Thursday, March 28, 2013

Clumsy Day

I think it's going to be a clumsy day. I can tell by the feel of my feet as they move across the carpet and how my hands grasp the coffee cup. I tumbled my coffee over onto the floor this morning. It wasn't a long ways down; it got the couch first. "Jesus Christ!" I bumbled. My mother used to say that a lot. I don't say it often, but I wasn't in the mood to drop an F-bomb. I went calmly to the sink. I was just settling in with my keyboard, too, but had to stop to clean up my clumsy mess. I'm still enjoying my cup of coffee and am ready to brew another pot in the mini Mr. Coffee.

It started raining again. I felt it in my bones. Usually the pressure is first felt in my teeth and then it reaches my head: A human barometer. I know there are others out there. It's a strange thing.

Thanks to Nancy Brady's (Nan's) blog about postcrossing I have discovered this wonderful site that allows you to send and receive postcards from around the world. She previously wrote a blog about her discovery of postcrossing, but it wasn't until her blog, "Postcrossing and Irony" that my curiosity and memory was awakened, taking me to my youth when I used to have a couple of short-lived pen pals. Postcrossing, is not a pen pal site, but I like postcards and I know I won't be able to travel the world, so this is my little way to do that. So far I've sent a little over a handful and have received post cards from Germany, Russia, Taiwan and Norway.

Nan sums up the experience quite well here:

Read all about postcrossing at their website:

Today I will place postcards in the mail to Germany, Ukraine, Russia, and Republic of Belarus.

I stepped away to refill my coffee and the little round milk lid flipped into the coffee cup. It truly is going to be a bumbling, fumbling Thursday!

I've been reading The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe. It's the story about a mother and son who start a "book club." Knowing that her life is coming to and end, they make the most of it by sharing their love of reading. I'm almost half-way through the book. I love reading books about books.

On a personal level, this book is offering me a missing perspective about my mother's experience with chemo-therapy. As a child, I went with her to many doctor's appointments and I saw her pain, but she also had a way of deflecting it, of acting out in anger to those around her. This book offers me a glimmer of something–my mother was a private person and she didn't discuss the details of her illness with us. I remember sitting in the doctor's office when she found out she had breast cancer. The doctor looked at me and then to her to ask if she wanted me to sit in when he explained to her about her illness and the prognosis. She left me sitting there. I knew this was something terrible. So many doctor's visits. So many other things. Even today, when I visit my uncle, he tells me my mother didn't tell anybody anything.

This book somehow connects me to my mother's experience, even though the cancer is different. It provides a little more closure and understanding of what she was going through, that my young self, all those years ago, couldn't completely comprehend.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Beauty is...

Beauty is...
Watching a sunset on a warm summer night.
Listening to raindrops pitter pat.
Kissing in the rain.
Watching a deer family nibble grass.
The mountain.
A butterfly flying freely.
Waking up each morning to birds chattering.
A sunrise.
Wispy clouds.
Hawks flying high in the sky.
The flesh of cactus fruit.
Wild flowers peeking out as you round the corner on a hike in the hills.
A tiny sparrow appearing when I'm feeling blue.
Nighttime--the moon and stars.
A butterfly's metamorphosis.
Life's many mysteries.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Little Bits: Time, Memory, Seagulls, the Moon

We went to Carmel on Saturday and it was a wonderful time. After checking into the hotel, grabbing two sandwiches, our blanket, and a bottle of wine, we headed straight to the beach. It was slightly windy and cool. I had to go back to the car to get our sweatshirts, but it was still wonderful visiting the beach.

Little bits from the road (3/23/13)

circling together–
a sea of musical notes.


Time doesn't always make
sense to me. It speeds by. It
stands still. I don't notice it until
I start counting backward, back
to when mom died. Then, it sinks
in–just how much time has

Right now–I'll experience
today again and again for as long
as God allows me. Time really is memory–
nothing more, nothing less. This is the
time that matters to me.

Last night (3/26/13)

The moon looked glorious last night,
almost full. I saw it low and round, the
color of warm honey. That's when I went into
the grocery store. When I came out and started
driving home, the moon was nestled between clouds.
The faintest bit of pink hugged the right edge–I wanted
so much to paint what I saw.

I saw an abstract
whimsical clown in last night's moon.

One Way we Know

When I read with S, the first grade student that I read with, we finished a story about an egg that a boy found and watched hatch. "What does hatching mean?" he asked.

