Friday, August 31, 2007

the wheel of life

today i am 40.

it has been a very mixed day.

i woke up with a splitting headache.

it got worse when i found out that a classmate of tashi's, along with her mother and sister, were killed yesterday in a tragic auto accident.

they simply stopped or slowed to make a left turn when a box truck rear ended them at full speed, pushing them into oncoming traffic where they were hit again by a van. the children were killed immediately and the mother was pronounced dead at the hospital. it is so terribly awful. i can't seem to throw the vision of it from my mind. i feel so much sorrow for the father. they were beautiful girls, a very sweet, smart, quiet family.

i don't think tashi has fully realized that her friend is gone. forever.

so i have been dealing with tears all day. and a headache. and catsmell. for some reason loki decided to go on a spray frenzy in my work room.

and i've been grouchy for like a week. i'm not sure, but it may have something to do with that venus retrograde?

i did have a delicious indian buffet lunch with my loves. and we did manage to get out of the house this evening. where else but downtown charlottesville do you get to see a rock band of tweens busking on the street?

despite all the blah, i feel like my new decade is off to a good start. i'm working part time for a great organization, learning skills that i will be able to carry into other areas of my life. i am, bit by bit, making things with my hands. i'm determined to carve out writing time for myself, time not spent on the blog, but on poetry. and i've begun a doula practice. my current lovely client is due any day now!!! and dan and tashi started a website for me. there will be a lot more added to it of course. tashi made the lovely windflower, and the little tike is my nephew, tucker.

and the cake, it was delicious:

the rotating wheel. swing up, swing down, but just keep on swingin'.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

P is for Poetry

i used to take workshops from diane di prima in san franciso. i used to transcribe for her also. she would give me tapes of her workshops and i would type them out in word documents. she's a fascinating woman and a great poet. her book, recollections of my life as a woman is an illuminating window into the path of a woman who didn't cave into the conformist pressures of the 50's, a woman who walks her talk and lives her truth. i highly recommend it.

i guess my biggest dream in life is to be a published poet. i have stacks of poems, a couple of manuscripts. for a couple of years now i've been rather blocked, and have had a hard time setting aside time daily to work with language. my focus has been on job, family, and working with my hands in other mediums.

as i approach 40 (um, that would be tomorrow) i need to sort out my priorities.

here is a virtual chapbook i wrote in response to some photographs by amy kubes, my neighbor at the time. my friend and tashi's godmother, m mara ann put this project together. you have to click on the front page image and then on the arrows to leaf through the pages of the flickering world

here also is an excerpt from a work in progress called windhall, a strange series of prose poems i began 7 years ago in india. these are the first five:


one butterfly drifts in and lands on an olive colored locker. the opposite of a padlock, her image burns into retina. she is not a sticker nor a filigree accessory. when valve opens and great wave is released she flies at crest. this is what surfers might dream of. she leads the way and then pauses, her heartbeat redesigning oxygen.


his desk is pushed against windowsill where insect lurks. he taps pen
on surface and gazes. there is a byway of thresholds and views.
small garden unfolds. ladybugs explore thorny bush. earwigs plunge
in and out of loam. pergola is covered with passion flower. he glides pen across paper as insect edges along. ladybugs take leave.


in carpeted region paperclips are wedged between tight fibers.
tacks, staples, punch holes. there is a coffee machine in alcove.
it sputters like first spit. there is nothing but pad, no matter how
high the heels. some doors hang open, framing dragonflies and
gnats. there is hint of railroads when she pulls file drawer open.
he has vision of canyon lands, mountainous ravines. flesh meets
flesh at a bend.


when class is in session each door is a pandora's box. she stares at linoleum which might present shadow pushing along wide yarn broom. all windows look upon court. she sees him hunched there, sneaky elf. windows inside windows form corridor to infinity. perhaps if she should traipse to opposite hallway and gaze out he'll stare back. press smile against glass and turn into a demon. she floats away like the balloon a small child has let slip.


