Archive for September, 2008

h1

Juanita

September 28, 2008

The world has lost another great human being.  My husband’s grandmother, Juanita, gave up her ghost this afternoon after a long and traumatic battle with Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.  She passed away peacefully in her home, surrounded by her daughter, son-in-law, and husband of over 50 years.

You would know the secret of death.
But how shall you find it unless you seek it in the heart of life?
The owl whose night-bound eyes are blind unto the day
cannot unveil the mystery of light.
If you would indeed behold the spirit of death,
open your heart wide unto the body of life.
For life and death are one,
even as the river and the sea are one.

In the depth of your hopes and desires
lies your silent knowledge of the beyond;
And like the seeds dreaming beneath the snow
your heart dreams of spring.
Trust the dreams,
for in them is hidden the gate to eternity.
Your fear of death is but the trembling of the shepherd
when he stands before the king whose hand
is to be laid upon him in honour.
Is the shepherd not joyful beneath his trembling,
that he shall wear the mark of the king?
Yet is he not more mindful of his trembling?

For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind
and to melt into the sun?
And what is it to cease breathing,
but to free the breath from its restless tides,
that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered?

Only when you drink from the river of silence
shall you indeed sing.
And when you have reached the mountain top,
then you shall begin to climb.
And when the earth shall claim your limbs,
then shall you truly dance.

on death – kahlil gibran

h1

ENCORE!! ENCORE!! ENCORE!!

September 28, 2008

Crap, it wouldn’t embed, so here’s a link!

http://www.nbc.com/Saturday_Night_Live/video/clips/couric-palin-open/704042/

h1

Heartbroken

September 27, 2008

The world lost a great human being yesterday.  Paul Newman died at the age of 83.  Paul Newman was a brilliant actor, director, philanthropist, activist, humanitarian, and he made a damned fine salad dressing.

I will never forget the moment I fell in love with Paul Newman.  I was actually in my early 20s (late bloomer) and I was in my dark, dank, smokey basement apartment and I watched Cat On A Hot Tin Roof.  Amazing film, just freaking brilliant.  I heard the last three words, “Lock the door,” and have wanted to be Maggie the Cat every since.  It still makes my knees sweat just thinking about it.  Newman became the epitome of smooth, cool, sexiness that night and he’s never let me down since.

RIP, Mr. Newman.  The world is a better place because of you.

h1

Hey Arena, here’s my hat

September 25, 2008

I’m a very political person.  Very.  I have extremely strong views and am incredibly passionate about my views.  I have marched.  I have protested. I have held signs. I have blogged and called and written and screamed from the rooftops.  All the while, I have always maintained that *everyone* has the right to believe what they believe, *everyone* has the right to feel what they feel, *everyone* has the right to vote the way they want to vote.  As I age, I get a bit quieter in my politics.  My passions have not ebbed, my fierceness has not waned one iota, but I have learned that a revolution can be caused by a ripple and that a monsoon is not always warranted.  I haven’t written much about the upcoming election.  I haven’t said that I think Sarah Palin is insane and a disgrace to feminism.  I haven’t said that I think McCain is an ancient liar.  I haven’t said that this is the time to wake up and take notice before it’s too late.  I haven’t said that … until now.  Fortunately for me, I don’t have to say too much – many others have said it much better than I ever could.

Eve Ensler, the American playwright, performer, feminist and activist best known for “The Vagina Monologues”, wrote the following about Sarah Palin.

Drill Drill Drill

I am having Sarah Palin nightmares. I dreamt last night that she was a member of a club where they rode snowmobiles and wore the claws of drowned and starved polar bears around their necks. I have a particular thing for Polar Bears. Maybe it’s their snowy whiteness or their bigness or the fact that they live in the arctic or that I have never seen one in person or touched one. Maybe it is the fact that they live so comfortably on ice. Whatever it is, I need the polar bears.

I don’t like raging at women. I am a Feminist and have spent my life trying to build community, help empower women and stop violence against them. It is hard to write about Sarah Palin. This is why the Sarah Palin choice was all the more insidious and cynical. The people who made this choice count on the goodness and solidarity of Feminists.

But everything Sarah Palin believes in and practices is antithetical to Feminism which for me is part of one story — connected to saving the earth, ending racism, empowering women, giving young girls options, opening our minds, deepening tolerance, and ending violence and war.

I believe that the McCain/Palin ticket is one of the most dangerous choices of my lifetime, and should this country chose those candidates the fall-out may be so great, the destruction so vast in so many areas that America may never recover. But what is equally disturbing is the impact that duo would have on the rest of the world. Unfortunately, this is not a joke. In my lifetime I have seen the clownish, the inept, the bizarre be elected to the presidency with regularity.

