Thursday, December 22, 2011

Winter Solstice and Yuletide Blessings

When a mistletoe hangs and holly is abundant, the colors turn to red, green, and white. A part of the world is silent and magic is practiced ever so peacefully. There are wishes and hope and cheers, our planet will soon be new again. This celebration is for Sol, the sun that will rise and fall, endlessly.

On this hemisphere, life will be short today. Along his journey across the sky, we'll see the sun linger a bit. This night will be our longest. We'll set out candles, draw a ring 'round a fire, and listen for our sun set still.

The Cimmerian season starts today. Homer described this place as "land of perpetual mist and darkness." Within this fruitful darkness, new life will eventually emerge. Let this dim light play the role of a spiritual cradle, within it, the Sun is reborn. Father Time with his sickle, bids farewell. Earth will lay dormant, it's night silent and still. Some creatures will sleep this season away. Others will rest, waiting for the slow build toward longer days.

This isn't a day reserved for Wiccan or Heathen, it is indigenous. Newgrange and Stonehenge and Woodhenge, or where ever else you may be. An Indian tribe might reserve it for dreams. In the Celt lands, a hilltop bonfire, surrounded by people hoping to keep the darkness at bay. In India, they've already beckoned the goddess of light. Rama has returned and the portal closed on the third day.

Each day will serve a little longer, light becoming a bit stronger, as we watch Sol wax and the darkness wane. 

Some will carry a tree home, fresh scents of pine and cedar, and dress him with ribbon and garland and light. Others might chant and drum until the end of the night.

Whatever your tradition may be,  let this also be a season of light. A time of year to make a simple wish, to color our homes with thistle leaves, to ring a bell at dawn, to scatter the scent of peppermint and gingerbread. Burn a yuletide log. It is the season of song and dance. A time to divulge our dreams aloud.

Sweet dreams and warm blessings.
Happy Winter Solstice.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Sunday Scribblings: Omen

The Sunday Scribblings prompt this week is omen.

As darkness evolves I hold on to what is burnished and clear.
As Adam and Eve expel from their garden-temptation must always fall, my Friday is full of qualm.
So the woman eats, and gives to the man who also eats.
"Upon your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life."
Subservient to man, childbirth, the pain within.
My dreams sense death.
Naughty flies come in in the cold.
A fiend, feasts on dead things.
A bat strays still in the corner of my room.
I spill minuscule sands of salt, as I send it over my shoulder.
I remember a man who once spoke of Halley.
A shooting spirit, visible twice to the most naked eye.

"I came in with Halley's comet in 1835. It is coming again next year, and I expect to go out with it. It will be the greatest disappointment of my life if I don't go out with Halley's comet. The Almighty has said, no doubt: 'Now here are these two unaccountable freaks; they came in together, they must go out together.'"

And then Mark Twain died on 21 April 1910, the day following Halley's subsequent perihelion.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Happy Birthday Govinda!

Last night Aaron and I talked about a little boy's very first year with us. A boy that was born because the moon needed him here. We sat around reminiscing about his earliest nights. Aaron said, "He would let me hold him, love him, dance with him. He transformed me."

He had a purple hand, it stayed that way for weeks. He was our biggest baby. A happy one. He was silent and sweet. Not so quiet these days, but Govinda still seems to be coated with candy.

He spends most of his time in an automobile, whether is truly exists for not. He is also a mechanic. The yellow and green wooden tools compete to hold his interest, but Govinda finds his dad's tools to be more entertaining. Rusty tools and the dangerously sharp, pointy ones. He operates on his baby dolls with them; he's a doctor also. He frightens me.

He tries his hardest to emulate his eldest boys. He yells at Judah a lot. He doesn't want help putting his shoes on anymore. He adores his baby sister.

He wears mittens in the summer. He looks for the moon at night.

What I remembered last night was simply his touch. There is a succession of Zen Masters who are linked together by transmission of mind, pure thought transferred from mind to mind with no words. We tend to dwell so little on our whole range of sensory perceptors and receptors that our touch feels bland compared to what it would feel like if our awareness was one hundred percent. I remember Govi's "original touch", as Ina May Gaskin refers to it. She says that a baby born blind doesn't lose his original touch because he can't afford to pull his attention out of his skin and out of his hands when he gets so much of his information about the Universe this way. Govinda reminds me to hold on to my original touch. He is alive and electric. And I hope that he stays close forever.

Happy Birthday Govinda Hare!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Happy Birthday Haile!

