Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Is there more to life than increasing its speed? -- Gandhi
I was packing a lot, oh, I mean A LOT into the next several weeks. I just decided today to let some of it go. Disappointing. Very, very relieving. I will, after all, be moving states this summer. Again. I need to just let that unfold and then move on to the next project and embrace the journey.
I'd like to read a really good biography of Mahatma Gandhi. Can you recommend one to me?
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Why? Because stories like that interest me. But, also, because I'm going back to school on the eve of my 40th birthday. I'm getting a PreK - 3rd grade masters/licensure (I dream of teaching Kindergarten). I already had a masters in writing, and a perfectly good plan to teach composition and ESL and creative writing, while writing the great American novel.
Well, you know, I changed my mind. I take comfort knowing that so did...
Arianna Huffington. Founder and CEO of the Huffington Post, a go-to source for left-of-the-aisle political news and thought. She first stepped into political limelight by campaigning for her then-husband, a Republican California gubernatorial candidate. She wasn't a kid when she was stumping for the GOP, and her position wasn't unexamined--she just later changed her mind.
And a blogger named Melissa, who is also a wildly talented crafter and owner of the Etsy shop Little Pink House. She was well into her 30s, a professor of creative writing on a tenure track at a small, prestigious liberal arts college, when she looked around and saw a lifetime of department meetings and passionless student essays and said, um, no. She moved her family to a small town in Maine, and now she sews, blogs, and raises her daughter. My favorite part of this story is that her sewing projects aren't postmodern, un-constructed gallery pieces that represent a angst-filled intellectual poem in another medium. No, she sews lovely wall-hangings that sweetly, quietly, celebrate family and home. To look at her work is to take a deep breath and feel at peace. There is not a shred of Ph.D. poetic irony in them. She left that kind of thing behind--she changed her mind, and seems to be completely happy with it. Awesome.
Got another example for me? Add to my collection!
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Found in my children's playset in the backyard. They've generously agreed not to play there for a few weeks, while this feathered family gets its start.
Does this little guy remind any of my mama friends of their scrawny, hungry, newborn nurslings?
Happy Mother's Day, friends. Hope you had the chance to gather your babies back into your nest and kiss them.
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Even other military families think we move a lot.
We moved here to Ohio just last summer and bought a house, thinking we would be here for years. But my husband's office reorganized. Fortunately, he was able to get a position back in the DC area, where we just left last summer.
So, we are moving back to DC. This summer. We pretty much move annually.
We've moved in 1991, 1992, 1994, 1997, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, and now 2009.
That's twelve moves.
We've lived in San Antonio, Boston, England, Indiana, Ohio, Hawaii, Washington State, Alabama, DC, Ohio again, and now DC again.
Is this insane? This may be completely insane. This may explain a lot. This may be the excuse for everything.
But I refuse to think of it that way. You can be wounded from all this change, or you can gain strength from it. You can embrace!
It is very easy for me to embrace going back to DC. I loved it there. I loved my children's school, our neighborhood, our friends. I didn't love our rental house so much, so now we've got a different house that's pretty amazing. Near Metro! Near the park! Walking distance to school!
I am a very lucky person, that I get to go live where I want to live. When I'm on the other side of this move, I will feel luckier.
Saturday, May 2, 2009
First, yesterday was May Day. My daughter made a lovely May basket at school, the grass is lush and the tulips are at their apex. Wonderful! I must make mention of my maternal grandmother, Dorothy May Hart O'Hanlon, who was born on May day, 1919. She died in 1996. Every May Day I think of her a lot. She liked to laugh, joke, play games, tell stories, share gossip, eat sweets, purchase small and shiny baubles. She was a dream of a grandma--always thought I was interesting and smart and pretty, and she sneaked me as much sugar cereal as I could handle. Love you, Grandma Dot. Thinking of you.
Second. Middle age. I will turn 40 later this year, and not a day goes by that I don't ponder that. I hasten to say that I'm not at all afraid of turning 40, in fact, I'm comfortable with it. But I would like to wake up on my birthday and know that I'm living authentically. Hmm, that sounds pretentious. I just mean that it's important to me that I'm not spinning my wheels. That I'm not waiting for anything. I'm doing.
And while I was thinking these middle aged thoughts, I came across this poem. Oh, this poem!
"Foreseeing" by Sharon Bryan, from Flying Blind. © Sarabande Books, 1996.
Middle age refers more
to landscape than to time:
it's as if you'd reached
the top of a hill
and could see all the way
to the end of your life,
so you know without a doubt
that it has an end—
not that it will have,
but that it does have,
if only in outline—
so for the first time
you can see your life whole,
beginning and end not far
from where you stand,
the horizon in the distance—
the view makes you weep,
but it also has the beauty
of symmetry, like the earth
seen from space: you can't help
but admire it from afar,
especially now, while it's simple
to re-enter whenever you choose,
lying down in your life,
waking up to it
just as you always have—
except that the details resonate
by virtue of being contained,
as your own words
coming back to you
define the landscape,
remind you that it won't go on
like this forever.