Here and There

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Creativity sometimes breaks down...

Writing this poem about a pelican is kicking my butt.  I know exactly what I want to say, but it's not showing. 

I am trying to paint this river otter like one I saw over the summer.  It's not working either. 

River otter!  Pelican!  Guys, I'm trying to show something about why I am loving you, help me out!

Friday, September 16, 2016

Mid Birthday Month

 This September, Henry started at Dandelion, and that has been this incredibly surreal thing.  It feels like suddenly my time as a mom to babies is done.  Being at the comforting, beautiful place that Dandelion is feels like having a doula help me through this reality.  On the first day of school, I was participating and Sonia, one of the teachers was gently washing a chicken whose backside really needed a bath.  The circle of children sat around her outside under the tree and watched.  She put Daisy in a bin of warm water and I helped hold her while Sonia said very kindly "I'm going to wash you now, Daisy".  And set to work with her soap and rag.  I thought about how she used that best practice for working with all the vulnerable--babies and small children, the elderly, those who need assistance from others in cleaning themselves--in her interaction with the chicken.  And I felt so grateful to hear those words.  It doesn't matter that Daisy is a chicken.  It was more of a way of interacting with the whole world with respect for living things.  I felt glad that was what I was learning and what all my kids have learned from starting their foray into the wide world at Dandelion.  Way back when, when Lily was 3, I knew we needed a co-op preschool because of the lower cost, but I have found my years at Dandelion to be just what I needed in so many more ways.  I've learned about parenting, about community, about plants, chickens, child development, about true play.  And honestly, my time working on the board, learning with the parents from the speakers at parent meetings, and learning from Abby and Sonia has been such a part of my path toward nurturing children's spirituality as a fundamental practice in my job at CWOW, at home with my kids and hopefully, in my interactions with all the children I meet.

And it was my birthday earlier this month and Lily gave me this amazing card. 

Monday, August 15, 2016

In August

Favorite things I watched:  Broad City, every episode...over and over...., Stranger Things, The Little Prince
Favorite things I heard:  In the Heights, the On Being with Krista Tippet episode with Thich Nhat Hanh
Favorite thing I read:  The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro

Friday, July 22, 2016


open fire cast iron cooking...
perfect light, perfect temperatures

Didn't even have to use a fly: sleeping under the stars, and getting dressed under the trees and filtered sun.

We went camping at the Russian River last week.  We swam and floated and drank Kirkland light beer, we made good food and now, looking back, even though Henry was wild and naughty a lot of the time, I think we had a pretty darn amazing time.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016


Last week, I walked through a school garden with the kids.  Deserted on a summer afternoon, we picked golden raspberries and strawberries and chard, I studied the labyrinth, there were flowers and herbs and vegetables.  It seemed like the sun was holding it all down with a steady heat.  And me too, I felt like I was clobbered and disoriented by bad news and this fuzz of the sun in the late afternoon was gentling me.  The garden was terraced and full of small paths.  I wandered and felt calm.  A bee working, a dove.  The fuzz of gold on everything in the garden on that warm afternoon.  How could it possibly comfort me?  I don't understand that part.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

The Grown Ups at the Kindergarten Play

I happened to watch one side of the audience during "Chicken Soup With Rice" at the play and was stunned by how beautiful it was to watch the families watch the children.
The Grown Ups at the Kindergarten Play

It was almost like flash bulbs flashing, but it was their shining eyes blinking.
All the phone screens, they were horizontal, filming.  
But there was still this twinkling about the whole thing:  
Like gems catching the light, sun on the pond.

They were all standing there, half standing, sitting there.
They had forgotten where they were, so charmed they were.
Chuckles and sighs escaped like steam from underneath the lid of a boiling pot.  
Bubbles of pride and delight becoming “aha-has” or a little “oh”.

It didn’t matter what the song or the motion was.  
The kids either sang, or didn’t sing.  They did the motions, or they forgot.  
But seeing them up there had inside-outed the adults’ affection and it was extravagant.

They were so lovely to watch as they were watching,
standing there, half standing, sitting there.
They weren’t hoping for anything for the kids.  
They weren’t dreaming of anything for the kids.  
They were happy to see them up there, just as themselves.

Grown ups, can you feel it?  Can you feel that love coming at you from the audience?  
For you, when you learn, when you forget, when you just sit there, remembering the school play.

There is a presence who is agog at you on your stage, so full of bright love, not even hoping you’ll be anything better than you.

Sunday, May 01, 2016

May begins

Just finished Death Comes for the Archbishop yesterday.  Beautiful.  I loved this passage:

"The ride back to Santa Fe was something under four hundred miles. The weather alternated between blinding sand-storms and brilliant sunlight.  The sky was as full of motion and change as the desert beneath it was monotonous and still,--and there was so much sky, more than at sea, more than anywhere else in the world.  The plain was there, under one's feet but what one saw when one looked about was that brilliant blue world of stinging air and moving cloud.  Even the mountains were mere ant-hills under it.  Elsewhere the sky is the roof of the world; but here the earth was the floor of the sky.  The landscape one longed for when one was far away, the thing all about one, the world one actually lived in, was the sky, the sky!"

I also had the suspicion and it was confirmed this evening that my personality type which used to be solidly ENFP is now INFP.  How have I become an introvert?  When exactly did it happen?  I felt it, but I was reluctant to acknowledge it.  And how is it that Peter's is ENTJ?

May will be a busy month, but I hope to spend lots of time working in the garden, watching the chickens, listening to music, drinking deliciously herby cocktails, reading good books and writing more poems.