Thursday, August 31, 2006

So Proud of My Parents

Look what Bob and I get to be a part of on Labor Day:

This year, the Southern Maine Labor Council will hold a Labor Day breakfast at 8:30 on Sept. 4, to honor union activists Kathy and Frank Kadi.

Kathy, a member of the Maine State Employees Association (MSEA) , was the first Maine president of the Congress of Labor Union Women. Frank has been a long-time activist with the Service Employees International (SEIU) union and American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) .

There will also be music from the group “Nine to Nine,” featuring Senate President Beth Edmonds. As well, Ralph Fasanella’s painting “Red Sky,” a photo essay of working people by Guy Saldanha and labor painting by area schoolchildren will be on display.

Photo by Carlos Fernandez.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Learning to Swim (3)

Curled up, leaning over you, my head against your chest, ear pressed to hear your heart. Peaceful, then struck by the thought I love this heart…I want to reach down, grow fangs, feast on it, consume it completely. Then wonder, who thought that? Has Margaret Atwood as writer qua writer possessed me? Is this love? Desire? Indicative of a disorder?

I think of it for a day, desperate to write it down but never with pen and paper in hand until now. Now, seated across from you at this Tibetan restaurant. Me with my hot lime, you with your lime soda. Both of us tired and cranky, a little mad at our belated friend who has yet to join us for dinner. Both anticipating being even more tired.

“You’re going to write now?” you say, sounding uncomfortable, as I uncap my pen.

“You don’t seem to want to have a conversation with me.” I retort.

“Don’t do that.”

“What? You seem tired and hungry. I’m not upset, I just don’t want to sit and stare into space wishing I had something to do. So I’m writing. Let me know when and if you actually want to converse and I’ll happily converse. Until then, I’m writing.”

Writing about you and how much I wanted to devour your heart last night, that is.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

A Year of New Adventures

I'm really excited about a new project I've taken on and would love your help!!

A Year of New Adventures is a blog dedicated to people having new adventures. Each week for the next year, we will take on a new adventure in common, posting comments about our experiences.

Adventure can be anything and everything. Trying food you’ve never tried, writing a love letter, submitting something for publication, singing in public, or participating in a new athletic activity. It could even be meditating or praying for longer than you’ve tried meditating or praying before.

Sometimes we all get “boxed in” by who we think we are and what we think we can do. Adventures – big and small – reconnect us to our sense of play and wonder. If every person moved through the world filled with play and wonder...well, that would just rock, and anything would be possible!

Today marks the beginning of Week 1, and it would be great to have you along for the ride!! I request the following from you:

1. Visit A Year of New Adventures. Find out what the first adventure is and participate!
2. Send me your adventurous ideas. We've got 51 weeks of adventure to create!
3. This week, personally tell at least one other person about A Year of New Adventures.
4. Forward this e-mail to people you know who like a little bit of adventure, or could use some in their lives.

By October 31, at least fifty new adventures will have been had and commented on by blog participants!

Love and peace,

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Learning to swim (2)

“This is the BBC News Hour…” blares the cheap brown clock radio next to Jody’s futon. She makes a noise, some sort of grunt-sigh, as she realizes she has been snoozing for an hour and that it is already 9 am. She wakes up, trying to ignore the extremely loud British woman intruding on her sleep while at the same time straining to hear the morning’s top stories. After a few minutes she rolls from her right side onto her back, reaching up and across her body to turn the volume down. The clock now reads 9:06. She needs to get up, but her down comforter feels so much better than just about anything else in her world, so she entertains a brief morning ritual instead.

In her mind, Jody runs through the list she is trying to compile of different ways to earn a living without leaving your bed. Sleep studies…not a sure thing, she had read that some sleep studies require subjects to stay awake for long periods of time, to study the effect of sleep deprivation. That sure wasn’t what she wanted.

Mattress salesperson…on slow days it would be great, lots of time to rest on the most comfortable and expensive mattresses in the store, mattresses even more comfortable than Jody’s own, which was not bad. But selling mattresses would be torture on busy days, she pictured herself running around a store, helping customers who didn’t know what kind of bed they wanted, only that this one was too firm and this one too soft. On busy days the mattresses would only taunt her. Beds everywhere, but not a single place to rest.

