28 May, 2009

reflection on revenge

"The more technology allows us to prop ourselves up by putting everyone else down, the more we'll level our blunderbusses at every passing ant."
This idea of "better than vs less than" caught my attention this morning. The image of feeling superior and separate from nature is inviting. Human superiority over the animals, the belief that we are in control of animals and that we are free to exercise power over them, bending their natural instincts to our will at whim.

17 May, 2009

another birthday celebration

Performing as an older adult is something I never imagined myself doing. In fact, when I first accepted this opportunity I planned to choreograph on a much younger, pain free body. Then they would perform the piece without injury or complaint. This hasn't worked out as I planned, so where does that put me? Sharing a stage with others, younger, more energetic, and with perhaps less responsibility, distraction and more opportunity to rehearse. Quite a challange when I stop to think about it. So I try not to dwell on it, simply letting it come up, saying to myself, "There it is" and then fe-focusing on something else. There is always some sort of task to be done. From oil changes, tire changes, house maintaince, to eating, sleeping, exercising and at the bottom of it all: we have paying the bills. I'm better at living my life one day at a time. I know that it all adds up eventually. All those tiny, interwoven, moment to moment decisions, changes of attitudes and shifts of attention become the world I inhabit, my reality and now, when I begin to feel shame over tiredness or illness I recognize my own self destructive attitudes, which can easily turn into behaviors. I change paths. Actually, I change brain pathways. Move in another direction. Will I fail? Maybe, but at least I will show up, not just for one night but for three. Will I embarass myself? Perhaps, and not for the first time. Will I learn something? Absolutely, I am open to (almost) whatever comes up. With gratitude for my teachers and students.

16 May, 2009

birthday breakfast in bed

What could be better than breakfast at Tiffany's? Breakfast in bed, before a long day working and then a lovely dinner lovingly prepared by my daughter and her best-friend. These two have been my house guests, visiting from London, trying to assess their current situations, and dreams before taking the next step. My house has provided them with a kind of sanctuary, a space to make choices without feeling pressured into taking what ever job comes along. Or to borrow money before paying some of their last loans off. I am happy to be able to offer this to them for the moment. After all, anything can, and will happen, so it is best to do what I can for today. It's a "one-day-at-a-time" kind of thing I learned from my Mother, a recovering alcoholic and breast cancer survivor. 
We had three kinds of scones, but my favorite is the traditional current scone. These, from "Rustica Bakery", melt in your mouth. They also had rhubarb tarts; and a little creation called "Ode to S'mores". This combination of sponge cake, chocolate ganache, and marshmallow cream was surprisingly tasty. I was tempted to heat it slightly in the oven to reproduce the warm, toasty sensation or freshly roasted marshmallows. But my laziness won out and the cakes were devoured at room temperature.
The disappointment of rushing off to work was eased by the anticipation of the evening meal, also prepared by my daughter and her best friend. The luxury of finishing work to be greeted by a glass of chardonnay and the aroma of caramelized onions cannot be described. But allow me an attempt: It was a wave-like sensation of nurturing attention and gratitude which, for a fleeting moment, I wondered if I truly deserved. The moment passed and I relaxed with confidence into the realization that I did indeed deserve it. Not just from so many things I had done, but also for what I had NOT done! The many outdated beliefs and behaviors I had left behind or placed aside, in spite of the pain it cost. 

12 May, 2009


Both ends of the spectrum. Saying good-by, and just getting started. What goes around comes around. And in more ways than one. I have just returned from a 3 hour workshop identifying the effects on children and youth who witness domestic violence. This is my family's legacy. This is the foundation of where we come from...the fastest growing relationship of domestic violence is among siblings.

