Sunday, March 30, 2014

All Your Weird Little Ways

March 30. 2014

I sleep with books. but I've told you this before.

When I'm not reading them, I like to be surrounded by them. Like a nest of books. Or a litter of kittens or puppies, each book cute and cuddly in its own way curled up on my bed, or in the passenger seat of my car. (I never leave home without a book.) Some books are maybe not so cute, more odd and psychologically provoking, lots are soothing, entertaining, spiritually eye-opening?

I dog-ear pages. The top corner turned over is where I've left off. The bottom dog-ear is for a page that has something I want to remember, a section I want to read over because it's so good.

Like this from Start Where You Are by Pema Chodron -

Although it is embarrassing and painful, it is very healing to stop hiding from yourself. It is healing to know all the ways that you're sneaky, all the ways that you hide out, all the ways that you shut down, deny, close off, criticize people, all your weird little ways. You can know all that with some sense of humor and kindness. By knowing yourself, you're coming to know humanness altogether. We are all in this together...

The author says this is what I'm wondering about
I say, yes, I get it and thanks so much for sharing.

I was up in the night, 1:45, and read from a little book called Be Generous by David Marell. This is a fine read if you're worried about your Dad calling to tell you he's thinking of selling lollipops, or that your mother-in-law has told your husband that she's tired of living. Reading in the night helps if you miss the husband on the other coast working and tending to his elderly warrior mom. You would gladly move the books off his side of the bed to make room.

not my mother-in-law

David Marell writes tiny mantras like this, a personal favorite:

It Will All Work Out

It's okay
It's okay
It's okay
I'm not in control of the universe
I'm not in control of the universe
I'm not in control of the universe
I'm not in control of the universe
I'm not in control of the universe
Let it be
Let it be
Just let it be

I like how he says I'm not in control of the universe 5 x

I am not in control of the universe either, although in the fifth grade, I was a safety crossing guard at PS 98. I wore the white belted sash across my chest and cautioned children to look both ways when crossing the street. 

I thrived at that job.

stop. go. no you wait.come on.

The girls have gone out in the pouring rain to 

save worms.

I am not saving worms. 

I am in my nest of books with Owen. 
He looks cuddly but don't try to pick him up. 

May you go through this week with some sense of humor and kindness towards all your weird little ways, and mine too. 

May we hold the thought ~ it'll all work out. 

Whatever it is.

May we remember that we're all in this together. 


xo b

Sunday, March 23, 2014

never wants the story to end


Some Days

Kate: (off-stage) Mommy! Will you play Polly Pockets with me?

Evelyn: Playing Polly Pockets with Kate is like signing your life away.  The stories would go on and on. Sitting on the floor surrounded by miniature dolls that fit in the palm of your hand, dolls dressed in rubbery clothes and high heels so tiny you could swallow one by accident if you weren’t careful.  

There’s no such thing as having just one Polly Pocket. You collect them. There’s Ginny, the brunette. And the other blonde, who’s goes by Allison or Janet. The twins, Annette and Annette.  Those two love to dance.

We needed a guy: 

Someone who could be the husband, boyfriend, or Dad. Bob the Builder showed up; he’s short but works in a pinch when Annette and Annette are going out on dates. They go out with Mike and Bob. No one is ever called Polly

This morning, Ginny became Marie, the mother of the new girl who moved into the neighborhood and ended up getting married to Rob and flying off to Paris for a honeymoon.  I wanted to end the story there but Kate had everyone go on the honeymoon with Marie and Mike.  Kate never wants the story to end. Finally, it was just too weird for Bob the Builder and the other girls to be on Marie and Mike’s honeymoon, somehow it just felt awkward, so we ended in Paris.

Some days we get stuck in the same old story but it’s never too late to change. 

Today Ginny became Isabella. She lives in a golden villa overlooking a lake. Sipping tea in the morning, wine at every meal, Isabella walks through olive groves while Celestina, her cook, whips up something divine. Isabella doesn’t attend cookouts, she goes to dinner parties. She doesn’t weed, she chats with her gardener about the roses climbing up the stone wall. Should we prune them back? What do you think, Giacomo?

Some days I put Kate off, “Honey, let me just finish one more…” 

One more what? Email, dish to wash? 

There are questions to be answered. Stories to be lived:  

Will Janet marry Mike and have babies? Will Annette and Annette move to New York and become Rockettes? Will Isabella fall in love with Giacomo, her handsome gardener, and live happily ever after?

~ from Pieces Of Evelyn

My very first play, written when Claire was "living in PollyWorld"

Oh the places we'd go!!!

xo b

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Person With A Smile Too Big

March 16. 2014

This morning Claire and I went for our 

Sunday artist date.