I turned back to when the duckling first began to crack out of his egg and said, "well, see here, it means the duckling is breaking out of his egg. He's ready to come out into the world."

"Where's the mama duck?"

"This little story only gives us a part of the story. The mama must have gone away and left the one egg there to hatch."

"How do you know the mama duck left the egg. Could it have been the dad that left it? How can you tell if animals are mamas or papas?

"Well..." I started to smile, looking at S's animated face, full of energy, curiosity, and wonder, standing at this point, but still at my eye level while I was seated.

"Maybe you should ask your parents."

"We have two dogs. I asked about them."

"What did they say?"

"They said that they chose."

"Ah, so that's what they said. So they didn't exactly answer..."

I was trying to keep it together, but I reverted back to what happens in uncomfortable situations, where I know how I can tell the difference between a boy dog and a girl dog, but I can't say it to this first grader, so I start laughing, but I can tell he's not taking it personally or badly. And luckily he didn't think it too strange that I burst out laughing.

When I had gotten the nervous laughter out of my system, he said, "No, really, how do you know?"

"You know what? This is a very good question, S. And I'm going to try to find a book that helps explain and shows us how we know."

"That would be cool! Yeah, if you can bring a book next time, but you don't have to. But if you find one..."


Our reading time came to a close and I walked S back to class. On the way to work, driving down the road, past some apartments, I saw a female turkey with her feathers spread out in a full fan. She stood still, trying to get the attention of two male turkeys that were at the edge of the grass. Who knows how long she would be waiting.


When I got back to the office, I wrote a quick email to the public librarian asking for any books that may discuss the differences in female and male animals, differences that relate to their plumage or other such characteristics, something appropriate for a first grader. I appreciated their frantic search; they weren't able to find exactly what I was looking for, but did point me in the right direction.

In the meantime, I did a quick google search for a few animals that I know have visible differences: mallards ducks, lions, deer,–and sometimes, with certain animals, you really can't tell. So that's all I have for now and we can ask the school librarian, but I didn't have time last week.

For now, hopefully, he'll be satisfied with what I've got when I see him next, which is not much. At least I can provide him with some pictures of ducks, deer, and lion, that show one way we know.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Silly Squirrel

Silly squirrel, climbing up the telephone pole. I see you hop to the wire with a shake of your busy tail. You skitter across in a punctuated frenzy, taking me back to memories of my old home where you greeted me in the mornings like my own personal alarm clock.

I could hear you scurry and race around the great pine tree. I could hear you–the bark under your scratchy feet and your little voice–chirp chirp whirr. We'd fill the water bowl every morning for you. We'd hear when you'd tip it, metal against concrete, as the empty bowl would tip back, sounding the bell.

I would open the door and you'd scurry up the tree, sit there at a close distance watching me watch you. I'd put your bowl down and you'd wait for me to step back. I watched you from the screen door, right there; that screen between us was enough for you to feel secure. I'd watch you with your little hands, gripping the bowl. You'd shove your head down then bob it up real quick to make sure I wasn't going to catch you, and sometimes you'd keep one eye on me as you drank your water.

Silly squirrel, I miss you.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Walking through Life

Indian Prayer

"Great Spirit,
Grant that I
may not
criticize my
Until I have
walked a
in his moccasins."

Two nights ago a restless sleep pushed itself upon me. I filled that space with thoughts of a story from Kitchen Table Wisdom about a man who used a visualization technique to help ward off his illness. Together with that story, I reflected back to a class. The teacher took us through a guided imagery to find our power animals. She turned off the lights; many of us took to the floors, laid down, made ourselves comfortable; others stayed in their chairs. It was a small class of no more than twelve. She put on a CD of drums and began guiding us with her voice. First we were to ground ourselves, knowing that we were grounded by the tree, then we were instructed to go down–down, down, down that trunk in search of our power animal. "It will come," she said. And if it doesn't, that's ok. Don't force it, just be." The drums beckoned us. The drum. A heartbeat. A familiar and enticing call.

My animal didn't come. I imagined a dolphin, but I forced it. Dolphin didn't come of her own accord.

