Monday, December 31, 2012

New Years Eve wish:

when darkness falls, 
we can curl up with fear 
or turn on more lights.

be brave.

love deeply.

shine brighter.

Gaudy, but good -

or should I say WICKED?

End of the year treat for GI Joe and fiancee - accompanying me to dinner (at our favorite Greek restaurant, Olympia)

 and a performance at the Fabulous Fox!
A theatre built at the same time - and with the same decorator apparently - as Radio City Music Hall, my grandmothers favorite venue in my youth.

Good food, 
time with family 
supporting the performing arts - - 
what a terrific way 
to end the year!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Layers

I have walked through many lives,
some of them my own,
and I am not who I was,
though some principles of being
abides, from which I struggle
not to stray.

When I look behind,
as I am compelled to look
before I can gather strength
to proceed on my journey,
I see the milestones dwindling
toward the horizon
and the slow fires trailing
from the abandoned camp-sites,
over which scavenger angels
wheel on heavy wings.

Oh, I have made myself a tribe
out of my true affections,
and my tribe is scattered!
How shall the heart be reconciled
to its feast of losses?
In a rising wind
the maniac dust of my friends,
those who fell along the way,
bitterly stings my face.
Yet I turn, I turn,
exulting somewhat
with my will intact to go
wherever I need to go,
and every stone on the road 
precious to me.
In my darkest night
when the moon was covered
and I roamed through wreckage,
a nimbus-clouded voice
directed me:
"Live in the layers"
and though I lack the art 
to decipher it,
no doubt the next chapter
in my book of transformations
is already written.

I am not done with my chapters.

Stanley Kunitz

Many thanks and much love 
to a friend who sent this wonderful poem 
to me 
which captures much 
of what 
I'm feeling 
at this years end.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Weekend randomness

Anyone else feel that all the coverage about the "fiscal cliff"
is a form of political water torture?

Did we not get enough of that during the interminable election process?

All I know is if you and I refused to do our damn jobs
we'd be fired!

Although when you're going over a cliff
the time has passed
to argue about who designated the driver!
Death might take a holiday
but child abuse certainly hasn't...
if cases at the end of the year
are any indication,
kids are in for another sadly dangerous year
 in 2013.
I was sad to see Christmas trees at the curb already...
I'm a 12 days of Christmas girl myself...
this will stay up until Epiphany.
I'm just not willing to give up the sparkle until then!
LOVE the purity and beauty of paperwhites

and we FINALLY have a measurable snow!

What fun to watch Oreo decide 
how much time she wants to spend outside -
and see her 'cozy up' back inside...
what a great snow baby!
Off to play outside with the camera,
enjoy time with friends,
dinner and a play with family.

Have a wonderful weekend, friends!

Friday, December 28, 2012

The gift of tears

She was hesitant as she approached, inquiring almost reluctantly, "Are you okay? I noticed you crying."

I smiled and thanked her for caring enough to ask, reassuring her that, in my world, crying is NOT the same as not being alright!

Truth is, I was feeling sad.
I was missing people who I've loved and who aren't here anymore.
I even surprised myself with who got included on the list.

When did tears get to be exclusively an indication that you're not OK?

Yes, they may indicate depression; yes, they signal sadness and loss...
but, for me, as someone who has paid the equivalent of several advanced degrees at Ivy League schools to various therapists, they also represent the ability to feel and the ability to express those feelings and I, at long last, believe that's healthy, not harmful!

It's a gift to have survived over 6 decades, to have invested enough in human relationships that I can feel sad when they end - or end up differently than I had hoped.

So, thanks for asking but, while I may be crying, I'm at least fully aware - and that's more than fine!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas bling

Nope... not that kind.

Yup... there ya go...

new duct work, and 
a new air filter and humidifier system...
while other ladies may have gotten diamonds and other jewels, 
I got new shiny stuff in my basement!
Be still my heart!

Oh, who am I kidding?
It's like buying white "Granny panty" underwear -
totally necessary and utilitarian
but you just pray no one else is going to see it!

Good thing I treated myself throughout the year -

and that I have rum slush left over!