concrete above, below, beside. if a temblor, should she make it down long expanse and out door before burial? there is a runner full of birds and flowers. sometimes she stretches upon surface imagining sanctuary. song in her ears and floral elixir in her grasp, she is one with the weave. will it take her forward or backward? perhaps she'll hover above present holding time like an elastic band.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

howling at the moon

i had insomnia last night. this happens to me every once in a while, especially when there is a full moon. i went out on the back deck at some ungodly hour and bathed in opalescent moonlight. i could have stayed there until dawn, and probably should have.

this is not a good time for me to be sleep deprived. too much going on. gots to be on my toes.

i did decide to make some moon water. tashi has been enjoying learning about potions, and this is another one of sorts. pour some filtered water into in a clean, clear jar. add stones that will capture moonlight. especially good stones are aquamarine, rose quartz and of course, moonstone. add some silver pendants that you'd like infused with moon power. leave jar in the moonlight the whole night through.

use your moon water sparingly until the next full moon. you can add some to a bath, splash your skin with it, or just keep it close and gaze into it on occasion.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

another eight things

i was tagged yet again for an 8 things about me meme by have fun do good

i've done this meme before, maybe even twice. but i guess i like talking about my self, because here i go again.

first the rules:

1) Post these rules before you give your facts

2) List 8 random facts about yourself

3) At the end of your post, choose (tag) 8 people and list their names, linking to them

4) Leave a comment on their blog, letting them know they've been tagged

then the facts:

1. i had four molars pulled as a kid. this was the most traumatic dental experience of my life. the novocaine wasn't working and the dentist kept stabbing me with the needle over and over again. i was crying and the assistant let me squeeze her hand. finally the novocaine kicked in and the four teeth came out. yuk.

(good start huh?)

2. the teeth pulling was followed by braces, which i wanted. but now as i see tashi's top teeth grow in similar to my own, i find them so sweet and endearing. i know what my mother meant now when she said braces will take away some of my character.

3. i have two scars from dog bites. one is under my chin and the other is on my arm. people always think the arm scar is from a booster shot. the weird thing is that after living with it from age 6, it's finally disappearing. not the chin one though. that is becoming more visible.

4. when i was 23 i let my roommate buzz my hair off with his electric razor. i kept up with it for about six months, but then let my hair grow back down to my butt.

5. i gave birth to tashi by c-section. it had originally been a planned homebirth. then a planned hospital birth by the same midwife. i dilated fully and marvelously at home, but after four hours of pushing at the hospital, tashi didn't budge. in fact, she retreated. so i ended up with a c-section, much to my natural childbirthing dismay.

6. i don't like my feet. they are scaly and knobby.

7. i breastfed tashi for 3.5 years. i was going to wean her 2.5, but then we went to india and she refused to eat anything at first. i'm glad i was still breastfeeding, so she could have some nourishment and familiarity in a very unfamiliar land. tashi is one healthy kid, i think in part due to extended breastfeeding and also selective vacinations on our OWN schedule. my biggest remorse is that she has no love for most fruits and vegetables.

8. my favorite forms of exercise are: yoga, swimming, biking and hiking. i don't do any of them nearly enough. as i approach 40, this has got to change.

i'm not sure why that ended up being so of the body. but i guess i was on a roll.

i tag
full circle
green kitchen
touch the spindle
i smell bear
med views

Monday, August 27, 2007

O is for Okra

in season now! this is okra gumbo, of sorts. this is what i used and what i did:

one onion, diced
a few cloves crushed garlic
one red bell pepper, diced
two cups fresh tomato, diced
about 1 lb sliced okra
one cup corn kernels
one can cannellini beans
some allspice, oregano, fennel seeds, cloves, hot pepper flakes, celery seed, salt & black pepper
5 cups chicken broth
two cooked italian sausages (left over from the night before), sliced
1/2 a cup of cooked brown rice (also left over)

saute onions & garlic
add red bell pepper, saute
add tomato, saute
add the rest of the ingredients, except left over rice and sausage
cover and cook for about 15 minutes
stir in the left over rice and sausage

serve with a nice crusty loaf of bread.

it's easy. it's yum. feel free to improvise.

