31 December 2013

tuesday's notes | december thirty-first

It is very, very early here on the West Coast of the United States. I am sitting on my couch with my middle, he is up with a nasty bout of croup, and I am up, sitting next to him, waiting for the dawn and letting my mind meander to far flung places, to the ocean so near and of crossing the prime meridian where it is very likely already a new year. 

Fourteen years ago, my husband and I, expecting our first born, watched, waited and toasted the new millineum. We watched the telecasts from all across the world, watched as the sun rose on another side of the globe long before it set its rays upon the shadows of our window panes. Less than two weeks later our lives would be turned upside down when we welcomed our oldest into the world. I like to think that I was a practical dreamer back then. Practical in every sort of way with unrealistic expectations of how my life would be made. Now here I am, practicality thrown out the window, with very little expectations of how things will be on any given day. 

I am quite ready for the New Year. I am ready for things to start anew, for new plans, for new adventures; however, I am also ready for the adventures that are already here: raising my boys, living this life, running alongside a world full of hope and wonder. 

So as the sun goes down on the ocean today, as it rising somewhere else, I will be toasting all the good, all the unexpected, all the hard work. I will be toasting you, and you; I will toast to your family and mine; to the lost and wandering, the found and discovered; I will toast to all things hidden and unknown, to all the open hearts and to all the many open doors. 

cheers to a very happy and abundant New Year. xxoo
we say goodbye, with smiles and tears,
to this passing of years.
we lie in anticipation of what the new day will bring,
unknown abundance in sown fields
hope and resolution
clearing away the noise to find what rests in our hearts.
the quiet voice that nourishes our soul.

30 December 2013

in with the new, embracing the old

As the year winds down to a close, like so many of us, I am reflecting on this past year as well as plotting out goals for the new one. Wonderful connections have been made which warm my heart and bring joy to my soul (ahem -you all!!).

I also feel like my writing is slowly becoming stronger, as is my photographic eye. Perhaps not the most economical or practical thing to do, but I am embracing being a creative -and with that knowledge, I am also pondering on ways to help make ends meet and which path to take there...

In November I started my own photography website: A Wondered Life. I also love, love, love writing and wish that there was a way to give it more breath and depth in this coming year (I have started writing a children's book and I so want to see it through... even if it never finds it way to a printed page, it would be lovely to follow through with the wee project this year).

As I simultaneously reflect and think forward, I can't help but ponder on this blog, and its small space on the internet. When doing this, one eventually comes to the question: why do I blog/write?  And once I strip down all the ego, the real reason I show up here is my deep longing to connect with the world, to connect with humanity, to connect with you.

So in this, and to clarify my own goals here for the upcoming year, I ask you all what do you want to see here? More of the same? More poetry? More short stories? More photography? More guest posts? New projects? Link-ups (to Tuesday's Notes or Friday's Fodder+Folly? Or something different all together?) Do I continue on with the 52 portraits, as so many others are with Jodi; and if so, in what manner (the boys, or more portraits of people in the community)?

All these questions really come down to how can we, how can I, help foster community; one that helps sustains us creatively and soulfully?

The other day I came across this post about finding your guiding word for 2014 from Mama Scout. She asks wonderful questions for the new year that I think are very worthwhile spending time journaling on over the next few days (If you find these at all helpful, give her a shout-out over on her blog or FB page I say this not because she has asked me too, but because I have found these questions so spot on for reflecting on the past, present and future).

~What do I want to create in the new year?

~What do I want to do and how do I want to spend my days?

~What do I need to moving towards?

~How do I want to feel each day?

~What is the legacy I am creating right now?

~What are the thoughts I am most afraid to think?

~What idea makes my heart beat a little faster?

~What can I give up?

~How do I want to experience time?

~What do I want to create in the new year?
Most of all I am wondering what are you pondering in your heart these days? What are you reflecting on as this year draws to a close? I would love to know! xxoo

28 December 2013

52 | 52 a year closing quietly

a sleepy quiet has filled up the rooms these days since Christmas. we are letting things be. laundry washed, but not folded and put away; dishes are clean but remain unstacked. there is tinkering with toys, building forts, constructing Legos. most of all we look around at our small corner of the universe,  and feel abundantly lucky and blessed. 