Jody has blond hair and green eyes. Not that you would know by looking at her. Right now her hair has blue tips and magenta roots. It rises from her head in little spikes, hundreds of candle flames growing out of her head. Medusa with short hair. Her eyebrow is pierced, a small ring resting just beyond the corner of her right eye. It has only been pierced for about a month, though she spent three or four years thinking about it. Same thing with her hair. Up until a month ago, it fell to her chin, always blond, never quite curly, never quite straight. But now she has spiky flaming hair and an eyebrow ring.

Monday, August 14, 2006

I'm so happy today.

That's all. Also, I love you. Your glorious imperfections and playful underbelly make me giddy. If you were standing here next to me, I'd be giving you a giant hug.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

A little bit of navel-gazing

What a variety of reactions people in my life have had when I've told them about reconnecting with Keith, a man with whom I fell in love and had a brief affair in Scotland at age 20! Reactions range from complete understanding and the assumption that of course Bob knows (he does and truly, he supports it) to isn't that dangerous? and you haven't told Bob have you? and my [boyfriend, husband, partner] would never be okay with that. One person explained to me how weird it was and how unlike other people I am. It also seems to stir something up for folks. One friend was inspired to get in touch with someone who had been similarly important to her when she was living in Australia in order to seek closure (she got it).

I chatted with Bob about this yesterday afternoon. He called long-lasting and and very close friendships my special talent. I think he's right. If I love you, I love you for life. And most of the time, if I love you, you find yourself surprised by some of what you're willing to share with me about yourself. And surprised by what I'm willing to share with most people about myself. You can assume that you will remain very important to me and that if we see each other after a period of absence, I will have a delighted squeal and a fierce hug at the ready to say hello.

Loving the people I love is the most important thing to me. When I work to be more effective in the world, what I'm really working on is loving well. My tendencies toward competition and wanting to be right, my fears of looking stupid or failing, these get between you and me. So I'm committed to something else. Who I am is not these things. Who I am is being in love with each of the people in my life. Which, incidentally, makes being with Bob that much more spectacular.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Happy Birthday to Me!

Saturday, August 12, is my 28th birthday. Which means, clearly, that I am quite old.

I have a birthday request: I request that you post a comment telling me what one new experience you will try this year that you've never tried before. And tell me how much you love me. :)

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Dear Oven Mitt,

Thanks for keeping us safe.

A Lot of Skin Cells

Skin care - an unusual post for me

Finally! I have found a skin care product (or in this case, products) that work for my skin and actually represent an improvement. Seriously, my face is sweetly soft and blemish free when I'm using this stuff! It doesn't dry out my skin or leave it heavy and oily. Eau Thermale Avene Gentle Milk Cleanser and Gentle Toner. You want some.

Monday, August 07, 2006

A feather bed and a digital camera

It seems that our house is a good transit/storage facility.

One friend asked today if he could send a digital camera my way from one country so that I could send it along to his paramour in another country.

A few hours later, a different friend asked if he could send us a feather bed to hold onto, until he can pick it up when he is in town for his buddy's bachelor party. Apparently plans include putting sticky stuff on the groom-to-be, then covering him in feathers.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Learning to swim (1)

Guard rails capture my imagination as I am driving down the highway. Ani Difranco croons and guitar picks through my radio while I sing loudly “Just the thought/Of our bed/Makes me crumble like the plaster where you punched the wall beside my head…”

Your imagined tattoo makes its way into my mind, and I picture you, your shirt off, the small of your back with some note of kanji, some symbol implying peace or Buddha. A dragon, maybe, was that what you said? I can’t recall any longer.

I’m stopping for mangoes by the roadside, wondering how this Iowa farm stand got its hands on such sweet dripping tropical moments.

My speakers are a bit old. So, too, is this car. The music hums through my seat, bass buzzing through muscle and spasming through capillaries. Maybe my heart will beat in time.

