Tuesday, June 30, 2009

tuesday bluesday.

i saw an african woman walking along side a rural road today.
she was wearing bright yellow and blue and purple with a white and pink scarf that fluttered around her body like a flag.
she was walking by a green field with yellow flowers in it, and the sun was shining on her and i drove past her wishing for my camera.
but there are somethings you cannot capture. the vision inspired me to paint it.

i took my three year old to visit a preschool today, to see if she would like it. the kids weren't there, just the teacher, and she loved the atmosphere.
when it was time to go, she refused to say goodbye because she wanted to stay and play. she stomped her foot and hid behind me and ran off and became sullen and kind of rude.
all this after i explained how gentle and sensitive she is, how i was worried she would be bullied since she has basically no interaction with other children.
the teacher understood and we went along our way.
i am going to sob when my first baby goes to school for four hours for the first time next monday.
i just cant believe she is old enough and ready for this brand new experience in her life. i mean, i wont be there! what if she needs me? what if she hates it? what if there are mean kids? what if SHE is mean? what if this is the beginning of her leaving me to forage for herself in this often cruel and harsh world and i cannot for anything make her a baby again for just one more second?
good grief, it could make a somewhat normal person like me (yeah right who am i kidding saying i'm normal?) want to have a baby in the house all the time!
thank goodness i have a baby in the house.
she smells like milk and dandelion fluff and sunlight. her nature and temperament are so jolly and sweet and easy. i drink her in every second i get, nibbling her toes, blowing raspberries on her tummy, squeezing her dimpled rolls and folds and juicy plumpness.
i try to to do that to my three year old, but she wipes off my kisses. i made her a daisy chain on top of a grassy hill in a slant of sun yesterday and she kissed me out of the blue on the cheek and then ran down the hill giggling. she gives you love ONLY when shes in the mood.
its crazy how my little girls are so different from each other.

my husband and i wrote a song today. very bluesy.
i love that the older i get i care less about what people think of me- i just sang and it felt great.

now if i can just finish that painting...

Saturday, June 27, 2009

mother image.

deep childhood sadness's and misunderstandings and memories flood through me this night.
i have a mix of ambivalence, sympathy, and anger towards my mother and as she sits and reads on the couch that we made into a bed for her in the living room, i type this and take deep, gulping breaths that fill my lungs with memories.
my three year old drifted off to sleep and curled up behind me like a sea shell, her sticky little hand patting my belly, softly, pat pat pat as her eyes grew heavy.
my baby nursed on the other side, and her rhythmic breathing was gently flowing in between the sleeping breath of her sister. the window opened to my right with the green of the trees swaying, talking to me in tree-speak, the sunlight still mottled and bright at 9pm. i had a symphony of baby breath surrounding me, it rose up and became its own thing, a separate entity that came through me, that is of me, but not owned by me, and it was like God himself came down and blew breath into my heart.
my husband tries with my mom, to be good and right and jovial, but her ineptitude at depth and her inability to listen frustrate him- he does not have the context or nuance that i have, her being my mother, and so as a man, it is an impossibility to have a relationship with her.
but, as everyone knows, a relationship with ones mother is complex beyond complexity and there are more ways of justifying and explaining it then stars in the sky.

my tears came so swiftly i had to hold my breath for a second to keep them from escaping.
i ache with wanting a mother to help and show me, guide and teach me, cook for me and brush my hair and hold my babies and baby me.
i bring that to my daughters, a deep rooted maternal care giving that my mother was not able to bestow- it is like roots that filter down in search of water and minerals- instinct guided.

in marriage, sometimes there are things that cannot be worked out, solved, discussed, resolved. sometimes you let the unspoken linger and it fills your head but it sways into something different entirely, and that is no matter how many days are spent with another, in pain or joy or otherwise, really you can never really know anyone and the quest to know oneself takes lifetimes- every minute can provide life changing instances where many years can provide nothing at all.
i find that, on this night, with my mother in the other room reading and completely unaware of what she triggers in my life, that my deep life lessons from childhood are often so painful to recall i have a physical reaction to certain memories.
but it is different then when i was 19 and recalling them- i no longer have the luxury (time, or inclination) to suffer for days with bottles of wine or endless phone calls to girlfriends or thirty pages of journaling- i simply observe them like an experiment (the experiment being my life) and i taste the painful parts like a snowflake on my tongue- an instant cold sensation that dissolves before it can be dissected for flavor.

because now i know pain is so much a part of life that a joyful thing can often bring pain along with it, like a summer storm that brings hail- unexpected and extraordinary because of it. a relationship that deepened your knowledge of love but you knew would not last, an illness that reshaped your perspective, a death of a beloved family member.