27 December 2013

december writing | shadows

In the days after Christmas, long shadows stretch over the house. Life is lived in rewind. We play over and over again the happenings of days past, we remember loved ones no longer with us and heave collective sighs as we watch our children unwrap their days, their gifts, their dreams.

Let us rest in these shadows. Let us find a small spring of renewal that gurgles up from the darkest part of the night, to fill our cups, to fill our hearts again with hope.

love to you all in these long shadowed days of Christmas tide. a small response to the prompt "shadow" from Amanda and write alm. xo

24 December 2013

22 December 2013

joyful! joyful!

 "enough is as good as a feast" -english proverb

joyful: a list for the holidays

-twinkly lights, everywhere.
-festive christmas tree lots 
-quiet in the early morning dark
-giggling and games in the afternoon
-things coming together
-wrapping it all up
-hot cider and gingerbread men
-iced sugar cookies
joy fills my heart, when I stop and take a deep breath and see just how blessed I am. 
what's on your list? xxoo

21 December 2013

52 | almost there....the end and the beginning

winter solstice. my most favorite.

celebrated in the background of the ever looming Christmas and coveted New Year, this quiet time always has me reflecting, watching, waiting, hoping.

a quiet celebration of blessings and hopefulness, lighting candles to honor the passing of the darkness into light.

then we go on our merry way to the hurried Christmas day.

I hope for all of you there is time for slowing down, for enjoying the silence of the dark, with the knowledge that there is always dawn after the dark.

18 December 2013

december writing | quilt

My mother.

The backing to the quilted squares of my childhood. At times scratchy and uncomfortable; often times well worn, beloved and soft, like the snowy down from the underbelly of the gander. She was as traditional and as untraditional as she could be.  She was as cruel as she was kind, as aloof as she warm, as penitent as she was indifferent. She clung to her children as if they were the only raft keeping her afloat.  By the time I was in 4th grade she had 4 children, two of whom were adopted from Korea, had opened her own children's clothing store and was mis-diagnosed, then diagnosed with the one of the most advanced stages of breast cancer. I think there must have been days when she longed to crawl back under the quilted covers of her youth; to wrap herself in something else other than what the stars had scribbled out for her across the sky, or at least to discover a meaning and explanation for the long hours her waking days were made of. But the answer to her questions never came, yet somehow she moved forward anyway; sometimes without much grace and an overly bitter taste in her mouth, but she was moving. forward. anyway.

I wonder, if she was living her life now, if she was a mother among my peers, if her oldest was at school with my 4th grader, where she would be. How would the fates sew her life if she was living it through these years of pink empowerment, "leaning in" women gatherings and inspirational TED talks? Would she finally have time to stop, rest and just be? Cling a little less to her children and her desire for perfection? Would she embrace a bit better the messiness that Life is? I don't know. She was not a child of this age, but from a time before that.

I imagine her Shade walking along the playground, fetching us after school, the ghosts of my childhood. Glimpses of her in the setting sun amongst the swings and slides. Standing there, arms crossed, loving the small, scattered, laughing children ghosts so. Wishing she could scoop us back up into her arms, afraid if she held us close we would disappear, but that if she didn't she would fade into the night.

So here I am, with small traces of her life left inside my heart. I am not a cobbler. I am not a quilter. I am left with only the small tools I have, the small attempts at re-writing her story, not able to relive it.

I cannot sew, but I string together words along a thread, a quilting bee of her life.

17 December 2013

tuesday's notes | oh tannenbaum!

 Dear Boys,

We need to work together a bit more. Seriously.

I will love you until my dying breath, but truly, when you three are arguing with each other (as well as with me) over the size shape and variety of tree we want to bring home for this holiday season, I am so ready to jump ship and swim to the shore in the New Year.  I know that three of us are particularly visual and creative, AND strong-willed opinionated souls, but thats why we need to work as a team. We could storm castles with our out-of-the-box ways! But when we are feeling fractious and divisive -well lets just say that there is nothing as cheerless and merry-less as that.