1. Get out of the house
2. Drink hot tea and watch people on Main Street
3. Spend time with my fourteen year old. 14?!!
4. Write + Draw
5. Eavesdrop on other people's conversations, or rants from the table behind us

Do you know this story? A German couple came to this country, wanting to home school their children. We all know Germany is a God-less country. These people just wanted to practice their religion. Somehow, our Attorney General sent them back to Germany! 

Husband: Honey, you're starting to get on your soapbox...

It just makes me sick, people coming across the border and we have to pay for their health care with OUR taxes... hiss.

Claire was drawing.

I was writing, but mostly curious about the hisser. 

blue pants suit, pumps, handbag, thinning hair, glasses

We went to the library. I got two books,

as part of my on-going research about Henny Penny + Chicken Little, apparently they're one and the same, two nervous apron-wringing birds. 

"What's your book about, Claire?" I asked. 

teens throwing their lives away through sex drugs and alcohol, she said

Later I spoke to Dad on the phone/ 

How is your new room-mate?

Well, he's almost a hundred so he's not always there. You have to give him some leeway if you know what I mean...

Leeway's good, Dad!


I am thinking about the postcards Michael sends Claire, 

almost every day one or two arrive ~

person with a smile too big for their face 


which reminds me of the Rumi I keep reading over and over -

don't go to the neighborhood of despair
there is hope.
don't go in the direction of darkness:
suns exist.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Go To Your Belly

March 12. 2014

Go to your belly.

Living your yoga

When facing a decision today, be it small or large, pause first to pay attention to what you feel in your belly. This "second brain" will never lead you astray.

- Judith Hanson Lasater,  A Year of Living Your Yoga 

A mid-week shout-out to you lovelies! 


xo b

Monday, March 10, 2014

He May Have Been High

March 10. 2014

After sliding shoveling? 

a second spoonful of chunky peanut butter into my mouth see hungry penguin, baby bird?

and watching the dollop drop in slow motion onto the top of my bare foot, then folding over like the good yogi that I am (flexibility comes in handy) to swipe the said blob of chunky peanut butter off my foot with my index finger and into my mouth

hey it didn't hit the floor!

I thought it might be appropriate to step back and reflect on how fucking crazy I've been feeling about this endless winter and the whatever I'm seeking is seeking me mantra 

a part of me wholeheartedly believes this and holds firmly to it while sending out yet another resume, or while subbing in a special ed class where I'm playing tic tac toe with a kid in fifth grade who can't read too well but is really really good at tic tac toe. 

The kid kicked my ass.

My guy, Lao Tzu said,

How can you follow 
the course of your life 
if you do not let it flow? 

Lao may be right, let it flow, or he may have been high. I've read so many meditations, spiritual texts, stories of faith and trust about letting go, letting it flow. I should be speaking in tongues by now. 

You'd tell me if I was, right? 

I've listened to countless cd's while driving in the car, 

cue Eckhart: 

practice presence. accept each moment as if you had chosen it, make it your friend, then your life will be miraculously transformed.

In this present moment, Claire is fast asleep on the sofa. She's been down for the count since Saturday night 

which is why I bailed on my Sunday post yesterday. excuses excuses

Puking, fever, teeth clattering like two wood blocks. The dog is looking out the window, pacing, now circling the rug to hopefully surrender to the fact that we are not going out to play ball. Ice dripping from the gutters. I'm at the round kitchen table with books and tea and laptop. One lampshade is tilted, paintings on the wall a little this way that way. Clock ticks.

My beloved cousin, Heather, sent me this kind response to last week's email full of awkward feelings about my life. 

dear heart, I will offer, with great humbleness, the reminder to be gentle with yourself. In the Shambhala teachings we are invited to put our fearful mind “in the cradle of loving kindness.”  I love this image so much and it helps me to stay with the feelings, whatever they may be.

try this: 

feel the gentleness of the breath 
allow big sky spaciousness 
inside and outside of your body mind heart

and if that feels too weird,

hold it all in the cradle of loving kindness.

For today, I will take care of my kid.
I will write, read, maybe play ball with the dog. 
Maybe send out another resume.
I will enjoy my peanut butter, from spoon or foot.


trust my path unflinching

what will you do just for today?


xo b

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Blame It On The Dog

March 2. 2014

The dog is driving me to drink. 

blame it on the dog.

All day he's been
either staring at me, 
or out the window, 
any chance to bark at 


The wine is open.
The red carpet has started.
Honestly, I can't pull it together to write.

Look for me mid-week?

I'd like to thank my...

this being alive friends.

you have brains in your head.
you have feet in your shoes.
you can steer yourself 
any direction you choose.


xo b