When Haile came home she was still dead asleep. After spending those vampire days with her in the NICU, I didn't quite feel like her mother. I had to bring her home from such a horrid place, a hospital. All we could do, for lithless weeks, was figure out a way to wake her up. The hospital gave us a bunch of plastic bottles and told us where to find powder. I felt like I had never been a home-birth mother.

We fed her with a dropper, drop by drop, the purest of pure. And sometimes we had to give in, mix powder, for Haile would only fall deeper into that distant sleep upon her mother.

We gave her her time and we watched her shine.

Last week she gained her first 'war wound'; busted lip, swollen mouth, crusty scabs, and all. That's what she gets for playin' around with a bunch of ruffian boys all day.

I've watched her steal their food, she makes Govi cry sometimes. She plays their games, I hear her laugh when they try to scare her with wicked masks. I've caught her leaving home a few times. No more preemie, that Haile holds her ground.

She shared with us, something that baby boys, born at home with their comfortable start, had never shared with us. Her womb world.

In that maze of exhausted days, we couldn't imagine who she might become in a year. A scrumptious peach and a twinkling little star. Lotus blossom.

Thank you for sharing your womb world with us.

Our blessed little empress eye.

Happiest of birthdays, dearest Haile.

Haile at nine months

Monday, August 8, 2011

My Summer Flame

Last school year, Sunday nights were for family poetry.
Sahaj wrote a few haiku's.
Here is one.

Summer Flames

Summer feels like fire.

My birthday is August 8th.

Summer's brightest day.

Eight times around the sun today for our little Jahson.

Sometimes I walk in on his heartfelt conversation with his sister.
He tells her things like this, "You are the most beautiful girl on the planet."
And like this, "I hope this world never hurts you."

Before he goes off to bed he shows us his warmest smile and tells us things like this, "I want to wake up and live this day with you all over again."

He's nothing but light.
A happy birthday to our brightest boy.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Sunday Scribblings: Standing Ovation

The Sunday Scribblings prompt this week is standing ovation.

I choose something that I had not yet finished developing but it seemed appropiate for this prompt. It may be sketchy but, hopefully, it's still worth a read...

Much Ado About Nothing

Juliet wandered onto stage, her careless air staggering behind her. A howl and a whistle floated her way from somewhere deep in the crowd. She sat down in a balcony of verbena and vine, lifting her gloved hand and settling it against her cheek. "Oh dear, oh dear," she whispered to the moon. It happened to be the only source of light this evening, blood orange and new. It seemed to whisper back to her; Juliet had an ability to draw out the attention of anyone and anything, even the moon.

She rambled on about the heir of Montague; her masked paramour; her truest love, family names, and her despair. Her voice was flat and plain and her eyes wandered.

As Fall fell into the night, a river birch draped its arms around Juliet's balcony. Its feather-veined leaves came dancing along the way. She lost her focus and brushed them aside. I sat in my set, amongst an audience full of admirers and I wondered if anyone else had noticed just how little Juliet cared. James leaned over and whispered to me, "She has such a mesmerizing way about her." As you can imagine, the last thing I needed to hear from my boyfriend was that he was mesmerized by my sister.

Her Romeo stood cloaked against the shadows. He improvised as Juliet struggled to remember her lines. No one seemed to notice.

How she had managed to bewitch not only Romeo, heir to Lord Montague, but Count Paris as well, and my Jimmy too. And every other simple sensed small town boy remained a wicked mystery to me.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day

Boys. The stories that they tell, their games of element wars. Their tokens and treasures and quarter machines. There are some games that they only play with you. And those moments when all of you whisper, "Hush, Mom's here," when i walk into the room. It must be something about being a dad. While there was no one there to teach you, I imagine four sets of feet mimic you one day.

Endless trips to the library, bare feet and Kuk Sool, frisbee, football and soccer. Baseball and all of the other balls you've rescued from the other side of the fence.

The skate park, Thor on a Sunday afternoon, those tickets to Amon, you little people should have gone. Gum, the arcade, giant candy bars, Army of Darkness, it only happens with you.

So easy for you to do.

Your blue collar week and then science and history. Weekends of solar systems, magnetics, illusions and Gita, botany, and still time for me.

One day they will be big strong men. Hairy and free. Your integrity, honor, and discipline will live with them forever. The most faithful gift you've ganted them, memories of Father, truth, and pure friendship.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Life is Good!

Life is good when another tooth comes rolling out and a boy collects

five dollars.

I'm so pleased to know that my children still have so much faith in

freckled little fairies.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Sunday Scribblings: Design

A Sunday Scribble with design.

The seasons of death are far behind us.

And now, an appropriate time to create a design.