All things being equal, we did, in the end, pull it together.  You younger two realized the need, at least this year, for a tree that is not the size of Mt. Everest, and I was forced to let go, temporarily anyhow, of my need to control the situation when my perfect tree was sold to someone else while we were bickering. In the end, your dad and, you, mr. oldest, saved the day by just taking the tree where we had some kind of consensus and purchasing it. Phew.
Then we all relaxed! It was amazing! 

And thank you for allowing me to kill time while your dad had to run go get cash, with my camera and you all as models.  See how much fun we have when we are not bickering (and I realized, how much you all need a haircut before the 24th). 

 cheerio for now boys!
love you three so very deeply!
This is a series called tuesday's notes. You are welcome to write along if you want, just leave a comment with your blog address if you decide to write one and I will be sure to come say hello. These "Notes" can be notes to your self (future, past or present), notes to the rude person who cut you off in line, notes to your children, note's to your parents... I think you get the idea. Would love if you "wrote along!" xo

mid december portraits | & a wee bit of happy news!

oh my boys! one refused to get anywhere near St. Nick (ahem the oldest). the youngest was seriously questioning St. Nick's beard. the middle? he just told St. Nick that he wanted a reindeer for Christmas. oh my boys! 
In happy, unrelated news, I wanted to share that one of my photos has been selected as the cover for Kindred Magazine's winter issue, Nest. I am simply over the moon! You can see the cover preview by clicking on through! xxoo

13 December 2013

tummy blues and holiday spirit

much to my chagrin, another one of my merry men was felled by the ugly stomach bug, again.  don't tell his younger brother, who is very competitive with him these days, but the middle one had it much worse. yesterday, he didn't want me further than an arms length from him all day, so that meant the loads of holiday errands that need to be run, completed, and checked off are pushed back until next week as our weekend is incredibly, blessedly busy.  so i puttered around the house, not getting much done, other than cleaning the loads of laundry that now needed to be done, (notice I didn't say folding and putting away) and enjoying the grand privilege of wiping my son's face after each stomach purge. 

but we do have holiday spirit! the boys adore opening up the advent calendars sent to them by their grandmother (my husband's mother) and we have decked our tiny house with lights and wreaths and garland (i ran a wreath workshop/how-to at our church last weekend -it was so lovely to create and make -even my youngest delighted in the making).  then, with the left over wreath makings my youngest came home and built himself a  backyard shelter with wood and the cuttings (see photos in this post). it was super cute to see him out there on sunday, working away, ignoring american football. 

we will get a tree soon! the younger two want the tree up for the 12 days of Christmas so we have been holding off on getting one just yet as our house IS tiny and we have many creatures under one roof. i was looking at sparse subalpine fies (like over on terrain), but my youngest wants a big tree (frasier fir) with lots of branches so his can play with his stuffed animals in it.  last night, as i was trying to get him to sleep he bemoaned the fact that Chanukah was 8 nights of "presents." i told him we could open up the presents slower this year using the 12 days of Christmas. i am not sure he bought that idea, really, at all (though i love it -it feels like it would slow the frenzied Christmas spirit down a bit). what i truly think he was hoping for was more presents on top of the presents he is already planning on getting.  silly boy. 

today i am hoping for less vomiting and more merry-making. i am crossing my fingers that none of us get another round of this tummy bug. 

hope your weekend plans are looking merry and bright! 


11 December 2013

| november writes :: first snow

to knit: quick, a warm set of mitts
to play: making cheeks rosy, pink pinched

There is nothing so glorious

as a pair of red mittens, 

on the hands of a young child

as she plays in the winter white snow.
here is a small remnant of words from last months november writes series. amanda is into december prompts now so I encourage you to check out the series over in write alm // habit of being. xxoo

| november writes :: whisper

to the sky at dawn 
 and the quiet that whispers to me on the wind plowed fields
winging past my ear with the broken-hearted & the humbled heavens.

here is a small remnant of words from last months november writes series. amanda is into december prompts now so I encourage you to check out the series over in write alm // habit of being. xxoo

10 December 2013

tuesday's notes | into december

gosh. it is hard to believe that I haven't visited this space in so long.  It is early morning here. My youngest, after having thrown up for a good portion of the wee early morning hours, is finally asleep on the couch.  I am drinking much needed coffee and desperately trying to come up with a post that reconnects me to my online family. So ta-da! here it is. 

