Friday, March 28, 2008

... and the big news is...

... that we are sort of somehow in the process of very probably buying this:
... which happens to be located kind of here... and from which you can look out on to this:

belated Ostara footage

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


sometimes, antoine ends up on somebody else's lap. at dinner, for instance, when it's my turn to eat. i look across the table at him, and every time, it's a jolt: 'is that what he looks like???'. me, i know the shape of his ear. i know that little bit on the left side of his right cheek. i know the way his eye-brows slant. i know how his eyelashes grow out of their lids. i know the toes. the big one. the little one. i know the shape of each of his nails.

but i don't know what he looks like.

and then i remember, it was like that with isabelle too. in fact ... that's what a baby is, at least for this here mama, the essential definition of babyhood: a permanent close-up.

peter and the wolf: the cat

soft spot

she fell and ripped her tights. i offered to mend them (with a heart, a flower, a bird, a princess...). she said she would think about it. then came back to say she'd changed her mind about the mending... because she discovered that right there, where the hole is, there is a very very very soft spot of skin. and if i fix the tights, she says, she won't be able to feel the very very very soft spot anymore.

a few times a day, she walks up to me:
'mama, do you want to feel my soft spot?'
'yes, darling, i do'
'...soft, he!'
'yes, my sweet, very soft... you have no idea how soft...'

Monday, March 17, 2008


(there is something i am simply dying to share with you, but i can't, because it's not quite sure yet, and exhilarating, and it might get jinxed if i spread it around too early, but i can't write another word without at least mentioning it in passing, so filled am i with IT. so, probably big news soon!)

i have been listening to Pema Chodron's series of teachings on 'Getting Unstuck', which i warmly advise to anyone interested in buddhism. she spends some time discussing the Tibetan word shenpa, which is usually translated into English as attachment. yes, that one. and attachment, in me head, is in turn closely related to detachment, because i've always figured much of this buddhism business is about getting detached from one's attachments. which, to be honest, i've been having some problems with, because the thing is: i don't actually want to be detached. in fact, much of my life's work of late has been about re-attaching and re-connecting: to my mate, to my children, to my friends, to my family, to my intuition, to the rest of the universe. and it's good work.

on the other hand, i know buddhism is also all about connecting, so i figured i wasn't really getting it, the whole attachment/detachment thing...

...until shenpa came along.

now shenpa is something i have no judgment about (partially because it's a foreign word, and the only thing i really know about it is that it's NOT to be translated as attachment) (partially because its very foreignness completely blocks my automatic 'good/bad' evaluation machine) (partially because it sounds funny, as in giggly funny, and giggly doesn't go with judgmental).

shenpa is also something i don't feel the urge to classify/analyse/trace back to its origins. and that is such a relief (not to mention massive savings of time and energy).
the way i see it, shenpa simply includes all the times when my response to a situation is not based on the reality of that situation but on something else ('i don't dare to do this': shenpa. 'what will they think?': shenpa. 'why doesn't she like me?': shenpa. 'if only he/she/they could see me now!': shenpa. 'why can't i have that?: shenpa. 'careful, sweetie! you might fall/break/die/disappear/spill some milk': shenpa. father issues: shenpa. mother issues: shenpa. melancholy: shenpa. falling-in-love: shenpa. gypsy music: shenpa. insomnia: shenpa. apathy: shenpa. the basic insecurity: shenpa. the underlying deep yearning: shenpa).

shenpa is pre-verbal, it's almost pre-emotional, it's visceral. it's the tightening, the closing, the escaping. you can't stop it. but you can accept it. and let go.

so i have much much shenpa. and the thought just makes me smirk.

Friday, March 14, 2008

good things

- making brownies with Isabelle. we used this recipe: excellent, except we had to halve the sugar (had to because we ran out, and just as well, as they would have been inedible otherwise);
- a walk on the beach;
- waking up from an excellent afternoon nap and enjoying this view:
- discovering a great new-to-me writer;
- hanging the wash to dry in the sun;
- Small Magazine (where have you been all my life????);
- the prospect of spending some days away, visiting lovely friends.

wishing you a nice weekend!

Saturday, March 08, 2008

8 march

to all our women, on this day, a wish of lovingkindness:
may we be happy
may we be safe
may we be healthy
may we be peaceful

... and may we be strong enough and gentle enough to carry our horses ...

Thursday, March 06, 2008

mum, is the pink flower thing really necessary???

wise (and unrelated) quote from inspirational book: "The number of things just outside the perimeter of my financial reach remains constant no matter how much my financial condition improves. With each increase in my income a new perimeter forms and I experience the same relative sense of lack. I believe that I would be happy if only my earnings were increased by so much and I could then have or do these few things I can't quite afford, but when my income does increase I find I am still unhappy because from my new financial position I can now see a whole new set of things I don't have."

one of the consequences of un-home-schooling is that someone has to be home. at least some of the time. and since i have taken the great burden upon myself (i.e. although it was our decision, it was a tiny itsy bitsy more mine than Marc's), it means we had to re-consider our finances and we have come up with a new revised figure concerning how much we ACTUALLY need. the conclusion is that if from now on we NEVER do ANYTHING and NEVER go ANYWHERE, we can afford for me to work two days a week instead of the current four.

you can imagine this is not a happy thought. no matter how you turn it. on the other hand, it is also just that, a thought. all it takes is a new definition of 'anything' and 'anywhere' (i can still walk on the beach, cycle to the market, enjoy the occasional shopping spree at the thriftstore, go to the library, the park, the forest, eat and cook all organic food, visit museums, art galleries, browse in book stores, visit my friends, listen to music, dance, laugh, meditate, do yoga, drink lovely tea, eat raspberries, hug my children, sing at the top of my voice, play the guitar, take photographs, write, sew, love my husband, smell fresh flowers, water my plants, pet my cats, live in my house, greet the little spider in the kitchen, plant seeds, read, talk, move, walk, and breathe...).

so what was it i needed money for again?

my people

can't get enough of these...

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

colour therapy

hope is such a little thing

in my kitchen, under the top cupboard, just to the right of the left-most lamp, dwells a little spider. she is not particularly particular, in either shape or size, or mood, or faith. just a regular little spider. sometimes, she carries on her mysterious spidery business in her little spidery web. sometimes she strolls over the under-edge of the cupboard. once, i found her making a hasty retreat up, up, up a silvery silk thread, from the fruit bowl on the counter back to her web. 'maybe she's a fruit spider, mamma...'. maybe. Isabelle has picked up on my interest and now we are two to be delighted, every morning, as we enter the kitchen. 'look, there she is! our spider'.

for some reason, some evasive, silvery silky thread of a reason, the existence of this little spider, and the fact that she lives in my kitchen, makes me insanely, delightedly happy.

(and that, my friends, is a clear sign that we have made it to March).