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Week 2/ October 10-17 - Page 4

post #61 of 76

One gestation
Two concerned minds
medication, circumcision, formula, vaccination
the decision that binds

One bundle of emotions
two loving hearts
hunger, cold, isolation, motions
how much experience imparts

Two small feet
one determined brain
shock, gravity, sharpness, heat
so much to explain
post #62 of 76
A very happy birthday to Ary99! Hope you have a loving and peaceful day! mamabeca (andy)
post #63 of 76

A walk, a chosen color

One basketball hidden in the bush, two basketball hoops
reminding me of my childhood turning into adolescence
and my brother shooting the hoops with our godsend father figure neighbor next door.

A beautiful little tree with no more
than twenty orange leaves hanging on
stood out to me. I was surprised to see
how bright and colorful this tree was...

Time to time, on my walk by myself (fully savored btw)
I would see just a handful of orange leaves--the first to transform into Autumn's change--from the thousands of green soon to follow. My Birthday is at this time of year and this is my FIRST time to enjoy the changing of seasons on the East Coast...
In CAlifornia, this just doesn't happen (like this), and my appreciation is here for how slowly and beautifully it unfolds.

My husband grew up in Pennsylvania so in California, he would talk about how much he missed the WEATHER, or as he joked, "Having weather..."

I breathe in the oranges--the beginning of them and the reds and the gold. I enjoy crunching the brown leaves with my steps! I remembered as a child how I always longed for more crunches when I walked home--louder ones!! Bigger piles!
Crunchier crunches would put a smile on my face.

The leaves on the ground blended with all the sunset colors evoked the memory of when my dear friend Suzanne sent me specially-chosen fall leaves from North Carolina in the mid 90s. She left Ca. to go to Chapel Hill for her Masters in Public Health and Nutrition.
I remember feeling and admiring the colors of the leaves;
little did I know a decade later--TUESday OCtober 12th--I'd be here myself!

Now Suzanne is expecting her first baby...and counsels pregnant women on how to eat the best for the baby. I'm so proud of her and so grateful she's my friend.

In my new neighborhood, usually the hydrants are painted green, yellow and red. I was happy one painted orange on the top--like a construction hat. Red-orange-yellow, it was painted, just like the leaves' fall colors. Interestingly, across the street for the hydrant there was a flag hanging, off of a porch with three plastic pumpkins and a scarecrow dressed in orange-green plaid. The flag has one red, one orange and one yellow leaf painted--just like the leaves' fall colors and the hydrant across the street! This was the same house my daughter and I walked by weeks ago and they gave the friendliest hellos...

on my walk I saw a squirrel climb a rope swing...with frays of orange tied to the swing and shreds of orange on the grass.
I stopped in my tracks and I smiled as I watched.

I saw a burnt-orange Toyota Tercel, one that reminded me of my childhood, a time when every car was either orange, green, yellow, tan or brown. THe car itself looked pretty old and the shape reminded me of Pintos and the teenagers driving them around...

At the baseball field, twelve year old boys threw baseballs back and forth to each other--one of the mits being new and more orange than brown. In the distance, I might have seen a boy wearing an SF Giants shirt or perhaps, I wondered, if that's just because that's where I'm from...
post #64 of 76
The time of my life
In my walk this evening I asked myself the question, "When have I been the happiest, in this lifetime?" I scanned my memories, from kindergarten to college and grad school, to California and Connecticut, back to Texas again and with two young sons in between. Two young sons in between. After a good several minutes it hit me, this is the time of my life. Not the bubble years in San Francisco, cutting classes in dental school to go salmon fishing off the Farallons, not riding all afternoon through Mount Diablo with Anje on borrowed horses, or sitting alone during spring break on a rock in the middle of the falls at Pedernales. No ounce of freedom can really compare with the responsibility I share over the boys we brought into the world. These are the days we'll look back on when we are old: looking down mid-sentence during otherwise adult conversation to realize the baby has had a blowout onto the new white blouse, and the way my first son's eyes nearly popped out when we perched him in front of the marine aquarium glass at three months (he was so delighted with the colors and patterns and light). If I imagine myself at sixty, when the children have children of their own (God willing), I'm not certain I'll reminisce so much about my own youth as I will the youth of my boys, innocent and full of hope, still young enough to believe we were really that smart and us, lucky enough to get away with it.
post #65 of 76

