Friday, February 25, 2011

day 2

I know... day 1 was so long ago. It took me that long to organize all my pictures. Not really. I gave up.

So here is day 2, because I'm nothing if I'm not tenacious. A photo of myself at least a year ago.

April 2009. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Where people are more important than things. More important than productivity. More important than clocks. More important than property. Where people look into your eyes and ask you how you are and actually want to know. Where children are welcome. And hugged. Because people love them. Because they are little people.

I've learned many things in two years. But when I stop and think about my responsibility to Ethiopia for the gift of my second batch of three children, it is not only about cherishing them, but also about cherishing all people.

I had thought I already did. I was not even close.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

A month of photos, day 1


This is the most recent picture I have of me. I don't have many of me, because I am usually the one taking the pictures.

I'm sitting in my dining room. I painted the walls "Fresh Pear" in October when Laird was away for three weeks. It was bold; could have turned out to be really too much. I was sick of my dining room having too much clutter and all the walls were white and dirty except for the one behind me in this picture, which was three layers of wall paper all scuffed up and torn and dirty and depressing. It also had a bulletin board on it with all kinds of papers getting old and useless and cluttered, which always ended up in the background of pictures. So, I moved everything out of the dining room and started wiping and scrapping all the walls. I picked Fresh Pear for the walls, and Avocado or Forest something for the four pieces of wooden furniture that hadn't been painted since anywhere from when I was a child to when I first bought the straggler thing at a yard sale. Of course, I had to set up a bookshelf and a new shelf for the media in the living room so I could organize all the things I took out of the dining room. And I had to single-handedly get to work, get four kids to school, feed everyone, and do all the schlepping, every day for three weeks with the dining room in complete chaos. And the living room, too, since that was full of the furniture that belongs in the dining room. But, I now enjoy the room. Which is essential, since most of the time I am at home, I am in this room or the one next to it... the kitchen. Fresh Pear is oh so pleasant. And, now, on what was the ugliest wall... are my two pieces of artwork done by Tegan and Jordan.

I just tried to use my computer's camera to take a picture of the two pieces, but I can't figure it out. Sigh.

Anyway, this is me. I'm almost 50. I am still pretty much the same person as I was when I was around 15, except greyer and more educated. I like to sit on the edge of my bed and just let my mind wander. I like to sit high on the limb of a tree. I like music and wind and playing with words. I like science and the brain and God and fresh air. I like to get on my bike and ride to my friend's house and talk about everything in the world. I like kissing my sweetheart. A lot. And I like eating brownies. A lot.

I think it might be time to freshen up another room in this little bungalow. Maybe the kitchen...


Woke up this morning - it's a new day. This video given to me yesterday via facebook (thanks, Alison!) had fermented in my brain along with all the great fish oils from the sushi we ate yesterday and helped shape my overnight thoughts. Not to mention the french fry grease. And the lack of sleep. (But that's another post.)

Tenderest video I have ever seen. Whenever I am finding it hard to like human beings, I am going to watch this.

Anyway. Back to my brain.

It's time for me to stop turning so often to food for comfort and celebration and escape. Past time. So, what to turn to instead? Words. I love words. I adore words. I relish the practice of putting words together to create whole thoughts and big questions. I also love putting them into song... and when I get a good little song, I record it on whatever voice recording device I can find before I lost it.

I have in my head and heart several books and collections of poems and songs. I actually have a couple of self-published chapbooks, and one has an accompanying cd. They are collecting dust. I want to share... I want to encourage and lift up and help people hope. But I have not been able to carry forward my intention to create books and cds no matter how hard I have tried to do so in the last few years. I have written a lot... on yahoogroups, in emails, some here, and on scraps of paper. But I have not shared much beyond that for lack of time to organize and pull things together and get them close to perfect. I am going to forgive myself for that. After all, I do have a full-time job and six kids.

I am going to go easy on myself, by establishing a practice of writing here once a day. It might only be a sentence, it might be a picture, or a snippet of the song I got in the shower. But it will be something. I'm putting it out there for anyone who needs or wants it. When I'm really hungry, you might get a lot of words. Because, friends, this is where I am going to turn for comfort rather than stuffing my face with french fries covered in gravy, mozzarella cheese, and bacon bits. Seriously.

I think a good way to get me started is to do this series of photos I have seen friends do on facebook. I'll do Day One shortly. Here's the list.

Day one: a photo of you.
Day two: a photo of yourself at least a year ago.
Day three: a photo that makes you happy.
Day four: a photo of a place you'd like to visit.
Day five: a photo that makes you laugh.
Day six: a photo of someone you love.
Day seven: a photo of something you stand for.
Day eight: a photo of something you enjoy doing.
Day nine: a photo of yourself when you were a baby.
Day ten: any photo you like for any reason.
Day eleven: a photo of a night you loved.
Day twelve: a photo of when you were happy.
Day thirteen: a photo of one of your favorite movies.
Day fourteen: a photo of your best friend (s).
Day fifteen: a photo of you and a family member.
Day sixteen: a photo from your childhood.
Day seventeen: a photo from a trip you'll never forget.
Day eighteen: a photo of your town.
Day nineteen: a photo of your favorite thing from school.
Day twenty: a photo of something you ate today.
Day twenty-one: a photo of somebody you find attractive.
Day twenty-two: a photo that you associate a good memory with.
Day twenty-three: a photo of something you want to do someday.
Day twenty-four: a photo of what you want to be when you grow up.
Day twenty-five: a photo that inspires you.
Day twenty-six: a photo of your favorite subject in school.
Day twenty-seven: a photo of something you are looking forward to.
Day twenty-eight: a photo of something/somebody that made your day.
Day twenty-nine: a photo of your favorite person from history.
Day thirty: a photo you find beautiful

I hope you'll find something in my words and songs that will lift you up.