N is for Nicosia

the city in which i was born.

nicosia is the capital city of cyprus. it is also a divided city, the only divided capital city in the world. in 1974 there was a turkish invasion. the turkish government occupies a good part of the northern side of nicosia, and about a third of the island altogether. it is a sad state of affairs.

my papou (grandfather) lived in nicosia and i used to stay in his house when i visited cyprus. my yia yia (grandmother) died shortly before i was born, but my papou eventually remarried a stern but charming swiss woman named marcelle.

marcelle was not very nice to me when i was a little girl. and that is just what she called me, "the girl". we started to connect when i was college age. for what ever reason, she decided finally that she could relate to me. we would have these great enraged conversations about how badly women were treated in cyprus. marcelle loved to complain. she also started to tell me things about her past, about her experience of WW II, about boarding school and her first marriage. she'd always been such a mystery to me and i was so incredibly thrilled when she opened up.

i loved staying at my papou's house. it was knocked down shortly after he died and there is now an apartment building there. it saddens me to the core.

his house had a terracotta roof, and two little balconies on the second floor. there was a wonderful succulent garden all around the house that marcelle watered faithfully. french doors opened out from the dining room onto a veranda covered in grape vines. oh how i loved to sit on that veranda with their pet stray, "kitty", and read my enid blyton books. the house had a winding wooden stairwell and stone floors that i would touch my cheek to on hot hot cyprus summers. it was a simple house really. but i loved it so much.

olga, my friend from a very early age, lived next door. her bedroom faced the guest room i slept in. we had a secret code with lights and would flick them on and off at each other in the evenings. last summer when i visited cyprus and spent and evening with olga in nicosia, tashi and olga's daughter daniella immediately connected. they had a roaring good time together and olga and i laughed at how it reminded us of ourselves together at that age.

my grandfather was the oldest person i knew. he fought in both world wars. his voice was raspy, because he'd been mustard gassed. he was a man of few words anyway. but when he did talk, he had some incredible stories to share. oh if only the clock could be turned back. . . he ended up suffering from alzheimers disease. every morning he would go to the bank and insist that the clerk give him his money. every morning. there was no money. one time when my mother (his daughter) was visiting him he said to marcelle, "who is that russian lady sitting there?"

i still have three incredible uncles that live in nicosia. one is a journalist, one is a painter and one is a photographer. they are endlessly fascinating and a total hoot. i also have one hunky cousin who lives there. he is bachelor beach boy. my aunt and other cousins have all left cyprus.

i could gush on and on, but for now, here are a few more things that nicosia is to me:

the most delicious mouth watering souvlaki, fresh grilled and tucked into warm pita bread with tomatoes, cucumber, onion and parsley

ledra street, a pedestrian boulevard, where you can buy expensive european shoes or a starbucks coffee

the old medieval wall, where galleries and fancy eateries are housed in the gates

museums of ancient greek artifacts and beautiful contemporary paintings

a new city of really bad urban planning

an old city of tiny streets and beautiful old row houses

divided. barbed wire. soldiers with guns. the greek flag. the turkish flag. the cypriot flag caught in between. people on both sides suffering due to their government's poor choices

not far from the sea. it's an island after all. not far from the mountains either

so mote it be

i was tagged for a meme by annie of writers and witches, and words...oh my!

it is a "trials and tribulations of your spiritual path" meme. the rules first must be posted:

1. You have to use your own belief system for the meme. No fair using someone else’s to make a joke or satire. Being humorous about your own religion is encouraged!

2. You have to have at least one joy and one trial. More are encouraged. And no, they don’t have to be equal in length, but please be honest.

3.You have to tag at least one other person. More are appreciated!
Please post these rules!


1. figuring out what my spiritual path is. i'm a little bit pagan. i'm a little bit buddhist. i'm a little bit cynical. i'm a little bit lazy. i'm a little bit hedonistic.

2. finding the discipline to meditate and do yoga

3. finding a way to help my child feel spiritually engaged, without indoctrinating her with a particular dogma. giving her choices and not weighing her down with my own bias.

