Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Generous Rightness

You could not step twice into the same rivers; for other waters are ever flowing onto you.   Heraclitis

This has been a wet winter and spring.  It is as though the Goddess of the Rains is smiling upon us.  Regardless of the polar ice caps melting, the droughts in other parts of the world, right here the rains have come down in just the right sequence and amount.  No flooding.  A blessing has been bestowed, generously, without so much of a "I told you so."

Now, would it be logical or sensical to think that Mother Nature would hold anything against herSelf, her own little parts?  Today is the last day of March, 2010.  No large questions have ever been answered, wholly.  The little parts of Mother/Father Nature still consider themselves apart; separate perhaps, from the One Life which created the whole she-bang.

Change alone is unchanging.   Heraclitis

Even though the Moss and Usnea grow on the branches, grow there for years and decades, the newness sprouts.  In the sea of green spring, the walnut sends out, in unfoldment; red leaves.  I am inspired.  Here, as "my" Orioles return to my feeder, snow glistens on the hill up the river canyon, the fog shivers along the river.  It is Springtime.  The time of reflection and renewal.  Yes, even in this burgeoning, bubbling, chaotic changing, there is reflection.  Where?  Where does that red unfurling come from, look closely, there is a walnut emerging as well.

Yesterday my "Eldest" and I went North-of-Here to our favorite hot springs for soaking, and to have 90 minute massages.  This I call Heaven:  soaking in divinely hot water, smelling the sulfur, letting my eye fall upon beauty no-matter-where I look, including my first-born.  She drove, I rode with only one lapse of the "don't tell me how to drive!" rule.  It was snowing.  The sun broke through.  Things are blooming, and battered by the hailstones.  Birds are busy...(sorry for all the tense-changes!  I'm hurrying?)  Today is like yesterday, in that the weather is showing me how grandiose this Earth experience can be.  This morning looking out the window, coffee in hand, I saw the sun splash across the ridge, dance in the glistening white treetops, make them pink.

While we were in the hot pools we were blessed with showers of rain and hail.  Eating our lunch in a sunny spot on the Lodge porch, a stream of water burst through the roof above missing my potato chips by an inch.  Missed my fizzy lemonade, too.  More of the drooping daffodils were sliced and pummeled.

We laughed and talked.  We did not cry this trip, which is remarkable.  Often one or both of us, have to clear out our tear-factories.  Yesterday filled us up.  And I am so grateful:

  1. I am grateful that my heart opens wider, daily.
  2. I am grateful that every one of my children are completely, 100% their-own-Self.
  3. I am grateful for yesterday.
  4. I am grateful for today.
  5. I am grateful for this Whole, One Life.

...and when we got home this is what we found... a giant egg!


Saturday, March 27, 2010

North..., Evan's Bridge, and First T-Ball Game of 2010

There's a lot to be said for this sign.  I could use it in my living room.

This is it!  Evan's Bridge.  That's what we call it, because as far as we're concerned, he built it.  And this was my first trip over it.  Trust the Maker!  Evan was the most Lego-centric child I ever encountered.  Smart.  Cute as heck.  Now, he and his sweet wife have two boys, and lots of Legos, I imagine.

Perspective: Remember this lesson in Drawing I?  

From Evan's bridge, looking across at where we drove for the last 100 or so years, and the massive, chain fabric which was strung up there in an attempt to keep the rocks on the mountain.

Having never been this high, or in this spot... this is a peek at a part of the Eel River which I have never seen.  And, right now, it really is that color.  Oh.  My kayak.  I think that I am going out and dust it, and de-spider it, pack a sandwhich and head out.  Well, pretty soon.  When Wayne and I went down the Eel from Benbow to Redway, we saw no people, no trash, and two river otters came out from behind an enormous Redwood to see what we were doing there.

The pictures above were going North.  Here, coming back South... I guess Evan's bridge is really Minnie's.  Sorry.

And here we are, tailgating Aunt Whacky.  See her in the RRmirror?  The little tiny guy riding shotgun is Unc Scott.

Okay.  That was yesterday.  Today was Annie and Thomas's first T-Ball game.  Ah yes.  We have all been to these hilarious events, and today I was reminded once again that "start where you are" is certainly a wise adage.

To begin, Thomas lost his mitt.  It is somewhere.  Not here.

Annie may give Lola a run for awesome pitcher, for now she is getting her aim in gear.  Sort of.

This is coaching in its highest form.

As is this.  You see?  Second base is THAT way!

Could any adult swing a bat and balance a 40lb helmet on their head?  Thomas hit the ball!

Whew.  Two whole innings.  Done; not a moment too soon.