someone asked "when i was due today". this is the third time someone has asked me this since my baby girl was born 4 months ago.
she, literally, had tufts of hair growing out of humongous moles on her face, and a full moustache.
i still felt tears spring behind my eyelids and seriously wanted to tell her to fuck off.
but i didn't.
i sipped ice coffee instead and my husband and i looked at each other over my mothers obliviousness and wondered how in the hell we could be so good at pretending.

i TRY to tell myself that i need to be big and soft and round to nurse my daughter. that i am beautiful at any size, that i am rubenesque, and voluptuous, etc.
but when my mother picked at her food the day she flew in, and then told me she lost 15 pounds by eating only vegetables for lunch every day for two months and then i noticed that every meal i prepared was met with an "I'm not that hungry" or that the two cookies she ate with my daughter must have had "200 calories" i realized just how deep my need to be accepted and loved and nurtured by her, really is.

i love my mother. i want her to love me the way she is unable to , and so i meet her with compassion and love, because what other choice do i have?

i sift through my sadness tonight and as my husband goes out with a friend to hear music i can practically feel the oppressive energy that is running him out of his own house.

but i cannot leave, not tonight and not for a while. i must offer my body as food and drink to nourish my child, i must give water for my older daughter to sip, i must take my hands and smooth hair from foreheads and press my lips to cheeks soft as rose petals.

tonight i must mother my babies and tonight i must also mother my mother.

i try to love through the sadness tonight. i try to see the night for what it is- i am no longer the tow headed little girl with a teenage mama filled with her own brand of sadness living at the beach with sand in her sheets.

i am in the pacific northwest with a husband and a baby girl and a bigger baby girl and their eyes fill me with hope and purpose because they look to me to be what my mother wasn't. powerful beyond words to have that much power- my daughters have given me the greatest honor. little Devi's, with stars in their smiles and whole universes orbiting their heads like halos, mini-goddesses, ocean hands and mermaid lips. two beautiful little girls who will one day be women with daughters of their own.

tonight, i breathe the air of sadness and sip at the sweetness of mothering. i want to fill my babies up with love so that they balloon into their womanhood whole and happy.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

minute by minute.

my mother is coming to portland.
i love her, and want to see her, and my three year old is so excited to see her "bammy" but why oh why does it bring anxiety?
why am i still a thirty year old little girl when it comes to my parents?

my husband and i have already discussed the three day trip- what to do, not to do, what we hope SHE wont do, etc.

do issues never go away?

things are going good without the tv. our older daughter seems so much happier. (we still let her watch movies on the laptop- only two a day and not at once)
i am so glad to make these little but significant changes for our family.

we are in a state of flux. we are waiting. one small decision and our lives could change forever financially- or stay the same.
its funny how the very idea of money can change the way you feel. leading me to believe that notions on money are every bit as important as making it.

its cloudy here in portland, again. i have never experienced a summer like this anywhere. i struggle with the gray and we talk of moving on once the leaves change color in the fall.

i belted out a song yesterday and surprised myself with my hoarse intensity.

i lost 4 pounds.
i am going to cut off all of my hair and dye it very blonde.

i am shedding, molting, shifting, reshaping.

i feel shaky with coffee and lack of sleep.
i had nightmares last night.
deep and terrible, they pinned me to the mattress.
i nursed with the window open and the breeze felt like a narcotic.
things are more awful at night.

sometimes i feel like my mothering prohibits my art, and i feel anxious and guilty for feeling this way, as it offers so many gifts. i knew there would be sacrifices, but i admit i did not know that they would be so soul wrenching.

am i the only one?

it really is a day to day process.
to my parents, thank you. i understand more now.

to other mothers, thanks for letting me know your difficulties as well. it makes me feel much less alone.

some days i feel like a queen, royal and gracious.
other days i feel like a maniacal freedom fighter- fighting for my own freedom, where two lives do not depend on me completely for survival.

i step forward. i am learning to let go, relax and take it minute by minute.