Two nights ago a restless sleep came upon me and these moments connected their dots. I didn't force, rather I asked gently, for my power animal to come to me. Two appeared. First a crow, which was not a surprise. But the second: A unicorn. That was a very pleasant surprise. When I saw these two beautiful creatures, the space of restlessness grew into peace. I imagined these two: crow and unicorn there by my side to help me continue in my own healing and offering their guidance to me on my journey.

The quote above has been with me a long time, but today it wanted to come forth. I try to keep it close to my heart as I walk through life, one step–one breath at a time–open to all the wonders and differences of life.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The River

I see a woman or is it a little girl...She stands at the river's edge, watching life flow right by. Pushing pause, rewind, play, fast forward. Eventually, she stops pushing all the buttons, allows the river to flow on by. She knows that's best. And she watches and then decides to dip her toe in to test the water.

Should she jump into the river,

flow on down the current, alongside the gentle, moving water?

She pulls her toe back and finds a pebble, holds it in her hand ready to throw it, then stops, puts it in her pocket.

She begins to take off her clothes,

then she stands there feeling the sun on every inch of her body.

She hears the river calling to her. She walks in, squats down to meet the river, allows her body, mind, and soul to be pulled. She becomes the river.

Monday, March 18, 2013

A Tree & a Small Drop of Rain

I write with my heart,
but the pieces are scattered,
stuck in the pages of another time,
sealed in a book somewhere,
dripping out in small drops of rain.

(March 11, 2013)


When I walked by this tree, I saw a little face in his trunk. The first time I noticed it, I smiled wide. I had my camera with me, but didn't feel that I had time to stop. "Next time", I said to myself. I walked by that face a few times before I finally snapped a photo. It's nice to know that the very simplest things can bring a smile to my face and even induce laughter at the thought of it and what reaches me and when. I love when life surprises and provides these little gifts. This here is a photo of that tree that tickled my being into laughter.

Friday, March 15, 2013

This Morning

"Every blade of grass has an angel that bends over it and whispers, 'Grow, grow.'"
–The Talmud

This morning I'm in a quiet space.
I woke early,
soaked in the darkness of the early hour–
listened to the morning
hum itself into lightness.

I've been carrying this Talmud quote around in my mind lately. It makes me smile when I think of it and all the angels out there bending over each and every one of us. I came across the quote on a greeting card many years ago. I bought the greeting card and posted it to my bulletin board of inspiration; it's become a part of me.

This morning, I sit and find myself within the white space of the canvas...both literally and figuratively. I used markers to draw on the small canvas you see here. When I started coloring it in a week ago, I was certain that I would color every inch of space. Over the past few days, I've stared at this simple, but colorful series of lines and strokes and something inside of me says, I need that white space to stay. It's not meant to be all colored in. Sometimes, we need that white space amongst all the noise.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Little Bits

Yesterday was a good day. I felt that I was cleansed of...don't know where that thought's gone.

Today's a new day.

But yesterday keeps reminding was one of those days where your writing in your head and the words are streaming out like a kaleidoscope–turning round and round, seeing so many fragments of beauty, spinning and spinning, but you can't stop and then you pull into the parking garage and you're hoping your paying enough attention to the road because you keep turing those words around, trying not to lose them. It's like panning for gold, so many thoughts, which one's to keep, which one's to let go, back into the stream of consciousness. Sometimes there are so many fragments, that you become overwhelmed and you realize that if you sit down, time will click on by–you'd love to sit there and pound it all out, but then it will be time to go to work–sooner than you hoped–because when you're writing, your in your bliss and sometimes you don't want to start because you may not have time to finish and refine and get it right, hear it right.


Like a painter, sometimes I paint the same mountain with words. Over and over, looking for the truth of that moment, and this too with memories, nature, whatever may be at my fingertips and within the day's beauties. Sometimes I keep painting the same images over and over as they reveal sides of myself that I may not have noticed before. I take the diamond polish it, hold it up to the light, keep working it, knowing that I must continue, even when it feels like I've said all before.


I observed a teacher in a preschool setting last week and have a paper due about the experience as it relates to the qualities of the social/emotional environment for children. I waited until the day of to finish. But I've been writing it in my head since that day, knowing that I wasn't procrastinating, rather my thoughts were percolating. I feel good about it. It's done. On to a new day.

There has been some crazy news related to childcare in the past week. Shocking. In one instance a caregiver tied up a two year old because the child wouldn't take a nap. She later showed the photos to her colleagues. One of the colleagues happened to be the child's mother. I have trouble wrapping my head around this. How/Why does this happen? The other incident involves a caregiver that put sleeping pills in the children's sippy cups–or along those lines. Unbelievable.


