

or should a mother be concerned when her daughter, outside with the dog for his morning pee, is inhaling helium from the shriveling birthday balloons tied to the chair? 

Yes, I taught her this but still.

Just wondering.

And in my journal, this recurring theme of 

lost and found-ness

I am not lost. That is a lie I tell myself. I can work myself up about degrees not earned, career paths not taken, money yet to be saved, I can beat the crap out of myself if that makes me feel worthy in some warped way? Or I can practice, in this moment, self-love and kindness, tenderness towards self and others, practice this for one minute, five minutes

I went on to write two pages of things I was grateful for

my brothers
warm house
daffodil bulbs

being held up by love

and a thousand unseen helping hands ~

xo b

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Things Haven't Been The Same

Things haven't been the same since Claire turned 13.
The house has gotten cold, light switches don't work, we're flushing toilets with the old yellow bucket.


Before Sandy hit land we watched videos of Claire from years ago. She was such a cute baby. We kept oohing and aahing while I couldn't help noticing (kinda hard not to) how much younger I looked or thinner Michael was and how goo-goo ga-ga we were over our little girl. We still are. Really.

Still, I'm thinking she needs

to lighten up on the birthday energy.

last year = snow storm
this year = hurricane sandy

A friend said, 

"So many people are in worse shape, I know, but I'm so done."

with no heat, running water, lights.

It's getting colder. And occasionally tense. And then very funny, almost maniacally so. I knew we'd crossed into new territory when we tacked up a bed sheet between rooms to keep the heat in the fireplace room. I've slept with Chewy, the big-eared dog since Tuesday night. Michael prefers the morgue-like temps of our bedroom. I think try sleeping with husband. I walk in, walk out and curl up like a dog with my dog in front of fire.

I'm writing to you from our local library.

library = kind of church

So many people love and use this library which makes me want to shout that if you don't get out and vote for President Obama, Willard Mitt Romney will not only be de-funding Big Bird, but our local libraries too. 

Please VOTE.


But I digress as I often do. 

I'm thinking about you and all the people out in the world... 

Showering in the locker room at the University with strangers has been an eye-opener. Scrubbing up my arm pits while the young woman in the black and white polka dot bikini tells me about how she's studying biology and wants to be a physician's assistant made me feel very happy. And so did the hot water. double wow

Claire was mortified that I was naked while showering in the open space but...

People are kind. People need hot showers. And water to brush their teeth. Some people need places to stay. Some people lost their homes completely in this mess. I thought I couldn't imagine this but now I kinda can. ever so slightly.

We had dinner at friends who were also out of power but they have a cozy wood stove cranking so it was a lovely social time, chatting over pasta and cups of red wine with candles everywhere.

We really are all in this together. 

This is a rambler, I know. 
Forgive me.
I've been wearing my ski cap for days. 
My head is squeezed.
I feel slightly incoherent in general.

stoke the fire

thanks to my incredible daughter, Jess, for bringing extra wood over from her stacks xoxo

be safe
stay warm
help a neighbor,
keep your belly laughs coming...

and remember ~

and though we may be out of electricity we're 


xo b