Sunday, January 1, 2012

My little girl and a girl named Maddy Ross.

There are traits one wants to possess for himself but that feel out of reach and unattainable, forbidden fruit not worthy of my weakness. But still the longing is there. We want and we see a glimmer of what goodness we might offer ourselves and others if we but possessed these traits. But how easy it is to do little or nothing to get these traits. Easier to long and tell the painter who bloodies his mind and fingertips from the grief of trying that "I envy you," that "I wasn't born with your gift." "I can't even draw a stick figure." But in this accusation one belittles the painter's labor and mocks his interpretation of God's "gift" to him. It is treasured by him merely because he has loved it, nurtured, tended, been it's steady provider, woke up in the nights allowing it to sputter and hum, putting it's unsettling motifs to bed each night. The treasure was not neglected for personal reasons but for a parallel in stewardship the way a mother cares for her child. Not duty or glory bound just because it is what you do to a helpless treasure who can do nothing for itself.
Precocious Maddy Ross in "True Grit" found a season of necessity to seize a trait she needed. It became more than a want. A necessity for her to surround herself with those she deemed having "true grit" and found the elixir for herself in the process. How telling and insightful to witness one's journey lacking what was necessary to her and witnessing her leverage her way into learning how ugly and beautiful grit can be.
Discipline is what I seek. It is a trait that in times I have felt confident described me but for many moons this element like the tide that comes and goes has been absent. Today I crave it because I have need as an exemplar to my daughter. My kin needs a strong arm to lift her and help her learn to define her own qualities. Upon entering this world she ached and scratched at all those who wanted to help her. A deafening desire for independence is innate in her strong spirit. I see myself in her. My father said he knew of me instantly "Come hell or high water" I was bound and determined. Oh but woe, to channel that energy, to harness the tides is my yearning this year. To do so I realize she cannot be told what needs to be done. I must lead by example. And thus my gollums of comfort-consuming way to much sugar primarily packaged in the form of chocolate and sitting upon my laurels thanking my mighty start my metabolism is high are the basis' of needed change. I aim to curb my appetites and to exercise my body. And I hope in the process an unveiling will occur that I find my little girl and empower her to be a little woman.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

500 words, less sugar and dancing with more little people

A new year hours away. It is a special day for me as it was 12 years ago I met my love and my antidote for all ills in the world. That's a fairly monumental occurrence. It surely doesn't happen every day. It is worth remembrance and worth a lingering kiss at midnight, much preferred if it accompanies a night of wild, carefree soul-stirring dance. Annually I attempt a hearty effort at locking in a babysitter and heading out the door in heels and a skirt suitable for spinning but boo on the real world it is becoming increasingly challenging to get away with paying a babysitter $15 an evening for five darlings--no matter how cherubic they are. A few dances we crashed were LDS singles dances. Once I even got permission. As an aside, why in heaven's name does the Mormon community cease to hold dances regularly for married folk. Now that it is legal and encouraged to ogle and adore your match you are expected to do it in the privacy of your own home. Well, maybe this woman likes to show her man off. Did you ever think of that? I get high as a kite twirling and getting a gently small of my back pull in for an exchange of love. Then you put on a rock and roll song, oh brother, it's over, something primal happens to this non-rated R watching Mormon lady. With each progressive guitar riff I lose the equivalent of another limb with my erratic movements while simultaneously filling up a reservoir inside. I leave the dance floor with a measure of patience, a lessened desire for finding joy in negativity and such a vigor for life. Day to day living fairly proper and conservative (who wishes she were a bra-burning hippy)-a girl needs to let loose sometimes. That, my friends is how I do it. Unabashedly.
Tonight I am listening to a horrible assortment of "classic tunes." This one is "I'm not the kind girl who gives up just like that..." while the blond minions run back and forth in scarves and Mr Potato Head pieces in their ears and mouths. Wew, one has owl slippers and a butterfly wing charading as a fan. Yes, yes, we know how to breed 'em. But perhaps there is a lesson to learn in this morocca enhanced elevator melody. Perhaps this girl outta go find her man and blast some real tunes and make her own dance! This discovery unveiled through a little writing is precisely the reason I've chosen to write this year for self improvement. The resolution is 500 words a day. Also less sugar. Don't get me started...ok, ok, you didn't but I started myself and I am gonna finish. That's what this year is all about. Finishing what I have started, folks. I have got a generous heap of talents bestowed upon me by the Almighty. Thus far, I am falling miserably short of my potential. Not in the mindset of self-loathing that was yesterday. "Today is 2012, keeping it all on shelve. " Didn't quite work as I hoped, err, a friend of mine balls up her goals into an achievable type mantra. Stole the idea. Anyway, what I mean is all these talents finding deep recesses of my being, settling in their molding and dusty crevasses I am putting them on the daily shelf where they are out in the open, ready or me to develop them a little at a time. There are a million things I could outline but we all know how easy it is to fizzle and wizzle with too lofty of aspirations. Keeping it simple. On my mind's back burner I know the other things I want to improve but those pearls shall be for the quiet of my heart.
I am approaching this year with ambition, hope and a feeling of steadiness. This week I have been working on a painting, it's coming along nicely. Hoping to grow my dance/art studio. Praying to be strong enough to eat less sugar this year. I can't do this one alone but I know doing it is not only for me but for the health of my whole family. Thankful to a soul sister who invited me to write each day along with her. Hoping the other things like a gentler temperment and kinder delivery will somehow be discovered along the way as I put emphasis on my self rather than the beloved others in my life.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Moses is 7 today!