4. celebrating the solstices, equinoxes and esbats as much (if not more than) the holidays that co-opted their traditions

5. breaking free from stereotypes and assumptions


1. learning

2. visualizing and believing in the interconnectedness of all

3. practicing compassion, patience; experiencing calm, clarity

4. seeing the buddha nature in all sentient beings

5. lovely earth based rituals that bring us closer to the earth's seasons

6. connecting with the goddess, mother nature, the moon, the plants, the cosmos

one of tashi's friends said once, "aren't you booty-ist?"

i'd like to initiate bliss blog into the world of meme!

it was a fairy nice day

tashi's fairies came out onto the deck today. they lined up and consulted with their prize winning crystal ball. the ball told each of them that they had to get outside more. the living room fairy had to get away from the hearth. the bedroom fairy had to start camping. the dining room fairy had to quit playing his flute for the diners and go out and busk to the community. the kitchen fairy had to grow more of his own ingredients. the shop fairy had to go out and gather herbs to sell. the postman had to stop and smell the flowers a little more while he was out delivering mail. the teacher had to start taking the rest of the fairies on plant identification hikes.

we had a little bit of theme going.

and then we made smudge sticks from sage.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Friday, August 24, 2007


i spent the morning in a class learning some database tools. interesting the way computers save us time and take up all of it.

i came home at noon and hid inside from the heat with my snuggly tashi. she wanted to begin filling the big two dollar scrapbook i'd picked up for her from an antique store. this commenced in an afternoon of

1. clearing the piled deep coffee table so that there was room to clutter it up again with a large scrapbook and its materials

2. organizing all various things that could be considered scrap booking materials into one portable box (stickers, ribbons, paper punchers, stamp pads, zaggedy scissors, scrap paper. . .)

3.organizing tashi's memorabilia into that which would be pasted and that which would be displayed with corner tabs

4.searching high and low for a little bag of corner tabs and never finding it

5.watching my daughter begin filling her first ever scrapbook with the things she'd accumulated over the summer (and a few odd older bits)

6. serving as her spatial advisor (at her request of course) and lending my thoughts on binding matter and embellishing media

i'm not much of a scrapbooker. i have one from my early teen years and hide it because the me then is not one i want tashi to emulate. not that she would. maybe i'm just not ready to introduce my teenage self to anyone, including myself.

after the teen scrapbook i filled countless photo albums, not to mention journals, which sometimes doubled as scrapbooks. i have containers full of memorabilia. but i never found the drive to participate in the whole memory book (with a copyright) thing. when i have a stack of freshly developed photos, i just want to slip them into a safe display as quickly as possible. i have never found myself setting aside enough time and space to pour hours over the artful display of photos and memorabilia in an extensive album that requires expensive adhesive. this blog is about the extent of it.

but it was particularly fun scrapbooking with tashi. a companion makes all the difference. i couldn't ask for a better one.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

a couple of things

i finally hung up the chelsea flea market pieces that i purchased in new york last april. they are the perfect cross between kitsch and idyllic. i want to add some fabric hoops to this wall too. some examples can be seen in this post by the inspiring soulemama. i also plan to make curtains out of vintage sheets. my work room will have a new look, sooner or later.

this is a little rag doll kit i gave tashi for christmas. christmas, folks. we finally worked on it recently. i don't do well with miniatures. that poor misshapen head. when i got to making the dress (tashi really didn't want anything more to do with it beyond stuffing) i stopped cold. maybe it will be finished by this christmas.

yesterday this arrived in the mail. i am very excited. amy karol's blog is another inspiration. i used her model of the doorway puppet theater to make theatro tashi. i just stared at the picture in her blog. but she has instructions in this book! i can't wait to dig in to the other projects, and her hints for beginner sewers like me.

yesterday dan called me in desperation seeking a crafty project for tashi. he was working from home while i was working in the women's center and tashi was hitting her boredom limit. i mentioned the hot rocks project i'd read about in yet another inspiring blog. instead of rocks they used a loose brick that borders our front stoop. it's pretty cool (now that it's not hot)(oh dear).

