Wednesday, November 30, 2011

remembering patterns

While in Warren/Bisbee at the historic home tour this past weekend, one of the homes had a general store out back that had pieces of a U.S. Postal teller window, ice cream parlor, and items for sale that one would find at a real General Store years ago. One of the items that caught my eye, and was captured in this photo by my friend who accompanied me, is this cabinet that displays clothing patterns.

Although I have inherited the sewing cabinet my dad made in high school wood work class which my mother used frequently to store her thimbles, needles and thread, I haven't gone to the still-filled drawers to use the contents for a sewing project. My mom used to store patterns in the side cupboards of her cabinet and I recall her carefully unfolding and refolding the tan tissue-paper and making sure all the "pieces" were in order before she put them into the envelope, usually labeled as a McCall's or Butterick product. She sewed my sister and my ballet costumes , casual clothing and Ginny and Jill doll clothes and, of course, mended my dad's socks and "lowered" the hems of our skirts and pants as we grew taller as children.

As a child, when my mom bought a new pattern for an outfit, it meant that the kitchen table would be soon filled with the sewing cabinet contents and that she would be intensely busy, pins in her mouth, purple marking chalk in her hand, scissors nearby, placing her carefully selected fabric under the pattern paper and preparing to create a finished garment.

All that and more comes back to me as I gaze at this cabinet and remembering how important patterns were in my mother's life. What kind of objects do you have that recall good memories of your childhood?

Sunday, November 27, 2011

On Friday morning, after a late night, Thanksgiving rain, my hubby took this photo at our nearby Rio Vista Park, while walking our 12 year old dog, Lia. The drip of rain on the mesquite puffs makes the highlight of the photo. (There's probably a name for these biological products, but their soft, fuzzy texture reminds me of cotton ball puffs, hence the descriptor I have chosen for them.) It's been a lovely Thanksgiving holiday with family and friends. Yesterday, we went to Bisbee for the Historic Home Tour and another couple met us there for a light lunch, walk along Main Street and then a short trip to "suburban Bisbee", Warren to view several of the 13 homes on the tour. Today, Mark and I walked along the Rillito for 45 mins. and it surprised us to see so few walkers and even bicyclists on such a glorious November day. I suspect, had we walked the retail malls, that's where the bulk of the population was hanging out. All the better for us then, that the sunshine and solitary kestral on a post were there for our appreciation. What did you do this holiday that lifted your spirit above the turkey bird and into a higher realm?

Sunday, November 20, 2011

we gather together

Today I really needed the "big Methodist music" that the Catalina Methodist Church is known for and, fortunately, it doesn't take much of it to lift me up out of my November gloominess. As the organ soars and the brass quintet trills, I let in the sense of comfort and sadness that comes from my memories of singing in the choir at United Methodist Church in Elgin, gazing down from the balcony to see my dad as church usher and see my mom standing beside her mother and dad. From those memories, I take strength and appreciate the lessons learned that have helped me these past years.

This third holiday season without my mom is no less sorrowful than the past two. I don't know why this is. I think I expect to have my grief lessened but it doesn't feel less, maybe even heavier this year. My Grandparents Dice have been gone over 35 years and I still miss them, and when there are people who matter in life, their absence is felt and not forgotten. Instead, we go about our daily life with a hollow spot in our souls that doesn't get filled or softened; it just is.

The minister talked about how, at this national holiday, the focus is not on what we "get" (i.e. Christmas) or "do" (4th of July, Memorial and Labor Days). Rather the focus is on what we eat.
And, I would add, it is on with whom we share our table. Is it family, friends, strangers? The worse situation I think would be to be alone--and I know there are many we are. This year, we'll gather at my sister's house and later in the weekend, probably have a second gathering when our sous chef son is able to join us. I have recipes tucked away to review for the holiday season menu, but mostly, I wish the days would be longer, extend past 24 hours, so that more could be experienced at this darkening time of year. In that way, I could collect more memories to treasure--pull them out of my mind with a magic wand as Professor Dumbledore does in the Harry Potter stories: long grey tendrils of brain tissue that, when swirled into a golden bowl, can be relived with complete sensory experience.

But, alas, I lack the magic wand and golden bowl, so I do the best as I can. Such as today, when the notes from the familiar hymns conjure up faces and embraces that make me grateful for the times of the past when we gathered together and grateful for times of the present when we still do.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

velocity impact

Okay, full disclosure: I have NEVER taken a physics class nor do I intend to in the near future. But, in one of my dreams last night (during a good night's sleep), I had an exam with VI = and, in the dream, I asked about what VI meant. The male person in the dream explained to me that it meant "velocity impact" and I countered (typical me, even in a dream) that the test was unfair to women because we wouldn't necessarily have the context for the formula.

