Thursday, February 04, 2016

winter runs off

one of the benefits of having a dog is that she forces you outside. 

even on damp and gloomy days when you would prefer to sit under a blanket 
with a steaming beverage, the dog must evacuate. 

so you go bravely into the great grey melt down.

the sound of running water fills our woodsy hamlet. water raining down, dripping from trees, rushing in streams that are usually silent and dry.

our creek is generally naught but a trickle with a few stagnant pools. 

today it is a tumbling drunk choir, adorned in stunning little waterfalls, 
a bold brook rather than a shy stream. tributaries are swollen with purpose, 
mountain quartz flirting through rivulets and moss.

imbolg entered in a moody shroud of rain water, holding her flaming torch high, 
melting the snows, shedding light on an impending season, 
and offering a bright promise of regeneration.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

New Year New Frontier

January slipped into a Midwestern pub with snow on her shoes, a sweaty pint of craft beer, and a rock and roll band. 

She was surrounded by love too.

The midnight hour was a collection of reflections in dew, strumming & keys, should do's and might haves and gratitude and apprehensions and absences, wishes written on steam. 

Stream of song and string lights dancing into a next day called 2016.

And then a lot of things happened. More things to add to the things happening already. 

Things like our car's engine shaft suddenly snapping on a busy highway in West Virginia as we drove home from our holiday in Wisconsin. My awesome job suddenly snapping out from under me in a lay off my first day back from holiday. And the following day, my mom admitted into the hospital for the third time in as many weeks. 

Our car was fixed, mostly, and at great expense.

My mom was discharged from the hospital after a week of chemo treatment. She is feeling considerably better still.

And that job, well, there is no fix. Very simply, it is gone.

I have been laid off once before. 

I was in my late 20's, working for a music agency in San Francisco, expected to lie to the legendary Mavis Staples over the phone about her next paycheck. 

It was a pretty rotten job and I was quite relieved to be sprung from it.

I loved my most recent occupation of three years. I learned a lot and looked forward to each day. It was a great outlet for my creativity. It was a crafty company with talented co-workers. My boss was very flexible about the demands of my other jobs as mother, doula, AND daughter to an aging parent. It was a fine fit in so very many ways. 

I didn't think I would be there forever, but I also didn't expect it to end so soon. 

Unlike the music industry job, there was no sense of relief when I was let go.

Just the stages of grief.

And snowfall. Almost 20 inches in two days. 

A blank slate on which to etch a fresh story, a deep space of soft landings, a powdery  shapelessness followed by growing solidification, an invitation to tumble and trundle

Now emerging from sooty slush and slippery black ice, there are clear surfaces in sight and windows of opportunity reflecting light. 

A full moon wanes into darkness and stirs new life. Gestation anticipates fruition. Tributaries fatten with run off as roots tingle. We witness the big tease of thaw & freeze flirting.

Imbolc approaches and it is time to fire up every last 
candle so that nothing is left but new beginnings.

Monday, November 30, 2015

In and Out of the Woods

Sadly, it's been almost five months since I last posted here. 

So I thought, tonight — yes, tonight — I will share some photos from our walk with Skye earlier.

They are not great photos, snapped with my now outdated cell phone. But a little bit of something from our world, to share with you, after a too long absence.

This afternoon Tashi took Tristan to see the Peanuts movie, a sweet outing for an older and younger sibling. And while they were gone Dan and I went bush whacking, following our little creek as far as we could manage, before dusk started to settle in. 

Dangling above a deep(ish) pool

Skye is onto something in that hole

Sweet and Stubborn

She scrambled up the embankment and liked it so much up there, refused to come back down

Until she heard movement 

And was ready to continue the romp

Fungus spotting in our woods


And more variety

Ever onward through the brush and bramble

Mama's best friends!

I somehow can't resist talking to my dog with an irritating high pitched voice of affection

A walk in our woods is such an accessible journey into the primeval world

A satisfying metaphor for the ups and downs of daily life

Back home, the kids returned from their movie

We ate dinner around the wood stove in a final salute to our extended Thanksgiving holiday

Saturday, July 11, 2015

the light side of things

It's hard to believe it's been nearly five months since my last post. This blog has always been such a great exercise in writing and reflection, the play of words and photos. But the bottom line is that in what little time I have to write, the blog hasn't been a priority. Still it remains here, a tome holding so many memories, to be opened and added to when the right moment strikes. 

Being a very rainy summer Saturday, it seems the moment is now.

So what has happened between February and July? So many small and large things, too small to detail, too large to summarize. But I will try.

Our little guy turned six.

He started taking Kung Fu lessons and playing Soccer 
(and eventually graduated from Kindergarten!)

We had a spring break in the North East, taking Tashi on college tours and 
playing in the snows of Vermont.

While on that trip we received a phone call that changed all of our lives. 
We learned that my mom had been admitted to the hospital and diagnosed with Leukemia.

There is nothing good about a cancer diagnoses but that it brings family together. 
And so some of that followed. 

My mom comes from a tough line of genes, that is for sure. 

Thus far there have been a multitude of appointments, labs, and three rounds of low-grade Chemo (called Decitabine). While she doesn't feel fantastic in the week following treatment, she is stable and the Leukemia has not seemed to progress.  

The doctor's goal is to get her into remission and it seems to be in sight. 

What was initially a two week to two months prognosis has turned into a year, or two, or more. 

Where there was sorrow there is now hope. 

Where there were a great deal of anxiety there is adjustment. 

We are living day by day, simplifying our lives as best we can, taking things one step at a time. 

It is quite a ride on the wheel of life when you are facing terminal illness and your teenager is attending her first prom (and getting her driver's license). 

Life has been that way, a great juggle of joy, fear, fury, and just-being.

Other events? I took a photography class!

And was provided a new photography space at my workplace, where I can struggle with light and display challenges, and continue to grow and learn and do something I love.

Summer arrived.

A time of hikes, swimming, vineyards, and visits from family and friends.

A dear friend passed. Cancer, again.

And in the saddest most confusing times we have these blue eyes to look into, 
this innocence and unconditional love to bring us peace. 

Except when she barks, that is not so peaceful!

While I struggle with negativity - inside and out - it seems that my eyes can find the light.