Friday, December 14, 2007

New Ideas and Explorations

Brew-Ha-Ha .....for the name for a Brewhaus/Cafe style place where you could drink coffee and beer and read and commune.

Gleaner....someone who picks up that left by the reaper. Also, someone who picks stuff or knowledge up bit by bit

Cute username, that...bitbybit....reminds me of itybitty....:)

HDR -The most amazing photos I've ever seen have been manipulated this way. Ethereal.

I like little applique on clothing. I also like rickrack a lot! AND....I like collaged fabrics and patchwork quilty styled stuff. I really like things that feel comforting and ethereal and special all at the same time. Touch of the dark on my fairies....know what I mean?

The story of stuff. So cool. I should watch it a lot. ...(along with that "good day" movie I was gonna watch every day to keep me "grounded".....riiiiight)

I want to sell stuff on Etsy. BAD. I could be crafty and useful and package my adorably functional things simply and beautifully. Put order forms on the tissue? Postcard orders that fold into a box. Or comments cards? Coooool.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

2 Things that make every moment worthwhile

You are 15 months old. You are big. But not just in physical size. Your soul, your heart, YOU.....are enormous. You run everywhere with wild abandon. You shriek like a siren. That pointing finger, points at everything. Sometimes I wonder if you're pointing at spirits or at things I can't see .....anymore. I wouldn't put it past you. YOU are so much. You spin and spin and spin and fall. You are hungry NOW. You are inspired to hug your classmates (even if it knocks them over and they cry), the dogs, your "babies", Daddy, Just right when I've drifted away into my head. Into the seemingly infinte "to do" list that is my life. Right when I need your soft-but-hard hugs most. And your cries, your CRIES. They are big, loud and passionate. Like blaring reminders that cell phone is soooooo very important. Right now. You must have it. NOW. Or "Sippy", you must have "sippy" RIGHT NOW. You need it. Regardless of whether I am currently pouring milk into it or not. Maybe you're really trying to remind me that right now....."right now" is very important. How have I forgotten that?

Sometimes, you smile and I swear the sun pours out of your face. Like a flood of love from a burst damn. Only right now that flood is infinite. It's always there, but when you blow the dam, damn, its a wonderful kind of devastating. That's the "Love" smile. I feel a particular warmth for your, "Flirt/Coy" smile, though. It's the one where you kind of tip you're head to one side and you let the sunshine just barely peak into view. Oh. Oh oh oh, its like eating one very small piece of beautiful chocolate. Blissful but small. Not small in a bad way, more like in the way a really good wine ever so delicately offers tastes like "they" say it should. Like cherries or oak. And for that fleeting second (mostly because we can't really afford to drink this quality of wine all the time) it's like walking into a clearing of a really dense forest. That's subtle change in energy that is so wonderful. It's relief. And excitement. And a curious kind of expectation to experience it again and again and again. It's a new kind of energy deep inside. Isn't it amazing that your smile can do that to me? You don't understand now...that's good. Because once you understand you won't be feeling this way all the time. Like you do now. I'd like to revel in that for you right now.

Oh yeah, I said two things, didn't I. Well the second. The second thing is what taught me why people become parents. You see, there is a chemical response that happens when your very own child cries. It is automatic for me and very instinctual. My heart hurts with an imediacy I can't put to words. And all I can do is kiss you and want to make you feel better. Ah, but with that new sense of urgent hurt there also comes a sense of urgent joy. And that joy is what fills me every single time you laugh. If you continued to laugh all day, while I ate your tummy. I would do it all day. Because when you laugh. When you laugh....How I do I describe this?

I feel like I'm both lucky and unlucky to be the kind of person who FEELS things always ina big way. When I'm happy and inspired...I am REALLY happy and REALLY inspired. Sometimes to a fault. And when I'm lonely....I'm really lonely. And really really sad. When you laugh it's like when I used to drive some 45 minutes home from work. And I was feeling particularly inspired by a new artist or song that day. And I would blast that song and sing and scream it as loud as I could the whole way home. All the while feeling that sense of absolute bliss and connection to the world. I would roll down the windows and drive really fast; the wind blowing my hair around me. My adreniline would pump. I would hit all the green stoplights. And know with all of my being that the world makes sense. .......Your laugh is like that feeling. Only better....

Friday, September 14, 2007

So I was running the other day.....

...mind you, running is not something that I have enjoyed, in the least, since I was 7 or so. Anyway, I was running and trying to keep the mantra "Joy, joy, joy" in my head. See, I have always envied the people who run regularly. I admire their stamina, their dedication, and their endurance. I've always wanted to be the kind of person that misses running when they can't do it. The last time I remember really liking to run was when I was 5 and racing the other kids in the school yard. At that age my body was so light and my worldview so pure that I really felt like I could run faster than anything. That I could fly. I remember it being a magically joyful experience. So I've been trying to remember that feeling while I run now. And I can say it actually helps some. It really does.

