Tonight I went back to watching Super Nanny. I kept thinking I wish these kids could eat real food. I wish their parents were here learning skills that are deeper than the schedule or the bedtime technique. I KNOW so much of the screaming and tantrums could be helped with Little Sugar Addicts. I think I need to write to Nanny.
I write in the early mornings. I haven’t written anything on the new book during that dead time between Thanksgiving and Christmas. The papers and notes are all organized on my writing table, neatly sorted with quotes and references on little index cards waiting for their *space*. I have felt settled and excited about getting moving with it.
Yesterday morning, I woke with a long and complex dream wafting through my quiet time. I took long enough to make notes on it, and then picked up my yellow pad and my special ink pen to start working on the book stuff. Three dogs were on the bed, artfully arranged to stay warm and to leave me enough room to stretch my legs.. I pulled the blanket up, pulled over the pillow that is too fat for sleeping but perfect for resting a pad of paper on. Then I just started musing. I have been reading a book called *My Name is Bill* about Bill Wilson who started Alcoholics Anonymous. It is an amazing story, not the least of it is about Bill the man who got sober but never healed the rest. It is a striking testimony to the power of unhealed sugar addiction.
So yesterday, I wrote a lot. This morning, I got my stuff together, and started again. In the middle of that, I had this thought that the book I thought I was writing is not the book I will write. It just made me laugh. Title is the same, but the story will be different. That is my god, a god of irony and laughter. *Oh, by the way, Kathleen, I know you thought you were going to Paris, but this is the plane to Athens.* Once long ago, I took a vow of poverty, chastity and obedience. Obedience was the hardest, LOL. My little stubborn, independent self-will was not about to have anyone tell me what to do. However, I am a woman of my word, so, Grace speaks and I accede.
It is cold this morning. The dogs went out and VERY soon came back to the door calling to come in. The air is crystal clear. I had an incredible dream this morning.
I once was taught that if you record your dreams every night after Christmas and do so until 12th night, each dream will guide you for a month of the coming year. I think I will do this. This dream was powerful and clear…with specific directions.
Thehn, I lit my little Christmas cookie candle and meditated. Then I got up and got a note pad and my special pen, and some of the INK that my secret santa sent in my stocking and started writing. My book has taken an interesting turn. I just chucked out the old outline and started over. Now, it feels as if the book is writing itself. So this is nice. Grace is back on the job, I am listening and we are moving forward.
I will go off to the gym today, and will walk the dogs when it is warmer. This morning will be in sweats and with pen in hand. I like the writing part, although I need to shift to yellow lined paper. Funny how quirky we are.
I have been reflecting a lot about how we hold memories. As an extrovert, I have learned that often I speak many sides of a story in order to make sense of it. I have been sorting the articles from the newsletter archives, and I came across this poem my daughter had written:
Mommy's Love I remember running through the mud with my new shoes when you told me not to I remember cuddling up in the green chair to listen to Watership Down I remember hot dogs & rice, moths on the wall, crawling in bed with mommy Teaching me how to stop sucking my thumb how to stop biting my nails how to keep the nightmares away Teaching me about my body my imagination my strengths and weaknesses I remember waking on my birthday to receive a beautiful amethyst ring I remember driving together to Indiana to experience my first conference I remember how you flew me back to be where I needed to be Teaching me about the validity of my own decisions about starting to heal from within about different lifestyles and being truly loved Teaching me about going where my heart is leading about relationships and true commitment about mommy's love I remember seeing you hold my first son for the first time you chanting, crying, loving him in those first moments of life like you have loved me all these years.
Yes, so maybe I didn’t catch the decorating part, but there were these other times, other things…despite ice cream, the loving, the knowing how to be. And then having these memories drift through again…huge moths that would collect in the stairwell at our house in New Hampshire and scare little Jennifer.
Or the *conference* which was really a convocation of Church Women United in Indiana where 2000 women from all all over the world came. At the end we sat in a conference hall together and Sweet Honey In the Rock sang and the entire hall was vibrating with their magnificent music.If you ever want to hear church music roar, listen to them. Google All I have to Do.
And yah, we ate hot dogs and rice mixed with ketchup and sprinkled with cheese on top, cooked in a white Corning Ware pyrex dish.
And yes, I was there when Andrew was born, and yes, I sang to him with tears rolling down my cheeks at the miracle of a baby, a baby from my baby. I am shaped by all of this.
I went out to buy a book as a present and on the way home just decided to pull into Los Poblanos farm. It is just up the road from me.
There were two border collie puppies in the pen with 2 sheep and many chickens and one huge not so nice turkey. The puppies were stalking the sheep trying to give them the evil eye. The sheep were totally unconcerned and at one point went and butted the puppies. I stood and watched the puppy sheep conversation for a long time.
Then I just walked around. The fields were still filled with clumps of lavender plants, the clouds were hanging halfway up the mountain having dropped snow down earlier. This was all right here, just a few blocks from my house. I am very grateful for December beauty. I am loving this taking time for BEing…not rushing, noticing, savoring. I never knew turkeys were so BIG or that sheep could have an attitude.
and now that I have learned to insert pictures, we will have lots of fun.
We had some snow overnight. The dogs went running out, then WHOA! what is this!!! Ronan and Pepper turned around and came right back in. Josie went strolling. I didn’t have my slippers on and my feet were cold so I called for her.