Next week - 
I get new pipes!
(Try to contain your excitement -
while I try to contain mine!)

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

All that - and more...

It was glasses that come out 1 morning a year...
slices of this... (with apologies to my Swedish relatives; hey, some friends don't know the difference! - and it was a gift - like I was going to send it back?! I don't think so!)
discussions which gave me...
plenty of reasons for...
and these two - who always crack me up!
Oreo, for still thinking she's a lap dog... and GI Joe for humoring her!

Yup, Christmas was all that - and more.

How was yours?

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Let those that have ears, hear

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness--on them light has shined. 
Isaiah 9:2 

When I heard these words in church recently, I was struck by how fitting they are for the age and world we live in today and how all generations before us have probably felt the sting of truth in them too.

The reality of the human condition is that we are broken.

We have the freedom of choice – and we misuse that freedom and screw up more times than not. Maybe not in the colossal, news grabbing manner of mowing down innocent children with military weapons but by simply and consistently choosing to live in ways that support violence, estrangement and oppression… through our actions and even, sometimes, through our silence.

My spirit has been strengthened by the voices of modern day ‘prophets’ this week - those crying in the wilderness that the madness gripping our country has to stop.

The words in scripture were targeted long ago to people living in anxiety, fear, and despair; people feeling bereft of security, safety, and any sense of God's presence.
Their trajectory, however, landed squarely in our midst.

This year, more than ever before, Christmas can be a reminder to us all -   that despite the world telling us there’s ‘no room’  - for hope, for healing, for peace - ‘goodness’ gets re-born in a dank, dark manager - among animals.

‘Light’ has been given to the world by a loving God and no matter how tightly we shut our doors, or our hearts, it doesn’t prevent it from existing.

The darkness will never put it out.

I need to believe that.
I need to remember that.

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.

Christmas Day

Monday, December 24, 2012

is the birthday 
of my sons father, 
my former husband, 
and though he’s been dead 
for a quarter of a century, 
there’s not a Christmas Eve that’s gone by 
when I’ve not thought of him – 
and given thanks for his presence in my life.

We didn’t have forever, 
we had impermanence.

We didn’t have perfect, 
we had flawed…

but we had real – 
in all its manifestations.

Tomas, I’m glad you were born.

I’m glad you were you 
and we were us.

Without you, 
these guys wouldn’t be here – 
being who they are – 
and my world would be 
infinitely diminished.

If bringing them into the world 
was reason alone 
for our time together, 
then we were a great success.

Happy Birthday, TR!
You would be very proud of our sons; 
they're the best things 
we ever did!

ps: in case you think you don't 'live on'
take a look at this -
and reconsider!

Advent Calendar - 24

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Kids and Christmas

What is it about seeing the world decorated for Christmas through the eyes of a child that makes it more magical?

I got my 'granny fix' yesterday, spending time with a friend and her children - playing with my camera - and, even thought it's broken, I got some pictures that she loved!

And, I admit it... while Addie was sweet and a total doll,
I'm a sucker for little boys...

I love my sons the age they are now but time with Ollie made me miss the times when they were little too. Mommas, it goes by SO fast... soak it all up while you can!

Advent Calendar - 23

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Messages in a bottle

Sometimes, I can't figure out 
whether a gift says more about the giver
or the recipient.

Within the space of 30 minutes yesterday,
I got two bottles of wine 
from doctors at work.

I work VERY closely with both docs - 
and appreciate the gesture -
even if I don't drink much wine.

Being the child of an alcoholic
I've always been pretty careful about my consumption.
wine frequently triggers a headache and allergies,
 so, if I'm gonna imbibe,
I'm more a hard liquor kind of gal!

there they appeared
on my desk - 
and the choices made me smile -
and wonder about the subliminal implications 
of each. 

Hint, hint?
Clearly Doc #1 didn't take the sexual harassment seminar seriously!

And Doc #2 
apparently thinks if I take advantage 
of the hint of Doc #1, 
I'd be able to get away with it!
Pondering the implications of it all 
gave me a headache 
without either bottle
 being uncorked!

Advent Calendar - 22