Monday, November 30, 2009


* the kind that hits at 4:00 am, when you're awake after you got up to pee, and before you fall back asleep.

Know what I realized? I'm not really interested in whipping-my-butt-into-shape anymore. I'm happy with my run/walk technique of finishing 5K races. I like going for a brief mile or two, then coming back home. I'm tired of "whipping-my-butt" and pressuring myself to reach some outwardly created goal of running 3.1 miles in one stretch, when I've already reached the most important, inwardly created ones, which are to: participate in fun runs again, feel more balanced, invest in my own health, and be stronger.

Needless to say, this was a fairly obvious, yet elusive realization. Have you been struck lately by anything you want to change?

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Soupy goodness

Using up ingredients from the farm box for soups. First, some butternut squash:

Next, some leeks and potatoes:

Ready-made lunches for next week!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Aside from being just a super-cool word, juxtapositions are some of my favorite things. The placement and/or connection of two things, usually to contrast them, is always enlightening. So when it comes to Thanksgiving, I usually have juxtapositions on my mind. Mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes. Apple pie and pumpkin pie. Gratitude and complaint. Intention and apathy.

I feel very thankful this year, and as has lately seemed to be the case, my thankfulness is tinged with a sense of loss. Not dramatically so, no need to worry about me. But I have lost enough loved ones and borne enough pain over the years that all pain is now shadowed with joy and all joy whispered with pain. I know when I'm grieving that I will feel joy again (indeed, sometimes I find joy in the depths of the sorrow; there is a beauty to the grieving. It's difficult to explain in words, as you can tell by reading this post. The next great American writer, I'm not.). I know when I'm joyful that pain will find me again in the future. I accept this. So it goes.

It seems to me that awareness of this joy/loss juxtaposition is both a good thing and the bad part of being a grown-up. As a child, your sadness and your happiness are pure and unmixed; as you grow older and you come to understand more about the world, you see things differently. Some counseling theories suggest that emotionally healthy people are comfortable with this type of ambiguity, this dark/light juxtaposition.

But anyway. As I consider this Thanksgiving, I find myself reminiscing past Thanksgivings. I am thankful for all the times I've shared with loved ones, and I remember the Thanksgivings spent alone or in potluck with the nurses at TH's work. I miss the old Thanksgivings I remember at my grandparents' house, or at my aunt's house. I will miss the family that is not at my table. But I am so thankful we get to host the family this year.


While thinking about Thanksgiving today, I also realized that this holiday season, I want to live with greater intention ("be the change you wish to see in the world" - as Gandhi once said). I want to say what I think, I want to be present with my feelings, I want to speak up for myself and be more aware of when I need to speak up for others, I want to keep juxtaposing ideas and people and events. I don't want to add to the losses of my life by wishing I had lived differently. I want to fully inhabit this being of my self. There's always more growing to do.

So that's my juxtaposition jumble of Thanksgiving thoughts. I wish you all a lovely holiday and many more blessings than you can count.


TO: Anonymous Idiots leaving inappropriate comments and weird links
FROM: a page from her book

People. STOP. Leaving. Inappropriate comments. On my blog.

I am screening all comments and so you may as well not even try.

All the best,
a page from her book

Sunday, November 15, 2009

In another life...

Every now and then, I like to play the "in another life" game. In this game, I think about all the careers I would like to have "in another life."
  • In another life, I would love to work for the FBI or another law enforcement agency as a behavioral profiler. When I was about 13 years old, my family and I took an extended vacation on the east coast. Officially it was the historical tour; unofficially it was the hysterical tour. Lots of great family stories in that time period...I'll have to blog that one later. But I digress. One of the things we did was visit the FBI and take a tour. I was fascinated by the forensics lab, the idea of behavioral analysis, and the combination of this stuff with law enforcement. Right then and there I decided I wanted to work for the FBI someday. I'm not really sure when that decision fell away, but every now and then I still wish I was a badass profiler and catcher-of-bad-guys.
  • In another life, I would like to be a dancer/performer on Broadway. I don't really know that this needs a lot of explanation for those in my family, but in case I have any lurkers, I'll explain this a little. Since I was knee-high to a grasshopper, I've loved music, movement, and Broadway show tunes. I loved to perform in my ballet recitals, school plays, etc. I still love dance movies, shows, and live theater. I decided in college that I didn't want to spend my life fighting for parts, waiting tables in the meantime, and dealing with the lack of security and constant rejection that seems to come with being a performer. Ah well, I can still be a star in my own mind.
  • In another life, I would like to be a translator/interpreter. I love language and learning new languages comes fairly easily to me (although I'm not fluent in anything besides English). I think it would be amazing to know another language inside and out, and assist others in communicating. And, who am I kidding, I would love to eavesdrop in another language. It's still one of my life goals to learn another language.
  • In another life, I would like to work in publishing.
  • In another life, I would like to work in a small bookstore/cafe.

What would you do, in another life?

I think Leonard Pitts is awesome (again)

Another great editorial from Mr. Pitts. I appreciate how he discusses the gray areas of opinions; how he can feel both anti-death-penalty, and relieved at its use. This quote wraps it up for me:

It is our nature to seek certitude and resolution, but life is messy and untidy, doesn't always fit neatly into the boxes we build for it. There are days when being staunch offers no clarity, days when certitudes feel like platitudes, and you can no more grab resolution than you can grab smoke.

From our trenches of fixed opinion, we thunder at one another so readily that it is disconcerting when you are forced to wander the gray places between, to acknowledge complexities our certainties don't always allow us to see. It can give you pause.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Soul care

I'm reading a powerfully profound book by Rachel Naomi Remen called My Grandfather's Blessings: Stories of Strength, Refuge, and Belonging. Remen is an MD who primarily counsels people with cancer. Her stories are short, usually two-three pages, but they pack a wallop. Reading them, I feel more grounded and more uplifted - at the same time.

Here are some quotes.

"The soul is not an idea or belief; it is an experience. It may awaken in us through dreams, music, art, or work or parenthood or sometimes for no reason at all. It overtakes us at times in the midst of daily life."

"Many times when we help we do not really serve. ... Seeing yourself as a fixer may cause you to see brokenness everywhere, to sit in judgment on life itself. When we fix others, we may not see their hidden wholeness or trust the integrity of the life in them. Fixers trust their own expertise. When we serve, we see the unborn wholeness in others; we collaborate with it and strengthen it. Others may then be able to see their wholeness for themselves for the first time."

"The process of turning pain into wisdom often looks like a sorting process. First we experience everything. Then one by one we let things go, the anger, the blame, the sense of injustice, and finally even the pain itself, until all we have left is a deeper sense of the value of life and a greater capacity to live it."

Friday, November 6, 2009

Can you tell me how to get... to get to Sesame Street?

One of the best reasons to own a TV (see previous post of Oct. 21 for two other very excellent reasons), Sesame Street is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. I remember watching this show and I still am a sucker for puppets, muppets, and all things furry and talkative.

After all, I can relate to being grouchy (like Oscar), feeling like I don't fit in (like Big Bird), wanting nothing but cookies (do I really need to specify this one!), or to having good friends (like Bert and Ernie).
I hope the magic continues!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Recovered. (Mostly.)

Feeling much better now, after a full 10 days of a nasty, nasty cold virus. Yuck.

So, did I miss anything?