Running across the plains, I keep looking for ocean. Sweat takes the place of salt water. I miss my mother's lilacs, but I haven't spoken with her in more than seven years. I can hardly call her now just to tell her that.

Photo by Laszlo Ilyesl

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Have you had your miracle this week?

This week, I got...

The beginning of a friendship with my first love, whom I have been unable to contact for the seven years since I left Scotland and lots of related giddiness.

Reminded of all the reasons I am madly in love with my husband:
- He appreciates my wildly off-key singing and I appreciate his;
- Even though we are both always completely and totally free to be ourselves at our unsexiest, we're still totally and completely turned on by one another;
- I can't let it go...he once ran a mile from his house to mine in order to let me know about a rainbow outside that I just had to see;
- When I'm in his arms everything is stillness and being and love; and
- He has trust and support for me and our relationship in such abundance that I am overwhelmed by his generosity of love and spirit at this moment.

Effortless ease around my money, my food, and my body. I've maintained a commitment to choosing healthfully in these areas for the past six weeks. And seriously, this week, I got it as effortless.

The possibility of infinite love and every having every adventure I dream for myself. Also, I got the possibility of every adventure you dream for yourself. Go ahead. Dream one up.

Dear Summer,

You may be feeling a bit unloved right now, so please know, you are my perfect other. Your sleepy air and thick evening light hold me just right.

Wild Roses in Bloom

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

to sleep soundly

to sleep soundly, a woman must welcome her visitors by choosing poetry that will sing to their particular tongues and she must laugh clearly enough to break the fog on a cold, humid evening. she must eat heartily so that deep flavors settle across her body and anyone who kisses her can taste them. she must trail her fingernails against her own palms and quiver at the feeling of her own touch.

to sleep soundly, a woman must encircle the moment of crystal waking that comes just before her evening journey begins, but then let it pass, without clinging or grasping. she must shout her argument only when poetry or the sky is at stake and then she must do so from her belly, with the weight of the world’s children coloring her breath.

to sleep soundly, a woman must breathe maple syrup on snow each fall and salty ocean lips each summer. the lilac smell of her own sweat should cause her to burrow into her own writing.

to sleep soundly, a woman must forget herself while she makes love, forget the word physical. she must extend into her own limbs and scream and moan and touch herself and her lover without noticing whether the lights are on. her arms must open freely with no need to hold her heart against the fear that it might fall from her chest.

to sleep soundly, a woman must put down her work. she must lie down in a quiet room with daisies and chrysanthemums and quiet the lights. she must touch herself sleepily while the moon wanders into her room and she must say, finally, this is where i will rest.

Dorothea Lange

This beautiful, beautiful woman is Dorothea Lange. During her lifetime, she was a photographer, a pioneer in photojournalism. After years of running a successful portraiture studio, she gave it up after attending a workers' street rally and concluding that what she photographed was out of sync with what mattered. Relying on friends to help her care for her children, she traveled throughout middle America, documenting the camps of Dust Bowl refugees, photographing sharecroppers and migrant worker families. She shot worker strikes and rallies, and later photographed the forced evacuation of Japanese-Americans to internment camps after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. She viewed her medium as an opportunity to bring the human condition into full view. The more I read about her, the more I fall in love with her.

Dear Lighthouse,

Pinned as a postcard above my desk, you tempt me.


Tuesday, August 01, 2006


I'm swimming up to about two miles now, and even putting my face in the water! Much easier than the mile and a half of doing the crawl with my head above water...Friday afternoons, Saturday and Sunday mornings find me happy at Walden, and very often with Deji and Goulder (also pictured here), Rachel (photographer friend who took the photo), and Mike.

Pond report from last weekend: the water is still very high - it looks like we'll have underwater benches for the rest of the season - and Friday's thunderstorm left the shore a bit muddy. The water is warm and luxurious now, though, from all this hot weather, leading to pruny fingers all weekend...

Dear Hum,

You are perfect and pulsing slightly. Restful and alive, subtle and constant. I can hear you.

My auditory sensors