I can tell this is going to be a great baseball season.


Friday, March 26, 2010

Zoe's Quilt

Hasten slowly and you will soon reach your destination.     Milarepa

Baby Zoe's quilt in LC's studio.

Hung cleverly on LC's easel with the famous blue tape.  Two edges of invisible hem stitch to go.

LC is never far away from the Spiral of Life.

Spring babies have this to look forward to, every year, in celebration of them!

LC could not resist.  Yes.  An aphid.

Happy Day to you.
Love you tremendously.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Spring Day

When a woman tells the truth, she is creating the possibility for more truth around her.  Adrienne Rich

The first day of spring has come and gone.  Here in Northern California the spring can last for what seems like forever.  Waves of wild flowers travel across the county accompanied by the wild orange of poppies, who incidentally, appear to bloom without interruption all seasons.  They do take a short break in the bleakest, coldest, shortest-day mid winter.  

I love the tiny flowers.  I love this shade of blue.  I love blue and yellow together.  I love their name.  I love how I feel like a little girl with these in my hair, and I feel like me, now:  just looking at them, remembering.

Baby quilts have been blooming under my fingers.  While I am sewing, Life never misses a beat.  Yesterday, I awoke to the sky down close to the ground, and turkeys calling.  They are busy making more turkeys; the males (roosters?) fluff up and present a magnificent personae while the females maintain a disinterested face.  I don't know how they get together.  It was wonderful to wake up to their wake-up chuckles.  This morning Wayne called me outside to "...see something."  I drop everything, when he says that on his way out the door.  He pointed to the ground, "I don't know if it's something's innards, or what..."  Upon inspection I see two earth worms, and they're doing it with both parts!  They are joined in two places, all slimy and swollen, and I think, omigoddess!  I need my camera, and dash back inside.  Yesterday I thought that I had lost my camera to a thief, as when I had returned to the car at the lake with the dogs, my door was open, and my camera was AWOL for two days because I was petrified that it was gone forever and didn't know where to look for it.  Well, it was in the fruit-bowl so You-Know-Who wouldn't decide to gnaw the strap to smithereens.  Oh, geez.  I was back in a flash to rudely photograph earthworms being intimate, and they were gone!  Not a sign of them, so you have to take my word for it:  each worm was in their own hole in the ground, they were joined on top of the earth-wormy soil wet with this morning's rain.  It was a most amazing sight.

These little blue flowers always meant that spring had arrived when I was growing up in Ferndale.  They were among the first flowers to pop their little brave heads out into the rain, and rain, and more rain.  They grew in profusion in various Victorian yards, untended they reached into decades beyond their planting.  On our ranch they appeared in various spots.  These are in a redwood box that Dad made for Mom a long time ago.  At some point, after Mom's passing, I scooped up the box not really knowing what it held in the dried out soil, and am very happy to have them popping up here, March, 2010.

The sun is out.  Bugs are making patterns in the air.  Fig leaves are unfolding.  Hens have sung their egg song already.  A breeze is moving through the tall maple tree.  The doves are coo-coo-cooing.  In the quiet is animation.  And yes, it is all beautiful, and in a way, kind of melancholy.

I do love you.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Poetry Contest!


First thoughts:
it isn’t even light
it was fun
I haven’t counted everybody

First Prayer:
show me, God
this day

On my first walk:
after coffee
in new sunlight

First chores:
make bed
feed dogs
wash dishes
sweep floors
feed chickens

three brown eggs

Laura Paine Carr
February, 2010

Quill Ink Productions, created a poetry contest this year, to celebrate and support our  Healdsburg Literary Laureate.  I believe it was the "first annual" writing contest, and by the response, excitement generated, and the remarkable work submitted, the suspense, and... omigoodness, I made it into the "Winner's Circle!" the gathering of friends, family members, and a whole bunch of literary folks... the announcements were made at our monthly "Literary Cafe" which meets the second Tuesday evening every single month, with open mic and a featured reader.  The MC's worked their way through "The Winner's Circle" replete with two second place winners, and it was right about here, that I thought, "Uh-oh.  They have not called me up as "honorary mention,"  I'm not tied for second,  oh no."  I became completely nerved-out.  Had to enlist deep breathing technique.  Had to get centered.  Then the Judge spoke generously about my poem, introduced me using my whole name, and then, with a delicious laugh said, "Honest!!!  I didn't know it was yours!!!"  (Truth telling here:  I love that she loved my poem, because she is an awesome poet/teacher/mentor-to-many).

So, this is my first winner-of-a-poem!  The moral to the story is:  submit your writing!  Submit to journals, magazines, everything you can think of... just, for heaven's sake, do it.