I have missed being over in this space. As of late it has been hard to find several minutes to cobble together to write a full-fledged post. The moments ticking up to Thanksgiving were harder than I thought they would be.  I was surprised that the absence of my mother felt raw and re-opened all over again.  Loss is a funny thing and it often requires deep breaths; and then plowing on into life despite it all. Then, with the last week of November melting into Thanksgiving, then into Advent (along with everyone getting the stomach flu) I have spun myself silly with all sorts of imagined holiday merriment and busy-ness. Which quite frankly, I really don't like the spinning part, especially when my perfectionism coincides with my productivity being at an all time low.

I am vowing hence forth to not spin myself into a perfectionist frenzy -it defeats the purpose of any celebration. I love, love, love making things so I am trying to slow down long enough to give my self room for error AND time for craft. It is hard with the ever-looming deadline of December 25th, but I think I can make it to the other side. Craft, or no craft.  

So note to self: give of your time and your craft, not of your spinning, feverish, holiday, crazy-making.

How are you handling the Holidays? I would love to know. 

This is a series called tuesday's notes. You are welcome to write along if you want, just leave a comment with your blog address if you decide to write one and I will be sure to come say hello. These "Notes" can be notes to your self (future, past or present), notes to the rude person who cut you off in line, notes to your children, note's to your parents... I think you get the idea. Would love if you "wrote along!" xo

23 November 2013

november's middle | portraits of the boys

so busy these days and for the million photos I seem to take every week, I can barely find one I am satisfied of my three so I have been avoiding posting their weekly portraits. However,  as I am aware that I will never quite be satisfied with anything I do these days I am posting them, none-the-less:

-hard to believe the oldest will be in high school next year.
-I caught my youngest playing with a simple boat he had made in class for the american holiday, Thanksgiving (note the boat's name "The Mayflower").
-and the middle, clutching his drink and trophy during his end of season celebration of flag football.

I can scarcely breathe when I think of December! hope this weekend is treating you well! xo

22 November 2013

friday | fodder+folly

follies of the week:
-creatively constructing excuses to stop my creativity
-mind-numbing, brain-scattering internet hum-drums
-not sticking to the plan
-letting November fly by
-avoiding things both big and small

fodder for the soul:
-my dog curled up on the couch next to me as I write
-waking up to a sweet cat cleaning my face
-holding hands with the youngest
-creativity despite my excuses to do otherwise
-the oldest sharing his experience at the museum of tolerance
-watching my middle work extra hard on the violin

provender for the days ahead:
-a very autumn-like weekend in Los Angeles
-getting things done!
-listening to the wind blow through the trees and rattle the eaves
-finding quiet moments to be still and thankful
This is a friday series called fodder+folly. You are welcome to write along if you want, just leave a comment with your blog address if you decide to write one and I will be sure to come say hello. Would love if you "wrote along!" xxoo

21 November 2013

twenty-one | november writes :: autumn glow

It is 4am here.  I find a quiet joy, here, in the darkness, as I sit upon my imaginary watch tower, looking over the slow rotation of earth and the turning of the seasons.  Right now, at this very moment, a drizzling, gurgling rain descends from the sky and I am grateful for every last drop.

There has been a significant drought here in the Southern California and at times it feels as if every single politician is ignoring it.

Oh scratch that.

It doesn't just feel like that, it is like that. When I head out to the hills and wander through the carved trails, I can't help but gasp at the choked and thirsty plant life. The dust blows in billowing trumpets and seems to clog the air with desperation and grief.  When we traveled up the coast to Morro Bay it was as apparent as ever: the parched hills and the dry grassy fields. There was a part of my soul that jumped for joy when, on our return trip home, we drove through Santa Barbara and things were green again! (though my heart knew it was only for human hands, the watering that they do, which made the houses on the hills surrounded by one of Mother Nature's finest colors.)

So with this rain, I embrace, and am ever grateful for, the cooling tide of autumn. The long lazy haze of earlier sunsets that take deep golden sighs before they dip into the ocean to rest. The nights are longer, stretching their dark, navy-purpled fingers for almost twelve hours a day. There is more time for the earth to soak up the rain, for the plants to rest, shielded in night's cloak from the sting of the burning sun.  I look forward to the soft winter glow as well. Here, in this climate, it blends ever so subtly with autumn before it gives way to spring time.