Last weeks post

I remember…

the cabin and the woods and walks by the creek…

a skeleton and then our shelter…

fires and people laughing and dancing…

our beds hung from the ceiling, in separate rooms, across a hall…

whispering after lights out and being hushed…

my sister crawls in bed with me…

waking up and crawling into moms bed in her big empty room…

throwing Augie’s rubber duckie across the room so she could bring it back and we could do it again…

making fires in the fancy white and silver wood stove…

mom boiling water for our baths…

peeing in the “pee bucket” because we hated to go to the outhouse…

my sister never wanting to step outside…

she is running from the wasps because they enjoy tasting her…

mom rubbing baking soda and water on her bites…

a wood porch and our water faucet outside the back door…

the wasps are drinking…

driving to and from town to get food and water in our blue VW bus…

the treats I would pick were Nori and Licorice sticks…

big beautiful trees…

snow on April fools day…

so much the wood is wet and we are cold…

mom disappears into the white…
we sit by the window and watch her go…

we wait…

dad and his friend come to carry us away on funny shoes…

I would do anything to have that place as my own.
post #66 of 76
The year when I was 10 my step dad left and came and left. He had become a constant presence but was never there for very long. I was in Christian school but that is all mushed with 8 and 9. So is he.

We had a trapeze in our room. We all slept in that room four girls. Our other room was the play room. We were allowed to walk to the plaza alone. We looked at the Indians and the jewelry they created. We always ate churros and hung out in front of the dime store or the taco shop. We always watched our watches carefully and a few times lied and changed the time.

Dinner was in the dining room with the family. The man was always the head of the table with everything to his liking and mom running back and forth to the kitchen. I always ate salsa because no one else would and I wanted to impress him. We got a healthy dinner and he got steak. He always watched TV alone while we were cleaning the kitchen.

In the summer I flew to my dads for six weeks. I don’t remember details. Only that it was good and safe. When we were apart we talked every week and I always cried. I missed his gentle loving spirit. I told him I wanted to live with him and sometimes he told my mom. I even ran away a few times. One time I took a dime in my pocket so I could call him but I really didn’t know what to do so I went back home.

I left my precious cockatiel and when I came home I was told my mom was pregnant and my bird was gone. The little step sister I hated and loved had let him out. I had walked in on my mother before I left having naptime with Tim. Ooh I was in trouble. It wasn’t the first time. I wondered if that was when my brother was made. I missed my Kiwi. I got another and soon Tim was gone. I wondered if it was because of the cigarettes I had found when I slipped my hand in his pocket at the Balloon Festival in Albuquerque but I knew it was much bigger because I never told. The fights they had were scary and once my mom had asked us to call the police. When I was 10 ½ my stepsisters were still there but soon they were gone too.

My mom was alone or so she thought. She always thought she was alone. I wanted to be her friend and I was right there. I don’t remember if we went to my dad’s for Thanksgiving or Christmas that year. I’m sure there was snow and the neighborhood Faralitos. I just remember my mom being lonely and crying. I remember talking about having a brother and naming him. I knew Tim was gone for good and I was glad.

I went to public school and my teacher was Mr. Jimenez. He teased me and I liked it. My life was too serious. We made art which I missed a lot from before the Christian school when I was in Waldorf. We did a whole mural on the wall in the hall. I wonder if it is still there. I still have an art piece on my wall by my bed made with cloth and paint and wood and feathers and a face in my handprint. My face print is in the garage and falling apart. I remember my step sister’s being there at school and I wonder if he left them with us and when he took them away for good. I remember a teary goodbye.

I read a lot of books. They were my escape. I read all day one Saturday, and when I turned out the lights I could see the moonlight shining in my window and then it was gone. My sight went black and I thought the devil had taken over my body. I wondered which bad deed had brought me to this end. I became so afraid I called out to my mom. She wouldn’t come. I became frantic and screamed. She held me. It felt so nice. I felt safe and she convinced me I read too much.

When I was 10 I made an all boys basketball team but I couldn’t stick it out. I was scared and my knees hurt. I could not stand up against the wall without my knees collapsing. I quit. I also played the drums. I carried my snare to school on a little cart. It was embarrassing. I quit that too. I had my first boyfriend and best friend. Eddie and Shannon. Mom didn’t like either one. It was just the beginning of her dislikes. I got hit in the head by a baseball and hated PE. I had sex education. I watched George Michael with my friend Allison and danced. I cross country skied with my friend Bobbie and made a cave in the snow. I lost the copper bracelet my dad gave me. I had worn it every day since I could remember. I cried and searched.