Shiny, downy hair curls around his angled chin.
Distinct lips frown and smile to the extreme.
He's a guy curious about nature, about how things work, why they work, how things were made. He wonders how we know what color dinosaurs skin was, what the sun is made of.
His hypothesis as a toddler, "Glass, plastic and batteries."
He sticks up for his little sister when the older one tells her she has no fashion sense. He says it's not true and it doesn't matter. It's not important.
Fast like The Flash, he's got true grit.
His buddies are Monk the Monkey, Penguin and Phineas the baby brother. He feels a lot. the weight of the world, anger, stress, unfairness, meanness, irritation. He likes none of it. Crumbles when it is near. Champion of justice, love, brotherly kindness. Anti-Satan.
Free as a field of grass, wholesome as wheat. He's there when you need a hug.
He reminds me to keep wondering, loving, trying.
Happy Birthday my big seven year old, Moses.
I love you.

Friday, February 25, 2011

McCubbins beach

"Alaska has long been a magnet for dreamers and misfits, people who think the unsullied enormity of the Last Frontier will patch all the holes in their lives. The bush is an unforgiving place, however, that cares nothing for hope or longing."-Jon Krakauer's Into the Wild
I know what this place is about. My memory tendrils grip the silt sand and gravel like the Kenai bluff by the McCubbins, year by year the rocks slip, the sand swallows itself and peels itself into the sand and sea below. A plot of land erasing the acres to convince its inhabitants it never existed. Yet I can never forget the scoop and swell feeling of swinging back and forth over that bluff on a home shop welded swingset made by "Uncle Ken", the one who swore and told slightly off color jokes through his missing teeth. Washed and purified, the crisp summer coolness and powder of sunshine warms my legs beneath my cut off jeans. The swing arcs as a gateway-Me on the back of Dave Rindlisbacker's motorcycle, sand softer than pearls, set nets and the rotten stench of a distant whale carcass, Dave Carlson's beach mazes that I always cheated to get out of, the windy sound of "My Favorite Things" woven through my friends voices, roasted hot dogs with friends and crushes, downstream-sessions of dip-netting, cloudy waves that pummel me down, sandcastles with Clinton with noble feathers, turtle domes, inedible sweet peas. Ebbs and flows, my heart races and slows. One hundred steps down the bluff. How many have stepped this course before? A mental painting effervescent, invigorating, reminiscent of youth and freedom. Here now, wanting my children to sketch similar patterns . Creating a canvas from which lines of development flourish. But this fierceness that Chris McCandless uncovered holds me back. Winter after winter after winter of quartz ice, crystalline sucks the idealism from my soul, scraping ice off the window breathing air that shouldn't be breathed fills me with anger. Layers of wool socks, ski-suit and scarves form an overcoat of resistance making it far too easy to stay isolated.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

A Little Night Music by Adrianna

Adrianna decided to sing us a song before she went to sleep. This is how it went...
"It's called roses everywhere you go, K um? And then it starts again. Where was I at I was at the pirate part. There was so much all of the pirates got all of our money and treasure and kept it forever the next found the gold. So they would find something different so they would find a treasure. They could not find it all so they rush and could not find it all. Like the sun blooming everywhere you go so we have the sun sing everywhere you want cause Jesus created it for you. So they had written a book that was very special the very special book that tells the future that tells everything they can find. Just one or two or three or five or six Just a little bit of sauce on the noodles cause the robbers stole all the decorations. Merry Christmas to one another. What should they do? They shout hurray. What are you doin for your Jesus Christ. We love our Father. Our Heavenly Father. We never ever forget his name. He's very nice we love him forever and ever and we know what our Savior loves us forever. So does everybody else we love our Savior Jesus Christ Hey!"

