Archive for November, 2009


Oh how we love them.

Surprise babies, late in life babies, babies in bellies.

In my early twenties I volunteered at an Alzheimer’s Ward, spending time with the residents and drawing their portraits. The only instruction I was given by the staff was: do not utter the word baby. That word sent folks into a high emotional state, caused an elderly ruckus of sorts. And now, ten years later, I fully understand.

Babies cause emotion.

I went to a baby shower for our dear friend Gabe today. We ate food, praised the GODDESS that is our midwife, and shared birth stories. Even birth stories twenty years old were able to draw intense feelings and teary eyes.

It was a strange day for me because, though surrounded by babies and talk of babies, I was without one. At the last minute Echo had opted to stay home and play with her papa and her sisters. I can count on one hand how many times I have been away from her, for any duration longer than an hour, in the twenty nine months of her life. I felt strangely empty handed, light of body, though I was FAST. I made it to the celebration in record time. When it was time for me to leave, the process took two minutes because I only had to put on a coat. I did not have to convince my child to exit. I did not have to coax her shoes onto her feet, or negotiate anything.

Then I returned home to an empty house. They were running errands, dropping off sisters, making a stop at the carousel, and were not home. I did not relish the solitude. I had already been gone three hours and was ready to see my girl. I grabbed the dog leash and started walking, thinking I could somehow meet them on their way home, climb into the van with them, shave minutes off my separation. Then Nathan called to say they were arriving home, I was still blocks away, so

I RAN and RAN and RAN.

Puffy coat. Dog leash whipping me in the face. I ran as fast as I could until I reached our driveway, grabbed the door of the van, and flung it wide to get to my baby.

Babies cause emotion.

Echo was happy to see me, sure, but certainly not traumatized. She had been out in the world with her big, safe, papa. She had been having experiences, living life, saying things, hearing things, things I had no notion of. So strange for me, perfectly normal and fun for her. I thought of all of you, mamas and papas, that must spend time away from your baby when you’d rather not and I have so much empathy for you.

Oh sweet babies. The joy that you bring. And also the sorrow, because to love something to this degree brings it’s own painful compliment.

Thank you, babies, for this emotional adventure, for this chance to feel so intensely.




November 30, 2009 at 5:00 am 2 comments

he loves…

…ice cream.

Nathan’s dad, Michael, is visiting us this week and two things have been made abundantly clear. He loves these three granddaughters of his, and he loves ice cream. A lot. And I mean a lot. I mean, write-a-blog-post-about-it, type of a lot.

Today after lunch he ordered a root beer float and also two scoops of vanilla and chocolate, on the side. And tonight after dinner we went to the Big Dipper and he ordered a Super Nova; six scoops of icecream, six toppings, whip cream, and three cherries. When the lady brought it over to us she asked: how many spoons?, and we answered: ONE!

Wow. And he ate it, all.

I love this about him. He loves ice cream and he isn’t afraid to show it. Ice cream feels good to him and he’s going to eat it, as often as he can.

There aren’t many of us embracing our desires as strongly as this. So many of us pull ourselves back with leashes of “shoulds”, or are shamed by imaginary bleachers full of judgmental witnesses. I know I am.

What if you ate as much ice cream as you wanted? What if you did everything you wanted? What if you merely let yourself want what you wanted?


November 29, 2009 at 5:00 am 3 comments

empathy delivery

Hello friends.

Ready to pretend again?

I know I promised to bring chocolate fondue to our next gathering but my belly is still bulging from pumpkin pie. My mind has instead wandered here to this spot, where we can get massages, and sleep in austere clean rooms, and eat fresh food not prepared by us. Want to join me? Let’s sleep, stretch, and hang out while we share these bits of empathy with each other. Game?

I hereby declare fresh empathy for any and all:

  • that are still full.
  • that made it through the amazing accomplishment of getting a feast onto the table, only to immediately move onto dishes and more dishes.
  • that are ready for a baby but don’t yet have the life that matches their vision of themselves when they actually have a baby.
  • that feel crabby, don’t know why, and are tired of it.
  • that are ready for harmony with their co-parents.
  • that want the job, house, wintertime experience they can so perfectly imagine.
  • that feel excited to see someone near and dear to them but still have to wait a little longer.
  • that love their mom and want to be with her even though they fight.
  • that want to work things out with their ex, but wonder if either of them have changed enough to make it work.
  • that want to sleep, just one morning, until they are actually ready to wake up.
  • that really enjoy their kids and want to hold on to those particularly beautiful moments.
  • that are dealing with overly tired, but ecstatic to be playing with their cousins, children.

Want to add anything? Let me know.

Meanwhile, let’s order another round of guava juice and plan our next move. Should we take a walk on the beach? A dip in the pool? A nap? So hard to choose .

November 27, 2009 at 3:28 pm 2 comments

a curtsy to you

Thank you to you, beautiful men and women that make their way to this space. Thank you for your interest in feelings, for your bravery in exploring your own, for your patience in helping your children discover their own, and for your trust in me while I push all of our feeling-vulnerabilities out into the world. I am so grateful.

November 26, 2009 at 5:00 am 1 comment


Bella arrived for Thanksgiving week. WOW. What a radiant burst of spinning shininess. That girl has star power. She is ENERGY in all forms. Big, moving, loving, swirling, action, thoughts, and emotions. Our world becomes “Bellafied” immediately, more movement, more ideas, more complex conversations, more.