Finally, my brother was born. I saw it all. No Tim. He had been gone a long time. So were the sisters. He signed papers to give up his rights. My mom was so worried when she went into early labor. She got someone to get him to sign the papers. But then there was the day. She woke us up and said her water broke but we were going to church. She was smiling. The brother we had begged them to make us was finally coming today. Someone came to get us out of Sunday school. Mom couldn’t get up from her chair because she had leaked everywhere. We went to the store with the midwife and then to her house. Ari and I saw “Dirty Dancing” and mom was mad but couldn’t care. Finally we went to the birth center and mom was in so much pain. I wanted to help her so much. I remember her taking a bath and she asked us to go away. We went for a walk. Finally he came and I saw it all. We slept there that night and then we went home and I had to go back to school and mom had to go back to work and it was the end of my childhood when I was 10.
post #67 of 76

The Year I Was Ten Years Old

Scruffy haired and freckle-faced with no thoughts of tomorrow, I ran the streets of my neighborhood oblivious to the world around me. There was a dog, even scruffier than I, who had been abused and abandoned somewhere along the line. She was my best friend and I was her only friend. It took me weeks to convince her that I would cause her no harm. After that we were inseparable.

Down the street lived a horse, a rare sight in the city. I was in love with horses and spent countless afternoons after school talking to the horse from the other side of the fence. We raced up and down the length of that fence, an aging brown horse and a wild-eyed redhaired child, whinnying and kicking up our heels in delight.

The summer of my tenth year, I spent countless hours in the field in front of our house, digging miniature streams and rivers and letting the garden hose fill them with running water. A paradise for my tiny herds of horses who ran free throughout. My spirit ran wild with them.

I built a fort in my backyard, and would mix together strange concoctions of alfalfa and lotion, and various herbs. My mom and sister were adventurous enough to let me try out my lotions and potions on their skin and hair. It was the very beginning of my lifelong fascination with herbs.

The year I was ten years old was a magical year. It was my last year of innocence, before my first crush, before the shock of Jr High with it's lockers and multitude of classes. Yet, the wild little girl who was ten years old still lives within me. And I smile to recognize her spirit in my children.
post #68 of 76

Traveling and Home

(Week 1: 5min.)
(I joined during week two so here is my “missed” post first)

What is home? How do you find it? How do you leave it behind when it’s time to move on? I’ve been thinking about home—whether this place I’m living now can be called mine or not. Hogar—a word I’ve read in Spanish to describe a place that is more than casa—this is something I am trying to define. My family and I spent six weeks this summer living in Guatemala, with Guatemalan friends who became family and whose country became a second homeland.
Now fall returns with rain and I find myself writing letters in my mind to a Mayan woman named Maria. “How are you? How is your daughter? Do you need anything? Do you know how much your humility and gratitude has lingered with me and touched my heart?”
I feel so restless here on cold tile floors amidst plastic and papers when I think of Maria in the early dawn: grinding corn kernels soaked in lime water, forming it then into balls... stoking the fire in the mist as she shivers with cold. Her rain is gone now, and I am happy to know that the steep mud path to her hogar will be less likely to cause a fall. I think of her rattling cough and know it will fade with the dampness also—a more tangible sign that her tuberculosis is in remission. For this I am thankful.
But I am troubled. I am longing for some word from Guatemala because I’m wanting to be connected to something much bigger than these cold tile floors, these school papers and soccer games. I want to hear of Maria, who I so want to save from her poverty, yet can’t help but envy sometimes. Her life based on grinding and cooking corn, carrying firewood, washing clothes. Nothing more to decide than how to keep on going through one more meal, one more day at a time. I have so many options: schools and jobs and boards and writing. Free time and husband and ....
In the place of our Guatemalan home, with people knocking every day on the door, it was easy to sacrifice my comfort for their necessities. Shoes or rain boots or corn or blankets; cement blocks to build school walls. END

(Week 2: 10min.)

The time of my life was when I was traveling. It still is. I love the feel of wind in my hair—a long highway stretched out behind and before me. I traveled as a child in my daydreams: I was up a tree in Africa picking coconuts or back in time with Laura Ingalls Wilder. Later I was planning a fantastic traveling surprise: showing up at a friends wedding unannounced, half-way across the country. I like the sense of freedom it brings to be on the road with only a general sense of how far I’ll go that day to reach a destination. camping along the way, even if it meant setting up a tent to car headlights and going to bed half-hungry, was always my preferred style. Reservations and commitments to call from point B with the new itinerary; this took the fun out for me. One more commitment, one more obligation. Traveling meant freedom to explore. For this reason, I had a hard time camping and traveling with children. I was always so focused on their needs and schedules. It was easy for me to choose to sacrifice my comfort for the experience, but I felt guilty making them sacrifice. And impatient and overwhelmed hearing them complain. My son cried all night the first time we took him backpacking. It’s been painstaking for me: the waiting time I instigated was like self-initiated martyrdom. It wasn’t worth it to me to make my kids come along and enjoy the traveling the way I did. This all began to change on a hiking trip one year ago. Our daughter, then aged four, hiked seven miles in one day. I hadn’t tried to make her; it’s just what happened. We went way out and had to get back to our car before bedtime, and we hadn’t read the signs right. From that point on, I knew my kids could suffer a lot and still gain from it—tired, cold, hungry exhaustion could build character. it was suddenly possible for me to follow a dream that had been germinating for years... to drag them along, with me and my husband, to Guatemala. END
post #69 of 76
The last time...