Sarah Palin does not believe in evolution. I take this as a metaphor. In her world and the world of Fundamentalists nothing changes or gets better or evolves. She does not believe in global warming. The melting of the arctic, the storms that are destroying our cities, the pollution and rise of cancers, are all part of God’s plan. She is fighting to take the polar bears off the endangered species list. The earth, in Palin’s view, is here to be taken and plundered. The wolves and the bears are here to be shot and plundered. The oil is here to be taken and plundered. Iraq is here to be taken and plundered. As she said herself of the Iraqi war, “It was a task from God.”

Sarah Palin does not believe in abortion. She does not believe women who are raped and incested and ripped open against their will should have a right to determine whether they have their rapist’s baby or not.

She obviously does not believe in sex education or birth control. I imagine her daughter was practicing abstinence and we know how many babies that makes.

Sarah Palin does not much believe in thinking. From what I gather she has tried to ban books from the library, has a tendency to dispense with people who think independently. She cannot tolerate an environment of ambiguity and difference. This is a woman who could and might very well be the next president of the United States. She would govern one of the most diverse populations on the earth.

Sarah believes in guns. She has her own custom Austrian hunting rifle. She has been known to kill 40 caribou at a clip. She has shot hundreds of wolves from the air.

Sarah believes in God. That is of course her right, her private right. But when God and Guns come together in the public sector, when war is declared in God’s name, when the rights of women are denied in his name, that is the end of separation of church and state and the undoing of everything America has ever tried to be.

I write to my sisters. I write because I believe we hold this election in our hands. This vote is a vote that will determine the future not just of the U.S., but of the planet. It will determine whether we create policies to save the earth or make it forever uninhabitable for humans. It will determine whether we move towards dialogue and diplomacy in the world or whether we escalate violence through invasion, undermining and attack. It will determine whether we go for oil, strip mining, coal burning or invest our money in alternatives that will free us from dependency and destruction. It will determine if money gets spent on education and healthcare or whether we build more and more methods of killing. It will determine whether America is a free open tolerant society or a closed place of fear, fundamentalism and aggression.

If the Polar Bears don’t move you to go and do everything in your power to get Obama elected then consider the chant that filled the hall after Palin spoke at the RNC, “Drill Drill Drill.” I think of teeth when I think of drills. I think of rape. I think of destruction. I think of domination. I think of military exercises that force mindless repetition, emptying the brain of analysis, doubt, ambiguity or dissent. I think of pain.

Do we want a future of drilling? More holes in the ozone, in the floor of the sea, more holes in our thinking, in the trust between nations and peoples, more holes in the fabric of this precious thing we call life?

There it is -there’s my hat.  6 more weeks in the arena.  It’s going to get ugly and some folks are going to have to take some blinders off before the whole country goes burning down in a shithouse fire.  It’s time.

h1

Auntie Vera says

September 22, 2008

HAPPY BIRTHDAY JASON AND NEARA!!!!

Now, go get me a pack of Virgina Slims and some schnapps.

Now.

I said NOW.

Fine, fuck it, just go eat your damned cake.

h1

International Day of Peace

September 21, 2008

We are all tired of hurting.  We are all tired of hurting each other.  We are all ready for love, gratitude, peace, forgiveness, hope, joy, unity, healing.  Let it begin with me.

Please consider doing something today to honor and celebrate, nourish and propogate peace.  Let it begin with you, too.

Places to check it out —

International Day of Peace

iPeace

UN Day of Peace

On Facebook

Take a stand, get your own certificate

h1

Miracles, Guardian Angels, and M&Ms

September 16, 2008

How do you write about something that has no words?  How do you paint a picture of something that can only be felt?  How do you share miracles that you cannot hold in your hand, gifts that have no wrapping, blessings that circle in the wind?  I dunno, but I’m going to try.

I went on my retreat this past weekend and was transformed beyond measure.  My heart expanded and grew more than the Grinch’s at Christmas.  My soul grew wings.  My eyes opened, my lungs finally drew a full breath, and my mind found peace.    I saw miracles happening left and right.  I felt years of pain and fear leave me and float down a river in a boat of acceptance.  I felt my whole body lift up as Hope flew in with a promise to carry me through anything.  I felt the loving arms of my Gathering Of Divinity wrap around me and say, “Finally you know I will never leave you.”  I left the retreat with 67 guardian angels, fairy godmothers, sisters of the soul.  And I also ate a lot of chocolate.  😉

I now have a clear and open connection to my higher self.

I dance and the Universe dances with me.

I am exactly where I need to be.

I am love and acceptance in motion.

I am a blessing to all those who know me.

I touch those near me with love and gentleness

I am connected to all that is good

I am on the Broad Highway walking hand in hand with the Spirit of the Universe.

I am a miracle in progress

And so are you.

h1

In case you missed it

September 16, 2008

Funniest thing evah.

h1

Meditation of the moment

September 11, 2008


Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant,
gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?

a return to love – marianne williamson

h1

Honesty+ vulnerability= peace and serenity

September 8, 2008

So I wrote a bit ago about some big changes in my life.  Things keep on changing.  It’s good!  It’s wonderful!  It’s sooo unusual. I love every bit of it, even the hard parts.  It seems as if every single day brings a huge revelation – like opening a present to myself with each and every breath.  Tell me that isn’t cool!

