Sunday, April 20, 2008


That's how I've been feeling, peaceful. I plan on soaking it up but chaos settles in again.

Friday was the 7th anniversary of my mom's death. While I still miss her desperately, it no longer feels as though my heart went through my husband's shredder along with unwanted junk mail. It's a peaceful missing. I was going to go to the cemetery and drink iced tea with her, but it didn't work out. Another time. I pray to my mom often; by pray I mean I talk with her. I tell her what I'm about, and ask her to bless my girls. She blessed them lavishly with her love, generosity, and kindness while alive so I don't see why would let death stop her. All in all, a peaceful day.

Mass was even peaceful. No turmoil. Our wonderful priest from Tanzania said Mass. I do love him. He is so humble and has such an eye opening perspective on American life - not that all the congregation appreciate his perspective though. He always has a few words of wisdom if you can understand him. Usually I can follow him until he gets tickled with himself or upset, and then he might as well be speaking Swahili as English. He spoke on Hope. Hope is big for me.

I've been reading whenever I can grab a few seconds: in the bathroom, while cooking - you know, spatula in one hand, book in the other - while eating, before bed. For pure pleasure I'm reading Joanne Harris's Five Quarters of the Orange and Tom Robbins' (confessed with a slight amount of guilt). I finished The Mists of Avalon which makes me want to re-read Mary Stewart's Arthurian series. In addition I've met Anne Lamott (I want to ask why I've never read her before now, but I know too well), and I'm reading Original Blessing by Matthew Fox. I've put The Pagan Christ by Tom Harpur on my library wish list plus I've got a growing list in my reading notebook. Also, I've been watching a video series by Joseph Campbell on mythology plus a stack of Johnny Depp movies. Ahem. No comment. Right now I'm feeling like a couple Agatha Christie books for the umpteenth time.

Thursday I bent over, and my lower back went out. This hasn't happened for several years, but this time it has done a number on me. To the point where I broke down and asked the husband for one of his pain pills. I do not take drugs! But it was that or being totally out of commission with seven year old twins storming the house. It's actually feeling some better today, but I plan on taking it easy for a couple more days which means no housecleaning but more reading. What a deal.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

I posted this over at my Xanga and thought I would put it here because it seemed to be part of this search for God. You know what I'm thinking? I'm thinking that we need to get back that feminine spirituality that loves and honors nature and life. This patriarchal mode we've been following has landed us here: produce, consume, ravage, conquer. I think Mother Earth has had about all she can tolerate.

Couldn't think of a title for this. Despair? Hopeless? Where the hell is God in all this? Something on that order.

Yesterday I received an e-mail from the lady that heads up religious education at our church. It informed us that Mr. L., who has been helping with Tues. evening classes for the last 10 years, just received word that his son Michael, 24, was killed in Iraq. Michael leaves behind his wife and an older brother and sister.

Michael should not be dead. Dead means you're dead. You're not coming back. Finite. It's over. Done. No more sunrises or sunsets, no thunderstorms, never a chance to hold your newborn, never to make love with your wife again. 24 years old. I was alive at 24. Working, having fun, in love, planning my future. Michael has no more future. The potential that he held, that every cell in his body held, is gone, erased. I feel so incredibly guilty.

I'm sick. Somebody tell me why we are doing this. Please.

And you know what else? Well, I'll tell you. The other day Abra and I were talking while driving somewhere. Something was on the radio (NPR - I always listen to NPR so you know where my slant lies) about how much Iraq is costing, and I started swearing under my breath. Abra looks at me with a big question mark on her face. So I say, "You know, the war in Iraq." She says, "War?" I say, "Yes, you know we're in a war?" She replies, "Well, yeah, but you know I guess I forget cause it seems normal here."

And she's right. Unless I receive news like the above, I don't think about the war. It's not around me. It feels all normal. I get up, go about my daily business, plan fun things, laugh, spend money. The restaurants are full. The theaters are full. People appear oblivious to this atrocity while they cruise down the road in their Hummers. Not what I picture WWII was like. Where every other house on your street had some young man over in Europe or in the Pacific. Where items were rationed. Where women were going to the factories to manufacture weapons. I picture the people here really suffering, mentally and physically, freely sacrificing to show their solidarity with the soldiers. I don't sense that at all. And I feel even more guilty. What can I do? I hate Iraq, but my heart is with every man and woman over there. With every family with a son or daughter or father or mother over there.

I was really too young to remember much about Viet Nam. I studied it in history in high school and was appalled. Iraq hasn't even seemed to elicit the same response. Yes, there are peace rallies, but not that same fervor that I believe people felt during Viet Nam. Have we become anesthetized to loss of life, killing, hunger, starvation. Have we become so self serving and greedy that all we think of is the next possession we can acquire. No matter the cost? Are we a country of fat, eager consumers who take, take, take just because we can? Not to even mention the destruction we're causing to this planet that has given humans life for tens of thousands of years.