So I wait here, rising early, listening to the hope that falls from the sky, sipping my coffee and writing. I feel the quiet, content humming of the falling rain, and the radiant autumn glow that will follow.  It is a song full of wishing that sings within me: a pattering sound of hope on the walls of my heart.

excuse the rambling.
 joining in with amanda, write alm, and other fabulous folk
for november-prompt-a-day

20 November 2013

thirteen | november writes :: on my table

 Before I was married, before I ever lay eyes on my husband, before we were bound in matrimony and our lives entwined forever by the babies we made, I knew that a table would be central to the family life I hoped to create someday. In my often tired-of-the-rat-race daydreams, I wistfully imagined a long oak table, a sturdy remnant of a forgotten age, one that smelled of old wood, woven with trains of grain criss-crossed across the top; a farm table, a monastery table, long enough to seat 6 or 12 (or 20).

As I have always loved to cook, coupled with a deep desire to know humanity better, I knew very early on I would need a table to host the armies of folks I imagined traipsing in and out of my house, through summer harvests and breaking bread, through the holidays, sharing pies and jams and turkeys. Something to feed the small troop of boys I knew I would someday have.

Sometimes I imagine that The Table is an actual archetype, never imagined or thought of by Jung, but exists in the dreams of childbearing women across the world: the center, the hearth, the place where all is set aside and all are fed.

Despite my deep dreaming desire for the table of all tables to fill my farmhouse of a home, we instead have a medium-size table sold and bought, years ago, from a big box store. But it does its duty well. It is the place of writing and painting, of babies making messes, of boys older, working hard on thoughts and dreams and work. On any given day it holds several plants, a bowl or two of fruit and a pile of breadcrumbs and small milk-rings from glasses drunk.  And it fits, ever so perfectly, into our tiny urban homestead inside the vast metropolis in which we live.
excuse the rambling.
 joining in with amanda, write alm, and other fabulous folk
for november-prompt-a-day

18 November 2013

eighteen | november writes :: seeking solace

 i seek solace, there in nature, in my cup of coffee, in the dreams of pictures,

reading next to my children, quiet and still as we hide out in stories. 
excuse the rambling. joining in with write alm for november-prompt-a day. xxoo

12 November 2013

ten | november writes :: texture

there is something about the sweet soft smell of a newborn; his wispy hair and milky, creamy-like skin. i always felt that there was nothing quite like it.

for me the scent, the feel of the tiny wisps of hair on the head of a babe was the golden payment, the source of nourishment for my soul, the small counter act against the exhaustion that comes with being the mother of those tiny, fragile, yet ever so fierce, little things.

in those early sleep-deprived days, as i would nurse, i would cradle my baby's head and feel the peach fuzz wisps of hair on his head. and when the wee one would finally fall off the breast into a sleep induced drunken milk stupor, i would bring him up to lay on my chest, his head just under my chin,  and i too would fall asleep with the quiet sounds of his breath, and the soft, silken hair gently touching my face, letting me know that all was well in the world.

now they are all older, and i still kiss their heads, lay my cheek upon their mops of hair.  in these small moments when they allow such a thing, i can feel deep in my heart, that somewhere in there, through all the ways they have grown and are growing, is the tiny newborn that was at once so fierce and so fragile.

09 November 2013

eight | november writes :: find the language

she tries, and she tries and she tires from trying. she is in love with words and stories and is always searching for the right ones, but when she is in the grown-up world they always seem to come out at the wrong time, at the wrong moment.  so she loses herself in her stories and her pictures. she imagines that she is a princess in the woods. with a camera. looking for language to capture what her eyes see.

Someday she will be at the helm of her own ship, expressing her thoughts with concise precision, finding the proper expression for her stories, but for now she is content, playing second fiddle to her dreams, happy with her picture maker in hand and a story book of notes under her arm.