you cried so pitifully, and so quickly after joy, was well over a year ago, before you got used to my leaving for work. Then, we'd nurse and cuddle, and then I'd say, have fun with Grandma, I'm going downstairs to work now. And you would cry like it was the end of your world. Until one day when you were twenty months old and I kissed you goodbye - and you barely lifted your head from the cat picture book Grandma had brought you.

I hadn't seen you cry like that since the day before that day over the cat book, until this afternoon. You didn't like the plan this weekend. Not that time with Dad wasn't great fun, the adventure of sitting in restaurants, eating things Mom's never given you, traveling around town, exploring bookstores. He took you to visit me at the meeting, you'd run to me, and then throw yourself onto my legs, grinning, when it was time for him to take you away so I could go back into the workshops.

You have the smile of the self-satisfied, because you've just recently discovered that the weight of your body and the strength of your hold have both grown so that it's nearly impossible to separate us. And what you can't do with 3 year old weight weight and lifetimes old will, you do with good old baby-wiggle. You want to take us apart – just try! Oh, you hated the whole idea of me being busy all weekend. Explanations had no meaning: it's so I can make homeschool more fun, Mama is learning too. But one thing kept you going, the promise of a puppet show at the end.

Today, in the morning, where are the puppets? When Dad brought you to visit at lunch, where are the puppets? Finally, the two of you returned and we took our seats at this final part of the conference, meant for attendees and their families. You sat expectantly from your chosen spot on my lap. I could tell you'd have a tough time seeing, do you want to sit on the floor? “With Mama,” you said.

So we found ourselves a spot and I crossed my legs. You sunk into the little seat my body made for you, pressed your hot back against my chest, your little head fit under my chin. I could feel your hair against my neck, extra silky since you'd let accepted shampoo for the first time in who knows how long, just a day or two agao. II pulsed with the beat of your heart chakra under my crossed wrists, as you pulled my body tight around you. Without awareness of my breath, I tasted the scent of angel food cake rising from my nursing toddler-child.

The puppetier stood, her face welcoming and motherly. She lifted the first puppet. Her presence faded, and the room fell still and silent. Your toddler twists fell into quiet rapture. What I wanted most was to see your face, but I could only get an impression of the surrender, because you were still tucked into me. What I could do was look at the puppets and listen to their story through your eyes, and my own eyes grew teary at your wonder.

The marionnettes, little more than swatches of silk, took us to a land of Africa and secrets bursting from the heroine huntress. They took us to her trials and her travels. They took us to her failure, and to her moving on. You were heavy in my lap as a sleeping newborn, body here, soul in places unknown and exotic.

The show ended in wild applause from all, except for you. I could feel your face crumple and knew that unbridled tears were on the way. I jumped up as much as I can jump up holding the near thirty pounds of you, and swept out to the hall. I passed a few questions on the way. Oh, she's tired. Did the applause startle her? I ran for a safe place.

Fortunately, you have the gift of language now, so I don't have to play guess and soothe like when you were a baby. I put my face close to yours, and whisper, tell me. We're well practiced at this, and you move out of pure feeling enough to say. “I want more puppets!” You grieve because the show is over. You loved those puppets before you saw them, they transported you to a place of unknown joy, and suddenly they have completed their time cavorting before you.

Sounds like what some have told me being a parent boils down to. I can understand your outraged mourning.
post #70 of 76

I edit before I post. Not a lot. But it seems like with some of the assignments, I know where I'm headed before I start. Like the time of my life one.

Others (most), I sit down to write (I've moved mostly to computer, I was getting writers cramp and my handwriting is getting worse and worse), and I have no idea where I'm going to go, so I just start typing something, feeling my way...and then I get something, then I go off a bit, then it hones down to something that makes resonates, feels like I've hit something worth saying, at least to myself.

The last thing had a few tangents. When I was in the second paragraph, I thought I saw where I was going, but the end came suddenly, from another place. So I went back and took out a thing or two that just seemed to take up space and not go anywhere.