As I was running the other day I realized how thankful I am that I have a reference (even one from childhood) to running being a joyful experience. I wonder about all the other overweight people like me who don't and how much harder it must be for them to find joy in exercising. I also realized how thankful I am that I don't have to struggle to breathe in my life except when I run.

After starting up running again I have realized that not being able to breathe has been the biggest deterrent for me. Not being able to breathe is fundamentally frightening. Its not even just that its scary, there is also some base instinct inside (self preservation I suppose) that screams "I NEED MORE AIR!". I cannot imagine having a breathing disorder like asthma or emphysema. Where you have long bouts with this feeling of suffocation.

My husband joined me for the end of my run the other day and I was telling him about my struggle with this aspect of being out of shape. And his response was "It gets better." While I know this is true, I also know that he has probably never really felt this horrible fear before (he was a cross country runner) and has no reference to fully sympathise.

In the end I found remembering that I would eventually stop running soon helped. I reminded myself what it was like to swim underwater for long distances. It was something I have always been good at (you know, singers lungs). Underwater you get that same sense that you are really going to suffocate, actually die underwater. But when you fight that instinct to breathe OR come up for air you find a peace underwater. And when you get to the end of the length and finally breathe real wonderful air into your lungs you get a sense of pure joy. A sense of the accomplishment and of course the relief of breathing. The gratitude for something you do thousands of times each day otherwise is a wonderfully enlightening thing. Breathing at its essence is good.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Birthday Dinners

It is a tradition in my family to go out to your pick of restaurant to celebrate your birthday. We go out as a family and work to get everyone there to attend. Its not many people; just My mom, dad, Busia, brother, husband and son. Sometimes its hard to schedule but we usually find a way to match schedules even if it means having the dinner a long time from the actual birthday. I'd like to think that birthdays should not be about what you get or where you go but instead a celebration of you, your family and your birth. The problem is neither of my parents are particularly good at celebrating us as people. I wish I could feel as if I was someone my parents were proud of......someone who they celebrated, enjoyed and loved. But I don't.
And since my mom is what you could call beyond frugal (don't get me wrong, its served us well as a family, especially in the leanest of times) going out to eat was always a big deal. It was the one thing that always without fail made me feel like I was special and loved.

So this year with my emotional state being a little frail(no regular job, a baby and a lot of self doubt ) I was really disappointed that my mom wanted us to come over to their house and order pizza for my and Shay's birthday. It would be "easier" she said. How is it that between my parents and my own negative self image I can find a way to make such a stupid thing mean that I'm not important to them, not enough? In any case, that's how I felt.

This is when my lovely husband comes in and once again sweeps me off my feet. He always seems to find a way to make me feel better. Like I am important. And the best part is that its always synchronicitously right when I really need it most. This time it meant that he held a surprise birthday party for me. And it did make me feel special and important. What would I do without him?

Friday, August 3, 2007

Birthing a Blogger

I feel as if this is the most appropriate title I can give this newborn blog's first post. For me, writing has always had a magical lure. It gives you the sense that you really can change the world. You create the new world and paint it with words. It is both scary and wonderful to begin doing something you feel so excited by.

Birthing this blog has begun much as birthing my baby began. Parts of me are completely ready to begin the adventure come what may. But parts of me, the inner fearful parts, refuse to follow. I was so worried and anxious about when the baby was going to surprise me. I've always been anxious about things involving bodily function. What if my water broke while I was in public? embarrassing, I thought! I was induced at the hospital a week and a half after the baby was originally due. I labored and labored for some 12 odd hours. Then I pushed for almost two hours. But still my body and my baby were not yet ready to exist separately. Instead they did a cesarean. Maybe the whole labor process was too overwhelming for me and my body. It's rather disappointing, though, when something that is so basic to human existence requires major surgery. It sort of made me start off motherhood feeling like a failure. I suppose this is life. In any case starting this blog has been much the same kind of experience for me. Starting and stopping, being afraid....deciding to just never publish any of these posts....(How vast is the endeavor of encompassing the whole of your being in a few words? Is that the point? Is completing this task even possible?) Now though I'm starting to realize that I've always learned the most about myself (triumphs and limits) with the whole of my self exposed. Not physically of course, but definitely emotionally. I suppose the same could be said of creating life. Baby's are the rawest nerve, the be all and end all of humanity really. Our most fragile and important resource.