Madison is coming today. We are going to celebrate Christmas tomorrow since she and David are getting on a plane on Friday to fly back to New England to be with the rest of them there. We will go grocery shopping for our meal. And then we will come back to make up 50 luminarias. It takes a lot more work than plugging in the fake ones. And you only have the treasure for one night. Every bag has to be folded and filled with dirt. And then every bag needs a candle. It is fun to be out during the day and seeing people out there getting ready
Christmas eve is my favorite night of the year. Everything gets quiet and magical. And the whole city flickers.
This process has been connecting me with the whole idea of *forgetting* – something that all of us know so well. In the continuing discussion with Jennifer, I was reflecting on those days…and she reminded me that I was working two jobs in order to allow my three children to attend private school. So there were lots of things I did not pay attention to…but some I certainly did…oh yah, I thought, I was.
So really, it comes down to remembering bits and pieces. Different things at different times. and the dialogues add up…many rememberings create the whole story.
I was telling my daughter about setting up Madison’s room with David. She loved it. Then she asked me,
*oh, mom, where were you 30 years ago? I wanted that room?* Man, I so get that. I thought about that question all day long…
Where was I 30 years ago?
I was lost in sugar sensitivity…having Friendly’s ice cream sundaes every night…mocha nut.
enchantment with being in love, and all that surrounds that
thinking I was a great mom when I was totally wrapped up in me.
it’s one of the hardest things I face about my life. I am compassionate. It was what it was. But addiction, be it alcohol, sugar, sex, love, work stripped me of the most cherished things in the world – ie the quality of my relationships with the people I love. Sugar addiction, and the addiction pods made me *forget* the other stuff, like the nuances of my children’s lives.
It is why I do what I do…reparation. I can’t take it back, but perhaps make a difference for other people. And most of all, recovery changes how I am in the world. I paint bird cages, I sit with my dogs on the couch talking with them about their day, I listen to the stories and ever so gently say, *do not forget, eat breakfast, pay attention…these times are precious. And I remember fearlessly.
I went out this morning to finish up a little task. I had talked with my son, David about *upgrading* his daughter’s bedroom. He had decorated it for a little girl and she has been growing up. We painted it and then have been adding some changes in decorating. I found an old birdcage on a stand at the antique coop. It was pretty grim.David said, *what is that for*….I said…*Art, David, it is decoration.* He sort of winced.
But I got some spray paint and sprayed in white. It looks fabulous. Then today I took the perch from inside the cage and went to the Fat Finch, a local bird store and found a glass bird that is a deep cranberry color. A purple finch. It fit on the perch perfectly and will highlight the colors in the new quilt we got for Madison’s bed.
On the way home, I decided to drive through the housing development that was put in where the old trailer park was. Now it is half million dollar homes with a winding drive through it. I came around a curve and there were 3 Sandhill cranes right there in the common area, just eating grubs. I sat for about 15 minutes just watching them. A woman was walking her labs, a big one and a little goofy puppy. She stopped and wondered what I was looking at. I said, *I think we live in paradise.* She seemed a little startled by that, *you do?* she said…I just laughed and thought, *we, we….* but she didn’t hear that.
I think maybe *paradise* is a state of mind perhaps. Today is gray on gray with brown trees and dried leaves. But my heart is soft with paradise bubbling. The birds are gray as well, the birds are part of paradise.
Yesterday, I went to deliver a rescue dog out in the mountains. The woman collects giraffe stuff. I think maybe she had 5,000 different kinds of them…even a Santa with a giraffe. She loves them and cares for each and every one. She knows the story behind every single one. It made me wonder about collecting, gathering what we cherish into our lives.
Then I went to a Christmas bazaar. It was unlike any Christmas thing I have been to..there was a young woman set up on the floor with a Turkish carpet and pillows. She all dressed up in mid eastern regalia. The sign said she reads Turkish coffee.
*tell me how this works?*
*Well, you drink the coffee, and then I read the ground that are left in the cup.*
*I don’t drink coffee. Can we still do it?*
*What if you drink the coffee. I can put my intention into the cup.*
*Hmmm, ok, we can try it. You don’t have to pay if it doesn’t work*
So she brewed a tiny cup of coffee and had me put my hands over it. Then she drank it. I was thinking that she was drinking my intention which was for bringing healing. We had to wait for the grounds to set. I asked her what she does in her regular life. She said she was a gypsy..
But then she kept talking and she told me her life story. She had been smoking pot for 10 years and had decided it was time to get clean so she had stopped. She has two small children. She lives near her parents in Rio Rancho. They pay for her mortgage. Her father works for the department of labor. Both her parents smoke dope so they can’t really tell her it is bad. But she wants more for her life. There was way more, a story streaming out while I was sitting on the floor on a Turkish rug with my leg going to sleep. I asked her if she had anyone supporting her in being clean. She said no, all her friends smoke dope.
Then she read the coffee grounds for me. She showed me the sleeping dragon in the cup, and a tiny fox coming out of the woods. I thought she is reading her own story here. When we were done, I wrote her a check. I had used my cash to buy some coffee beans for my son in law. I put www.radiantrecovery.com on the check and said, you can call me if you like. I can support your journey.
I think I collect the wounded hearts. I was so touched by her little gypsy self.