Friday, November 28, 2008

::Day o' Turkey

Deeeeelicious dinner yesterday.
My family went to Frankenmuth for the Thanksgiving buffet.

Later, we saw Four Christmases.
Vince Vaughn's rapid-fire delivery never fails to make me giggle uncontrollably.

Although this has been a very difficult year in many respects, I have had such blessings to soothe me and lift my countenance.

I lost my job in March, but my beautiful friend Annie paid for a trip to Utah so I could visit her and enjoy a change of scenery for a wonderful week.

In July, I fell and sustained two gashes requiring 38 stitches. In the midst of all the swelling, pain, self-consciousness and frustration, I had a camp full of people who showed me unparalleled warmth, kindness and generosity.
They helped me smile, laugh, relax and dismiss my misery.

On August 4, my niece Emma was born.
She may have become my new Favorite Person on Earth.

Her Thanksgiving hat was so precious.
Uncle Joel called her "Poetic Justice."

Monday, November 24, 2008

::baby beauty

Me with Emma, 11-24-08

We who are bone and spittle and muscle and sweat
We live together in a world
Where it's good to be alive

~Rich Mullins (With the Wonder)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

::easy street

It's disconcerting to consider all the things we do and/or fail to do, simply because they're easy, or easier.

When there's a conflict with a friend wherein we've both made mistakes, it's easier to take all the anger I feel, both at them and at me, and spew it all out at them, dripping with sarcasm and bitterness.

When I'm in a hurry and I run into someone at Target, it's easier to say a quick hello and ignore that look in their eyes that tells me they'd love to talk.

When I need to work on my health and fitness, it's easier to say "I just can't afford it right now" and continue living the same way, rather than try to make a way for improvements to take place.

When my desk is blanketed with the inordinate chaos of clutter, it's easier to leave it that way because cleaning seems too arduous an undertaking.


It would have been easier to not even examine this, I suppose.
Maybe for once, I didn't just take the easy way out.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

::pop quiz

Wow...this is almost shockingly accurate.

Your result for Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz...

You Are an Ingrid!


You are an Ingrid -- "I am unique"

Ingrids have sensitive feelings and are warm and perceptive.

How to Get Along with Me

  • * Give me plenty of compliments. They mean a lot to me.

  • * Be a supportive friend or partner. Help me to learn to love and value myself.

  • * Respect me for my special gifts of intuition and vision.

  • * Though I don't always want to be cheered up when I'm feeling melancholy, I sometimes like to have someone lighten me up a little.

  • * Don't tell me I'm too sensitive or that I'm overreacting!

What I Like About Being an Ingrid

  • * my ability to find meaning in life and to experience feeling at a deep level

  • * my ability to establish warm connections with people

  • * admiring what is noble, truthful, and beautiful in life

  • * my creativity, intuition, and sense of humor

  • * being unique and being seen as unique by others

  • * having aesthetic sensibilities

  • * being able to easily pick up the feelings of people around me

What's Hard About Being an Ingrid

  • * experiencing dark moods of emptiness and despair

  • * feelings of self-hatred and shame; believing I don't deserve to be loved

  • * feeling guilty when I disappoint people

  • * feeling hurt or attacked when someone misundertands me

  • * expecting too much from myself and life

  • * fearing being abandoned

  • * obsessing over resentments

  • * longing for what I don't have

Ingrids as Children Often

  • * have active imaginations: play creatively alone or organize playmates in original games

  • * are very sensitive

  • * feel that they don't fit in

  • * believe they are missing something that other people have

  • * attach themselves to idealized teachers, heroes, artists, etc.

  • * become antiauthoritarian or rebellious when criticized or not understood

  • * feel lonely or abandoned (perhaps as a result of a death or their parents' divorce)

Ingrids as Parents

  • * help their children become who they really are

  • * support their children's creativity and originality

  • * are good at helping their children get in touch with their feelings

  • * are sometimes overly critical or overly protective

  • * are usually very good with children if not too self-absorbed

Take Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz
at HelloQuizzy

Saturday, November 15, 2008

::we are family

The other day at my parents' house, after spending a day with my niece Emma, my sister-in-law Aimee came to retrieve her, and decided to stay and feed her.

As Aimee sat on the couch nursing Emma, I suddenly reflected upon what a powerful notion that must be, to have the ultimate nourishment for your child inside of your own body.
When your child's hunger cries are spewing forth, pleading for satiation, your own body already provides them with the satisfaction that they need.

I began to realize that one difficult aspect of parenting (perhaps motherhood especially) is that the more your child grows, the less you are able to meet their needs so readily, which must lead to a gnawing, searing sensation of powerlessness.

And when tragedy strikes, I would imagine that this suffering becomes even more palpable.

After the Columbine shootings, I remember seeing one of the victims' mothers interviewed, and she spoke very candidly about how devastating it was to know that her daughter must have been in excruciating pain, and that she could do absolutely nothing about it. She said, "I just kept picturing her lying on that cafeteria floor, wondering if she was cold...wanting to cover her with a blanket..."

Since entering adulthood, I have a tendency to become annoyed with my parents for their countless worrywart commentaries about what to wear, what to do, where to go, what and whom to avoid, etc.

I realize now that these are merely their attempts to anticipate my needs and to do whatever they can to take care of them, and of me.

I no longer live with them and have become independent in so many different ways, thereby removing the burden of responsibility they once shouldered.
I realize now that they must miss it.

When they tell me to drive carefully, I smile.
I know it's merely synonymous with We love you.

::poetic license

(After being gently chided by my friend Heidi this evening about how rarely I update this little corner of the blogosphere, I have acquired a renewed zest for sharing my musings.)

My maternal grandfather was the kindest, most gentle man I have ever encountered.

His joy, compassion and love for people consistently moved me.
He died in 2004, and since then I have desperately desired to write a poem for him.
After many thwarted efforts, I decided that the magnitude of his influence on my life was simply too vast to be squeezed into assortments of letters.

So when this seed of an idea floated into my cerebral cortex, it was completely unexpected.
Although it is merely a snapshot of sorts, I believe it closely resembles the ineffable sentiments I hoped to convey.
After workshopping its drafts with my wonderful honest reader, Christopher (thank you!), I have decided to share what it has blossomed into:



Lunch with my grandparents
always included
conversations seasoned
with hearty laughter,
anecdotes starring relatives,
and bizarre concoctions
between bread slices;
peanut butter and pickle,
tuna salad and butter,
tomatoes with cottage cheese.
My grandfather's side dish,
was the oft-touted
pièce de résistance.
After peeling the flaky,
flimsy skin from an onion,
he would bite into its natural globe
like a sweet autumn apple.
Flabbergasted, my brothers
and I exchanged glances,
half-laughing, half-horrified,
as Grandpa simply smiled,
amused by our naivete,
and declared,
"Tastes good, kids."

Much later I would learn
the adage,
You are what you eat,
and revise it immediately,
my Grandfather's face sunning
my memories,
and decide that in fact
You are what it takes
to eat what you eat
because he
was always exceptional
and always brave.


I warmly invite comments and reactions.

Speak to me.


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