It's not officially spring yet, but I think it's supposed to reach 80 degrees over here in sunny California. Yikes! I'm not sure I'm ready for the heat.

Happy Thursday!


Looks like I forgot to hit publish on this one here it is. The Blogger App works a bit differently.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Thinking out loud

Two things that my uncle often reminds me of when I visit him are that, "you are your own worst enemy" and "when someone else's problem becomes your problem, then you've got the problem."

These stand out at this moment because yesterday was a really good day at work. It was busy and somewhat stressful, but it felt manageable. The boss has been in really good spirits these days, more consistently so, and I really do hope it continues (knock-on-wood).

More so than ever, I feel that I'm finally, after years and years, getting much better at not taking things personally and I'm feeling the layers of self-doubt shed more and more.

There are aspects of my job that are great. I like the work itself–being an assistant seems to come second nature to me, but the industry is not my favorite. I also have noticed that I am beginning to possibly develop some physical issues in my dominant mousing hand and shoulder, as well as recurrent neck problems, which lead to stiffness and headaches.

Also, when it's back to slow season, since it gets really slow, there is not enough work for me to work my normal part-time schedule–and this becomes financially challenging.

In peering out to the future, and setting intentions, I do hope that I am able to keep my current job and find the perfect second part-time job that involves working with children in a pre-school setting. I've sung this song before, but this time the second job that I desire is different than the last time I jotted this down.

There's also the possibility of working toward being a full time pre-school teacher. I'm just not sure if I'd be able to handle all the energy for eight hours. There are still many things I need to consider. I do know that my body is speaking to me with regard to my current job and this could be the year for change.

Ironically, having a great day like yesterday, makes me feel that I don't want to leave my job.

Also, on the writing front, last year I wanted to submit a piece to see if it might be considered for publication. I didn't do it, but thought maybe I would do it this year. At this point, I've come to the conclusion that I truly don't have the desire to publish as an end. But I do still want to write on my blog. I still might send in my travel piece to see what happens. I suppose I desire going through the process more than anything.

In a way, I miss the days I wrote only in my notebooks, for my eyes only. I wrote more freely, less self-consciously. I still have those moments, just not as frequently. I might also be missing my walks.

I trust the process. I live for process. I know that the universe hears. I'm where I need to be, ready for new roads to open up.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Tarot Card ~ Death

This morning felt like a good day to pick a Tarot card, to pick a card to provide some insight or inspiration in general, not necessarily for myself alone, but possibly for other wandering souls.

The card that showed up was Death - XIII Trumps

The essence of this card seems to be captured in the following introductory quote for this card from The Tarot Handbook: Practical Applications of Ancient Visual Symbols by Angeles Arrien. I use the Aleister Crowley Thoth Tarot deck.

"The Death/Rebirth symbol represents the universal principal of detachment and release. It is through letting go that we are able to give birth to new forms. Cutting through old binding patterns allows us to let go of the old and give birth to new or unexpressed parts of ourselves."

This is something that I would venture to say that most of us know to be true on some level, but why is it so difficult to put into practice?

I look to this card and can see where I may be in the process; and there, again, I see that even in writing about it, my words are tentative.

I find the card itself to be a source of light...

Death himself–a skeleton,
working his scythe, clearing the
way, making way for new growth–

Unfold your wings and

Sunday, March 10, 2013

A Day in the Park

There's something soothing about sitting on a park bench, watching the Canadian Geese bathe themselves and talk amongst each other. I sit off in the distance soaking in the rays of the sun; I peer over at a family sitting on a nearby bench, a son playing ball with his papa, laughing and laughing when he drops the ball. Another small family sits upon a blanket at the grass's edge, long enough to have a snack, then they pack up and walk to the playground. I look up into the sky, take a long drink of the sun. I'm ready to leave the bench and get up close with the geese. I sit on a rock near the water, take photos; utter relaxation and enjoyment wash over me watching these creatures with their warm chocolate coat of feathers, beautiful black faces, and long graceful necks. These creatures that I hear on occasion fly by my window–the familiar deep honk of the Canadian Goose.

Friday, March 8, 2013

"I wanna be a Toad..."