08 November 2013

seven | november writes :: gloaming

The sun sets quickly here in this small valley, tucked under the eaves of the mountains. Daylight doesn't last long. Legend has it that if you go out for a walk at dusk, you may be swallowed up with the sun into the hollows of the mountainside.

At night, safe in his bed, Isaac would wonder about that old saying. He knew it was just a legend, but sometimes as he listened to the wind rattle at the window pane and watched the shadowed tree branches bend outside his window, he wondered if it was true. And as he waited for sleep to close his eyes, he let his mind drift, thinking about where you would go, where you would walk for the remainder of days if you were blotted out, taken in at the gloaming of the setting sun.

excuse the rambling.
 joining in with write alm for november-prompt-a-day. 

07 November 2013

school ready | guest post :: FARM SCHOOL : part two

As promised, part two of Chey's lovely post on her oldest son's school, The Farm School:
The Farm School also places importance on this time of transition, when adolescents become independent contributing members of their community.  A time when they need to make their own mistakes as messy as it may seem.  For example - packing their lunches, picking out weather appropriate clothing, or keeping up with assignments. 

06 November 2013

outdoors in :: autumn, persimmons & regrets

Its persimmon season here. And as the days grow shorter, though no less cold, I try to reconstruct the season of Autumn for the boys here in our home. Our CSA brought us persimmons this week and I find something wonderful about them splayed out on the table next to a pomegranate and a pumpkin meant for pie.

05 November 2013

five | november writes :: autumn falling/tuesday's notes

It is autumn. In the dark of my bedroom, in the deepest part of my sleep, I dream and dream again about about the street of my childhood and the piles of leaves I plowed through in the dying rays of the day. The way the air, crisp and cold met your face when you stepped outside and how the leaves that fell from the trees where but an echo, a lyrical prelude to the snow that would soon fall from the sky.

Fall and Winter always held hands in Colorado, they were bedmates, sharing October, fighting over November as if they were children. Eventually Autumn would bow her head and give way to the gales of Winter's wind and the gallons of snow of December.  However, these two seasons differ in the day to day, they always seemed to love the dance, the exchange that November brought.

In the dark of my bedroom I remember last November as well. The dark wind that echoed down the hallows of my heart. Somewhere in the night, one year ago, my mother's body let go and she passed on. And though I don't wish that she held on longer, I so wish I could have been with her more before she left us.

So in the dark, in this Autumn of falling, I dream about the ways I fall and fail. And I dream about the struggle, the bedfellows that Winter and Fall are. I dream of my childhood and I dream of the childhood of my own boys. And I dream of the days when I will reconcile the Fall and Winter of my soul and let fall, into the passing of dreams my own failures.

And amidst these ashes, there we will find hope, a phoenix rising in glorious song, the sweet cantor bellowing from our soul.
 excuse the rambling.
 joining in with amanda and write alm for november-prompt-a-day. 
tomorrow's prompt is: regret(s) won't you join in?
 (I am also killing two birds with one stone and doubling up for my tuesday's notes)

04 November 2013

school ready| guest post::FARM SCHOOL | part one

I am so thrilled to have Chey from the blog the other side of the pond....and back bringing us a wonderful guest post about the Montessori school her oldest attends. I could only dream of such wonders for my oldest! Reading about this school is the perfect way to start off your week! (this post is so delightful and full of wonderful photos I am splitting it up between this Monday and this Thursday!) 
For the last three years I home schooled our 2 boys while we lived outside of the U.S. (they perviously attended Montessori school in Colorado).  We were very lucky in that they were able to return to Montessori, one in their old school and the oldest in a Montessori school that is K-12.  Our oldest is attending a very unique school that has the only curriculum like it in the country (we really are so lucky) - it is called the Farm School and is for years 12-15.