And in the midst of that Bella swirl, we prepared for the arrival of Nathan’s dad and partner, cleaning (of course), moving car seats, planning what we think Thanksgiving might look like (if your dad is cooking the turkey, does that mean he arrives at our house at four in the morning to stuff it and crank up the oven???).

I am sitting down now to write this post and asking myself: what AM I feeling? It’s hard for me to tell what I ‘m feeling when my surroundings have tilted. I look back on the day and don’t have any mundane ordinariness with which to get my bearings.

Bella is here on a weekday.

Nathan’s work is shifted around and he’s home on a Tuesday too.

We woke up this morning and instead of our usual tea and kid mayhem, we immediately vacuumed, and then hurried out of the house before we could untidy it all over again (you know how that goes).

And with the arrival of out of towners we ended up eating dinner at 4pm, went for ice cream, had tea at home, and started settling in for the night before I realized it was only 6pm.

Later there was a nighttime foray to the grocery store and now a 15 pound, semi-thawed turkey lurks in our mud room.

What day is this? What time is it?

And what am I feeling?

Perhaps I can let go of my bearings, toss them to the side and get lost in Bella’s swirls and the fortune a visit from family brings. Maybe if I stop using the clock, or days of the week, or schedules, to figure out what kind of day I’m having, I’ll just be able to feel what kind of day I am having.




November 25, 2009 at 5:00 am 1 comment


I’ve been thinking about loneliness lately, or more precisely, the word:  alone. It’s been on my mind because every day, across the world there are people sitting at their computers and typing A..L..O..N..E.. into google. I know this because it takes them here, to this blog. Sometimes the search term comes up as:






and, I follow these exotic looking words to pages that translate them for me, and they all mean the same thing: loneliness or alone.

So many of us feel so alone.

So I’ve been thinking, when do I feel alone? When have I felt alone?

I felt alone when I first moved here, to a very northern part of my country, to the very northern part of the town, in the middle of winter, and I didn’t know anybody. I spent entire days walking the streets wondering where everyone else was going, wondering what everyone else was doing. One day I ordered a latte and when the cafe worker called out my name, to announce the readiness of the beverage, I almost cried because it was the first time I had heard my name said out loud in so long.

I feel alone now when I notice that I do not feel alone. I am in the middle of my tiny and bustling kitchen with children underfoot and I feel a part of something, which immediately, and infuriatingly, makes me think of what would happen to me if these family members suddenly were not in my life and how lonely I would be then.

I feel alone in the middle of the night when I am the only adult awake and I harumph and grumble so that Nathan might be woken too and I will not feel alone anymore.

I myself have written a post here on this blog that assures you, and me, that we are not alone, that we can meet here in this cyberspot and be together. But what if the truth is, we really are alone? What if we try and try to fuse ourselves together through sex, and marriage, and cults, and book clubs, and blogs, but it doesn’t work and we still go to bed each night feeling alone, not melded?

I have read that this is what this time on earth is designed for. To be separate. To feel what that is like. To learn something from that separation, from reaching across the divide, and then fold back into the Tao, the flow, the light, the heavens with greater experience and knowledge. Perhaps we come from a place that is infinite, and light, and embracing, and somehow we know this, we miss it, and we want to get back to it.

It is a mere consolation I know, but as I look at the blog stats and see so many of us searching the term “alone”, I realize that the one thing that we do not do alone is feel alone. We share that. You are not standing apart, cold, miserable and alone, while the rest of the world is full of happy, laughing folks, toasty warm and huddled together. This scene does not exist, this is only what you tell yourself. We are each alone in a happy crowd as much as on an isolated mountaintop. Aloneness is part and parcel of being human, and no one is without it in some form or another.

If it is a naturally occurring feeling, just like any other, then perhaps we can feel it just like any other. Simply feel it. See it, notice it, honor it, and that’s it. We don’t analyze ourselves when we are feeling happy. We do not give ourselves a hard time with that emotion, so why do so with loneliness? Perhaps experiencing it completely instead, is the only way back to that light and embracing place we know we came from. Or if not that profound, perhaps experiencing loneliness will allow us, at the very least, to move on to other feelings as soon as we are ready to feel those.

And, if we all feel alone, then I guess I will restate my earlier claim that, in this way, you are not really alone. You aren’t. And if you want a place where having that feeling is okay and without shame, then you have found it.


November 24, 2009 at 5:00 am 4 comments

life as you dream it

I’ve been blue lately. Grey, taupe, you name it, pretty much down in the dumps. There have been some blips on the radar of delight or amusement, but the baseline has been low. Unable to see any light at the end of the tunnel, I kept sinking deeper and deeper. Alone in my thoughts, blinded by dissatisfaction.

Then nursing Echo to sleep a couple nights ago, frustrated, I thought to myself….what do I even want! By the time Echo was snoring I had a perfect image in my head, what I wanted for our house, for our business, for Nathan’s career, for the long winters, for the girls, for Feeleez. I immediately sat down and drew a precise map of all the elements.


Suddenly, because I could see it illustrated so simply, it became simple. It feels attainable. It is attainable. I see it and now I can have it, or move toward it, or manifest it with my thoughts. My life is already more what I want because I can now see it that way.

I have energy. I am laughing. I am less hungry. I feel fantastic.

I am offering to do a drawing for you too. Tell me what you want and I will draw it for you.

Start by entering the giveaway at NPC, or write me and I’ll get started.

example for Mark and Christina.

November 22, 2009 at 2:24 pm 3 comments

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