Sunday, June 24, 2012

Our Trip to Wonderland

If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense.  Nothing would be what it is because everything would be what it isn't.  And contrary-wise; what it is it wouldn't be, and what it wouldn't be, it would.  You see?
- Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll 

Deep in the mind of Lewis Carroll there came a place of infinite imagination and possibility. Wonderland.  That magical curious place of fantasy and fear, creativity and insanity.  Everyone should make the journey to Wonderland at least once in their life.  We all need to be free to go mad occasionally.  

Last night we fell down the rabbit hole.  We had "Eat Me" cakes and "Drink Me" potion.  We channeled our own Mad Hatter into fancy little headpieces.  The candles were too big and the cake too small.  We smiled wicked Cheshire smiles.  And piled high on the couch as moving pictures played the story before us.  A Hookah smoking caterpillar, the Bloody Red Queen, and a fierce Jabberwocky rounded out our cast of characters.  And of course we can't forget Alice, the heroine of this fanciful place of curious imagination.  We went to bed full of impossible dreams and we counted them down until morning arrived and the White Rabbit led our tea guests away, 6-5-4-3-2-1.   The Hatter and the Cat evaporated away into the mist and we were left with only the memory.  It was a very merry un-birthday indeed.


Friday, June 22, 2012

Happy Birthday Analiese

Today my oldest girl is nine.  My sweet Analiese.  With her heart-on-her-sleeve spirit, she is a beautiful mess.  My hippie child. She is a lover of nature and bugs and lying on her back staring up at the blue sky.  My yoga girl, who finds peace in quiet meditation.   My dramatic child with a vaudeville sense of humor.  Freckled cheeks and her chocolate drop eyes.  She gets more beautiful every year.  I can see the young woman coming out in her daily.    She is my child who believes in things of faith.  She lives in a world where fairies exist and God is real.  But she is the child who questions herself. She has reached an age where she needs to hear that she is wonderful and beautiful and good. She is equal parts complication and simplicity, which only adds to the complication. She baffles me and makes me laugh and just the thought of her can make tears well up in the mother's soul of me.  As she gets older I find myself wanting to scoop her up into a bubble of protection.  I want to protect her compassion and her faith and her tender heart.  But I cannot.  I can only trust the One who made her.  And know that she was made to be just who she is. A complicated, faith-filled, hippie girl with a big heart.  That's my Analiese.  And I love her more than life.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Weekends Are For...

an early morning race in the park.  Picking through the bounty at the farmer's market.  Long naps.  And fresh pitchers of sweet tea.

Friday, June 8, 2012

First Day/ Last Day

First day of school...

Last day of school...

Oh, my.  My beautiful sprites of growing up.

Graduation (or Growing Up)

Today is your day.
You're off to great places!
You're off and away!

Today is your day my boy.
You are off and away,
To new adventure unknown
Exciting and daunting
Butterfly moments and Confidence moments
It all awaits you.

But no matter what comes
I know you'll be fine.
You are strong
and courageous.
You are kind-hearted
and good.

I'm proud of you
for the young man you are becoming.
I'm proud of your spirit
and who you are in your soul.
I'm proud of all you've done
and all you've yet to do.

Kid, you'll move mountains!

Of that, I am sure.
Keep your eyes straight ahead,
your head held high.
Be a good friend and keep good friends.
Walk humbly and love openly.

And Remember
should you stumble or even fall,
I'm here.
To help you up and set you back on your way.
Because you are my son
whom I love, in the very depths of my heart.

Your mountain is waiting.
So...get on your way!*

Oh the Places You'll Go - Dr. Seuss

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


Today I am thirty-one

Just call me Venus, broken but beautiful

"Au milieu de l'hiver, j'ai découvert en moi un invincible été." 

~ Albert Camus
 {in the depths of winter, I discovered there was in me an invincible summer}

Friday, June 1, 2012

My Circle

As for me, well, I've been doing some finishing of my own...

I've sat down at the computer and tried to write at least fifteen times today.  I keep erasing everything.  I can't quite find the right words.  I want to tell you all about this school year for me.  I want to tell you about the adventure and the growth.  But it just keeps coming out a jumbled, rambling mess.

Because I think what I really want to say is that I'm happy.  I'm really content.  But it scares me to say that.  To just put it out there so bluntly.  I've been blindsided enough in life to know that "happy" comes and goes, sometimes rather quickly.  But working at the words all day has brought me to the conclusion that it's alright to admit that in this moment I really am very happy.

I need to say that because of where I've come from.  I need you to know that I'm healing.  And even if everything falls apart tomorrow, I need to know that this place exists.  Saying the words out loud makes them real, if only for me.

I've come a long way from last June.  My mosaic heart is being pieced back together by a Master Artist.  And within the restoration I've found myself.  The past twelve months have been an unwrapping of who I am.  The truth is that the last several years of heartbreak and hardship have led me to this place.  Those years set me up to see a new path.  If the walls hadn't come crumbling down I'd still be trapped inside, struggling to breathe.  That's hard to say, but easy to see.  I have become stronger because of the destruction.  Because I had to.

Last June I was sure that there was no way I'd ever feel whole again.  I thought that I was surely broken forever.  But I haven't caught myself gasping for air in the last few months.  The tears have slowly stopped falling.  I feel healthy in heart, mind, and spirit.  I haven't forgotten the past or put it behind me.  I've simply accepted that it's part of who I am.  I don't want to forget because there was love and because who I've become has been determined by where I've been.  So I accept my past and I carry it with me as I walk the new road before me.

And I have to say, I like this road.  I've loved watching my sprites grow this year.  I love their ages and the daily beautiful mess.  They make me laugh and it's a joy to see them develop into lovely little people.  This year I found that for the first time in four years I was sure of myself as a teacher.  This was my strongest year at the studio because for the first time I was sure of my own artistry.  I also discovered within myself a deep curiosity and desire to learn.  This part of me has been on lock down for years.  But once opened, I couldn't fill it with enough.  I've found a purpose within an academic world that I have never considered for myself before.  This year I called myself a poet openly for the first time. And I discovered what I already knew to be true, but was too afraid to say aloud.  I am a writer.  I'm alive when I write.  I need to pour out from myself words upon the page.  Most importantly, I've found my voice.  My own voice.  An independent voice.  I know this to be true because people who love me have noticed it too.  That makes me smile.  Because in the independence I feel a freedom to fully be who I was created to be.

Someone who knows my heart well has asked many times in the past few months, "Where has this new version of you come from?  Where was it in the past?"  I haven't known how to answer that question.  It just seems to have happened with time.  But in my heart I think I know that who I am today is a result of the girl who spent last year crawling out from under shattered glass and broken promises.  Who I am today is a result of a fierce drive to carry on.  The woman I am has developed because I cried and I fought and then I let myself move forward.  Or as my pastor recently put it, "I'm free to be who I'm supposed to be because I let go of who I could never be."

It's about the finishing season.  Because finishing is the same as beginning.  We finish one season of life so that we can start another.  Life is a circle.  Not a perfect circle mind you.  A melted Dali circle perhaps, with curves and twists, but a circle none the less, so that every time something is finished you have the chance to begin again.