Friday, April 28, 2006

Living deep

Those who don't feel life pulling them like a river, those who don't drink dawn like a cup of spring water or take sunset like supper, those who don't want to change, let them sleep. ~Rumi
My brother, once a very little child to me, is now all grown up. I am so proud. I am so amazed. For he, more than anyone I have ever met embodies Joseph Campbell's admonition to follow your bliss.
He will be the commencement speaker when he graduates next month. He has just received a fellowship to study photography in Prague. He is dedicated to his work and his community. And, in my estimation is incredibly talented. Most importantly he is happy. And, that makes me ecstatic.

Friday, April 21, 2006

The emergence of little things

How glorious the emergence of little things on a cold spring morning! Ladybugs showing up on my windowsill and spiderlings hatching from well camouflaged egg sacs in my eves. Crocuses flowering from still grassless fields. Even the little child who now emerges so early to wake me from my slumber.
All of them a tribute to how powerful yet the counterinsurgency might be against the mis-anointed caretakers of this world: we human adults. Though it inevitably will mean my demise, I do wish for a day when the Ladybugs, the spiderlings, the crocus and the little children might be able to reach high enough to grasp the reins of power for more than a few fleeting moments in April.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Kinda blue

A dear friend asked me today how I'm doing...

Parenting has its share of tragedies, large and small. The crises of parenting, I have discovered, are seldom the ones I expected were lurking in my future.

Sure, there are the major medical traumas with big names ending in "oma" or carrying some distinguished doctor's last name. We all react to those by jumping off a cliff, landing on a tarp covered in hornets, then sinking into a pit of quicksand for the duration of the illness.

Aside from the big scary illnesses are the ones that abruptly end one journey -- usually well-planned, "normal life" -- and begin another journey through unmarked territory. It is this kind of journey of which my friend and I spoke.

I am on such a journey. Kuruna is my Sherpa.*

So how am I doing? I'm just fine. In fact, in spite of managing a complex schedule of doctor's visits, procedures, therapists and developmental exercises; in spite of occasional bouts of wondering if people think I am crazy because I've gone off on some protective Mother Bear rage about access to care for Kuruna; even though if I see another lab slip demanding blood from my baby I am going to crumple in a heap; and regardless of how many more days or years I have to wait to have a diagnosis... I'm ok. I'm actually having fun.

Fun...following Kuruna up the stairs helping him raise each leg to the next stair and hearing him giggle as he pulls himself up along the railing. Fun, watching him psyche himself up to step off a curb by himself....hearing him insist on holding the spoon, admonishing me to let "Self!" do it... watching how excited he gets putting on a shirt on his own. I especially find joy in listening to him croon "Twinkle Twinkle" or "Spirit of Life" or hearing him hum the saxophone part to "All Blues" from Miles Davis' Kind of Blue. How many people get to take their journey with a Sherpa who hums Coltrane? In his Sherpa kind of way, he keeps to himself. I don't know much about my guide, even though he's my son. But the lack of banter and relative silence invites me to inward exploration where, ironically, I find insights about the world around us.

I sometimes wake in the morning thinking that I'll discover I've been dreaming and that everything has been restored to "normal-and-as-planned." However, I'm rarely blue, hopping along on this jivey journey with my jazzy soy-milk-loving stair-climbing guy.

*(I must acknowledge here that I am not on this journey with Kuruna only, but also with Satya and my hubby and our extended families, too. I couldn't make this journey without their incredible support. But these are my Buddha lessons, right? And, though we may travel the same road, our feet trod on different soil.)

Saturday, April 15, 2006

A week of prophets, messiah's and great teachers

Moses, Buddha, Christ, my kids....I wrote to a friend this evening...Parenting, I am pretty sure, is the answer to everything, if you are willing to be open and humble and inquisitive and generous. My kids have taught me every worthwhile thing about the world I know. There are many things they have also tried to teach me that I haven't learned yet. My job is to pay better attention

Today I learned that the story of raising Lazarus from the dead is really cool to a Unitarian-Jewish-Buddhist-Christian four-year-old. I also learned that Handel's Messiah is as fun to share with a child as it is to discover for yourself. Handel, in his genius, used very short passages from the Bible for his libretto and the musical energy is so joyful, it's intoxicating.

