Tuesday, June 09, 2009

My, How Time Flies

Chaos is fixing to be 17 next week. There are days when it is practically impossible to believe that many years have passed since I held his wee baby self in my arms for the first time. Other days I wonder how he's not 30 yet. Ahhhh, motherhood.

Recently Chaos has become somewhat health conscious. He's eating fewer pop-tarts and more grilled chicken salad. He has for a while wanted to start lifting weights, but has not at all wanted to join a gym. The obvious solution? A home gym! Yes, yes. Soooo easy to figure out for a teenager with limited bedroom space and parents in two different states 500 miles apart. Nonetheless! I absolutely love lifting weights and think the overall well-being benefits of lifting far outweigh the hassles. So look what Chaos got for an early birthday present*:

(Some assembly required.)

I had a little help.

And I mean a very little help.

Apparently, it is important to nap on exercise equipment as you're putting it together. 16 and 11/12ths being such an exhausting age and all. What do you think? Is what the fitness books mean by stretching first?

We did finally get it completely assembled. (After a mere two days.) That was four days ago. It took until yesterday for any iron to be pumped. But I totally understand this. After all, apples don't fall far from the trees now, do they? Chaos comes by his "fixing to get ready to get started" tendencies honestly. None of that jumping right in for us - nosiree! Well...actually I'm getting better at it. Turns out, the more you do, the more you can do, and the more new things don't need so much preparation. I'm trying to start passing that on. It's been fun helping Chaos with the workout endeavor. I've really enjoyed the whole process of figuring out what he needs, what workouts he's willing to learn to do, what he wants out of it, what he thinks is "lame", etc. I'm looking forward to spotting for him today and maybe lifting a little myself. But I'm not so much looking forward to disassembling that sucker for the drive back to TN at the end of the summer!! Oh - and have you noted that this monster is in my LIVING ROOM?? You know I love my son when I let that happen, even if it is just for a couple of months. I think it's going to live in the garage at his dad's but I don't have to worry about that part of things. On the plus side, weights are quieter overall than drum sets. See - I am such a glass-half-full kinda mom!

And since no post would be complete without the gratuitious cute dog picture, I'll leave you with this cute shot of Wasabi peering into my room through the "wall" made out of bookshelves:

*PS - How awesome is this?? I don't think Chaos would read it (even with the high Z factor) but if he met a girl who was carrying this around in her backpack? Yeah - I think I'd be saying hello to my future daughter-in-law at that point. Maybe I should get a copy to throw in his Rehearsal Dinner Box?

Friday, May 22, 2009

A Week Of Transformation

My sister (who was born on my grandmother's birthday and is currently pregnant with my second nephew!) turned 39 on Friday, May 15th. A lot has happened since my (one and only) sister's birthday: I've transitioned out of grief, marked the healthy loss of 19 pounds, been zapped by the lightning strike of finding my next, right career, joined a women's running group that benefits local trails and a village in Tanzania, put one writing project to its final rest, and launched a brand new writing project into the stratosphere. In the midst of all of that I have celebrated my daughter - the Ninja Princessa's 14th birthday, celebrated my mother's birthday, and had numerous, numerous validations that I'm on the right path for my life.

The grief has (obviously) been a long time in passing and I am not pretending like there are not going to be after pangs. However, I've been working persistently and kindly through it and feel confident about leaning forward once again. Though processing grief is not the ONLY thing I've been doing lo, these many months of not blogging. For all of 2009 (thus far), I have been doing things like training for my triathlon, staying connected with my kiddos both near and far, focusing on nutrition (and becoming a vegetarian - eeek!), writing in lots of other venues, and discerning what my next steps are going to be. All that slow, steady plodding came together in a conflagration of energy, resources, and forward progress last week. It all clicked. I am miles into my next ventures and my spirit is joyful again.