"I wanna to be a toad so I can stick my tongue out and eat all day."
–First grader

Because of scheduling changes I have been switched from reading with a few second graders to now first graders. Walking into the first grade room was utter chaos. Every inch of wall was covered in letters, numbers, pictures. There were clusters of children working on different things. Loud noise was booming out of the tape recorder where a group of students was listening to a book on tape. The room was abuzz of chattering children all seeming to be speaking in one long chain of vibration. Another table of students where each student was cracking an egg into a bowl. My senses were overwhelmed. And on top of it all, it was pajama day, so I think this may have added to the frenzy.

The teacher was kind and calm. She asked how I'd like to be referred to, since I had given my first name to her when she asked. "Ms. Rebbecca is fine," I said. She introduced me to the first student I would sit with. "S, this is Ms. Rebbecca. She is going to listen to you read. Here take your books with you. See you in a little bit."

With the second graders, I had selected books for the students to choose from. With the first graders, the teachers send them with their packet of books and word lists for review. This works out well. I may occasionally bring along a book that may be of interest. I'll have to see where the rhythm falls, how it unfolds.

The boy student was quite a character. He made me laugh and was not shy about talking. When I asked him which book he wanted to read first, he said for me to pick it. He chose the next book. It was so nice to see him pull the book from his packet, his eyes widening, and say "this is one of my favorites, I love this book," and he read it to me. Since he knew this one well, and it was a rhyming story, he read it with ease.

It was time for me to take him back to class. As we were getting ready to leave, still full of energy in his manner of speaking and twisting his body, he said,

"I don't like school."

"Why don't you like school?"

"Because it's a lot of work. You're an adult. You don't have to do anything."

"Well, I go to work after this."

"Work–adults just move things around." He made a motion of moving papers around on a desk. "That's not work. School's a lot of work. I wanna be an adult so I don't have to work so hard."

"Well, you'll be an adult one day."

"I wanna be a toad, so I can stick my tongue out and eat all day!"

"Ah, you want to be a toad..."

The recess bell rang as his last thought trailed off. We exited the library as students dribbled out to the hallways. We approached the door to his classroom–back to his world of work.

As I took a short walk during recess before returning to sit with the last student of the morning, I couldn't stop smiling at the utter beauty and innocence of childhood and catching glimmers of my own elementary school memories, albeit quite dusty.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Cutting Melon

More at one with the knife, no longer tentative in how I cut through the flesh, I've grown to welcome the mornings that I cut melon. I take that round of juiciness, scoop the seeds out of the center; juices trail down my hands, the aroma rises in sweet explosion, I cut it down to manageable slices. When my slices have been cut, I take the knife, hold each slice tenderly in my palm, cut the melon flesh away in two motions: first slice–toward the center; turn, second slice toward the center, release. Chop to size.

As I was slicing through the melon, I thought of how my grandfather would slice an apple at the table, or rather skin an apple. He would end up with one perfect peel all in one piece. I liked watching him manuver the knife carefully and gracefully around that apple. He had time. No rushes. No other distractions. Just him, the apple, smiles, whiskers–and his granddaughter watching intently–part of the moment.

As I finished up with the melon, I was also breathing deeply and intentionally, as I am now. I could tell that the day was going to be filled with bustle. I needed more calm. I selected a CD that I usually play when I need to relax even more, to take my energy down a notch. And so I breathe. The music plays. I hear a chime in the distance that causes me to feel the stillness within; the instruments lull me toward a balanced day. I relax. I breathe...

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Books, a Quote, and the Moon

"Be yourself, everyone else is taken."
–Oscar Wilde

Yesterday was a long work day, but it was a productive day. Busy season is upon us and I have a feeling that this year is going to feel more crammed than the last.

Energy zipped through me last night. I went to bed a little after midnight, which isn't the norm for me. Then I woke up for some reason at around 4:30 a.m. Whenever I wake at these early morning hours, I take the opportunity to put my glasses on and peer out the window at the moon.

Last night the picture outside my window was a half moon surrounded by stars as billowy clouds streamed by. All I could think of was that this was the image of a soothing lullaby. I stayed there propped up at the windowsill for a few moments taking in the moment, then I tucked back into bed and went back to sleep.

I've tried to stop buying books. This Sunday, though, I browsed the bookshelves of a second hand store wondering what I'd find. I've purposely avoided this section on recent visits, but on Sunday I splurged. I allowed myself to look a little longer and found a handful of books to buy and here they are:

-Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia by Elizabeth Gilbert.