I did not post my Mothering assigment even though I was really excited about it: because I edited and edited and edited, making it into a letter I sent to be read at a baby shower I couldn't attend. I know this isn't for seriously "finished" writing. (As finished as you can ever be by a deadline, anyway).

Is showing all steps of the process important here, or is it important just so long as we do it, but OK to then do a bit of cutting to save webspace and be humane to those who might be reading?
post #71 of 76
I've been following along since last week. My apologies my post is late. here goes:

The last time I sat down to write was two days ago. My baby was asleep in the car and as I wrote I watched her from the kitchen table.
Now as I write, live bluegrass music is spilling from the living room. Mu baby has crowned her banjo playing papa with a tiara and is running around the house dancing.
The halloween lights are glowing in the window and the sun is setting in deep pinks and purples.
This is my favorite time of the year. The crisp nights and fall colors invoke ideas of soups, warm socks and getting cozy on the couch.
We prepared the garden for the winter season yesterday. Culled the last of the crops form the plants and sprinkled on the seeds of the cover crops.
My writing as been interuppted to assist my daughter with a coat and shoes. She wants to follow her papa out to view the garden one more time before dusk.
post #72 of 76
The last time... I bled was for you. It was the moment that I knew you were truly on your way. Hello honest to goodness labour. I should have realized we were there, but my mind kept thinking about the few things that I had purposefully left un-done in hopes of convincing you to give mej ust a few more days. To bask in the roundness of my body and mind. Thoughts ever circling back to you. Caressing you. Reaching out with all of my senses to feel/to delve into/ to -oh what word is strong enough - to be there in that moment where we were as close as we'll ever physically be. And spiritually? It is possible we may come back and even step further, or closer, but who knows. It has taken me this long to open up and release so many of the things I thought I knew. Who knows where your journey will lead you. What your challenges, strengths, and weaknesses will be. But, oh, I do so hope that we are friends and pull in to each other like the planets in orbit. I long to be your sun or your moon. Maybe a constellation in your dreams. Soon I will crawl into bed next to your soft breathing and you will roll to me. I will offer up my breast and you will settle in for the long sleep. And I will touch you ever so gently in hopes of remembering this moment. And in the warmth of our bed, in between you and papa, by body will be eased.
post #73 of 76
ooops I posted on wrong week - ignore
post #74 of 76
The last time I rode Marshmallow Man was in the winter of 2001. It was a stormy night, and I was in the company of 5 other riders in the arena. Rain was pouring on the tin roof, and despite the muffling earth beneath us, padded thick with cedar shavings, and the fifty-year coat of dust on the barn rafters, there was a heinous platting din overhead, as if the world was having a migraine. And he hated the noise, and my irritation with being fresh from my pelvic fracture recovery. To every thunderclap I yanked him in to a tight circle, less he take off for that corner again, to bounce me to kingdom come. The other riders looked anxiously in my direction as the hail commenced, roaring into my thin veneer of confidence, so my circles tightened. Marshmellow built a heavy sweat, even in the cold of that February night in Point Reyes, not from cantering for twenty minutes, but from being restrained, of course. And we danced around like this until everyone else threw in the towel; the noise and threats became intolerable, and I had an hour's drive ahead of me in the storm. But I dismounted and undressed him, tucked the gelding into his stall and drove home with a feeling of accomplishment, never knowing on my way home in the electric midnight that I was bearing child, and wouldn't mount a horse again until...when?
post #75 of 76
My best day of the week is Friday, when I know the calm of companionship is near and the week's chaos and tumult are winding down. I can put a lid on my week once five o'clock rolls around, confident that my husband will rescue my vagrant insecurities and exhausted body from any wreckage we've fallen victim to. I mean, it wouldn't be impossible for me to accomplish the week and weekend on my own, but there's a happy little codependence in my household that I'd be hard pressed to exchange for any amount of liberated personal responsibility; I leave all the week's spoils to him, he's happy to fall into my arms, as well, for his own relief. With two children normally run into the ground between energetic Friday morning coffee socials, frantic errands before three, and a last-minute walk to the park to cavort with other neighbors, I'm free to kick back and enjoy a movie with my hero, butter on the sofa. Kids comatose on the bed, one balled up on the right, and the other sprawled for the heavens on the left. To complete the picture, a dog atop a pile of laundry and another camouflaged, embedded in down next to the toddler, knowing full well he's stinking up my sacred ground. But it's Friday, and as this scene unfolds I'm at the end of the spiral, deeply dug into a leather sectional and half-asleep, myself.
post #76 of 76
Thread Starter 
Thank you. Please move on to Week 3!
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