So let me just start with the being I am in this moment. Where's my harmony? I am a happy mother, wife and friend. Of late, motherhood has brought out a reluctant daughterhood. There lies the origin of my recent dissonance. I remember a moment in my 5 year old life in which I explored my naked self in the mirror. I remember being utterly enthralled with my body. My smooth skin. My round belly. At that age I was beginning to understand what and who I was. Including what the difference between Self Esteem and Vanity was. And more importantly which was good and which was bad. It really is as simple as that when you're young. Good and bad, do and don't.... My mother walked in and told me I was vain. And I remember painfully the brand new feeling I had that day. I felt vividly ashamed. I felt as if there was something wrong with me at my essence. It's amazing how seemingly small parental mistakes like that can change the course your life. Shame and worthlessness are feelings I have become intimately familiar with since then. From the time my father promised to come to my kindergarten Halloween party and then forgot. To my parents coming to very few of my school activities. To struggling and failing (in front of several classes of my peers ) in second, third, fourth and fifth grades to conquer the multiplication tables. To being tauntingly called 'Olga the walrus' at recess by my (obviously not) best friend. Being made to feel that I was disgustingly dirty, poor, smelly, ugly and fat by "the cool kids" in my grade. Feeling ashamed at being different because I was the first girl to have "developed" and having no reference for what that meant. That horrid older Indian boy who used to walk me home from school and one day touched my crotch and breasts whilst telling me not to let anyone touch me there. And I'm sure many more times my mind is working desperately to block out.

Sometimes I feel like there has been so much disappointment in my life that I have learned to have no expectation for anything or anyone. If you hope or expect things your are inevitably disappointed so just take it as it comes. This attitude has been both a blessing and a curse. It's a blessing because it means I can truly take things as they come and not get to upset if the world doesn't move like it should. It means I take people for who they are and do a decent job at finding reasons not to judge. But it also means that I feel like I can't ever celebrate he good things for fear they be taken away. (If the cosmos knows your hopes and dreams its easier to crash them). It also means that natural gratitude has been taken from me. How can you be thankful if you can't let anything feel good? Grateful for what?

So I guess that's why I'm here.
My purpose for blogging is thus: to discover and heal all those emotional wounds that have festered unattended for so long. To find that beautiful, kind, curious, intelligent, wise, joyful and nurturing girl that's buried under piles of hurt. To figure out who she really is. To heal her up so she can have the life she wants and so she can be the mother and wife her son and hubby deserve. To make gratitude a foundation in MY family's life. So life, thanks for the so-far, this beautiful today, and as many tomorrows as you'll grace me with.

Extricating a waif

Feeling like a traitor to the self and body that I have and am. When I lost weight I always felt like a fake....Like I could never be skinny. My self dictated that I was defined by that extra weight. Losing it meant I was a traitor to myself somehow. The most horrible contraindication is that I hate that overweight self. I literally hate her. I resent the opportunities she's taken away from me for so many years. Years I could have been happier and had better self esteem. Years I could have gotten more relationship experience that I could have brought to my marriage. Years of shame and fear and constant escape from myself. I have always known what it is that I want to be, who....but I've never been able to figure out how to extricate that person from the fat girl without killing her.

Friday, July 27, 2007

My life is like an artsy farsty clown car.

I commiserate with an awful lot of artists. I mean it, A lot. "Does that mean I'm an artist at heart?", I often wonder hopefully. I mean, I guess being a muscian makes me an artist too but its just not the same unless you've actually created the art. I feel like because I've not written the songs I sing, I really don't qualify. I've always wanted to write my own songs. But the few times I've actually gathered the courage, the result....well let's just say the result was really dissapointing.

Then there are the voices in my head that say firstly. "What about visual art? You are a visual person and you've always really enjoyed art. You love wheelthrowing and photography and have always had a secret inkling that you are an undiscovered protege painter. You like to be crafty too....if that counts." Then the second (and I think the bigger issue of the two) starts on about art not being selfless enough. "If you want your life to truly help people singing, painting or whatever other mindless day job you find does not stop people from starving or suffering. Nor does it give them a home or an education. " I wanna know what's so great about selfless that I need to attend its mass daily.

I surely hope to find the middle ground between these two sides. Ideally sooner than later because regardless of whether its a worthy job for me or not, I have the soul of an artist.

Homemakers Lament

I am struggling today. I'm not sure if its the book I just finished ("The Road" : It's devastating this book, I regret ever starting it as reading the middle of it broke my heart. I think possibly literally.), or a hormonal premenstrual black hole OR (even worse) a low feeling of regret regarding my job choice.