11 May, 2009


Here goes:
What are your current obsessions?
Guardian ad litem case: the public defender requested that I be replaced with someone more objective.
Quartet for the End of Time: being performed with the Bakken Ensemble next season,
The third movement being performed at the Decatuer Arts Festival on the 22, 23, 24th of May 2009
Food, aging, motherhood changing to cronehood.
Domestic violence
Black Books and Dylan Moran's work
Which item from your wardrobe do you wear most often?
Black sweatpants and my massage/pilates business logo t-shirt
Last thing you bought?
a flat of marigolds and a flat of petunias
What are you listening to?
The clock in the next room
Favourite kid's film
Nanny McPhee
Favourite Holiday Spots
Kew gardens, Hampstead heath, MN landscape arboretum, my friend's back yard in Calistoga, Golden Gate Park Japanese Garden, Greece is probably one, Argentina, Arizona, Catalina Island, m friend's organ room in kirkland, the ocean (any ocean)
What are you reading right now?
Tender mercies
Four words to describe me: 
chubby, crabby, badhair, tired
Guilty pleasure?
ice cream with stuff in it
Who or what can make you laugh until you are weak?
Ann Lamott, Black books, Dylan Moran, 
First Spring thing?
Saw crocuses in London. 
In Minnesota: watched maple sugar tapping and production line at arboretum, and ate the pancakes with their own syrup at the breakfast
Planning to travel next?
Atlanta, West coast and Maine
What do you wish for most?
gentleness, and grandchildren
Best thing you ate and drank recently?
lavender scones with clotted cream, high tea at cafe latte
When & with whom did you last eat dinner by candlelight?
Last winter, with Kathy and Denise at pazzaluna. I think I ordered risotto.
Favourite ever film?
A Good Year
Care to share some wisdom?
Look before you leap, then leap anyway
If you could change anything about yourself, what would it be?
greater awareness of self destructive behaviors
What's your motivation for starting another day?
Jasmine tea, sunshine, unpaid bills, wanting to be a more loving parent/adult
Rules of la meme:
Respond and rework. Answer questions on your own blog. Replace one question. 
I didn't actually replace a question because I liked them all
Add one question.
What is in your refrigerator?
Pasta salad, red raspberries, yogurt, granola, oreo ice cream, frozen sour cherries, eggs, cheese, beelers bacon
Tag 8 people: 
Maggie M
Alex B
Adam M
Lola W
Kathy H
Beth H
Kathleen W
Pat R

Mother's Day

What can you say about your first baby? It's something you never forget. It's an incredible not knowing. An adventure. A journey that never ends and, if you are lucky, it keeps teaching you. Everyday is fresh, surprising. The new identity of "Mum" doesn't always fit at first, but you try to bond. And the attempt itself does the trick. Suddenly you are tuned into her every sensation, discomfort, pleasure. And you feel bigger that you physically are...you can hear each other's heartbeat with very little effort. You become a better person, more loving, more patient, more selfless. 
When number two comes along you make the mistake of thinking you know something. But everything is different, the rhythm, the character, the distractions. What you do know is that it will all go very quickly. And it doesn't go backwards, your only chance is to catch it when it comes round again. They move upward, in spirals, and each interaction becomes more subtle, refined, rich in texture and nuance. And you just love them: their flesh calls to you across the ocean, over the mountain tops. Their laughter is music to your ears and their tears break your heart, one day at a time. And the life you planned for yourself is never the same again.

08 May, 2009

first times

I remember my own 1st communion. There were only two of us prepared to receive. And we had simple, inexpensive dresses. No frills. We had been drilledd on protocol: do not, under any circumstances bite the host! Don't touch it, don't drop it, don't spit it out. Mine stuck to the roof of my mouth and I began to choke. My eyes teared up and my mother seemed to be embarassed. I had to go out and get a drink of water to "melt" the wafer in order to finally get it to go down. Nyah was very poised, and had it all under control. Obviously she looked and behaved like a princess. An impatient princess, but still with an aura of regal charm. I love this shot of her framed by the priest and her parents, highlighted by the window with the cup to her lips. Blessed wine bringing blessing, the beginning of a long exploration of spirit made flesh.
What does that feel like at 8 years old? The ritual, the candles are all somehow seductive. The image of surrendering to higher will, mistaken sometimes for the masculine will is drilled into our psyches. And we live with the temptation to value ourselves, our own dreams and talents less than the demands, dreams, and beliefs of the male figures in our lives.

01 May, 2009

roses from shit

Dear Friend, Reigning Queen of Kirklandia, Shit makes fertile soil for new growth Never underestimate the power and value of shit. Think of roses and lilacs, tomatoes, fresh basil and cabernet grapes. I forgive myself for my ignorance. He is no longer any of my business. Do I forgive him? Is there really anything to forgive him for? For what? For finally telling me the truth? In a really hurtful manner? I was simply cheap childcare according to his latest story. The woman he's with now is the love of his life. Thank God he finally found her so he could let me off the hook! The man I was married to was a figment of my imagination, a projection of my inner desire for a creative partnership which honored, valued and acknowledged my skills, my interests and my creativity. Someone who gave me credit and gratitude for my contribution to his development I grieve for the fantasy man, the dream partner I believed was devoted to me. But the truth is he's gone, and I'm still here, doing my thing, eating chocolate praline torts and looking for a new voice coach, Getting ready for a choir tour to the west coast, enjoying my relationship with my daughter and my son, planning a week in August on the East Coast, And loving my life, in spite of the fact that I have lost one of the loves of my life. The truth is that, that happens to people sometimes. Shitty perhaps, but I have always loved roses, especially the yellow ones. And you, my dear, wisdom incarnate, I am immeasurably grateful you are in my life. From our first glass of wine at the La Playette, To the cookies at the reception after your last recital. It is an honor to know you, forever and a day....