Friday, June 19, 2009

beautiful beauty everywhere.

we talk of our own gallery/photography/makeup artist/painting/music studio.

we talk of italy, australia, spain, and new york and cross country road trips in an r.v. with a suitcase each.

we talk of long walks through cobblestone alleys and tropical sunsets with sandy feet and skyscrapers over bays and cafes and the whole world as a playground.

i bought myself a dark blue dress today with pink eyelet cutouts on the ruffled bottom and just wearing this dress makes me feel beautiful because it looks good with my cowboy boots with the flowers on them and also its easy and summery and so ME.

i have been working out and my body feels stronger. fierce, even.

i am finding more joy in my daily life, and i am inspired.


it rained all day here, a summer rain with gusts of breezes and fat rain drops and steam rising from the dirt and weird patches of sun and furtive glances.

i feel opened and renewed.

my three year old said to me today: "oh, your shirt is sooo tute, mama!" and it was SO sweet and innocent and darling, they way she says some of her words, saying tute instead of cute,so heartfelt but mispronounced, that i felt like scooping her up in my arms and holding her so she would never grow up. my little girls are so beautiful it makes my heart ache. i am aware of my time being finite and it fills me with a bittersweet reminder to try to always enjoy them, for soon enough i will not be kissing boo boos and washing sticky fingers or giving bubble baths or tucking them in. i will be their mother always, yes, but they will never again need me the way they do now.

my baby discovered her hands today and she has been staring at her fingers like they are galaxies, endless and fascinating. she has been laughing and really, there is nothing that could possible make me happier then their joy and pure souls teaching me and guiding me.

my growth is making me feel like a better mother.

it is mid june and i am peaceful tonight.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

magic restoration.

lately i have been feeling the need to restore some magic into my life.

i want to pay more attention to the moon and its cycles, the breeze, the clouds.

watching the plants and flowers grow on my balcony is very magical and fulfilling.

we got rid of the tv.

its hard.

it was an addiction, one i looked forward to at the end of the day-and we did not even have cable!- and it hurt a bit to let it go...and yet, i find myself with more time for the more important things- like my kids, house, husband and the gym.

the evening shows i was used to "unwinding" to? pretty much forgotten.

my life is decidedly more magical without the evil box in it.

as i lay on the bed a few minutes ago, nursing my baby and dreamily looking out the window, i felt an eerie sensation of feeling just slightly out of my body.
my fingers and toes had a numb feeling and there was a bright haziness to the sky and clouds. the trees are lush and green and seem to fill my bedroom window, not unlike a tree house.
i made my chunky, roly poly beautiful baby laugh and gurgle and coo and i lay conjuring up my goals, business ideas and next projects.
time kind of slowed.
my mother/wife/woman/friend "self" dissolved and just left me with my higher essence, the essence of my spirit that feels in tune and knows the truth of my life.
it felt distinctly like shedding.
it felt magical.
we may do some traveling soon. i daydream about spain and the beach and sipping sangria in the late evening, wearing espadrilles and white linen.
i am making plans to contact some publishers about some writing ventures and my paintbrushes beckon me, like divining rods, all but quivering in the cup in the closet.
never having experienced weather like this in the summer (cloudy until 5pm and then intensely sunny and muggy, 75 degrees and darkness falling past 10) i come out of my shell and fully into my body no earlier then 3.
swinging on the pendulum of motherhood, i read books and make my three year old giggle, i chop olives and pick thyme from my potted herbs on the balcony and take pilates and read. somehow, i still manage to read an entire book in a day and half.
magic can be mundane, its how we welcome and invite it in that it becomes so.
magic manifests itself everywhere and also it expands through fingertips and laughter.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

flowers and themes.

you know when themes appear in your life?

and all of a sudden you see the (lesson, word, pattern, person, situation, books, etc) everywhere?

thats whats happening to me.

i keep reading books that say the exact same thing.

i keep finding myself in the same circular thoughts. a reel, if you will. it just keeps playing in my mind like a loop.

my walk yesterday found me contemplative. witnessing the flowers of portland in the spring, and now early summer has been like watching my soul evolve. walking helped me get out of my thoughts and into my heart.

in this past year, i have gone to school, had a baby, and lived in three different homes.

i have been published in a magazine (ok, it was a magazine for baby boomers, but still!)

i trick myself into thinking that i will always be:
not "enough"
unmotivated and uninspired

but the truth is, if i just look at this last year alone (not to mention the other 29 years of my life) change is always apparent and exists naturally regardless of if i think it is happening fast enough for my ego or not.

thats my thing. its not happening fast enough. fast enough for me to "feel" like something is happening, i suppose.

but it IS happening! life is happening, change is happening.
my little girls are growing exponentially and i am too, even despite my perceived flaws, setbacks and insecurities.

so all these books i am reading say that to change anything about your life, you must first
believe it has already happened
and back it up with action.

really, if we examine our lives, EVERYTHING that has happened has been created because we decided it to be so.

that being said, i am working on aligning my own thoughts with my life and what i want.
i am working on becoming more whole and integrated.

i am, today, going to try to be in the most present moment as possible. play legos with my daughter instead of clean, walk long enough to sweat, smile at myself because i am a child of god and goddess and like all others, deserve kindness and gentleness (from myself especially).

