Thursday, April 30, 2009

Bon Voyage, Mes Amis

Nala dog waits anxiously in a newly-emptied living room

At the turn of the month, our good  friends, Gemini Cricket, Hot Mama Honeybee, and baby June Firefly, will be embarking on a Grand Adventure.  They have given away or loaned out all of the belongings in their comfy 2-story home ~ furniture, kitchenware, decor, mementos, an extensive and hand-picked art collection.  They are leaving a well-cultivated life with reliable jobs and a solid, interconnected, fun community of friends ~ to move into an Airstream, and then across the country and into the unknown.  
I made a similar exfoliation of my former life just a few years ago (still proud that I came out to start over with only seven (7) packing boxes ~ which included my sewing machines and art supplies, costuming and huge platform boots, and my loyal stuffed koala, Sheltowee), but in retrospect it seems I had  a lot less responsibility and a lot less to lose  ~ although I still miss my community every single day.   Don't want to discount my experience, for it changed me and my path forever in countless ways.  But looking at what they're doing from the vantage point of my cozy, feathered nest with family, solidly in my thirties, I wince a little and think, "Yeesh!  That's a big leap!"
As always, these guys give me pause to think.  I look around the house which we've only occupied for a year and a half now, and marvel at the piles of clutter that never disappear, but simply get dispersed ~ to recollect in a week or so.  The clutter gets so noisy in my periphery (and we keep a pretty tidy house for the most part) that it drives me out the door ~ which is the best place to be anyway.  Which leads me back to these traveling folks and what they are essentially forcing themselves to do.  Be outside more.  
And just *be*, without the stuff.   The process of skin shedding has been a huge and complicated challenge to them already.  I give them 1000 kudos for the effort and perseverance.   And for that, I dedicate perhaps my favorite moment from perhaps my favorite movie, "Harold and Maude."  (and I think I've already told this to Gemini, so I'm sorry if it's anticlimactic, but I still love how appropriate it is.)  When they are sitting together by the little pond, after having a wonderful time together, and Harold hands Maude the little coin that has engraved on it, "Harold loves Maude."   And she says, "Oh, Harold, it's wonderful!" and immediately flings it into the water.  "Now I'll always know where it is!" (or something like that.)  
But, my friends, more than forcefully detaching yourself from possessions, security, and comfort, I salute you for following your gut.  There's a little saying (from a tea bag label) that's been glued to my keyboard since not long after I took my big jump a few years ago:  "Live from your heart, you will be truly satisfied."  May your ear always be tuned to the frequency of your heart.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

iris, rose geranium bud and leaves

Sunday, April 26, 2009

writing it down

Because I want to remember.

 Anjali has developed the habit of holding my finger while she nurses.  Her hand searches for it as soon as she starts to settle in.  It is such a routine by now that I don't even think about it, but when I'm made aware, my heart does a little somersault.  So I needed to write it down.   

Saturday, April 11, 2009

wine and chocolate

Sealion has been working a slew of evening shifts recently.  Where he usually can count on a relatively balanced schedule among morning, evening, and night shifts (such is the nature of his profession), this last month was almost all evenings.  This month is not much different.  (We're thinking that this is what happens when a computer program takes over what a human used to do ~ juggling schedules.)  This means that Anjali and I have been spending afternoons and evenings on our own.  The daily family meal has become breakfast.  And I have developed a pleasant little ritual to transition the afternoon into evening:  wine and chocolate.

During my pregnancy (beside the fact that I attempted to avoid chocolate altogether), dark chocolate was too strong for me (horror!), so I had to switch to milk chocolate.  That was a fun side journey (my favorite is Dagoba's Chai).  Happily my taste and intuition have lead me back to the dark side (The Force is strong in me..).  Lately I've been sticking to straight dark chocolate with no mix-ins ~ Green and Black's 70% is what is open in the cabinet.  Needing only a few squares, a bar can last me well over a week.  Old vine zinfandel is my wine preference these days.  They call it "old vine" because the vines are. .  old, and they're gnarly from when they pruned them in the old school method ~ lopping them off at the top each year ~ instead of training them to trellises.  Supposedly their age makes them harder to work with, producing fewer grapes per vine, and of variable size.  I've also heard that this variety is trendy among folks like me, but ~ what a yummy way to be trendy; much better than, say, tight-rolling your pantlegs.   I'm satisfied with a pretty tiny portion (in our house we call it a "dot"), but it does manage to add a celebratory note to that time when the shadows are long and things are slowing but not sleeping and the house might be feeling a bit quiet.
I'd rather have the boy, but. . this routine ain't bad.    

Thursday, April 09, 2009

a new era

Our baby is now officially eating table food.  Like those first fresh new diapers that, while still pregnant, I displayed for myself to admire, her eating will become a part of the routine that I'm cleaning up after.  But for now I'm sentimental and savoring the newness of the development.    
I dip her little spoon into the food while Anjali breathes heavily in anticipation as if she has never eaten in her life.  The spoon cannot get into her hands soon enough.   As she eats, the food gets spread out all over her mouth area (using that term loosely) as if she were applying a facial mask, ending up with a Fred Flintstone-type beard-smear.  When she is no longer interested, the spoon is forgotten immediately.  If I can't find it for the next meal, I know where to search first.    

Oh, heart, how you swell.  My baby is growing up.  

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

rainy day jazzed

Mmm. A deliciously rainy day. Recently the bright sun and clear blue sky have extended an irresistible call to the outdoors. Being inside at all has seemed a waste of weather. Knowing that the rainy season is mostly passed, this day feels like a bit of a holiday. A break, on which I feel absolutely no pressure to be active out of doors. Staking my place on the couch and not feeling bad for sitting there for hours, only getting up to pee and fix another warm drink. And sitting in a pile of fabrics all day ~ even better, fuzzy wool sweater knits. A sewing project that has no deadline ( I always seem to demand genius and perfection of myself while attempting something I've never even tried before, beginning hours [days, weeks..] after it should have been completed for optimum timeliness.. ). Listening to my new Ella Fitzgerald Pandora station (I swear they don't pay me; I just love Pandora ~ it's free!), and the gently soothing sprinkling of steady rain outside.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

writing it down

because things change and she grows so fast.  

Anjali's favorite pillow
From the very beginning of when she started noticing anything about her surroundings, Anjali has delighted in this pillow ~ a patchwork one made up of antique saris, a kind that you can get at most any store that carries clothing or trinkets from India.  She actually squeals when she sees it.  More than once I have used it in an effort to bring her happiness when she was crying.  The white spots against the red were an early fascination.  Now the little dark squares of dots on the pink triangles are scratched at and grabbed on.  
I want to remember. 

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

carrots in love