oh, and i don't think i shared this. tashi made this elephant pull toy at uva art camp. the box opens up. i love the big elephant ears. and how about those shoes. she wore them to my brother's wedding. she shed them and wore her bare feet as soon as possible.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

M is for Matzo Ball Soup

this is another of tashi's favorites therefore something i make often. if i was really good i would make the broth from scratch, but for now i just make the balls. it is all very simple, and very cleansing. i've had some incredibly delicious matzo ball soup and can't say mine compares. but it sure is heartwarming to see how much tashi loves it. m also stands for mother, and about that i could write an epic. my father is jewish and sometimes i feel that making matzo ball soup is part of the latent jewish mother in me!

mother and daughter? father and son? big friend and little friend?

pleasant surprise

today i came out of work to the charlottesville music showcase. morwenna lasko and jay pun were about to begin so i drank a $2 pint of guinness and enjoyed the show.

from the balcony stage i could see my workplace, right there, behind the railroad bridge:

i like working on "the corner," especially now that both revolutionary soup and christian's pizza are located there. the danger is plan 9 and higher grounds, where you can find good cd's and good coffee.

Monday, August 20, 2007

L is for Look

look at my new header. it's a little stretched. look at luna cat on the right and tashi flopped out in the hammock on the left. i've been wanting to put my own header up there for a long time, but really didn't know how to. dan helped me tonight. yay dan. yay new header. yay photos that we can look into.

i love to look around. one of my favorite things is taking a walk at twilight when houselights start to come on and you can get a glimpse into people's lairs before they draw the curtains. when dan and i take walks i'm always stopping him to look at gardens, architectural details, storefront window displays, strange juxtapositions. walks to me are about looking around.

i like to look inside galleries, bookstores, resale shops. i like to look at people. sometimes i just sit at a cafe and stare at people coming and going.

lately i've been looking at the tv screen more than i ever have. some friends told me to rent episodes of "six feet under" because they figured i'd like it. i just finished the first season. certain tv tainted soap operatic aspects of it really creep me out. but i'm sorta hooked and i keep on looking.

i like to look at shirley's pig collection and margo's bell collection and my mother's delicious greek feasts. i like to look at what people display in their homes, the way they arrange the furniture, the light splashing through a sheer curtain.

i like to look at my daughter when she's concentrating on a project, when she's splashing in the water, when she's erupting with silliness, when she's sleeping like the purest angel. i like to look at my husband when he's on a stage strumming his bass, when he's erupting with silliness along with tashi, when he's lost in a book, when he's walking up the sidewalk toward me. i like to look at my husband when he's looking at me.

i never get sick of looking at my loves.

i like to look at the walls, the cracks in the walls, the peeling paint. i like to look at my cats who like to look through walls. i like to look at a campfire, some cows, ripples on water.

i like to look at collages by jess and wallace berman and assemblages by george herms and photographs by sally mann. i like to look at the amazing craft blogs out there. i like to look at craft that has merged with fine art. i like to look at good poets reading good poetry in front of attentive audiences. i like to look at my friends sitting around a table looking at each other and talking.

i like to look at a storm rolling in. the sunrise. the sunset. i like to look at life unfolding. the unfolding folding. the layers and pockets and crevices and punctures.

our ability to look is one of the bigger things we might take for granted. what do you like to look at?

Sunday, August 19, 2007

K is for Kibbeh

sometimes it's spelled kibbeh, sometimes kubbeh, other times kibbi. the shell is comprised of bulgur and semolina flour. the filling usually is lamb or beef, onions, pine nuts, parsley and savory spices such as cumin, turmeric, ginger, cardamom, and cinnamon. this is one of tashi's favorite middle eastern dishes. we used to buy kibbehs at jerusalem garden in ann arbor. since there are no middle eastern restaurants in charlottesville (can you believe that shit?), i now make kibbeh's from scratch. i found a great recipe in an israeli cookbook. kibbehs with some rice, a nice salad and some yogurt on the side make a delightful meal. that's what we had tonight.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

J is for Jam

there once was a time when with friends there would be a spontaneous musical jam to celebrate the new year, or the wee hours of a party, or the comfort of a front porch, or a regular evening at home. guitar, accordian, the voice, various scattered pots and pans, harmonica, toy keyboard, african drum. . .