With sunlight on our side,

in this season of life, an array of abundant seedlings appear,

full of curiosity and light.

For tea and honey, scones and marshmallows, and those busy little bees, lavender.

As folk wisdom shares, it is quite aromatherapeutic.

Nestled amongst a dandy crime of color.

And, with much necessity, this design for an herb garden under a Camellia sasanqua tree.

A teensy-weensy forest for Lilliputian play.

Work in progress and a burn ceremony for a later solstice.

Grass seeds and little kid seeds.

Oh how small blessings grow!

A healthy medley of mess made along the way.

For a wishful display.

With purplish hues of peppermint,

lightly scented spearmint, and leafy speckles of chocolate mint

a garden is on its way.

Thank you Sunday Scribblings for this reflection on


Monday, April 4, 2011

Sunday Scribblings: Messenger

The Sunday Scribblings prompt this week is messenger.

Running down the steep mossy hill, thin sandals underneath my feet, I would giggle in glee, knowing that my mother would be so pleased. My bangles chiming, doing their own enchanting dance along my young slender arms, I hurried home down the hill.

Aji, my father's mother, filled this jar especially well. With her wet kisses and a few lemon drop lollies, candy, she sent me on my way. Our weekly jar of ghee, butter, my mother would wait for so anxiously. She rarely went up to Aji's house herself, although we lived at the bottom of the hill and she owned the house we lived in. I would imagine that she would much rather keep her distance from Aji, for her moments alone with my grandmother would probably be spent complaining about my father.

On those mild summer mornings, I was her messenger. Waking up early to the sound of bhajan, Indian chanting, the house slightly stale from a tang of masala and onion, for the evenings dinner was always curried, I would find my mother donned in sari, sweeping the back porch. She would ask me to wash my face and pick out a dress. I had so many, stitched with lace, soft cotton, and sewn together in her moments just for me. I gathered up the yellow one with a ruffled collar and three white buttons along the chest, a mirage of speckled bangles, I rarely lived without, and I would wander through our house waiting for a jar. My mother would give me an empty one, still oily from last weeks ghee, and I would scurry away, trotting up the hill. In all of my four years of life, this was my one chore. Hardly did I consider it much of a chore, rather a privilege being able to collect my grandmother's treasured ghee and delivering it to my mother to simmer and saute the weeks chicken and lamb and chickpea and ahloo dinners.

I'd sit at Aji's table next to her handicapped son, my uncle Jai Ram, he was much younger than my father. Not saying much, he would smile at me plenty, he scared me a little. I waited, drinking fresh milk from a small porcelain cup and eating spoonfuls of honey while Aji filled small containers and my mother's jar with ghee. And down the hill, my mother waited for me, only coming to see Aji when my father avowed.

After two seasons of honey and butter breakfasts and my delivery down the hill, we moved to America. That would be the last that I would know of Aji. I like to imagine that she would continue to wake up early those mornings, boiling, watching it foam and sputter, caramelizing and carefully separating. Spreading her glass containers, smelling of nutty butter, cleaning up after Jai Ram.

Once in while, my father would surprise me with a bagful of lemon drops. I couldn't quite taste these without craving honey and the smell of sauteed butter.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Sunday Scribblings: Free

The Sunday Scribblings prompt this week is free/freedom.

When Harvey and I were thirteen we rode our bikes out to that lake. He spent that summer with his grandfather, his house three blocks away from mine. I would see Harvey everyday. Our days on the lake, he would pack a picnic for us. A peanut butter and banana sandwich for each of us, spicy sticks of reddish gum, a Pepsi to share, and two Marlboro reds each, which his grandfather never seemed to notice missing. We would sit in the sandy dirt, our sneakers kicked off, our hair sticky and damp from a late August California sun, for several hours, sometimes silently. I would always bring a book and sketch paper so that I could draw him. He invited me every time but never seemed to need the company.

Harvey would wonder off on his own sometimes. Once, I hiked around the lake looking for him for nearly one hour. I found him, nestled uncomfortably between a brush of blackberry branches, his palms hiding his face. When he noticed me, I realized that he had been crying, his face flush from warm tears. He buried his head against his chest and started weeping again. I ran away, not knowing what to say. I rode my bike home alone that day.

