30 November, 2008

So beautiful, so cold...

Dear Daughter,
Winter, and the snow is fresh and light.
It sparkles like the sunlight dancing
on Lake Harriet in the summer.
But now the lake is solidly frozen,
and covered with snowdrifts.

In the midst of this frigid beauty
I am haunted by the descriptions of your students:
their poverty and neglect.
It resonates with that phrase JK Rowling used:
as "impoverished as one can be without being homeless."
I think of England as the civilized world,
and so the idea of rotting teeth, mal-nourishment 
and open sores which do not heal is disturbing to imagine.

I look at my son and remember a time in Krakow
when I was told he would not survive his respiratory infection.
Traveling so far, while homeless, and unemployed,
I felt so alone.
I lived on dreams and empty promises.
Words spoke to seduce me into fantasy
and an illusion built of smoke and sand.

This is the anniversary of that time of meeting in Poland.
The struggle to endure in spite of the poverty
and illness.
You refused to be left with your Babcia.
Walking everywhere, you accompanied me 
to empty store with rude sales staff.
And to cafes with menus filled with things 
that were "sold out" or "unavailable"

Yet we were wealthy as kings with our meger American dollars,
and knew we would never go hungry.
Cold, yes...but never hungry.
The black market was designed for people like us...
And we used it.

Slowly, we repaired the decaying apartment
and by the time spring came 
Adam was healthy,
and you were eavesdropping and translating 
the conversations of the strangers around us
who had survived their initial shock of seeing
Americans living in their midst, as Poles, 
and apparently by choice.

So much has changed,
but our children are hungry,
and cold.
I believe you are making a difference in the lives of the children 
you meet in your work
simply by showing up, and giving them your loving compassionate attention.
Your curiousity.
All it takes is one person.
One starfish.
Only one:

Sweet dreams, my super-hero,
Your Mum

28 November, 2008

Laduree at Harrods

Dear Daughter,
I am visualizing our trip to Laduree
And visiting the website to read the menu everyday
until I have it memorized.
Those macaroons are the same ones we eat at Sofitel!
I'll be there March 27 through April 10th....


"The writer is a person standing apart, 
like the cheese in the 'Farmer in the Dell' 
standing there alone but deciding to take a few notes. 
Your job is to see people as they really are, and to do this, 
you have to know who you are 
in the most compassionate possible sense." 
Anne Lamott

Recently my world has been a bit darker-than-usual place.
Grateful and relieved, I seem to have turned a corner.  
There are moments I am convinced,
without a doubt, that my life has been one big fat mistake
and that my kids would be better off and far happier without me.
Where does that nonsense come from?
And how does it manage to come back once I wade through that slime.
I guess it's like the main drain that is seriously cracked, shifted,
keeps filling up with tree roots and
threatening to flood the basement twice a year.
I put it on my calendar now, with my six month teeth cleanings
So it is now a preventative ritual 
rather than an emergency service call.
Is this learning to be compassionate with myself
or just learning to be an adult?
My hope in leaving my last marriage 
was to transform the tidal waves and dramatic whirlpools 
into barely perceptible ripples in a slowly moving stream.
Not only I tired of being banged around in the storms
I didn't want to watch my kids being slammed by the waves, 
gasping for air, 
wondering when and where the next downpour would occur.
Swimming in Pensacola, my son got caught in an undertow 
that scared him out of the water for the rest of the week. 
He forgot everything he had learned about relaxing 
and going with the current.
Panic and terror set in, 
and he lives with the memory of feeling overwhelmed 
and out of control.
It isn't wise to mess with Mother Nature.

24 November, 2008

Dreaming life

Dear Daughter,

I love you, miss you,
And plan to see you in my dreams:
waking and asleep

Your M.

21 November, 2008

White walls

Empty white walls, fresh,
canvas waits for creation: 
dramas continue... 

Dear Friend,
Do I miss marriage drama?
While some parts were seductive,
I don't miss the parts where people and animals got hit.
And maybe he didn't really mean it
But it still hurt.
Thanks for asking,

Why Tango?

Thanks for the lesson.
I'm not prepared for the test.
Is this a pop quiz?

Dear Daughter,
It's surprising how challenging it is to dance 
with partners of various levels and interests.
How important is this to me?
The shoes alone are torture.
Yet they look ever so cute 
and they do change the way you follow,
and how you sense your vertical axis, 
your alignment.

So, this is an experiment: 
I don't know what the outcome will be.
Releasing expectations
I focus on the process.
Feet swollen to numbness...
But no blisters so far.
Sweet dreams,
Your Dancing Mama

19 November, 2008

Queen of Kirklandia

To Lola, 
Reigning (raining) Queen of  Kirklandia,

Your Majesty,

It is still surprising to realize how divine process works.
And then remember that I am seeing only a fraction,
and not even a very big fraction of the actual process.
Flow doesn't stay flowing; there are always opportunities for turbulence
and I for one, have never been attracted to literally shooting the rapids.
(Figuratively is another matter, obviously)

The most monumental thing to happen (for me) is recording a tiny little (5-8 minutes) clip
of "Quartet for the End of Time" for a grant application.
I hold the idea he had regarding time in my day dreams.
And wonder about the concept of rhythm...
I don't have as much insight into Messian as I would like 
but my understanding is growing that direction.

Working with Tai Chi Sword form and the other forms
helps me to tune into the inward turbulence and possible causes...
or conditions and opportunities for transformation.
My recent study of Butoh technique has supported a deeper understanding 
of the violence that came out of the events of WW2.
Step by step, or bird by bird as Anne Lamott says,
rivers are opening which I believed were permanently closed.

Alleluia, Amen


14 November, 2008

chocolate haiku

Steaming hot chocolate
in your cup tempers homesickness,
rain and poverty

Dear Daughter,
The death of your old life,
the birth of new life
this is a dance we learn 
without even being "in control" of the process.
It isn't even necessary to be conscious of the process
unless you are interested and find it helpful in some way.
And this never stops but keeps growing and changing
shifting in the light like a cat sleeping in the sun.
It's funny how we think some parts of our lives are over
and then we realize 
that they are very much still alive and working 
their way back onto the front burner.
I love that you are there with your Boyfriend
and building some history together.
And I know that things will work out for the best
with your Girlfriend
I just hope it isn't too painful...
Let's have tea together soon

05 November, 2008

ocean of grief

Dear Daughter,
Sometimes the bottom drops out
And all I can do is sleep.
I can't catch up with myself.
Is it the season?
Or have I caught your homesickness?
Grief seems endless,
like the ocean,
and just as deep.

I miss you,
but I'm happy you're there...

02 November, 2008

reality check

I'm not entitled 
neither are you,  get over yourself
and clean up this mess

01 November, 2008

are you a good witch...

Dear Daughter,
Cold water flat?
Dodge-y end?
Selma and Alex and you.
When I daydream about you three together
in London, England,
I remember your story 
about an image of being with Selma 
flashing through your head
as bullets were flying through the car,
past your shoulder
and shards of glass scratched your face.
I am so grateful for the boots on the floor of the car,
and your decision to reach down to pick them up
and put them in the trunk.
Brilliant, as usual, my little bird-by-bird.

I had the pleasure of referencing Glinda today 
in a conversation re Halloween costumes.
I have a massage client who could be the twin sister
of Christina Ricci,
but she's not.....
Sweet dreams
(not Voldemort)