Woman, sixty, and still trying to get it right. Stumbling the path toward the Divine. Discussing things like grandparenting, Waldorf education, child development, nature, human awareness, empty-nesting, breast cancer, and knitting luscious things once in awhile.
Rahima Baldwin speaking on the subject of raising children. And it bespeaks a perfect picture. The river flowing and molding and raging and settling. Bubbling and gurgling wordless messages to me. Shining and darkening. Such is my picture these days as I once again frame my hours with a small class of children: toddlers: little ones all humid and sweet, wide-eyd and egocentric. My little urban playgarden.
The setup is very different from my kindergartens and playgardens of the past. I am now an oportunist, gleaning any snippet of nature that pokes its beautiful head in my direction. Window sill gardens, tender seeds in little cups. A brick patio/porch off the living room that holds a bucket upon its edge to gather summer rainwater. The rhythmic sound of the el train punctuating my songs. The different words of passers by that briefly light in the margins. The occasional siren that calls to little ears, hands raised to cover them with an imitated, "oooooh....loud..." like Busha does.
I sit cross-legged on the brick ledge in the sunshine while a sprinkling of little mopheads busy themselves at its base. To them the walls are high and their tiny world is perfectly held by strong red bricks, and Busha's quiet words. All is well and life is good. Each morning they watch me sweep the floor and ready it for their important play. For their place to learn about this earth and all it has to offer. Preparing the altar.
As always, they delight in playing at my feet as I knit, and at this age, rather than imitating me (at least I hope I don't knit like that!) they imitate the knitting needles themselves. Little kittens...
Together to play, and to learn and that there is enough (to share). For me as their caregiver, I strive to find that place of peace deep within my belly and send it out through my voice and my gaze and my touch; to surround these babies with the knowingness that the world is beautiful, and good and kind. It is a human right and necessity to begin life this way.
To guide their vocabularies and their bodies toward richness and strength. To imbue confidence in self and others.
On another note? I have never changed so many poopy diapers per sitting, per day, in all my life. Lordy be, these babies eat well. I know, I know. Count our blessings. And I do...
While I have absolutely loved living here with Jahan and his mama and papa, I'm moving into my own little garden apartment on September 1st. This week I have become a citizen of the Land of Craigslist. What a trippy place to live! A sub-culture of recycling, bartering, and quickie relationships. I'm having a blast. First you peruse the postings (and when you're addicted like I currently am, many times a day), then you write or call the steals that match you needs (or yes, desires), and then it's that race to the finish line.
It is my intention to furnish this home with nothing but recycled furniture and wares. I agreed that the only thing I would buy new was a bed and lo-and-behold, even the bed of my dreams became available and after investigation truly was "nearly new used only in a guest room", for a hundrend bucks. I wanted a low, platform, thick cotton mattressed futon bed with headboard and I found one from a very nice, clean home...sold by a delightful young woman. And as a perk, a set of Egyptian cotton, damask sheets thrown in for free.
OK, so I'll revise my position: 90% recycled. I did buy some wine glasses at Ikea last weekend (c'mon, it was Ikea), as well as a sponge holder, basket for my bath towels, some apothocary jars, and some candles. So now I have a sofa, bed, coffee table, vacuum, microwave, wood floor mop, dish rack, and collander from craigslist. Today it's garage saling and then home for a nap and a shower and then my long-awaited "Concert in the Trees" (twilight picnic and concert) tonight at the Arboretum: Shawn Colvin and Nancy Griffith...
My Ukranian friend again. The lady who shared a peach with me. It was so great to see her out in the sunshine this morning. She cradled a crustless piece of white bread in her cupped hands, gnarled fingers wrapping gently around her offering. I said good morning and she said she was waiting for the birds to come. I told her I thought the birds were very lucky to have people like her. Sadly, she said she has nothing else to do. I'm thinking I may ask her if she'd like to go for a ride this weekend, out to the Arboretum.
Last week, her upstairs neighbor was sitting outside on the stoop drinking a cup of coffee when I walked by with the babies. I inquired about her. He told me he worries about her and tries to visit with her for 20 minutes a day. That she has been very depressed since her husband died three years ago. He goes in, turns on the TV and chats. When he is ready to leave she asks him to turn off the television. It breaks his heart that she wants to sit alone in the quiet. He said he's known her and her husband for years and that he can see her slipping away to Dementia. Her son comes 3 times a week, but is beginning to worry about her being alone.
I want to know her life story. I hope she'll share it with me. One wonders the path traveled to this place. I like her.
Again, she needed nothing from the market, and when we walked back by the bread was gone and she was holding the railing, still watching the place on the empty pavement where the birds had feasted. I hoped that those little birds gave her heart wings, if only for a moment.
Bad boy from New Jersey, now more a nature-loving Californian, high school English teacher. I'm giving it another go, another attempt at going for what's been brewing for decades. An old friend. Old lover. A consistant confidante. This relationship has been as elusive as a butterfly, as constant as the morning sun. For 33 years. He said it is a romance that poets write about. Remember he is the English teacher. It is far from perfect which is exactly perfect. Human while from another place. There is no question that I want to try again.
For now, for the next few months it is long distance. I am here and he is there. But in all the years, this relationship has traversed this country in unpredictable directions. Passages have opened and closed. Citadels have been built and scaled. Marriages, children, grandchildren. Raw honesty. White-knuckling morality. Now the door, as well as hearts, are open wide once again. The spark is being tended. Plans are being made and I am loving life's infinite possibilities. Saying no then beginning again. Always holding possibility. Being authentic. Saying yes to hope.
I'm sitting here thinking about summer school when I was a kid. I absolutely loved it. First, because I got to take fun classes like art and driver's ed. In graammar school I loved the art classes and the new children I got to meet. New friends so different from our close knit parish.
But I particularly liked to attend in high school. When you go to an all girl's school and wear a uniform all year, summer school is like a perfect social event. It was a time when I could actually think about what was cute to wear, as well as think about what a cute boy would think of what I was wearing. A cut, wild, bad boy (not that they really were bad in our neck of the woods in the 60's, but I was always warned about those public school boys.) I didn't care about getting up early. Not a bit. I loved to be able to be "a public school kid" myself. Truth be told, I was kinda bad too.
Yep. Over here. It's me....
How the hell are you???? Long time, no see.
I don't even remember where I left off so I will just start anew. Day one of my blogging life. (Isn't it great that we can do that?)
I have another baby to love these days: Francesca. "Frankie". She turned one last week, and is as beautiful as the rising sun. So smart. Sweet and peaceful like Jahan. To watch the tenderness in their brand new hands as the reach for one another's noses and hair. Oh, I know we'll have our days and they will test the waters of equilibrum...but now, it is pure sweetness.
I saw the movie "Funny People" last weekend, and while I enjoyed it enough it has haunted me. It was actually quite dark in my book. I love love love Adam sandler though and you know what they say about love: you take the light and the dark...