For most people I think the last is easily solvable no matter how invested in your job you've become. You hate where you are enough and you quit, or get fired OR whatever! The only large repercussions are those in your pocketbook and/or those in your sense of 'work' self. The problem is, I'm a stay-at-home mom. Regretting my choice to stay at home means a whole self tug of war and a lot of guilt. Part of me demands, "Don't you love your child? You will lose track of even more of his life if you go back to work, almost the whole of it. Don't you want to give him that sense of how much you care for him. That you would give your whole life to him; heart, mind and spirit. That you love him that much. Especially, when you never felt that way of your mother. You're going to quit now!! You quitter! You've gotten through the hard part! If you would just stop being so lazy this would be fun."

Then there's the other side..."Your husband is struggling to make sure the family survives financially. He is making a great sacrifice and its time to give him a little reprieve. You are starting to lose it without any sense of accountability. You are a sinking ship. You are struggling with issues that you can't deal with and mother appropriately. The emotional place you're at right now is not a place that a baby should be subjected to 24/7. You are not cut out to do the same menial tasks day after day. You don't do any of them well enough to frame them as fine gifts to your family. You are just not motivated or organized enough every day to do this the way you've always imagined. To do it better than your mother."

I've always wanted to be a Homemaker. A woman adept at the art and science of 'playing house'. Being the person who makes all the laundry smell like home and all folded and neat. The person who does arts and crafts and makes your favorite lunch for you every day(and it tastes so good!). The person who has plenty of time in her day to keep a pretty clean and homey house but still has lots of time to play and to do things for herself. The person who makes her own bread and almost all the meals from scratch. The person who lets you out to move and wiggle and run and jump and be friends. The person who happily crafts magically healthful wonderful dinners on a meager budget and who enjoys lush praise from all who partake. She takes you on romps through the woods and teaches you everything she knows while at the same time helping to instill and relish a sense of magic mystery and wonder into all around her. The person who always sends you a birthday card. The person who always sends fabulous 'thinking of you' cards and thank you cards that really make you feel as if you're important. The person who reads to you with vigor every day and is not afraid to make fort blankets or to have adventures. The person who scolds gently and is fair and balanced when it comes to discipline. The person who always holds you and makes you feel safe and good. The person you run crying to when you need a boo-boo kissed. The person who always gives you the best advice that makes you grow up to be a wonderful person with lots of self esteem...but not too much. The woman who always looks wonderful and sexy for herself and for her husband(Who so greatly deserves to have a wonderful beautiful woman sleep with him every night.) The woman who sacrifices a chunk of her own life for her family with grace and dignity. ......All of which SOUNDS really wonderful. Except that I'm not all that great at motivating myself. Even worse the person I should be able to model some of these things from has never been an example of them. I am this person on the inside I just can't figure out how to be this person in the real world.

I feel like I'm always angry and filled with resentment. Half the time I'm not sure exactly what I'm feeling. Sometimes the things that come out of my mouth make me sound like I feel trapped at home. But I'm not sure if I actually feel that way or not. I think sometimes I feel like I can never do all the things I think a Homemaker should. Partly because I have no idea how. And most f the things I don't know are not things you can go look up in an encyclopedia, they are things that women pass to their children. Just by doing them. Sometimes I wish that I could find balance between the beauty of having habits/traditions (a planned life) and playing it by ear (Living by the seat of my pants). On one hand I always felt rather unstable in my childhood home and I could have really used some more structure. But on the other hand I want to give my children a better sense of freedom than I ever felt I had.

And, AND....I cannot get the baby to sleep this week. It is making me insane and I am not sure why it's such a big deal. I think it's because I feel like I have a lot more freedom when he's asleep. Like I can do things without having to make sure he is not getting into something he shouldn't. I think deep down I worry that I will never actually complete anything when I try to do things while he's up. He is a constant (beautiful, but constant) distraction. Some days, I have a persistent sense that I may be messing him up when he's awake. It makes me very anxious. Sometimes I just need a blessed break from the screaming, from pulling poisonous things from his mouth, from him pulling everything out and messing up what I just cleaned, from the guilt that I need a break in the first place, from trying to keep him happy while not spoiling him, and from the anxiety that because he's not sleeping now experience tells me he will be a very large handful of cranky later.

Okay B, but what are you thankful for today:
I am thankful for my wonderful husband who truly loves me. I am thankful for my very healthy baby who is really pretty good most of the time. Who eats well and sleeps through most nights, who is curious and adventurous and smart and Ohhhhhhh so adorable.
I am thankful that we a have a home that is ours and our way. I am thankful to have the oppurtunity to stay home with my baby even if it means a day full of crying and whining. They are my babies cries and whines and I love them too. And I get to watch every one of his discoveries and every one of his struggles. I probably know him as a person better than anyone else so far. I am thankful I get to choose what to do with my day everyday. I have to remember that is always my choice. I am thankful that I have my hubby, my parents, my friends and my brother all of whom in one way or another assist me in living my life every day.
Okay gotta go collect a crying baby....Bye.