Friday, May 30, 2008

Swinging in the Rain..

'Tis the season for graduation parties and the onset of summer. My daughter brought home her yearbook last week signifying the end of another school year. After she finished pouring over it, I sat down to look through it. It's always fun to put a name to the faces of the drama. (She's 14 and there is nothing but these days.)

My favorite part of any yearbook (next to the Homecoming Royalty spread) is the seniors and their quotes. Some cryptic, most cliche, and a handful of originals. I searched for kids I knew and what they had to write about the world-what words inspire them.

I came upon an original (at least I think it is. If they are song lyrics that I'm not hip enough to know-my bad).

"I laugh until my abs hurt, swing in the rain, and paint pictures in purple."

I know this child (or her parents) and if she didn't write these words, they sure sum what I know of her to a tee.

Her graduation card above, inspired by her words.

I don't think we had quotes in our senior yearbook. If they did, I think I would have had to use a cliche. The original probably would not have made it past the editors.

Funny how you grow out of that 18 year old self. For some of us, it's a good thing. For others of us, well, we probably had our peak lives in high school.

So paper crane wish #2 goes to Rachael. (As you can see, I've a few to give away.) First,that this NOT be the peak of her life-just the beginning. And second, that she always find laughter, never be scared to get wet, and to paint in whatever color she wants.

Saturday, May 24, 2008


"Birthday-itis"--a word commonly used in a household of 6 children. It is the jealousy that children feel when it is not their birthday. I haven't had it since 1985 when my baby sister received "Norma Jean".

Cabbage Patch Kids were a black market commodity those days and I dreamed of taking mine for a walk in her stroller or to the park in her baby carrier. Little sister got one first and I was pissed. ("Jacobina Genny" eventually found her way to our house but by then the sting of baby "Lola" having one first was over.) "Norma Jean" eventually suffered a broken-off crayon to the brain, split mouth (due to the retrieval of the broken crayon) and an unhealthy looking ink rash to her cheeks.

I am 34 today. My parents, thankfully, refrained from their yearly 6 a.m. birthday call and allowed me to sleep-in on a Saturday. (It was 8:00). (They've never missed a year for me but poor baby "Lola" somehow got missed this year. What goes around comes around, eh? :))

For the record, I'm sure they are still feeling guilty about this. Mom/Dad if you're reading-it's ok, we still love you, baby "Lola" included.

Anyways, you'd think by now a few lessons have been learned. At 2, my mother reminds me, of my independent spirit by quoting my two-year old defiant self, "No, I amn't."
At 34, I've lost her somewhere and need to say "No, I amn't" more often. That 2 year old self that wouldn't compromise her wishes for anybody (or anything.) The self that understood happiness was nothing more than a sunny day. The one who loved to walk through dewey grass and looked at the patterns it made on her shoes.
There are at least 3 things that I do know:
-Unanswered prayers are not always a bad thing.
-When you become a parent, your heart no longer resides in your body.
-Pick your battles. They're not all worth fighting.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Others Who Create

I've no profound lessons today. Only a few artists that I love..that inspire (there's that word again)and say things better than I can.

Story People

Kristin Jongen

Sunday, May 18, 2008

He's better at this creation stuff...

If you've read any of the 11 (now 12) posts on this blog you will know that I have read Eckhart Tolle's, A New Earth. I'm rereading and digesting (this means reading with a highlighter in hand) for a second time. (If you've not tackled it I can't even give a summary. I'm not sure I get it myself. )

My highlighter found this quote (page 278 for the diehards); "Whenever there is inspiration, which translates as "in spirit" and enthusiasm, which means "in God"; there is a creative empowerment that goes far beyond what a mere person is capable of."

So, I'd like to think that when I am driven by some force to literally create something, I'm on a direct conference call with the "big dude".

As a child of a very religious family (I'm not kidding-we're talking nuns and priests.) There was a picture hanging on our dining room wall. I'm not a religious person, but a believer nonetheless, and this is still the image I conjure when I think of him. (especially if him and I are on the above mentioned call for any length of time..)

So, I created.

(Sew Everything Workshop by Diana Rupp...."Flouncy Tank Top")

Apparently, he too, was busy. (I found his handiwork in my backyard today.)

Well, he one-upped me. Show off.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Quote of the Day...

The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide you are not going to stay where you are. (Sorry author, I have no idea who you are.)

Naughty Monkey-Perfect brand of shoes to make an exit...or entrance.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Paper Cranes. Yes, Paper Cranes

I've been in "lurker" mode on a blog that I read about in the Star Tribune last Sunday. This young man lost his wife after childbirth a few months ago and has used his blog as a means to cope, to remember..There is a fantastic photo montage of him and the baby. It's about halfway down this page...There is a picture of the baby surrounded by paper cranes. As I read, I realized his family and friends hid them around the house after his wife died. The symbolism in the photo is enough to put you into tears.

I googled "paper cranes" and learned that they symbolize life, longevity, health, loyalty, and purity. It is said that to have the patience to fold 1000 of them you will be granted your greatest wish.

I know it's bit like wishing on a star,a little hokey and juvenile, BUT at least folding paper is a tangible activity (doing) rather than just thinking.

I'll run out of patience (Gemini-they can't stay on task to save their souls) before I get to 1000 so I'll make up my own rules. For each one, someone else gets a wish.

The first one was a bit rough, this was the third one (still rough). I finally gave up and used notebook paper. Here's the instructions if you'd like to give it a shot yourself.

So wish one goes to Madeline (the inspiration for even trying to fold the damn thing), sweet dreams and to feel that your mama loved you every day of your life.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

The Doillies

I love intimate gatherings of friends and the conversations that ensue from after midnight in the garages of these people. From some tangent, from one of the most mellow people I know, comes a lesson that bears repeating. Even now, I giggle at the definition. This man, more listener than sharer, starts to tell a story about a party he attended wherein his comfort level was, well, compromised. He begins the story with, "We walked into this house. A bunch of dollies were seated at the table.."
I said, "A what?"
"You know, a doily."
"No, I don't. What's a doily?"

His definition: A doily is one of those uppity ladies that wears matching pant suits with pompom socks that looks down on anyone that is different from them."

Ah, yes, a doily. Psychologically, I'm secretly one of these women (or my ego is). I just don't have the financial resources nor the bloodline to make a legitimate claim to the Sisterhood of the Doily. (I also don't own pompom socks or anything that really matches. Nevertheless..)

Of course, this man, would never know this, nor would ever accept my confession that I was one of them.

Herein lies the irony. There is a secret to the doily....They are scared. I can only speak from my perspective and that facade.

As a child, the only thing abundant in our household was love. I learned quickly that those fancy Girbaud jeans I coveted were not high on the necessity list of my family. At 19, I had my first child and watched "doilies" look down on my youth and this beautiful bald baby that I loved. How dare I flaunt her illegitimacy. At 21, I became an amputee and lost whatever courage I had mustered from my childhood. I had half an arm-what could I do?

Doily is my defense. If I do it to them first, I win.

And so I get to the point. Eleanor Roosevelt said it better, "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."

I'm slowly learning that the very things about myself that I wish to deny, are the very things that make me who I am. Who knew?

I can only imagine that other doilies have some strange inferiority complex stemming from something they've too labeled themselves with. Next time I see one, I'm going to make eye contact, and smile.

I know their secret.