I feel myself impatient to get to my projects this morning - which is very different from not blogging because I am worried I'll just dump stress, anger, frustration, and ick onto the page. I will say before I dash off to my studio that I met Meinrad Craighead last night at the premiere of the documentary about her. It was a phenomenal, affirming and challenging experience. My fiber art and my prayer life will never be the same again. She is an artist who has been exploring and expressing the Divine Feminine for half a century. She was a cloistered Benedictine nun for 14 years and even 30 years after leaving the abbey, lives a contemplative, solitary life. She is fearless and gritty - many of her images disturbing, entrancingly dark, and rending. She is also peaceful and present and genuinely humble. She offers you the feral wisdom of her connection to the Great Mother - in a way that gives you an access of your very own. In closing the presentation Meinrad told a story of the Pueblo people. (Sidenote - she lives in Albuquerque, NM and to travel to NC for this was a BIG deal for her.) She told the story of the Salt Mother - who nourished and protected her people (maybe with the Corn Father??) As peoples are wont to do with their dieties, the Salt Mother's children began to fall away from her, forgetting to honor her, turning away from her. As a result, She fell away from them and turned away too. And the people sickened and no longer thrived as a people. The people realized their error and began pleading, asking the Salt Mother what they had to do to return to her. She told them to start every morning by placing a small amount of salt in their mouths, taking it in to honor her and to align themselves with her restorative, healing, preservative power. She told them to absorb some of her very godstuff intentionally, each and every day in order to live as they should - in harmony and peace with the Mother. Meinrad ... I want to say charged, instructed, or commanded us to do the same - but she used no coercive or authoritative language. She merely offered the story with such powerfully resonant invitation that it strikes me as beyond foolish not to accept. Accepting, however, was not without its internal backtalk. My new nutrition plan is very, very low salt as it's all fruits and vegetables (mostly raw) and almost no processed food. My first thought was "Salt? On purpose?! I can't do that!" I shushed the sass in my head by reminding myself I do make small exceptions for training food (e.g. Gu on long runs and electrolyte replacement drinks). I decided to make another "exception" and incorporate the Salt Mother into my daily, intentional living practice.

One final Meinrad note. I was standing in the group surrounding Meinrad as the evening was winding to a close. (The friend I went with wanted a chance to speak with her as they've known each other in the past.) We were in a cluster and the woman in front of me was telling Meinrad how much she needed Meinrad's example and inspiration. The woman said several somethings about how she wanted to be as brave and courageous as Meinrad in her own artwork. Meinrad tried to deflect some of this saying she'd only done what she was called to, she affirmed the fearful artist's own ability to do the same, and finally when the woman wasn't hearing her, Meinrad said forcefully, "No. It is for you. Take this! I give you permission to [and here she bared her teeth and growled] be FIERCE in your pursuit. Go." Her energy and her growl encompassed us all. She took the woman's hands in hers and while pulling them together, pushed her gently away. Then Meinrad looked directly at me. It's possible she swept the whole circle with that gaze but I wouldn't know because I was RINGING with the force of those words and her attention. Words said to another, but meant for me too, all the same. She and the Divine Mother gave me permission - a directive - to be FIERCE in my pursuit. Fierce has always meant scary to me - but fear can't get a hold of this inside me. It's too big, too right, too deep for fear. Meinrad Craighead's example gives me an incredible reassurance that my fierceness in this world will be entirely reflective of my own, personal and unique connection with godstuff. I am so grateful to have had the chance to meet Wisdom in this way.

And now, my studio beckons! Peace.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Someday I'll Blog Again

Someday when I can write past the grief, I will return to actual blogging. You know - blogging like I used to where I rambled on and on about what my wacky kids were doing, what antics the dogs have been up to, and what I think about the world, art, and random shit? But until then it looks like my filler mechanism is stuck on slapping up images that amuse me. And not so surprisingly the following pictures crack me the hell up.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Things That Make A Parent Go "Hmmm?"

This morning I noticed that our 13-year old Ninja Princessa's facebook relationship status was updated. She went from being "single" to "married". Intriguing, no? We didn't even get to trot out the Rehearsal Dinner Box! She is so grounded.

I asked Bug what was on his "to do" list today and he said, "I have to remember to sell my camel and buy a lizard." Alright then. Makes my day look downright boring.

I did find out that both the camel and lizard are virtual. Still waiting to hear back about the 13 year old's husband. Peace.

**Edited to add - the virtual husband turned out to be a girl. She and the Ninja Princessa are friends who are on opposite "teams" at school and thus feel like star-crossed lovers (of the platonic variety?). Romi (short for "Romeo" AKA the Princessa) posted a comment after her "married" status went back to single. She said something along the lines of "Oh well. That didn't work. We decided that was enough for bi relationships for now." Hmmm. Not sure what to make of that. They're still fine friends - so I'm assuming that the cross team part was fine but the lifetime commitment was not? And - on a totally different but tangential topic? She and I had a great talk about Planned Parenthood - at her instigation. One of the things she said in that conversation was - "Not for any religious reason, but just for me - I'm planning to wait until I'm married to have sex." It's probably not universal - but the teenage girls I know are waaaay more comfortable with, informed about, and more willing to follow their own path in terms of sex/romantic customs than my friends and I were. I'm all for fewer hang-ups.**

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

They're Everywhere

Unky Dunky sent me the following news clip with the question, "Do we know if Chaos has been in Texas recently?"

Bwah ha ha ha ha! That would so very much crack me up if I saw that traffic sign. I think it would be the high point of Chaos' life thus far, were he to see a sign like that while driving down the road. I still loathe Texas, but this report made me loathe it just a teeny bit less. Peace.