Is all of this religion confusing to Satya, my mother asks. No, she doesn't miss a beat. She puts Christ in heaven, Buddha in Nirvana, Moses on the mountaintop, and sees no reason they can't all exist that way. After all, don't I always tell her every body is different? Why shouldn't their gods and beliefs be?

The only thing she is confused about is how to get Bush out of office and why he got there in the first place. There is a song late in the Messiah that borrows its text from Psalm 2: "
Why do the nations so furiously rage together? [and] why do the people imagine a vain thing?
The kings of the earth rise up, and the rulers take consel together against the Lord, and against His Annointed.
Seeing those words today gave me hope that we may,
break their bonds asunder, and cast away their yokes from us.
I seldom quote scripture. But there are no atheists in a foxhole, right?
On that note, I'll sign off. It's 11:20 and I've just finished making the kids' Easter basket and a cake for Easter dinner tomorrow. We had Passover and my birthday this week, too. I am not sure when we slow down again, but I, at least am going to stop for the next six hours...Ok, at least slow down.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Learning as I be a Democrat

I attended a talk given by Vermont Lt. Governor candidate, Matt Dunne, about a week ago. As I listened to Matt--who has led the national Americorps-VISTA program, served in the Vermont Senate for 11 years and been involved in service in many other ways--what inspired me most was his call to service for all Vermonters. I think that, as much as anything, is something we Dems can hold up and hold on to. I am not sure, yet, how to craft the right sound bite, so be patient with my in-articulation! However, I've got an image:

Move-on has started a TV ad-campaign showing Republican "leaders" with their hands dyed red. I don't think I have to explain that theme. The list is seemingly endless...Delay, Cheney, Libby, Bush, Abramoff...and growing every day.

Dems on the other hand have hands that have been used in service. I think of hands that have reached out to help others in need - helping the elderly and working with hospice patients, cleaning up natural waterways of trash and other pollutants, constructing and painting houses after Katrina, stacking donated food at food banks, teaching children, holding anti-war picket signs, and yes, writing checks to charity (which by-the-way the disappearing middle class does in far greater percentage than the upper class: "Except for seniors, upper middle class and middle rich filers are nearly half as generous as everyone else," according to at least one study I have read).

Our hands are "dirty" in a good way; they are strong, callaused, caring and stand ready for the next opportunity to serve our fellow citizens. They are ready to pick up the pieces of Iraq. They are ready to shake the hands of a new generation of activists. They are strong enough to do the hard work we need to clean this mess up!

(photo fatal Cleopatra on flikr)
I anticipate the reaction from Republicans - that they are volunteers, too. Yes. Their constituents may be. But it is not what their party is about. It is what OUR party is about. Just as the Republicans think they can co-opt Christianity, I think we can co-opt Service, connectedness, helping not only our "neighbors" but also reaching out to those who are beyond our neighborhoods.

Anyway... I have more thoughts on what we are "for" in terms of issues and platform. I too have been dissatified by our Party's lack of vision on this front. I have to admit, though, that as I work on creating positive statements about what we stand for, I find it very tough going. I'll keep you updated, if I hit on anything profound.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Spring Cleaning

It's here. The warm weather energizes us. The Sun makes us manic. We are busy bees, birds, ants, beavers...chucking out the tired, the old, the cluttered.
Yesterday, we made four boxes of clothes to donate to a couple of charities and to send off to friends' kids.
We also made plans and wishes for the spring and summer. What advnetures we planned! We'll go on hikes; we'll go to amusement parks; we'll walk or run in races benefiting cancer patients; we'll make art. Soon we'll color eggs.
This morning we woke and set the clocks ahead. Even time is telling us, "Get moving! You're already late!"
"Hurry, up!" Satya says to me. (She is sitting right next to me as I type). It's time to go for the first bike ride of the year.
This is the true season of renewal and resolution.