When I awoke, I asked my hubby: "is there such a thing as 'velocity impact'?" And he said, "sure" and began to explain it to me as, in one example, the point where a plane can stall in the air.

So where did that come from for my dream? Maybe--and this is a long shot--it was the 15 second visual clip I saw on Ch. 4 news about the Air National Guard's F16 flight? There was a mathematical formula that literally flashed on the screen and I thought, "oh, I don't get this" and clicked the remote to another channel. But--did my mind take in that quick glimpse (if even velocity impact was part of the video clip).

If so (or even more strangely, if not from that clip), is my subconscious more "open" to flashes of insight and imagination due to my two recent hypnotherapy sessions? Is more input being filtered through my consciousness into my subconsciousness than I am aware of and, if so, how can I channel that into my creativity?

Big questions for early morning ruminations. And here's a link to a source that explains "velocity impact" to a non-physics student such as I am.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

a weekend of weddings

Years can go by without a wedding in our lives and then, this weekend, we had two. For two very different couples at different stages of their lives, they shared the promise of two people choosing to commit to a shared life together.

One took place in a Buddhist Temple with golden walls and hundreds of Buddhas on the altar. There was a smiling Buddha, a dancing Buddha, a rabbit Buddha. Two strings wound round the heads of the woman and man, gently tethering them together during the ceremony as the Abbott and assistant chanted tones that resonated rhythms of beating hearts.

At the other wedding, a set of vintage white doors served as the backdrop while red ribbons hung from a wire, joining two aged trees. Nearby, parasols were hung upside down on sparkling lights to catch drops from the impending evening shower.

Isn't it amazing, that amidst the gloom of the week, in spite of the odds that life will challenge both couples in their quest to live "happily ever after"--we still choose to endure the gloom, face the odds, and move forward, holding hands as we enter the dark forest of life.

I think we scatter crumbs on the path as we go, not only to find our way back but to offer others a way into the forest, to take the risk of the adventure, even though a wicked witch may have the hunger to eat us for dinner.

Fairy Tales abound in our lives (two new television shows with Fairy Tale themes launched over Halloween weekend and my husband and I are hooked into the one called "Grimm") because they give mythic meaning to our everyday choices. I hope both couples (and the other 75,000 in Vegas who chose this 11/11/11 weekend to get married and all those who "jumped the broom" or "broke the glass" or did whatever their religion or culture suggests as part of the matrimonial ritual) have good, long lives together. But, if they don't, they will always have this weekend when they took the risk and walked into the forest, together.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

more Life continued

One of my followers wrote that "more Life in her life" meant digging deeper. I think that meaning works for me as well. I am reading "The Trance of Scarcity" and today started to craft new stories of meaning for myself; stories that, unlike my current stories, don't come from perspectives of scarcity, lack, separation, incompleteness. Rather my new stories intentionally speak to me of being part of an abundant flow of life, what Julie Cameron refers to as the Creative Source, or River of Creativity (Artist's Way).

So, just for today---what new story can you create for yourself, originating from abundance, not scarcity?

Here's a California/Long Beach way photo my husband took a few days ago. Enjoy.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

more Life in my life

Three days ago, I had my second hypotherapy session and unlike my first, I came ready to let go and experience the relaxation. Somewhere in between an images of a GPS screen (Mark and I used ours daily while in Long Beach), a yellow door floating in the air, and the last light of the sun sinking into the west over the Pacific Ocean, making the light dance on the water--I observed myself thinking: this is what serenity feels like. It seemed to last only a moment but I am grateful I had that glimmer into a deeper sense of peace.

In between then and now, I have returned to my life of ups and downs with daily challenges and moments of grace. Yesterday at breakfast, I blurted out to Mark (in between skimming articles in the NY Times), "I want more Life in my life!" He started to laugh he was so surprised by my comment and I was surprised at the intensity of the phrase and how true the words seemed to me. I believe they came from a deeper part of me, touched by the Thursday therapy session.

And so, I am considering what "more Life in my life" means to me. It's not the same as "more Life out of life"--that suggests taking something from something. No, it means, I think, putting something more into something -- or being open to something more coming into my life.

After our Chinese Dinner tonight at The Lotus Garden (really wonderful Egg Drop Soup, bbq spareribs, chicken chop suey and sweet and sour chicken), my fortune cookie read: Big Changes ahead. The dark side of my mind went to "something bad might happen", but then I realized that in the world of Chinese Fortune cookies, the marketing message is positive, so I relaxed and became open to "big changes" can mean "good changes"--. And maybe that's a cosmic response (pretty quick, if it is) to me saying yesterday, "I want more Life in my life."

So, I will keep you posted on what comes through the yellow door, guided by my cosmic GPS system and/or waiting for me on the western ocean-lit horizon.

In the meantime, what does "more Life in my life" mean to you?