Those summer days were the warmest that I had ever known. We would walk together barefoot following the shoreline. I would skip along without him, a cloth bag draped around my shoulder, searching the sand for treasures. Stones and shells and occasionally, feathers. One distant afternoon, Harvey had wondered away again. I sat against a leaning rock, collecting small stones, one after another, skipping into the water. Stoked by silence, knowing that Harvey could wonder for hours, I fished my fingers through my treasure bag looking for the smokes that Harvey had tucked away for me. I pulled out a little sandwich bag, as always, it held a couple of cigarettes. A neatly folded piece of construction paper sat amongst them, today. I held the cigarette to my lips, lighting it with one hand and carefully opening the paper with my other. I recognized Harvey's letters, sleek s's, sharp m's, barely a curve in his c's. I could feel his rigid air as I read. Alli, You are so close to me. My mother sent me here. She doesn't want me to come back home. I don't want to go away, but... A rush of thick musty air filtered through my nostrils and nicotine tickled my temples. she phoned last night, not asking to speak to me. I heard grandpa say that he wouldn't let me stay. That old bastard wants to send me away too. Alli, you are so close to me and I want to stay but I can't no more. I felt my breath stuck in my chest. At the peek of sunlight, the sand glistened at the edge of the lake. My palms suddenly wet, moistening the edges of the message. I guess they will all have the freedom they need without me. Goodbye Alli. There were two hearts sketched at the bottom of his note, colored in with red crayon.

I sat, starring into the water, my cigarette falling from my lips, scorching a cluster of sand. My eyelids filled with weight, the sound of hallow space filled my eardrums. I found my feet underneath me, following the edge of the water, I ran. Letting his note fall into the lake I shouted out his name. I ran in that endless moment, until the sun set and the water drifted from cool to cold.

At the edge of the lake I rescued my bike while Harvey's rested in the sand. I peddled home slowly, my head dizzied and flooded in tears. Leaving my heart laying in the lake, I never returned to find it.

Harvey was missing and no one found him and no one looked for him.

The summer passed and the sky turned gray again. An early rain dampened our evenings and my memories of late summer had started to fade.

Early one morning, sitting on our front porch, I watched Harvey's grandfather walk up our driveway. With a grim and hopeless glare, he approached me. Without shedding a wink of sorrow he handed a box of books and cards and clothes to me. Some of Harvey's things. They found him in the water. He didn't wait for my replay. I took a seat on the steps again, holding onto the box, I knew that Harvey was the one that was now free.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy Ireland Day

It's a ritual day. Saint Patrick's. Not such a Happy way.
"Driving the snakes out of Ireland", would he know that they
would not stay away?
It's a Druid deal. Heathen, some would say.
Ancestral traditions, indigenous religions;
pour out offerings, speak Their names, tell Their stories.
Morrigan, Lugh, Eiru, Manannan mac Lir.
Worship restored; let Them know that you have not forgotten.
And do celebrate in this glorious restoration.
Pour a little whiskey in your tea!
Barley, coffee, or cream. Uisce beatha, "water for life".
Irish moonshine, Irish mist, little magic monsters, and an old Leprechaun's kiss.
Celtic's Brew, Ireland's Ale, or a classic Extra Stout, whatever your style may be, celebrate for the struggle of spirits.
A pint and a pinch.
Wear your knotwork today and rejoice in an old Irish way.
Happy Saint Paddy's Day!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Sunday Scribblings: Big

The Sunday Scribblings prompt this week is big.

The recent 8.9 earthquake off the coast of Japan spawned a massive tsunami, destroying towns, swallowing cities, and leaving hundreds of people to find a way to say goodbye to loved ones.

A shallow sense of reality,

in a life so fragile.

Within our safe havens, upon this planet, we drift though days, we dance in celebration, we tuck our babies to bed. We make New Year's resolutions, we save up for rainy days, we make financial investments. We upgrade our vehicles. We throw away dreams, we wash our hands of messes, we pray for better days, we follow a path, we make our own destinies. How often do we slow down to recognize a bigger plot? Our consumption, our chaos, our necessary chores.
As we continue our endless cycle, Earth itself cycles through her days leaving us, at times, empty and idle. Leaving us to accept our fates, asking us to allow her her own determined course.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Friday, February 4, 2011

Happy Birthday, Eldest One!

Nine years ago, you are the one that made me a mama.

My oldest boy, you were first for a reason. Patient and clever.

An old old soul, you've shared so much.

Those ancient eyes speak of so many stories. Tales and tall-tales
all the way to the tips of your locks. A bookworm baby.
Art, unforgettable and the poems, all too much. A Gautama was on his way, and we knew this long before you came. Siddhartha, it shall be. And my my my, you have truly lived up to all of that name.

The best big brother to so many little people.

Siddhartha, my dear, I'd love to sail around the sun with you, so long as it burns.

So blessed we are to be able to celebrate another year with you, eldest one!