Saturday, February 26, 2011

morning song

Sometimes we try so hard to find ourselves. What defines us, where do we fit? I'm discovering that if we live authentically, the passing of years will illustrate beautifully who we are. Time is like the great sieve, straining out what we thought mattered and leaving only the true elements of what brings us joy.

It's like this. When you move in to a new place there is this time of flurry when you try to set up, decorate, create comfort and expression of personality. It turns out OK. As time passes, you discard the stuff that you gathered in a hurry and find yourself left with the things you chose intentionally and the things that found you naturally. You realize you are at last surrounded by what brings you joy, the things that make your corner of the world yours. It didn't happen in a flurry or under pressure to do it right.

I wish I could find a way to hang this Donovan on my wall.
Age 14. He mattered. He defined. He has not fallen through the refining sieve.

p.s. For lessons on how to live authentically, shadow an almost 3 year old boy and a 4 year old girl for awhile.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

. . . in spirit and deed

Oh, naught but the Spirit's divinest tuition
Can give us the wisdom to truly succeed.

In 16 days from now the first "on the ground" team from Women's World Health Initiative will arrive in Senegal. I am so thankful that my daughter, Natalie will be coming with me! Day One will be a 10 hour jeep ride to a southern village in the Tambacounda region. Natalie and I will be dropped off at a rural health post with an interpreter, our backpacks, some water, tools for documenting and hearts and hands ready to work. We will only have 5 days to spend with workers at the post and matrons (traditional birth attendants) in 2 outlying villages.
This trip is coming to pass just 5 months later than I originally visualized it. One year ago, Briana and I braved the Travel Clinic and started immunizing for Third World travel. All we knew is that we were going somewhere and ours was the task of getting prepared. We pictured ourselves traveling together, sister midwives. I'm positive we would not have gone through the preparations on our own. She went to Guatamala last August with The Hope Alliance while I stayed in Arizona to catch my cousin's baby girl. We cried at the Phoenix airport when I dropped her off. This Africa opportunity popped up for me at a time when she is tethered to home for some baby catching. I am already crying at the thought of not having her in Senegal.
As the doors have opened for this trip and the details are being hammered out, I am aware of the rightness of the timing, the opportunities for peace and light and love in so many lives.
Here's an example. A few weeks ago I was flying to DC reading a book that had been on my list for awhile, Half the Sky. It is not a pleasant piece of reading. Slave trafficking, FGM, high maternal/infant mortality rates, fistulas and so much more were found between the covers of this book. The author commented on the power of going there. There is so much good to be done. The most amazing transformations however occur within the lives of those who go. A clear impression came to me as I read. Take Natalie. Of course! I love Natalie. She is brave and we share the love of adventure, the crazier the better. I started my mental checklist of all the challenges of making it happen. Her job, her kids, no passport, no shots, logistics of joining the team, money and on and on. At each item on the list, solutions popped up. I would talk to her boss myself. Her office might even get on board with support. Send Pretzel to WA for a Lukey vacation. Expedite the passport, be discriminating and quick on the shots, contact WWHI director about the possibility. Well, it all worked out. Swimmingly! Nat's office is so excited for her. The passport already arrived, yellow fever immunity is flowing through her veins. Our tickets have been purchased and so has Presley's. This ball is rolling!
I am completely at peace with every circumstance of this trip.
Tonight we went to a travel planning meeting. Reality is replacing the anticipation. I have a crisp awareness of my responsibility to Walk My Talk.
Ready, set . . .
Let's go girl!
<<< >>>

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Getting real. Real raw.

It was starting to feel like blog entries, my own included, were so, so pretty. Our lives are not pretty all day and night long. It's a lot of pressure. Who needs more pressure? Oh, I love and appreciate pretty and will not resist the impulse to post my lovely moon (yes, I own it), powerful birth stories and sounds and images that zing my heart. Still, there is so much beauty in the raw material, the sweaty struggles, the falling down and getting up, the blood and guts of life. My conversations with self, the holding back, the bursting through, all of it is growth and wisdom that I want to document in some way.
So here's to what's real. I've figured out that I kinda like my imperfections. I feel so contentedly, lovingly connected to folks that are comfortable in their own imperfect skin. You know, the kid in class that never fails to raise his hand and say, "I don't quite get that. Can you please repeat it." Or the mom that lets you in with no apologies for the toy strewn living room and uncombed hair. Hers.

Cathy, age 54
Sunday evening 11 pm
She wants to drop deep into the pillow and blankets.
Not yet. Gotta keep on.
What you see here is tired. Makeup and hair looked OK 15 hours ago but have long since fallen down on the job. What you can't see is that it was a very good day. I took Pretzel to church for the first time. Honestly, she took me to church. Like she owned the place. That was a 3 hour chunk out of the day. I won't forget how her little legs hung off of the very big chair, her ruby red, sparkly shoes dangling. Seeds were planted on that day. At 11 pm when the house was finally still, I started my homework. Body tired, heart well filled.

Cathy, still age 54
Wednesday morning, 7 am
Wanting to stay "dropped" when the alarm went off
Yep, no makeup, cold sore in full glory, same clothes I wore yesterday and fell asleep in the night before. That's what you see. What you can't know is how excited I am about today. I read ahead for my Econ class and can't wait to hear what what the teacher has to say about Andrew Jackson versus Nicholas Biddle and the Second Bank of the United States. And tonight, I can hardly wait. Birth class festivities. Love it!
p.s. Remember the red flannel blanket? It is not so much red flannel as it once was. It has a lot of scars, a lot of patches. Rather than deducting beauty points, I feel I must add some. It is far and away the most coveted healer ever. I'm going to spend a few minutes with that comfort measure right now.

The move postponed

The move to Wordpress has not been cancelled, just postponed. It's not so easy to set up and I don't have time or juice for any creative projects just yet. Sooo, Blogspot, I'm back.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

moving to wordpress

Nick and Daisy

I have some new friends. Nick has appointed himself my personal guardian in History class. Thank you, Nick. I need some help recovering notes I tore out to share with some girl that never came back to class. And Daisy. She appointed me as her personal guardian in Economics. Seems she thinks we are Latina kin. I don't mind.
So Mom, if you're reading, I need a couple of extra Valentine cookies this year. One with Nick's name, one with Daisy's.