I saw the movie a year or so ago and decided then that I'd like to try the book. I usually wait until the hype goes down for certain things. A month back I tried a Kindle sample and I knew it would be a book that I wanted to read, just not on Kindle.

-All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten: Uncommon Thoughts on Common Things by Robert Fulghum. I'm surprised I don't own a copy or that I haven't read it yet. I did read his collection of writings by other authors that inspired him called Words I Wish I Wrote. I enjoyed this one a lot.

-Kitchen Table Wisdom: Stories that Heal by Rachel Naomi Remen, M.D. I have a vague recollection of seeing this book around. Flipping through it, I knew it would be a gem to add to my shelves.

-Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar: Understanding Philosophy through Jokes by Thomas Cathcart and Daniel Klein. I always wanted to pick this book up when I heard about it, but then I forgot about it; I must not have wanted it that bad. When I saw it this time, I knew I had to get it. I flipped open to a random page and was immediately laughing. Laughter and philosophy–what a great combination!

-Ed Emberley's Great Thumbprint Drawing Book. Well, I've seen this cute children's drawing book somewhere, maybe a library. I had to have it. The thumbprint drawings are adorable and it takes you step by step. It speaks to the kid and little artist in me.

-The Touchstone by Edith Wharton. I've never read any of her novels. This is a short one. The descriptions on the back intrigued me, so I had to get it.

I felt like it was my lucky book day, finding so many gems.

I also had some books waiting for me at the library, mostly children's picture books, and one book related to astrology and the moon. I don't think I'll have time to read all of the moon book, but I'm hoping I have time to sit with it for a little while.

The highlight of my Sunday, besides the books, was browsing in a combination vintage art shop this weekend where I saw a canvas that someone had painted the Oscar Wilde quote in white block letters. Well, my significant other actually saw it first and pointed it out to me because he knew I'd like it. I did; I decided to do a similar one using the Doodle Buddy App, so that's today's picture.

Love those words: "Be Yourself..." Yes!

Happy writing and creating & happy Tuesday!

Monday, March 4, 2013

"I just want to be a Princess," he said.

Since I don't have children of my own, nor have I worked with them in a childcare setting, I am truly enjoying my Early Childhood Education (ECE) class.

On the first day of class, the instructor told us that even if none of us decided to work with children, we would still gain much from the class that we could apply in our day to day lives in some way. Yes, I feel that my windows of perception are already opening wider; at the same time, I am revisiting my own childhood experiences in a new way.

During our last class, we got into discussion about how sometimes teachers meddle in a child's self directed learning, where they should really allow them to explore without disruption or redirection where it's not called for. Our instructor had an example of her little girl. She was dropping her off at day care and was chatting with the teacher when the little girl went in the direction of the blocks and began playing with them. The teacher then said something to the little girl along the lines of, "honey, why don't you go play in the dolly corner." Since the teacher is a source of authority and the little girl didn't think to say she'd rather play with blocks, she went to the doll corner as was suggested. Our instructor bit her tongue, after all, she must respect the teacher's classroom. She told us that her little girl didn't look like she was playing and was just going through the motions to please the teacher. She probably would have been interested and engaged in real play had the teacher not interfered with her choice to play with the blocks.

Another story that a student shared caught my attention. She is a nanny for a five year old boy. The boy's father is in the construction business and most of the boy's toys consist of big construction trucks and tools and such. One day the boy said to her in a way that demonstrated his long sought desire, "I just want to be a princess." She told him that she would bring him a princess outfit next time. Later when she was leaving she spoke to the mother in private and told her what her son requested and that she felt that it was important to honor his request and that she was going to buy him a princess outfit and bring it next time. The mother agreed. The nanny knew she would have a challenge with the father, but she was adamant in fulfilling this boy's want. She took the father aside and put it right out there and assured him that this didn't mean his son was gay. Yes, how sad, that this convinced the father, but those were his fears. He also agreed. So, the little boy was allowed to play out the side of him that was tired of playing with trucks and wanted just to be a princess.

I admire this student very much for being able to know the best thing to do for the child and to be able to constructively communicate this to the parents. The boy was thrilled, of course, when she presented him with a princess outfit.