musical jams are the best of times almost always.

dan is in a band. they have specific songs and regular rehearsals. i'm not sure how often an organic improvisational jam unfolds. but i know that dan loves to jam.

recently two of his band mates came over and they played their "other" songs in acoustic on our deck. it was the best of times. there was a folky undertone and clever lyrics. i pulled out my djimbay and tentatively joined in. i too love to jam.

dan and i go through waves of practicing music together. recently we've had a resurgence. sometimes i have fantasies of being a little boy girl singer songwriter duo. but dan is more electric than me. he is even more into the "jam".

i once tried to teach myself guitar and was making progress. but i guess it wasn't a priority in my spectrum of interests. i've taken a djimbay lesson but rarely want to sacrifice an evening with my family for a drum circle. i took voice lessons for a while and sang songs inspired by jacqui mcshee of pentangle and sandy denny of fairport convention. was i crazy? life didn't endow me with a naturally beautiful singing voice. but i know that a lot can be achieved with practice and determination, exercise and training. i haven't given up on music.

we've sung to tashi every night since she was born (except when she spends two weeks with family in wisconsin). she has sung to us each day since she was born too. now we have all sorts of instruments in the house: bass, guitars, a violin, a lyre, a baby harp, triangles, talking drums, a rain stick, a didjeridu. sometimes we jam. the idea of a family band is appealing also.

i used to read my poems at open mics; sometimes kaz would accompany me on flute or leni on accordian. we worked these pieces up. but i don't know if the pieces worked. it was the best of times though.

i'd like to jam more. august is a time of resolutions for me, as my birthday is in august. and this one is my 40th birthday which i'm making sure to amp properly out of proportion. i would like to jam more. that's a resolution.

neko case & rufus wainwright

last night i went downtown to watch a concert on the cheap. neko case and rufus wainwright were performing at the charlottesville pavilion, and i decided on the free bridge view of the concert. i joined others lined up along the belmont bridge, where you can peek into the pavilion and get some good glances of the performers and hear perfectly good sound (but for the traffic). i was there mainly for neko case, but i was surprised at how short and uninspired her set seemed. she sounded great, but it wasn't all that energetic. there was just something missing. maybe it was tour fatigue, or opening act annoyance, or the heat. or maybe it was just that i was watching her from a nearby bridge. but i'm glad i didn't pay $27 for a ticket.

we used to play rufus wainwright a fair amount at one of my former workplaces. i like his music, but wasn't entirely familiar with it. so i decided to stick around for his show to see what he's all about. i was mesmerized from the first song to the last. his voice was hypnotic, his commentary endearing and his band extremely talented. he went back and forth from solos on the piano to far out complex pieces with the band. he played for a good two and a half hours. this included a long encore set. in the encore, wainwright clipped on some sparkling earrings, slipped on some super-high heels, and dropped the big fluffy white bathrobe he'd worn out for his finale. he pranced around in sheer tights and a suit coat singing judy garland's "get happy." his band, dressed in black, did a choreographed show dance of worship around the singer. it was a good bit of slapstick and drag. correct me if i'm wrong, but this town could use a little more drag.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

I is for Imagiste

i wrote down the word and then found myself pulling hilda doolittle books off of the poetry shelf. i placed them on my desk and decided that there they would remain. on my desk in front of the window beside my computer. gazing out as i type. reminding me of another word that begins with i. inspiration.

Now polish the crucible
and in the bowl distill

a word most bitter, marah,
a word bitterer still, mar,

sea, brine, breaker, seducer,
giver of life, giver of tears;

Now polish the crucible
and set the jet of flame

under, till marah-mar
are melted, fuse and join

and change and alter,
mer, mere, mère, mater, Maia, Mary,

Star of the Sea,

Saturday, August 11, 2007

H is for Home

Even though I've moved a lot, home has always been important to me. I don't really know what my true home is. I was born in Cyprus and still have family there, but we left when I was four. I grew up in Pennsylvania where I had no family other than my mom and brothers, and now even they are in other states. I thought I'd found home when I moved to the Bay Area, but then I started longing for the countryside. Landscape is an essential part of home for me. And if there are mountains and coastline in that landscape, I can't ask for much more. Here in Charlottesville we've got the mountains, and I guess I can't complain too much with the ocean being less than four hours away. But when people ask me where I'm from, I'm often tongue tied.