I’m leaving Friday for a 3 days Women’s Retreat in a small town in the middle of the woods about 90 minutes from home.  This is a radical thing for me.  I have left town many times since having kids, but always for work or for someones wedding or for family needs.  This is the first time that I’m going somewhere solely for me.  Just for me.  I’m going to spend 3 days with many women who are in the same spiritual place as me, some who have been where I am and can lead me further along the path, and even with some women who are where I have been and who will allow me to share my experience, strength, and hope with them in order to help them along their journey as well.  There will be workshops, meditations, speakers, activities.  Lots of food.  Lots of chocolate. Lots of laughter.  Probably lots of tears, as well.  Just thinking about it sends electricity through my body.  It’s going to be so wonderful!  It’s going to change my life.  I cannot wait!

Everything has a price, however, and this retreat is no exception.  This retreat is costing me my comfort zone.  I have to get completely and totally out of it to be able to participate.  My kids have never been watched by anyone other than family members (with the exception of 90 minutes with DDFF 6 years ago.. ) and wouldn’t you know it, all the family is booked solid for this weekend.  B has to work crazy hours (it’s a football weekend,) the in-laws have a retreat of their own, and my Mom is working, too.  What to do? What to do?  Clearly doing things like I’ve always done wouldn’t work – I can not be in 2 places at once.

So I prayed to my higher power (you ought to see what I see in my head when I say Higher Power – some very clearly feminine energy floating through the sky with sparklers and purple frosting like swirls,) and decided to take a chance and be honest about my circumstances and also be vulnerable enough to ask for help.  I emailed 6 women and explained my lack of experience with outside childcare and asked if anyone could step in and help out.  Wouldn’t you know it?  All but one of those 6 women stepped up and said, “YES!  I’ll watch your kids!”  The only reason that the 6th woman didn’t offer to help is ’cause she’s gonna be out of state and she, too, has not been given a time turner by Dumbledore.

I couldn’t believe my good fortune! This never would have happened had I not gotten out of myself and taken a chance.  WOOT!

As time passed, however, things started to get a bit more complicated.  The kick off time for the game was announced and it’s an early game.  This means that B will have to be at work at the insane hour of 5:30 for the even more insane tradition of Kegs and Eggs. Jeebuz, none of my friends would be cool with having someone drop a 6 year old and an 8 year old off at their house at 5am (actually, no one should be cool with this arrangement – it’s completely and totally absurd.)  I felt myself getting back into my old routine – stressing, freaking, trying to control what I cannot control.  See how much my comfort zone sucks?  I took yet another chance and confessed to not being Super Mom from Brainiac7.  Why is it so hard for me to admit that I don’t always have it together?  Anycrazy, the minute I confessed my conundrum, my super fly friend who is watching the kidlets suggested that they just stay the night Friday with her.  Problem solved!

Another week passes and yesterday morning I realize that I’m leaving in 5 days.  HOLY CRACKBALLS!  That’s really soon – and the anxiety starts flowing in.  Last night I barely slept.  I was nervous and freaking out — and just about right there in that comfort zone, but before I let myself get wrapped up in that fuzzy I-Am-The-Only-One-On-Top-Of-Things-But-I’m-REALLY-Failing-Right-Now blanket, I just decided to voice my concerns, put them out there in the universe and tell my friend of my colossal freak out.  I just emailed her a list of all my worries, no matter how ugly, stupid, insane, unfounded, or irrational they are.  And with a few words from her, they all vanished.  It’s going to be okay.  Hell, it’s going to be MORE than okay – it’s gonna be awesome!

In the past, I would have turned into a raging cow over this stuff.  I would have cried and screamed and freaked out and convinced myself that it couldn’t happen and then I’d be building resentments for feeling trapped and isolated and .. and … and … well, you know.  It would have been ugly.  All because I have spent the better part of my life afraid to be vulnerable, to admit that I don’t have it all going on, all together, that i need help.  Somewhere along the way I learned the lesson that I had to be Amazingwoman.  That lesson has served me very very poorly indeed for close to 25 years.  Amazing how being incredibly uncomfortable can be comfortable.

I’m learning that I’m human and that’s okay.  It’s okay to be honest about my short comings.  It’s okay to be vulnerable. It’s okay to reach out and tell my truth and ask for help.  I’m also learning that it makes me so much happier to turn it all over, to give it up, to relinquish the illusion of control.  I’m learning that I love myself more when I let others love me.  I’m learning that by being human, I allow others to be human.  By being flawed, I’m more approachable.  I’m learning that honesty and vulnerability is the ultimate strength.  I’m shedding that hard, impenetrable outer shell and what I’m finding underneath is the most beautifully cracked and broken, perfectly imperfect soul.

Honestly.