I want to rant. To yell and scream and swear at someone. And what I do mostly when I feel like this is cry. Then go watch a movie. And forget. Just like all the other far, satiated, consumeristic Americans.

I was going to talk about Sweeney Todd, and how absolutely delicious Johnny Depp is even when he is slicing throats and making men into meat pies. How I would let him growl at me in that incredibly sexy growly voice he can produce any old time he'd like to. And about how silly we middle aged women are with our secret fantasies about younger (he's younger) actors while we sport sagging bellies and drooping breasts. But you know what? It all seems rather frivolous right now.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Springtime In My Orchard

Attempting to learn new things about computers and/or internet is not my favorite way to spend time. I thought I might try to upload a few pictures, however, it's taking way longer than it should due to my lack of computer savvy. I'll give it a try and see what happens. Xanga is where I usually put up pictures, talk about everyday life, kids, husband and whatnot. I was just going to use Blogger to vent and talk my way along this journey, but venting gets rather dreary and depressing after a while. Anyway, here goes.

This is our orchard. There are several varieties of apple, cherry, pear, peaches, plum, nectarine, apricot, almond, plus elderberry, gooseberry, raspberry, blackberry, blueberry and something I'm sure I've forgotten. When we moved in and were planting the orchard, I was determined that there would be a picket fence around part of it. I had always pictured my girls playing in orchard surrounded by a picket fence. A place where they could hide, daydream, have tea parties with the fairies and tell secrets. You can't see it from this picture, but there is a picket fence. It's not all neat and white but rather weathered and brown and natural - much like the orchard.

There are also day lilies and irises growing between the trees. These are the day lilies - will be bright orange.

The buds are swelling with life. If Mother Nature doesn't send a late frost, we might have a very productive fruit year. One of my spring rituals is to bless our fruit trees. I go to each tree, call it by name (Santa Rosa Plum, Douglas Pear, etc.), thank her for all the food she provides. I ask for good weather, no late frosts, no hail storms, plenty of sun and rain. Then I picture the growth of the fruit, from bud to being covered in blossoms, from small fruit to large fruit ready to be harvested. I see my family eating and enjoying, and I see myself preserving all the bounty for the winter.

There are still crocus blooming. Abby (7 yrs old) had picked every one of the little yellow flowers she could find and presented me with a beautiful bouquet. More have bloomed and they line my front sidewalk.

My favorite spring flower is the daffodil. I still remember the beginning of the poem 'Daffodils' by William Wordsworth:

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host of golden daffodils.....

I memorized that for 10th grade English many, many years ago.

Today I used the clothes line instead of the dryer. Actually, there's been quite a few days I could put the clothes out to dry, but I couldn't find the clothes pins. Found them today. Don't you just love clothes that smell of sunshine and fresh air? Don't you just love NOT turning on the dryer and allowing the clothes to dry naturally? I do. I love not using electricity. I love hanging out clothes. Like I love washing dishes by hand.

Well, there's a little taste of life on my side of the planet. Hope your days has been full of blessings.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Something that keeps jumping out at me recently in my readings is along the lines of "your soul is your own". I just realized last night after I read something similar to this yet again, that I have never acknowledged or believed this.

Is my soul my own?
Or does it belong to God?
Am I my own, or do I belong to God?
God gave us free will to do as we choose.
My body is on loan?
My soul is on loan?
God's property but in His goodness He 'loaned' it to me?

I also realized I have no connection with my soul. It feels like something outside of my body that I need to care for properly so I can return it to its original owner. Get it baptized, keep it full of grace which is dependent upon my actions, keep it shiny and new, and return it to God in good condition. I've never, never considered it was MINE. Not my soul, my life, no, not mine. But I've always known my sin is most certainly mine and mine alone. But what my sin affects, my soul, is not mine.

I don't know my soul. I'm trying to get to know my soul. I'm trying to learn to recognize the voice of my soul. But separating the voice of my soul from all the voices I've heard my entire life is so hard. The voice of my soul is so tiny, so quiet, so beat down. For so long it's been drowned out by all the loud voices around me. But I feel it's tired of being beat down and quieted, of being told it is wrong, and fallen, and not trustworthy. I think what I feel is 'my' soul's anger. And little by little it's voice is getting louder and stronger.

I want to know my own FEMALE soul! I want to be intimate with MY OWN FEMALE SOUL! And I want to be able to trust, without fear, my soul's voice.

But I think first I need to answer this:

Is my soul my own?

Yes, I'm confused. But being confused all on one's own, to own that confusion, is still preferable to having others tell you your truth.