Sunday, April 27, 2014

Let Yourself Fly

April 27. 2014

I want to write about Jesse finishing her radiation and how damn brave she is woo hoo and Michael coming home from Los Angeles and how happy we are to have him home woo hoo and drinking tea and eating french fries at the Mountainhome Diner with my soul sister from Vermont. I want to write about Claire's drawings and writing and my funny work life. And Dad holding his own at Mrs. Bush's Personal Care Home and my mother-in-law, Johnnie 88 years young telling me on the phone -

Elizabeth, I guess I'm still a work in progress. 

amen to that.

And how slowly slowly I'm getting that  

I don't have to believe everything I think,

which is a GIANT relief. 

Just for today I'm writing about being at the river with Claire last week. It was a warmer day. We found a quiet spot and watched the small plane 
pulling gliders 


and then the rope detached and the glider floated over the trees and river and us. Four gliders were released into the sky and every time the rope let go, I exhaled.

Claire hopped from one foot to the other, then with a howl plunged in the cold river and like an otter popped up, hair all wet and shiny.

I just need to feel cleansed she said.

I did not feel the need to be cleansed. I did feel like I was passing the baton to my kid because I've always believed you should get in the water early in the season and stay in as late as you can 

take the plunge 

but I couldn't bring myself to do it. I'm losing my edge.

We ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Claire read out loud from Watership Down by Richard Adams. It's a wonderful story about rabbits and all that goes on in the warren.  Read it.

It was the very best kind of afternoon.

sky watching

= a universal heartbeat?

At the center of the universe is a
loving heart that continues to beat
and that wants the best for every person.

- Mister Rogers

xo b

Sunday, April 20, 2014

A Kind Of Luau?

April 20, 2014

I'm holding back from writing about this brief exchange Claire and I had last night while I was reading in one room and she had the tv on in the other:

Claire, what are you watching?
Sex Sent Me To The ER.

Probably best to tackle that another day.

Then there's the above invite I received a few weeks ago to attend a sort of luau over the death of Jesus. Those of you who are old enough, doesn't this Jesus looks suspiciously like a young James Garner, or maybe James Brolin? It's the hair and beard combo.

After months of watching my warrior kid go through one cancer treatment after the next, and after this cancer "journey" comes to an end on Friday when she has her last radiation treatment - #33 

I passed on the Jesus celebration of death party.

I'm a card-carrying re-birther. 

In my girlhood, I'd be decked out in shiny patent leather shoes with matching bag, white gloves, a pretty Easter dress + yes, even some kind of hat or head thing to go off to church to see Dad share the good news in the pulpit, so handsome. Mom slipping me and my brothers yellow and orange lifesavers and the small yellow pencils to draw on the offering cards -some of the happiest days of my life.

Today I choose the church of the big bed.

Old cat.

Big surprise, right?

The resident bunny was up at six (not me), hiding eggs.

I walked with my tea around the yard inspecting the Bunny's handiwork for the hunt. Strolling got me thinking how busy we (I?) get looking under rocks, in dark closets, a junk drawer? anywhere outside of ourselves for answers to this mysterious life. 

The answer's gotta be here somewhere. 

I'm the frantic White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland?

seeking seeking scurrying scurrying 

i'm late i'm late 

Here's the twicky truth -

breathing room
unknowable mystery

are always right in front of us

inside us

It's the beautiful mystery.

The old cat
The Bunny and the egg
Jesus, James Garner and James Brolin

All mysteries too.

the peace that passeth understanding ~


Remind me when I forget this [because I will!]  Remind me that I don't have to look for love peace serenity joy compassion because

I am love, peace, serenity, joy + compassion.

And fear, worry, doubt. Yes, those too.

I can re-birth myself in every moment
From a church
or a big bed
the garden
even from a chemo infusion center.

re-birth yourself.

I'm reminding you.

xo b

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

I Do It Anyway

April 15, 2014

Sunday came and went; the past ten days are a blur. 

I have a vague memory of subbing in a kindergarten class on April 7th, it was an exhausting experience, then I crashed. For days, I've been swept up in coughing + sneezing + occasionally choking 

til my eyes popped out = boing!

I canceled the teeny work gigs I do have. I slept. 

in the middle of the day/

I lost my voice. 

I imagined living in a monastery, 
nodding at people, 
passing bread, 
washing dishes, 
no speaking. 

Speaking feels awkward. Writing, scattered. 

Just today, with rain falling in sheets and taxes due, I feel better. 

I went out to get a library book and dark chocolate chips. Books and chocolate chips are a staple here. I put gas in the car, thirty-three dollars to be exact. Jesse is thirty-two. I always add a year for her, at the very least. This pumping gas thing makes no sense. 

I do it anyway. 

On my travels I saw:

a girl wearing a shirt with trust nobody on the front
a man dressed all in yellow / coat pants boots 
a tree strung with plastic Easter eggs
a houseplant blown over on a front porch
clumps of daffodils everywhere

Over morning tea, I experienced a shiver of weeping after thinking, Claire is fourteen! I may have cried out with my hoarse voice. The two cats and Chewy sighed in their sleep. 

I thought, who would understand this?
then, Kerry would understand. 
Her daughter is three. 

I'll stop here and offer this, arms wide open ~

Mysterious as it is - no matter our pain or excitement, our drama or circumstance - all that we could hope for is here. 

We lack nothing. 

- Mark Nepo

xo b

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Just For Tomorrow

April 6. 2014

Let us dig in our gardens and not be elsewhere;
   Let us take long walks in the open air…
   Let us bathe in the rivers and lakes…
   Let us indulge in games…
   Let us be more simple: simple and true in
our gestures, in our words, and simple and true
in our minds above all.  Let us be ourselves.

-Robert Linssen

Just too pretty a day to get any writing done. 

We spent the day 

painting pots

planting seeds 
throwing the ball for Chewy 50 times easy
walking barefoot in the cool grass
making bead bracelets in the driveway

+ drinking a cold beer as the sun went down. 

It was a joyful day.

If you're reading this:

Drop your shoulders
give yourself a break

+ just for tomorrow,

one day at a time