This beautiful young lady was a joy to watch yesterday.  Her energy and focus delighted me.  My granddaughter was all done with her testing, and we were enjoying the next class up, which included grown-ups as well.  I just loved watching her.

Lucky us.  We live in the way of the migrating Hummers.  They are known, on our front porch, as the Hummingpiggies.  They swill a quart of sugar-water a day, sometimes more.  Sometimes there are 8 on the feeder with another 6-8 in a squabbling holding pattern.  They crack me up every evening.

And the soft, pink Camellia is blooming.  The color almost makes a symphonic sound, it is so luscious.  The little cricket surprised me, and I think that he represents the idea of "Life is good."  Imagine living for a month in a petal pink palace.


Saturday, March 20, 2010

Big Day, Little Tiger

Wouldn't it be nice to feel like this on "Testing Day!"

All lined up for a big moment.


"Now, Annie," says Teacher, "I want you to look mean!"

Yes.  Now all she has to do is get  three "Reference Letters,"  and her Nonnie gets to write one!  (No prejudice here...)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Saturated Saturday

I did.  I just looked at it.  Then I had to smell it.  Then I had to smell more of it.  Then it got on my face.

Buddah does a better job of watching over the drying gessoed panels.  Calm.  Nice and calm.  Doesn't care to sniff or get paint all over himself, or on his nose or belly.  Just sits there.  Meditating.


Mama and Daughter:  "Come look, Mom!  They've never been parked side by side before!"  And, of course, she's right.  They are cute.  Our Wheels.

Alice In Wonderland, below.  And, Thomas, with a Girl Scout chocolate mint cookie.  Yum yum.

We are all so proud of this one.  She regales us with stories of her adventures-in-training.  And for future reference, I know that when she is through the rigorous training, she will be who I want to find me, should I ever get lost.  Meanwhile we laugh with her as she works her way through pickles, finds all the clues by mental-telepathy (I taught her that one), and by employing her bodacious mental and sensory skills.  She is learning tracking and a bunch of other stuff that I, her Mama, have no clue about.

Sarah writes of Annie, "She wrote this one night and decided it was what she was going to sing for  the talent show, and has been singing it since.  It never changed.  We all know it and sing it around here now... Thomas could even sing it for you."
Angel, Angel in my head
Come down on me in my bed
I close my eyes and sleep real tight
Then you'll come when morning's here,
then you'll come when morning's here.

She did sing it, a cappella.  By the last line I could not breathe!  Her voice crystal clear, her confidence soaring, she just stood up there in front of her whole school and did it.  

So, that was my break!  Back to the easel, to the gesso, to the painting, breathing, and letting all those crowds of critics take a break.  This painting is a labyrinth.  Yes, I know, the last one was, too.  This is what we are doing today.  Tomorrow we may gesso over it and start anew, but today this is what we are doing.

And we are loving it!

Saturday, March 6, 2010


Gratitude is a homely but effective antidote to despair.  Julia Cameron, "Finding Water"

"When you begin to slide into despair, " says Julia Cameron, "it is because you have lost your sense of grounding.  Therefore, the tool to apply is one of gentle well-being.  Put simply, your need is to count your blessings."  She goes on to instruct us to "take pen in hand..."  yep, another list.  Twenty-five things for which I am grateful.

1.  I love my kids.
2.  My kids love me.
3.  I am healthy.
4.  Anticipation is alive in me.
5.  All is well.

When sadness is overwhelming, Spirit does not leave the room.

6.  Those frogs!
7.  Rain, and more rain.
8.  Stars, bright after the rain, that coyote howl.
9.  That I can see, hear and smell the rain, the frogs, the coyote.
10.  The long husband snoring softly in the other room, two cats curled with him.

I am grateful for life.  Last week my youngest son lost one of his dearest friends in a car accident.  His sadness has transformed and deepened him.  He has supported the parents with his presence, he has cried rivers.  He is contemplative, vulnerable.  He is picking up, and moving along.  The Memorial Service will be this coming Thursday.  He and his friend played T-ball on the same team, hung in there together and graduated from the alternative high school.  They understood one another.

It is difficult to understand things:  Life holds so much mystery.  There are a myriad of circumstances which make no sense what so ever.  As I write this I can hear some one speeding on our country road.  They are running through the gears, their engine is screaming, this is the second time that I have heard them as I write; the speeding car.  My son's friend was killed instantly, it was 2 a.m., on a rainy, foggy night, on a winding back road; the driver, his other best friend.

I have watched my youngest shed a skin these past days.  He will be 23 years old in a little over a month.

Mothers share tears.

I am grateful to know Love.
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