And then there is one's house. My house is my sanctuary. The way each and every thing is arranged contributes to the feeling of peace or chaos in that sanctuary. I have to say that one of my favorite homes was a studio apartment I had on Haight and Divisidero in San Francisco. Every time I walked into that place I felt a great sense of relief. White walls, high ceilings, wood floors, spare but meaningful decor, books neatly arranged on shelves, and a view of the city stretching down to the Bay Bridge.

I have a love-hate relationship with the current house I live in. It has many pleasing features, and others that are problematic. When I walk inside I'm not embraced by a sense of peace and airiness that I appreciate in a home. There is clutter and stuffy furniture and a kitchen the size of a walk-in closet. We have our tv in our living room which I've tried to avoid in the past. The fire place doesn't work and the bathroom is growing mold. There is stuff every where, stuff we've been given, stuff we've acquired. I've gone through so many purges, and still there is stuff.

But when the floors are vacuumed, and the coffee table is clear, and the light is coming through the windows at just such an angle, and I am sitting quietly at the computer with a cup of coffee, the muse is often present. And I guess that is what I strive for most in a home, an environment that welcomes the muse.

saturday solitude

dan flew to milwaukee yesterday to fetch tashi. they will return tomorrow evening. the picture above is of the signposts in front of dan's parent's house, pointing the way to where each of their seven children reside.

i'm trying not to sink into lethargy during my time alone, while alternately, i'm trying to allow myself to let things slip. the dishes are piled up, the laundry waits, the paperwork on the desk mocks, the to do list demands. and i am just flitting from one position to another, ignoring it all.

actually. i went to a pot luck last night. it was very nice. i met folks in the birth community and folks in the community in general. i also saw some people that i already know. it was super.

this morning i rose sometime after nine. my cat loki was rolling around the bed licking his limbs. i pulled an old vintage dress out of the closet, applied eye liner and went to the salvation army.

where i found two pairs of crisp sheets. they will either make a bed or make a dress.

an absurd painting of a bear band. it's a real painting!

a pattern of little blossoms on a shirt

and a tolkien audio collection performed by himself and his son! one of the four tapes is missing, but three out of four tapes is worth the 50 CENTS i was charged for the entire set. we get to listen to this amazing stuff on our toyota cassette stereo: excerpts from the return of the king, the two towers, the adventures of tom bombadil, the silomarillion, and the poems and songs of middle earth. dan, who reads the lord of the rings trilogy at least once a year, will be pleased.

yes, that is the consumer report from me this morning. but for less than the cost of mocha and a pastry, it was all worth it.

the farmers market followed, where i gathered tomatoes, peppers and other fresh delights. i'm looking forward to a bright salad.

i convinced myself to come home after the farmer's market, rather than run to the matinee of stardust. this may just happen before the day is done.

Friday, August 10, 2007

G is for Garble

I experienced a new use for this word in the class, "Cultivating the Herbal Medicine Woman Within," a class that changed my life. One weekend a month for six months I went to herbalist Kami McBride's house in the hills near Vacaville, CA, and explored the world of plants, women and healing wisdom. It was a profound, life affirming, threshold experience. I walked out of that class onto my path.

We were simply combining herbs, for a tea perhaps. Peppermint, Red Clover Blossom, Outstraw. Pour a measure of each into a bowl and then mix by hand. Garble, Kami said. Garble the herbs.


1419, from Anglo-Fr. garbeler "to sift," from M.L. and It. garbellare, from Arabic gharbala "to sift and select spices," related to kirbal "sieve," perhaps from L. cribellum, dim. of cribrum "sieve" (see crisis). A widespread word among Mediterranean traders; sense of "mix up, confuse, distort language" first recorded 1689.