I also learned that it is not uncommon for preschool aged boys to come to school in girls dresses. I applaud the parents that are comfortable enough to allow it, and of course this may be more common in certain cities that are more liberal and open minded. Another student that worked in a preschool said that one of the other kids asked her why another kid was wearing a dress. She said that's what he wanted to wear and he likes it.

These examples make me think of countless children who are pushed in directions they may not be interested in for the sake of the caregivers and teachers; and, of course, parents are guilty of this too. It makes me think of how even though we've come so far as a society, there are certain behaviors that are ingrained on our minds and we act without thinking: what is good for the child? What do they want? What are their interests? What is the best way to respond?

So many things to consider and reflect upon.

Sunday, March 3, 2013


Words, come to me. I've looked back. I know you're there waiting to rise to the surface. I'll be patient. I'll wait for you; I'll coax you. I'll read to you, listen to you, file you away, carry you in my heart. You keep yourselves tucked away in a variety of places, waiting for me to connect with you. I know that you want me to find you and I will–I do. I find you every moment of my life. It's just that you have a life of your own, too, and I have to listen to you rather than mold you right away. You want me to get you out first, spill it all out and once your satisfied that I've poured you all out, then I am free to take you like a raw piece of clay and study you, use my hands to shape you, use my eyes and ears to hear you, my nose to pick up on the nuances that my other senses will fail to pickup alone.

Some of you will never make it to the page.

And then–we start the process all over again, everyday–until death do we part.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Never Too Old

I would never have imagined myself in a million years taking an early childhood education (ECE) class. Two classes ago we walked through the different day care rooms at night on the community college campus to get an idea of how the environments were set up. The infant room brought an instant calm to my being. There were soft toys, books, organization, neutral colors, and pictures up high to look at. As we walked through the different rooms, notebook in hand, I felt that I could see myself in a setting like this one day. I especially liked the pre-school room. There was so much to explore, inside and outside.

I have to admit that I've always been more of an animal person. Children brought up fears in me–with infants, there is a fear of how fragile they are. With the older children, there is the fear of how honest some of them may be, and how well brought up they are to know what's nice to say and not so nice.

On the flip side, that's what's so great about children: They are totally honest.

Somewhere in my early thirties I was in a Safeway and I've always had tendencies toward shyness and insecurity. On this one day I had stopped off at Safeway on my way home from work. I used to bike to work then. I had my bike helmet on my head. It was a hot day and my face was hot and sweaty. I walked by an older child sitting in the shopping cart. she must have been five years old or so. As I walked by she pointed at me and said, "she's ugly." I just kept walking. Her dad was near by and I think he walked over to her and who knows what he mumbled to her.

All I know is that I felt about one inch tall. Even though I didn't know this child, those simple words fed into an insecurity that I felt. From a rational perspective, I could talk myself around it or better yet ignore the comment. But emotionally, it planted a small seed–and not that I had considered working with children then–I think I told myself I never would.

I can tell that a shift has occurred in me, and at this stage in my life, my relationship toward children has changed–is changing in positive ways.

I've said it before, and I don't mind repeating that I believe we all learn and grow at our own pace. In looking back at my childhood, there are many instances where I've had to battle with self-esteem issues. It feels good that as I continue going through life, the layers continue shedding, being replaced by new ones–stronger ones.

We're never too old to learn and grow.



Rosemary and myrrh
in the pestle,
rose petals, frankincense.

Crushing bits down
to size. Blowing
dried pieces of fragrance–
ideas into the wind.

Rejecting and accepting,
taking nothing at
face value, diving deep
below the rubble, tasting, spitting out,
'knowing that I know nothing,'
knowing that I am but a remnant of all
that have crossed my path because
as the muse, Vincent, once said, I'm
"a song I've felt since before time."

We are all bound by consciousness–
stretched beyond the atmosphere,
in orbit, old souls–all souls–meeting again
in different forms.

Originally jotted down June 17, 2012
Vincent's quote added September 15, 2012

Friday, March 1, 2013


Tonight I drove home with my mouth agape staring at the moon; trees streamed by, blocked my view as I ducked and searched–where is the moon?!

A champagne moon spilled out on its side, close enough to touch.

And the tree I've been admiring each night of class, in her bare beauty, was clothed in beautiful pink blossoms tonight. She looked alive. I like her bare and also in full dress.

What a beautiful night. The air feels fresh. The streets are empty and class was quite satisfying.