03 November 2013

three | november writes :: first thing I see

It is early morning and I have yet to open my eyes. I know it is dark outside as the light has not yet knocked on the doors of my eyelids. I keep my eyes shut tight so that I can better listen to the world slowly waking up. I listen to the deep sighs of those sharing the tent with me and as I listen to the wind blow through the trees, whistling slowly through the flaps of my ears, I can tell that each one of my companions are still asleep. For that I am grateful. I slowly open my eyes and the first thing I see is nothing. Just darkness. The sun has not peaked over the tops of the glaciered mountains around me. Though I can feel the sharp sting of the cold air around my face, I know that the earth remains slowly circling the sun as I can feel the heat of our star rising through the ground, torrents of sunbeams that will  cast everything in its golden glow in just a little while. My eyes slowly adjust to the dark, and as they do, I see the faint blue-gray light that first hints of the day to come. I quietly get out out of my sleeping bag and pull on my sweater. While grabbing my boots and other woolens, I ever so softly unzip the tent's door. I wince as the sound of the zipper seems to resound off the walls of our tent, as deep as a loud "hello!"echoes and bounces off a canyon wall. I turn my head to cast a furtive glance at my tent mates. Not one of them stirs. I sigh with relief as I climb out into the dark campsite, with the wind quickly biting at my cheeks and my mouth steaming out plumes of steam.

My feet tentatively feel the cold sharp needles and frosted dirt, and despite the frigid air, there is a part of me that longs to walk barefoot over to the cold campfire. I am briefly frozen in the indecision, then chose to throw logic to the wind that tickles my cheeks. I walk, feet stinging on the cold ground, my arms clumsily filled with my boots and layers of clothes to the fire pit. I sit on one of the logs as I pull on my boots, my hands shaking from the thrill of acting like a child as well as from the bitter cold.  Once dressed, I look up at the sky that will slowly turn a bright blue in just a bit. I can still see Orion's belt, and though the sky is still a deep navy, the last bits of the Milk Way have been swallowed up by the soon to be seen sun. It is her way of whispering that she is almost here, dancing just behind the mountain range.  I don't want more light just yet, I don't want the sun to come up and wake the others. I just want to be here, in the quiet, here sitting, here, with the ache of the cold wood finding its way into my skin.
a bit of fiction. excuse the rambling.
 joining in with amanda and write alm for november-prompt-a-day. 
tomorrow's prompt is: happiness is.....  won't you join in?

02 November 2013

two | november writes :: be present

part one
And all these things, all the ways that tie up my life and entwine me to those boys of mine, all of these things bring with them a weight of being. this weight I keep close like a stone in my pocket, holding my being close to the hearth, smoothed down between my calloused fingers, keeping me here in the waking and the walking.

part two
on being present. 
As a mama, its hard to not drift, your head in the clouds dreaming of restful nights. It is four in the morning. I am awake too early; too early to rise and too early to fall back asleep. I take deep breaths. Our cat lies close by, purring deeply, kneading the covers near my bare skin. There is a comfortable discomfort in this. Her purring and kneading, and all the while, at 4am, I want to escape the thoughts that crowd my mind: Will my middle learn how to read? Will my oldest fair well in school? Do they know I love them with all my might? I think of Maurice Sendak, and of Max, and his mother, and how the Wild Things on the island tell him, "we'll eat you up we love you so!" and I think of Max, how he said, "No!" And I think of my boys, and all things that I love about them and the small stone that sits at the base of my being that weighs me down. I think, "Am I the dark wild thing that loves them so, or am I the place where someone loves them best of all?" I want to be the light, the place where they feel safe, but I know I am also fierce and that maybe somedays they want to be fierce and wild with me, and somedays they want their dinner waiting for them, on the their bedside table, still hot. I think of all of these thoughts that keep me awake at 4am. Forcing me to be present with who I am and who I will no longer be. I think on being present, right here, right now, just for the moment.

part three
I am present. There is nothing so mundane, and joyful, and painful as being present. I was present during the birth of the boys, the way each one was born so different from the next. I was present when they wailed in the night, afraid and cold, away from the arms they know best. I was present when they stubbed their toes, and when they made their first friends; when they tell stories and first sing songs. I have been and am so VERY present.
                      And yet not.
I feel the weight of that stone in my pocket, rubbed smooth between my calloused fingers and I know that I have not always chosen to be present in the way I always need to be. So I close my eyes. It is 4:15 in the morning. My cat purrs and purrs. She climbs onto my side, kneading into my skin and my clothes. Her purr and the sharp nettled sting of her claws lulls me back to sleep. 
                                       for now anyway. for the present moment that is.
linking up with amanda and write alm. excuse the rambling. 

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