Friday, December 3, 2010


"Wise one," so say the Irish. My name is gossamery tulle, the N's dancing like awkward, passionate lilacs on an overgrown trellis. It starts with a hush, jumps up and then nests. It smells like rosemary wafting from my neighbors yard. Silky, second hand costumes like plumes to hide in. Soft fabric swaddles a pink baby. My name is sure, patient and elegant.

S tepping on mosaic stones
H osted by the Joyce K Carver Soldotna Library
A peppery taste is in my mouth. I uproot
N asturtiums, binding them together to make a
N ecklace reminding me of my connections
O f quirky family with roadmap veins and trick fingers stored in boxes. Magic tricks
N ever far from my heart.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Lunch with Teachers.

Brimming with anticipation for what work Eli and I will bring to Alaska I chat with my new friend, Yvette about a State Trooper job. She shot hoops at the Native Shoot Out for the troopers with the "drunk goggles" on. She made 4/5 baskets. This job promising the allure of a cozy home with 3-4 bedrooms, a space for the music studio, an acre of land where the kids will collect fire weed, lupine and scratch 13 mosquito bites, get a wasp sting, yell at a moose eating the broccoli in our garden intoxicates me, displaces me from a goal of independence in creative employment and joy in each working day for Eli. At the round table Nina's head scarf and , hand-embroidered floor-length Russian Orthodox dress remind me of Kenai, of the bluff, the blue onion bulb towered church. The long haired, apostate who ran the place, reprimanded by the city police for stealing the funds charged by visitor tours. If you give a mouse a cookie style, that reminds me of the Russian teenagers at Soldotna Fred Meyer with their side sashes stuffing candy bar into their puffy side pockets. I reprimand my mind for such contrasting images as Nina speaks about the special ed child she assists at the school. Jack had lost his coke bottle thick glasses today. His computer talker device wasn't good enough to express his frustration. She gently imitates the stomping escalation that ensued. Like the dusting of snow outside causing light to reflect, Nina's constancy and gentility soothed his ruddy face and helped him retrace his steps. She cuts the vacuum seal on the smoked salmon her uncle had made. It smells of brown sugar and fish. Yvette spreads her spicy salmon spread onto a Ritz cracker. Another teacher had a Scottish cheese to contribute and proliferates from the French bakery around the block. Tasting the world on my tongue I think of the many years I have missed the rich, nourishing taste of salmon. The dark pink flakes separate in my mouth tasting like gold rush magenta. The special ed classroom warms of a slower pace-extra time and attention to the kids they teach. Jory, a fourth grader with learning disabilities and my guess of a rough home life sticks his head in the door. His speech sounds intermingled with ocean waves crashing, "Eww. It stinks in here! I am going out to recess...but I am NOT going to pick up the snow! I just wanted to tell you, I won a pizza last night." Yvette gave him a thumbs up and a smile as she was taking a phone call arranging pick up after school of her preschool age son. Her older daughter is expecting a baby any day now, her kids ages span 25 years. We talk about how all families work, of the unique treasures that expansive older children and younger children share. My daughter, older than my brother (her uncle) and my 15 year old sister her aunt, romp through the woods until they crushed a hornet's nest and paid a pretty price for such an oversight. One of my kids first, grand Alaskan adventures...a foreboding and realistic introduction to the unforgiving north that doesn't want friends. At this round table we partake of life. Nourished my what the land gives, in return, like Mica sloughing off a layer of resistance a melding of sisterly cement is felt. Conversation of what women speak of; menstruation pains, breastfeeding, children, husbands are lifeblood woven.

Lunch with Teachers

Pickled salmon wedged between my teeth
Savory crackers with dried fish
Yvette has five children, three raised, two still at home
She dances with the Native Elders, sons are learning to drum
Build the igloo, brush the snow
She kisses little Joe
Nina's dress handmade, fashioned of old world Russia
Knotted scarf on her nape
her eyes reflective
New husband, toddler child, teacher's aid
They know I can, there's hope for my little girl
She'll write of her 24 bee stings, her first fishing trip
Journal her first period, a mark of womanhood
But before she will cry at night
Worried she won't pass the third grade
Wounded Mrs. B doesn't like her thoughts
Attacked by labels she must find her strength
Women complete with culture
bound by common Alaska