Wednesday, October 31, 2012

october turning

oh, october. 

it began with a house full of fantastic guests and the blessing of his holiness upon us. autumnal activities unfolded under crisp skies: apple picking, pumpkin boats, leaf peeping, pumpkin carving, apple prints, costume collecting, soccer games, hurricane, apple pie. somewhere in there bruce springsteen gave a free acoustic concert in downtown charlottesville to rally for obama. 

an october of surprises. 

as we spiral into samhain, and a reflection of our beloved dead, i am so grateful for the wonderful community of mamas, babies, friends, and family i have bringing so much life to my days. i feel greatly honored to be living in this beautiful oasis between the blue ridge and the piedmont.

yet while a bounty of light and hope exist, the haunted cloud of politics, and of a universe terribly off balance, settle on my shoulder like dark birds.  

are superstorms our new world reality? my heart goes out to the people suffering loss and devastation in the wake of hurricane sandy.

our twenty hour loss of electricity and water gave us necessary pause, an intimate moment to feel rattled by the depth and fury of the storm. but we were completely spared of personal hardship and any strong physical sense of the brutality of it all. the electricity returned just when i began to feel concern about the food in our fridge. imagine the house that holds your fridge being completely gutted by one big wave. 

the imprint of samsara is upon us. we uncoil in one big wave of suffering and celebration. 

thus we continue. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

friday with friends: star prints

as a counter balance to all the complex music and big people gatherings, there was our friday playgroup. it was a beautiful day in greenwood, virginia. and the kids made star prints! cut an apple in half horizontally around it's mid section (not from stem to base). if the kids are hungry (as ours were), you can cut off any excess apple & chop up for snack. leave a cross section with the star, dip it in paint, and press it to paper. 

oh my stars! 

or flowers. or bugs. or just lots of paint on paper. . .


Sunday, October 14, 2012

house of music part II

in addition to our tibetan guests, some friends and family joined the stage at the southern the night before the Dalai Lama's talks. mia is the daughter of michael, my husband's good friend from milwaukee. her incredible voice is a soothing tea to the soul! and her smile will light the world. i do hope mia's musical career takes her far. she is a senior in high school and already so accomplished. 

and what is sweeter than papa joining daughter on stage?

please watch mia's home video to get a taste of her delicious vocals!

dan's brother tom came all the way from portland to join the festivities.

the music carried on at home, as did the spirits. 
there was even a memorable version of kung fu fighting.

have you ever had rhubarb elderberry pear cider? if not, you should!

Friday, October 12, 2012

house of music

this week His Holiness the Dalai Lama came to Charlottesville! we had the honor of hosting two tibetan musicians who performed the night before HHDL's talks and then on stage before he spoke at the charlottesville pavilion. dan has known techung for a long time, from back in the day that we lived in the bay area. it was pure bliss having them rehearse in our living room one sunny autumn afternoon. techung's vocals, his mastery of flute, dramyen and pewang, along with rinzing's gifted guitar playing, blended together to make a beautiful traditional sound with modern undertones. a little bit of the tibetan plateau delivered to my doorstep: political struggle, inner peace, and the interconnectedness of all things dark and light.

i was riveted to the couch when techung and rinzing performed lama khen in our home. 
what a gift! i found this incredibly moving video below of them performing that very song. 
please watch it to the very end!

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

kitchen creations: edible acorns

tashi was determined this year to cook up some acorns. she compared various instructions that she found online, and decided this impressed her the most. and so she got to work. she collected the acorns. separated the nuts from the caps. soaked them. cracked them with a hammer to extract the meat. and then boiled and boiled and boiled them until the water was (almost) clear. and then she baked them, salted them, and we all tried them.

like i said, she boiled them until the water was (almost) clear. it was time for bed after all! they definitely tasted a bit astringent. compelling, but only a little. tristan kept talking about how they looked like coffee beans. he seemed to like them the most. perhaps he thought he was eating forbidden fruit. there are still about a cup's worth of acorns in the bowl. i'm wondering if we should grind them and bake something with acorn meal.

what impressed me the most was tashi's determination to do this thing. i have to admit, i wasn't the most encouraging. it just seemed like a whole lot of bother for a potentially disappointing outcome. but that's not the point is it? the point is that she was curious, determined, unstoppable, and totally independent. and now we know how to process acorns. goodness knows we have enough of them around here.

perhaps this is just another early step in survivalist school. may she lead the way!