what i envision for myself lately:

money that can grow for my family. enough to get my tonsil surgery.
a house with wooden floors and lots of windows and a fenced back yard here in portland for my girls and that is big enough for a flower and a veggie garden.
a preschool in the fall for my three year old that will foster her artistic nature and her gentle, empathic spirit.
a used (but new to us) car that is safe and clean. i love station wagons!
a joint growth within my marriage, including goals.
healthy and happy children.
becoming a more patient mother.
shedding pounds of weight like winter overcoats. effortless and joyful.
writing and painting.
pilates and yoga.

what goals and dreams come to you? how do they appear and how do you listen?

wishing you a dream infused spirit and little flowers that appear everywhere on your walks!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

rain rain.

its been sweltering hot here.

today, this afternoon, the thunderclouds rolled in. the air filled with electricity and energy. each tree vibrated with its own essence, its own shade of vibrant green, and the wind whipped the branches around like hair blowing around a beautiful womans face.

i stepped outside and breathed in the marvelous air-i started laughing at the feeling of it all. it was this alive, whipping, windy, energy filled AIR and the sky was pulsating with a strange, odd light, and it felt like fingertips were running along my line of vision and wiping my sight clean.

the heirloom tomatoes i bought today were so full and heavy that when i gently squeezed one juice dribbled out.

i tucked lavender that i grew into my bra as a perfume.

i laughed today and smiled today.

today i played with my little girls instead of folding laundry.

the rain came down and rinsed me clean.

all is holy and bright.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

burnt out.

i just thought of something-
if your burnt out, you have a lot of fire.

that would sum up my life right now. my life is never really peaceful and calm for very long- i seem to create fire because i live fiery.

sometimes i keep waiting for "something" to happen- until i realize the something IS happening, and its called my life. it is filled with the mundane chores and errands that only having small children will do, but its so much more then that too- i took a walk today because i couldnt get to the gym and it felt wonderful- i still cant believe HOW MANY flowers there are here. it wasnt as hot as its been in the last several days, but it was kind of overcast and muggy. i blinked and a mile and a half went by.

i tried on every single thing i owned yesterday and realized that i still look pregnant. i am not comfortable in my own body, and despite having lost 20 pounds immediately after giving birth, i have not lost one pound since then- three months ago.

its depressing.

but i am trying really hard to love myself and be gentle, because if my daughter came to me with the exact same scenario, i would be gentle and loving with her.

but i also love bread and cheese and wine and olive oil and dessert and while i do not have those things every day, i have them probably a bit too often to lose weight.

that combined with the fact that i HOLD on to my weight when im breastfeeding (unlike every other woman- THEIR pounds just MELT off, right? aargh.) then i am done breastfeeding and the pounds melt away because i dont need to eat as much, blah blah blah.



i swear, i feel like the only woman in the world going through this.

please tell me its not just me.

and also, why dont mothers share some of the dark, lame parts of motherhood more often?

like for instance- i took the baby and my three year old to the grocery store. my three year old INSISTED i get the cart with the car on the end- well these carts are very hard to maneuver as they are like 40 times longer then the regular dang cart. ok, so i get the girls in the cart- big girl in the car, and little one in her car seat in the front. normally, i put her in the sling, but she is 13 1/2 pounds now, plus its hot, so its more comfy to do it that way sometimes.
so my three year old basically walks the whole way, refuses to be in the car part of the car, and the store is HUGE so i am running around after her trying to keep her from putting all of this stuff that im NOT buying into the car. she wants barbie chapstick, bubble bath, nail polish, hello kitty tooth brushes, apples, pizza etc etc etc.
the baby starts screaming, and then my three year old throws a tantrum, and im trying to get out of there and im sweating and i SWEAR I CAN FEEL MY BLOOD PRESSURE RISE.

now i know why nannies are hired. ( i was a nanny for ten years) people hired ME to do the stuff they didnt want to do and that would make their life easier. really, i was paid to be a chauffeur, personal assistant and household manager, i addition to light housecleaner and nanny.


i just wish moms like me would talk MORE about their messy house, or their tantrum throwing kid (really shes good, i swear) or how difficult it is to juggle the three year old and the husband and the baby and the housework and still manage to go to the gym so you can fit into pants that ARE NOT LEFTOVER maternity pants and still make dinner at the end of the night with a SMILE on your face.

and if you are wearing skinny jeans because you are skinny and your house is in perfect order and your kids only exhibit lovely behavior and you cook nutritious, delicious gourmet meals in heels then we probably wouldnt have much in common.
you should see my house.

but the plants and flowers on my balcony look gorgeous.